I'm now 2 weeks in to teaching my course on Landscape & Local History for the WEA at Guilden Morden. We have a nice big class and everyone is very friendly and keen. Guilden Morden is a lovely village and I am enjoying the excuse to drive out to that side of Cambridgeshire each week as there are some lovely villages to see. We all had some good fun exploring different kinds of maps last week and this Tuesday we'll be looking at how Archaeology can help with Landscape & Local History research, we'll look at aerial photographs and lumps and bumps on the ground and I'll be taking along some archaeological finds to handle :)
I had to go to the doctors today to get my hearing checked as I have noticed some changes. It is very hard because when I was about 20 years old I just suddenly went deaf in my left ear – no warning – it just went. I remember the sensation was very strange and it was quite frightening. I went straight to the doctors who then rushed me straight to hospital. I had to stay in hospital for about 3 days while they gave me lots of different treatments and special drugs that could sometimes get the hearing back if given quick enough. Unfortunately my hearing didn’t come back at all – I had lots of tests, had to have brain scans and spent a lot of time shut in those sound proof rooms with all kinds of gadgets which monitored my hearing loss and tested my hearing. The doctors couldn’t give me an explanation as to why it had happened, other than it wasn’t a brain tumour or anything like that. They said it can sometimes happen to people and it could have been caused by a number of things. They said that there was no camera invented that was small enough to look inside my ear properly and see what had happened. The hearing had just completely and suddenly gone and no kind of hearing aid would help as there was nothing left working to amplify sound. The doctors gave several suggestions and ideas to what might have happened, they said it could be some kind of auto-immune disease where my body had attacked itself (that sounded reassuring!) or perhaps it was from being hit as I had just come out of a very violent marriage or even that when I had been screaming during the violence, that could have done it, they also said it could have been caused because of stress (which is very vague really). So I have never really understood what had caused my hearing loss. For the two years following that I had terrible tinnitus (ringing and sounds) in my other ear which I know many people suffer with. I spent about 2 years training my brain to filter out the ringing and rushing wind sounds, which was no easy task I can tell you! It was very frightening and I would often get panic attacks and if I ever got a cold or something that affected the hearing in my right ear I would be scared stiff I was going to go completely deaf. I was told by the doctors that I had as much chance of going deaf in my right ear as well as anybody else did and that I shouldn’t worry. I had an open appointment at the hospital for years after that to be able to go in case my other ear went at all funny. And I did go up there quite a few times panicking when any new or strange noise were heard in my other ear but after a few years I got used to the new sensation of not having any hearing on one side. One of the things I had to get used to was sounds coming from other directions. I would quite often think a noise had come from one direction to find it had come from somewhere else. I have got on with it all for over 10years now but always with the fear of loosing the hearing in my other ear one day. It is surprising how much I have come to rely on lip reading and putting sentences together from the bits I have heard. On the whole I don’t think most people would realise I have this problem but I really struggle when there is any background noise, pubs and clubs are a nightmare, crowded places and background noises sound very strange to me and it can be difficult to filter it all out. Another thing I have found is that you can feel really thick! Especially when having a conversation and you have to ask the person to repeat themselves more than once. It can make you feel quite self-conscious. A lot of my history and archaeology work is often with people over a certain age, many of whom have hearing problems so we all understand each other well and it is more comfortable in some ways. When I saw the doctor today she said that once you get to 40 your hearing starts to deteriorate (cheek coz I’m not there yet!) so I know I’ll have to contend with that when it starts happening anyway but for the last year I have been noticing that the hearing in my right ear is playing up – I don’t know if I have just not wanted to admit it or pretend that it is just fine but I have had to ask to be referred back to the hospital to have the proper checks. I have had probably one of the most stressful years ever this last year for many reasons but the thought of going completely deaf scares me because I love music and the sound of my kids voices and talking to people so much. I know there are ways to deal with it if it does happen but I hope it isn’t going to. I’ll report back how the hospital appointment goes once I’ve been.
I have been gearing up for our CCAN groups mass upload of pictures to History Pin and the big task of adding the hundreds more items- from, photos, scrapbooks, podcasts, memories etc. - to both CCAN and History Pin. Whilst doing this I thought I might as well sort out my own archives and my own thousands of photos - and it is a real task I can tell you! But it is proving good fun too, as I'm getting to see some great old archives and re-discovering some of my old pictures too. I have been using Google's Picasa to store my own family pics but have decided that as I have so many and many are from archaeology sites, history trips etc. I might as well share them online too. So to save my already packed website from getting too overloaded with family holiday pics ;) I have created a public web album on Picasa which I have generally listed by placename. You are more than welcome to check out my pics on there and add your comments - just bare in mind I have only just started and there are thousands more to come!!!
I now have a great deposit scheme for all our groups and Cambs Archives with the lovely Mr Chris Jakes at the Cambridgeshire Collection, where we now make monthly deposits of all our collected material :) If you have any memories of pictures etc. that you would like to be added to our CCAN groups or for me to help you with then please feel free to get in touch. Contact Me!
To Visit my Picasa web albums just follow this link:
Busy as ever! What a weekend, on Friday I did a prom makeover in Cherry Hinton and then did a bridal pamper party in Godmanchester which was all lovely.
A word of warning... if you ever have to take your child to ballet exams, be prepared! You will need food, drink, entertainment and to keep calm. Charlotte had her ballet exams this weekend and they are spead out over the whole weekend so that there is no point going home in between exams, the place is filled with stressed out, hot parents and a formidable but wonderful principle! :) it wasn't that bad really but it was a lot of waiting about and the hot weather didn't help when everyone was stuck inside for hours and hours. The examiner is very strict and presentation is everything, so the fumes from cans of hairspay abounded. Charlotte did very well, she thinks, we don't get results until the end of September but fingers crossed and she should have her grade 3 now. Now exams are over, the rehersals for the Jan 2011 show begin!
In between that I got out on Saturday morning to give a guided tour of Cherry Hinton Hall for the Cambridge Antiquarian Society, which Tony Kirby had organised. We had a good walk around and I pointed out and explained the features in the grounds from the prehistoric archaeology to the Victorian parkland. We even made a quick trip out of the site up the road to Giants Grave which is the large natural spring pool opposite the Robin Hood Pub in Cherry Hinton.
Saturday evening we popped over to Ely to my lovely friends, Emma and Rob, for their house warming which was great. I love Ely, I used to live there many years ago.
My son was here to visit for the weekend too, so Sunday - in between ballet exams- we had a great BBQ in the garden and Russ even brought the TV out into the garden so we could watch the England match (no comment on that!).
Yesterday I went to my grannies to sit with her for a couple of hours, then I totally skived off of work and went into the town and spent some money on myself :) haha, it was brilliant! I haven't done that in ages, I was a total girl, I brought some clothes, false nails and false eyelashes, got a bit of makeup and some hair stuff then I came home and gave myself a haircut and stuck on my false nails and eyelashes (I can hardly type now). That was well needed.
Then in the evening, last night, I went and gave a lecture on local archaeology and history to Cherry Hinton Local History Society, it was a great evening and I had a suprise visitor along, Barry Fuller, from the Cambridge Archaeology Field Group - he had been involved with CHLHS 25 years ago and is a great friend of mine, he'd been trying to get the chance to come along for the last year and had finally made it, so it turned out to be a great evening all round :)
I must now finish off the War Ditches work I have been doing and have a week free of appointments to get it done, wish me luck!
Landscape Archaeologist, Local Historian & Mobile Makeup Artist