Affectionately known as Boo…still…I used to own a cake shop and tea room called bake-a-boo. After a decade of being sprinkled with sugar and glitter and being covered in cake batter, I made the life changing decision to close the doors, after being plagued with ill health.
Having 5 surgeries opened my eyes to nursing, and whilst many said I should have been taking it easier, I embarked on a degree in Adult Nursing. Not knowing if I would succeed or even get past the first week, it very quickly became one of the best decisions I ever made. What I discovered about myself and others, and indeed this world we live in was worth the hard slog and (literal) blood sweat and tears of those 3 years.
I qualified in 2019 with first class honours and began working in the community as a Palliative Care Nurse, a job that gave me an amazing grounding and meant I worked autonomously, learning fast on my feet and making important decisions in ‘the field’. Caring for people in their homes is a real privilege and gives you a wider picture of each individual patient, allowing for a more holistic approach and an understanding of family dynamics.
In 2021 I progressed into a hospital palliative care team as a Macmillan specialist Nurse. I look after palliative patients in the hospital, managing their symptoms, being a part of important conversations and decision making, and supporting families. Our focus is then getting patients to their preferred place of care at the end of their lives.
I published a cookbook in 2010, and I would have love to have written more and had so many ideas, but I didn’t enjoy the experience of being a little fish working with a big publisher, and I sadly never loved the end result. In a way I still haven’t gotten over the trauma, and I’m working on that because I have so many books in me! Even if I never publish again, I will continue to write. It’s good for my soul, it’s my therapy, my way of figuring things out, my way of remembering and allows me to indulge in my love of stories and creating characters.
“In the end we all become stories” is one of favourite quotes from Margaret Atwood.
What makes me even more passionate about my job as a nurse is my love of stories, the fascinating ‘characters’ I meet, real people who confide in me with their treasured tales. Many are shocked by my choice to go into palliative care, even more so as a newly qualified nurse. It is assumed to be all doom and gloom. It’s not. It’s a privilege, its touching, it’s special. It’s a holistic approach you don’t get in any other forms of nursing. It’s my honour every day to be a part of people’s stories, as well as how their story ends.
In my ‘former life’ my best friend Leon used to work in my bakery in between jobs. He’s an actor. I never knew who was going to turn up to work by my side in the kitchen most days, Leon had a plethora of characters that always fascinated me. He’d prance around doing silly accents and saying highly inappropriate things. He drove me potty at times, but I would always ask Leon ‘what’s their name’ when he would shout at me and try and bring me into his nonsense role play! Whilst Leon could instantly bring characters to life in person from somewhere in the depths of his mind, I always wanted to create more of a life for them. Who are they? Where do they come from? What’s their name, and how have we decided on that name, what does it say about who they are?
This is a place where I will share my stories, and maybe sometimes someone else’s. Someone who is real. But characters will also be created, or come to life from an imagined encounter about who someone may be? All real names and identities are always changed and the confidentiality of anyone involved in any story is always deeply valued and protected.
The theme for this site is Write. Style. Create. It’s a place for me to share my writing, but also show my passion for styling and the things I create. Because even though life is a lot more ‘sciencey’ these days, I have a creative side that I just cannot supress. I graduated from the London College of Fashion in 2004 with a BA (Hons) in Product Development for the Fashion Industry and despite a few changes in direction career wise since then, styling brings me complete joy, whether it be fashion, interiors, food, lifestyle or creating the perfect table or party spread.
Oh and I still bake….sometimes…..when I have time. Because who doesn’t love cake?
“In the end we all become stories.”Margaret Atwood.