Sunday, 11 October 2015

To Do List by 50

Life is short and many of us forget to live it to the fullest. We get swamped by life, being mothers, wives, partners and forget the we are also ourselves in our own right. I adore my family, they make me belly laugh and class them as my closest friends. I love spending time with them which is one of the greatest gifts life has given me. We have many conversations and said "you must do that" to each other when talking about what we would like to do before we die.

Our family conversations and recent health issues have prompted me to revamp my bucket list and give myself a time frame to finish it by. I have decided that I want to achieve these by the time I hit 50 because who knows how long we have left on this earth and when our allotted time is up?

I have now separated my list into two parts, those already achieved and those yet to mark off as completed. As you can see the yet to complete is longer, but I have until May 2019 to get them all done.

So far these are what I have successfully achieved and marked as "ticked"...

Write a blog ~ I have done this as you can see 
No booze for a month ~ also accomplished in a past sober for October fundraising event for Invest in ME.

Get a Tattoo ~ I was late to the game on this one and had my first tattoo on my 41st birthday followed 3 more since then. They all have significance for me; the first is the St Cuthberts Cross surrounded by 5 stars, the cross signifies my mum (she wore a St Cuthberts Cross for as long as I can remember and bought me one too), the 5 stars are for the 5 baby boys I miscarried at 12 weeks each time. I have learnt that my body cannot carry boys and that is why I miscarried them. My second Tattoo was the M interwoven with a heart going into infinity symbol. This is our family tattoo (M signifies Mawer). The third was the little fox which Tasha hand poked onto my ankle, which means a lot to me and she has the identical tattoo herself. The final tattoo is the cont;nue one ~ this was inspired by project semicolon. I tried to commit suicide at the age of 18 and thankfully was unsuccessful, however throughout my life I have suffered from anxiety and depression and so this reminds me that life goes on.
My tattoos
Have a facial piercing ~ I completed this along with the tattoo on my 41st birthday and had my nose pierced at the same time.

Sunday, 4 October 2015


A few years ago, we decided on a budget holiday to Primrose Valley in Yorkshire. We booked a static caravan which allowed us to bring our dog (we only had Taylor back then) and off we went. We were smitten, the local area was beautiful, the park clean, well laid out and perfect for our needs. By the end of the holiday we had bought our very own caravan and booked the pitch where it would sit. We are very lucky to have a quiet cul de sac location, the setting is peaceful, private and relaxing. Whenever possible we hop into the car and go for a few days to spend some time just revelling in the wonderful peaceful environment and fresh sea air.

To say it's my happy place would be a massive understatement. Many people are funny about holiday parks like this and caravans, but for us it's perfect. The dogs love it, girls love it and so do we - we don't go for the park facilities and "entertainment" but use it as a base for our days out, plus it has access straight onto the beach.

Now that our girls are older we are enjoying the luxury of mini breaks on our own, without dogs and their paraphernalia, as now we have 3 it's almost like packing up a car back in the days when we had younger children, instead of high chairs it's dog beds, toys and bowls etc.

If you haven't been I would highly recommend the Yorkshire coast, it is simply beautiful. Here are some photos from our recent trip (sans dogs and teenagers).

Bridlington when tide is out
Whitby Harbour
Whitby again ~ go to Fish Box by the harbour for fabulous fish and chips.
Bemptom Cliffs ~ amazing array of wildlife and bird reservation
Looking down at Robin Hood Bay and the old town
Robin Hood Bay ~ great old town with history
Robin Hood Bay ~ Old town with small narrow streets down a steep incline to the sea
Robin Hood Bay ~ many old doors and some unusual maritime door knockers to be found too
Robin Hood Bay ~ down by the sea, tide was in.
Flamborough Head ~ Lighthouse and cliffs 
Flamborough Head ~ if it wasn't for the dastardly ME I would have been down these!
Flamborough Head ~ simply stunning
The Stunning Yorkshire Moors
Filey Beach
Filey Beach where I spend much of my time
Great local pub ~ does wonderful home-cooked food & will go off-menu for you too! The owners collect everything and the place is full of memorabilia of all kinds yet still spotlessly clean.
Luxuriating in the October sun and enjoying a chilled white
Happy us in our Happy place
Sadly it is almost the time of year where we have to drain down the caravan and close it up for winter. We have one more mini break planned before then at the beginning of November and then that's it until March next year. I hope you enjoyed a sneaky peak at my happiest of happy places.


Thursday, 1 October 2015

It is done ~ steak I'm coming for you!

30 days of vegetarianism = DONE!
Thank you one and all for all your support and encouragement throughout my month as a vegetarian. I must admit although I missed my much beloved meat dishes there were also a few vegetarian dishes that went down very well indeed. So I have made the decision to be 50/50, half the week I shall have my meat dishes and the rest of the week will be vegetarian. This means I am now classed as a "flexitarian" which is beneficial because, and I quote...

"It gives you the health benefits of a vegetarian diet without having to follow the strict rules," says Blatner, a registered dietitian "We know that people live longer and live healthier when they eat vegetarian, but it's just too darn hard to do it 100 percent of the time."

Most flexitarians have about 2 or 3 veggie days a week and the rest meat, which suits me perfectly. When I eat out I will also check out the veggie options, and sometimes pick them instead of my meat based ones. I know committed vegans and vegetarians will see this as a cop out but surely opting for less meat days and some veggie is a step in the right direction? I watched a documentary recently about the impact of us meat eaters, with the growing population, on the environment and so I want to do my bit but am too weak to give up my meat fully ~ so yes, I know I could do more, but at least I'm doing something.

So, for your viewing pleasure I give you pictures of my evening meals for the past month (breakfast was always a bowl of Rice Krispies or Bite Size Shredded Wheat and lunch was always a banana and meal replacement shake just for your information)

For the last two days I am sadly sick, got the lurgy but The Dave has whisked me away for some sea air and rest ~ so I am currently happily resting away in my sea-side retreat. The caravan's a bit nippy but thankfully packed plenty of warm jumpers and the fire is doing it's job! As you can tell, being away we are being lazy and eating very easy to prepare foods - but still on the vegetarian trip until the end and none the less tasty for it's simplicity either.

Day 29 ~ Wholemeal Bagel, beans & Scrambled Egg
Day 30 ~ Pub Fare, Cheese & Coleslaw in Granary bread with sides of chips & onion rings (shared the sides with The Dave).
For the last time, as I celebrate tonight, I shall give you the links to my fundraising page and the number for texting donations. Any support or shares would be enormously appreciated. I repeat what I said in my last blog that your donations, no matter how big or small, are enormously appreciated not only myself but also fellow sufferers because it means your funds are helping Invest in ME Research to move forward with their vital research into this illness.

If you are unaware of how ME affects the sufferer then this may help you understand. Each patient is different, symptoms will vary from day to day and some are more severe than others. Whilst the mild sufferer can manage a "normal-ish" life, working part-time and pacing well, a severe suffer is bed ridden, needing 24 hour care and support. Wherever you are on the spectrum of severity it is a hugely unpleasant and isolating illness. It takes so much from you and gives nothing in return.

For us, with two teenage daughters having moderate to severe ME and myself, their carer, having mild to moderate ME, life has become a challenge. It's a juggling act requiring planning and contingencies. The girls had to leave school and miss out on vital education because if it. We have three wheelchairs and two pairs of crutches, bed cradles, shower stools etc. It's not an easy illness to live with. That's why for us personally, and all other sufferers, your support is vital and much appreciated. The more that ME is recognised and accepted for the real physical illness it is and NOT as a psychological "it's all in your mind" illness then steps can be made to change how patients are perceived by some members of the medical profession and general public.

As always here is the text code if you wish to donate or you can go via the justgiving page

Thank you for sharing this journey with me, it's been a blast!
p.s. this will be my dinner tonight & I can't wait...