Recent Posts

  • I (finally) love my curly hair | Blogtober 15

    I (finally) love my curly hair | Blogtober 15
  • Starting to Feel Human (ish) | Blogtober 14

    Starting to Feel Human (ish) | Blogtober 14

I (finally) love my curly hair | Blogtober 15

I (finally) love my curly hair | Blogtober 15

One of the benefits of getting older is that not only do I worry much less what people think of me, but I am also starting to love myself and the way I look a little more.

It’s a tough thing to admit that I don’t always like what I see in the mirror and I definitely have days where I want to wear my duvet and not leave the house, but I am trying very hard to not always let that voice in my head get so loud.

For years, I have always hated my hair. It was curly, it has been curly from birth and I ALWAYS wished it was straight. I used to look at other girls, other women, colleagues, friends and literally anyone with straight hair with envy. Straight hair always looks so neat and tidy. It could be teased into gentle waves, have a poker straight fringe and pony tails looked cute. My hair has always looked messy, it has always grown down, but also out. I hated it.

Until I was about 26-27 I wore it short as that is how it had been since I was a kid and I started straightening it the second I could get my hands on straighteners. I toyed with having it long mid-teens, but I had no clue what to do with it, so it ended up as a fluffy pineapple atop my head.

My mum wasn’t very girly and as a lifelong sporter of short curly hair herself she used to scoff at people with long hair, perpetually wondering why they would grow it long and then tie it up. (One of many odd things she thought).

I have been to countless hairdressers over the year and I have yet to find one that could cope with curly hair. I ALWAYS got it blown straight as if I was ever feeling brave and asked them to dry it curly, I came out looking like an 80s fluffball

So in the mid 2000s I found out about a treatment called opti-smooth with claimed it would permanently straighten my hair. I couldnt believe it, but was at the point of frustration, where I was willing to give anything a go!

The treatment was over £250 and took 4-5 hours. But these were the results:

Their claims were true, my hair was straight, even when wet – it was a MIRACLE! The treatment lasted until my hair grew it out, which was usually about 10-12 months at which point I had to have it done again. I carried on doing this for a good few years, until I had it done one time and it didn’t take.

I didn’t notice at first and then one particularly bitchy colleague said to me “Do you know your hair is curly at the back?”, I ignored her, but checked with M when I got home, who assured me it was straight. But then we saw my then tiny niece who asked me “Auntie Gill, why is your hair curly at the back?”. So back I went to the hairdressers, who re-did it for free, but it still didn’t take. 😡

So since about 2013 I have reluctantly let my hair go curly, only really feeling comfortable with it in last 12-18 months.

I just sort of realised one day that my hair is NEVER going to look neat and tidy in the same way that straight hair does and that’s ok. I’ve also started to use some better products to look after my hair, making sure to use good conditioner and serums to tame the frizz. I also don’t wash my hair that often, perhaps once a week and my hair copes fine with that.

But mostly, I tell myself that my hair is my hair and I am ok with that. Age has done that for me… lucky me.

G x

Starting to Feel Human (ish) | Blogtober 14

Starting to Feel Human (ish) | Blogtober 14

So I finally think the Killer Cornwall Cold is finally starting to leave the building! I actually ventured out of the house by myself yesterday to do a bit of shopping. It’s only a couple of weeks from Halloween and traditionally M and I (well mostly me) love a bit of decoration for the house and so we do already have some quite a few nice bits, but I always like looking in case there is anything else that takes my fancy. This time, not so much, but I did get a few little bits that I needed, so all good. Here is my Insta showing a few of our decorations:

I have got a really busy week this week with trips to Preston, Halton and London, one of which I am bit nervous about. On Thursday I am delivering some training for the 1st time in a subject that is relatively new to me. I have done a fair bit of swotting up and I think I know my stuff, but I am still a little 😫. However, I have got to keep telling myself that I am a very experienced trainer and so I need to trust my abilities a little more.

But otherwise it’s nice to be busy and I’ve been at home a lot lately and it will be nice to get out and about for a few days.

Right then, I am currently watching The Fugitive with Harrison Ford – gawd I love a retro film. I can’t bring myself to call it an “old movie” as to me, these are Black and White!

See you tomorrow!

G x

The Killer Cornwall Cold | Blogtober 13

The Killer Cornwall Cold | Blogtober 13

So you know when you have a burst of creative inspiration and then decide to a blog series, but then come back from a business trip feeling like death which stops everything in its tracks.. No? Just me then!!!

On my penultimate night in Cornwall I started to feel yucky and by the morning, I was feeling awful. Thankfully my flight was on time, and none of my taxi drivers wanted to chat too much.

But once I was home, my body sort of gave up the ghost and the cold took full hold. Scratchy throat, snotty nose and my nemesis, a rotten cough. I say my nemesis as I had the WORST whooping cough in 2016 and was a coughing mess for 6 weeks. *shudders*.

The next thing that inevitably happened was that M got it too. Which means that for the past week we have been in living parallel lives in the same house. Taking various cold remedies every 4 hours whilst having the energy levels of weak kittens. M has slept on our top floor for a few nights so avoid either one of us coughing too much and keeping the other one awake. I have actually worked all week and this was only possible as I work from home, but there was definitely one day when I couldn’t speak to anyone as the coughing was ROUGH!

But I think that after just over a week, we are starting to feel better. We actually went to Bents Garden & Home yesterday for breakfast and didn’t need a 2 x hour nap afterwards! They have already started their Christmas campaign and the shop was full of Christmas trees and decorations!! It feels WAY too early yet, I am only just starting to think about Halloween!

Anyway, I wanted to apologise for being absent, but now most of the cold fog has cleared, I should be business as usual!

Catch you tomorrow!

Gill x

Changing to Multifocal lenses | Blogtober 9

Changing to Multifocal lenses | Blogtober 9

In the last few months my body had literally yelled at me “You are 45 and here are a few things to prove it!” One thing is the menopause and the other thing is that whilst I’ve had glasses for distance for about 17 years, I now also need glasses for reading. OK then.

For years though, I have been going to Specsavers in St Helens, but I am not going to lie their customer service is very hit and miss. It’s always VERY busy and sometimes the staff are great and others, not so much. St Helens has very much become a ghost town with all the major retailers pulling out of the town centre and to be honest, Specsavers was one of the few reasons we would still go in.

BUT… in my last visit the waits was long and customer service poor, so I decided to switch opticians. After an approximate 3 second search, I found out there was a Vision Express in a Tesco Superstore not that far from me, so I decided to give it a go.

My bulletted impression is as follows:

  • VERY small store
  • Helpful staff (although one had a dreadful cold which I was afeared to catch whilst she was talking to me)
  • Awful chair in the initial consultation room (I cut my ankle trying to move the very heavy chair closer to the apparatus).
  • Good consultation with the optician re: general eyesight
  • Texts to remind me of appointments are very helpful
  • Contact lens consultation was only ok.

So now I have multi-focal glasses AND contact lenses. It took me about 1.5 weeks to get used to the glasses as they have a slightly blurred aspect on the each side of the lens with a prescription on the top of the lens for distance with the reading prescription on the bottom. I think years ago, these types of glasses would have a separation line, but now it’s just a normal looking lens.

When I first wore my new specs, everything felt a bit “swimmy”. My eyes felt very tired at the end of each day and I really had to persevere not to revert back to my old glasses. But all the advice that I had been given and/or seen told me NOT to put my old glasses back on as it would take my eyes and brain longer to adjust. So as I said, it took me about a week and a half before I realised at the end of the day, my eyes didn’t feel tired and I hadn’t really noticed the fact that I was wearing them during the day.

It’s true that with multi-focal lenses that you have to position your eye in the lens which results in a little head bobbing at first, but eventually it becomes second nature.

I am now starting to also try out multifocal contact lenses and so far so good – although I have NO idea how they work.. literally none. I did ask the optician at Vision Express and he just shrugged and said that they just centred themselves. ?!?!?*

Anyway, if you are wondering whether or not to give them a go, then I would say go for it. Most opticians let you try them for a while and will give you a full refund if it turns out they aren’t for you. My M tried them a while a go and couldn’t get used to them, so he just took them back.

If you have tried any of the above, why not leave me a comment to say how you got on..

G x

p.s. I found this video on YouTube which explain how mutli-focal contact lenses work. It’s basically an advert, but it’s a good explanation.

Everything is upside down |Blogtober 5

Everything is upside down |Blogtober 5

I do sometimes wonder how this period in history will be remembered 50 years from now and just how many dissertations about BREXIT will be written in the next 10 years! To me it feels like the downward spiral started in 2016, the year in which SO many famous people died, Trump was elected and the UK voted to leave the EU. It somehow has got worse worse week by week with no end in sight.

The last few years has actually taught me a few things about myself, mainly that I am a liberalist who sees good things in diversity and also that I really want us to stay in the EU.

Yes, I voted remain, which does seem to stand at odds with what my local constituency voted, but that doesn’t and should matter to me.

Ok there are a few reasons why I voted to remain and as we know I love a list, so here are the top 3 reasons:

  • I love being part of the European Community and I don’t think being proudly British and part of the EU are mutually exclusive.
  • My sister and her small family have some serious medical issues, and whilst we are still in the EU they would receive free medical care whilst on holiday in Europe. If we leave, especially without a deal, then this would immediately disappear.
  • The backstop. I remember the fighting in Ireland and how long it took to come to The Good Friday Agreement. I am not saying we would go back there, but a hard border is definitely a step in the wrong direction.

I hate the way the politicians are dealing with it all, stood in parliament using age old language, unable to agree on a way forward, despite over 3 years of trying. I hate the way Brexit has become so divisive between ordinary people, each determined that it’s their way or NO way. Social media hasn’t been fun for a while as people add letters to their socials to indicate their Brexit preference. “Remoaners” or “Brexiteers” are just made up terms to fling dirt at one another. I hate it all. No matter what we all voted for in 2016, none of us voted for this mess.

Then of course there is Trump. He continues to be a misogynistic, bombastic leader who seems to listen to no-one. He uses Twitter to feed his ego and as a place to shout dangerous rhetoric. Be maybe there is hope? As I write, he is on the verge of being impeached for trying to blackmail the Ukrainian leader. His election and presidency makes me wonder how America could have got it so wrong.

Having someone with such harsh and right wing opinions in a position of power can never lead anywhere good. Calling yourself a “stable genius” without any sense of irony, along with calls to “Send them home” are now somehow accepted? How is that possible? How do we want this mentality for future generations? How can we ignore such disgusting and immoral behaviour…from a president?!

So here’s the thing. Quite a lot of people aren’t ignoring this behaviour, either of Trump or of people spreading hate right here in the UK. But good, kind and welcoming people don’t make the news. Katy “couldn’t win the Apprentice” Hopkins and Nigel “fuckface” Farage will provide 10 sound bites per hour for literally anyone and their onerous political views will always make news.

But the world is still full of wonderful people who are doing everything they can to make the world a better place. People and organisations that help refugees and who support marginalised groups of people are still going strong and will continue to do so. My town held its first Pride this year and the people standing up for what they believe in have been epic!

So I encourage you to MUTE your social media and turn off the news from time to time if it all gets a bit much and focus on the positive. I try to think that whilst it’s a maelstrom in the world of politics at the moment, it’s quite a period of history to live through. I just hope we come out alive.

G X

See Blogtober 4 – Daisy’s Illness Update >>here<<

Daisy’s Illness Update| Blogtober 4

Daisy’s Illness Update| Blogtober 4

So after my little jaunt to Cornwall this week, I thought I would spend today chilling out and in today’s blog, I would give you a little update on how our dog Daisy is getting on.

You may have seen if you follow my social media that at the end of August and the beginning of September I noticed Daisy was drinking more than normal and booked her in at our local vets. We were told that she could potentially had a deadly disease she would have caught from a sandfly back in Romania (her home country).

A few tests revealed that she DIDN’T have the disease, but she did have a poorly liver. One biopsy later and a few MORE tests later we got the news whilst we were away in Anglesey that her liver issues were benign and reversible!! Huge sigh of relief. However the vet told us that the liver disease was secondary and that we had to do another test to find out whether or not she had cushings disease. And it turned out, she does.

So, what does this mean? Cushings Disease is apparently common in older dogs and is the overproduction of Cortisol in the body. All of which is explained brilliantly in this post by the Blue Cross. According to our vet, there is no cure for this, but it can be controlled with medication, a little like Diabetes. This time, the sigh of relief was so big, when I got the call with the good news, I burst into tears. 😭

So we are now embarking on a new regime of medication twice a day for Daisy, which she is thankfully ok with taking. She is basically a scavenger for food, so as long as she takes it with food, then she’s happy. She really did have us worried though and I couldnt be more grateful that what she has isnt life threatening.

Hopefully she will be with us for a long whilst yet.

G x

See Blogtober 3 Flying to Cornwall Part 2 >> here <<

See Blogtober 4 – The World is Upside down >> here << (updated soon)

Flying to Cornwall Part 2 | Blogtober 3

Flying to Cornwall Part 2 | Blogtober 3

After a great day in Liskeard, I spend my penultimate day in Truro in the morning and then Penzance in the afternoon. One my my colleagues from Truro offered me a lift to Penzance and I was very surprised to find my carriage to be no less than a Jaguar! Albeit an old, slightly filthy one, but lovely nonetheless. I can sometimes get a bit anxious getting lifts from people I don’t know too well for various reasons, so what I do to distract myself is chat incessantly!!

Thankfully, the chap who was giving me a lift was very chatty and so I happily learned a little of his life history and even chatted about brexit a little. Who knew a calm discussion could be had about recent political and world events??!

But when we reached Penzance it was really very pretty. Yet again, it was quite hilly, but the Jag made light of all the ups and downs. When our meetings were finished, I had a little time near the marina to take a look at the sea. I realised that this work trip was ticking off a few firsts for me

  • Flying for Work ✅
  • Seeing a marina whilst on a work trip ✅

I was about to put “seeing the Sea whilst on a work tip”, but actually I used to look after a Prince’s Trust team in Blackpool, so that particular duck was broken a while ago… 🐥

On the way back I started to feel a bit bleurgh, which was awful as the 4:45pm train from Penzance to Truro was packed…. erm no actually there were about 8 people in my carriage, which seated perhaps 40. Very very different to commuter trains coming in and out of Liverpool or Manchester which are regularly at double capacity! But yes, I did start to feel a bit scratchy throated and by the time I got back to my hotel, I felt so rubbish that I just got into bed and fell asleep.

I had a horrible night coughing and when I woke up I had a full on head cold. I felt rotten. So I cancelled my appointments and worked on my laptop in the hotel, counting down the hours till I was back at home. There wasn’t a shop near my hotel, so I was hoping to get some cold medicine at Newquay airport. Alas, there wasn’t a shop at the Airport either and so I just felt rougher and rougher as the day went on.

Newquay Airport

Luckily the flight wasn’t delayed and we took off at 12:10pm in Newquay and landed in Manchester at 13:00. I was home by 14:00 and I was shattered beyond belief.

But I DID have a good trip and all the colleagues I met in Cornwall were generous and kind to me during my stay. I was dead nervous to go as I knew it would SO many new experiences, but I think I surfed them all quite well and I’m proud of myself!

The funniest thing to me was to constantly explain where I lived as most people just thought I was basically Peter Kay. I guess my accent to them is just “northerner”. Oddly, I think my mum would have quite liked that!

G x

See Blogtober 2 – Flying to Cornwall >> here <<

Flying to Cornwall Pt 1| Blogtober 2

Flying to Cornwall Pt 1| Blogtober 2

Well well well, don’t you know I am totally in Cornwall.. approximately 320 miles away from home. I flew down at the start of the week in an effort to keep travelling time to a minimum. This didn’t quite work out as planned though as my plane was delayed and in the end I left home at 7:30am and arrived in Truro at about 14:00. But the flight was just around an hour and I have to say that if this ran on time, then it would save me LOADS of time in the future.

I am staying at a guest house in Truro, but I am not sure I will stay here again despite the fact that it’s lovely and clean, it has a comfy bed and good wifi! The cold fact is, it’s at the top of a MASSIVE HILL which I have to walk down to to get into Truro town centre and more importantly walk BACK UP at the end of the day! There are no “corner shops” locally and everything is basically down the massive hill.

I know this might make sound like a right lazy sod, but thinking practically, it’s currently the beginning of October and it goes dark around 19:30, but the next time I am coming back it will be November and it will be dark closer to 19:00, if not earlier. I really don’t fancy traipsing up and down the hill in the dark in potentially rubbish weather!

Also, the welcome at the hotel was a little too intense for someone that had been awake since 5am…. The lady that welcomed me showed me every, single, detail of my room and the dining area within the hotel. Her explanations included:

  • How to turn my key in the hotel room door
  • How to lock the door (despite there being a sign on the door with instructions)
  • What was in each cupboard
  • Where the bathroom was
  • Where the hairdryer was
  • How to turn the TV on
  • How to get BBC1 (press 1 on the remote in case you were wondering)
  • How to make toast in the toaster
  • What the drinks machine made, by reading out each label
  • Where the milk was (in the fridge)
  • Where every single landmark was in Truro that she could remember.

I have to say, it’s the closest my internal “FFS” has come to actually coming out of my mouth!

I am actually down here for work as I have been visiting staff that I am responsible for training as I don’t know the area at all. So far I have visited Truro and Liskeard and they have both been beautiful. But as a total foodie, I have to show you the unexpectedly delicious dinner that I had last night at a small gastro pub near to my hotel…

Pulled pork with hoisin sauce, sweet potato mash and Bok choi. All made Dairy Free for me!

So that’s Day 2 of Blogtober! Come back tomorrow for more Cornwall Advetures!

Gill x

Blogtober 1 – Dog Friendly Anglesey Visit >>here<<

Blogtober 3 – Flying to Cornwall Part 2 >>here<<

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