Monday, 25 April 2016

Almost a Year



This week I have been qualified and working as a Therapeutic Radiographer for ten months. Time has flown by and the past few weeks I have found myself helping third year students prepare for their first interviews.  Has it really been a year since I was preparing for my Band 5 interviews?  Another topic of conversation on a recent lunch with one of the third years was the transition to being qualified.  This was something I asked several radiographers about as I prepared to start my first job.  However as much as they told me it was different, a nice different was a term many used and to prepare for being really tired to begin with, I wasn't prepared for not being given regular feedback.  After three years of having regular feedback and planning sessions with my annual mentor aswell as radiographers offering feedback on set and my clinical lecturer being there to offer support and feedback, as a newly qualified member of staff you can feel a little lost.  Whilst I appreciate that as a qualified member of staff I shouldn't need regular feedback, but this is my advisory for those heading towards to transition.  Be prepared to no longer have regular feedback sessions.  As everyone said to me when I mentioned it. don't panic, if I was doing something wrong I would be told!

So ten months in and I feel settled, but am ready for new challenges.  A natural progression is to start considering what I need to be able to do to consider applying for a Band 6 role.  Pushing myself a little harder, expanding my knowledge and trying to problem solve more. Next up on the agenda is deciding which postgrad study to complete,with a meeting this week to look at options with my manager.  With an idea of where I want to be in the next five years or so, I am hoping we can find post grad options to suit. Just beacuse I was older when I qualified does not mean I don't have plans! Finally a new challenge is about to begin as last Friday I was voted in as the departments SCoR Learning Representative.  Already full of ideas I am excited to see what myself and the team can achieve as I take on this role.  This is one of the many reasons I chose radiography, so that I could continue to learn, regularly taking on new challenges.  Bring it on!

Until next time, take care.
Zoe
xo

Monday, 11 April 2016

Food Glorious Food


A few days ago a rather appetising press release pinged into my inbox, as Camp Bestival announced the talented chefs headlining the Feast Collective this year.  As a bit of foodie I am always equally concerned about the delicious offerings at a festival as I am the music line up.  Previous years at Camp Bestival have left us with taste buds tingling, with the many vendors in the Feast Collective and beyond providing flavours from near and far.  

With a strong emphasis on street food style the Feast Collective is a carefully curated collection of flavours, pushing culinary boundaries.  So lets see what we can expect this year.  A firm favourite in our family, DJ BBQ, will thankfully be returning with his burgers to die for and sounds that make for a summer party.  This year also sees the return of Zoe's Ghana Kitchen, offering contemporary twists on traditional Ghanian dishes.  Of course sharing a name makes me automatically drawn to Zoe's stall!  Also we see the return of Seadog, with their seaside popcorn, Pimp My Ramen offering noodle burger fusions, alongside newbies to the tent, Makatcha, sharing exotic tastes of Indonesian Rendang.  With an ever growing trend for healthy foods, there are several options for vegan diets and for those of us aiming to reduce our intake of refined foods, especially sugar.   So a visit to The Chocolate Bear Kitchen and The Rattling Pan will be on my agenda and the girls and I are keen to try the 100% natural ice lollies from Polar Pops. And of course Andy and I will be heading to Noble Espresso's for a better caffeine fix than our camping kettle offers!  

Have I got your taste buds tingling yet?  The Feast Collective is just the beginning.  I will write again soon about the other foodie offerings for the weekend.

Until next time, take care.
Zoe
xo

To find out more about the line up this year at Camp Bestival and to book tickets visit www.campbestival.net

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

International Womens Day


Today is a day to celebrate the achievements of women across the globe, whether these are social, political, economic or cultural.  Whether these achievements are big or small  International Womens Day gives us a chance to appreciate the work of women everywhere.  A day to shout from the rooftops or to quietly get our point across, but everyday we can aim for change, improve lives and achieve things that even twenty years ago may not have been possible for women.  

As my contribution to International Womens Day I thought I would signpost charities and projects I completely support.  

White Ribbon Alliance 

I discovered this charity a few years ago through a friend who went to volunteer at one of their projects in Uganda.  Every mother deserves to have their new baby delivered safely, wherever they are, respecting their religion, beliefs, values and traditions.  Respectful maternity care observes every expectant mothers right to care and support and became the main theme for WRA's initiative five years ago and is very much embedded in their work.  Personally I am eternally grateful to the amazing maternity care I was given at a very scary time with my youngest daughter, in the weeks before her birth and her early delivery.  White Ribbon Alliance reminds me that this care should not be taken for granted with so many women not even receiving basic maternity care. 

To find out more please visit the White Ribbon Alliance website


Inspiring Women, Inspiring Change - Anna Kennedy Online

Living in a world full of diversity helps us to accept differences yet many are still misunderstood and often feared because of this misunderstanding.  I was recently contacted about the Inspiring Women, Inspiring Change film project from Anna Kennedy Online showcases five mothers living with autism.  Motherhood is a scary world as it is but even more challenging for these women, caring for and supporting their children, yet they are achieving professionally with their children inspiring them everyday.  Autism is greatly misunderstood in our noisy, crazy busy world but it should never stop anybody achieving their goals and dreams, no matter how big or small.  Faced with numerous challenges as a mother with a child diagnosed with autism, these women have found support from each other through this project.  Whilst I may not have a personal experience of a child with autism, having recently had a child diagnosed with Motor Tourettes Syndrome, I would have appreciated a sisterhood like this in facing the challenges this syndrome provides.  

To watch the Inspiring Women, Inspiring Change film please click here.


Sisterhood

Last year saw the first Sisterhood camp, created and curated by the very lovely Lou Archell of Little Green Shed blog.  Lou wanted to bring together like minded women to share stories, nurture creativity and with a love of nature.  So the idea of Sisterhood Camp was dreamt up and after months of planning became a reality.  For me the whole concept of women supporting each other is refreshing.  Sisterhood should be celebrated and Lou has certainly found a beautiful way to do this.

To find out more about Sisterhood camps, suppers and workshops click here. 

Also as part on International Womens Day I wanted to signpost you to a couple of posts I have written about barriers in womens healthcare here in the UK. 

Until next time, take care.
Zoe
xo



Monday, 7 March 2016

Becoming a Master of Science

Over the past few weeks I have felt it's almost time to set myself a new challenge.  Having adjusted to working full time and getting to grips with everything my new job entails thoughts have turned to the possibilities of postgraduate studies.  Obviously I love my job, so want to carry on working and know I can juggle study, commuting and working, having done this for three years when retraining.  But the postgrad minefield I am taking baby step onto is throwing up all sorts of challenges.  

There seems to be a good selection of courses available to me, yet the ones I am most interested in would involve moving house or taking a year out.  Neither of which I am wanting to do.  First up there is the MSc in Cancer Studies  at Oxford Brookes University.  Cancer biology and pharmacology had to be one of my favourite modules during my undergraduate studies and this Masters course at Oxford Brookes would definitely further my knowledge of this. But what benefit will this bring to my job?  Actually more than you think as one of the modules is Living with Cancer in Contemporary Society, looking at how cancer challenges personal identity, the cancer journey and survivorship. This would not only aid me now in being a better health professional but in the long term, should I get to be a review radiographer.  There is also a Research Methods module,which of course instantly appeals to me.  So what's stopping me applying?  I live in Suffolk, about 250 miles away from Oxford and as much as I love Oxford, I cannot uproot my family for a year, just so that I can study as sadly this is an attendance only course.  

Next up in my favourite courses list is MSc in Clinical Research at University East Anglia.  A little closer to home, virtually next door to where I work, making it a feasible option when considering location tick boxes.  Also this course is funded by NIHR which will mean financially nothing will change.  Furthermore there is the option to study part time, so effectively I am guessing that I could still be clinical as well.  This option definitely requires further investigation,  Meanwhile I will look at distance learning options, with postgrad courses in Radiotherapy and Oncology at Sheffield Hallam being favoured by other radiographers in my department.  Any guidance or other suggestions are truly welcomed.

Until next time, take care.
Zoe
xo


Saturday, 5 March 2016

Hazy Summers of Sound


Yesterday driving back from work Clean Bandit popped up on a playlist and with the sun gently setting as I headed home I was taken back to last summer.  Happily cocooned in festival fun we danced and sang along as the sun set over Castle Stage.  Just another magical memory from our family time at Camp Bestival.  With Spring fast approaching, Andy, the children and I are starting to get excited about this years line up.  Where else can you see Bananarama, Fat Boy Slim, Jess Glynne and Tears for Fears, to name a few? Actually I am most excited to see The Brand New Heavies, some cool acid jazz sounds filling the hazy summer evening air, glass of Pimms in hand = perfection.  

So for the next few weeks as the days get longer and finally I get to see more daylight, (honestly there are days when I am concerned I maybe becoming a mole!) thoughts will turn to the promise of new memories being made as the sun sets over the Castle Stage.

To see the full Camp Bestival line up (so far!) and to purchase tickets please visit www.campbestival.net

Until next time, take care. 
Zoe
xo

Monday, 22 February 2016

Magpie Moments - Silver Heart



Magpie Moments

Beautiful Silver Jewellery from Elizabeth Anne Norris Jewellery

Rarely entering Instagram giveaways, only choosing prizes I truly covet, I was delighted earlier this month to be named the winner.  Having captured my attention with her beautiful jewellery designs, Elizabeth of Elizabeth Anne Norris Jewellery visually fed my love of silver pieces as I followed her Instagram feed (@eanjewellery).  Therefore when I saw Elizabeth was having a giveaway for a gorgeous silver heart pendant, I decided to chance my luck.  All that sharing and screenshotting paid off, I won!  My prize is featured below and is a wonderful addition to my silver jewellery collection.



 As a supporter of artisan businesses I always love the story behind the creations, how the maker developed their skills and started on their creative business journey.  Elizabeth is an award winning designer whose eye for detail and ability to make simplicity truly beautiful, I'm sure you will agree, make the perfect bond in her jewellery design and creation.  

Until next time, take care.
Zoe
xo


Monday, 15 February 2016

In The Bag - A Wintry Walk



Wintry Walks

Clockwise from the top -Quilted Jacket from Barbour - Wellies from Joules - Leather Backpack from Eazo -
 Leather Thermos Flask from Beg Bicycles - Wellies from Joules - Leather Backpack from Paper High
Leather Backpack from Iris

Mercury on the thermometer may have plummeted but this should not be an excuse to stay indoors. Although I know how alluring the warmth of an open fire, a pot of tea and a good book can be when outside the air is crisp.  Pack a flask of freshly brewed coffee or hot chocolate, put on a warm coat, hat, gloves and scarf, tuck toes snuggly into boots lined with fluffy socks and head outside.  Exhale dragons breath and listen for the crunch of frost with every step.  

Until next time, take care.
Zoe
xo