Wednesday 11 May 2022

Glutton for punishment

This is what happens when you miss 4 weeks! My head thinks 'Ooo just go again tomorrow and catch up' but my body says 'seriously?? Are you having a laugh?!' To be honest, I'm with my body on this one!

After my achievement last night, I ached like hell this morning and struggled to get out of bed, let alone move!  So when it came to 7.30 tonight I was desperately trying to think of reasons why I couldn't go to the lane swim tonight!  I failed.

Part of me was nervous about the whole lane swim thing in case I annoyed other people in the lane by being too slow or stopping. I took the plunge (excuse the pun!) and got there just after 8. There were only 4 people in the pool, it was heaven!  The most at one time was 7 and after half an hour there were only 3 of us so we just took a lane each!

Although it was lovely and soooo much better than the general swim session, last night had taken its toll and I was slower, got cramp and struggled to get to a mile....  I stuck at it though and then something in me just wouldn't let me give up after doing 2k last night so I kept going until I got to 2k again.  Those last dew lengths though seemed never ending! It was like swimming against the tide,bthe end of the pool just seemed to move further and further away! πŸ˜–

All in all though it was a big thumbs up for lane swimming and I think I'll have to try to go to that one again!

Another mile and a quarter to the tally....almost 5 miles done, 6 miles left to go!

I've got this!! 😁🏊🏻‍♀️🏊🏻‍♀️🏊🏻‍♀️ 

Tuesday 10 May 2022

Week 4 - Low expectations put to bed!

After 4 weeks away from the pool, I finally made it back tonight! My expectations were low but I was able to stay in the pool longer which I thought would help. In fact, with Billy on a school residential all week I had planned to go to the pool every night to catch up, but the pool timetable had other ideas!!  

There were no general or adult swim sessions last night so tonight was the night and I was determined to make a mile no matter how long it took me and, with the general swim and adult swim together, I had 2 3/4 hours available so as long as I had the stamina, I had no excuse!  I decided to play it safe and start in the general swim then keep going into the adult swim until I'd done 64 lengths.

As usual, the first 45 mins were a bit of a nightmare as it was so busy and I also stopped a couple of times for a chat with the 'regulars' as they hadn't seen me for a while, which was nice! Once the pool cleared a bit it was much easier and nicer and I made it to 1600m 😁

I still felt OK so carried on for a bit until nature called.  I knew if I got out I would never get back in so I made it to 2000m before deciding I really needed to get out!

I was so chuffed! 2000m (80 lengths)happy with my effort tonight! Just need to get a few more of them in now to catch up to where I should be to complete my 11 miles on time 😁

Tuesday 29 March 2022

Week 2, Swim 2 - been there, done that, got the t-shirt!

I mean I literally got the t-shirt in the postπŸ˜πŸ‘•  very exciting!

So, it's week 2, time for my 2nd swim and so far there have been no disasters today so I was feeling all positive about my swim tonight! 

A couple of weeks ago my 9year old son had a few swigs of my teenage daughter's Monster energy drink. He was bouncing off the walls and banned from drinking it again until he's older! Much older. Preferably when he's left home!  However, it did give me the idea that maybe I should have some before swimming, see if it gave me the rush of energy it gave him!  That's not cheating is it?? πŸ€”

Anyway, I gave it a go, had half a small can before I went in......sadly it didn't seem to have the same effect on me! Maybe it was because I had the sugar free version or maybe I needed a full can. Hmmm....a research project is required me thinks! 🀣

This week was thankfully much better than last.  One of the Ladies that Lunch (now renamed Smurf by another regular because of her blue swim hat πŸ˜‚) was asking what challenge I was doing and even said she would sponsor me as it's for a good cause, bless her!

Unfortunately, swimming up and down was still hard going in the general swim session, trying to avoid kids jumping in, swimming out or just stopping in front of you, trying to drown each other (I was tempted to help on occasions!), and the bus family blocking half of the pool as usual 🀦🏼‍♀️  There was the, now also usual, eye rolling as those of us actually trying to swim passed each other.....

Still I managed 1300 m so almost double my effort of last week and now completed my first mile at least (1.289 miles to be exact 😁)! Hopefully I'll manage more next week and by the end of the challenge I'll be swimming more than a mile a week. I'll need to just to complete the challenge anyway! πŸ˜†

All in all I am counting this week as a success and another step towards my goal of a mile in an hour.  I know that's an easy goal for a lot of people doing this challenge but for me it's an effort and I will be really pleased and proud of myself when I finally achieve that goal!  

Everyone doing this challenge are at different levels, with different stories and their own personal goals to reach within the challenge.  Whatever our abilities, we are still getting in the pool when we can and doing what we can and all for a great cause.

We've got this!! 😁

Tuesday 22 March 2022

1st day of the challenge and gutted!

I had great expectations for Day 1 of the challenge.  I should have realised early in the day fate had other ideas!.

After feeling rough and being awake half the night I got up feeling less than enthusiastic about swimming!

Still I decided once I was there I would be fine and would aim to get as near to 64 lengths as I could. But going downstairs after work I managed to pull/trap/do something to me sciatic nerve. In the words of Victor Meldrew, unbelievable!!

Typically the kids had to be dropped off in Wigston for cubs tonight, which still left me just enough time to get back for the 7pm swimming session. I hadn't banked on all the roadworks though....After queueing through numerous sets of temporary lights I finally made it to the pool and hobbled my way in, looking the picture of health and really up for a mile swim! Hopefully the swimming would sort out the trapped nerve!

My expectations by the time I'd got in the pool and dropped drastically! I just about managed a few lengths when the lifeguard stopped me to ask what locker number I had. It turns out there was a problem with the locker above mine so I had to get out to go and help.....I was very tempted to just give up then!

But I didn't......

Back in I got and tried to carry on but the pool was really busy. Bus family were there again, a group of teenage lads being annoying teenage lads and kids with noodles who walked into me and hit me with their noodles so many times they lucky to make it out of the pool in one piece!  I have discovered you can easily get pool rage like you do road rage.......

Disappointingly I only managed 31 lengths (thought I'd done 32!) so way off my target but, given the way the day had gone, I was pleased I had at stuck with it for as long as I could manage and it is at least the forst almost 1/2 mile done!

I wish everyone taking part the best of luck for the next 12 weeks and a huge well done to everyone who has logged their first swim of the challenge today!

Tuesday 15 March 2022

Last training swim.....Yikes!!!

I am sooooo not ready!!!

I had ambitions of improving by 8 lengths to 56 this week, leaving me another 8 to increase by to 64 next week for my first proper challenge swim.

That was the plan.

As you've probably gathered by now, things did not go to plan!

I am going to make my excuses now! The pool was busy. Really busy. Lots of people there really need to look up the definition of swim.......yes I know I sound grumpy and no, the other people there don't know I'm training for something. Even so 'general swim should still mean mainly swimming right?? I don't mind the Ladies that Lunch because they do chat and swim at the same time. Even Butterfly Man and The Shark were struggling tonight! The Bus Family just parked themselves across the middle of the pool as usual, chatting and messing about, which again I don't mind as such but do you REALLY  have to take up half of the pool? Afterall there are 'fun swim' sessions too......

OK so you're maybe thinking, shut up moaning and go to the lane swim sessions if you're that bothered. Well, I would, but they are all late and I can't leave the kids at that time so, in my defence, this is the only hour a week I can do whilst the kids are at Cubs.  It's just frustrating....

Anyway, that's my excuses out of the way!  I did in fact still improve on last week by 4 lengths, going up from 1200m/48 lengths to 1300/52 lengths.  Short on what I was hoping for but still an improvement nevertheless!

Which means next week I need to up it again by 300m/12 lengths...hmmmmm 😳

I was so tired when I got out of the pool I took my watch off to open the locker 🀦🏼‍♀️  Luckily I realised before actually trying to put it in the lock!  There were so no cubicles free and I didn't have time to wait so went into the communal room.

This is when the best thing ever happened.

Now, for anyone who remembers Katherine Tate's 'Nan', she walked into the changing room! I kid you not! In the words of my teenage daughter...I actually like literally did a double take! In she came in her pj's (yes pj's!) and she was the spitting image of Nan, even her mannerisms. I thought it couldn't get any better. But then she spoke! 
She even talked like her, the only thing missing was the laugh! She was talking to her friend about her doctor and her bloody foot. It was killing me to not laugh out loud! It just made my evening and the pain of the swimming session was forgotten!! 

So that's it until next week - Week 1 of the challenge! 

Please follow the link to sponsor me for this great cause if you are able. Either way I hope you are enjoying following my journey!

Take care all!

Tuesday 8 March 2022

Swimming smug time!!

I am feeling very pleased with myself! 

For anyone who doesn't know, just over 4 1/2 years ago I was in Papworth Hospital having a pulmonary endarterectomy operation (removal of lung lining) to get rid of stubborn bilateral PEs which did not want to go away, their favourite game being trying to stop me breathing!

Anyway with that and covid, I hadn't swam properly for a few years until about a month ago.  I went and was pleased that I managed 32 lengths in about 50 minutes.  Not long after I saw the Diabetes Swim22 challenge advertised and decided to sign up. It would give me something to motivate me and work towards whilst raising money for a very worthwhile charity.  My sister is a specialist diabetes nurse and I have a few friends who behave diabetes so it's nice to be able to do something to help, even if only in a small way.

Having only managed 32 lengths in a hour I signed up to complete 11 miles in the duration of the challenge, meaning I need to complete around a mile a week to achieve this.  A mile is around 64 lengths aoni would still need to double up what I'm doing or find time to go twice a week, which would be difficult around the kids, work and times the pool is open for general swimming!

Tuesday nights are perfect as the kids are at cubs, the pool is only 5 minutes away so I have time to get there, swim for an hour and get about the same time as them 😊

Last week was my first training swim since signing up for the challenge and I managed 36 lengths in an hour. Speed-wise that was probably about the same as my first trip a few weeks before but on that occasion I physically couldn't have swam for another 10 minutes so I took that as a slight improvement!  I'm sure I could add on another couple of lengths for all the zigzagging around other people and kids in the pool too! Especially avoiding 'The Shark' whizzing up and down the pool with complete disregard for everyone else, according to the 'ladies that lunch'!  You know who you are!! πŸ€£πŸ˜‚  Anyway, I doubt if the ladies that lunch will ever acknowledge me again after seeing me talking to the shark, which I am sure was seen as me colluding with the enemy.........oops!

So tonight my aim was to try and stop less for, less time, and swim 40 lengths in the hour.

I have to say, after completing 600m (24 lengths) in half an hour I was feeling fairly confident!  I find myself using strange distraction methods in the pool to stop thinking about how many lengths I've done, from people watching, inventing stories about the other swimmers, singing along to the music playing for the aqua aerobics class (only in my head don't worry! Although it could be a way of clearing the pool a bit.....πŸ€”). Tonight it was singing the alphabet (again only in my head!), seeing what letter I got to at each end.... usually between V and Y on the second time through if you're interested!

I managed less breaks and didn't stop for as long when I did break, apart from the times I had to stop because I was choking from swallowing water, something my lungs aren't very good at coping with!!

I was really pleased to see I'd matched last week's 36 lengths in 45 minutes, which spurred me on and I complete 1200m, 48 lengths in just second under an hour!

How chuffed am I!!  I was grinning like an idiot to myself when I finished so any other people watchers in the pool have probably now labelled me 'the crazy grinny woman' 🀣 Do I care? Nooooo!!

If I can improve at the same rate over the next 2 weeks (although I'm not under any false illusions that is actually possible!) I could be just up to mile a week in time for the start of the challenge!!  I really hope so as that would be such a great personal achievement too!

Thank you to everyone who has sponsored me so far, your donations really are greatly appreciated!

Saturday 5 March 2022

Thank you!

Thank you very much to whoever just made an anonymous donation to my Swim22.  It is very much appreciated, and you're right, swimming will never catch on! πŸ˜‚ xx

Tuesday 1 March 2022

First training swim complete!

Well I might not have done as well as I'd hoped but still more than my previous session so happy with that!

I managed to sign up for a swim membership without any problems! I now have a nice swipey card to use so no more hassle with cash/contact less payments!

First things first, I had to work out how to work my new Honor 6 band.....I eventually found the workout menu, the swimming activity and set to 25m. It automatically started and it took a few seconds to work how to pause it. That may well make me sound stupid but I behave never had a fitness tracker/watch before so have no idea how they work!

I was ready to swim! What I wasn't ready for was how cold the pool was!  Still in I got and off I went.  I found it harder than I thought I would and amused myself by constantly checking new toy, which I have to say was very accurate.  I am very impressed! I managed to do my previous 32 lengths/800m and then managed another 4.  I really wanted to go for 40 lengths/1000m but, by the time I'd done 36/900m, there were only 2 minutes of the session left and I knew there was no way I'd get 4 more lengths done in that time!  I checked my watch and stopped it, happy th my efforts 😁

So, not the best, but it's start!

If anyone feels able to donate then please see the link below to my just giving page or just a few words or encouragement will also be gratefully received!

Monday 28 February 2022

🎢Just keep swimming, just keep swimming🎢🐠

So New Year, new start with the exercise regime. OK, OK so it's not exactly the start of the year but hey, better late than never!

A couple of weeks ago I saw a post from Diabetes UK about a sponsored swim, Swim22, taking place from 22nd March to 22nd June.  

πŸ’‘"Oooo that's a good idea" a little voice somewhere in my brain piped up and before I knew it I'd signed myself up! 🀦🏼‍♀️  My sister is a specialist diabetes nurse and I also have a few friends with diabetes so it will be good to raise some money for Diabetes UK.

Now I do like swimming, and a few years ago I went quite regularly.  Time to dig out the old swimsuit and see if I can still squeeze into it.....thank God they're stretchy!!

Off I went to my new local pool, which I haven't been to for years! On that occasion I paid by card to save taking cash and even remembered my locker coin. Get me!  But then l came to use the lockers.....So I was changed, shoved all my stuff into the locked and put in my locker coin, only for it to jam because, on checking, they are 20p lockers not £1 lockers. Now I had a dilemma, leave my stuff in an unlocked locker or get changed again to go back to reception for help.....

Thankfully a very nice lady came in, took one look at me and asked if I was OK, I explained what had happened and she kindly gave me 20p.  This is where things got worse and she probably decided I was a complete idiot.  First, let me explain my, possibly slightly illogical, thought process....

I had put a coin in the locker which, ideally, I wanted back but was stuck. With a correct coin I could push my coin out and the correct coin would release the locker key. Seems straightforward enough right? Wrong. 

I'm sure all of you intelligent people reading this saw the error in my logic straight away.  I popped the 20p in the locker and yes, obviously that then got stuck as well.  I then turned to the kind lady, who was looking at me with an expression somewhere between disbelief and fear at the crazy lady she just tried to help as she said "have you just put that in the same locker?!'  I gave a small smile and tried to explain my rationale as she side stepped me telling me an attendant was on his way anyway.  I felt so stupid!  Two attendants did then come in and I explained my predicament. One of them pressed the reject button I hadn't seen and both my coins fell out as I received my second 'are you stupid?' look of the evening.  Things were getting off to a good start!

When I finally made it to the pool I did actually manage 32 lengths, which I worked out was half a mile, so I was quite pleased with myself! The nice lady was in the changing room when I got out so I was able to thank her and give her the money back 😁  I had chatted to her and her friend in the pool and think I'd managed to convince them I am actually fairly normal!

My plan after that was to swim every week when the kids are at cubs. The next week was half term so I missed that week but the following week off I went again.  This time I was determined not to make a fool of myself so I went with cash so I could pay and get the correct change for the locker without any hassle.  There was an issue with a customer when I got there so we had to queue for ages but finally I got to the front keen to pay and get going.  Offered my fiver for the session, which was regarded as though it was something that had never been seen before. The receptionist looked at me, pointed at a sign another side of the desk and aid "it's contact less only".

End of session 2!

Tomorrow I am hoping to get it right! I have my card ready and a stash of 20p coins, surely nothing can go wrong?!

I have tried to be realistic with my target. There was a choice to aim for 11 miles, 22 miles or 44 miles.  I would love to go for 22 miles, however, realistically I can probably only go swimming once a week and there are 13 weeks to complete the challenge.  That means that if I can double my lengths per session, which will be a challenge in itself, then I will complete 1 mile a week.  So I am aiming for 11 miles and may even have to fit a few extra sessions in to achieve that BUT, if I can do more I will certainly try.

If anyone feels able to donate then please see the link below to my just giving page or just a few words or encouragement will also be gratefully received!

Wednesday 2 June 2021

Me versus the treadmill

...actually that's an exaggeration - I can't even run for 2 minutes...

If only 'it's the thought that counts' applied to exercise!

So on the plus side, I'm still motivated. On the negative side, I'm still rubbish!

BUT, and this is a BIG 'but', I think I am slightly, very slightly but still slightly, a bit less rubbish than I was a couple of weeks ago. Get me!

After the Have a Go day, I went along to the training session at Billesdon the following week  to find out a bit more about the role. I have to say I felt really self conscious on the way but when I got there the other 'trainee wannabes' were really nice and the crew made us feel really welcome. We watched their drill practice, had different processes and situations explained to us, saw all the kit and, possibly the most important bit, enjoyed a cuppa at the end!  It was eye‐opening and it became obvious how much your have to learn. It was mind blowing, inspiring, scary and exhilarating/exciting all at the same time! They are such a great team and I came away wanting to be a part of it and feeling more determined than ever to do whatever I have to to get there.

Nice weather and a bit gardening must have helped a bit because after spending a few hours weeding and clearing one corner of the garden (with help from mum and dad whilst Jay was making a drawbridge. Yes, a drawbridge) I was covered in scratches from all the bramble we cut out and knackered! It was worth it though.....

Tonight I decided to go back on the treadmill.  It has a 15 min up and down hill setting which gradually speeds up to 8.5 mins then gradually slows down again.  The last time I tried this setting a couple of weeks ago I had to have a rest after about 5 mins, then managed about a minute before having a 10 min rest, then doing another 30 secs or so before pausing again and repeated this until it started to slow down again. Not very impressive.  Tonight I made it to 7 mins before I stopped, only had a couple of minutes rest, did another minute, let it run for 30 seconds, carried on for 40 seconds, rested for 30 seconds and then carried on to the end. So, like I said earlier, still not great bit definitely a very slight teeny tiny improvement from last time!

I have also been given the number for someone who can set up a training plan for me. I did ring and leave a message for them so hopefully they will get back to me soon and help me get into some sort of regular plan.

In answer to the title of this blog, Currently the treadmill is definitely winning but I will keep going a I WILL complete that 15 minutes without stopping! Be afraid treadmill! Be very afraid.........πŸ˜ˆπŸƒπŸΌ‍♀️

Now all I need to do is find some weights too.....


Saturday 22 May 2021

So I gave it a go......

On-call Fire Fighter 'Have a go' Day has arrived!

I did wake up wondering what I'd let myself in for! However, I went anyway to see how far I could get.

Everyone there was really positive and supportive, even when I was rubbish! There were 7 tests to try, which you have to pass to be accepted. This was oy a taster say so not a test but gives the opportunity to try the tests  see how you get on and whether you are at the required standard or not. 

So, assembly,  no problem all done and with plenty of time to spare 😁

Climbing the ladder and leg lock, it was either 8m or the test is 8m and this was 1 storey less  I can't remember... Anyway, that was fine, took a couple of goes to master the leg lock (I think I need longer legs!) and you have to climb differently to how you would normally  or at least how I would normally  so I had to think about what I was doing but no problems and I was up and down ok. I liked that one!

Next up, dummy drag. This was lifting and dragging a 55kg dummy 30m in 37.4 seconds (that .4 must be crucial, no idea why!). Puffed me out but I did it in just over 30 so pleased with that!

Then came my achilles heel....the equipment drag...the one I had been dreading! I managed to do the run with the hose and carry the hose reels up and back but was then knackered and stopped. Really cheesed off with myself that I didn't get past that bit πŸ˜₯ I didn't do the running but did go up and down with all the other bits of kit to see how heavy they were etc.  Felt really disheartened after this one 😭

Next up, ladder lift....I think it was 15kg on it's own to lift to waist height, push up to shoulder height, then up above your head stepping forwards. That was fine until the 10kg weight was added then lifting was no problem but couldn't lift it over my head ☹

Ladder extension.... using the pulley, this was extending the ladder then bringing it back down into it's lower housing, first on its own, then with an extra 10kg added.  First time was OK, with the weight was more of a struggle raising it, but I did it so was pleased with that πŸ™‚

Black-out maze thing.....basically two tiers of metal cages with only 1 route across the base and back along the top row, wearing a blacked out respirator. Well I started out well...but I wasn't prepared for the obstacles in the cages which slowed me down! Once I'd worked it out though I was OK and managed to squeeze my way through holes etc., get around top, back down and out. I didn't do it in the time (4 mins 16 seconds instead of 3 mins) but I did it and wasn't bothered by not being able to see and didn't feel claustrophobic so felt OK about that one!

All in all, it was good, I enjoyed it, apart from the ones I couldn't do, and it didn't put me off so now all (!) I need to do is train!

The applications for this round need to be I  tomorrow with tests in 2 weeks so I think I will have to give this round a miss but, if I work at it, maybe I can be ready for the next round!

For anyone else who thinks this could be for them, give it a go! You never know unless you try!


Wednesday 19 May 2021

A wave of motivation and inspiration strikes...again!

 Yeah yeah, I know, you've heard it all before....

However, this time there is a true motivation to see it through.  As you have probably gathered from the absence of posts, the couch to 5k did not last....

Since my last post we also had a sudden house move to deal with, in lock down, whilst I was shielding, our new place needs a LOT of work and things have been slightly chaotic! So there you go - they are my excuses and I'm sticking to them!

Moving on....

Restrictions are lifting, shielding is over and I am allowed out! Whether it is that or a mid-life crisis I will leave for you to decide!  I just had a strong feeling that I need to DO something so the health kick has re-started!

I started with the 7 day soup diet to kick things off 🀒  This was badly timed though as the last day coincided with election day. Now, as some of you may know, I historically spend this day as a poll clerk in Broughton Astley with our same fab little election team.  This year was slightly different as our usual station was out of bounds due to covid so we were stuck in a new station which really did  not meet the comfort and standards we are used to! I digress, my point is the last thing that is possible on election day is healthy eating! It is such a long day (in this year's case 4.45 am Thursday to 4 am Friday 😴) and comfort food is essential! Baking done it was a day of Noggin, Shortbread plus cakes provided by the other poll clerk's wife. Friday and Saturday were also spent counting and eating.... resulting in the 10 1/2 pounds I'd lost the previous week reducing to 6 pounds but hey that's still an achievement! I've since been (mainly!) On slimming world and gradually losing the lockdown pounds so all good!

The next step - exercise. So this bit is still to start....and this is where the motivation and inspiration hit!

Again, maybe down to a mid-life crisis, even though I love my job I've felt for a while that I could do something more to physically/directly help people and have have had a couple of attempts at joining the police, unsuccessfully! I've been keeping a casual eye out and on going through my group notifications on FB, there it was.  'Have a go day' at our local fire station. This was it! If the police don't want me, maybe I can burden the fire service instead🏭🀣

In all seriousness though, why not? What better motivation is there than to do something that will give something back to your community! I mean, ok, most people's first thought of a fire fighter is still a strapping young man, not an ageing, overweight, completely out of shape woman with dodgy lung capacity but so what?! You never know unless you try!  Which is how I found myself outside the Co-op chatting to 2 fire fighters about whether or not I was completely crazy to even be contemplating this! They convinced me I wasn't so that's it. I came home and watched the videos on the tests I'd have to pass - quietly confident on 4 of them and no surprises at my lack of confidence on the equipment carry/fitness test! I'm sure I felt my lungs shiver and shrink even more just watching it!  Still, I registered for a remote introduction session tonight and for the earliest physical session in Saturday (hoping that everyone else would go for the later times leaving just me to make a fool of myself on my own with no witnesses!).

I felt even more inspired and motivated after the zoom session tonight and am feeling equal measures or excitement and dread for Saturday!  Excitement for the challenge of being able to train and do something so worthwhile whilst still being able to keep my current job and dread that the say may prove that I am physically not capable. But, if you know me, you will know how determined I am, I don't back away from challenges and if there is something I want to achieve, I will do everything I can to achieve it! Every conversation I have had over the last 48 hours has consisted of positivity that the required fitness level can be achieved and I will be helped to get there.

Whether I make it or not, at this stage, I don't know but the journey to try and get there starts now. 

Bring it on!

Sunday 11 October 2020

Couch it is then!

Well, the intention was there but it has just been one of those weeks! With a brief to be submitted last Monday and presentation due to be submitted by Friday I didn't have much spare time left to try another walk/run last week. On top of that  the new owners of our home (and hopefully our new landlords) were due to visit on Friday bit they cancelled with a couple of hours to go and pre-arranged for Monday. Which they then cancelled on Sat and re-arranged for Tuesday.........😠 It was all a bit stressful!  I COULD have made another attempt at the couch to 5k but instead I helped (forced...) Billy to do his homework, made some chocolate eclairs and did some painting! 🎨 I had my new palette and brush to try out so got my easel set up and and spent a very relaxing couple of hours with Bob Ross and my oils!  I even managed to get more paint on the canvas than on me and everything else for a change! πŸ–Ό This week I have my presentation to practice and some revision to do so it looks like the couch might win again this week! Ah well.........apparently it's the thought that counts! 😁

Sunday 4 October 2020

Couch to 5k? Really?

 That's what the app says......Couch to 5K in 9, that's NINE weeks! 😱 I mean, I've barely been out of the house for 6 months! However I'm an optimistic person, so I downloaded the app....

About 3 weeks ago....

In a rare 'I should do something about my lockdown weight gain' moment.  Who am I kidding, it's not the lockdown.  My weight gain has been around much longer than coronavirus that but hey! When you're handed an excuse on a plate, who am I to argue?! So, lockdown weightgain it is! 😁

Anyway, I thought about it the whole concept, whilst I made some iced buns.

Whilst eating one of said iced buns I  exercised my index finger by pressing the little app icon to open the app and see what it was all about. I even got as far as picking my mentor/encourager/inspiration/torturer - Jo Wiley. 

I have to say, I liked the idea of it. Getting out a bit more, losing some pounds  regaining some of the health, fitness and energy I had previously enjoyed. About 40 years ago....

Then that was it. Any thoughts of leaving the couch for any reason other than to go and get another iced bun were put to the back of my mind with all other thoughts that should never see the light of day.

Until today.

Today I awoke with the thought 'I think I'll try that couch to 5k thing's. Very worrying. I even took my temperature but nope. Normal.

After a morning looking out at the horrible, gloomy weather I decided to go for it. So I found some running kit and my headphones, worked out my route according to 'Run 1' and got Jo on board ready to go.  

I set off at 4, which gave me an hour before the park closed, by which time it was properly chucking it down with rain. Nice and cooling for me and less chance of seeing anyone as no other idiot was going to be out in this weather! 

It all started so warm walk took me to Knighton Park, only passing a Dad with a little girl on a bike and a dog near the entrance and a kids foot lesson on the field. I was feeling confident with Faithless' Insomnia in my ears as I confidently continued my 5 minutes 'brisk walk' warm up  over the bridge and round to the park. Then it was time. 

The first 'run'. 

Only 60 seconds - how hard could it be?! In reality I don't know. I  started my run and on reaching the tennis courts (really not very far!) I was knackered!  I retrieved my phone to find Jo had buggered off and left me! The app was paused and I had not idea how many seconds I'd been running for or how far into my 90 seconds 'resting' brisk walk I was into! I noticed a dog walker heading in my direction so took a great interest in the sign at the tennis courts explaining fair use etc. etc. until they'd passed then set the app off again and started my 90 second walk. Yeah yeah I know I'd already had WAY over my 90 seconds but as I went round the bend I saw a council vehicle parked up on the side and decided I couldn't run until I'd passed that.

Thankfully my shoes lace came undone so I had an excuse to stop and retie it. After all it would be highly dangerous to run with an untied shoelace wouldn't it?!

Once I reached the top of  rise past the park I set the app off again and took a brisk walk down Laburnam Way. Passing the Dad with the girl on the bike and the dog, feeling slightly sheepish that I was walking.  To counter this I had a drink to make it look as though that was why I wasnt running.... pathetic I know!  My anxiety then increased as I spotted a little group of dog walkers at the bottom of the path. Congregating at the point I just knew Jo would suddenly reappear and pipe up that it was time to start my 2nd run! Which she did. Obviously. 

By this time I had decided that the phone getting wet in my coat pocket had been the problem with to keep turning itself off so decided to just carry it. Jo encouraged me to start my 2nd 'run' reassuring me that I could do this as I'd already done 1 run. Little did she know! However, I successfully completed the 60 second run, if you can call it that. More of a weird shuffle really!  It seemed a very long 60 seconds but it was right. I know as I checked the phone about every 10 seconds, each time sure that must be throat was dry and my lungs burned.  It was with great joy I heard Jo telling me it was time to walk again. I was relieved to see the council car drive past just before the lovely Jo told me to prepare for my 3rd run. As I did I felt a slight sense of pride as I passed the Dad with daughter on the bike and dog again, pleased I was shuffle-running this time.  Red faced and hoping they thought I'd run half a lap of the park to look so done in.  This bit was uphill and I had to give up the running after 50 seconds  as I basically couldn't breathe (to be honest I only made it that far due to having to pass another dog walker!). For a split second I even contemplated ringing Jay to ask him to drive down and pick me up. Instead I sat one wet bench for a bit until I could breathe again. And again much longer than the 90 seconds I should have had.  

I set off again with my 4th run, having already decided I was going home I rather than doing another lap (required for my 8 sets). I just avoided running into a dog as I turned back onto Laburnum Walk and managed another 60 seconds, hoping I wouldn't meet anyone this time and pleased it was downhill. I was half way down when I saw a familiar girl on a bike appear from the trees in the left, followed by the dog and her Dad. Shit! Now it was obvious I hadn't been running as there was no way it would have taken me so long to meet at that point if I had! I held my head up high as I walked past with a smile on my red tomato-like face as, at that particular moment in time, I WAS doing exactly as I should have been and thanks to the rain I just looked wet rather than sweaty!

At the bottom I met the dog walker again, who gave me a smile but I detected a hint of sympathy in her eye, although it might just have been a silent "oh dear!". 

I decided I'd had enough as I started my 5th run and only made about 30 seconds before disconnecting Jo and making my way back home. All uphill I might add! 

So 40 minutes after leaving home I returned after failing to even complete 'Run 1'. Sorry Jo.  My legs were like jelly, I was soaked to the skin and wheezing like a 40-a-day smoker, wondering how the hell this was supposed to be good for you!

I initially felt quite disappointed in myself but then I thought  'do you know should be proud for even going out there at all!'

I might have felt like a bag of shit without even completing the first challenge but I had got up and gone out. I had completed 40 minutes of exercise, even if it wasn't exactly as planned. My lungs aren't as good as most other peoples but I still tried. And they'll get better.  

Maybe I'll eventually complete the course and make it to 5k. Maybe I won't. Maybe it'll take me longer than 9 weeks to get there. But you know, it doesn't matter. I don't care if I reach that target or how long it takes. I don't have any aspirations to be the best runner in the world. I just want to feel better and healthier for me. Even if I just walk around the park 3 times a week, it's more than I've been doing and that's good enough for me.

I may not exactly be a leading example or inspiration to anyone thinking about trying it but I hope to show those less keen or confident that just trying is good enough. You dont have to do it all in one go. Baby steps. If you have to stop after 1 set then stop. It's still 1 set! Another time you may be able to manage 2 ...and so it goes on.

Let's just see how it goes! You can follow me here to see if I make it or not!

Now, where's that iced bun recipe........


Wednesday 18 July 2018

1st year post-op anniversary!!

So, today is my 1-year post-op anniversary!  This time last year I had just undergone surgery to have my lung lining ripped out!  I never blogged about my time in hospital but a year on maybe now's the time to entertain you with my experience!

As some of you know, things didn't quite go to plan when it came to waking me up.  Over the following few days I suffered grand mal seizures and, what at the time was thought to be, a stroke causing left - sided hemiplegia.  When I did finally wake up I didn't notice any problems with my left side and was quite bewildered as to why I kept being asked to try using my left hand for things when I am right-handed!

Time lost meaning, I thought it was Wednesday and it was Sunday, presumably because I expected to have woken up the day after my op and had no idea of the events of the previous few days.  Although in saying that, from the dreams/hallucinations I had, I think I had known something was wrong. One minute I wad in critical care, but it was a weird high spec place, the staff were lovely but all sort of holographic, they moved really weird but really fast and their faces were odd, like caracatures with over large heads, mouths and teeth. Not scary, just strange! The next everything went brown and pixelated and wavy. If you've ever played a computer game where you're running past a brick wall and it all goes a bit blurry and weird, it was like I was in a room like that but I knew it was inside my body and something was wrong, the faster the waves moved, the more wrong things were and I would start to panic. I was convinced I was dying. Then I'd be back in critical care again. This happened a few times, alternating between CCU and this room, and then I started to change and I became 2d and I watched as my body started to disappear. I became like a curtain and the bottom was starting to tear as though it was going through a shredder. I got really upset and was sobbing because I didn't want to die. I didn't want to leave my loved ones, especially Faye and Billy. I kept telling the nurses and doctors to tell them I was so sorry. That I tried really hard to live but I wasn't strong enough....

Then I was really back in CCU and being moved to a bay. For the following few days I had no idea what was real and what wasn't. Although at the time everything felt really real, as I recovered I realised that 99% of it was in my head!! The 1% being that some of the stuff did happen but just not in the context I thought!

First off my hair was short, I could actually feel it being in a job and I couldn't remember having it cut (mainly because I hadn't and it was still the same length!). My fingers were wrong, they were spaced wrong and I had 6 on one hand.... I was firstly convinced that this was because I had heart failure and then somehow thought my fingers had been swooped with someone else's when I was under and thought this was a really cruel joke! Mum and Dad and Jay all had caracature faces like the staff in CCU and I kept wondering how I'd never noticed before but didn't say anything as I didn't want to offend them! Oddly the staff on the ward looked normal. The first night I couldn't sleep (or thought I couldn't but most likely was dreaming!) I was counting in my head to try and pretend to be asleep because staff kept coming in to check on us and kept stopping by me. I got the impression they thought I was faking the whole thing and there was nothing wrong with me and I was upset as I couldn't understand how they could think anyone would go through that op for no reason. More staff came and watched me for a bit then 'woke' me to do obs and inject me with something. They were really nice to me which I thought was really good of them if they didn't think I should be there. In hindsight it was probably more likely that I was just on more frequent obs than the others as I was still quite poorly!

There were several other things that I thought had happened and some things that I came to understand better as I got better ......

Firstly there was always a member of staff in the doorway of our bay at the bottom of our bed and they wouldn't leave unless someone else took over. To start with I thought this was just what they did, eventually I realised it was because I was on 1-to-1 obs because I waa acting so nuts!! 😂

There was a patient on the opposite side of the bay to me who passed away (apparently this bed was actually empty!) Anyhow, this lady, that only I could see, had her own special bed, zebra patterned too! She was very poorly and I could see the numbers on her monitor going down and down to - 1-1- then - - - - - at which point her bed, which was  slightly raised, automatically reclined back down to being flat as she passed away.

Next thing, she'd gone and there was someone new there. (again I was later told that the bay was still empty!) The new lady, who again only I could see, was just there to annoy me!! She was the most irritating person ever! She had the curtain permanently closed around her bed  it kept putting her stuff just in view. First it was a flat screen TV (just to confirm I wasn't completely nuts, I did think this was very strange!), then another TV appeared as she was singing (badly!) about how rich she was. I did want to tell her to bugger off to a private hospital then if she was so rich and let the rest of us sleep but I just tried to ignore her instead. Then mannequin appeared next to her locker, and every time I looked up there was a different dress on it.... It sounded like she was shaving but the noise carried on and on so I went to the toilet and could see her sat on her bed laughing with her tablet just playing sound effects. She then started to play music too and put both TVs on. Eventually the nurse took her tablet off her and turned the TVs off. I gave up trying to sleep and read a magazine but she seemed to somehow grow to about 7' tall and started watching me from the top of her curtain rail, sliding along the top of it so I had to keep moving my magazine up higher to block her out. Thankfully she magically disappeared too 😂

Then came the paint.......

I was talking to a lovely nurse who was obviously on obs duty and she was upset (she wasn't but I could definitely see her crying! Which is nothing compared to what happened next!!) I asked what was wrong and she said nothing but was still crying so I gave her some tissues and asked if she was ok. She told me she had something wrong with her but she was on meds and they mainly controlled it so noone knew apart from a few other members of staff who covered for her if need be. She pulled her hair back and showed me how she had lizard type skin patterning on her face but her hair covered it so you couldn't see it normally. I  tried to reassure her that it was OK as you couldn't see it but even if you did it didn't look horrible but then it started to spread and she cried even more and told that once it started to spread it wouldn't stop. It spread down her arms and legs but carried on along the chair arms, the floor, the walls but it was like orange and white paint running everywhere. It carried on throughout the hospital, it was 'raining' inside and even spread outside. I was mortified and so guilty that if I had left her alone none of this would have happened and now I'd let her secret out too. Lots of people were walking past the bay and seemed to know it was my fault, talking over-loud at the doorway about all the operations that had had to be cancelled because all the equipment was ruined by the paint and how many millions of pounds it was going to cost to put everything right...... All the staff and patients were getting covered in it, their hair frizzing up on end, their clothes getting ruined. And they all knew it was my fault. I started trying to clean the locker next to me so it wasn't dirty for the next person and the staff were trying to humour me and stop me at the same time!  I really did go to the reception desk to ring Jay completely beside myself coz I didn't know what to do! After the initial shock of me telling him I'd painted the hospital and everyone hated me, he humoured me and told me not to worry, he'd look when he came it and would sort it. The lovely man behind the desk asked me why I was so upset and I keep apologising, told him what happened and that I hadn't meant for it to happen but I didn't know... He came round and gave me a big hug and said "there ain't no paint", he told me to look around to see that there was no paint running anywhere and if there was the ward would have been closed, it was just because of all the drugs I'd had and I wasn't to worry as I hadn't done anything and noone hated me. He gave me a big smile and told me to trust him. And I did! The paint disappeared from everywhere apart from our bay but now I knew it wasn't real, it didn't bother me! After that, every time this man started work he would come in to see me, give me a hug, ask how I was doing and repeat "there ain't no paint" with a big smile!

There was a nurse I was convinced was fake and was bumping people off, I didn't want her anywhere near me and was horrible to and about her (she was actually really lovely!).

There were 'leaf bugs' that kept appearing but if you hit them they disappeared. Even though I knew they weren't really there, I could still see them so mum and dad and Jay were still concerned that I kept hitting them, even though I told them I knew they weren't real.

A tree branch also used to come through the window.  I learnt how to tell the difference between the things that were real and the things that weren't, ene though this didn't make the things that weren't real go away. The fans used to have a tune playing constantly that drove me mad. Again I was the only one who could hear it. I had to keep unplugging mine just to dull it enough to sleep. I could see my obs on everyone's monitors as well as my own, and the numbers kept going down and I would get really stressed out, convinced I was going to die if I stayed in that place. The nurse turned my monitor around so I couldn't see it and turned the other patients' monitors around or off, although I could still see the numbers even when the monitors were off! As I got more stressed, the numbers I could see appeared on the walls and scrolled faster, the leaf bugs increased in number, the paint spread wider and faster, and the tree branch got longer and came further I to the room.  As I got more used to this I started to use these signs to recognise and judge how stressed I was getting and then concentrate on making them reduce/slow down to help calm myself.

As for my physical health, I was doing ok! I was getting up and moving about, my left side was fine, I was eating like I hadn't seen food for days (which in fact I hadn't! 😂) . I started chatting to the other ladies in the bay. I got on really well with the lady next to me, who always calmed me down when I started to stress out. I gave the lady opposite her a manicure and sat with her when she was feeling poorly and sick. We all got on well, had lots of laughs and kept each other going when things for tough. I spent the last couple of days, apologising to the staff for having been so horrible and such a pain, even though I was still being a pain by being convinced I was going to die and trying to unplug anything and everything electrical to stop it singing at me! They were so patient and tolerant of me and my paranoia/hallucinations! As were Jay and mum and dad every time they visited me! Our bay all got discharged on the same day so we met up again in the discharge lounge! The lady from opposite told her son how, as she came round from her op, there was a nutty woman opposite her wittering on about painting the hospital, then gave me a big wink! 😂 I finally got my tablets and was free to go! I was so pleased to get out of that place as, as soon as I left, the auditory hallucinations stopped and the peace and quiet was absolute bliss! The leaf bugs hung around for a week or so still, but they didn't make a noise so they didn't bother me. I still woke up in a panic a few times when I'd still see my numbers going down and down when I closed my eyes / dreamt. My wound got infected and opened up needing 1 or 2 trips a week for several weeks to my GP nurse for dressing. Overall though, I got back to my version of normal fairly quickly and I am forever thankful to the skilled surgeon and staff at Papworth for the treatment and care I received whilst I was there.

After reading all the above, and there are possibly many other things I did or said that aren't here, you will understand how I couldn't blog from hospital as I wasn't deemed mentally stable enough to be trusted with my phone, no matter how much I begged pleaded, and promised to be good!! 😂 😂 😂

I feel very lucky to live near to the only hospital in the UK to offer the specialist surgery I had done and I have therefore decided to challenge myself a year post-op, as a thank you to go the staff who cared for me, to doing something to raise money for Papworth Hospital Charity and have signed up for the Asda 10k Leicester on 9th September.

There is a link at the top of my page to my Just Giving site if anyone is in a position to be able to make a donation to this fantastic charity.

Night night everyone, I'm off to dream of leaf bugs....... 😂

Monday 25 June 2018

The fitness regime has started! πŸƒ‍♀️🚣‍♀️

Well I'm coming up to 1 year post op, what better time to start a new fitness regime!

This time last year I could barely get up the stairs. Now I'm looking at registering for a 10k!! I'm not completely mad, I have no grand delusions of running it in a record time, or even running it at all come to that! I would just like to take part, finish the course and ideally get a medal as a momento of still being alive and kicking a year on! 😂

So, to start, the rowing machine came out last night. I only did 5 reps of 20 whilst watching the footy, but it's a start!

I also plan to start walking home from work twice a week (5k) and maybe try a few park runs. Then hopefully start swimming again once I can fit in my cozzie and get into the pool without all the water getting out!

Anyway, you know those people who go to the gym or running, even a marathon, and finish looking as fresh a daisy as though they hadn't done anything? Yeah, well it turns out I'm NOT one of them!!!

I did my first 5k walk home from work tonight, in the sweltering heat! I started off quite well until I got stuck behind someone walking very slightly slower than me. It was like when you're driving fractionally faster than the car in front of you and you have to keep taking your foot off the accelerator/braking so you don't get too close, but they're still going too fast for you to overtake. Annoying. In the end I decided to do the slow overtake, meaning I would be walking next to him for a while, hoping that would make him feel uncomfortable enough to slow down and let me pass! Obviously, it worked! 😂

It was soooo hot (have I already mentioned that?!) and some passers-by looked slightly concerned by the no doubt fetching shade of puce that was my face. I was just feeling reassured by the fact that there is a defibrillator on the wall of the Coop Funeral Services half way home so, in the event of any problems, I'd be in the right place to get sorted either way! 😂 😂

However, I made it past the point of no return and was feeling quite pleased with myself (especially as it was 30°! Have I mentioned how hot it was??😂), but as I crossed the last main road and onto the home stretch, I got overtaken by an old man on a mobility scooter....... 😒  I was too hot to push him off but put on an extra spurt and overtook him back as he slowed down to have an argument with his daughter..... I finally got home, 52 minutes after leaving work, to be greeted by Jay and the kids with bottles of cold water which they squirted all over me! I was soaked but it was lovely and so refreshing!! Faye wasn't quite as amused when I gave her a big, cold, wet, hug though!! 🤗

So, that was my first 5k!

I have now just registered for the park run. I've got my barcodes and everything. I guess there's no backing out now!!


Friday 25 May 2018

I'm a complete mess..... And I'm loving it!!

What can I say?

The evening started early with afternoon tea at the Belmont Hotel in Leicester for a friend finishing work on maternity leave.  It was all really nice and the cakes were luurvely! We then made our way to The Lansdowne for cocktails (2 for 1 for NHS staff - it really would be rude not to!). Our party gradually dwindled down then as people started to leave to catch trains.

The sun was setting, it was still warm, a really lovely night. Which was when I made my decision. I was going to walk home.

One friend went into town to catch the bus and the remaining two of set of in the opposite direction. It was just starting to spit with rain but still nice. We walked and chatted  until we reached Queen's Road and decided to stop off in Babelas for a glass of wine. Or two. It was here I embarrassingly forget about the cakes I'd got for the kids in my bag and, as I delved into my bag for my purse, my hand came out with, not my purse, but buttercream covered fingers 😳

It was properly raining when we left. We walked to my friend's house and, after meeting hubby and dog, and turning down the offer of calling a cab, I set off for home. I checked and it was only 2.2 miles. I could do this!

Thankfully there weren't many people about at that time of night. In the rain. Surprising really....... If there had have been, I think I may have been reported as the mad woman laughing to herself, walking in the rain, getting soaked!

This will be hard for many people, who maybe take their health and fitness for granted, to understand but the exhilaration I felt walking home is indescribable.

When you have been in a position of genuinely believing you are going to die, just that simple act of walking home made me feel more alive than I have felt for a very long time. By the time I got up the hill to the top of Welford Road I was grinning from ear to ear, possibly looking slightly manic and scary! The rain got heavier, my clothes were stuck to me, my hair was plastered to my face, my shoes were filling with water and squelching and I was loving it!! As I reached Palmerston Way I was laughing and crying at the same time so pleased with myself! Again I realise this would be no boggy for most people, but for me it was such an accomplishment. I reached home just after midnight, also discovering , contrary to my previous belief , that a lot of our streetlights DO go off at midnight!. I was soaked to the skin but soooo happy! I DID IT!! I walked home.

Some may think I was stupid, stubborn, recklessa.  I may have blisters in the morning, I may feel exhausted, tired, and achy in the morning, but you know what? I DON'T CARE!!!  Because at least I'M ALIVE to grimace at those blisters when I try to put my shoes on, I'M ALIVE to feel tired, I'M ALIVE to feel my bones Aching.  I may wake up and berate myself for being maybe very slightly stupid, but I do not and will not regret a thing. I'm alive and kicking. That's a feeling that nothing else can beat and no-one can take that away from me.

So thank you to my friend for not forcing me to get a cab. Thank you lousy British weather for helping me to feel so alive.Thank you for helping me to feel like me again!


My journey has just begun........

Monday 26 March 2018

Training Day

When I say training, I mean I'm getting the train... to Nottingham.... and I have just  realised that I don't think I have ever caught the train to Nottingham before!

So far so good, got to the station in plenty of time, bought (the right!) ticket and got to the right platform, I even managed to get on the right train! I've not forgotten anything or if I have, I haven't remembered I've forgotten it yet! The sun is shining.....  Also, unlike many previous train journeys, I'm not sat next to, or even near, a nutter!! It's already promising to be a good day!😂 😎

So, what's happened since my last blog? I've been busy, which is why I've not been blogging. Unfortunately I've not been busy with anything particularly interesting!!

We did go out from work last week to celebrate someone finishing her exams, time to relax and enjoy a night out after their hard work studying! We started at The Distillery for cocktails (always a must!). No night out can EVER start right without a porn star martini (or two)! We were booked in at Crafty Burgers to eat, which was entertaining from deciding on burgers, the slightly scary waitress, to setting fire to the table! At this point I feel it is vital to clarify that it was not me who set fire to the table, the fire was just in front of me, and the blame went entirely to the person day opposite me!  I do have to say that he was also completely blameless, but it was just too much to blame him! He is now know as The Firestarter, and The Prodigy was quickly found and played on a phone. Once the fire was out, obviously! It was only a small fire - a paper napkin fell on to a tealight candle. Quite big flames though! The waitress blew it (?!) which obviously just made it worse and blew bits of still-burning napkin at me and someone else! My neighbour chucked water on it and I doused the rest of with another scrunched up, wet napkin. The table was a bit black and wet but otherwise no damage done!! The rest of the evening was quite sedate in comparison!

My train is now arriving at Nottingham, so time to go!

Saturday 3 March 2018

Pamper Day & Treat Weekend!!!

Part of my Christmas present from my lovely other half was vouchers for the beauticians and hairdressers so I could have a pamper day!

We were also given a 'Time Together' voucher by his daughter and her boyfriend so the two have been combined to follow my pamper day with a night away in the Cotswolds tomorrow night (the place we wanted to go to being completely booked every Fri and Sat for the foreseeable future!) It meant having to take Monday off from work, a great shame I know, but what can you do?! 😂

I've been looking forward to this day since booking it and although the snow finally hit us last night, no amount of the white stuff was going to stop me getting here!!  To be honest, we didn't actually have all that much snow and the beautician's and hairdresser are right next to each other. At the bottom of my road! The lovely ladies working there would have had more trouble getting in than me - assuch, I am very grateful that they made it!

My first treatment was for a deluxe facial, an hour of having so many lotions and potions massaged into my face I lost count.... Oh OK, I admit it.... I wasn't counting. I was far too relaxed for that! The only time I was slightly less relaxed was when the steamer was on. Now, I've never had this before so I didn't know what they used and I had pads on my eyes so I couldn't see. It sounded suspiciously like a wallpaper steamer so I was half expecting it to splatter boiling water over me at any given time, hence feeling slightly tense at this point!! I did manage to relax again though, but it was the first thing I looked for when the treatment was over. It wasn't a wallpaper steamer. At least now I know.

I then nipped next door to get my hair done. I'm currently sat looking like some sort of mad alien with could all over my head and the rest of my mad frizzy hair sticking out all over the place. It's not the most attractive look, but necessary!  The hairdressers are annoyed with the bloke in the flat upstairs keep turning his music up REALLY LOUD! I did let to go up and see him as, once I was fully foiled and with no makeup on I would've scared the living daylights out of him! 😂👹

Time to chill...... Be back later.......


Hair done, light and bright again, it feels so much better!

Went back to the beautician's for a manicure, which was also lovely and relaxing, especially the part where I had to put my arms in heat pads for a while. Toasty and warm! My only slight disappointment was that it wasn't gel nails, I guess I just sort of assumed they would be. Never mind. Still never than when I do them myself but, typically, still managed to catch one whilst putting my coat on!


All in all it was a lovely few hours and I feel nice and refreshed now, looking forward to our trip to the Cotswolds 😊

Monday 26 February 2018

Going A. W. O. L.

I don't know - give a girl a bit of freedom......... and she will find shops!! 😂

So Saturday provided me with the exciting prospect of doing the grocery shopping. On my own!! I also had something to pick something up from town... it seemed sensible to get that first than go and get the shopping. I was under strict instructions to text when I arrived everywhere to confirm I was ok.

I drove into town and parked, the shop I needed was only over the road from the car park so a nice, quick and easy trip. Until I left the car and started to make my way out through the shopping centre.... Then it hit me. I was in town. On my own. No kids. No Jay. Just me........ and oh soooo many shops!!!

Well..... What would you do?!

I decided I'd got enough time to just pop into one shop and have a casual look around without constantly having to turn my head full circle to watch the kids before giving up trying to look at anything, which is what usually happens.

Next I went across the road to collect my parcel from Waterstones... But at the last minute walked straight by Waterstones to have a nice relaxed stroll through the Highcross... Tiger caught my eye so I had to go in, it would have been rude not to! I love that shop!! Then, as I was already halfway there by now anyway, I thought I might as well go and have a look around Paperchase too, another favourite of mine!

I eventually meandered my way back to the only shop I came to town for, picked up my parcel and started to make my way back to the car.

Via TK Maxx 😁.

I did find a better backpack for Faye for school in there though so it was a good job I called in! I did then get a text checking I was ok as I'd been gone for over 2 hours and not text to say I'd  made it to Asda. Oooops! What can I say? Time flies when you're having fun!!

I then had a similar problem in Asda, looking around the aisles I didn't need before realising I'd been there for about 15 mins and not got one thing off the list!! I just whizzed around quickly to get everything, and only went 'off list' a couple of times, which I thought was really good!

I wonder if I'll be allowed to do the shopping again next week......... 🤔

Friday 23 February 2018

It's soooooooooo exciting!!!

Finally! After 6 loooooooooong months, I'm driving again!!!

I can't even begin to express how happy I am! It felt so good to get in the car and drive the kids to school this morning before driving to work! I thought it would be a bit weird and I would feel nervous but it was like I'd never stopped!!

It was just like old times.... grumbling about other 'drivers' (using the term loosely!) within about 10 minutes of being back behind the wheel! 😂

There'll be no stopping me now! I can go anywhere, anytime, without having to rely on anyone else or put anyone else out. It feels so good!! 😊

I am, once again, Little Miss Independent
and I'm loving it!!!

Only a short blog but I am so excited I just wanted to share it with you!!


Thursday 22 February 2018

Bus journey #4 - Passenger's Log, busdate 220218.1

I'm so cold!! My hands are freezing so excuse any typos!!

I not-so-merrily watched my bus go driving off as I was stuck in the middle of the road waiting to cross! 😡

Thankfully I didn't have to wait too long for the next one! Just long enough to become a viable study for cryogenics......

You can tell its nearing the end of the week as its very quiet on the bus, apart from one little old lady who's happily telling her friend (and the rest of the bus) the state of another friend's house and health 😂 She does seem to have a better social life than me and her weekend is taking a lot of planning!

Anyway my bus journeys may be short lived. Last night I got home to a letter from the DVLA saying they were renewing my licence, which should arrive within 14 days!  Today I got home to my licence!! 😁

It might take me a few trips to brave it on my own but it's only been 6 months.... What could go wrong??!

Wednesday 21 February 2018

Bus journey #3 - Passenger's Log, busdate 210218.1

What timing! I'm getting the knack of this now! Although it's still far too early in my opinion, and only necessary because I have a course today . Hopefully I won't injure anyone on this one like I almost did on the last one which, ironically, was a first aider course! That, however, is an entirely different story!

Got to the bus stop as the bus came down the road and got straight on. To be fair I wasn't sure if it was my bus at first as I couldn't see the number, and I didn't want to stop it if it wasn't. Luckily another lady arrived just before the ideal 'stick your arm out to stop the bus' time, but she didn't make any move to stop the bus. Panicking so I ended up having  to ask her! I really should remember my glasses, it makes the whole waiting-to-see-what-number-the-bus-is-without-jumping-out-infront-of-it  far less stressful! Catching the bus at the end of the day, however, holds the risk of jumping in front of it for an entirely different reason, depending on how crap the day has been!

I've decided my bus journeys are in fact really boring! Or maybe it's just too early for the characters to be out and about!

Short and sweet but I'm now arriving at work so logging off......

Tuesday 20 February 2018

Bus journey #2 - Passenger's Log, busdate 200218.1

Well that started well! Maybe it wasn't the best idea to start a bus log on my last bus journey before half term!

Well the good news is that I caught an even earlier bus than I intended to, AND I've treated myself to a yummy breakfast for my efforts. The bad news is the lady in sainsbury doesn't like me anymore!

But why?! I hear you ask. It appears I am perfectly capable of upsetting people before I've even had my first cup of coffee (but counting my family of course)!

Basically I didn't have any change for the bus and I can't use my pass before 9.30. So I didn't have any choice! Sainsbury's it was to buy something to get some change. The first thing I saw was a maple and pecan plait. Mmmmm mmmmm. My favourite! Off I went to Mrs Grumpy Pants on the till with, what I thought was, a suitably apologetic expression and grimace when I handed her my £10 for my 80p year with a "I'm really sorry, it's all I have" (which was true, apart from a 2p). Needless to say, she wasn't impressed as she huffed, puffed and grumbled due to me presumably emptying her till of the entire float for my change which, for the record, consisted of one note and three coins! So I thanked her, flashed her my best smile, and left. Quickly. Just in time to see my bus making its way down the road 😊

It was one of my favourite friendly drivers so things started to look up! It was surprisingly full for the time of morning, most of the passengers getting off with me at the hospital, which just shows how much earlier than me most people here start work, even when I think I'm really early!

A pretty uneventful journey!!

Sunday 11 February 2018

Bus journey #1 - Passenger's Log, busdate 090218.1

Hmmmmm so how do I do this?!

My bus journey only lasts 10-15 minutes and is usually relatively boring....

So I could start with the boring stuff, like whether the bus was on time or not, afterall this is likely to affect my mood and could colour my perception of the rest of the journey! The bus drivers obviously vary too from happy and friendly, through uninterested to downright grumpy and rude. The same also applies to passengers of course!

To kick-start, for my first logged journey, the bus was 5 mins late. "What?! No way!!" I hear you all cry in shock and horror. I know, I know, unbelievable as it is, it's true! Now, this was an early bus for me so, having dragged myself out of bed, in what to me felt like the middle of the night, to get showered, ready for work and run out of the house (ok, slight exaggeration, everyone knows I don't run. Ever. 😂) with just enough time to make it to the bus stop, I have to admit I was slightly irked that it was late. It couldn't even blame the traffic, there wasn't any, it was too damn early!!

Anyway, as I never dry my hair, unless I have the urge to spend the day looking like Crystal Tips, or have a couple of free hours to straighten it only to walk out of the door and end up with the same result within 5 mins of being outside, by the time the bus arrived my still-wet hair had frozen. I'm talking icicles! If I'd spun around quickly I could have accidentally decapitated at least three people with it! In my defence, they shouldn't have been standing so close, I mean 'personal space' people, come on!!!

I digress, so...... the bus driver was a youngish pleasant man so that was a good start. I settled into my seat, as did other passengers, then I heard the most vigorous page turning of a newspaper I think I've ever heard! To begin with I thought the pages were being ripped out but no, the man in question was just flicking through the paper. He didn't look to be grumpy, maybe he just didn't like the articles.... This continued for most of the journey, occasionally drowning out the conversation of the couple behind him, one of whom appeared to have recently found out that someone they both knew had died, leading to a lengthy discussion about, and breakdown of, the deceased acquaintance's smoking habits. Not in a sense of whether it was bad for him or contributed to his demise, but very specific details of when and where he smoked and even down to how much he would smoke of a cigarette, depending on the previous two factors. Oh how they laughed!! 😕

By that time I had reached work and paper destroying man was confirmed to not be at all grumpy as the bus came to a stop and he gave me a lovely smile, indicating for me to get off first.....

Marks out of 10? That's up to you, let me know what you think!!

Friday 9 February 2018

Back in the blog

So I haven't blogged since my op.... I keep wanting to but struggling to get back into it! Now I'm back on the bus to or from work most days I'm thinking of starting a bus journey Blog to get me started again 🤔#buspeoplewatching

Monday 17 July 2017

And so it begins.............

So far, so good!

Got here early, was admitted to the day ward and tagged (not electronically....). Being given 3 tags confused me but I have since found out that once you're in theatre, they take one off your arm and put it around the tube down your throat so they can check ID as they can't (easily) see your wristbands. I'm glad that one's sorted at least. Another thing I don't be worried about walking myself up for to ask halfway through the op!! 😂

I had the lovely 6 minute walk test, looking stupid again (no different to usual then... Yeah yeah I know.....), chest xray, ECG and bloods, forms, forms, more forms etc. etc. etc......

We had an afternoon of cards and puzzles, then were told they were closing the ward so I'd have to go to a different ward to sleep then come back up again in the morning. Before any of that happened, however, the fire alarm went off. Rumour has it someone burnt toast on level was just like being back at work!! 😂. The anaesthetist came to see me so we missed the evacuation and the drama was over by the time he'd finished. As he left the surgical doctor who's going to be helping tomorrow came to see us to go through everything and by the time he left everyone had gone!


Now on Duchess Ward with a cup of coffee, crackers and cheese. Waiting for my towels and lurvely antiseptic wash for my shower.....


Oh I'm being so spoiled!! Not only do I now have towels and Octenisan (mmmmm, a lovely antiseptic scent....), I have also been given my backless gown, paper knickers, special red socks, AND I've been measured for a pair of those gorgeous, highly sought after, surgical stockings. Can my day get any better???!

I fear the actual op tomorrow is going to be a compete anticlimax after such excitement!! 😂 😂 😂

Let's just hope the shower is a power shower now to complete the night!!

I have to say, every member of staff I have had any contact with has been really lovely and helpful, I couldn't ask for any better care and am, surprisingly, feeling very calm and ok about it all. Although I could still be in denial...... 😂

Friday 14 July 2017

It's almost time for 'The Op'......

Soooo, my last weekend of freedom for a couple of weeks! I'm off to Papworth on Monday so this is also likely to be my last blog for a while, until I'm back in the land of the living after my op!

It was very strange finishing work on Wednesday. Afterall, you don't usually have pre-warning of bring off sick. Particularly when you don't actually feel 'ill' as such!

Anyway since it is went out for drinks after work and my big Sis joined us as well which was lovely. It was a good night in great company. I will miss everyone!

Yesterday morning it felt wrong not going in but I was kept busy with the kids. The end of year church service for the year 6 leavers was really emotional, the kids were crying, we were crying..... our kids aren't even leaving until next year! Not sure I'll be able to cope with that service!! 😢😢😢. Faye was surprisingly fine, until we'd been home for a bit. She went to get changed and came down sobbing her heart out, bless her! 🙁

I distracted her with the mermaid tail blanket a friend from work had given me for hospital (knowing first hand how much I hate being cold!!).

They wanted McDonald's so we went there on the way to my friend's. It was nice for all the kids to play together as they don't really get to see each other apart from in the holidays.  My friend gave me a beautiful Hot Diamonds guardian angel charm, which is definitely coming with me to Papworth!

Today I didn't do bad being of add the kids were off anyway. We got clothes ready to pack for their 'holiday' and sorted some stuff off myself. I decided to treat them to the cinema so we went to see Despicable Me 3 which they really enjoyed. It was nice to just spend the day with them.

I was really surprised when Jay gave me a bag of lovely goodies from one of his work colleagues! I was so touched at such a thoughtful gesture. With all the bad things happening in the world it does restore faith that the majority of people are good, caring people.

I feel so lucky to have such loving family and friends who are always there for me and I will always be there for them, no matter how near or far, or how much or little we see each other.

I love you all with all my heart 💖💖💖

Tuesday 4 July 2017

Old friends, new old friends, sunshine and relaxation

What a fantastic few days!!

It all started with a day of pampering at Beauty Boutique in Wigston, a pedicure and massage, toe and finger nails manicured and painted, and lashes lifted and tinted (will save the need for mascara in hospital!). I was out just in time to get to Base hairdressers for a trim and highlights to brighten me up for the summer. Bliss!

I packed the following morning and went on my way to Teddington for the weekend to see a friend I haven't seen for a couple of years, leaving early to miss the traffic. It was a lovely day and it was great to park up and wander down to the river. It always has a real holiday feel to me, especially when the sun is shining 🌞

It turns out that another old friend lives there too, who I haven't seen for (cough, cough) years. We agreed to meet at Tide End Cottage for a drink and, although I felt a bit nervous meeting someone from so long ago, it was actually really easy and the time flew by. Well, it did for me anyway! For all I know I could have been chatting far too much and bored them to tears! I hope not though!

As they needed to leave, my other friends arrived and we made our way to the Fallow Deer for cocktails and then almost next door for an Italian (food, not person...). Overall, a very enjoyable day with delicious food, refreshing drinks and, most importantly, great company!

I awoke Saturday morning to another lovely day which we decided to start off with a game of crazy golf, much to my friend's partner's horror! Not just crazy golf though, Pirate crazy golf! It was really busy, and yes mainly with kids, but did we care??! Well, two of us didn't! 😂 We had to pull ourselves across the water in rafts, play inside a pirate ship in the dark, it was fun!! There was another small group of adults only behind us who were taking it all much too seriously! I had to bite my tongue to not point out it was a crazy golf course, mainly aimed at kids and not grown men...... We really didn't take it seriously, I mean, my first hit of the ball and it went straight in the water!! You could almost see their agitation growing with each of the 9 attempts it took my to complete hole no. 1!!

We recovered from the effort with some lunch at The Anchor at Wisley, watching the boats go through the lock, going back to the Flying Cloud at Teddington for a cuppa and cake back by the river, again watching all the boats go by as we made several (fairly unsuccessful) attempts at taking a selfie!

Another beautiful evening made our decision to go to a now favourite haunt of mine, Comptoir Libanais, by Kingston Bridge. We managed to upset the waitress by wanting to sit at a different (and nicer) table than the one she initially offered us, leading her to very grumpy and almost throwing chairs about before telling us we'd have to wait while she seated someone else at 'our' table! Ooops! Another waitress then came to seat us, who was very happy and pleasant! We had a lovely meal watching the sun set. Our cocktail reminded me slightly of Benilyn (although you got used to it after a while!) and the 'tea' my friend ordered looked vaguely as though she had been pond dipping, although she quite liked it, until my pond dipping comment at least........

Sunday wasn't meant to be so nice but it was another gorgeous, hot and sunny day! We ambled around a classic car show in Hampton before shopping for picnic bits and making our way to Strawberry Hill House for their fun day and music festival. We went around the house which was like nothing I had ever seen before. Very gothic in style and seemingly completely random! Lots of the windows had original panes of 17th century painted glass from Flanders which were fantastic. We then relaxed in the sunshine with our picnic, listening to the different bands until early evening.

It was a really chilled out weekend and I had such a lovely time, just what I needed before hospital calls!!

Thursday 22 June 2017

Flashing knickers!! πŸ˜–

So I probably experienced one of the most embarrassing, mortifying and traumatic moments of my life yesterday. I still shudder just thinking about it!!

I finished work and collected Faye, had tea, did some work whilst Faye got ready for gym. All fine. Took her to gym and sorted out Billy going for a trial next week (bless him!). Decided not to bother going home so just say in the car, rang mum and dad and spoke to Billy. Still all good so far.  Got out of the car to go a different fetch Faye, and my nightmare began.

It was still warm and I was happily walking past the cars to the gym when I lady following me down the hill called 'excuse me'. I turned and realised she was calling to me so stopped. Her next words sent a chill right through me.

'Sorry, but I thought I should tell you your dress is split all down the back.'

'Is it bad?`

`Well it's all the way down you the hem. You can see your pants and everything. I thought it was shorts to start with but then realised. I'm really sorry but if it says me I'd want someone to tell me...'

I was mortified!!!  I had no coat. Nothing. And I just stood there like an idiot with no idea what to do!! Then there was the horror of wondering how long it had been split without me noticing? Surely someone at work would have said. Wouldn't they?? Or at school when I picked Faye up? And what about when I dropped Faye off at gym and spent a while at reception with kids and parents everywhere?? Had I been flashing my knickers to all and sundry?! They weren't even a decent pair!! The thought was paralysing!!

I held the back of my dress together the best I could, probably looking like I'd had an accident as I scuttled into the waiting room clutching my bum and clamped myself to the nearest wall! Faye was first out which, to start with I thought was good, as that meant I could get away quick. In reality I soon realised that just meant that everyone else was behind me......

'Faye walk behind me!'


'just do it?!'


I told her about my predicament and she promptly went into hysterics! Not that I could blame her, no doubt I'd have done the same. She did walk behind me though. Encouraging me as we went. Not.

'Mum you look weird, just let go of it'

'I can't. You can see my knickers'

'it'll be better than you look now'

'Thanks. But it really wouldn't. And stop laughing!'

'I can't, it's funny'

At this point I noticed a car with one of the dad's I know say in it. We always say hello, but on this occasion I thought it would be better to focus ahead and pretend I hadn't noticed him.

'It is NOT funny. At all'

I'm sure there was an amused look on 'dad's' face as I passed the car.....

'let go'


'well you're going to have to let go of it in a minute to get in the car!'

'yes. Thank you. I'm well aware of that!'

Thankfully the car next to me dad empty so I was able to take refund between the two cars.

'let's have a look then'

I let go.

'[gasp] oh m that is really bad! I mean REALLY bad!!`

I have never been so pleased and relieved to get in my car!!

And I've never known 10 minutes to be do traumatic it felt like 10 hours!!!

At least Faye reassured me that my dress was fine when I dropped her off so that was at least some relief!

All I need to do now is find the receipt...... and a disguise to wear to all future trips to gym........... 😐