Early in 2014 I got an email from a journalist. It came out of the blue and was a bit of a surprise if I’m honest. She wanted to write an article about me for Good Housekeeping Magazine. At first there was an element of suspicion, after all there are so many scams going on in the world today, but I Googled her and she really was a journalist so I emailed her back. Continue reading Imagine me an inspiration – first published 9 September 2014
The primary reason I started doing long walks was to lose weight and I did lose a lot, more than four and a half stone. Unfortunately being at home for three months in 2014 along with Christmas meant I’d put on mumble, mumble, mumble despite masses of walking when I was unemployed. This just went to show walking alone is not the magic cure for weight loss. It is a great big tool in the weight loss bag of tricks though and I was on the case of getting those extra pounds back off again. Continue reading The enchanted park – first published 21 April 2014
At the end of a busy day the last thing you want to see on the way home is a huge plume of smoke ahead between you and home. That is exactly what happened on the evening of 26 July 2013 as Gail and I were heading for the Itchen Bridge. By the time we realised what was burning it was too late to turn back. We’d just have to find a way around it if we could. Continue reading southampton’s burning – first published 26 July 2013
Towards the end of July 2013 I was still in single digits in terms of rhinos found but the rhino hunting malarkey was turning out to be a rather enlightening exercise. Not only had I been led to parts of the city I’d never seen before, I’d been seeing parts I did know with new eyes. Alongside getting a bit of extra exercise I’d discovered the work of some fantastic local artists and I was just about to have a reminder of the power of perseverance in the face of difficulties and learn about a truly wonderful charity I’d had no idea about before. Continue reading Mirrors, rhinos and achieving the impossible – first published 25 July 2013
In early June 2013 CJ accidentally got a taste of homelessness and almost frightened me out of my wits. There was a worrying development on the river path and I seemed to have chocolate on the brain. The latter is probably quite normal. I also discovered that irritating survival expert and TV personality, Bear Grylls, has his uses. Continue reading Bear Grylls as a new diet tool – first published 10 June 2013
Despite my marathon walk on Friday, the walking wasn’t over for the last weekend of April 2013. Commando had a race to run and it was in an area I’d wanted to explore for some time. Of course I had to go along to cheer him on and have a little wander while he was running. Getting lost and getting wet were both distinct possibilities but when have I ever let that stop me? Continue reading a Sunday race and a different river – first published 28 April 2013
Back at the beginning of April 2013 there was no sign at all of spring. In fact an icy wind was blowing in from Siberia and there was snow in the air. The latte cravings were strong and I began to wonder if skimmed milk and freshly brewed coffee were quite the demons I thought they were. Wondering led to Googling, which in turn led to some surprising results… Continue reading a skinny latte revelation – first published 4 April 2013
A walk to work at the end of February 2013 got me thinking about the importance we place on appearances. Multi million pound industries have sprung up around anything that makes us look better on the outside. Everywhere you look someone is trying to sell you something to make you look younger, thinner or prettier. We are so obsessed with what’s on the outside we’ve forgotten about what lies within. There’s an old saying, ‘you can’t polish a turd,’ but there are a lot of people out there trying to sell us stuff to do just that… Continue reading the myth of the polished turd – first published 27 February 2013
The last week of February 2013 and the fallout from the shock redundancy announcement was swirling all around. It felt as if black clouds were gathering, a storm brewing and I wasn’t sure I could weather one more storm. There was only one way to deal with it…look for the little things.
Getting made redundant from Mad House was the best thing that ever happened to me. Even though I’d made some wonderful friends, I’d hated every minute of the job. It felt like three years of hell on earth. It’s possible I was the only person in the building inwardly cheering when they made the announcement. Then I got the job at Silver Helm and it seemed like everything had happened for a reason. Then, on 19 Fenruary 2013, something happened that made me question everything.