Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Hypnotherapy and finding a good Training School.

I think I might have found my new goal. And by that I don't mean that I've taken up football in a big way ... I mean that I have found something that I think I might be good at, will be satisfying and will help other people at the same time.

If you read my previous post you will know that I recently underwent hypnotherapy to help with my fear of skiing in whiteouts. I am by nature a bit of a sceptic and the fact that this therapy worked for me was really rather striking and remarkable.

My father was a GP and his first boss was a big believer in the process so my dad followed in his footsteps and used hypnosis in his practice. My mum is a nurse and as a child I remember her helping us to relax through pain or fear by using some of my father's methods. She herself was hypnotised to help with the pain of childbirth.

So really, I suppose, its no surprise that I have reached this point in my life, the point where I decide to become a hypnotherapist myself...

picture courtesy of lionelsinclair.com

Now, finding a reputable school is another thing altogether. In the UK hypnotherapy is not regulated by one body - there are several organisations that are representative of hypnotherapists... So finding the right place to train will be interesting. If I am going to do this then I want to do it well... be a properly trained, properly qualified therapist. After all... this is important.

Reputable hypnotherapists, clinical hypnotherapists treat a huge variety of complaints - from fear to PTSD, from wanting to stop smoking to weight loss. They don't sit there with a pocket watch making people quack like ducks .... its a big, big responsibility.

It would mean that I could practise while still working in my current job and yet have another string to my bow. I could also help people in a voluntary capacity. The more I think about it the more I am excited.

If you have come to my page and have any advice for me I would be hugely grateful.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Skiing in Val Thorens and hypnotherapy

I'm back from m'hols!! We went en famille to Val Thorens in France for a week's skiing, staying at Le Tikal apartments and it has been lovely!! We were last there about 25 years ago, which I find hard to believe!! In that time the place has probably doubled in size and although in places is rather like "beyond the Thunder Dome" in its bleakness, there are some great places to stay, fab restaurants and, above all, some of the most fabulous skiing in the world.

My husband introduced me to skiing about 25 years ago and it is a sport I love. As with most of my sporting endeavours I am not great at it!! My style is slow and elegant rather than fast and wild and my best skiing is usually done in my head or before I actually start moving!

I can get down any run you plonk me on, but I may well cry if its too icy...

Fortunately this year I can announce that I did not cry once. Yippeeee!!! This is a magnificent result for me as I generally spend about 30% of my ski holidays sobbing into a vin chaud, full of fear and totally lacking in self confidence.Over the last few years in particular I have developed a huge fear of skiing in white outs or flat light. This year though I seized the bull by the horns and decided to attack the problem. I went to see an acquaintance who is a hypnotherapist. The results of that session were amazing...

Having spent the last few years in dread, absolute dread of skiing in the fog I awoke last Wednesday to see the cloud on the mountain and yet I was fine. My levels of fear  remained low and as I started to ski they, if anything, diminished. I found myself singing as I skied and the voice of my therapist echoed in my head, telling me that I could get safely down the mountain, that it didn't matter if I was slower than my family, that they were ok and so was I. I actually enjoyed that day so much.

It has made me consider training in hypnotherapy. My dad, who was a GP, was a great believer in hypnotherapy and I really think it would be a satisfying and worthwhile career. We will see...

In the meantime .... this is the view from our apartment. We haven't stayed in self catering before, but I really enjoyed Le Tikal. It was 3 star and not the newest or most glamorous of places, but it was warm, clean and, best of all, ski in ski out. Our apartment was a one bedroom place with 2 twin beds and a sofa bed. The kitchen had a dishwasher, microwave, and generally everything you would need.

At the end of the day when you are skiing you don't spend much time in your room. What you need is a place that's close to the slopes and this one is ...

This is my husband at the top of the path down to the village. The apartment building back door is round to the right and we could ski right to and from that door as runs went above and below the building. 

I think that if you wanted luxury then this isn't the place for you, but if you're there to ski and don't mind simplicity this place was great.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Same sex marriage ... hurrah!!!

Tonight, at midnight, same sex marriage will be legal in England and Wales. All over the country couples will be tying the marital knot, joined by their loved ones in a celebration of love and equality. On the news this morning I saw a couple who were to be married just after midnight at Brighton pavilion. They looked excited and yet quite serious in their realisation that their marriage would be not only a union of two people who loved each other, but also a step forward into a more enlightened society.

When I married my husband, 22 years ago, we married because we loved each other and wanted to spend the rest of our days together. I remember looking around the wedding reception at the smiling faces of our friends and family and I remember being filled with joy that every person in that room loved us... every person in that room was happy that we had found each other.

There will be no difference tonight when same sex couples marry. Whether they be two men or two women they will look out at a sea of smiling faces and they will know that they are loved.

The only thing that is shocking about same sex marriage is that it has taken so long to be made legal.

For me the fundamental point of marriage is that two people who love each other make a commitment to each other and are bound together in law. It doesn't matter who they are, what their jobs are, what colour their skin is, what religion they follow. What matters is that they are two human beings who are in a loving and committed relationship. 

I simply don't understand why anyone should consider it ok to deny that basic human right to their fellow Man, or Woman. 

photo courtesy of www.gayweddingfodder.com

photo courtesy of www.thewildreed.blogspot.com

As a spokesman from Stonewall said: "Same-sex couples are living in committed, loving relationships and people have realised that the sky has not fallen in," 

And the sky will not fall in. The best thing that can happen is for same sex marriage to be accepted as absolutely normal .... just one of the things you do as a couple. Some people get married, others don't. Some people have children, others don't. Your sexuality should not matter a jot. Your journey through life should surely be about the person you are, the acts of kindness, the difference you make in a positive way.

Maybe my view is a simplistic one, but I don't really care. Does life have to be complicated? Fundamentally the human spirit seeks to love and be loved. If two people want to show the world their love by marrying each other then they should have that right.

I am so happy that marriage is now open to everyone. It is a wonderful thing and I congratulate you if you are planning your wedding, whoever you are.

Monday, 24 March 2014

The teachers' strike ... what do they actually do anyway??

Across the UK teachers will be striking this Wednesday.... not all, but some. The NUT are striking for one day in protest over working conditions, pay and pensions.

I read an interesting comment on a Facebook wall today, stating that teachers were lazy and asking "What do they actually do?" Well what do teachers do? After all they have weeks and weeks of holidays each year don't they? And they only work from 8.45 until 3.15 ... All they are interested in is getting as much money for as little work as possible... Isn't that the case?

Well, no, actually.

My sister in law is a teacher in a secondary school and I have never seen anyone work with such care and dedication. She is in school by 8 a.m at the very latest and doesn't leave until about 6pm. Having sorted out tea for her children she continues to work until late. At the weekend she often works past midnight on a Sunday evening.

Her days are filled with teaching, assessments, form filling .... Her head is filled with facts on who is achieving, who is under achieving, who is struggling ...  what are their grades, their predicted grades? Teaching is a never ending roller coaster of work. It is a personal mission to teach and support children while at the same time being swamped with paperwork, being judged and assessed constantly.

I am not a teacher, but colleagues with whom I work are and they work, work, work. They are constantly required to do more and more while coping with difficult behaviour including, sometimes, physical attacks.

It makes me so cross when I read comments asking what do they do. The norm at my school is that teachers grab a 15 minute lunch break where they can go to the loo and shove a sandwich down their throat. Some never get as far as the staff room, eating as they work in their class room.

Teachers have chosen this job, this vocation and they accept that they have to work long, hard hours. If you think that's not true then you need to think and check your facts. They did not come into the profession, however, to be worked like pack mules with ever increasing workloads and ever increasing pressure of scrutiny. They are constantly judged and constantly criticised. Of course all of us want the best for our children, but before you go charging into the school complaining about one thing or another please wait a moment. Think about the role of teacher and the workload involved.

Teaching can be the most rewarding job in the world, but it is also tiring, stressful and frustrating. The people I know who are teachers, with the very rare exception, teach because they love teaching. They do not love the admin and the constant form filling. They don't decide not to change reading books or give out medicines because they can't be bothered, they just can't fit it all into their day. You have to prioritize and from time to time things happen so you just cannot do all the things you wish you could. None of them, in my experience, are sitting about in hot tubs quaffing champagne at lunchtime.

In an ideal world teachers would not strike. Most teachers would not choose to strike unless they had very real concerns about the future of the profession. So surely we need to think about why they are striking and consider that maybe they are right? Yes, its annoying for many reasons, but it is their right to strike and it is for one day, without pay.

 Maybe they are highlighting the state of the education system and maybe we as parents should sit up and listen? Things are not rosy in schools. Teachers are expected to adapt to new directives without question and accept that they should work hugely long hours with little support.  Teachers are becoming ill through stress related illness.In 2012 Rebecca Radcliffe wrote in the Guardian that:
The number of teachers taking stress leave has increased by 10% over the past four years, with 15 local authorities seeing a 50% rise in stress-related absences, according to statistics released under the Freedom of Information Act.

Teachers are not asking for an easy life, but they are asking for fair working conditions. They are asking that they not be ruled over with a rod of iron, an old school cane - that they be listened to and not patronized.

Friday, 21 March 2014

I need a one night luxury hotel break ... pleeeeease!!!

Don't worry ... I am not going to start spending my time moaning here on my little blog ... but ...

Its my husband's 50th birthday in July and I am trying hard to find something gorgeous for him. My thought is to take him away for a night of luxury and romance. The thing is though, I keep finding gorgeous hotels, but when I look closer they have a two night rule on the weekends.

By that they mean that I cannot book a room for Friday night and then come home to be with our boys on the Saturday, ready to wake up at home on the Sunday, his birthday, and enjoy breakfast in bed, pressie opening together.

No. If I want to stay on a Friday night then I have to book the Saturday too.

And that, my friends, really annoys me.

I found a beautiful place in the New Forest, a stunning place on the beach and a fab spa in the Cotwolds ... and they all insist that we cannot stay just one night. Is there no flexibility in the world of hotels??

I want a luxury hotel with a spa and a really good restaurant. I want beauty and service and I want to be able to feel special. But just for one night. Grrrr ...

Sunday, 16 March 2014

I hate breathing your disgusting cigarette smoke ... a rant.

Its a glorious day today. I have been out all morning watching my boys play football and will be back out on my allotment a little later on. On a day like this I don't want to be negative, but I am going to rant for a little ... prepare yourself!!

As I sat on my little chair watching football in the sun I breathed in the fresh Spring air ... and promptly started to cough like an old woman as my lungs were filled with the second hand cigarette smoke of two of the other parents.

Now, I realise that smoking is not illegal and each to their own life choices, but it REALLY ANNOYS me when people light up and I end up breathing their disgusting fumes.

I have never smoked. My mum is a smoker and I have known all my life how unhealthy it is ... not just for the person who decides to smoke, but also for those around them. As a child if I wanted to know where my mum was I would just listen for her coughing.

second hand smoking kills

I think its safe to say that you would have to have been in a cave for 80 years not to know that smoking is bad for you and for anyone around you who breathes the toxic smoke of your cigarette. So why do people still smoke?? And why do they think that its ok to smoke when other people are around and end up coughing or holding their breath to avoid inhaling?

If people are stupid enough to choose to smoke then that's up to them... but don't involve me and don't involve my children!!

The thing is, we are all so polite aren't we? I said nothing to these two today. My friend moved away down the touchline until they had stopped, but I didn't want to offend them. They clearly didn't care if they offended me though. Maybe we should say how second hand smoking makes us feel... I have had long conversations with my mum about how awful it is. But I still haven't had the guts to say that I hate coming back from her house smelling of smoke, that I put all our clothes to wash straight away.

Very few of my friends smoke - maybe 2 out of all of them... and I hate it. When they have snuck out "for a crafty fag" they think we don't know, but we do ... because they stink.

I cannot stand walking past businesses in town where, in all weathers, groups of smokers huddle together in clouds of blue fug, coughing, hunched ... What message does it send to potential customers??

The truth as I see it is that smoking is dirty, unhealthy, inconsiderate and downright revolting. It damages the people who do it and they in turn damage everyone around them. They cry "addiction, addiction", but how many smokers have I heard saying that their first cigarette made them retch?? And yet they soldiered on until the habit was well and truly established. Ridiculous.

Nobody likes breathing in second hand smoke and if you are a smoker and you say "Do you mind if I smoke?" let me tell you .... anyone who says "No, that's ok" is lying. No non smoker likes the smell of cigarette smoke. Nobody likes having the burn in their throat or the soreness in their lungs. Nobody likes the stink of your breath or the fact that you are choosing to kill yourself and hurt the people around you. Its not cool, its not big and its certainly not clever.. You may not like to hear this, but I am sick of being polite.

There ... I told you it would be a rant.