“The devil’s in the detail!” Not in my life he’s not!!!

There’s a whole different person in my corner!

#Godsquad #whatif #life #middle-aged

Call him/her what you like, add or take away what you need but even Jesus said “if you don’t believe in me believe in the one who sent me!” (Or words to that effect!)

My mother is a Christian (other religions are available.) She had an epiphany at about 14 and has tried to live her life by that moral compass ever since; she’s 79 this year! This seems a very advanced age written down, she really doesn’t come across like an elderly lady as her chronological age would suggest.

When I say she has tried to live her life this way she really has. She doesn’t go to church on Sunday dressed to the nines pious or entitled like she believes she’s one of God’s chosen but rather she tries to emulate the teachings of Jesus, whether you believe he was the son of God, a prophet or a work of fiction. The teachings of Jesus have endured over the centuries. Most people would agree they are a good set of values to emulate.

I’m not saying she’s never judged another person, made a hurtful remark or any other negative human traits but she has always tried to love her God with all her heart and love her neighbour as herself..if she can or could ever help someone in need she would endeavour to be a help or support them. If she is wronged, however hurt, she has turned the other cheek.

As a child I believed in God out of fear, I was too scared not to… Fear it might be true and if I didn’t believe he’d smite me or some other notion. I’ve no idea why, how or even when it changed but now I realise the opposite is true. I believe in God and fear the occasional “sinful” doubt, what if I’m wrong? I fear it’s not true!

At the risk of having my house fire bombed by fanatics of any/all denominations, I believe the basic teachings of the Old Testament (the foundation of both Judaism and Christianity) and the Qur’an are fundamentally the same, many people are surprised just how much Jesus appears in the Qur’an, he is holy in Islam too but as a prophet not the messiah.

I’m unashamedly a scientist too, admittedly of sport science not anything evolutionary but I’m also one of many “Christian’s” who happily live in synergy with the 2 identities.

I imagine if an original addition of the Bible turned up (I do know it’s not possible, it being a collection of letters, religious texts over centuries etc before anyone pipes up but bare with me!) It would be quite different to the one we read in English today.

Generation by generation like Chinese whispers, each wronged nation under the phaeros or whatever dynamic adding its 2 pence from their perspective. Later on whoever was in power be it Rome (Henry the eighth onward in the UK) twisting it to their end to control the masses or simply by translating it from language to language.

Even the Qur’an translates differently if the punctuation is changed.

BUT..The basic principles remain, hope springs eternal, faith is the peace in my soul, the positive mind set in my bad day, the absolute trust everything is as it should be and all is well!

All religions have their fanatics, but no religion preaches violence or hatred

Peace to you all whatever your beliefs

A xx

Good grief!

Well my crazy beautiful bi-polar daughter is home after a nine year absense and an epic journey to Oxford and back in a day, only 460 miles but it seems a very long way when the first and last hour are silly little roads peppered with hold ups from tractors to Sunday drivers and you live in the UK which is a small island in the great scheme of things.

Despite intending to write a daily blog I haven’t managed it at all since she got here until today I’m not sure I did the day I went up to collect them either, hope it’s not an omen but she is all consuming aha!

Life has been a bit hectic with the private let for Ce’Nedra and the kids falling through which necessitated in finding somewhere for them to stay, pretty darn quickly, she’s still in a very short let because I’m lucky enough to have fabulous people in my life who were able to lend her an empty holiday let..

The children start school tomorrow in the same school they were in when they came to stay with me when their Mother was in hospital, which will be nice as 2 of my children attend the same school and probably more importantly they have friends there. Javiah my grandson did not want to move to Wales but he’ll be fine now he is here. Ce’Nedra needs to be home with the support so many young mothers take for granted.

I hadn’t realised until it had gone perhaps because it’s always been there but I was anxious, somewhere on a molecular level, even while thinking I was zen like after a yoga session. It was there like a back ground hum. All the time she was away 9 years of worry about my child and her off spring out there in the world.

Maybe that’s why I’m very calm at the prospect of their homelessness, unashamedly God squad if not affiliated with a specific religion, I believe in Science too but can happy merge the 2 either way I know it will work out, things always do. She’s home now and although there’s yet more people jostling for my attention a balance will be found and we’ll find a new normal.

I refuse to be mum’s taxi but because I pass the door on the school run I’ll pick the children up for school and it’s a good excuse to go to the nearest reasonable sized town to shop for the things we can’t get in our rural community shopping once a week…oh and there’s the 2 weekly access visits 200 mile round trip for Shiloh to see her father but other than that 😂 🤔 ok so may be just a bit like Mum’s taxi, I think the anxiety might be creeping back in…

I’m at the same time excited and fearful, excited because for the first time ever all my biological off spring are within a 5mile radius I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to seeing my grand children grow up and coffee with my adult daughter/friend. Fearful because the nature of her illness means she can be very dependant. I’m a people pleaser but I’m already time poor it’s taken me years to find time for me, to not feel selfish to go for a run or just binge watch Doctor Who…anyway only time will tell, I’m a glass half full kind of gal so watch this space. Happy Sunday A x

#life #middle-age #bi-polar #brightfuture fully

So much for a Daily dose of me ha..

I fully intended to blog the entirety of 2019. My whole 48th year on the planet (I was 47 New years eve!) in a vague attempt to embrace having that birthday because I had always loathed sharing what I considered to be my day with everyone else on the planet.
I should probably point out this was an echo of emotion from the day at about 7 my parents held a New year eve party and kept sending me back to bed. Subconsciously I think it’s also to do with my shocking memory. I’ve never been a diary writer as some people are, but lately I realise how poor my memory is for events and things, and until jogged hard by someone else’s memory of an event in which I was a participant I seldom remember, quite often I don’t actually remember then either but nod and smile at what I hope are the right places. I’m told this is due to everything from the menopause to being busy and even, “we’re like computers with a finite memory, so the unimportant data like what you ate in the 3rd year at lunch disappears” a viewpoint I’m pretty sure is factual. I’m all for insignificant data leaving but the significant stuff is going too, though oddly not visual data like where everyone in the house hold keeps the XYZ they’re looking for!

In any event daily blogging lasted all of 8 days in 2019, I did sign up to word press a little earlier 17 days ago to be exact but just to see if writing flowed like it did when I was younger. Often I read something I consider to be very insightful in my Facebook memories and am convinced I am getting significantly less intelligent.

Maybe this will document my demise but at least I will know what I’ve been up to and heaven forbid anything should happen to me, My children can read and see who I was and what I was about.

Morbid? meh..my father died when I was 6, I know I said my parents had a New Years eve party when I was about 7 but in truth I may have been 4 or 5 I can’t remember if my father was there or not. In some fleeting glances he was, in other not. I would love to have known him. I imagine it’s because I didn’t have one that I feel it’s important to know one’s father. I’m not suggesting rapists have rights over children conceived in that manner, an actual situation here in the UK on at least 1 occasion (I kid you not!)

I think it may also be why I stayed so much longer in relationships that were clearly not working when there were children involved and always strove for there to be a relationship between father and child. I didn’t want my children to have that void.

There’s so much I don’t know about where I came from, I’m not even sure why it matters if it’s a recent thing or if it’s always been there. Have I built the idea of having a father in to something much more relevant than it is? I’ll never know. I know there are bad Dad’s who do unspeakably cruel things to their children. I’ve seen enough snippets of The Jeremy Kyle show when Chris is off work to know that an absent father to idolise is far better than a poor one.

There’s a yerning for knowledge on a genetic level too. Who donated my other chromosomes?! I know my mother as well as anyone can have an insight in to a person they have always known but in truth I don’t know all that much about her either.

A lot of what we “know” of a person remains like the echo of emotion about my birthday as a child. I am a very different person to the one I was even a few years ago, we evolve and grow dependant on our experiences and relationships. I have not lived in close proximity to my mother in over 30 years. Although I love her and she loves me we don’t have the intimacy, dependency or need to connect daily I see others have with theirs. I’m not sure if this is because I like being alone or because a life long depressive illness has meant every few years she really doesn’t want to know me or anyone at all for 5 months. I question if this is why I’m self sufficient, if there was a time I had to find my own feet because it’s hard to be dependant on someone who’s not available. In any event I don’t remember so it hasn’t been a scaring life experience.

Anyway my blogging lasted 8 days of 2019 and then on Tuesday I went to collect my crazy beautiful bi-polar daughter from Oxford, I drove the 450 mile round trip back home to Pembrokeshire in a day so as not to disrupt the life of my family here too much. My wonderful friend Jane who will never know what she means to me or how grateful I am to have her in my life, lent me her car for the third time in 6 months. My husband is a mechanic so obviously my car is the last one to get looked at but the one he is the most critical of.

In my pre Chris days I would have just driven it there and thought nothing of it and it would probably have made it but…
So Jane lent me her tiny little car I pootled up the M4 squashed Ce’Nedra and the 2 small folk in the car with as many boxes and bags as we could accommodate and drove home.

I’m at the same time excited and fearful, excited because for the first time ever all my biological off spring are within a 5mile radius I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to seeing my grand children grow up and coffee with my adult daughter/friend. Fearful because the nature of her illness means she can be very dependant. I’m a people pleaser but I’m already time poor it has taken me years to find time for me, to not feel selfish to go for a run or just binge watch Doctor Who…anyway only time will tell, I’m a glass half full kind of gal so watch this space. Happy Sunday A x
#life #middle-age #bi-polar #brightfuture

We really don’t know how lucky we are!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great week A x

Fitbit…other fitness trackers are available!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Veganuary trials & tribulations!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#vegan #veganuary #firstworldproblems #liveandletlive

Some people really are positivity black holes!

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