Current Themes – An Update

Its mid May and time for an update.

Health and Fitness:  Well I did it. i completed the Moonwalk, 26.2 miles, overnight in 10 hours. Had I thought about doing this a few years ago I would have just laughed and said ‘No Chance’. Here I am today saying I have done it, what is the next challenge!

It wasn’t easy. At 5 miles I was saying to myself that I was a fool. My feet and ankle hurt even before I stasrted. At Mile 8 I told my friends to go on without me as I was so slow. I then just plodded on. chatting to people, listening to music, just saying ‘I can do another five minutes’, ‘ A mile is only 20 minutes, I can do that’. So I am happy.

I will be doing it again next year, a load of people from work want to do it with me. In the meantime the next challenge will be the Couch to 5K again which I will start in a few weeks when I have recovered.

Making Money: Still spending but have managed to earn a bit extra. Nothing amazing though.

Prepping: Nothing new here.

Decluttering and Minimising: Now the walk is over I have started to clean and clear again. Son No 3 decided he wanted to replace his drawers with a wardrobe. This meant we had to clear out his room, redecorate and at the same time he sorted through all his clothes. Books have gone by the bag load and other clutter. I am about to give a bag of stuff to my MiL for a tabletop sale at her church.

Refuse, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle: Working still on getting everything in glass or loose rather than plastic. Reuse of the week is lollipop sticks for the allotment as the weather has warmed up.

Posted in Avoid, Reduce, Recycle, charity marathon walk, cleaning and clearing, decluttering and minimalism, Health and Fitness, Making Money, Prepping, repurpose, Update on current themes, walking | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Current Themes – An Update

Its mid April and time for an update.

Health and Fitness:  The diet is non existent, good job I am doing all this excercise.

The shin splints has mostly gone but I have been having ankle pain. I have managed to walk 15 miles a few weeks ago and hope to reach 18 tomorrow on a training walk with a friend. Got to pull my finger out now as there are only three weeks to go before the Moonwalk.  I have been held up this last week by a heavy cold that had me brathless on the flat. It has nearly gone now but i have some residual catarrh and a cough. The third in the last 6 months, bummer.

Sleep still an issue. I can’t see that changing until I at least change my meds. I will be seeing the Breast Care Nurse Specialist in the next month or so will know more.

Making Money: Spending money more like it. Been away for a few breaks and done some other fun stuff. The rise in temperature here has meant more outdoors work so the money making is taking a back seat right now.

Prepping: Nothing new here.

Decluttering and Minimising: More stuff has gone but not a lot, can only concentrate on one or two things at a time and this isn’t a priority

Refuse, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle: Plastic avoidance continues but it is really hard. I have been drinking water from proper reusable bottles, taking sandwiches and food I can pack my self when out and about but everything elses is plastic. Even the teabags have it.

Posted in Avoid, Reduce, Recycle, charity marathon walk, cleaning and clearing, decluttering and minimalism, Making Money, plastics, Prepping, walking | Leave a comment

My Favourite Place: St Donats – Atlantic College, Wales

Every few years I go to Atlantic College in St Donat’s in Wales for the Beyond the Border Storytelling Festival.

There are two favourite places here, greedy eh?

The first is the walk as you arrive for the festival. you walk through the woods, lit by strings of lights which give the place a sort of mysterious feel as you look into the dimness beyond. I always have a letting go moment. A big sigh of relief and peace, as if I am passing from our normal world to another.

fairy woodland at dusk


Then you come out of that onto a field that slopes down to the sea. I always love this as I live inland. this is often my first sight of the sea of the year.


On a night when there is a clear sky the moon makes the sea glitter magically.

The festival is full of people and colour but the thing I really enjoy is exploring the gardens which are stepped down the hillside facing the sea. There are several garden rooms; the blue garden, the beast garden but the best for me is the rose garden. It has seats and places to tuck yourself away so you can contemplate the world.

rose garden at BYTB

 When I can’t sleep I take myself off to this lovely place and explore my memories of it. You can see why I use it as my header photo.


via Photo Challenge: Favorite Place

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Prepping – Coping With The Weather

Earlier this month we had a lot more snow than we are used to in the UK.

Many of you who live in these conditions on a regular basis will know about prepping for adverse conditions. Stocking up on food, water and fuel. having alternative ways of heating your home. In the UK we are quite lucky in the fact that we rarely have problems with supply of any of these commodities.

It is said that we are 3 days away from starvation. Not sure if this is just the UK but we certainly cut it close these days with supply and demand. there is very little scope if everything goes wrong and supplies can’t be moved.  So when the weather arrived many were caught with their pants down so to speak.

In my house I have a good food store, bottled water and loads of torches and candles if the electricity went off. The main weakness in my place would be keeping warm. We have gas central heating operated by electricity, no open fire or wood burner.

Many across the country were affected by sudden loss of water or power and for extended periods. Even the sturdy Cumbrians were caught out needing an airlift of food and fuel.

Predicatably, once people strated shopping again, there was a rush on staple foods; these were the bread shelves at my local ASDA:

empty shelves at asda

Even after a week stocks in the shop were not up to there usual levels.

So what is there to learn?

Assume there will be a period you can’t get to the shops, like illness, weather or something else.

Have some water stored but also a week or two of non perishable foods that you can be relied upon if needed.

If you have a car have a spade, blankets, snacks and water, something to do,  just in case you get stuck. Those people stuck on the motorway must have been feeling it after 18 hours:


We have another weather system coming over the next few days offering further freezing and snowy conditions. It will be interesting to see what happens now people have had chance to think about what happened last time



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Current Themes – An Update

We are now in the middle of March and time for an update.

Health and Fitness:  Everyone at work is dieting and I have had a bit of salad and cutting down of heavier food but not dieting yet.

The  walking has also been interrupted. this time I had something called ‘shin splints’.  The pain was really bad, especially at night, down the right shin. Current advice is to ice it and rest it. Usually caused by over excercising, (never thought I would say this about myself), I think it occurred after a walk around a local reservoir. More ups and downs than I am used to.

Not to worry. I started training early just in case something slowed me down. I am back to it and will soon reach the ten miles I was doing before. Lighter nights help. Its a pleasure to get out in fresh air.

Still struggling to get enough sleep. Most nights getting by on 5 to 6 hours sleep. Not enough so catching up at the weekend. I am plagued by restless legs. Overall I am sleeping for longer period once I have gotten off.

Making Money: Doing well at the moment. An extra £100 or so from a variety of sources including surveys this month. It is all going on my mortgage.

Prepping: This month in the UK there has been a lot of snow (for us). We didn’t go shopping for a week and then only to stock up on basics. I am happy with my preps so far. many were not so luck and had loss of power, water or were cut off. More on that in a further post.

Decluttering and Minimising: More stuff has left the house than come in this month despite me being given a load of crockery and ornaments. Most went out to the charity shop and some I will be selling. I am still clearing books, another 5 or so bags have gone. I have also given away lots of items, finding homes for things is so much better than throwing it out.

Refuse, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle: Concern about plastics have been seeping into the national conciousness and there are news stories nearly every day at the moment. I hope this continues.

My own efforts include not buying food at work. Everything has some plastic around it. I am taking in food in recycled tubs.

I have been over the allotment today and started using some of the food packaging for sed trays and to put seed trays in. I won’t ever have to buy any again. I wash all my pots and trays and reuse again and again. Even the bags for shop bought compost are reused.


Posted in Avoid, Reduce, Recycle, cleaning and clearing, decluttering and minimalism, Health and Fitness, Making Money, Prepping, recycle, repurpose, reuse, sleep, Uncategorized, walking | Tagged , | Leave a comment

International Women’s Day

Today as you may know it is the  International Women’s Day.

My nephew asked why there even needed to be such a day; we explained:

When women are enslaved, tortured, raped and beaten because they are women,

When women and girls are expected to be abused by the powerful to get where they want in life,

when an organisation pays lower rates for the same jobs as men,

when a country is proud that it  ‘allows’ women to drive,

we NEED an International Womens Day every day.

I could go on, the list is endless.

So Thanks to all of those strong women who have gone before and thanks to to quieter souls in the background who have supported them, be it women or men. Keep going. One day we may get that respect and equality that we seek.

Follow this link to show how you will #PressforProgress



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Highly Processed Foods and Cancer

Reports in the media about highly processed foods being linked to cancer are no surprise. I have been watching numerous programmes about how our food is made and I am incereasingly horrified at the amount of work that goes into even the most simple of foods.

I have been watching the BBC’s Inside the Factory. Each episode follows a product through the factory from raw ingredients to finished product; from pasta to biscuits.

Its surprising how much effort goes into the getting the perfect product.

The thing is it isn’t only chocolate bars and pop (soda). Fresh chicken and other meats are injected with chemicals and water to make them look bigger, coloured to suit our tastes. Vegetables and fruit are sprayed to keep off bugs and disease.

We have NO idea what we are really eating most of the time.

In addition to all this we are then peeing it away into the water supply. Hormones, antibiotics, chemicals. All inserted into out food supply by manufacturers increasing profit margins and trying to meet the demands for perfect food from the shops who have ld us to believe that there is no such thing as a bent carrot or mishaped apple.

In turn we the consumer have been trained to demand perfection. Neatly packaged and pure.

So I guess there is no one place to put the blame. If you want to break the mold, look out for other ways of getting good food. Growing it, buying organic, cooking from scratch.

Here is some general advice:


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