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Born this way


My calves have disowned me.

No, I’m not a dairy farmer with mutinous livestock.

I’ve just had my second run this week from Week 3 of the Couch to 5K app. And now I’m feeling it.  Mind you, it didn’t stop me from tagging a little extra run at the end, if only to keep the offending muscles moving. And you can’t beat a bit of Lady Gaga as you’re trotting along for some self-affirmation.  Oh, and it sets pace beautifully too. Normally I’d say ‘my morning run’ but today it was more of a lunchtime one because this morning has lived up to its traditional weather – April showers.

Of course, you have to understand that I was only waiting for the rain to slacken off so as not to get my iPhone wet – ahem – but it didn’t look like it was going to so I thought, what the heck – am I a man or a mogwai?


Ah. Didn’t really think that one though, did I?

Now it could be because yesterday was a 20mg day, or that my body is finally getting used to this 20mg/10mg regime, but I’m actually starting to feel some of the old me coming back. Ah. another statement I didn’t think through.  Not the old, scared-of-everything, permanently anxious me, but the good bits that existed in the old me, before the breakdown killed them off, the medication buried them and the therapy laid them to rest. RIP uncertainty, unnecessary guilt, low self-esteem and fear.

I’m keeping the good bits.

Long live passion, creativity, wit, humour, eccentricity, love, intelligence and compassion.

It’s what I like to call the Pix’n’Mix personality.  I know that this mercurial thing is just part of who I am, part of my DNA. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to have that emotional clear-out.

Bad stuff – going, going, gone!

Good stuff – well, come on in! Make yourself at home!

So what if I can’t run 5K yet?  There’s lots of things I can’t do – yet.

And that ‘yet‘ is a very important part of the equation.

Use It Up And Wear It Out


Started with Week Three of the Couch to 5K program today. Oh boy, it was tough. I mean, running three minutes? A whole three minutes? Actually, it wasn’t that bad, so clearly the past two weeks have paid off.

The 20/10 medication regime continues. The hubby asked me this morning whether it was a ‘10 day or a 20 day’. I told him 10. He said “I better wear my cycling helmet tonight then!” I assure you he was wildly exaggerating!

Anyway today was a really good day for a run. It was cool; it was sunny; it was quiet. Admittedly, there were a few pedestrians and cyclists going by. I tried to make a point of smiling and saying good morning to the pedestrians: most of which looked in shock that a “runner” was speaking to them. Or perhaps, more likely, they were surprised that I still had enough breath left to form words!

And in case you’re interested, here is my playlist, which I have on my iPhone. It lasts for 99 minutes, I get lots of variation when I put it on shuffle. I mean, who wouldn’t feel like giving it a wiggle when you listen to Groove Armada’s ‘I See You Baby (Shaking Dat Ass)’. Joyful stuff!

Go West – Village People

Armand Van Helden – Koochy

Barbra Streisand – Duck Sauce

I See You Baby – Groove Armada

U Can’t Touch This – MC Hammer

Rhythm Is A Dancer – Snap!

Strict Machine – Goldfrapp

Celebration – Kool & The Gang

Hung Up – Madonna

Cry for You – September

Let’s Groove    – Earth, Wind & Fire

Funkytown – Lipps Inc.

Use it Up And Wear It Out – Odyssey

God Is A Dj – Faithless

Some Girls – Rachel Stevens

SOS – Rihanna

Gonna Make You Sweat – C+C Music Factory

No Limit    – 2 Unlimited

Ride On Time    – Black Box

Born This Way – Lady Gaga

Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO

Now You’re Gone – Basshunter

You Make Me Feel Mighty Real – Sylvester

Word Up – Cameo

Searchin’ – Hazell Dean

No egg-scuses


It has been a very funny week. I have had a number of firsts for quite a few things. Last week as I carried on with the Couch to 5K I had one of my own fatty must run moments. I was trudging along the river path and at one point I got sort of stuck behind a very beautiful, very young (and very slim) girl and her Testosterone-Boy boyfriend (you know the type, as soon as the sun comes out; he whips off his T-shirt and flings it nonchalantly over his shoulder. Well, the sun came out and yup, off came the T-shirt and over the shoulder it went). I noticed her looking back at me a few times. It got to the point when I just knew she was going to say something.

Well, she did say something as I went trotting on behind her. They took a turn and went up to bridge over the river. I carried on trotting along and I suddenly heard a voice boom out at me.

“Go on girl! You got this! You can do it! You f***ing keep at it! Keep going!” and then as I had my thanked her and just heard her say to her boyfriend “Aw bless her.”.  I was actually really touched by her comments. I thought it was so sweet of her.

One first of the week was in the kitchen. For most of my life, I have wanted to learn how to make a Lemon Meringue Pie. I love lemon Meringue Pie. So does my husband. So I made one. But not just any Lemon Meringue. Oh no. This one was gluten free, (using the same delicious pastry recipe I formulated for mince pies last year.) And it was also vegan. Oh yes, you read that right.



Made without eggs.  I came across this miraculous recipe on Facebook (duckface issues and endless photos and insults aside, it does have its uses!). There is a group that people join to freely document their successes and disasters in the field of making meringues. It was delicious. Plus I knew it was ‘clean’ to eat too.

Another sort of first up was that yesterday I went to the natural food show up in London. There is the first hurdle… London. I haven’t ventured very far since my little episode of last year and in fact just over a year ago, it would have been difficult to get me out of my bedroom, let alone the flat. So for me to go up to London on my own and put myself in a situation where I was talking to dozens and dozens of strangers is nothing short of miraculous for me. But I managed it. Admittedly, I did have a slight panic when I emerged from the train at Waterloo to see all the crowds buzzing past me but I soon overcame that.

In short, I schmoozed with the best of them and found myself doing something that I have not done previously. I was shaking everyone’s hand, telling them what pleasure it was to meet them and it was amazing how friendly people were in return even though they knew I wasn’t going to be buying anything from them. However, that did not stop people from loading me up with the goodies and today as I’m walking around, I am definitely feeling the after-effects!

So I had a number of firsts at the show. Most notable amongst these was trying reishi mushroom tea for the first time.

It tasted like a cross between soup and tea, but not in a bad way. As in, not in the way you’d expect, either. It tasted not so much like tea that you thought ‘this soup tastes weird’ and not so much like mushrooms that you thought ‘oh my goodness this tea is rank!’

It was a great experience for me. It showed me how far I have come not only in the past year and recovering, but also how much different the new me is from the Old me.

Another exciting bit of news came when I was housebound earlier this morning. Well,  not housebound but I was an indoor kitty for a little while the plumber came to check the boiler. What I didn’t know is that he is a runner. And he told me that in the nearby park there is a 5K run every Saturday anyone can just join in. So now, thanks to him, I have a goal for my running. I will do that 5K run.

And in other news…

Oh yes, I’m on the first week of my new medication cut – strops likely! I’m alternating between 20 mg and 10 mg of the Citalopram and that seems to be going really well (ish) – the hubby asks me every morning whether it’s a ‘ten day or a twenty day’ – hence that ‘ish’.

So, all in all, it’s been a really good week. This is the kind of week I want to hold onto… This is the kind of week that I will re-read when I have an iffy moment. Good weeks are possible. And are becoming more and more possible.

I love it!

Moves like Jagger


I didn’t run the other day and do you know what? I almost missed it. Almost. In fact after less than two weeks I now have started looking forward to my every-other-day run. I mean, I am actually starting to look forward to my run. And when I really, really start looking forward to it, it’s at that point that I’ll probably start to miss it when I don’t do it.

So the next day out I went, quite gleefully although I almost didn’t make it. The air was bitterly cold. That’s a problem if you happen to be asthmatic, as I am. I don’t suffer from asthma as such, but my respiratory track can be quite the little diva at times. At one point, I’m fairly sure my left lung started singing “Do you want to build a snowman?”

But I trudged on relentlessly. Luckily (I think), I’d gone for a sugar rush breakfast of grapes and pineapple. Too much pineapple, as it turns out… My lips sort of swelled up till I looked like I was doing a Mick Jagger impersonation. Luckily, no moves like Jagger though. Let me explain… in our house the phrase “Moves like Jagger” is not a reference to the song, but a description of that knee-rubbing, thigh-clenching walk you tend to do when you make your way desperately to the toilet. You can’t unthink it…

I admit I did pick up pace while passing a pair of much fitter joggers, although I had to stop halfway to deal with muscles screaming for rest. This is what a year of medication, depression, little exercise, and no running results in!

Still using Strava app. Brilliant. Wondered why it wasn’t telling me how far I was running the other day. Turns out the volume was down too low. But probably just as well –  if I had passed the fit joggers looking like I’d just run a Marathon and then a cheery voice booms out “half a kilometre!”, it would have been very embarrassing.

So, today I went to see the doctor who commented on my ear-to-ear grin. Okay, perhaps not so much that, but definitely the fact that I seemed much happier and steadier from what she saw a couple of months ago. She asked the basic questions … How much do I drink? Nothing (Word Of Wisdom!). How much exercise was I getting? At least an hour a day: running, cycling and yoga. She then said something that startled me: “This is better than any medicine I could give you.” I wasn’t startled to hear the words, as much as I was startled to hear a doctor use them. And then I remembered, I have a very cool doctor.

And then, the best thing I’ve hard in ages – I can start decreasing my dosages. Woohoo! Watch out world, an unmedicated me will be with you in the next few months. Time for you to batten down the hatches, emigrate or whatever you feel necessary!

So, after that twin delight of news, I went home the extremely long way, and when I finally hit the river path, I thought, “Stuff it. I’ll run the rest of the way!” Possibly not the best idea with walking boots, rucksack and fleece but what the heck, I did it. In fact, I can now say I am halfway to my goal, which was to do this very distance, there and back.

Onwards and upwards!



Oscar Wilde said  “The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it… I can resist everything but temptation.”  It is indeed a tempting idea and I’m guessing many advertising companies could use this as their objective… but how much sense does it actually make?

For instance, insert chocolate cake in there somewhere (yes, please do!). The only way to get rid of temptation – for chocolate cake – is to yield to it [and eat it]. I can resist everything but chocolate cake.’ So far, so like a thousand ads… so far, so good.  So far, so safe. Chocolate cake never hurt anyone. Unless it was fired at someone by a cannon at point blank range.

But how far can you take his maxim before you actually have to start saying ‘no’ to temptations? ‘The only way to get rid of temptation to kill someone annoying is to yield to it. I can resist everything but the temptation to throttle.’ Not so funny. Or practical. And, I’m guessing, more illegal than overindulging in Death By Chocolate.  Though the results may be similar…

Have you noticed how temptation is generally something which is ‘naughty’ or ‘bad’ for us –  how many folks, out for a meal, take a long, lingering look at the dessert menu and say “Well, the tiramisu looks delicious, but I really fancy the fruit salad. I know I shouldn’t…” or, on those occasions when you have some money left at the end of the month, look at your bank balance say to yourself  ‘I’d love to get that new [insert name of item]  but I can’t resist putting the money away for a rainy day. Naughty, I know…” Or even “It’d be nice to flob out on the sofa with an industrial size bag of popcorn and a cheesy movie, but I am just so tempted to go out for a 3 mile run instead.  Ooh, it’s so tempting…”

And why do so many of these statements usually involve follow-up phrases like “I know I shouldn’t.”?  Well, if that’s truly the case, then drop the dessert menu and step away from the cake trolley with your hands in the air…

In other words – DON’T DO IT!

Cakes, treats and indulgences are fine but like anything in life, it gets to a point when common sense and training come into play.  Oh, that the biggest temptation we’ll ever have will be (I can practically taste it) that humungous slice of oozing cocoa-laden goodness. But like any video game, there’s always the next level… Which we only beat by learning how to conquer the easier levels first.

How many of us have made some really bad choices because we ‘couldn’t resist it’?  We’ve all got them. All of us.  Some big, some small, some that required several slices of Humble Pie to put right, some that require leaving the country and changing your name to Hans Blickenbaum. The common factor with them is that we wish we could have done things differently.  Even with the little ‘blips’ (possibly even the pastry-related ones!).

Learning (and being able) to say ‘no’ to every single little whim that comes our way may be boring, old-fashioned even, possibly even desperately un PC but it’s great training.  If I were to train to swim the Channel (ain’t ever gonna happen), I think I’d prefer not to start my training by someone chucking me off the P&O ferry just outside Dover while yelling supportively “Start paddling!”

I just hope that when the major temptations come our way, we’ll be trained up enough to listen to ourselves saying “I know I shouldn’t” and actually follow that advice.  In the meantime, pass the cake fork…

Friday the 13th! Unlucky for no-one.


So here I am, the last day of the Easter holidays…  Does the flat look like a showhome? Have I caught up with all the writing I know I should have done? Are little bluebirds tweeting delightedly in the kitchen as they do the dishes?  Hail no.  On all counts.  But it’s been a fabulous couple of weeks.  Okay, it’s been a good couple of weeks.  Oh alright, apart from a very wobbly start, it’s been an enjoyable and mostly relaxing fortnight.

There are tales to tell, of course, but if I wrote it all down, it would probably come off as incredible.  Plus, they would be exactly that – tales.  I always think if the news ain’t yours, it ain’t your story to tell.  Okay, so I did have a few er, interesting things happen but that’s for me to know etc.  Sadly, the most interesting stories do inevitably involve other people.  That’s what makes them interesting.  What funny creatures we are.

But I have learned the following…

  • I will try to expect shop assistants to make polite conversation with me, so I don’t look blankly at them when they expect an answer to a simple question like “So are you doing something nice for Easter?”
  • If someone tries to manipulate me, I will simply smile and say “That’s nice.” Mrs Brown style.
  • I will be grateful for every thing I have in my life.  Should keep me busy for a while.
  • I will not mix raw onion bhajis with olives in a salad.


  • You can only put off procrastinating for so long.

Hello world!


Ok, bloggy-blog-blog.  Here we go.  I didn’t choose the title but I think I may well just leave it there.  My choice currently would be more along the lines “Stop the world! I wanna get off!”.

And now the silence as I promptly forget that I have this facility, forget my password, forget who I am as I wake up in a motel with a strange corpse nearby.

No. That last bit’s the start of pretty much any film noir… My mistake.

Humphrey Bogart would never has forgotten his password. Or his email address.