So long since I posted, so many changes

I’ve not blogged in ages, I simply haven’t felt capable of it, but I need to as I have plans and this is one way I have of keeping things up to date with myself, know where I am and talk about things I find exciting.

I’ve had a harsh time with depression over the winter. I don’t want to go back over and describe how it feels. If you’ve ever had depression you’ll have a good idea, and if you haven’t it’s pretty hard to truly comprehend the magnitude of it.

That aside, I’ve also got work news. I now have two jobs. I still do my domestic work, but I now also have a part time job packaging food. Mostly dried grans, pulses, powders, that sort of still. It’s easy enough work but the team I work with are truly lovely.

I probably haven’t mentioned my big plan for my landmark birthday. It’s coming in January and I spent quite a long while thinking about how I wanted to mark it. I finally came up with the idea of a long distance hike but couldn’t decide on the route for ages. Then last year I finally caught on (with a little help from a TV presenter) to the idea of the Wainwright Coast to Coast Walk. Yep. That one. It’s really long and will take around 2 weeks. Additionally, because my birthday falls in January, I’m not going on my birthday. The plan is to go in May instead, when the weather should be better. So I’m gathering together the stuff I’ll need for that, and it’s a remarkable amount that’s actually essential, so my luxuries to take are going to be pretty limited. I’m hiking with a backpack over 190 miles for 2 weeks, I need the pack to be manageable.

I think that’s all I have time for this afternoon, I have to get ready to go out now. I’ll post again soon, There’s a lot to say about the long hike!

Take care!

Categories: Beginning, Life, Plans, Travel | Leave a comment

The waiting is over

Many moons ago, I started blogging on another site and the title was “Raecheybaby’s Allotment” and it was to be about the things I did, the things I grew, the things I cooked yada, yada all to do with this allotment I wanted. Well, I waited four years in Bedford and never heard a word back about getting a plot to dig.

Then I moved to Rugby and when the turmoil of losing Dan and losing my job and losing my grandparents died down a bit, I looked into it again, and some time in May last year I put myself on the waiting list for a plot somewhere near me.

Finally, almost 18 months after putting myself on that list and writing lists of everything I might possibly want to grow and trying to think of the equipment I’ll need and who might help me, I have a letter in my hand announcing that I can call a lady and arrange to see some plots! So sometime next week I will be committing myself to growing veggies – the positives of this are getting outside more often, losing weight due to eating more veggies and losing weight through the sheer effort required to dig and tend my plot

I can’t wait!

Categories: Allotment, Beginning, Dan, Food, Hope, Plans | Leave a comment

The Traditional Thoughts and Plans post

What do you know, I caught another virus. It’s left me with very little voice again so I’m tempted to believe its the last one trying to revisit but I’m building resistance as well as eating better than I was.

It’s at this time of year, immediately after Christmas, that I start thinking about the new year coming and what I want to achieve in it. I usually manage to do at least one of the things on the list, and the fact that I’m still keeping the living well promise to myself  bodes well for what I decide around now.

I seem to have overcome the seasonal/semi-regular depression fairly well so it’s possible to look at things that are achievable without thinking that I’m looking at Ben Nevis or the Bedruthan Steps!

I want to keep a clean and tidy home that anyone can visit. To do that I have to care for myself properly so that depression doesn’t stop me in my tracks. I’ve already got a mental list of how I want to get things in order; and I shall do one thing at once, I promise!

I want to get my weight properly under control. I’ve been comfort eating a lot lately and my trouser waistbands are shaming me. Before anyone protests, I am only after reaching a healthy weight for my height, within a stone or so.  Slimming World is the plan here!

I definitely want to go camping at least twice next year, and I want to visit Scotland or the Lake district. I go south a lot and yet I crave the epic scenery of the north, so this year I want go there and soak it up.

I want to post more regularly on this blog and maintain my blipfoto album (that has been sorely neglected for far too long!).

Something totally new, I want to see if I can do more handmade and home made things. I made ketchup and brown sauce this year, but there’s jam, soap, handcream, bread, cakes, cards, letters, not to mention sewing and knitting! I’m not particularly thinking of homegrown as I’ve never been a gardener. I love looking at them, not getting muddy hands!

Finally, having managed a year without a major crisis (those who have read back will know what I mean) I’d quite like another year full of building on the meaningful friendships that have grown this year.

Happy New Year everyone!

Categories: Beginning, Hope, Life, Plans | Leave a comment

Who knew?

This is about the time of year that I like to sit back and reflect on how my year has gone, what has happened and how I have changed.

I’m completely stunned by this year. So much has happened, and none of it has been what I expected this time last year. This time last year I was in the throes of baking a Christmas cake and cycling through ice and going off to spend ten days with Dan. I had a job that was coming to an end; and I was moving house, sorting a divorce and marrying the love of my life.

Less than a month after this year began the whole direction of my life changed. Dan passed away suddenly and quite unexpectedly (for me at least it was unexpected). I then had to deal with the fact that my job was still coming to an end and that the  home move I had planned would no longer happen, even though I knew I still wanted to move house, I had no idea where to or what on earth I would do about a job after that. Grief rips your legs from under you, no matter how strong you are. One of the pillars of my life was gone and I had to find a way to go on again. I had no real idea what I wanted to do, and only worked out where I wanted to live after a close family friend reminded me of plans that had started forming two years ago.

Trying to work and pack at the same time was hard. I was losing my job through no fault of my own and the home I had planned to move in to just wasn’t feasible any more (too far from mum and dad and Dan wasn’t there any more). Some of the people at work understood what was going on and were incredibly supportive of me. I will never forget those heartbreaking last weeks of being looked after by people that I might not meet up with again.

Things went from looking bleak to looking very bad indeed. Thrown in with the trials of moving into a new flat and dealing with all the stuff that comes with it (and lying on the living room floor crying on more than one occasion) came the deaths of my mother’s parents. More funerals, more loss, more grief.

Through all of this I was still looking for work. The queue at the Job Centre was out of the door during the first few weeks, and Wednesday morning was always a grim time, knowing that in spite of looking I hadn’t found the kind of work I knew I could do and would enjoy.

Finally, toward the end of summer I saw an advert for the kind of work I wanted, no training required as it would be given. Not too far from town, so I could cycle in. The pay was less than I had taken before but I expected that, it’s a different sector to the one I had been in. My CV got me an interview. That’s what CV’s are for, to get you in the door. The interview went well, and the location was pretty. An old building in a village, a bit of a dream for me.

So life seems to be improving again for me. I have a job I enjoy, I have a nice flat near the canal (must go down there soon, bet there are some lovely photos waiting to be taken!) I’m nearer my family than I have been for years and I’m able to attend Church on a reasonably regular basis, if not always to every event that I’d like to get to!

Who knew that so much could happen in a single year and that I would still be standing at the end of that year?

How do you say thank you when people have kept you going through all this? The words don’t seem enough; but if you recognise yourself in any of this know that I’ll never forget your kindness toward me.

Have a great Christmas everyone: I’ll be working so don’t try to ring!

Categories: Beginning, General, Life, observations | 1 Comment

I’ve been keeping a secret

Sunrise on the way to work

I have been rather mean lately. Something big has happened in my life that I have not breathed a word about and I really should tell you at least something of it.

I got a job. After six months of hunting, my dream job finally showed up and I’m working again, doing something I really love to do. Truth be told I’ve actually been working a month now, but I’ve been pretty tired adjusting to a new routine of earlier starts and occasional later finishes and days off when I wouldn’t normally have them and working through weekends where previously they have been time off to rest etc.

Right. I’m now a care assistant in a nursing home not far from Rugby. I cycle 10 miles a day and am on my feet for all but about an hour of the working day. It is a very rewarding job, something I have been wanting to do for most of my working life. It’s definitely a job for someone who can just see something that needs doing and do it, who isn’t overly picky about whether they might get their hands dirty.

It’s been pretty tiring to get used to though. I’ve had to adjust to getting far more exercise than ever before in my life, and I’ve been used to standing for most of the working day for much of my working life, and the shift patterns are different, sometimes needing me to work longer hours than before. Those who know me personally will know how I get on with early wake-up calls: I now have to get up at six am every work morning. It also means that I can’t stay up late. The job is so active that I need the full eight hours as often as I can get them. It’s not possible to cut into that eight hours more than once or so a week, and certainly not two days running!

I guess from reading this over that it must be easy to see that I’m pretty tired today even though it’s my day off today. I’m hiding from the washing up by typing this in bed!

In other news, I still miss Dan a lot. The last anniversary of his funeral had me off at the knees; I was glad it was a day off work as I would never have been able to paint a smile on, the tears would have washed it away instantly. The time is passing, and i am able to live life, but I’m really rather glad that I never will forget him, even though it does mean the tears from time to time. I’d rather have the tears than no memory of him at all.

Life has changed a lot this year, but the new job really does help me to feel that I’ve come through it and out the other side stronger than the person I was a year ago. I can feel another post brewing already. Maybe normal service will resume here too, you never know!

Take care.

Categories: Beginning, Dan, Life, Travel | 1 Comment

The bank holiday always starts on Friday

I said I’d post about the bank holiday weekend, and I’ve left it at least a week. That’s almost deliberate to be honest; I was very tired after it and while trying to sleep it off all kinds of things happened and I got a virus and on the story goes.

Let me tell you about Friday; all good bank holiday weekends begin on a Friday (some would say that the weekend begins on Friday). Having let the man from the electricity have his way with the meter in the cupboard, I ate lunch, sorted a packup and got on the bus. I took public transport to the Marquee site partly because I wasn’t sure if someone was going who could give me a lift and partly as a demonstration to myself that I could do it and had what it took to get myself to something I wanted to do without being carted around the countryside. This is in no way a slight on the people who kindly give me lifts, it was a challenge to myself not to be lazy and reliant on other people.

Anyhoo, a bus, train and another bus later, along with a short trip into the supermarket on the way, I arrived at the marquee in time to eat my tea along with the set-up crews and Karen; and then help out while various other people arrived at the marquee site and chatted in the way that is normal and expected on Friday night.

Friday night of a Jesus army bank holiday weekend starts with an informal meeting, lots of chat, lots of laughing, hot drinks, snacks and the like. After a good hour and a half of chat and catching up with friends the music group for the evening struck up and we sang together. It was an incredible time of worship and prayer.

Friday night of a bank holiday weekend is not an official or main event, it’s optional. A lot of people decide that since it’s an optional and informal event they’ll give it a miss and do their normal friday thing and not go until the Saturday afternoon event. I have personally always found the friday night events to be unmissable events. They are a very different style to the rest of the weekend, but that simply makes them more special. There was a lot of laughter over things like the choice between wellies and rigger boots and other footwear and who might have made the best choice.

Nothing quite beats laughing with a friend you haven’t been able to chat with properly for a couple of months and believe me, we all made up for it! Finally Beckie and her friends and I all loaded into Beckie’s car and did an errand before dropping me at the train station to make my way home again. I had checked the train times, and I knew that no matter what time things finished I would manage to get the train home. What I wasn’t so certain of was the busses. I knew what time the last one ran but didn’t know if the train would get me in on time… It didn’t. I missed the last bus out to my house by 10 minutes which meant a 45 minute walk back.

My feet were still reminding me about it when I woke up. I can tell you that retro linoleum flooring does have a purpose in this world – cooling off sore feet.

Categories: Beginning, Church Event, Food, Travel | 2 Comments

My body is a temple

Although to look at me you might not believe it. I haven’t been treating myself with the respect required of a temple!

For those who follow this blog, the news that I’ve gained a lot of weight probably won’t come as too much of a surprise. It hasn’t been an easy year, and I do very easily head for the kitchen when I’m unhappy.

However, finding that my biggest stretch jeans didn’t want to stay fastened any more was a wakeup call that I couldn’t ignore. Stepping on the scales dampened more than one hankie and so a trawl around the net and questioning a variety of friends led to joining Slimming World.

Several of us joined as a group in one week, it’s been good, cause we come away from the scales, and there’s no way you can pretend to two of your best friends that you’ve had a good week if you haven’t, and likewise, you can’t quite hide it when you’ve reached a milestone either! To be fair I will say that my friends have overtaken me on the weight-loss thing already. They are better at planning their days and seem to be better able to stick to eating the right things and not reaching for a bag of sweets or a pastry than I am, but I live in hopes that I’ll catch them up soon and keep pace with them. I am learning to use the tools available and how to avoid the pitfalls that come by every few seconds (wine, chocolate, sweets, pastries, cakes) and when it’s ok to have just a bit of something by way of a treat.

It’s not like you go hungry on Slimming World, there’s plenty of foods that you can run wild on, I’m just still learning to not reach for the foods that made me the shape I am, and head instead for foods that taste just as good, but will help me become the shape I want to be.  That in itself is a semi-untrue statement actually. I don’t really have a problem with my size or shape; the thing that really sent me flying to lose weight was the fact that my BMI was almost 40 – pushing me into the realms and the reach of the obesity-related illnesses and diseases. I’m not at all happy about that fact, and it’s that more than my dress size that is pushing me to lose the weight and head for a safer BMI.

I know it can be done, I have lost weight unaided before, but not having learned properly the principles of how to eat wisely, I feel that doing this journey with Slimming World will teach me, and when I reach target I will be lighter, but I’ll also be healthier and hopefully happier with myself as a result and better able to respect the body I have been given to live out my life in.

Take care!

Categories: Beginning, Food, Life, Plans | Leave a comment

Life in a flat

For the first time in my life I’m properly living in a flat, and I have to say I’m enjoying it. I wasn’t totally sure that I would, it seems a cramped way of doing things, that there is someone just upstairs when there wasn’t before. I thought it might be claustrophobic, but it isn’t at all.

Due to the fact that the block is built on a fairly steep hill, I’m actually the only flat on my floor, and I have my own external access that isn’t shared the way everyone else in the block has to.

There’s been a lot to do, I didn’t like the net curtains that were in the windows when I arrived, so I’ve been out and bought my own, I dislike all the curtains, so I’m working my way around the house making new ones (I’m not keen on the ready made ones I’ve seen and they are quite expensive for what you get). The furniture I had was barely serviceable, so I’ve done a combination of IKEA and charity shops and refitted the sitting room out so it works and I like the colours.

That start makes it sound wonderful, but actually it’s been something of a nightmare.I’m still dealing with my surging emotions over losing Dan. I haven’t been to a doctor yet, so no official counselling has been set up.

Only today have I been able to get back online, since my internet provider has not been the best at getting the equipment to me. Originally I would have been offline a week, and then I was going to have cable internet. The day before the install I had a knock on the door and a man for the company was on the doorstep saying that it was going to be physically impossible to get cable to my flat due to it’s location and the difficulty of running the cable to my house. So I had to call the provider and arrange to have a different set-up, which according to them would take 2 weeks to put in place. That brings us to 2 weeks ago. On that day what I actually got was a kind-of working telephone. The actual broadband equipment was coming in the post and would be up to another 7 days. On the 7th day nothing arrived, so I called again. According to the person on the phone, there was no record of my broadband or television equipment being sent out at all, so she would send it right away and it would take 3 – 5 days to arrive. 5 days later is today, and I have the broadband stuff, hence the blog post tonight, but the television is off since the set-top box wasn’t sent out! Less than impressed is something of an understatement, but sums up how I feel right now. I shall be contacting the customer services and making sure they realise just how badly I feel let down by this. It’s hampered my life as I normally live it in a very big way, but more importantly I’m supposed to be doing my job search online and I just couldn’t do that without my computer being on the internet. I couldn’t seem to get them to understand that.

That, I guess, is my big rant. There have been other things happening both good and bad but I really needed to get that off my chest. I’ll post more very soon, and I apologise for both the long wait between posts and the rant as soon as I returned!

Take care

Categories: Beginning, Life, Plans, Rants, Shopping | Leave a comment

Big Plans or Pipe Dreams?

I’m very excited. I’ve decided I need an allotment, and I’ve been told by the council that there are some available here in Town, so I shall be going this weekend to investigate and get started.

I really hope it works. I want to do it for a whole selection of reasons.
-My garden is tiny and the soil is pretty poor
-I need to cut my bills, and growing veg for a “mostly veggie” seems like a good way to go it
-I need to find other forms of exercise. While my legs are fairly toned from the cycling I do, the rest of me is lagging a long way behind.
-I want the opportunity to meet people. Growing things in a communal setting sounds like a good way to go.

I have millions of ideas of things I want to grow, and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to fit them all in, but at the moment I know I’m bracing myself for a huge amount of digging before I can put anything in the ground at all. I want the stuff I grow to have the best chance possible, so I have already concluded that I’m prepared to use chemicals as well as the more organic things. Slug pellets for one. I refuse to let the horrible little creatures anywhere near my tender growing plants!

I have already negotiated a trade. Father is prepared to help in exchange for food, and Father used to keep an allotment before I was born and while I was tiny, so this is a very profitable exchange.

Other than the assistance, I have nothing. I also have very little idea of what I’m letting myself in for other than going to a patch of ground where I’m growing things regardless of rain or sun. I have ideas of things I will need, and things I want, but nothing really more than that.

Yes, while I am excited, I’m also a bit scared. I think my biggest fears are that I’ll either lose interest and have wasted money on my hands rather than reduced bills, or that disease will strike and I’ll have nothing to show for the hard work I’ve put in!

Categories: Allotment, Beginning, Fear, Hope, Plans | 1 Comment

Create a free website or blog at


4 out of 5 dentists recommend this site


live my life with me, see the world the way I see it


Where Are We Going? Who Cares? Let’s Go.

Jesus Army Action

Taking Jesus to the people, anywhere, anytime.

Cooking on a Bootstrap

The #1 budget recipe website is the best place for your personal blog or business site.