Friday, 21 February 2014


Well, it's half term now, and despite a dismal weather forecast at the start of the week, we have actually had quite a few sunny days here down South.  Or at least, sunny hours within rainy days.  So, the ground is still waterlogged, but the shoots and buds are emerging.  We even have a couple of daffodils beginning to open in the back garden.

Although the puppy does a good job of eating them.  And of digging up bulbs that haven't flowered yet -  she seems to particularly like tulips.  She is a little terror, and a little sweetie too, of course.  She's fine as long as she's supervised, anyway.  I suppose there's a lesson there.

I felt very important this morning - I was engaged on a conference call.  Paul has a couple of days off work, and although he's busy painting the kitchen, I managed to get him to look after the children while I took the call.  I have never done a conference call before, and I was conscious that I should try not to interrupt or to talk too much.  I think it went okay.

The call was from Rethink, who have a project in the pipeline that they have asked me to help with.  It all sounds very interesting, and I am looking forward to being involved.  The really exciting thing, for me, was that I was asked to contribute - rather than putting myself forward, they sought me out - which surely means that my input is valued.  And to prove this, I am being paid!  Which for most people who work, goes without being said, but in the mental health sector and where a charity is involved, is not always the case.

I think things are changing - service users are becoming more valued in mental health work generally, and it is recognised that they (we) need recompense as would anyone else.  Apart from anything else, it does a person good to work, and most people can't afford to do so without payment.  The labels we are given operate as a barrier to gainful employment, for various reasons.  So you either end up permanently on benefits, or take menial work.  Or work to improve services, either paid or unpaid. Paid is better.

Anyway, I'm not going to indulge myself with a massive whinge now, because things are looking up, for me at least.  Another trip or two to London are in the offing, and I will have some interesting material to work on from home in the meantime.  Plus, I will be learning more about the mental health system and hopefully be increasingly able to contribute suggestions for its improvement.

And the writing is still going well.  Even though it's half term, I have been able to steal the odd hour to read and write, especially in the evenings.  During the course of the next week I should have four or five new titles on Kindle - not full length books, but episodes in various series' that will eventually become complete works.

I have also set myself a deadline of a month to finish that 'recovery book' that I have been banging on about since the beginning of time! It may never be the exact book I want it to be, but it is about time I got it out there in some form regardless.

So, it's looking up.  I had a feeling that this would be a good and productive year, and it's starting to look as though I was right.  Incidentally, I discovered a website and book by a chap called James Altucher the other day - I stumbled across a YouTube video that led me to these.  I have found them really interesting so I thought I'd pass it on.  Sorry for the lack of link - I am writing this on my tablet and haven't figured out how to link to things from here yet.  Ridiculous, I know.  I could just walk across the hallway and knock on my teenager's door to find out right now.

But she's busy and I have to go now - a chap has arrived to fit a double-glazed window in our kitchen.  So, more anon.

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