Saturday, 22 September 2007

The Rose Boys

I was reading a post over on Nash's blog which reminded me of an incident with another nowhere near as famous person as Rick Springfield's mother. A few years ago I read the book 'The Rose Boys'. For those outside Melbourne and even for those non footy minded people in Melbourne, the Rose family is a famous Collingwood football family. Bob Rose and his 4 brothers all played for Collingwood in the 1940s and 50s, and Bob went on to coach Collingwood in the 60s, 70s and 80s. He and his wife, Elsie, had two boys. Robert followed in the family's sporting tradition and became an exceptional footballer and cricketer. Peter followed a different path and became a poet and publisher. Peter is the author of 'The Rose Boys'. To precis the book very simply and without giving it justice, it revolves around Robert's car accident at the age of 22 years, his subsequent quadriplegia and then death at the age of 47 years. It is a story written with great honesty and richness. I read most of it while I was away on holidays, staying with some friends. I came to the last chapter one night and whilst I really wanted to finish it, I had a sense that I would be so affected that I knew I wouldn't be able to go straight to sleep but would need to respond in some active way, if only to walk around the house. Not being in my own home, I didn't feel comfortable doing that, so didn't finish it for a couple of days until I knew I had the safety to respond in whatever way I needed to.
Anyway.....on to the incident.....I lent the book to my friend and work colleague, Louise. Louise was going to a shopping centre one day that she doesn't normally frequent. She took the book as she thought she may have some time to read it over a cup of coffee, which she did. She soon became aware of a woman standing next to her. She looked up at her and the woman said, "I'm sorry to bother you, but that's my son". Louise was a bit taken aback and just responded with "Oh..... Elsie" as if she was an old friend! They only had a short interaction as Elsie was with a group of friends and she returned to them. As Louise was leaving she asked Elsie if she would sign the book, to which Elsie agreed. She opened up the book and said to Louise, "Louise, this has Campbell written inside." "Oh.....yes.....could you write it to Campbell and Louise!?" So I have inscribed in my book, "To Louise and Campbell, Best Wishes, Elsie Rose".
I love this story. I often wonder what it was that made Elsie make herself known to Louise that day. One of the themes in the book is the struggle Elsie had with such sporting fame and the effect it had on her family. What made her identify herself as a Rose that day, when she had longed for anonymity for so many years. And when she said "That is my son" was she referring to Robert or to Peter?
Questions that will never be answered. A bit like life really!

Up, Up and Away

This morning we saw son off. He has gone to a tennis camp at the Bolliterri Tennis Academy in Florida. He will be gone for two weeks. Most of the time is spent at the academy with a three day stop over in LA on the way home. It will be a great experience for him. He is going with a group of 13 kids and 3 coaches. There was some emotion at the airport, mainly from the parents, but also some from the kids. I have to say I didn't feel that emotional. I guess being a 'share care' parent, I'm used to not having him with me for periods of time, especially when he goes away with his Mum on holiday. I do have this low level anxiety about him being on the other side of the world however. I'm not concerned about him being at the academy. It will be so structured and his days so full. I am slightly anxious however, about the days in LA. He's basically a sensible kid, but sometimes can get a bit silly in certain groups. There's some saying about the whole being greater than the sum of the parts. I think that can apply to kids in terms of their sensibilities. Now that he's gone I don't feel so anxious. I guess I know there's nothing I can do but trust the universe that he will be safe and have a great time.
I don't think I nagged him too much. I just told him to ensure he wrote to his grandparents!

Monday, 17 September 2007


"You don't do much work with this nursing thing do you Dad", is the first thing son says to me when I unexpectedly picked him up from school today, just because I could, due to having an extra day at home. It pleases me that my son can have a respectful joke at my expense. It's not something that I would have had the confidence to do with my Dad at the same age.
We received notification this afternoon that the rest of the week of placement has been cancelled and we will do it next week instead. We received a very matter of fact email to this effect. It's not particularly matter of fact for me as I now have to negotiate with my employer to have next week off as annual leave, either as well as this week, or instead of. I'm fortunate to have a very understanding and flexible employer, but I don't want to take anything for granted.
This study thing continues to be anything but simple!

An Extra Day At Home

I've just got in from my placement at 8.30am. No I haven't been doing nightshift. I was up soon after 5am ., out the door at 6am to be ready to start at 7am. Got in to find that our clinical educator is sick. We're not allowed to be on the ward without her being present, so we had to go home. We got to go home early last Friday as she was sick. There has been an outbreak of gastro at the hospital I'm doing the placement at, with many patients and staff affected. I'm not sure if that is what she has. I'm convinced she's in the early stages of pregnancy, so she might just be feeling a bit queasy and not wanting to make things worse by being in a gastro infested environment. On Friday there were two other students who were off sick. Another student went home early because she was hit on by an agency nurse. He convinced her to give him her phone number which she regretted, so after discussion with the clinical educator she went home. So we're all waiting to find out if the clinical educator will be in for the rest of the week, and if not what will happen to our placement and whether or not we will have to make up the time later on.
So I have an unplanned day at home. I don't want to waste it. I felt I wasted yesterday. I was feeling a bit flat and unmotivated. I don't want to get to the end of today and feel I've wasted it. I'll start off by resisting the temptation to go back to bed!

Friday, 14 September 2007

Is it that time already?

Well it's the end of my first week of placement and so far it's gone quite well. It has involved shift work which has involved getting used to starting the day at different times and being disciplined about getting to bed early if I'm on an early the following day. An early requires a 5am. start. I normally start the day waking to the radio. I find it a more gentle way to begin the day than with a piercing alarm. I do occasionally sleep for a while once the radio comes on, so to be sure I do wake up in time, I've been using my mobile as an extra alarm, coming on at 5:10am. The other morning the phone alarm went off without the radio having come on. Whilst surprised I hadn't turned the radio alarm on the previous night, I got up feeling like I could do with some extra shut eye. I had left the kitchen in a bit of a state the previous night, so thought I would do some dishes before hopping in the shower. So with hands in the water I work out how long I can afford to do these dishes and still have time for shower and brekkie and be out the door in time to catch the necessary tram. I'm looking at the microwave clock thinking I can afford to do the dishes until 5.30 and it's now 5.23. Plenty of time. For a while I'm just staring at the microwave with that thought that intuitively I know something is wrong, but my brain isn't quite functioning well enough yet to work out exactly what it is. I then realise the microwave clock doesn't say 5.23, but says 11.23. Hhmmmm, why is it stopped at 11 minutes and 23 seconds? I must have stopped it cooking mid stream and not cancelled it. I, that's not it. Hhmmmm..... that must mean that the clock is actually saying it's 11.23. I walk into the living room..... the clock says 11.25.....I walk into the bedroom....the clock says 11.24 (note to self: synchronize all the clocks in the place). It's beginning to dawn on me that it's not the morning! It then dawns on me that it wasn't the alarm going off on my mobile, it was either a call (which I obviously rejected!) or a text. It was a text. (Another note to self: see if I can use my mobile as an alarm but have the ring call on silent).
Oh well, at least I got the dishes done and got to have more sleep.

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Lost and Found......or not

I seem to have been fairly busy lately. I'm bang in the middle of semester when assessment items are due. I am coping although I'm aware that I'm misplacing things at too regular a rate, which is probably an indication of something. The other week I lost/misplaced three things.
First thing I misplaced was my Ipod. It was missing for a few days and I was convinced that I had lost it, but then found it under my bed!!
The next thing I misplaced was a Police check I'm required to produce before beginning my clinical placement which I'm commencing next week. I had a few frantic hours of searching, convinced I had lost it and wondering how long it would take to procure a new one, before finding it in a pile of papers I had already searched through half a dozen times!
The next thing I misplaced, which actually proved to be lost, was my wallet. Yes my wallet, with not much cash (that I can remember) but all the cards that I need to survive in life! I searched high and low for it and thought that I might find it once I cancelled my bank cards, but no, it is well and truly lost! My student card was in there too, so I had to replace that. I knew it would cost me, but was more than taken aback when told it would be $60 for a new one. I had no choice but to get one.
I'm hoping that the old adage of things coming in threes is correct and that will be all that I 'misplace'. Probably if I was more organised this wouldn't happen to me.
In the whole scheme of things it is no more than an annoyance. It's important to keep things in perspective.
So I begin a two week clinical placement next week which I'm really looking forward to. This is the first in my course so I'll feel like real student nurse once I work with real patients.
Sorry, this seems like such a boring entry, but just wanted to let you know I'm still here.