We really don’t know how lucky we are!

I say we but can really only speak from the perspective of a woman in her late forties (suffering from lack of sleep with all that time to think) living in the UK.

People often generalise but even those forward thinking individuals trying hard to see life from the viewpoint of another (I’m sure we all like to think we fall in to that category!) can only guess at best at the thought processes of anyone else or the life that has brought them about. The way one sees oneself or anyone else lives only in our mind, no two people will view you in the same way even if their opinions are similar . It’s like taste or colour, how do I know the way I see blue isn’t yellow to you or the flavour of coffee isn’t stilton (uch!)

It’s funny because on the one hand we are all unique, no two people are truly the same, even identical twins are never identical, as a rule you can tell them apart. I’ve never understood this by the way so if someone can explain I would be grateful. I’ve given it thought, position in the womb may account for subtle pressure differences meaning microscopic differences in body/facial contours, sleeping position allowing for gravity to cause subtle changes but really why? Why aren’t genetically identical people identical? I find so much else fascinating about the twin thing I’m off topic ha! No change there.

So we are all unique beings and as so view the world differently; even if these differences are subtle. Individually we are viewed differently by others. To someone out there you are one of the most wonderful people to walk the planet, to another the villain of the piece but they are both right. There is no one singular truth, two opposing viewpoints can be argued and can both be right and that is both epic and the problem in all things from Brexit to Gazza! Yet despite being unique however wise and alternative we believe we are, how different we feel to the masses. There are umpteen people who have had the self same thoughts and opinions before us.

Ok so we don’t know how lucky we are in the UK. I mentioned my daughter (27) and family were meant to be moving 250 miles from England to Wales next weekend but the house fell through. They’d already given notice on their current place and panic ensued. We found suitable accomodation to rent through an agency but for one reason and another were unable to jump through enough hoops to act as guarantors despite being able to find bond, rent in advance and all the random agency fees. Yet more panic but then, reality check!!

We live in the UK, despite Brexit and all the other things people are wailing and moaning about. We have social housing, yes it’s stretched, it’s a disgrace in a county as wealthy as the UK we have people living on the streets! But Ce’Nedra and the family won’t have to live in a tent, they will have a roof, heat, running water etc! These are privileges denied to so much of the world. Worst case they will sleep in our living room and we will put their things in storage until we can find an alternative. The children already have school places, free schooling for all; amazing concept. We have a welfare state, yes it’s changing, it is harder to manipulate the system in the hope that people will choose to better their own lives, either through education or vocational training schemes and ultimately work and not see it as an easy option. I DO NOT agree with all parts of the reforms, the elderly, people with disabilities, bedroom tax and so on but still it exists, help is there, it’s hard to imagine what life would be like if it did not. We have a national health service, free medical care for all, it is not failing us, it is being failed and the staff are doing miraculous things with limited resources!

Life is a lottery, so much is the luck of the draw. It was dumb luck I was born in the UK, my children were born in the UK, we are fortunate! To look down on another person because luck placed them somewhere else is lunacy. Dumb luck shouldn’t make us elitist. There is a them and us in all things from race to religion, even on a microscopic level in teams and places of work etc. I understand the desire to fit in, to want to belong but that should not mean we are opposed those that are different. I am so very grateful God blessed me with this life, with it’s tiny troubles and massive advantages!

Have a great week A x

Fitbit…other fitness trackers are available!

All I wanted for Christmas and my birthday, (New yrs eve) was a Fitbit Charge 3!

After some amateur dramatics in pretence I wasn’t getting 1, my long suffering husband presented me with 1, I was genuinely surprised, I was really happy with the pyjamas etc I’d already received but this was something I really really wanted. I’m a simple soul with simple tastes, short of new running tights or trainers I seldom want anything. That said if we won the lottery I’d become a woman who wants a great deal so perhaps I have expensive tastes and if I can’t have what I desire I’d rather go without.

Anyway I already had a Charge 2 and was toying with the idea of 1 of the larger more expensive watches but they brought out the 3 and I was sold. My only criticism of the charge 2 was the fact I couldn’t swim in it. The Charge 3 is waterproof to 50m. I was a little disappointed the heart rate doesn’t register when swimming and it registers laps instead but activity is still recorded.

Seriously though I haven’t swum in years, why it was important to me? I think it’s because my goal is to do the Pembrokeshire triathlon before I’m 50. I don’t have a bike, have a dodgy knee and haven’t swum forever but 3 years to train and I believe it’s achievable, pretty sure that was the rational for the charge 3 and I can wear it in the shower who knows how many calories have failed to register!

Seriously if you don’t have a fitness tracker it’s hard to comprehend the subtle obsession but you get to a point you literally hold your breath and try not to move at all when you’re not wearing it. If the fitbit didn’t track it, does it even count?

It’s laughable in the same way a 4.8 mile run becomes 5 because you run up and down the street to round up before you go home. I should point out this isn’t a review just an observation of the mindset of this tracker user.

I finally trained today having not really done so all year. I’ve thrown some kettles about and pretended to myself the half arse burpees I’ve done have been HIIT but my head is back in the game.

I realised the new tracker has been set for non dominant hand meaning I’ve been overestimating calorie burn and activity levels since Christmas day. I am aware I’m a bit obsessive particularly written down and given some thought.

It reminded me of myfitnesspal, I’ve been using mfp since June 2015, and never missed a day giving me way over 1000 day streak. Until September that is, when we had a new kitchen, the laptop was off stashed somewhere up stairs and I smashed my phone trying to calm my frazzled brain going for a run the 1st day the fitters were in (I’d had it 3 days!!) Despite going back over my mfp days and adding entries my streak was gone. I was bereft, really I considered writing to them then realised how insane that sounded. I think I’m 90-100 days in again now but it’s less intense. Watch this space though because I linked the 2 today 🤪 now every step I take adjusts my fitness pal, it might just escalate to a seriously bonkers level. Happy Sunday 😘

#myfitnesspal #Fitbit #obsession #middle-aged #blogmylife

Veganuary trials & tribulations!

I’m giving veganism, if that’s the word, a whirl for veganuary. Last year I did sugar free February for cancer research, something I intend to repeat as it happens so I figured veganuary would be good for me after the carnivorous excess of Christmas, turkey, gammon pigs in blankets etc Wow it really has opened my eyes to several things.

Firstly the diet is way more limited than I ever imagined, I hear some people talking about the ease of their transition but not for me. When I signed up I must confess I thought “yea no problem quorn bacon, quorn mince, chicken fillets etc,” I wouldn’t notice, not so my vegetarian and omnivorous friends, not so, quorn contains egg!!😳 Ffs, right, love that predictive text immediately replaces ffs with yes btw 😁

I’m struggling, yes there’s vegan cheese made from coconut oil and it’s palatable, nice in fact but it’s got less protein than a pea! Being God squad I’m having trouble looking for let alone finding saitan?! meat substitute. Protein is a factor, at least two meals a day are vegan protein shakes just to ensure I’m getting the minimum required for training.

Also veganism is the dietary equivalent to the word moist! Meat eaters, omnivorous folk whatever; some of them, I wouldn’t like to lump everyone in to 1 category, are vehemently opposed to vegans. I find this strange.

There seem to be at least two camps on either side, on the vegan side there are the ones who only mention their dietary habits when it’s relevant e.g ordering food, in the same way I would with my son Lewis who has an egg allergy or say a meat eater who dislikes lamb (me yuck)..then there are the ones who announce to complete strangers they are vegan and preach like fanatics about the positive implications to health (which are numerous to be fair, certainly in the longevity dept.) the damage to the environment of farming,cruelty to animals and all manner of reasons for their decision.

As far as I can work out on the other side are the omnivorous folk who’ve reached their limit, possibly with the advertising aimed at people like me giving veganuary a bash, you can imagine the pound signs! Or maybe they’re the very people the second type of evangelical vegan have been approaching without invitation; either way they don’t give a flying flip if you’re living off hallucinatory tree bark, they do not want to hear about it!

Then and I find it rather sad, you have the farmers, bee keepers and anyone in an industry or profession that requires what some consider the exploitation of animals to survive financially, these people are understandably anti veganism if not vegans themselves because their livelihood depends on it. Don’t misunderstand me it’s not the so called exploitation of the animals I find sad although I abore inhuman treatment of animals, that is a topic for another time. It’s the bullying these people receive from some factions of vegan society, I hadn’t realised it was even a thing. I should point out I don’t think it’s at all right to bully vegans for their life choices either and there’s definitely a level of ridicule deemed acceptable for “hippy vegan fanatics”

I genuinely can’t believe the strength of opinion on how peoole choose to nourish their bodies. This week in the UK Greggs a high street bakers brought out a meat free sausage roll, probably because of the afore mentioned veganuary (and M&S brought out meat free sausages) headline news for heaven’s sake! People took to Twitter to approve or condemn in droves…seriously first world problem right there!! Live and let live. Goodnight folks enjoy your weekend A x

#vegan #veganuary #firstworldproblems #liveandletlive

Some people really are positivity black holes!

They say moods are contagious, it certainly rings true in this house, God knows I love my husband but I’m sure he has Aspergers he is devoid of empathy, if it’s not all about him/going his way his foul mood rediates off him in quite a toxic fashion. Sadly I think I might be empathetic to the point of absorbing and taking responsibility for his misery and for one reason or another far to lengthy and boring to go into now I’m a people pleaser. I could happily smack him with a shovel at this moment in time, I’m only sharing this information by blogging to prevent myself looking for a bloody shovel ha x

Every day is like Sunday!

Nope I’m not quoting Smith’s lyrics (80’s band fronted by Morrisey!)

#positivity #middle-age #calmbeforethestorm #Saturday

Seriously, though not sure if it’s because neither my husband or myself have worked much over the holiday season, we’re both self-employed, I’d like to say gainfully but in reality if there’s no work it’s hand to mouth it also means when childcare is more expensive than the income afforded from said work you’re better off (I use the the term lightly) downing tools.

I’m rambling, I know, so unlike me I’m usually so consise 😶. Today is Saturday 5th January 2019, interestingly I haven’t had a problem with the date but from about Monday I’ve been fairly convinced it’s Sunday I suppose it might be because a programme I like starts tomorrow and I’m willing it on but it’s more likely the culmination of no routine, no work or school and the continuing ever escalating bizarre events of the last few weeks, (daughter moving home, house falling through,mad panic trying to prevent homelessness etc)

Oddly the weird blip in my faith, blind panic and depression/anxiety over these events has gone, Thank goodness frankly because I’m not sure how people live day today without the hope created by faith if not in God then the universe or at the very least themselves. That said I could be at such a level of stress I am calm, either way positivity rocks and I’m at one with it all. Happy Saturday A x

Beyond thrilled

It may sound a little bit daft but someone liked my posts, (3 people actually at the time of writing) someone even commented!!! This has thrilled my middle-aged heart more than you will ever know and when I can learn to navigate this site a little better I will even respond 🙂

As a child in the 80’s I genuinely thought I’d become famous (doesn’t everyone?) if not for my fabulous singing voice (one I don’t possess incidentally) then for my scintillating wit and quirky personality, I now realise I’m probably rather less different and individual than I once thought in my years of teenage angst. Obviously the fame I felt sure I deserved didn’t materialise, thank goodness really, who would want to live with the trolling and judgement day to day. So I’ll settle for some appreciation for my online diary 😆

Laughable and cringeworthy too is the memory of how hard done by I felt at that age. My twin brother died from a congenital heart condition after quite a fight when we were toddlers, my father when I was six and my wonderful mother suffers from depression. These things I felt I should receive great sympathy for. Looking back with embarrassment at the echo of my selfish self absorbed teenage self I feel ashamed. My poor brother must have had a far worse time than I did. He’s 20 months older than me (and Thomas) how awful must it have been for him an only child and the apple of my parent’s eyes to have not one but two bawling babies thrown in to the mix. For one of them to be so unwell and need so much attention too. There were no scans or such like that we take for granted today. It must have been a shock for everyone.

My parent’s must have been talking about losing Thomas because Jem became very upset at one point when my mother questioned him as to why, he said he didn’t want to be lost 😥 My heart absolutely breaks for my 3 year old brother when I think of that.

And for my parents, to loose a child.. having watched my daughter lose her son a couple of years ago I can’t imagine how my mother felt seeing that, my cousin (Mother’s only sister’s daughter) lost her daughter the previous year from complications with a heart operation in a similar circumstance to Thomas. I know that was very difficult for her.

Horrid teenage me didn’t see any of this, my father died of a brain tumour 7 days before my brother’s birthday I didn’t see that either because it wasn’t about me. At that age I would have lied about the colour of the sky if it had got me a bit of sympathy. I wonder if that is why I try very hard to be honest now. My poor brother carried all this rage he was too young to understand. We are not close now at all we don’t really know each, our lives have taken very different paths but I love him and he loves me. We don’t phone or write but if he needed me, I’d be there and vice versa.. weird dysfunctional family that we are. I take solace in the fact he has a formidable wife who I like very much and is perfect for him.

Calm calm and calm!

The amazbobbins Barbara Curry says that in 1 of her yoga videos, yes video I’m that old!

Just posted yet another blog no one will read in my blog the year challenge, funny because it was from yesterday somehow I failed to publish it.

Reading it back wow..what a difference a day makes. I was genuinely more anxious/stressed/troubled than I’ve been in 10 years. All my go to stress busters weren’t working from prayer (yes unashamedly God squad) to exercise/yoga failed to work…When I say failed to work prayer failed because I failed to have faith, I gave away the worry, immediately took it back, then felt guilty and the cycle continued until I asked for help from the family wassap group. As soon as Donna prayed for the situation I was calmer if not completely better, daft because obviously I feel she has more influence with the man/woman upstairs than me ha!

Exercise/yoga failed to work because I failed to do any, back to mindset v motivation I mentioned before. Anyway my head is a nicer place to be today, I have done a small amount of physical activity for my soul,eaten some banana brownies for my chocolate addiction, while remaining vegan and my poor family can get off the egg shells.

I have a feeling it will all work out despite everything being the same as it was yesterday! #90%attitude #life #herbalife4life

What the hell is wrong with me?!

Everyone’s going on about 2018 being unkind, seriously you can’t scroll an inch through Facebook without 2018 was pants so 2019 is gonna be supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, Apparently I’m the exception to the rule at the risk of sounding a bit woe is me, sure Cesg was sectioned and the kids came to live with us then went home leaving a void but it all worked out, 2018 wasn’t so bad. 3 days in and 2019 is worse than the whole of last year.

I’m not sure (yes I am I’m just wallowing but bare with me ahah!) if it’s because my attitude is out of wack but I’m sad, to the point of being on the verge of tears, similar to that weird hormonal feeling when you’re tearful in pregnancy or before menstruation (don’t get me started on menstruation, surely it should be womenstruation as we’re the ones with wombs! and don’t excite yourself Chris has had the snip baby no 7 is firmly off the table)

I lack the motivation to train at all, not me, training in the am is as natural as flicking the kettle on for tea/coffee, veganuary is proving troublesome as quorn is not vegan ffs!!! I am overwhelmed, there is so much to do, I still have no guarantor for the wretched house for Ce’Nedra, have yet to hire a van, although I can borrow a car to collect her and the children early with a trunk full of clothes etc my other children go back to school on the 8th, I can’t be in 2 places at once but the idea of driving 4.5 hrs straight just to have a cup of tea pack the car and drive back fills me with dread.

God I am being wallowy aren’t I! I just need to get through the next few weeks but then what? I am in real danger of trying to pour from an empty cup but no-one seems to care as long as their needs are met. Watch this space A x

What a day!

It has been a hell of a day even by my chaotic standards.

The house rental for the eldest daughter finally fell through, she was due to come home on Saturday (yup, it’s Wednesday so in 3 days) her furniture was due to follow the next weekend for reasons I won’t go into not least because I’m not sure why myself, perhaps because Shàe can pack more efficiently without the children there. 5 hours, many a hasty phone call, more stress that I have felt in many moons and a Facebook appeal later..I’m 90% sure we have secured her a house. Remarkably 1 we lived in when she was a child some 20 years ago, I like to think of it as a good omen.

Only a few hurdles to go, I prefer the term challenges to rise to if only because a positive mind set manifests positive results!

We need a guarantor because she’s still signed off from work having so recently left hospital and needs housing benefit until Shàe is working, my credit rating is pants so I won’t do but..

We need a months rent in advance, £550 bond £90 each adult and £60 to use a guarantor, none of these were needed at the previous place, but that said it needs no work. All these things will be sorted because there is no option, the alternative doesn’t bare thinking about..

I’m struggling with my emotions towards the previous prospective landlady, it must have been horrendous to feel I was throwing away her things and bringing people in to view her chaos but I wasn’t I was just concerned nothing would get done and time was ticking making me uncharacteristically anxious.

Some people can’t cope with things and rather than deal with them as they arise allow them to mount up, then the situation is so large they loose their home (or the filth is floor to ceiling.) Procrastinating at its finest, I do understand that overwhelming feeling, not knowing where to start and I can imagine the anxiety involved if someone was going through my things but if I hadn’t used them in 2-24 years I’d probably assume it was something I could live without!! So while she has my genuine sympathy, the lioness in me sees my child struggling with mental health and other issues that have plagued her and this woman just poured salt on the wounds, I’m not one to cut people off but a message from her fiance on messenger has come through while I’m blogging and for now at least I have no intention of opening it! A x