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A letter to Boyfriends past | life update

A letter to Boyfriends past | life update

Dear you… yes you, the category we shall call “Boyfriends past” or BP for short. I wanted to write you a letter as I’ve realised something recently.

You were ALL a piece of sh*t

Gill Lysons (nee Dixon) 2019

I could literally put a full stop at the end of this and be done with it, but I thought I would explain myself first.

I haven’t had a torrid love life, although I’ve had my moments, but I was 29 before I met my M and up until then I kissed my fair share of frogs. But rather than fill you in on every gory detail, I am going to focus on just 3, letter by letter.

Dear N

In 1993 I thought you were cute and I recognised you from school, you were a year below me. You came into the pub where I worked and I was really pleased when you asked me out. Our 1st date was adorable as you were shy and clearly pleased I had shown up. Cute.

But after less than a year came the fateful journey to a Preston nightclub. We agreed (you told me) that we should spend most of the night with our friends and then just get together at the end of the night. I agreed (I had no choice) and cracked on. You went missing. Your friend told me that you were being sick in the toilet and I should leave you too it. I am afeard of the vom and so was happy to oblige. You were gone a LONG time.

You re-appeared around 1am said you were feeling better and we carried on with our night. Everything seemed normal.

The next night was Sunday and so it was our tradition to do a pub crawl, if you remember, I was driving and so sober as a judge. We were with a mix of school friends and new work friends, all of which had been with us the night before. At some point during the night, my good work friend “J” said she needed a word with me and through suppressed laughter, told me she had kissed you the night before. You were behind me and just caught my hand before I instinctively slapped her across the face.

You took me (by force) outside and sat me in my car. You told me to calm down and that J was “talking sh*t” and you would go and have a word. He left me in the car but my anger bubbled again and I raced after you. You were talking to J outside the pub and this time my slap landed. You grabbed me again and marched me back to the car. You then spent an hour reassuring me that nothing had happened, it was “all lies” and I shouldn’t believe her.

I went to bed exhausted, unsure of the truth, or of how I felt. The next day, I decided to go for a walk and saw one my friends “S”. She told me “J” hadn’t told me the whole truth and not only had she kissed you but you had gone outside the nightclub to the carpark and had sex. You had then paid again to get back in and acted as if nothing had happened.

My stomach dropped and I knew what “S” was saying was right. She was a loyal old friend with no reason to lie. I went home and gathered up everything that you had ever got me, put it in a carrier bag and went round to your house. Your mum opened the door and I handed it to her, “Give N these!” I almost barked at her, she had no idea what was going on.

Later that evening, you came to my house, begging forgiveness, but not denying what had happened. You were crying. Here’s the thing N, you were crying because you were found out, not because you were sorry. You were crying because the actual person in front of you was annoyed and hurt and you were the cause of that.

I myself cried when you left and my self esteem was bruised for so very long. But you were ALWAYS a piece of sh*t. After our relationship, you started seeing a different friend of mine “K” and about 2 weeks after you started dating her, she gave me a lift. A song came on and she turned to me “Aw, this is N and I’s song”. I had to break it to her N, that it was also OUR song too. WHAT A utter B*ST*RD!

At the time, you made me feel worthless, but honestly about 4 years ago you finally gave me closure and a final reminder of what a lucky escape I had had.

I was in Tesco and I saw you, I was then happily married and I thought you were too (not to K, but another old friend). You started chatting to me whilst I picked vegetables for tea and I was polite. I mentioned one of my nieces and he noted that she had beautiful curly hair. He touched my face and stared at me and sighed “like you……” I just GLARED at him for a second as the flirting was so unexpected! I just laughed and walked away. Not long after I heard you were getting a divorce. That was 2 divorces by 35 if I heard correct?

So N, you were a piece of sh*t then and I can’t see that anything much has changed. I should have shook “J”s hand – actually no scratch that, she never even apologised, so maybe the slap was justified. I am better off without the lot of you.


Dear L (aka C)

In 1994 you pursued me. I was still working at the pub and you came in as often as you could. I used to give people a lift home and you to engineer it so you could be dropped off last and therefore be alone with me. I wasn’t interested at first, but then you wrote me the sweetest letter and I gave in.

You adored me and I fell hopelessly in love. I thought you were amazing and even you imposed a rules for when we could see each other, I reminded myself that you adored me and that you it was ok because you had chased me. When we were together, you were very sweet to me, but there were STRICT rules that I had to stick to in terms of your time. I can remember them exactly.


I wasn’t allowed to see you on certain nights as you ALWAYS saw your friends and you often weren’t free Saturday at all due to work or football. commitments. It wasn’t necessarily the amount of time I objected to, but the prescriptive and immovable way it was doled out.

On the odd occasion I was “allowed” out with you on a Saturday night, you used to stand at the bar and watch match of the day in the scruffy part of the pub. As I type this, I wonder now why the hell I didn’t tell you to get lost right there and then! 😡😡😡

I used to look forward to Grand National Days or Easter weekends where I would be “allowed” out on all day drinking sessions with the lads and I remember feeling grateful for this. Now, in 2019… this makes me sad. Why didn’t I stand up for myself? Why didn’t I just leave you?

We were together for 3 years and rules aside, all was ok….till it wasn’t. We went to Blackpool on the eve of my birthday (with the lads) on a coach trip and as the clock struck midnight and I looked to you for some sort of birthday kiss, I was sorely disappointed as you could barely pull yourself away from your pint. You got SO (selfishly) drunk and I spent the rest of the night propping you up, I should have known then. 😏

Things deteriorated and in October, we had a chat, I confronted you and gave you the opportunity to tell me what was going on… you remained silent. Cowardly I now know. Then, very suddenly, just as we were about to go on holiday, my Gran died. We went anyway (why?!) and had a miserable time. The affection had gone and yet we still didn’t break up.

Over Christmas and New Year, things finally reached breaking point when you became utterly indifferent to me for the entire festive period. We attended family and friend events as normal, but you acted like you couldn’t care less if I was there, whilst insisting all was well with you. I didn’t understand.

In the background though, unbeknownst to me things had been happening. My mum had seen you putting a girl in a taxi outside our local pub and kissing her goodbye. Not 500 yards from my flat. Also, your friend “W” knew you had been unfaithful and implored you to tell me. You didn’t.

What you DID do in January, was ignore me on a night out and I finally snapped. I pushed you to tell me what was going on, you remained silent. I asked you if there was someone else, you said no. I asked you if you still loved me… finally you answered.. no. I threw you out of the flat.

I cried for weeks.. my heart was broken and it shattered only further when my mum saw you in the local shop, buying a valentine’s card for someone else. I was gutted.

As far as I know, you stayed with the other girl and are still married. In part, I am happy for you, she was clearly your person.

But L, you treated me like sh*t. You acted like you loved me, but only were available to me when it suited you. You carried on drinking and going out with your mates like our relationship didn’t exist, you were SO selfish and cowardly too. You can’t help who you fall in love with and when you met yours, you should HAVE JUST BROKEN UP WITH ME. Instead you strung me along for months and made me feel like less of a person.

You damaged my self esteem SO much that when I met MY person, he was astonished when I couldn’t believe how nice he was being to me. He didn’t know men like you (i.e. selfish sh*ts) really existed. He’s not your biggest fan.

I am only grateful I knew you for 1 reason, your parents. You mum & dad were the kindest people I had ever met and they taught me how to love unconditionally. I still miss them and was so pleased I got to tell your mum how much, when I saw her a few weeks before I got married.

My self esteem is much restored now, no thanks to you…. You recently popped up in my Twitter feed and it seems that you are still a beer drinking, football obsessed oaf. Some people never change.


And Finally….

Dear R

Our relationship was doomed from the start. We met in the least romantic place ever and you were a wrong ‘un from Day 1. But I fell in love (lust) and became blind to the danger.

I gave you money, bought you clothes and offered you shelter. All were asked for and received under false pretences. You needed a phone, I bought you one and you immediately sold it. You wrote me endless love letters and bought me cute soft toys. I couldn’t get enough. We couldn’t be together at first, but when the day came, I could hardly wait.

But something didn’t add up. Your stories started to unravel and my spidey senses kicked in. Not long after were had finally become an item, I dropped you off in a town on the outskirts of Greater Manchester to go and meet your family. You wouldn’t let me drive you to the door and insisted a nearby street was fine For some amazing reason (love/lust), I didn’t find this suspicious and and promised to pick you up the following day.

The next day I waited for your call, it didn’t come. Late in the afternoon I finally got hold of you and you asked me to come and get you. I did. I waited for an hour. You never came and I never saw you again.

I had been a fool and I knew it. You had deceived me and I just had been blind to it. I am sure you laughed at me whilst the deception was going on and I wish there was a way to get revenge, but you took care of that yourself. You are currently a guest of Her Majesty and I can’t say I am pleased, but I am certainly glad you aren’t around.

You did something good for me R. My eyes opened after that happened and my resolve and backbone straightened. NEVER again would I let a man treat me like dirt, I am worth SO much more than that. I had been a doormat for too long and enough was enough. You were and are, a piece of sh*t.


These are just 3 tales of my love life but despite the trauma of these, I am now ridiciously happily married. I have been with my M, 16 years this year and married for 8. These relationships took their toll on me, but thankfully they didn’t break me. When R humiliated me, I couldn’t believe it and it was the final straw.

G, M & D April 2019

I still have wobbles where I question myself, but for the most part, I know am I worthy of both love AND respect. Not all men are like these 3 sh*ts, and thank the Easter gods for that!


Happy Easter 💐

Happy Easter 💐

Grombre | Life Update

Grombre | Life Update

A while ago, I decided that I’d had enough of colouring my hair, having done it for almost 30 years! (jeez). I had also been inspired by an Instagram account I found called Grombre, which is titled from Grey – Ombre (which is another word for a sort of fade from one colour to another).

I started this journey last year and went to the hairdressers to get some advice about transitioning from fully dye to sparkly silver. All they really did was charge me WAY TOO much money to re-dye my hair a less prominent colour. Waste of time, move on.

But since then I have just been having my hair cut as normal, but not touching the colour and here is how I have got on:

As you can see the sparkly bits are really on the top of my head for now, but I’ve really made progress since September 2018. Every now and then I have a moment of self doubt that it won’t suit me or people might be horrible to me about it, but then I remember the reason why I started and the fact that I actually am looking forward to my natural hair colour coming through.

I also think that there will be a point where I will have cut my hair a little shorter to get rid of the final non-sparkly bits of hair.

Here’s to the growth continuing.

G x

Can you train an Older Rescue Dog? | Pupdate

Can you train an Older Rescue Dog? | Pupdate

There is definitely no truth in the saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. Daisy was 7 when we adopted her and she came without any training as far as we knew, fresh off the boat (sic) and new to the UK.

We worked on her toilet training ourselves but as Daisy had no recall or other “tricks” we decided to enroll her in some dog training.

We chose the Kennel Club Good Citizen Bronze Award, which was taught at a local training and doggy play centre that we had been to for off-lead play. It was £80 to enrol in the 8 week course and we started mid February.

Our group started off with 10 participants and ended up with about 6. As it’s a beginners award, it’s really aimed at younger dogs, but there is no restriction either way. Our Daisy was the oldest dog by quite some way, but it really didn’t make any difference.

Each week we attended we were given different games to play with Daisy to first train her to pay more attention to us and then to turn that into commands and instructions for her to obey. We were taught:

  • Recall (having your dog coming back to you when you call)
  • Choice Games (making your dog look at you before they get a treat)
  • Control at Gate (making your dog sit whilst you open a door or gate, wait whilst you go through it. Calling them through on command and then sit again on the other side whilst you close the gate).
  • Stays
  • Making your dog is being handled and inspected
  • Making sure your dog is ok when having their microchipped checked

I have to say, I loved going each week and Daisy became just the waggiest of dogs whilst we were there as all of the exercises are rewards with treats. Daisy simply LOVES a treat and so would focus all her attention on us just in case any food was coming her way.

Our test was on Wednesday and I am pleased to tell you that we PASSED. It’s funny though, on the night, the one test I wasn’t worried about (recall), was the only one that didn’t go perfectly. 😳

When we are out on a regular walk, Daisy comes back to me 100% of the time, first time. But the week before the walk, she’d been hesitant coming back to M, but this didn’t make me worry too much as most of the time she’s as good as gold.

However, on the test, she was restrained by the tester, I walked away and then I shouted her. She started to run towards me but then stopped in her tracks when she sniffed something amazing on the floor. I couldn’t believe it. However I shouted her again and she did keep coming to me. Phew.

I think the experience of going to training has helped give Daisy so much confidence! On her 1st week she hugged the wall of the training room in fear and by the end she was greeting all the other dogs like long lost friends.

So if your dog is new to you and/or you are new to dogs, I can really recommend taking your dog to training. It’s helped us bond even more with Daisy, it’s improved her confidence and sociability and an added bonus, is that, the day after training is sleeps most of the day… tired but very happy. What more could we ask??

G x

Not a Usual Week | Life Update

Not a Usual Week | Life Update

I started a new job a few weeks ago for my local NHS Trust and it’s fair to say that I had a fully new experience this week. I spent the week working in a secure mental health hospital. 😳

I was working as part of a project team assisting with the implementation of a new IT system and so I spent the week working on the wards, helping the staff.

I have to admit I was more than a little nervous on my first day on the ward as I had NO idea what to expect. I have had some experience of working in a secure environment as I worked in a prison in Liverpool about 18 years ago, but that was a long time ago and I still was very unsure of what it would be like.

I was working on the only female ward in the hospital and for security reasons, I can’t tell you too much about how it worked, but I did want to share how it felt. The ward I was on only accommodated a small amount of patients, who all had their own rooms. There was a communal area with a TV and a place to eat if the patients wanted to socialize. The patients were of various ages but all seemed to get along with each and it felt more like a dormitory.

It did make me think, yet again, that mental illness is often ignored and dismissed, as it’s invisible. If I met any of the women in the street that I met in hospital, I would have had NO idea they were unwell.

Mental illness and Mental wellness look identical.

But it was the way the staff treated the patients that struck me, as I was touched by how incredibly kind and caring the nursing staff were with each and every patient. They had obviously built up a rapport with the patients and every request was met with a kind word, a warm response and sense of humor.

I can’t imagine this is easy – some of the questions or requests from patients were insistent and caused interruptions in what we were doing but everyone was treated with respect and kindness.

So I just wanted to say how bloody magnificent the NHS is and if I ever found myself so unwell I needed this type of specialist hospital, I could rest assured I would be well looked after….. FOR FREE!

G x

Daisy’s 1st Visit to a UK Beach | Pupdate

Daisy’s 1st Visit to a UK Beach | Pupdate

One of the things I have always loved when owning a dog, is the sound of their little feet happily running past you on a walk or them scurrying excitedly around your feet when on a walk. Daisy has been in our family 3 months now, but it’s been Winter and so we haven’t really ventured that far away, but today we took her to the beach!

We decided to go to Formby Beach early on Saturday morning and to give you a sneak peak – it was a delightful success.

As it happened, I had taken a look at The National Trust Website the day before we went and it said that the main NT car park was closed for maintenance and so we headed for the Lifeboat Road car park here:

It’s £4.50 to park (which is new, it used to be free) and there are no toilets, but plenty of spaces and there is usually an ice-cream van and/or coffee cart.

We set off down a sandy path and just before the beach there is a wooden boardwalk, which Daisy wasn’t 100% sure about and at one point did a complete about-turn (NOPE!)

Daisy approached the beach in a state of ignorance, spending the first minute or so sniffing the edge of the dunes, happily experiencing the grass and periphery as she normally does. Then we shouted her and encouraged her to come onto the beach properly and she happily ran towards us and the vast expense that is Formby Beach. It didn’t take long. Once she realised what the craic was, she went nuts! She isn’t a dog that is prone to running around in circles that much as she is sniffer on a walk, but today was something different for us all.

She ran around the beach SO giddy, keeping coming back to us for tickles and the odd treat, she was in raptures – as were we. It made my heart glad to see her so happy and I think she honestly had the best time EVER. Round and round the beach, off to say hello to other dogs and even a little explore of the dunes on the way back to the car.

Having only adopted Daisy 3 months ago and her coming to us with virtually no history, we have no idea whether or not she has even seen the beach or sea, but it’s fair to say that she loved it… she was very cute (see below)

Loving the beach

Our 1st family selfie.

Formby Beach – March 2019

I think it’s fair to say that we will be back!

G x

Can’t fit in a holiday? Go to plan B

Can’t fit in a holiday? Go to plan B

I recently decided that M and I needed a holiday, I was thinking it a weekend away would be great. But there were definite obstacles in our way:

  • We had a budget of <£250 for two nights
  • We have got several things going on over the next 6 weekends or so
  • The one weekend where we might be free, I have been asked to work late on Friday night

So what do to do? I have spent easily 4 nights searching places to stay that were within, pet friendly and no more than 2 hours away. Could I find something? Could I heck!

Sooooo, I have decided to have a weekend away, at home this weekend… which I know sounds odd, but it is possible. I find the only way to make it work though, is to almost “forget” I am at home. No domestic agenda, no washing or ticking anything off my “list”. I am, of course, talking about the “list” that most people have in their head of things that need doing. That list needs to buzz off for the weekend. Nicer food than normal and every time you leave the house, it has to be on an adventure. 💥

Our first adventure will be Formy Beach here:

So whilst this isn’t exactly a weekend in the Lake District, it’s pretty nice way to spend the weekend. Why not give it a go?

G x

Foot Peel Masks – Do they work? | Lifestyle

Foot Peel Masks – Do they work? | Lifestyle

Disclaimer: If you scroll further down this post, you are going to see pictures of my feet and it gets a bit gross. So do a quick scroll past if this isn’t your thing.

As I’ve talked about before, I am very susceptible to Instagram adverts. So I guess it’s no surprise to hear that I bought these foot peels after seeing lots of ‘orrible Instagram posts….

I actually bought my masks from Amazon here:

and the basic instructions were this:

  • Wash and dry your feet
  • Put the booties on and leave them for 60 minutes.
  • Wash with soap and water
  • For best results soak feet in warm water every night for 10 minutes
  • Feet will start to peel 3-7 days after application

So I thought, “Why not?!”. So last Sunday night, I washed my feet and sat on the bed for an hour with a pair of plastic boots on. The boots came sealed as they contain a liquid/gel substance and I had to cut the tops off to put my foot in. Once the hour was up, I washed off the gunk, noticing in a slightly worried way, that it had melted my nail polish off. OK then.

I have to say I was very dubious and after a few days, when my feel looked exactly as they always do, I just laughed as I thought I had wasted my money. However, as I got ready for bed on Thursday night I took my socks off to find that my foot had indeed had started to crack and peel.

I rubbed my feet a little but only small pieces of skin came off, so I went to bed still a little disappointed. However the following morning, when I checked my feet, I was horrified to see that they were basically rotting!!! Ok, I am being dramatic, but the bottom of my feet were half on and half off and I had no choice but to soak to try and get rid of some of the dead skin…

Yes, I know this is gross, and it did take me a good 30 minutes to make my feet look less like they belonged to an 80 year old deep sea diver, and eventually, this is the result

So was it worth it? Honestly no. The bottom of my feet did peel, but in what that meant that I had to do some serious intervention to deal with the literal fall out. The skin came off in small, unsatisfying pieces and the whole thing was just a faff.

I think my money would have been much better spent getting a pedicure. So it’s a massive 👎👎👎 from me. Just. too. gross.

G x

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