Monday Miscellany: ‘Aunty Nic, horsie’

Happy Monday!Those of you following along on Instagram, will already see that I was a horsie yesterday. We had played the ‘wrap J in a blanket, put him on the sofa and then ask where he’s gone’ game, several times. But after lunch I was sitting on the floor and found myself being climbed on! He’s at that whirlwind stage, the eldest is at that ‘grown ups are boring’ phase and we hardly saw him!

The rest of last week was standard, the weather was lovely for most of it and my lunchtime walks have been delightful. Also for our emphasis on mental health at work (the Thrive programme), I shared about my SAD and what I do to survive winter. Lot’s of people are telling me I’m brave, I don’t think I am but it’s nice that people think so!

The big news is my walks with Fred and S are soon to be over, so I’ll have to make the most of them between now and ChristmasAlthough they are going somewhere, we don’t stop being friends who are like family and there will be other walks but I will miss these ones…

Finally, my lovely friend Jen, along with some others has launched a kickstarter for their project ‘Out of the Box Cards’. Jen was really tired of only being able to buy girly pink princess cards for her nieces and granddaughters. So she’s doing something about it…

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Sunday Music: Give Me the Night

Today is my brother’s birthday. A couple of years ago he and Mum went to see George Benson. One of the things that all three of us agree on is George and it’s definitely something we both get from our mother!

Happy Birthday B.


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Recommendations: Always Infinity

Saturday recommendations are about the things I use and think work or help me in some way. Sometimes, I use things that I don’t like because I have to, for example, my hoover. It’s not a terrible hoover, it does the job but it’s also not something I’d recommend if someone I knew was in the market for a new hoover.

This is a very long winded way of explaining why these are on recommended list and also why we are about to talk about periods, so look away now if you’re squeamish about these things.

I’m (much to my dismay) still having periods, I was talking to a group of friends all in their forties about this and we are all of us, just done with it. While we know that the menopause is no walk in the park, we are all ready to stop having periods. Which is ironic if you consider how desperate we were to start having them as teenagers. More than 30 years in, I’m ready to stop. However, while perimenopause is kicking my arse with PMT, hormones and a slightly more irregular cycle, periods are still happening and I’m probably looking at another 10 years of this nonsense from my body.

I would love to be someone that could use a mooncup or tampons. I am not for a host of reasons but mostly to do with my insides, I have a retroverted uterus (it tilts the wrong way) and a problem cervix (being a woman is such fun!). I have tried, it’s never really worked and so mostly I use sanitary towels.

This is where we all need to take a minute and reflect on how far we’ve come in terms of sanitary protection. When I was a kid, they were really thick, like nappies and sanitary belts were still a thing (I never used one but they were an option). We talk about period poverty now, I’m lucky that it was never something I ever had to consider as a teenager but I like to think about the story of ‘Nuffield’s Nifties’. During the Second World War, Lord Nuffield supplied, at his own cost, sanitary towels to women in the Services, because they were new and therefore expensive, and women couldn’t afford them and the war effort couldn’t afford to have women at home when they could be working. It’s a great story about a kind thing, Lord Nuffield did but it reminds me that women, especially poor ones, were mostly still using rags. That’s my grandmother’s generation and it’s probably still the case in the Third World, so although being a woman sucks and periods are expensive to have, I am very lucky to live where and when I do, even in this!

So let’s get to the point. Always infinity are the best ones I have ever used because they (mostly) don’t leak and they aren’t scented. They are more expensive than the regular ones but I buy them in Savers where they are £2 a packet.

They don’t make me want to roller skate or fill me with joy but they make an awkward, messy week a bit less awkward and messy, which is all you really want them to do

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Friday Links: Brexit, Northern Ireland and Mum’s who shouldn’t tweet

Happy Friday! This week has been tough because it’s been so much darker in the morning and yesterday the bulb in the wake up lamp decided to die, that was not a fun morning! This weekend, I’m walking with Sarah and Fred, allotmenting and spending a Sunday with the family for my brother’s birthday. Fun

Here are this week’s links….

On Brexit, the Tories are gaslighting half the country

A Warning From Europe: The Worst Is Yet to Come. I’m not a fan of Anne Applebaum and I’m not sure I agree with her analysis of the causes of this issue but it’s worth reading anyway.

Ending Sexual Violence by Raising Better Boys. I’m not raising children but for those that are, I feel this is really useful and it fact it makes me thinks about the way I interact with my nephews. Mind you, the littlest one only comes near me if I have a blanket, because apparently all blankets are his!  But the point is, if we want change, we need to  make it and my observation is that the more we talk about this stuff the easier it gets.

Shoebox Britain: how shrinking homes are affecting our health and happiness

Amazon Created a Hiring Tool Using A.I. It Immediately Started Discriminating Against Women. Even robots are sexist…

How a mom’s “This Is My Son” anti-feminist brag went viral — and completely backfired. This is lovely, I’m not sure what she was thinking but she has a lovely, kind son…

As a decriminalisation bill is brought to Westminster, Northern Irish women tell their stories of abortion. The DUP has spent a lot of time telling the world that they don’t want NI to be treated any differently from the rest of the UK when it leaves the EU. The truth is they want NI to be treated differently all the bloody time. Women have been able to have abortions in the UK longer than I have been alive but not in NI. It’s apparently a devolved matter, they should campaign in NI but there is no devolved government in NI to talk to. If Scotland’s parliament couldn’t get itself together and form a government, Westminster would take control, but that doesn’t happen in NI. Ireland has always (on both sides of the divide) had a problem with its politicians, they are rank hypocrites and while Eire seems to be dealing with that, NI and especially the DUP is still busy saying no. Honestly, they need give themselves a talking to because the Prime Minister won’t.

The DUP has its ‘blood-red’ line. Does Theresa May dare cross it?. I agree with her about Sinn Fein, but they won’t, it’s that oath to the Queen. I’d take that oath with my fingers crossed but I do understand why they won’t, nationalism makes people a bit nuts…

Sleep: how much do we really need? Right now I need all of the sleep.

This is the very fattest bear in Katmai National Park. Fat bears!  I think I want to be a bear, a summer of mindless eating and then a really long sleep…

Puppy Cuteness Is Perfectly Timed to Manipulate Humans

The Viruses That Neanderthals Spread to Humans



Melania Trump: “I’m the Most Bullied Person in the World” Hyperbole, something she does have in common with her husband!


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Monthly Goals – September/October 2018

This post is later than I intended, we are 11 days into October and I feel that all I have been doing is playing catch up but the time is now, so let’s talk about how September went and how I’m planning to deal with October.

September was great, my holiday was just what I needed, although as they often are, far too short but I feel better for the break and it was just in time to give me enough mental energy to gear up for autumn. It’s really hard to remember what else I did in September, it was a pretty quiet month. Here’s how I did with my specific goals.

Bedtime, Wake up time and Golden HourThe goal was to really knuckle down and into a sleep and wake up routine. Having a 10pm bedtime and getting up at 6am or within that time on the weekend. Honestly, apart from when I was on holiday, I’ve rocked this. I switched on the wake up lamp and have done really well. I don’t much enjoy it but there is a feeling of satisfaction when I do it because I don’t like it but I am prioritising this because it is important, it’s like taking a yucky medicine.


Walk to and from the station every work day. 30 min lunchtime walk when I’m in the office. The walk to and from the station has been easy, because I have to get to the station so I walk, but the lunchtime one was trickier to make myself do, I would say that I did it 50% of the month and I’ve done it every day I’ve been in the office since I came back from holiday.


I’ll like to do something everyday while I’m on holiday (and maybe get Ma to do with me as she’s given up Pilates) and at least three times a week during the month. I failed to do any yoga while away and only managed this 3 times in the whole month.


Squats (20), sit ups (10), press ups (10). It’s pathetically little but I want to hit it every other day. I managed this every day before my holiday and not at all after.


HouseworkA weekly clean of the kitchen, hall and bathroom (including hoovering and mopping). Ironing, nothing that needs ironing hanging around more than a day. It was going so well but then I came back from holiday and the house was overwhelmed with tomatoes and squash and I was overwhelmed. I got it back into shape last week but as a goal it works

ProjectsDefrost the freezer/clear out the fridge. Clean the oven. No I did not do these things, I really need to do them.

Book de-clutter

I’m going to Barter Books so time to get rid of my excess books, so I can trade them in for more books. Of course this is the one that I did, I got £18 for the old books and brought 4 ‘new’ ones back and paid for Ma’s ‘Life of Samuel Johnson’ with my profits.


We didn’t do much with this list in September.

New things

  • Make a patio next to the shed
  • Buy sand,
  • Buy pavers
  • Level ground
  • Path next to shed
  • Woodchip
  • Borders
  • Pavers


  • Paint the shed
  • Plant autumn bulbs
  • Sow
  • pak choi
  • mustard
  • land cress
  • black radish
  • parsley
  • Get the lavender into the ground or bigger terracotta pots. Almost done, two more plants to rehome
  • Sort out the canes and get rid of the weak broken ones
  • Manure the rhubarb
  • Manure and cover the beds we aren’t going to use over winter


Meal Planning and Food budget & Birthday/Christmas prep

I just wanted to get myself a bit more organised. With both of these things, and I think I am. I need to plan a bit more to handle the birthday/Christmas onslaught but I’m getting there.

My plans for October month are all the things I didn’t get done it September. Keeping simple here…

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Allotment Adventures: Discouraged

I’m feeling discouraged mostly because of the sodding aphids. I had to pull up some kale plants because they were infested, bloody infested with cabbage aphids. Then I went to pick some chard to find that the bloody ants have been at it with the blackfly. On the chard FFS! I hate them.

Hopefully, we have it contained but that combined with the end of the summer garden left me feeling a bit flat.

Still some things got done, I cleared the three sisters bed, Ma cut down the aramanth, I started pruning back the raspberries. Next week, we don’t have much time on the plot and the week after that is the pumpkin walk. It feel like October is rushing by and I haven’t got much done.

Today is Mental Health Awareness Day, so it’s probably a good time to acknowledge how beneficial the plot has been for my mental health. It has given me exercise, a new community of people and all of that has been great. It’s also made me much more aware of how miserable and tired I get at this time of year. Which is why I’m feeling so discombobulated right now. The foxes are digging up all the paths and the aphids and all I can see is what I haven’t done, can’t do or don’t have time for.

It’ll be fine because it’s not terrible, the plot is in pretty good shape, there is always work to do and my mood will improve in about 6 months!

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Monday Misc: WTF

I am not living my best life right now.

I’m tired, grumpy and feel that I’m severely lacking sleep. Welcome to autumn SAD’s.

Over the last week, as if to add insult to injury, I got completely soaked while walking the dog this weekend, I’ve had to pull up most of the kale because of cabbage aphids, I came on and this morning the a chunk of the bath mat decided to stay in the bath as I pulled it up!

All of these petty annoyances are nothing compared to the state of the world right now, which is going to hell in a handcart.

So I’m not feeling very optimistic about anything this week. It will pass but if anyone quotes Julian of Norwich to me, I might explode!

Given my stellar mood this week, I shall be doing very little, it’ll be a ‘work, home, sleep, repeat’ kind of week, because I shouldn’t be around people, it’s dangerous.

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