A New Year

At the end of last year I left a job in a charity and returned permanently to practice nursing - again! And since then - I think because I do have a habit of accumulating various nursing roles - I've been asked about my work quite a lot. But one question that seems to be on repeat is one that I don't remember being asked years ago when my children were little. It's this one - 'So how many days a week are you working then?'. I find myself explaining and justifying my choices to not always work a full week. I've even found myself asking other women this in case, perhaps, I'm not matching up. It has recently occurred to me that, as far as I'm aware, this is not a question a man is asked regularly. It has led to me considering why this is such a point of interest. And I have come to the conclusion that women can't win. If we work full time, we are seen as neglecting our family but if we choose to do, say three days a week, we run the risk of being seen a


Anyone that knows me knows that I love dance. Whether it’s going to the ballet, prancing round the kitchen while I’m cooking, watching my daughter dance ballroom and Latin or even performing a Michael Jackson medley with her at a fun charity event. I believe dancing is one of the best forms of exercise there is. It’s fun, social, great for physical and mental health (or so it should be) and a way of expressing emotion. However, lately I have had experiences that seem to go completely against the messages of body positivity, self-worth and acceptance that the world is now striving for. Of course, I understand that to be a good, watchable performance, the dancing must be of a certain standard. But at what point does it become OK to tell children and young women that their hair is not smooth enough, their ponytail is not straight enough, their skin is not dark enough, their make-up is not heavy enough or their overall look is not professional enough? If you choose dancing as a career

Get Your Coat

Dear Mr Johnson, I know you’ll ignore this letter just as you did my last two. However, I thought I may as well give it another bash. This time I will offer no statistics since you pay no heed to them it seems. I simply want to say that you have let us down. You have let nurses and every other worker in the NHS down with the refusal to respect us and the work we do. We tirelessly turn up for yet another day in the line of fire. Morale is the lowest I have seen in my 20 years of nursing. In one of my workplaces, we have lost 50% of the reception staff in the last three months because they simply couldn’t take any more. (OK so that’s one statistic). I know all you care about is money and perhaps your plan is to push as many NHS workers out as you can to enable the privatisation of the NHS to appear to be an excellent idea. But this has meant that during a time when the NHS has been needed most, it has been on it’s knees. If you had listened to us and shown us respect for the work we do –


The Covid vaccine and masks. Subjects I am spoken to about on a daily basis at work and out of it. I have even been tagged on Instagram in debates about whether it should be mandatory for healthcare workers to be vaccinated or not. My opinion is that the vaccine should be a personal choice and I don't think any government should have the power to impose medication of any sort on a person. My opinion on masks is that unless you have a truly valid medical reason for not wearing one, what possible harm can it do to put one on when required? The point of them is to stop the spread from you, not to you, and I think wearing one shows that you respect those around you. Choosing not to simply because you don't like it isn't an excuse. What is important when deciding whether to have the vaccine or not, regardless of your profession, is that your sources of information are trustworthy and reliable. I'm sure anti-vaxxers will step in here and tell me that the government are not pr


I recently read Claudia Winkleman's book Quite where she makes it clear she is not a fan of yoga. She's been known before to describe it as smelling of 'smug and hummus'. While this is amusing, conjuring images of teachers dressed in wheat wafting around an incense filled studio, I actually feel sad that Claudia has never experienced the true benefits of yoga. If you've read my book or earlier blogs you'll know that firstly, I suffer with a long-term chest disease, and secondly that I've done yoga for over 20 years now and love it so much I decided to train to teach it in 2018. I've recently read and listened to the experiences of two very successful YouTube yoga teachers who have both suffered severe illnesses and for whom yoga has been a vital component of their recovery and management of long-term conditions. It made me consider my own experience and why yoga means so much to me. I rarely get through a day without practising at some point. It's b

Mental Un-health?

Firstly, I feel I need to make some kind of disclaimer to make it clear that what I've written here is in no way intended to offend or upset anyone. I've been sitting on this blog for a couple of months now as the topic is a sensitive one and I've been unsure how well it will be received. It may seem that each paragraph swings between opposing viewpoints and that's because I have no idea what the right outcome should be. I’m not here to give answers as I don’t have them but I have had many conversations over the last few months that I feel could raise useful and important discussions. What I have written is based on personal experiences, my own observations and those made by colleagues and other parents. During my time as a school nurse it has been impossible to ignore how many children seem to be suffering with mental health issues. Stress, anxiety and depression are rife among all year groups and there are days when I wonder if there is a child in existence who is gro

County Lines

County Lines. Maybe you’ve heard of this, maybe not. But if you are a parent or have children in your life that you care about, it is vital that you learn about it and, most importantly, help to educate these kids by talking about it. I’d heard of it and thought I had a decent understanding of the subject until recently when my son had, what the police described as, 'a close shave'. I was aware that kids on bikes were targeted for drug running, I was aware that kids who travel in from London by train are a target and I was aware that adults are approaching kids offering to pay for food in return of a favour. These things are happening and if you live pretty much anywhere in England it’s most likely happening in your town. But here’s what I didn’t know and what I feel a responsibility to share. That the people coercing and grooming our kids may well be an adult in a quiet part of the high street, they may well be an adult hanging around the station or chicken shop but what I don