Don’t lose your head

On this day in 1649 King Charles the first was executed for high treason. Like his father, King  James the first, Charles believed in the divine right of kings, he was above parliament and answerable only to God. This was his undoing and, amongst other things, ultimately led to his death.

Here are a few interesting facts about Charles Stuart, the only British king to be executed;

-He wasn’t the original heir to the throne, he idolised his older brother Henry but he died, probably from typhoid, when Charles was 12. Only Charles and his sister Elizabeth survived into adulthood.

-As a child he probably had rickets because he had very weak ankles and wore specially made reinforced shoes. He also had a stammer that plagued him throughout his life.

-When he married the French princess Henrietta Maria in May 1625 he waited at the door of the Notre Dame in Paris as his proxy went through with the ceremony with his bride, this was because he was not a Roman catholic. They were married in person a month later in Canterbury in an Anglican ceremony.

-They went on to have 9 children together, but 2 were stillborn.

-There were never any mistresses recorded and it was thought that Charles was faithful to Henrietta until his death.

-After his execution Oliver Cromwell allowed Charles’ head to be sewn onto his body so that his family could bury him intact.


Charles and Henrietta



Just love this post on a new blog discovery….enjoy xxx

50 shades of grey

At the moment due to being a snow fearing wimp I’ve been watching a bit more TV than usual. One advert in particular has been popping up regularly, the one for “Just for men – Auto Stop”. This wonderful hair dye only takes on average 10 minutes and stops automatically when it gets to the correct shade that suits the lucky man using it.

I can’t help but wonder what the difference is between men’s and women’s hair.

Women have to leave on hair dye for at least 45 minutes, (nearly an hour if roots are as grey as mine!), before that we have to browse hundreds of different brands and shades with names such as golden ash brown, warm chestnut, and light golden auburn hoping to match as closely as possible to our original hair colour, (that I don’t really remember). During the development process we have to keep anxiously checking that the colour is as expected not bright red or green, too light or too dark. Many a time I’ve ended up resembling Morticia because I’ve chosen a shade just a little too dark that looked ok on the expected colour result picture on the back of the box.

Men on the other hand can just pick up one box that says dark, mid or light brown and black, slap it on and it’s all done for them!

Just another one of life’s great ponderables.


Oh the weather outside is frightful

As I’m a bit of a snow phobic and hate going out in it, I decided this weekend I would decorate the back bedroom in readiness for when Hasan eventually gets here.

I always work better when I have something blaring out at high volume that I can sing really badly to. My mum was my fellow worker so I trawled through my ipod for something appropriate for both of us to warble to.

I chose Rod Stewart’s greatest hits because he is a big favourite of mum’s and I kind of like him too. So while we worked we sang along to Maggie May, Do you think I’m sexy and all the usual suspects. But then a song came on that I hadn’t heard in years and I think it’s really lovely, The Killing of Georgie. I’m not going to say anything clever or witty about it, I’m just going to share it…enjoy (and check out the lycra leggings!)


Into the frying pan

Today I went into university to talk to the new cohort on the Return to Nurse Practice course. On our first day 3 nurses from the previous group came to talk to us. I couldn’t tell tell you exactly what they told us and what questions were asked and answered, but I do remember that I felt much better about the course after that session.

So when our tutor asked if any of us were willing to come and talk to the newbies I didn’t hesitate to volunteer,  because I knew how invaluable it was for me to hear about other people’s experience of the course and returning to practice.

There were 33 in the group and they all resembled scared rabbits in headlights! I couldn’t help but wonder if our cohort looked that petrified and whether we fired questions at the panel as quickly as they did.

Hopefully we managed to help calm their nerves about the coming months and that they all went home feeling a little more confident that they had made the right decision about starting the course.



nurses classroom


A Close Shave

Today in the foyer of Bristol Royal Hospital for Children there was an unusual sight, 3 nurses from the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit had their hair shaved off to raise money for an outside play area and parents facilities for the new Paediatric Oncology/BMT unit opening at the end of this year.

Kerry, Pete and Bex had a target of £2000 to raise for the Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Appeal, (the official charity for the Children’s Hospital), and at the time of writing they were about £100 short of that amount.

No going back


Kerry, Pete and Bex


It is still possible to donate to this amazing cause by visiting Kerry’s page at this email address –  How fantastic would it be for them to far exceed their target.


A Question of Equality

I was watching the new series of A Question of Sport the other night, partly because there wasn’t much else on and partly because I quite like the show that is almost as old as I am. It was first aired regionally in 1968 and became a regular fixture on the BBC from 1970. It’s Britain’s longest continuously running game show.

Through my childhood and formative years I watched team captains come and go, my favourites were the pairing of Emlyn Hughes/Bill Beaumont and John Parrott/ Ally Mc Coist. But over the years the common thread through the team captains is that they are all men, not only that but more often than not the contestants are all men too, with only a handful of women.

Now I’m no raving, hairy arm-pitted feminist but I think the producers of the show should make more of an effort to include more of our many fantastic sportswomen. They have more than enough to choose from, especially from our plethora of Olympians.

Of course the the regular female on the show is Sue Barker who has been fabulous in the host’s chair since 1997 and does a fantastic job keeping all those men in line and under control.

question of sport

New Year New Life

I had a job interview today at Bristol Children’s Hospital on the Bone Marrow Transplant unit.

This is where I worked for many years before I became ill and where I did my practice hours for the Return to Nurse practice course. Consequently I know a lot of the staff on the unit and I was interviewed by 2 managers that I have worked with for at least 15 years. I have to say that was really strange because they know me so well, but obviously had to ask me the same questions as the rest of the candidates.

Less than 2 hours after the interview I had a very pleasing phone call……I got the job!,(subject to references), I am so chuffed and excited about getting back to work again, doing the job I love.

When I first applied for the job I did worry that I was taking a step backwards, the job is a band lower than I was working at before I got ill, also it’s on the same unit. I did wonder whether I should have gone for somewhere new, a new speciality… a new challenge after completing the Return to Nursing course.

But my aim is to get back to work so that I can help Hasan get a visa to come and live in the UK. As I haven’t worked for a number of years I figured it was better to stick to what I know for now. The job is a fixed term for one year so who knows where I will go after that and what new challenges I can take on.


Go with the Flo