November the month for remembering

November has started and already the nights have drawn in and the temperature has dropped to single figures, Christmas adverts are on TV and Ellie is on her 20th draft of her christmas list, oh dear looks expensive!

But November for me is all about remembrance, remember remember the 5th of November, remember those that fought for our country on the 11th and this year, November 26th, will be the first anniversary of my grandmother, Elizabeth “Joan” Dawber death.

I can honestly say that not a day goes by when I don’t think about my Gran and the profound effect she had on my life, she was my role model, my inspiration and my hero. My gran was a registered nurse, midwife, health visitor and district nurse, quite a collection. My gran took part in the trials of the BCG vaccinations and stacked babies in linen cupboards during the blitz to protect them from falling bombs.

My favourite memories include going for long walks around Rivington, listening to the stories from the war and nurse training, blackberry picking and child hood trips to Devon to visit my Uncle Ronald’s Farm. I have my love of family, the out doors, history and nursing because of my grandma. I love you and I miss you gran.

But I suppose I am lucky, I had almost 42 years of my gran, she lived to the ripe old age of 94, everyday we see on the news young men / women needlessly killed or dying too young defending our country, today on Remembrance Sunday we are reminded of all the fallen soldiers and those left behind. I am blessed and humbled by others.

So when the 26th of November comes round I am not going to be sad, I am going to be thankful and celebrate the 42 years we had together. I am also going to focus on the living and the future and making things better for those that I can influence and make a difference for. From this year on I will no longer be making new year resolutions but grandma resolutions, these are mine:

  • Pip, I love you and I know I can be a pain, untidy, demanding etc, I promise to be by your side forever and to start picking up my PJ’s from the bathroom floor and un balling my socks!
  • Ellie, I love you too, you are my only daughter and I can’t put into words how you make me feel, especially when you run up a £200 iTunes bill or a £70 xbox bill! I promise I will look out for you and love you and support you no matter what choices you may make
  • Dad we are very similar, we both miss Gran, I promise to be more tolerant, but you do try the patience of a saint sometimes 🙂
  • Finally, to every person who comes into my care or sphere of influence, I want to be able, in years to come, that everyone receives the standards of care I would expect for my Gran – the 5’Es – from essential to excellent, or in grans days from the linen cupboard to improving the public health of future generations.

So please join me in remembering but also to looking forward and making a difference, life is too short to have regrets, if you love, admire, are proud of someone, tell them it’s far better to share the moments in the here and now than anecdotally when it’s too late.

Get hold of every day with a new beginning and a sense that we can make positive changes and do our very best. I don’t want to be remembering the NHS in future years I want to be living it, breathing it, working in it and eventually being cared for in it.

RIP Elizabeth Joan Dawber, you are loved and missed by family and friends and will never be forgotten.




witches, ghouls and a bit of Elvis

Well I promised myself I would write a blog a week, oh the best laid plans, but here I go again in an attempt to get going. Over the last few weeks I have learnt more than ever before that family time is precious and you can’t turn back time or even pause it.

Over the last 12 months I’ve been on a “bus mans” holiday with my partner whilst under going some tests, the test results are finally back and although not immediately life threatening we will have to change plans for the future and adapt our lifestyles. Pip has just been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

So this made me think how often do we give diagnosis or “bad news” to others and do we really know how it feels to be in their shoes? If you asked me a year ago, I would have said absolutely now I’m not sure, but I know from now on I will try to take the right approach for that individual, one size doesn’t fit all.

So what have we done differently so far? Well everything, we’ve just got back from 4 days at haven in Wales, the weather was truly awful, the entertainment interesting and was full of kids, families dressed up in all manners of spooky costumes.

Ellie dressed as a witch and won the best dressed girl and then the following night won the “Kay T Perry” tribute act dance off. However, confidence took a severe dip when entered “Haven’s got talent” when she got severe stage fright and burst into tears whilst singing defying gravity. So on steps mum, thinking I’ll do it for both of us to cheer her up, guess what, Ellie then ignored me for 2 hours because I got through to the grand final! Back to those good intentions again 🙂

I was forgiven though later, at the final, when my number one fan screamed at the front like she was at a one direction concert, thank you Ellie.

As for pip, she’s walked, albeit with the aid of a pram or a stick at times and danced on the dance floor until she could barely move, maybe not as slick and coordinated as she once was but still a star and an inspiration.

I also met up with “lost” and new family, something I should have done 7 years ago, thank you for pursuing me back into your life and lets never loose touch again. So family is really more precious than anything else but family can sometimes cross over to our professional lives too, the trick (or treat) is to harness the experience and knowledge to do our very best.

Any way, for one night only, I’ve tweeted the link to Karen does Elvis (I couldn’t work out how to cut put it in blog) Enjoy!

BTW I def will not be giving up my day job lol but may do a further “gig” for children in need…….. But the price would need to be right!!!!!!