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Showing posts from July, 2018

Reasons to be cheerful - 26th July 2018

This week my reason to be cheerful is... I reached out and I asked for help. I got in a real state, and I know it's just menopause related, but I got in a real pickle, in floods of tears and feeling just awful. And instead of crying and then dusting myself off with a (very), wet hanky, I messaged a friend and poured it all out and she gave me a good talking to and has made me message her every day since to tell her what I'm doing to look after myself. And if I don't do it, she messages me and gives me what for. We've been friends since we started high school in 1980 and we've supported each other through all sorts of shit over the years, from boys to cancer and all things in between, so there's no pretending with her of going "but I'll be fine", 'cos she knows when I'm not being honest with myself or anyone else. And do you know what? I've felt so much better and got so much more done for just admitting that I was feeling crap and hav…

Reasons to be cheerful - 19th July 2018

Clearing out the crap... To be honest, my biggest reason to be cheerful this week involved vampires (not the ones I write about). I've cleared loads of crapola out of my life and I'm feeling fab for it. That includes not having blogged since last week, because - you know what - I was trying too hard to be something I'm not and trying too hard to tick boxes and be like other people.
I have spent a lot of time this week in my garden looking at the sky and being grateful for what I have and the fantastic life I'm building for myself.
And that's it. That's my reason to be cheerful this week, I am thankful, for all the positive people in my life and for having the courage to get rid of the stuff that was making me sad.

Embracing my geekness....

Today (13th July 2018), is "Embrace Your Geekness Day", and I've been doing just that all day on my social media feeds by sharing these 9 pictures as a photography project...

And why, you ask?

Because my geekness is Steampunk, and these are some of my go-to accessories.

I love dressing up in odd combinations of Victorian/Edwardian/Pirate/Adventurer/Explorer gear to enjoy tea duelling, automatons, wild and wacky inventions and just huge amounts of fun.

And vampires are wrapped up in there somewhere with my geekness. Not clowns though... I hate clowns.


Reasons to be cheerful - 12th July 2018

I seem to have been sooo busy since last Thursday, but here goes... Last Saturday saw serious fun at the Maindee Festival, a free community arts festival. I was performing 2 poems and also MC-ing 30 minute set by my writing group in the Spoken Word tent. I didn't take any pictures, but you can check out my poems here. Sunday was this one's birthday I can't believe he's 19 now, so I have just one more year of having a teenaged son! True to form I managed to make him a cake without him realising, so I was ab;e to present him with this on Sunday morning (made in a very fraught three-hour window when he was out of the house on Friday! Monday was yoga
in 29.4-degree heat (yay), and I had a punt at taking a photo of myself doing the boat pose. As I suspected, it didn't really work! And apart from all that I've just been writing and watering the garden. The crops have definitely suffered from this hot spell, but I am managing to harvest a bit and I've dis…

In the spotlight...

On Saturday I did something I haven't done for a long time, I took to a stage, not just to perform some of my work, but also to MC some other writers in a 30 minute set in a Spoken Word tent and a local community arts festival. And guess what? I loved it!

I hadn't really realised how much I missed performing and being on a stage with a mic...

I shall be looking for more opportunities to be doing it again soon.

I don't have any pictures to post, because I was busy doing my thing and being slightly scared that my parents were in the audience (eek!)

Anyway, watch this space for updates on what I do next.

Let me eat cake...

Today (10th July 2018), is Teddy Bears Picnic Day, nobody seems to know why. Anyway, I didn't have a picnic - even though the weather has sorted itself out a bit, and it does actually feel like it's safe to go outdoors. But I have been thinking about healthy eating and weight loss - or lack thereof.
I've been eating healthily (ish), and exercising more for a few months now and though I've lost quite a few inches from my arms, thighs, chest (ok, boobs), waist and hips, I haven't lost any actual weight for a while. I got a bit despondent about this until I realised that what I've actually done is lost fat, but gained muscle because I'm doing a lot of yoga.
If I was only weighing, I'd have given up ages ago and figured I was just not going to lose any weight, but I only half-heartedly weigh now and then celebrate the decreasing inches I'm measuring each week.
I like healthy food.

These zoodles (or courgetty), with pesto and pumpkin seeds, were really …

Hello! Here I am...

I know, I know, Sunday is usually a "from the archives", sort of post, but somebody commented on one of my posts the other day after I'd posted a picture of me, saying that she'd thought I was in my twenties a while back, but that reading the blog and seeing the pic had shown her otherwise.

I wrote here 150 true things about me

And here's a super-up-to-date picture on me


So up-to-date that it was actually taken this morning.

Actually, I DO need your help... It's soon going to be 50 days until I'm 50 and I want to do some fun things in the build-up to my birthday and then in the rest of 2018... So if you have any ideas of things I can do, pop a comment on here.

In answer to the question...

The other day on the blog and my social media, I posted this picture


taken by my son, of me doing the boat pose. Anyway, he and a few other people asked if it was possible to take a picture of me in the pose myself...

Well, I like a challenge as you know, so...



Honestly? No, I can't do it myself. Maybe if I had a selfie stick, but I don't.

Reasons to be cheerful - 5th July 2018

The weather has been so good lately that I've taken to doing a lot of my work in the early morning or late evening, so I've been able to 'rest' (i.e. laze about), during the days. My back garden gets the sun from early morning right through until late afternoon, so there's not a lot to be done out there during the day. I have managed to harvest lots of blackcurrants and I've given my mum and dad some beetroot. The tomatoes and green beans are coming along nicely and I'll have blackberries coming out of my ears in the not too distant future. Still, it's what I wanted when I planted the garden, so I mustn't grumble.

I've been super-busy writing - both for clients and for myself. I'm planning to publish a collection of short stories in October, but in order to do that, I need to write about 35000 more words. It's entirely doable and this month I'm taking part in Camp NaNoWriMo to push myself to get the work done.

It's a year this…

Work that body...

According to Public Health England doing that magic walking 10,000 steps a day does not a fit person make. To be honest, I never thought it would. I love walking, but it's just putting one foot in front of the other and to really make a difference you got to look at your speed and working your arms and the way you walk too.

Anyway, turns out doing exercises that strengthen your bones and muscles is what we should be doing too. Stuff like yoga


and dance, tennis, resistance training and dance. Basically stuff that strengthens you and improves your balance.

I only took up yoga in January and I do love my weekly class and practicing at home on the other days (I particularly love the "corpse pose", go on, look it up).

My other favourite strength exercises come from carry full watering cans out to the garden and digging and shifting earth.

I can see a big difference - both physically and mentally -  since I upped my strength and flexibility exercises as well as just doing the …

Staying out of the sun...

Well, we've really done it this year haven't we? The UK is basking (well, more flumping really), in the hottest of heatwaves.

I'm finding myself working in the evenings more and doing very little actual work in the day. The house is boiling, sitting in front of a laptop is just torture and gardening has been reduced to watering everything at about 8:30 in the evening and picking crops whenever there's a shady patch.

I'm caked in sun lotion whenever I go out for any more than about 5 minutes and believe me you shouldn't go outside without shoes on - I nearly turned both my feet into bacon doing that on the first really hot day. Seriously though, stay inside, especially at the hottest part of the day.

I slept out in my tent one night last week



it was just too hot to contemplate even sleeping downstairs in the house. Through the day I've had every window and every door open trying to get an air flow through, and it is better than it was. I've been drinkin…

You'll need to take these iron pills...

You'll remember I wrote here about my latest menopause adventures? Well, I got the blood test results back, and whilst my thyroid function was fine, my iron levels were woefully low. So now I've got the joys of iron pills until I can get my levels back up.

Thankfully I don't get too many side effects from them, just a little bit of heartburn now and again (mostly when I eat stuff that I know will probably give me heartburn, but it's stuff I really enjoy - like red pesto sauce or salt and vinegar crisps), and the obligatory black poo (lovely).

Anyway, remembering to take the pills and eating lots of green leafy stuff, cutting down on caffeine, not eating crap, you know, the usual stuff - and I should be fine.

I'm not feeling overly tired, or anything other than 'a bit hot and bothered', because Wales has decided to have another country's summer this year and it's actually hot and sunny.

So yes... Keep taking the tablets and it should all be fine.

From the archives: "Falling out of love with my planner"

I wrote here about falling out of love with my bullet journal (not the one pictured, more about that later), and I did, I really did fall out of love with it, and I went back to using an ordinary week to view diary. I tried lots of different ones, in fact in the first 4 months of 2018 I'd gone through about 6 different diaries. I just couldn't find the right one, and so I went back to bullet journalling, because it did work best for me.

I started off very simply, going back to the basic bullet journal concept, as explained in the video above.

I've gradually moved on from that simple idea to doing stuff that's a bit more suited to how I'm working at the moment, and I am using Google Calendar to run my daily to dos. I'm doing readying and study notes in the bujo, but I still have my daily journal on a different book that never leaves my bedroom.

I cam e to the conclusion that there was no "perfect" diary for me, I need to be able to do what I need at a…