Friday, February 18, 2011

1974

Just watched the ‘1974’ episode of ‘Our friends in the North’ I was aged 7/8 and I do remember the coal strikes on the news, but I didn’t realise that this people power caused commercial users of electricity to be limited to 3days of electricity consumption each week; with a knock on effect on families relying on a full weeks wage coming in. However having said that, although the odds were against the protesters, and they were blamed for the effects, this people power had a major influence and caused a major shift in thinking and may have influenced a belief that we all have a voice and can be heard, and slowly but surely we have come a long way since then.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Life has been moving so fast I’ve had trouble keeping up.

Life has been moving so fast I’ve had trouble keeping up. I’ve started work, have been travelling to Plymouth with my Mum who was supposed to be going in for an operation which has now been put off, and my daughter Tamsin has gone to travel the world for a year with her boyfriend (of four years), and she left this week. They are in India now, in Mumbai where she says it is hot, smelly and busy, and are off to the sea in the next couple of days. I am so excited for her, it will be an amazing experience but I am going to miss her. The last couple of weeks I have tried to spend as much time as I could with her and the week before her going I must admit I have been quite emotional. I went on a ‘leaving do’ night out in our home town last Friday, and then we had an early Christmas last Sunday. We had a Christmas tree up, a lovely dinner, Christmas pudding, crackers, and even a pressie each. It was great fun. We all really got into the spirit of it. I even got happy Christmas texts from friends.

Also after years of not being well enough to work, in the past couple of months I have spent days working on job applications, and have got an interview for each one. Three weeks ago on a Friday I went to an interview and started work on the Monday. I am back doing Advice work, which is where my experience lies. I feel I am good at it, and it is the sort of work I love. I am part of an exciting project working for the CAB delivering sessions in jobcentres. I am so chuffed It does seem like my dream job. Not only does it combine research, & meeting different people, as an added bonus one a big aim of the CAB is about influencing Social Policy and they have been very successful in doing this. One example of their social policy work is after incapacity benefit changed to Employment Support Allowance (ESA) a certain amount of income from permitted work was disregarded for people on non contribution based ESA, but not for people on contribution based ESA. The CAB brought this to the attention of the Government and the 2009 budget including provision that means that the earning limits will be the same for both contribution and non contribution based ESA from 2010. They have also been instrumental in bringing about changes in policy in areas such as: Working tax credit run on, backdating housing benefit and accessibility of Job Centre plus. The CAB has great ethics and seems to have passion for what they do. I am really excited about the job; I can see myself staying with them, and maybe changing roles in years to come and would love to be involved with the Social Policy work in the future.

Also I am very chuffed that I have not had the physical symptoms of panic/anxiety while taking part in group-work. This had been my biggest worry about working. I had thought I would be fine on a one to one basis, and believed the overwhelming feelings I get in a group situation would always affect me. It hasn’t I have gone to training courses and not only not experienced these feelings, I have been an active contributor and really enjoyed them. After years of negativity and anxiety taking over I thought I would never be able to do this type of work again. Over the last year the work I have done on myself has really paid off. I have transformed myself from a frightened of life, can’t do, person, to a sparkly and bright, loving life, can do person. The future looks exciting.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Slow Dance

My friend John posted this up on his blog and I wanted to share it with you all. Thank you John :) xxx

This poem was written by a terminally ill young girl in a New York Hospital .

SLOW DANCE
Have you ever watched kids
On a merry-go-round?
Or listened to the rain
Slapping on the ground?
Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight?
Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?
You better slow down.
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last.
Do you run through each day
On the fly?
When you ask How are you?
Do you hear the reply?
When the day is done
Do you lie in your bed
With the next hundred chores
Running through your head?
You'd better slow down
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last.
Ever told your child,
We'll do it tomorrow?
And in your haste,
Not seen hissorrow?
Ever lost touch,
Let a good friendship die
Cause you never had time To call and say,
'Hi'You'd better slow down.
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last.
When you run so fast to get somewhere
You miss half the fun of getting there.
When you worry and hurry through your day,
It is like an unopened gift....Thrown away.
Life is not a race.
Do take it slower
Hear the music
Before the song is over.

Friday, July 31, 2009

When words fail Music speaks

Whenever someone asks me to pick my favourite songs I find I may pick different tunes, and my list may change from time to time. However there may be a few tunes that seem to have been on your list for many years. These are the few I think about immediately when thinking of my favourite songs:

Dub be good to me Beats International (it was a cover But this is my favourite)

Say a little prayer Aretha Franklin

Back to life Soul to Soul

Shoulda woulda coulda Beverly Knight

Perfect Fairground Attraction

Blue Joni Mitchell

Ain’t nobody Chaka Khan

Rome wasn’t built in a day Moorcheeba

One love Bob Marley

Univited Alanis Morrisette

Silver screen shower scene Felix Da Housecat

Start wearing purple Gogol Bordello (What can I say I love purple)

Littlest birds Be good Tanya’s

The list could go on and on and on. If anyone reads this, comment with some of your favourite songs.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

I am me Take me or leave me

It has taken many years to say this and mean this: I am an individual, I don’t want to, and don’t think I do, conform to stereotypes, I like being a bit different.
Yet in darker times being different was very much part of the problem. Worrying about how people perceived me was one negative pattern of thinking I now recognise as being a big contributor to my depression. Living with anxiety means I have been living within another contradiction. A contradiction, such as doing a Community work degree and not being able to do community work, because it sometimes involves being confrontational and standing up to perceived authority.
Part of my recovery has been due to learning to love and accept myself as I am, not berating myself for the things I can’t do, but looking instead at what I can do. Now I recognise and celebrate my abilities, I recognise I can share my passion through writing, and if people agree with what I am saying that is great, but I people don’t I’ve got to a stage in my life where it doesn’t bother me half as much. People either like me or they don’t. They can take me or leave me. The only person’s approval I need is my own.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Still smiling :-)


Again I have been neglecting blogger, so I am going to sum the last month up very briefly. Its been a month of much fun rest and relaxation, albeit intermingled between lots of Stress. I am pleased and a little amazed, I have managed to stay smiling. Lets get the crap out of the way first and then focus on the positive.

I've had car nightmares. My car has been off the road for over two months: we try this, its not that, oh it might be this, and so it goes on! Having a friend help me sort my car situation has not paid off. Instead I have spent £600 on a stop gap dustbin on wheels that can't be driven any distance until some more work is done on it.

Both laptops are at the fixers, and I am not sure whether they are fixable at all, they are both over three years old. I won't even go in to the official post/paperwork/money stuff that's landed through my door Arghhhhhhhh

What has kept me smiling is:

The sun shining (hasn't the weather been amazing), getting out into the countryside, spending time with beautiful people, Calstock Green festival, Dancing, new friends, old friends, music, Mazey Day at Penzance, feeling blessed to have beautiful people in my life, and maybe the wisdom to ensure I do surround myself with positivity.

Feeling positive enough to apply for a full on proper job, and being able to get a hand written application together, which should be worthy of consideration, with no laptop, and no access to my CV.

I have lots of fun stuff to look forward to, and after a bit of escapism in the summer, I think I may have a bit a future (career wise) to look forward to.

Friday, June 12, 2009

A good site for anyone wanting to lose weight.

If you came across my blog a year or so ago, you will know that I went on a new healthy living regime at the beginning of 2008. I had put on a lot of weight and was in danger of going up another dress size. However over a year I managed to lose a stone, get fit (I swam 22 miles in 10 weeks in a sponsored swim), and give up smoking.

Eating just one or two hundred extra calories a day can pile on the pounds over time, and it can happen so slowly a person may not notice it happening until they need to go out and buy new clothes. That was what happened to me when I was at University doing my degree, a combination of cheap student cooked breakfasts and big baguette lunches, and shopping regularly in the sales for clothes, by the end of the four years I was three and a half stone overweight. I only managed to lose it afterwards by calorie counting.

Now unfortunately my age is against me, my metabolism has slowed down (the rate at which my body burns calories), also I am on medication which increases my appetite (and I’ve always had a good appetite) Therefore if I don’t keep an eye on what I eat and the exercise I take I can easily pile on the pounds. This is what has happened to me since Christmas, I have a bit of a muffin top, and my jeans are getting a little tight. So I have decided to get back on the case for a few weeks.

Recommended by a friend I joined a really good site where you can keep a food diary and log exercise, make friends, and join groups to keep you motivated. There are is mixture of people on there, and I was shocked to see a few people who weighed less than me with targets that if I achieved I would look barely alive, however the majority of people on there are struggling with their weight and have realistic goals. You don’t have to want to lose weight to be on there. You have a choice of picking that you want to: lose weight, maintain weight, or gain weight. At the beginning you also log your general level of activity such as; whether you sit most of the day or have a physical job. You also log your weight and your target weight, the site will estimate how many calories you can eat a day (or you can change this amount up or down if you want faster or slower results).

The idea is that every day you log everything you eat and count the calories as you go. On your home page you will see a calorie metre and a burn metre (which goes up during the day and is determined by how active you said your lifestyle was). Daily you can log any exercise/activity you do and this increases your burn metre and therefore the amount of calories you can consume. There are also groups you can join, I have joined a group for women over 40, people who want to lose between 6 and 10 pounds, and a general women’s health group. Each group has a forum for discussion which you can join in with and make friends with similar people. I have already replied to a discussion about someone who has found they may have an under active thyroid.

If you want to lose a few pounds, or just try not to put weight on, and you have time and can access the internet daily then this site may be worth a go. Check it out: