With a little help from parkrun

So its now 3 years that I went to my first parkrun, but I went with my camera and took photos. It wasn’t until last year I actually ran one. Instead I volunteered a lot and absolutely loved it. I think I got up to 20 volunteer slots. I love volunteering at parkrun, it’s brilliant to not only give a little back, but also to see some great achievements. From young ones doing their first from anyone walking it and taking in the fresh air. And with most parkruns there’s always, cake,coffee and token sorting nearby.

This year, I find myself doing shift work again and struggling to get the Saturday mornings off. But I’ve been so lucky these last few weeks. On Saturday just gone I visited Mum’s and went out at the crack of dawn to go find Durham parkrun. I was greeted by some amazing people. The best bit it is its where Newcastle United used to train and where I met some of the footballers when I was a kid. It brought back so many good memories. With strava primed, and barcode handy I set off with the crowd. It wasn’t going to be a pb, it was a new course and I just wanted to do a ‘home’ run. It was amazing. I was a bit worried running on the grass with it being wet and worried I might damage my knee. But I took it steady and eventually caught up with a couple who I was able to keep pace with. Not knowing people at these events can be a bit daunting but everyone is so friendly. I did the run in 35 minutes and 37 seconds and I’m so pleased with that. Strava didn’t start and so I missed out on pacing etc. But I managed to copy the route and there’s always next time. Plus I did it! I loved it! I ate cake and a bacon sandwich. I sat with some lovely people and the best bit is I got to walk along the riverside and see Durham Cathedral in all it’s glory, including it’s bandage.

So this weekend it’s back to Woodhouse Moor in Leeds hopefully with the following week at Cross Flatts. I’m keeping everything crossed that I can do these as I know I’ll get my miles in. Plus it’s less than 4 weeks away from the Great North Run and I’m trying so hard to get my miles in. And even if I can’t do the distances in one long chunk I’m still doing it and still making progress. All thanks to the inspiration form parkrun.

Find out more here http://www.parkrun.org.uk/

Thank you for reading


‘Everybody’s Free’

‘Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of ’99
Wear Sunscreen
If I could offer you only one tip for the future,
Sunscreen would be it
The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists
whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience…
I will dispense this advice now…

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth
oh nevermind;
you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded
But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself
and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before
you and how fabulous you really looked…

You are not as fat as you imagine
Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as
effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that
never crossed your worried mind

the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday

Do one thing everyday that scares you

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts

don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours

Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind…

the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself
Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults

if you succeed in doing this, tell me how

Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life…
the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives
some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t

Get plenty of calcium
Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone
Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t
maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t
maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding
what ever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either
your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s

Enjoy your body

use it every way you can…

don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it

it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own

Dance…even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room
Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them
Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly

Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good
Be nice to your siblings
they are the best link to your past
and the people most likely to stick with you in the future

Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on
Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle

because the older you get
the more you need the people you knew when you were young
Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard
live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft
Accept certain inalienable truths
prices will rise
politicians will philander
you too will get old, and when you do you’ll fantasize that when you were young
prices were reasonable
politicians were noble
and children respected their elders
Respect your elders
Don’t expect anyone else to support you
Maybe you have a trust fund
maybe you have a wealthy spouse
but you never know when either one might run out
Don’t mess too much with your hair
or by the time you’re 40, it will look 85
Be careful whose advice you buy, but
be patient with those who supply it
Advice is a form of nostalgia
dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off
painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth
But trust me on the sunscreen’

Baz Luhrmann – Everybody’s Free

Pre- eve – Leeds 10k excitement

Only two more sleeps until Sunday and yesterday I got so excited I miscounted. This has been a year in the planning and yet the training has been quite different to what I expected. Mainly do to shift work and late night working my sleeping pattern has been all over. That said I have also come off the contraceptive pill, one big difference in my body for sure. I am also reducing the anti-depressants and so far 3 months on I feel completely different. Not what I was expecting. I have also changed my diet. In the last month I have cut down on snacking. I don’t have cake or biscuits in the house. For one reason I have to eat it all and another I have tried to respond differently to stress by not eating junk. The only time my body has craved it was when the dreaded PMT turned up and I turned into a stroppy teenager for a few days. My body obviously was crying out for comfort at that point.

However saying that, Although I maybe a stone heavier than last year’s race and I so want to beat 1 hour 5 minutes, a part of me doubt’s I will do it. But you know what? I don’t care. I just want to take part. I have a feeling I may need to stop a points. I am working on the mentality of slowing down and stopping when need to, but this morning I managed to get myself to slow right down and run slow and steady. I think I managed it to a point before I had to realise I couldn’t go as far as yesterday and my body was ready to rest. But that’s ok, not every run is going to be great. And that’s why on Sunday i just want to soak up the atmosphere. After recently joining a run club (need to officially join soon though) I have been able to run 9-11 minute miles and I am so pleased with that. Leeds 10ks are always hot but always have a great atmosphere and with this one being extra special, (not that last year’s wasn’t) with how far I have come this last 12 months, what will be will be.

So please help me raise money for the PDSA, yes I am fundraising again in 2 months but this is so important to me. I have found my purpose. I can’t have pets due to the rent agreement and with me working it would not be fair. But in some way or another I am always near our furry friends, so please dig deep. They give us so much for so little in return.

For my boy:


Sponsor me for as little as a £1 here:


Thank you for reading



Book Club – Leeds

Come and join us for our new adventure

Hello from me to you

Source: Book Club – Leeds

Book Club (Louise Hay – You can heal your life)

As well as specialising in things holistic and complimentary we at New Beginnings at one time hosted the book club on the now sadly closed South Leeds Community radio station. We’ve decided to bring back the book club but from the more accessible Costa coffee on Briggate, Leeds
As we are all about positivity and healing the new book club will be for those who wish to read spiritual books (not necessary religion though), self help books, other general positive works and no doubt throwing in our favourite decluttering books to chat about. The choices are endlessTo start with we will be discussing Louise Hay – You can heal your life
Good reads blurb: Louise’s key message in this powerful work is: “If we are willing to do the mental work, almost anything can…

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Off on my jollies

This week I went up to Edinburgh with my good friend Kirsty. We had initially planned to go to Amsterdam this week, I even got my passport in March, my first one as well. However last week, Kirsty received a letter saying the ferry hadn’t been booked but they could offer Bruges or a refund. Kirsty tried Bruges and that was fully booked. So the option was Edinburgh or a refund, so we opted for Edinburgh. I’m so glad we did.

We had a long bus trip on the Tuesday, which didn’t seem to be as long as the trip back, but that might be due to how tired I felt.  Lots of fresh air and walking can do that to you.

I learned so much while away. I realised how I can’t relax enough. My brain always working overtime. What I did love was just watching the scenery go by on the way up. We have such a beautiful country. From miles and miles of fields and hills to various architecture in our cities. Some are a bit weird and some stand tall and proud.

Two of my favourite things were finding the cafe where J.K. Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter book and the Frankenstein pub. Both truly amazing places.  The Elephant House had so much to offer. It just felt magical to me. Including the toilet walls being covered in messages from Harry potter fans. truly amazing. Sorry for any spoilers.

The Frankenstein pub had some amazing decor. A great place for a wedding reception and the food was just beautiful. We had a chicken and sweetcorn chowder each, although I had sweet potato fries with mine, Kirsty had just chips. I would highly recommend this pub.

The rest of the day was spent exploring Edinburgh after we had a bus tour on the way in, and we wanted to explore the streets ourselves. Who knows how many miles we actually covered as both our phones died before we got back to the hotel.

I also learned that I don’t have a clue when it comes to budgeting for a holiday, but we live and learn as they say. So onto the next holiday. There’s so much to explore, so much to see and do I just need to make a list and sort a budget out.

So feel free to comment below and let me know where I should jet off to. Next year so far has Wales and London on the list.

Thank you for reading




I love my Parkrun family.

So after a week of not running I decided that today would be when I did my 10th Parkrun. I thought about leaving it but then I wondered when I would get time free again and I just decided to do it. Not feeling great yesterday or this morning I wasn’t aiming for time. However, after setting off a bit to quick trying to catch a friend, I slowed down and kept telling myself although my pace felt slow I was doing ok.


On the second lap I caught up with Anne who was running with two young  lads (as under 11’s need an adult) and one was lagging behind, and the other was trying to shoot off. So I yelled that I would run with him while she ran off. I asked him if he was ok and he said he needed to walk. So we did, and then he shot off with me having to up my speed. this happened on and off a couple of times. On the last part I said to him how about a sprint finish, he replied ‘no I need to walk’. Next minute he sprinted off with me trying my best to keep up and only just getting to the finish line in time. It was an amazing feeling. Best bit was I didn’t know what to do with my barcodes and just handed both over.


After Park run we all head down to the cafe for a catch-up, coffee and sometimes cake. A small group of us do token sorting. We sit around sorting them into piles awaiting to be put back on the string for next week. Even the kids get involved. Today they seemed a little restless, so I offered to take them outside to burn some energy off. I ended up playing tig and hide and seek for a good hour. by the time I finished I felt like I had done another Park run. It was awesome.

It’s 3 years now since I was introduced to this lot and I’m so pleased. I just wish I had more Saturday morning’s off to catch up with them. Park run is an amazing thing to. It brings so many people together, different ages, sizes and abilities and it’s such a beautiful sight to see. I feel so blessed to be a part of it. And now a year on after my first one at Roundhay, I’ve completed my 10th at Woodhouse Moor, and I couldn’t have asked for a better run. sometimes you just have to get out there and do it.

Thank you for reading


Community Spirit in the park

Yesterday I volunteered at Cross Flatts Park Parkrun. I knew from the beginning of the week the shift before wouldn’t be a fun one and I was right. The lack of sleep proved this as I couldn’t sleep until 3 and I was back up at 6am.

Parkrun (see here for your local one ) is a free event held in various parks across the country. You can walk it, jog it or run it. It’s run solely by volunteers every week. From  pre-set up, marshelling on corners, to giving out tokens so people can get their times. It’s such a brilliant idea and people of all ages and fitness meet every Saturday morning for a 9am start to complete a 5k race.

Yesterday, a lady came to Parkrun to tell us about the events going on on a Sunday and asking if anyone would like to help. Today was about a folk band and next week it’s a dog show. I put myself forward for both. Today, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but to see the park come alive in such a way was an amazing thing to see. People giving up their time to create an event for people to go to on a Sunday afternoon. There was craft events for the children and face painting. Book and bric-a-brac sales. The group also provided homemade cake and supplied tea and coffee for as little as a £1 each.

I helped set up the chairs and tables then I spent most of the afternoon helping in the kitchen, by washing up and then collecting pots and plates. I also got chance to listen to the folk band. It was so beautiful and uplifting.

Today’s music was Alistair Russell & Chris Parkinson Folk Band. Two amazing gentleman playing some beautiful music. Sadly I can’t upload the videos but if you follow this link to Spotify you can hear some of their music.

As with yesterday the talk did go to the fact that not enough people volunteer. Not enough people give up their time for events like these or park runs but somehow they’re always pulled off and everyone has a great time. I throughly enjoyed today and it made me realise how much I enjoy helping people. And that my next goal is to find something, whether it is work or my own time. I need to find something that enables me to get the feeling I’ve had over the weekend. I just don’t know how.

But I do know is that if you do have the time, even an hour to spare just go volunteer. It’s a great experience and you get to meet some amazing people. And in nearly all of my experinces there is always cake!

Find out more of what is going on at Cross Flatts Park here

Also here at South Leeds Life

Thank you for reading


Book Club – Leeds

Source: Book Club – Leeds

Book Club (Louise Hay – You can heal your life)

As well as specialising in things holistic and complimentary we at New Beginnings at one time hosted the book club on the now sadly closed South Leeds Community radio station. We’ve decided to bring back the book club but from the more accessible Costa coffee on Briggate, Leeds
As we are all about positivity and healing the new book club will be for those who wish to read spiritual books (not necessary religion though), self help books, other general positive works and no doubt throwing in our favourite decluttering books to chat about. The choices are endlessTo start with we will be discussing Louise Hay – You can heal your life
Good reads blurb: Louise’s key message in this powerful work is: “If we are willing to do the mental work, almost anything can be healed.” Louise explains how limiting beliefs and ideas are often the cause of illness, and how you can change your thinking…and improve the quality of your life.Don’t worry if you don’t get chance to read it, please still come along and join the discussion. We also invite you to bring a choice for the next club and be a part of the forward planning discussion. Appreciating not everyone works Mon-Fri & 9-5 we thought this could be an evolving event where we can choose dates between us dependent on the best work patterns and also change venues whenever we feel like it. Maybe in August we could meet in the park & bring picnics?? We want the events to be as inclusive as possible. Everyone has something to share and bring to the chat.
If you are coming along please drop us a line on the facebook event

Happy, Happy Father’s Day

If ever there’s a time you need inspiration just read this. Also get to your local parkrun and get involved

Rob Webster

I woke up this morning to gifts of home made lemon meringue cake from my daughter and a “King Dad” Toblerone from my son George. It’s Father’s Day in the UK – a day to be proud of your kids and I am very proud of both of mine.

When George was born with Down Syndrome, we had a lot of questions and concerns. The first few days and weeks of his life were a blur – living in the Leeds General Infirmary, watching him shrink every day as he struggled with a heart condition. Surgery at 6 weeks was essential.

scan0015I have a number of standout memories from that time: tube feeds every three hours, with an endless cycle of breast pumps, feeding, cleaning equipment and holding him tight as the milk slowly dribbled through the naso-gastric tube;  the sheer love and care of the NHS staff and Leeds Mencap…

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Happy anniversary

Hello from me to you

Lessons learnt today

*I need more weekends off to take part more in parkruns, to achieve a goal each week, to eat cake, drink coffee and chat with some amazing people

*that no matter how old you are..10, 36,40,or even 90 you still have self doubts. I met a guy today who is 90 next week and is worried he doesn’t do enough exercise as he’s not as able as he used to be, and there’s me worrying about a 5k at 36

*That I have some amazing people in my life and that they never give up on me. Especially  today at parkrun. I would never have dream’t I’d do a 5k in 34 mins and 48 secs. Not the way I’ve been feeling.

*that what you feed in to your body is really important for the energies and thinking that comes out. I got meat from the butchers…

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