Tag Archives: Natural Health

Bath Time

Am now back after three days away in the campervan. Have to say that the campervan is a real boon to our life. Being able to take these short breaks in the middle of the week when my hubby has some time of work is just wonderful.

Though only a short break it was one of the most relaxing breaks we’ve had in a while. Very chilled, even though it was was of course, in a heatwave.

We took a quick break down in Bath, a city we haven’t been to in well over a decade. And this time we actually did a lot of the tourist things that we wouldn’t normally do and it was fab!

Knowing we had the time away, I pre-booked tickets to get into the Roman baths, somewhere that I have never actually visited before.  They are very well curated, though I wouldn’t want to jump in that water, though I believe it wouldn’t have been green in Roman times. I vaguely remember hearing that that colour is down to something we’re doing that the Romans didn’t, though I can’t remember what. We did of course have a drink of the waters, there’s a special fountain point at the end of the tour where you can. I was surprised how warm the water comes up from the ground, and no as bad tasting as some I’ve drunk from other spas.

With the cathedral being a step away from the baths, we or course went in, and lovely it is too. Some wonderful stained glasses, and it always amazes me how memorial masons manage to get such fine and lifelike detail from marble. We also wandered along the river and got a lovely view of the unusual v-shaped weir, where, of course we did a geocache.

We also visited the Jane Austen Centre, which was something of a surprise, and hugely interesting. I knew Jane had many siblings, though I didn’t know there were eight of them in total or that they were all encouraged to learn ‘finger speech’, what we would call sign language, as the second of the eight children was deaf. I hadn’t really thought about the idea that sign language had been around that long, and that’s something I want to learn more about.

We also got in a trip to No 1 Royal Crescent, where you can walk through the house and the lives of a great Georgian family on the way up. On the way down, you get to see the servants point and view. Have to say I wouldn’t have wanted to be going up and down those stairs day in, day out. But it was interesting to see how the kitchen was set out, in many ways it had a modern feel to it. Though there were obviously none of what we would call modern conveniences such as fridges, they did store things in the cold, and given that we were there on a hot day, it was a refreshing point of the visit. 

That of course took us into the Royal Crescent itself, which is beautiful, and reminded me of the episode of MacDonalds & Dobbs in which Martin Kemp, amongst other 80s stars, crash landed a balloon there, after Rob Brydon’s character had sabotaged it.  Which made later walking past the city police station interesting – a new nice modern building by the way.

In the evenings, I did a lot of reading, a bit of cross stitch, played scrabble (got my first ever 7 letter word), played cards, enjoyed the evenings and just generally relaxed a lot more than I usually do.

Yes, Bath is a lovely city and if you get the chance to go there, it’s well worth the time. All the times you get to see there.

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Good Health

I realised the other day that I’ve not blogged for a while discussing mental health. There are two reasons for this. The first is simply that I have been busy, as my last post says. The second thing is that, honestly, my mental health has been really good. I’ve had to work at it, and it’s taking time. But I’m in a good place.

It’s odd how when our mental health is good, we don’t notice it. But after the Harrogate festival I’ve seen a fair number of attendees say they have, unfortunately, contracted covid. These people have my sympathy, because my understanding is that covid’s not nice.

Oddly, no one in my household has contracted covid at any point since its first arrival in the country. We have gone through the usual testing processes, especially as my husband and daughter worked throughout the pandemic. I did too, but was working from home.

We tend to put this good health down to good luck.

I’m also aware that poor mental health can have a serious and negative effect on the immune system. I’m not suggesting that those who picked up covid are suffering poor mental health, some might be, some might not, I have no evidence either way. I’m saying that my physical health is currently good. I’m a woman of a certain age, so there are issues, but nothing major. Given what I have been through the last few years, I am glad to say that for the last few months, probably a year now, my mental health has been good. I’m very grateful for this.

I love doing what I do now.

I love writing. I love editing. I’m grateful for the opportunity to read books I might not otherwise see, and I hope that I help other authors. And even though it’s a lot of work, I love helping organise the Gŵyl CRIME CYMRU Festival.

This blog is really to say that we should all celebrate the small stuff and acknowledge the good. Cheering the good is much better than bemoaning the bad. It’s good to have good mental health, and I appreciate being in that fortunate position.

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Good Day

Today has been a good one.  Had a nice long lie in. Got up about 11, then at 3 we made time for those special three words.

All Day Breakfast.

Sausage, bacon, black pudding, fried mushrooms, baked bean, and of course toast.

This is not a healthy breakfast, even when it replaces lunch. But it’s not something we do often.  In fact the last time we had a full cooked breakfast was September last year. So as a one off treat – it’s fab.

Also though today, I’ve been working on my WIP.  This is now coming together nicely. I’ve managed five thousand words today, that’s my best in a long time.  And I’m not finished yet.

Yes, a good day all round.

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Daily

Started this daily blogging because of feeling low and with lockdown, it was something regular to focus on. I’ve noticed that now I’m feeling mentally better, and I’m back into the swing of writing, that I’m missing days because I’m just so busy that I forget to blog. I’m also finding that after a full day of computer work, I want to turn it off more of the evening.

So, as lockdown starts to lift, which will mean I’ve even more things to do, I am going to keep blogging, but not feel bad if I miss a day or two.

Today has already been busy, I had to go out to take parcels to be returned to Amazon (weird thing is I think the Amazon depot is actually closer to me than the drop off point), and gone to a the supermarket, as well as deciding not to go into another shop because the queue outside in the rain was too long. Got writing, ironing and family stuff to fill the rest of the day with.

I am glad lockdown is starting to ease, but the only place I really want to go is 80 miles away, to visit our son. I’m not sure if things have eased that much, especially since it means crossing the Welsh-English border.

I am looking forward to tonight, though. We’re having chicken wings and homemade pizza and watching “EuroVision”. While I would generally avoid a Will Farrell film like the plague, I’ve heard good things about this one, and am prepared to give it a go.  This is also the reason for the early blog today.

Have a good weekend, all.

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Too Fast

The days go too fast!

Only now am I seeing that I didn’t blog last night, that’s because I’ve been busy and tired.  I am finally making some headway with my WIP.  I know the story order and I am now moving through it start to finish. By being more logical about what can and can’t happen, what characters would or wouldn’t know at these various points is clearing the path so I can see where I’m going. Also by doing this, I’ve realised that there is a whole new thread that I need to weave in, and it’s a good one.

I think that one of the reasons I’m struggling so much with actually writing this book is because as it’s the series finale it draws together a lot of the threads from the earlier books. I’m conscious that it’s possible that a reader won’t have read those books, which means I have to do a fair amount of explanation. The problem is balancing that with the readers who have read the previous books, who don’t want to be bored.

Luckily, I have two characters who alternated books, so they can ask if something comes up that they don’t know about. I also have a third character who starts the book without his memory, and gradually regains it through the journey of the book, so I have ways to show the past, I just need to avoid data-dumps. They’re boring to read and as bad to write.

So that’s where you’ll find me at the moment, sitting and writing, and it’s great to be back in the swing of things again.

Oh, and on the natural health side. I’ve restarted the multivitamins, minerals and high-level iron, as a result my skin is clearing up again and I’m feeling generally better.

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Macaron

Macaron Basics Part 2: The French Method | The Cake Merchant

I just said something it never occurred to me I might actually say. 

“Macarons are on my bucket list of baking.”

Weird things to say, but, also, it’s true.  I like baking, don’t bake often, but I like doing it.  Now, macarons are something that I’ve been thinking of making for many years and just never got around to trying. But I will.

Right now I’m watching Bake Off: The Professionals, and I am stunned each week how good those guys are – even the ones who end up going home. 

And it’s chocolate week.  So, you know, bye!

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Van Trip

Today’s been better.  After all the stir crazy, we managed to go out in the van and park by the shore. Though we couldn’t go far between the many showers, it was good to be away from the house and in more fresh air.

I’d packed a picnic, we had soda cans in the fridge, gala pie, cocktail sausages, apple pies and lots of other good things.  So, we had plenty of supplies and were about to stay out for five lovely hours of not being at home. More importantly, we had a toilet in case of getting caught short. 

It was definitely a great way to go out in splendid isolation.

The pic is with my hubby, and daughter, and I was trying to wave at the camera, which is the weird hand position, and oh my God the fat! Still, also, the happy.

And what was good, I managed to work out the rubbish in my latest WIP, that’s what the board on my lap is.  It’s part of a puzzle board that I was sticking scraps of paper to. The scraps were scene details and I was putting them in an order that makes sense.  I also read 35 pages of “The Invisible Man” which I am finding difficult to get through.

A good day really.

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Cleaner

Clearly the last few days have not been great for me. I am moving through the darkest part of the mood, I’m more ‘functional’ again.

One thing I didn’t mention in my posts is that I stank. Yes, really stank. The heat that kept me away at night made me sweat through the day.  Yesterday my blouse was damp to wringing wet.  I was sweaty and I stank. I also hadn’t released my hair from the plait I put in on Tuesday night to sleep in. I almost always do this to control my hair overnight. Because my hair was dirty, the plait just stayed in. Yes, I disgust even myself.

So tonight, I had a bath. It was lovely to soak in hot water, and listen to an Audible book. It was actually quite difficult to get the plait out of my hair, and there was a knot that I had to actually bite out to remove it. So now, I’m clean, washed hair, and feeling better. Am also in clean PJs which is so comfortable.

Realised today that I’ve been neglecting a lot of other things too.  Like I’ve not been taking my usual supplements. Self-neglect and depression are mutually reinforcing. I look a mess, feel a mess and I know that I did that to myself, and that that’s stupid, ergo I’m stupid. Since intelligence is something I prize and take pride in, being stupid depresses me. Vicious circle.

Fact is, I’m no genius, but I am smart, I try to be smarter than my illness, but sometimes it creeps up on me.  Now I have to be smart enough to push it back away.

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Bounce

“What was that?” Belgarath asked, coming back around the corner.

“Brill,” Silk replied blandly, pulling his Murgo robe back on.

“Again?” Belgarath demanded with exasperation. “What was he doing this time?”

“Trying to fly, last time I saw him.” Silk smirked.

The old man looked puzzled.

“He wasn’t doing it very well,” Silk added.

Belgarath shrugged. “Maybe it’ll come to him in time.”

“He doesn’t really have all that much time.” Silk glanced out over the edge.

From far below – terribly far below – there came a faint, muffled crash; then, after several seconds, another. “Does bouncing count?” Silk asked.

The above is a quote from David Eddings, from the book Magicians Gambit.  I picked this to share because I love this book, but also because it kind of feels like what I’m doing.

Yesterday really was a terrible day, the day before was worse.  I’m less depressed today, but not back to normal by any means.  While hubby was working (he would have been there for me otherwise) a mate of mine helped talk me back from the dive last night, and I’ll always be grateful for that. 

A condition like depression isn’t easy, it doesn’t comes and goes, and often for no reason.  I don’t know what kicked this downturn off.  I haven’t been sleeping, but I think everyone is suffering with that in the current heat.

All I want to say is that I am on the upsweep, bottom of maybe, but getting there.

Thank God for friends.

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Bad Day

I grew up in a council estate. Went to a comprehensive school. Been working since I was 12, started on market stalls, cleaned lots of places, worked in an old peoples home. I studied hard to get A-levels then had to give up my first degree and moved away from my hometown. Moved up to office work. I met a man, got married, started studying for the degree I now have while working full time, began the course 8 months pregnant with my son, ended it six months pregnant with my daughter. I’ve written many novels, two published by an independent publisher, one self-published. I’ve got contracts for one more standalone, and a series of five steampunk novels.

You know what this makes me? 

An arsehole.

You know what I see in the mirror?

A failure.

I dislike the book “Wuthering Heights” because there is not a single likeable character, they all deserve the misery they got.  They are all nicer people than I am.

Real bad day, sorry.

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