Nella Martin

an appointment with a nurse in practice

Category: Home Time

Small Accomplishments on a Summer Solstice.


My house frequently looks as if it’s been burgled, the front door left open by its tardy inhabitants, rooms strewn with discarded clothes, piles of clean clothes yet to have creases smoothed out, stacks of papers knocked askew by drivers searching for carelessly placed car keys and little girls for their loom band bracelets. Amongst this chaos, if all I manage to do, is to wash the dishes in the sink and put a line full of washing out to dry then I feel as if I have accomplished something. I instantly feel calmer, more in control and able to trip over husband’s dangerously misplaced shoes without cursing him with too many foul expletives. The line of washing you see above is such an everyday insignificant thing, but to me it signifies so much more. Somehow, that simple act of pegging out and looking at the results makes me feel like a good mother, housekeeper, wife, person, clean, an Eco warrior (for not tumble drying on this occasion), thus enabling me to go out to play for the rest of a sunny, summer solstice with a clear conscience.
I dropped little daughter of to a party just before midday then went to have afternoon tea with some of my most favourite girlfriends.

I love these girls. Cake with extra-large portions of gossip and laughter is really all that is needed to cope with life.
Late this afternoon we have been to a fund-raising garden fete in the village. I spent the time plaiting little braids with beads into little girls and one little boy’s hair. I’ll often do this at school fairs, it’s an excellent activity for monitoring head lice in the local population. I do then discreetly tell parents if their child is hosting unwelcome guests!



Budgets and Calories

While George Osborne has been preparing and delivering his fifth budget, I decided that it was a good time to do my own. I find budgets are comparable to diets, except it’s the other way round. Too little in V too much out with money. Too much in V too little out with calories. Both things make for disastrous consequences.
The theory is nice and easy in my head, in fact both things more or less match, my daily calorie total and my monthly pounds to spend total are pretty much the same. I need to keep them both to around 1500 and then everything balances out beautifully. Except I don’t seem to be very good at counting. Children and all their various needs devour the pounds, whilst I try very hard to not devour too many calories. I can keep both things on track for a while but then life happens to divert my mind from my counting and it all goes horribly wrong. I stand on the scales and I’ve gained three pounds, I check my bank statement and it’s lost £300 😦
Mostly this month but especially yesterday and today I have counted everything out beautifully. I have numbers jotted down on the corner of the tissue box, in my diary, on page margins. I have £50 to spend on shopping (I’ve already shopped this week to the sum of £70) and £40 on petrol until next Wednesday, when I should be paid again. Everything else is accounted for and I’m hoping to finish the month in the black and with no extra lbs or kilos on me. 🙂
I’m at work, three consecutive patients have failed to turn up for their appointments.

A Weekend Without A Computer.

I’ve missed our computer so much. I’ve felt all restless and unable to settle to anything. I did get rid of all the laundry piles, clean have been ironed and put away and dirty piles, washed, rescued before they became creased in a pile and put away also.
My little kindle isn’t really up to blogging, I wanted to write about dolls but it can keep.
I took D2 and a little friend of hers swimming today. Luckily because of the friend I didn’t have to go in. I hate it. I hate the smell, I hate the changing rooms and wet floors, I’m not happy being braless and virtually naked in front of strangers. I understand why Nigella wore that big black burkha thing at the beach. Some of us just like to keep our bodies to ourselves. Then the being all wet and having to get dry, put clothes back on with dripping wet hair and skin all taut, dry and itchy. I find it all torturous. The girls loved it though. We then went to see a friend’s pond which is full of spawning frogs, it was quite a sight and sound.
Husband had had his brothers round to watch the football. I can’t be in the house at the same time. It’s hard to see husband, an intelligent man, reduced to behaving like a foul mouthed yob, screaming at players and a referee that cannot hear him. I can’t bear all the high expressed emotion over some men running around after a ball. It’s not nice or dignified and I lose all respect for him, so I have to leave the house for both our sakes!
It’s really hard writing on this kindle, I apologise for any grammatical errors.

A Spring Morning Walk Around The Sea Wall

Blackthorn Blossom

Blackthorn Blossom

mud flats/ sea wall.

mud flats/ sea wall.

Thursday, my fourth annual leave day off. Husband had a day off also today. I walked D2 to school, she skipped along and chatted merrily about playground gossip all the way there. Back at home with the essential domestic drudgery completed, H and I faced the expectation of having to do something together, we very nearly managed it but we fell at the last post. We didn’t fall out out and it’s not that we didn’t want to spend time together but the truth is he wanted to go out for a long brisk stride with the dog, radio to his ear listening to sport live five or radio 4. My heart sank at the thought of being in his stinky car with stinky dog and trying to keep up with him during the walk with radio blaring and dog barking at anything that moves. Following a hand hot discussion, he went off on his own, much to my relief and I had my day off back to myself. I walked down to the sea wall and got lost for two hours, an hour of that felt like an eternity as I tried to work out where I would end up. I enjoyed the peace and solitude and it all worked out OK as eventually I found my way home.

I commented on some friends soppy FB post thing about finding perfect love. It doesn’t exist. It really doesn’t, it’s just an illusion at the beginning. Eventually, it is all about picking up dirty discarded socks, a sink full of washing up, bills to be paid. Children, barky dogs and cars needing their various needs attending too. It becomes about survival, TOLERANCE, compromise. If you can still manage to snuggle up in bed at night, give each other a kiss goodbye as you leave for work and remember to ask the other about their day after work, you are both doing fantastically well. It’s not really essential to go out on your precious annual leave day together, surely??!! That’s what little gossipy friends are for (and it does help if they are a similar height as I can’t tell any little fibs about anything then as they are on my eye level!)

No great cuisine today, just sausage and mash for dinner. D2 managed to bring another little friend back to play. They shut the bedroom door and got the dolls out, I think the dolls and teddies had to endure some harsh schooling. This was followed by music on the iPod and bracelet making. I have to pretend to not notice what they are doing as they have started to become self-conscious about playing with dolls. It won’t be long before the poor dollies are discarded for good.

Sweet Potatoes

photophoto (2)

I’ve noticed that this little blog is in danger of becoming dominated by food, however I suppose that makes sense, food is the main thing that I think about!  So much of my time is given over to shopping, making packed lunches (although husband has taken to making his own colourful salad creations) and of course dinner. Every day dinner has to be given some thought, ingredients obtained and prepared. Today it’s over to the sweet potato. They are very popular in this household. Husband prefers his curried, D2 roasted or mashed, D1 doesn’t mind how they come and when she is home from Uni is generally grateful for any food that she hasn’t had to forage for or prepare herself. Unlike potato potatoes, sweet potatoes count towards your five a day. I also found them to be the perfect weaning food for babies. Today at husband’s request I’ll be making a sweet potato and chick pea curry. I mostly make it up as I go along and I never measure anything. D1 will be reading this so she can use it on her Uni house mates!!

Fry onion, garlic and fresh chopped tomatoes, or use a tin if no fresh around.

Add herbs and spices to your own tastes, again this varies each time, I generally add cumin, mustard, coriander, turmeric, cardamom and ginger, then I separate some out for D2 before adding in fresh chillies with a little chilli powder, you could just use a curry paste if you prefer though.

Then add the chopped sweet potato and really any other vegetables you have about, sometimes I add in courgette or aubergine, maybe a carrot, some red pepper to make it even more colourful, finally put in the pre cooked chick peas and simmer for about 20 mins. Serve with rice or bread. Quick, very simple, cheap and nutritious.

D2 has another little friend round to play tonight, she only eats pasta, chips or pizza. I feel really lucky that mine eat almost anything really.

Chicken Pie

Chicken pie was demolished without ceremony by three, nine-year old little girls and one huge husband.

Village life.

Yesterday I spent the day in the village. D2 walked herself to school. There is very much a going back in time feel to the place, sadly in 2014 in many towns and cities parents don’t feel that it’s safe for 9 year olds to walk themselves to school. Tucked away here at the end of the world, with no through traffic, it’s probably as safe as you are going to get anywhere. I shopped in the village, bread from the bakers, lamb chops from the butcher for husband and his mate the plumber, fruit and veg from D, who comes in a van three times a week to the village square and has been doing so for over 30 years. He is overweight, wheezy, the nurse part of me has him diagnosed with COPD and diabetes without ever having seen him in surgery. His wares are haphazardly displayed, I asked for beetroot, he replied that “it’s ‘ere somewhere love but I’m sorry oi can’t find it” He said that last week about the chillies!!

D2 had sewing club after school but had left her sewing box at home, I walked up to school to give it to her at home time. At 3.15 the school emptied out and the village was alive with mini book characters, witches, fairies, where’s Wallys, Wandas, one Stig, princesses, pirates, footballers, Matildas.  It was amusing to see.

Husband had asked for his mate to come for dinner, they had requested the chops, I deliberated with the butcher how many lamb chops they would eat each, he knows them both, we settled on three. I didn’t eat with them as I had to take D2 out, I ate with her earlier. I love listening to Plumber Mate and H gossip away. P is divorced and not having as much luck as he would like with the ladies, he was asking for any handy tips, apparently they all say that they like him lots but view him as a friend or like a brother and don’t seem to want to sleep with him. I chuckled away to myself. He is great fun and company but as I look at his 5o year old ruddy drinkers face and think of his very old fashioned views I know exactly why the ladies are holding back.!

I took D2 to Jiu Jitsu for the first time. She loved it and was keen to practise her defense against strangulation techniques when she got home.

I need to head off to work now. I have no idea what patients I have booked in today, I prefer the element of surprise.


I had a FB message from The Boy to say that he was too ill to go to school this morning, could I let them know.? I kinda feel that at aged 18+ students should be able to do this themselves, but no, the school still needs parents to authorise absence or it counts as unauthorised. I call him, we have an attempt at a chat, about A levels, one tutor is via a web cam rather than face to face. He still doesn’t know what he would like to do, or rather he does know what he’d like to do. He wants to play games as in video games, he will however have a stab at Uni or even at maybe getting a job, it depends on his grades. I’m not really sure if I feel reassured or not, mostly, I think it’ll all work out, somehow in someway for him and I don’t fret. D1 calls, she sent me a FB link to an article regarding sanitary towel production by a rural man in India, shocked at his new wife’s use of old rags that he wouldn’t even wash his bike with, he set out to manufacture affordable sanitary wear. It’s a wonderful article, even more impressive is that it comes from D1, who would put her fingers in her ears and sing ” la la la, I’m not listening” if I so much as mentioned anything to do with periods or feminine hygiene products in those early teenage years.
Mother called, she has had no electricity all day, I never found out the reason, half of the conversation was directed at B2’s dog.
FB today is mostly dedicated to pictures of people’s pancakes and the village mums requesting costume bits for world book day dressing up tomorrow, I’ve loaned out 2 witches hats and borrowed plaits on a head band.
H’s dog walking appears to have taken him to his mate the plumber who handily lives a couple of doors down from the pub.
D2 is sound asleep, exhausted from her Tower of London school trip, they did see the crown jewels!!
I have another day off tomorrow…..

Pink Tops and Purses

Tomorrow, school is celebrating World Book Day (a day early) . It’s hard to believe that D2 does not own a pink top, she neeeeeds a pink top. She wants to be a character out of a Jacqueline Wilson book, I consider this and realise that I’m getting off lightly, a pink top and plaits, that’s it. No sewing, no make up, no accessories (last year I sat up past midnight making a pom pom Wilbur cat for Mini Winnie). I decide to pop into town, for pink top, lemon and eggs for pancakes.I park my car in a car park and head for the shops. I didn’t bother with a handbag, just keys and a purse. Somehow I manage to lose my Owl and The Pussycat purse between the car park and the shops. I don’t even have time to register this before Barclays bank contact me to say that my purse with bank cards has been handed in to them. I’m so happy!! I have lost purses on numerous occasions which is why in the main I prefer to just take one solitary card out with me. However, they are always returned. British people, in my own experience, have proved themselves to be 100% kind and honest with regard to lost purses.

Pancakes and Crown Jewels

I was so absorbed in setting up a blog account last night that I forgot everything else, my electric blanket had been on for nearly three hours, lights were on everywhere, husband (H) came rampaging down the stairs a tad upset, incoherently raging about lights, electric, blankets, time… I left “experienced mum” for today.

D2 has a school trip to the Tower of London, she has been so excited. She made sure her lunch and snacks were packed last night; one wrap with houmous, red pepper and tomatoes, bag of crisps, one freshly baked wholemeal fruit scone, apple, pear and a cereal bar, one bottle of water, one bottle of squash. She followed me around this morning giving me a time count down “we mustn’t be late, have you cleaned your teeth, mum? I’m just going to check the list again”. Walking to school we met a yr 6 girl walking alone, they began chattering .. “pancakes mean nothing to us today, we’re going to see the Crown Jewels…pause…I still want pancakes though..will you do them for tea? mum?”  H passes me in the car as I walk back alone, he stops for a brief chat, he seems almost as excited as D2 re school trip, I feel a wave of affection for him as he drives off.