I'm one of those people who considers herself to have quite  a high pain barrier; I take a pill only if I literally cannot see when I have a headache, have damaged my ankles on several occasions to the point they are 4 times their normal size burning hot and throbbing, yet still I don't take the pills given for pain. After the big accident I had I did take the pills given me for they were meant to knock me out which would help me heal better but because they had the opposite effect (I was bouncing off the walls) I had to stop taking them which meant I had no pain relief at all. When a metal wire burned through my finger I ran it under the cold tap, popped on some aloe vera and carried on with my day - the smell of burning flesh hung around the air for months. The one pain I cannot cope with though is toothache. That one is a pill popping fest, although having said that I do have to let it get to the point where I feel that if I don't pull the tooth out myself I'm never going to be relieved. I have this at the moment and have been dealing with it since Wednesday of last week - at the present time of writing this I have been awake 6 hours and as yet haven't popped a pill (I will be soon though). I have this one tooth that gives me nothing but shit on a regular basis but as always the dentist is loathe to remove it - I want it gone. I've not been able to eat on the side of my mouth it's positioned in for about a year because it hurts to do so but still the dentist won't remove it. It's made worse by the fact I clench my teeth so have in effect caused the one which gives me so much grief to become loose.When it comes to oral hygiene I go above and beyond - always have. Aside from brushing twice a day and rinsing with either a good mouthwash or salt water I floss after every meal always ensuring I've disinfected the floss also (I don't know if it's been cleaned before it's packaged in the little plastic ball so do it myself to guarantee it's clean). I've always done this so to suffer with such a tooth is not a good thing - Damn you cigarettes (it is being an ex-smoker which has caused the mouth/gum/tooth issues I have. It doesn't matter how clean I am though for this one tooth is prone to infections. Normally a couple of garlic cloves will do the trick - slice a clove in half and place a piece either side of whichever tooth you have a problem with; 9 times out of 10 it will draw out anything nasty and stop you getting an infection. It burns like a bugger and leaves you with garlic breath but it's better than the alternative. Of course there is that 1 time of out 10 that garlic doesn't work and you end up with a full-on infection which is the stage I am at right now. I've been hoping it was going to clear itself but when I woke in the night and could feel it all fizzing and popping I knew it had gone too far to right itself now and so I am off to the dentist tomorrow for some antibiotics (those of you not living in the UK who can buy antibiotics over-the-counter do not know how lucky you are). I know the exact one I need and what dosage but still have to go to the dentist, paying for the appointment and the x-ray he will do (he always takes an x-ray even though it's obvious I have an infection). He will also pod and poke around to add to the pain already felt, not to mention sticking cold water on what is the most sensitive tooth that ever suffered from sensitivity. By the time I leave there I will be close to tears (and I only cry through pain if it's really, really, really bad). My best friend used to say I wasn't human when things happened to me for I'd just get on with it - then again she was a real wimp :) I've had to step back on the amount of exercise I've been doing as the extra blood flow just exacerbates the pain. Not only that, I have a birthday on Saturday - yes, this very Saturday coming I will be another year older - officially that is for unofficially I will be a year younger :) . I had a shit one last year being away with my friend as he was being a first class twat the whole time, now this year I won't even be able to have a glass of wine :( Damn you tooth, you're coming out this year whether the dentist wants you too or not!

I forced myself to climb a steep hill on Saturday to prepare myself for my upcoming trip to Wales where we will be doing nothing but climbing hills - I don't think I've climbed anything so steep since I was a teenager - or at least when I was carrying a lot less weight that I have today!! :) This morning the friend I am going with (the same one I want to travel to the USA with me and the kids) has sent me a message with a link to a walk that takes in not one, not 2, but an incredible 15 waterfalls - although according to the research I've done today only 8 are worth seeing. I found an accomplished hiker who has done the walk and he said it's extremely hard going on the knees and lungs so I'm not sure we will be able to do it as my friend has had several surgeries on his knees and a couple of years ago had pneumonia 3 times in the space of 10 months so his lungs are still shot to shit but I personally think if we take it slow and steady we should be able to do it. It's classed as a 3 hour hike to see the main 8 so I think we should make a day of it and let it take us up to 6 hours if needs be. He can use the excuse to stop as photo opportunities also so it will be a win-win. Looking at some of the photo's others have taken there I think we should be able to get some cracking shots. Like I've said to him before and often say to others, it's not about the destination but the journey which leads you there. This can be attributed to so many different areas of life; in our case it will be achieving stunning photo's. In the case of my road trip (you knew I would mention it) it's about the personal journey I am on trying to raise the funds to get there. To someone else it could be the journey to good health, childbirth - any number of things. In the instance of us in Wales it will be about him conquering the walk and getting the photo's he so desires. I will now need to save up and purchase some decent walking boots though for the ones I have (that I wore the whole time I was stateside) may not be quite fit for purpose when we get where we are going. Boots are an expense I could do without really but at least I will have them for when I might next need them. The only downside is I have a really high instep and wide feet (not just because I'm fat, they've always been like it) so I can't just buy any old boot and have to either buy crappy wide fit ones of which the soles split after 3 or 4 wears, or expensive ones which pinch for months until they are worn in. I really am an awkward pain the in arse at times :) Not that I am complaining too much as I've not had to pay a penny towards the holiday at all so if buying a pair of boots is the sum extent of my outlay then I'm a very lucky lady. 

I'll admit I am more than ready for a week away though; it's been almost 3 years since I last did more than a few days and over a year since I had any proper time off at all (aside from a Bank Holiday Monday). I ended up working yesterday as well so that's the past 4 Sundays I've worked on top of my 6 days every week. Yes, time off is muchly needed. 

The great thing is I get time off this weekend too with it being Easter. Even though I am not religious I have this thing about not working on Religious holidays (I think only emergency services should work Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Day, Good Friday and Easter Sunday/Monday). Shops are open more hours than they need to be. People do not need to be out shopping on these days. You hear so often about families breaking down but when people are expected to work all these days what do they expect? Christmas Day is over so quick and anyone in retail wanting to catch up with family over the festive season has to use up holiday to do so. In my shop we close Xmas Eve and reopen again after New Years Day and I do not take holiday from the staff (when I have them) for this as it is my choice to close. While the business needs money to pay it's bills and I need it to earn money to pay me there is too much emphasis on having it all these days and not enough on spending time with family. I work hard throughout the rest of the year; I have to have some time to myself and I think if I treat my staff in the same way they are more likely to remain loyal - in fact the girl who worked for me and left (she needed more hours) still comes to me for private orders and sends her friends and family to me also. That shows what a great rapport we had and that means something to me. I've worked for some awful bosses (one gave me just one week's holiday a year for 2 years then upped it to 2 weeks - I had to work all bank holidays as they were classed as my 'normal working day'). I had one who tried to be fair but wasn't and then the last boss I had made me into the person I am today. Don't get me wrong, she made me work hard (really hard) but she was the fairest person I have ever worked for and I like to think a little of her rubbed off on me. I actually spoke to her on Saturday (10 years ago she sold the business yet we are still friends) and she has just come to me with a personal order for herself. That's how the world should be. You look out for each other. That's how the world used to be. What a wonderful place it would be if more people thought about other's than they do themselves.

I went out with my friend Saturday night; the plan was to drive to a local hill with an amazing view point and snap off some sunset shots before trying to get the moon and milky way in the same photo (not easy as the moon light drowns out the milky way). It didn't happen. When we got to the hill we planned to stop at there were some extremely 'dodgy' characters hanging around the car park - for my friend to feel uneasy is most unusual as in the 31 years I've known him I've never once seen him feel uncomfortable anywhere, but he drove in and straight back out again. By the time we found another good spot the sun had gone and the moon was too high for us to do both so we had a picnic at a local viewpoint overlooking the city and talked about love, life and the universe. I did, however, manage to capture a shot of the centre of one of the tulips in my garden so will share that with you instead :)