Weeknotes 21

Another week of ups and downs. And a week of dealing with the realities of rural living.

What’s going on

I’ve still been off work. Work continues to be lovely and supportive. My flexible working request has gone in and from June I’ll be on 4 day weeks with my nonworking day being a Friday. In hindsight, I should I have done this from day 1.

I’ve been progressing my neurodivergence assessment. It’s booked. But then I realised through a series of events this week and more research that I’ve probably booked the wrong type so I’m now trying to get that changed. SIGH.

But I do feel like I know the outcome of that assessment already. As do the 14 squirrels that live in my brain.


I’ve managed to talk to my GP this week. It was a month to get a face to face appointment and 2 weeks for a telephone appointment. But after a wait of over an hour on hold, I managed to get an on the day call back from her.

I have a proper sick note now. I am also changing HRT dosages. We’ve also agreed to hold off on any other medication or therapy additions until I’ve had my ND assessment and any diagnosis.

I’ve had less time in the garden due to the weather. But I have finished digging the ground elder in the big back border on the edge of our property. I’ve planted it up as best I can with what I have.

I’ve moved all the ferns and other things I’d planted near the studio as that area is about to get utterly trashed when the building work starts.

I’ve started on pots. But I really need Sarah Raven to crack on and send me the rest of the stuff I ordered months ago.

Apparently something happened this week with an election being called?

Rural life

There’s lots of stuff you need to keep on top off when you’re not on the gas grid and not on the sewage network that you can just ignore when magic pipes do it all for you in urban living.

‌Work started to replace our oil tank. It was old. Not up to code (single skinned). And near our stream. The thought of it breaking and causing an ecological disaster literally kept us both up at night.

The old one has been drained and the crud appropriately disposed of, the tank taken away and a new concrete pad poured. The new, double bunded tank is sat on the drive waiting to be put in on Tuesday.

The other thing that has been stressing me out is our septic tank. It hasn’t been emptied since 2021. We didn’t even know where the access hatch was. We located it - under double thickness paving slabs and a layer of soil.

We had it drained and surveyed today. It’s okay - we need to keep an eye on the soakaway area as there was water that flowed back in to the tank as they were emptying it. But we think that might just be due to the heavy rain we’ve had and the clay soil we have.

What does next week hold?

A very slow, very phased return to work.

The election has given me a bit of motivation again. It’s lifted a weight of some sort. And knowing that I can help - I’m one of not many people around who went through 2010. I know I can provide support and a stead ship.

But slowly. And gently.

[There’s a lot rattling round my head about 2010. Mostly I’m grateful this major change of government won’t see something like the bonfire of the quangos which affected many of us. With the bruises and traumas of that still linger.]

Going to explore how to work together with one of our other senior partners to share the load. Echoing what Jukesie said in his 100 day review - this job is lonely and isolating. I’ve got some thoughts about a job sharing approach that I’ve talked to my boss about and hope we can explore as a community of senior partners.

There are benefits to us as individuals in sharing the load. But also in bringing different sets of skills to a client. It’s an approach I’ve seen my husband do with a colleague to great effect in his world.


Five weeks post surgery.

Dilys is full of beans. We move to 25 minute walks from today.

She starts physio next week.

She’s back to barking at anyone who dares come onto the drive.

What I’ve been reading

I speed-read Heather Corinna’s “What Fresh Hell is This”. It’s a fantastic, dry, funny, honest approach to talking about peri-menopause and menopause. It reads like I’d talk to friends about things. And it’s super inclusive - Corinna is a queer non binary sex educator/innovator - which is really refreshing that it can be used by anyone. There’s even a section at the end for those who live with/care for people who experience peri/menopause.

I read Yomi Adegoke’s “The List”. Ola is engaged to Michael, both work in the London media scene. A month before their wedding, an anonymous list is published of abusers in the industry and Michael is on it. Will they get married? Is Michael an abuser? How did his name get on The List? Can Ola live up to her reputation as a feminist and supporter of abused women?

It’s a well written, compulsive, quick read about the toxic world of social media and online abuse.

Next up is either Eliza Clark’s “Boy Parts” or Bernadine Evaristo’s “Mr Loverman”. I’ve been holding on to Mr Loverman for a long time - it’s the next to last Evariso book I have to read.

What’s blooming

The roses have started. Six are in bloom now, 5 more to go.

And 2 of the 3 orchids in the lawn are blooming, which given I’d only planted them this year, I did not expect.