Saturday, 26 November 2011

Please sponsor me!

In February 2012, I turn 30. This is a momentous month, of course, and to make it even more significant, I've also decided to take part in a sponsored tandem sky dive for BEAT, a UK charity supporting a cause very close to my heart. It will be freezing cold here, and I will be launching myself into the freezing air from a massive 10,000 feet.

If you have followed my blog you will know that earlier this year I spent a (very long) month in hospital with Anorexia Nervosa. I am lucky. I have amazing friends and family and I have had brilliant care within the NHS. But there are hundreds of sufferers who don't get the support they need. BEAT is a charity that provides very real and practical support to sufferers and carers of those with all kinds of eating disorders, many of whom can't access the kind of support I've had. It also runs outreach and support programmes into schools to target vulnerable young people. 

Trust me - they are an AMAZING charity, I wouldn't be considering such a crazy act if I didn't wholly believe in what they do!

So, this is my plea to you, dear blog readers. I have a target of £395 sponsorship and a little over 2 months to hopefully smash this target... I'd be ENORMOUSLY grateful if you could donate, even 50p will help me to meet this target - follow this link if you think you can help!

Thank you, thank you, thank you! the UK's national charity supporting sufferers and carers

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Christmassy chocolatey ballerinas

So, Hotel Chocolat (a posh but tasty chocolate shop in the UK) have released these AMAZING little chocolates in the run up to Christmas. They are so cute, I don't know whether I just want to own them, or whether they'd be equally delicious to eat!  If you (or any little girls you may know, whatever their age!) are remotely into ballet, I reckon they're just the thing to complete your Christmas list!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Missing Mr B... (and my first giveaway!)

My ever so clever husband is away on business at the moment. And when I say away I mean away-away - like on the other side of the world. He's currently on leg 2 of the trip, in Tai-Pei (Taiwan), having already visited Hong Kong, and he's going to Seoul next. Whilst he's there he's meeting distributors who sell the anti-nausea wristband 'Sea-Band' (or want to).
Mr B's first plane from London to Hong Kong
Part of me wishes I was with him, part of me wishes he was here. But I do miss him. I'm keeping myself busy, but I don't know how people do it when they live apart for months at the time (my sister's boyfriend is currently  on tour of duty in Afghanistan, and I don't know how she copes!) Still, Mr B will be back a week today. He says he's bought me presents, which are obviously a bonus, but I'm mostly looking forward to cuddles when he gets back, and to see all the photos he's taken on our new camera.

I have never sponsored a 'giveaway' before, but since I have a spare pair of Sea-Bands (brand new and boxed), I'm going to offer a free pair to one reader, picked at random from entries (if I get more than one!) who leaves a message below telling me how they cope when they're missing someone close to them, (perhaps this is particularly poignant with the holiday season upon us). The deadline is next Wednesday (23rd November) when Mr. B will be back in the country!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

A poem in my head

Some days, although we cannot pray, a prayer
utters itself. So, a woman will lift
her head from the sieve of her hands and stare
at the minims sung by a tree, a sudden gift.
Some nights, although we are faithless, the truth
enters our hearts, that small familiar pain;
then a man will stand stock-still, hearing his youth
in the distant Latin chanting of a train.
Pray for us now. Grade 1 piano scales
console the lodger looking out across
a Midlands town. Then dusk, and someone calls
a child's name as though they named their loss.
Darkness outside. Inside, the radio's prayer -
Rockall. Malin. Dogger. Finisterre.
Carol Anne Dufffy (1994)

I woke up this morning with this poem in my head. I can't explain where it came from, but it was there, as it probably has been since A levels. Once upon a time, I had a conversation with a friend at university who said she couldn't bear this poem because it was just so obvious. But for me, that's what makes it so beautiful; the everyday mundanity of it, the secularity of the music and the landscape of Britain so wonderfully drawn in so few lines.  I adore Carol Anne Duffy's poems, but I think this has to be my favourite because it is so deceptively complete, although it feels so simple and barely even there. Some days, although I cannot pray, this prayer utters itself in my waking.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Meaningful words

I just wanted to share this.

It's not mine, it belongs to the blog I borrowed it from, but I thought it was wonderful. I hope I can ingest and learn from at least some of it, and I hope it speaks to you as it spoke to me.

Friday, 11 November 2011

I got the job!

A quick, pre-weekend, jubilant post to say I got the job! Thank you for your good luck wishes.

The University of Nottingham (I won't be working in this building though!)
Henceforth I am no longer HannahBallerina, primary school teacher, but HannahBallerina, Primary Academic Support Manager for the University of Nottingham. I hope it's everything I think it will be; I am so excited about getting back to work, about doing something I really believe in and getting to wear exciting and pretty clothes to work (no, seriously, this may be the most exciting part, since as a teacher, you always have to consider the mess factor in outfit choices.)

I am starting in December so have a few weeks to plan my outfits and psych myself up for this massive change!

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Reclaiming my life

Many of you will know that I have been out of action, both ballet and work wise, since May now. A sure fire sign that I'm really getting back to being me again is that I am itching (almost literally) to get back to some form of employment. As lovely as it is to meet friends for coffee, or to lie in most mornings, I crave the structure of employment; the feeling of accomplishment after a day or week's work and the luxury of having some R&R time in a busy schedule. Strangely, R&R time loses its appeal when it's all you do every day. I guess it's all about balance.

I feel like I'm perched on edge of a new frontier. I am mindful of not sliding backwards in my recovery, but also desperate to reclaim my life, move onwards and forge a happier future for me, Mr B and [hopefully] our family yet to come. A while back I made the big decision that I didn't want to return to teaching, and although each time I said that I balanced it with 'but never say never', I am very much resolute in this decision for the forseeable future.

So, it is with enormous excitement and great trepidation that I go into this week, as on Thursday I have an interview for a part time job working in outreach management to primary schools at a local university. I couldn't be more on board with the ethos of the programme from a sociological or philosophical point of view. And... (I whisper the next sentence so as not to tempt fate...) I happen to think I'd be rather good in the role. All I have left to do is finalise my presentation and sort out my interview outfit.

Wish me luck.  I am a great believer in fate, but a little luck never goes a miss! I am sure if it is meant to be it will be (and if it's not, let's hope there are bigger, as yet unforeseen, plans afoot).

Wise words I intend to keep in mind this week!