An Explanation and apology

Wednesday, 8 December 2010
I think I need to explain the reasons for my lack of crafting & blogging just recently.  There have been a few things going on that I have been struggling with and instead of crafting to relax & forget, I have been letting it all get me down.

I work for Natural England which is part of DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs).  As the majority of you will know, the Government have announced a number of cuts to reduce the country's debt, one of which is the cut of around 500,000 public sector jobs.  Natural England, as part of this review, announced that they would be reducing the number of offices around the country and, unfortunately, Reading appears to be one of those offices that are due to close.  The work of the team that my husband and I are part of means that unlike a number of our other colleagues, we cannot work from home.  At the moment, the latest we will be in work could be until 2014.  This may sound a long time but it is dependent on a number of factors including how many people decided to take voluntary redundancy now.  This is also being affected by the Government who are trying to change our accrued rights.  For me this isn't such a major issue as I have worked there 14 years so do not reach the maximum of 21 months (1 month for each year worked), but for my husband, these changes will mean that he will lose out on another 8 months money as he will have worked 29 years next month.  We do not want to take the redundancy, we want to work it out in the hope that things may change as 3 years is a long time in politics. However if things go against us, we could find ourselves out of work sooner and also potentially only on 12 months redundancy.

That is just of the things that has been troubling me.  The other is problems with my back/spine.  As a child I was diagnosed with Scoliosis (curvature of the spine).  I have a double curve.  I had spinal fusion at the age of 13 to help reduce this.  At the age of 25 I  had to have the rods removed from my spine as they had started to move.  Last Christmas, I had a fall in the snow and have been in pain ever since.  After 4 months, I went to the doctors as I was having pain down my leg. After an MRI scan I was told that the 2 remaining discs at the base of my spine had started to degenerate and one was bulging and pinching the nerves.  I had a nerve block into the spine 6 weeks ago where they also said that it looked like I have arthritis around some of the joints.  Yesterday I went back to the hospital.  The nerve block didn't really work as I am only getting maybe 2 days at the most without pain.  After telling me I had a choice over what was to happen next, I found myself being pushed down the route of a different type of injection (apparently I'm in no hurry according to the doc - let him say that after a year of pain!), so I am now back on a waiting list!

This has all been getting be down and I hate to say it but I've been feeling a bit sorry for myself including my crafting ability.  I entered the Cardmaker of the Year competition this year and didn't win anything, but one of my cards did get chosen for a High Commendation. You can find it here if you scroll right down to the bottom, I'm the 4th row down and the final one in the row.

I will show everything at a later date if that is okay.  I'm doing a Christmas fayre at the local primary school on Friday so have been a bit panicky about everything as I'm trying to make gifts more than cards!

If you're still here, sorry about the rant but thank you for staying with me, it is much appreciated.  I know I've said it the last 2 years, but I do aim to be a better crafter next year, I think I need to be for my sanity!!



  1. Kat said...:

    Oh Sarah what a horrible time you've been having. All this pain you've been having is bad enough but worrying about both your jobs on top must be awful for you. No-one is safe anywhere are they. Jobs are pretty precarious where my husband works and there was even a piece about the firm in the paper today. The dreadful weather today just puts the lid on it.

    Hope things improve for you, this is such a stressful time of year at the best of times.

    Thinking of you,

    Kat xx

  1. glitzygirl said...:

    Dear Sarah, so sorry to hear of your dilemma's. You know praying always helps me and just recently my daughter (long story) was having all sorts of issues. So we decided to make a 'dream board'. Well you get youself a canvas or large cardboard and start pasting pictures on it of places you want to go, things you want to achieve, things you want. It was so much fun just creating the board. So what;s the point you ask? Well she has it next to her where she spends most of her time and looks at it all the time and lifts 'it' up to the Lord. Whenever she gets down she looks at it again and it lifts her spirits. She also has words on it like Faith, Perfect Health, I am Blessed and so on. you get the idea. Hang in there, things always have a way of working out. One door closes another opens. You both might end up with better jobs never know. For me the best therapy is whenever I get the 'poor little old me' syndrome is to help others and throw myself into a selfless project, keeps my my mind off me.LOL.
    Blessings Hilde

  1. Sarpreet said...:

    wishing you all the best, i agree do not take voluntary redundancy, maybe this is a good time to start looking at other venues which you still can earn an income to live on. So you an support yourself.

  1. Pam said...:

    Sorry to hear you are havin a tough time, take care. Hugs Pam x

  1. pickle said...:

    OOOH Sarah it's no wonder you are feeling down with all that going on. Having pain myself on a regular basis I can completely understand how that can get you down and with having the worry of yours and hubbies jobs on top of that you have every right to be feeling the way you are!
    Never mind about the silly comp, your cards are fab and your colouring is amazing!
    I do hope that some christmas cheer makes you feel a bit better about things and I hope that next year is your year!!

    Good look with the craft fair:)

    Love and hugs
    Kerry x

  1. Cj said...:

    I'm really sorry to read about all your bad news, hope you ok.xxxxx

  1. Rach said...:

    Sarah honey sounds like you have a lot on your plate, totally understandable why you are feeling down.
    .. :( . sending big hugs...xxxxxxx

  1. Anita said...:

    Sarah, I'm so sorry to hear about your jobs and also your medical issues. I will keep your family in my thoughts and prayers.

  1. Amanda said...:

    I don't know what to say, I know how it feels to be under the threat of redundancy been through it twice and I know it is difficult to believe but each time I have found something better than I had before. My MIL has scoliosis so I know how painful that can be. Take care and hope things work out for you.
    Amanda x

  1. Helen said...:

    Awww...Sarah you really are going through it aren't you...
    Don't know what to say really, other than I really hope things work out for you and your hubby work wise, and that 2011 is a much happier & healthier your for you!
    Sending you a great BIG hug!
    Helen x

    PS - I LOVE your cute easel card/'s adorable...they were mad not to choose it amongst the winners! :0)

  1. Debbie said...:

    Hi Sarah

    Sorry to hear your news I too work public sector and know what a worrying time it is so my thoughts are with you and your husband .. I hope things work out like you say 3 years is a long long time in politics.

    I've followed your blog for a long time and would like to say dont ever doubt your talent as a crafter your images are always so beautifully coloured and so pretty.

    I too have health issues at the moment and know how stressful and unhappy this can make you .. so thoughts are with you in the hope that you will have some pain free time soon.

    Look after yourself.


  1. Oh Sarah - I am SO SORRY that you have to go through all this. I am amazed that you have been able to make cards and blog and go to work with all your pain. And then to have to deal with the stress of yours and your DH's work situation - gosh, no wonder you feel so down! Just want you to know I am thinking of you across the miles and sending you some {{{hugs}}}
    Jocelyn XX

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