Monthly Archives: October 2013

I dread Mondays

Once again Monday rolls around so quick I haven’t had chance to roll off the sofa and grab a coffee before I have to start all over again.

I ‘m currently doing PeopleofLeeds on Twitter and loving it. I was really scared, Would I annoy people, would people like me? would I be to boring. most of all would they understand me. and the response so far is amazing, so i thought I write a bit about what’s going on with me and they you can see what I’m all about.

I have lived in Leeds for 12 years and in the last 3 years I have been single and living on my own. I got myself into debt, lost a lot of friends due to my behaviour and reactions, passed my driving test first time, My parents finally split after my Dad said he was going for about 14 years or so but never had the guts. I split up from my ex, who left me a completely broken person, that its only now I’m beginning to recover. I have started CBT Therapy, or cognitive behaviour, because I just didn’t know what else to do. And here’s the biggy, I’m on anti-depressants and have just been told I have low blood pressure, but that’s nothing to worry about and I have been told I suffer from stress and anxiety hence the CBT. *and breathe*

What I learn’t from these dsessions is that I’m not going mad, with being so forgetful it’s due to being stressed that I have a very short term memory, if any and I keep forgetting things I was mean’t to do seconds before. Apparently this is something to do with attention, and concentration and is one of the areas I’m working on. I also have to do exercises to reduce the tension in my body, especially in my shoulders, as I get really bad pains. I also become shorter in height because I slump apparently.

Today because I was trying to concentrate on one thing at a time and then everything spiralled out of control, my mind went blank. I got distracted and everything once again started going wrong, yet I was still in a positive mood. I kept trying to think about the breathing technique I learn’t yesterday but instead I started getting tension headaches. Right above the left eye, not pleasant.  The best bit is I’m trying to keep motivated and happy and tell my colleague everything is ok but it’s not working.

So I keep telling myself everything is ok, stay positive, this is karma for having fun yesterday instead of doing work, and tomorrow is another day. Another time in my life I was have burst into tears. Now I try my hardest to keep calm, and just keep telling myself it’s ok. I have had two lessons of this therapy and feel very lucky, as I could have been waiting months, And I am doing my upmost best to do the homework and log things in my diary.

I’ve had so much positive things said on twitter about this project of mine. But I still have a big part of me that feels like I let everyone down. I have tried so hard to make things work on my own. I really should not have moved into this house but I wasn’t in the right frame of mind and quite frankly I think at the time I was just floating along, just going through the motions as that what everyone was expecting.

Writing this after another long day, one of my goals is ‘not to dread mondays’ and has to be no higher than 4/10 at the moment it’s bang on 10/10. I have to rate my feelings and then evaluate them. And after two sessions, I’m not doing to bad but failing on this goal.

As I write this I’m filling with tears, not sure of relief of telling you and everyone and not holding it in. Or the fact I’ve failed everyone. or it could just be the hormones. I’ll let you decide.

Thank you for reading


P.s. thank you to People of Leeds for this fab opportunity


Procrastination can be a good thing as long as you get the work done!

So today was mean’t to be study day. It started well, what with the clocks going back my brain felt guilty for getting up at 7am (technically 8am) and so I started to clean the house. By 9am I had two sets of washing on and tidied up and cleaned the kitchen.

I found a nice damp patch by the radiator and realised that might be why my hot water isn’t hot and need to ring the landlord tomorrow because it maybe a burst pipe.

I had sorted all my paper bits out and had put stuff away so I could sit with my third coffee and start to go through my CBT stuff. I got through the relaxation stuff, all about breathing and was singing along to the 90s pop tunes on 4music, when a knock came to the door. At first I thought it was the lovely church people until the knock came again  but this time small and fast, then I realised it wasn’t. It was Caitlin. A friend’s seven year old daughter. I was the last resort I think because her friends couldn’t come out. She said ‘I’m going to ask Mummy and Daddy if I could come here for a bit. I said ok, I did want to get on with my work, but she hadn’t been around for a while and was in need of company. We ended up playing teachers. She has a table and chair and I have to sit on the floor. This child has an amazing imagination and I don’t mind playing along as nobody else can see. Although I always end up being a naughty child for some reason. today I got given a load of tests which she found funny.

I also got taught some french. She is really fluent, I was never that good and I was learning at 11/12 year old. Amazing what kids can grasp. She reminded me so much of my niece Molly. Very bossy and a little crazy. Plus she emptied my cupboards and made cakes out of teabags. She disappeared outside for a second and stood and watched to see what she was up. She had taken my baking potatoes to her gate two doors down and my friend, her Mum shouted her to help make a pumpkin, I think. So she asked if she could come back later, I said yes thinking an hour or so but apparently she got bored and was back in 15 mins. I must be doing something right. either that or it’s because she gets her own way 😀

Anyway she’s gone back after my friend said to return her at two so I could get on with some stuff. To be honest I liked the company but I am exhausted, but I’m having another coffee, listening to 4 music and doing my homework and hiding the things I don’t want Caitlin to find when or if she returns at 4pm.

If anytime you need to let things go, step into a seven year old’s world, it’s simpler and more fun.

Thank you for reading xxx

Love is like oxygen…. All you need is love!

Silly, silly me. I think I stressed out too much this week and took too much on and didn’t take time out by sitting still. Forgetting I was doing 5 days straight as my holiday ended on Monday I have carried on as usual and ploughed through the week and it’s now turned into a blur. Today I was really tired after getting in at 11:30 after another amazing Yelp event. This time for me it was more the people I sat with. Because all thought it was free food and some of it wasn’t bad, five of us had to sit around a table, which was kept sturdy by a screwdriver, at certain points it felt like we were doing a séance trying to keep the table steady. Luckily it only popped out twice but gave a good conversation starter for the evening.

I got to meet some amazing people of different nationalities, watch some cabaret acts and had interesting conversations about everything and anything whilst being wined and dined by the venue.

Today however I was feeling slightly overwhelmed and emotional I was a bit of a loss what to do. Feeling like a right prize melon for getting worked up over some right stupid things and kicking myself for thinking I hadn’t done the right thing. But that’s just the over-thinking kicking in and I need to sit down and breath. Are you aware if you are stressed you forget to breathe? I have been told I need to make myself aware of my breathing and to do some exercises to drop my shoulders as the are really tense and I hold them up when stressed. So much to remember.

Tonight I got home and went off to the little ASDA and went a bit silly buying fresh meat and veg, so I could cook some meals and freeze them, forgetting I had planned for Sunday to be my Study day. I think I can fit both in.  I have got bacon to make sandwiches though and carrot sticks to eat with salsa or onion dip as a snack rather than chocolate. fingers crossed. Tonight I had some quiche, kindly made by my friend with potato and coleslaw followed by chocolate cake and latte. I have been watching Moulin Rouge as this is one of my feel good movies and I know practically all the words. See blog here…

Tomorrow night I’m sitting down and planning my week, and what meals to cook and put away and what I will be doing Sunday, Also fitting in a walk as long as it’s not raining and also looking to dig out an exercise dvd so I can do it on a morning and try get a flat stomach. I maybe skinny but I can’t get in my favourite dresses as I realised I have been eating too much chocolate and drinking sugary drinks to release my stress or anger, now it will be more of taking a breather for 5 mins and doing the exercises I was told to.

Oh and after deciding to go to the doctors for help and being told I would have to wait three months, I obviously started therapy a week ago but have now been offered a place on a study applied for 3-4 weeks ago, but because I am seeking it now I felt it only right to tell the caller about it, that I couldn’t be part of it, well for now. Talk about things happening all at once. At least it’s good this time 😀

Oh one last thing, the young girl at work, born and bread in Yorkshire has been told to do phonics more for drama because she drops her ‘h’s and apparently says ‘waarm’ instead of ‘warm’. My influence there I think 😀

So I hope you all have a good weekend and it isn’t to miserable with the weather and everything.

Thank you for reading


Give a little gain a lot: follow up on CBT therapy

I sat down to write this about an hour ago and failed. I couldn’t write at all, I got four sentences in and gave up. I was wanting to tell you about my holiday. It was my first day back today and didn’t go as smoothly as I wanted but discovered I had a new skill.

You see, the last 12 days is the longest I have had off in ages, and due to lack of money and wanting to sort my life out a bit I decided to stay at home in Leeds. It was very hectic. On my first day I edited my own radio show, first one ever. I think I over edited it but as I wanted it to be perfect, I am still very proud, plus it’s a new skill.

Some of the holiday is a blur, I know I sorted the house out a bit but not as much as I wanted, nor did I get much reading done and now I have 22 books (I think) still to read until the end of the year. *mops brow*

In one of my last posts I discussed how I had started CBT Therapy or (cognitive behavioural Therapy) I went back to the Doctors a couple of months back saying I needed to talk to someone and sort this out as my current process was not working and he turned round and said, take this number and make sure you ring them today. I did and within a week I got an initial appointment which then led to this and its been so fast that I feel like I’m in a whirlwind and I love it.

Yesterday I had another appointment but because it was too close to last weeks it was going over some more techniques for relaxing and more information for podcasts and exercises. My folder is now about an inch thick full of worksheets and info sheets and I’m really buzzing to get started working through it. I have breathing techniques to do exercises to try release the tension in my shoulders.

I also asked about my cleaning habit, as someone said I had OCD, but my therapist asked when I do it.  I replied that if I get angry or frustrated or if I’m worrying about things I find the need to clean, like wash and polish all surfaces down, but not always wash-up (bizarre) My therapist said its not OCD but a form of release which is good as something positive is coming out of it, rather than reaching for food and then feeling bad for eating a large piece of cake just for that few seconds of sugar rush (and cake is mean’t to be enjoyed and you know I love cake). In fact, cleaning is like running for me. I can just concentrate on the task in hand and completely zone out. Why I can’t do this whilst reading a book and whizz through it like most people do, is another problem to sort out, and that is my concentration and attention span, hence why I have a memory of a goldfish recently. A big side effect of stress and anxiety (yes I have been given a label, or two) is that our concentration can go because our attention can shift so quickly and if we try to tackle difficult tasks or try absorbing too much information in one go, we put up a block and that causes all sorts of problems.

Apparently when feeling like this, we should do things in small blocks/chunks, have 10 minutes have a break go back to it and repeat, well I’ve been doing this and it may sound like a long winded way of doing it, but for me it gets me through. I just sometimes need to watch for the triggers which get me flustered and forget to have a break or feel like screaming.

I’ve only had two sessions but after the first one and for someone to actually listen and make me feel we can get through this has given me a new lease of life. Sounds melodramatic, but I got sick of talking to my friends and family recently about the same things over and over again and nothing changing even though I have tried my damn hardest to do things right I may as well have not bothered in some cases.  it may have taken 33 odd years to do something about it, to believe that I need to look after myself and be a stronger person, to believe I’m worth looking after, what is it they say? Better late then never?

Over my holiday, I have helped clean a friend’s flat, using a roller to sugar soap the walls is an ingenious idea, except it came to me after I scrubbed half the wall with a scourer and whilst I was about to go to sleep. Oh and apparently I smacked my friend in the face then poked her in the eye while I was asleep, later giggling away to. Interesting.

at the weekend I helped paint one of the studios at the radio station and then went back in yesterday to finish another room off as I was so anxious I had done a bad job of the studio I was scared to let them down and while I had time I thought it would be one less thing for them to do. Except at first I got more paint on me then on the walls, but I had an amazing time and over my holiday I hope I have been able to payback the people I love who have given me so much help and support over the last few years. Oh and a big thank you for feeding me. I will do anything for cake or a KFC, mmmm fried chicken.

While I’m thanking people, I would like to thank two people on twitter who I won’t mention by name but ‘inboxed’ me to check I was ok and offered advice. I was bowled over, you know who you are.

So for the rest of the week, mainly at work but on Thursday I have another event with YELP. Again FREE FOOD!!!! and then I really need to buckle down with some reading and reviewing and what I was supposed to be doing last week but got distracted….sorting my life out.

Thank you for reading


p.s. I knwo it’s time for bed when I’m shouting at the laptop that the things I just copied is there, it’s bloody there. sorry laptop.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy or CBT: Chapter 1

Yesterday I went for my first CBT session and wow, how much you can fit into 30 minutes is incredible, I’m having to deal with the symptoms of stress and anxiety and I wanted to share this information with people, hoping that it won’t go against me in any way. I felt so much better after this session and have been given homework to keep with me and fill in everyday, so I have a folder with all this info in that I need to keep with me.  Much better than going over the same things week in week out and trying to understand others, well for me anyway.

So with my reading list, house-hunting and this I will be very busy right up until Christmas.

I was advised to look at this site or this for podcasts on relaxation and stress here, but I typed this in, hee hee I don’t think I’m ready for religion, just yet, no offence

I also have looked on the charity MIND’S website and found some interesting articles of stress at work here and this blog post which I thought interesting here  How to tackle tiredness here  as we all are feeling that at the moment.

Another place to visit is the Mental Health Foundation here

A good piece on relationships on the NHS site, a piece I extracted here:

Build relationships for wellbeing

Taking time to strengthen and broaden relationships is good for your wellbeing, and good for the wellbeing of the other people involved.

‘Building relationships for wellbeing means:

  • strengthening your relationships with people who are close to you, such as family and friends
  • broadening your relationships in your community and the wider world

There are many ways to build stronger and closer relationships:

  • Make time each day to spend with your family. This might include “family time” that is fixed each day, or time that you find around other commitments.
  • Arrange a day out with friends you haven’t seen for a while.
  • Switch off the TV tonight and play a game with the children, or just talk.
  • Speak to someone new today.
  • Have lunch with a colleague.
  • Visit a friend or family member who needs support or company.
  • Volunteer at a local school, hospital or community group. This is also a way of giving your time.

And on stress:

Recognising your stress triggers

If you’re not sure what’s causing your stress, keep a diary and make a note of stressful episodes for two-to-four weeks. Then review it to spot the triggers.

Things you might want to write down include:

  • the date, time and place of a stressful episode
  • what you were doing
  • who you were with
  • how you felt emotionally
  • what you were thinking
  • what you started doing
  • how you felt physically
  • a stress rating (0-10 where 10 is the most stressed you could ever feel)

You can use the diary to:

  • work out what triggers your stress
  • work out how you operate under pressure
  • develop better coping mechanisms

Doctors sometimes recommend keeping a stress diary to help them diagnose stress.

and anxiety

A little bit of anxiety can be helpful; for example, feeling anxious before an exam might make you more alert and improve your performance. But too much anxiety could make you tired and unable to concentrate.

Anxiety can have both psychological and physical symptoms. Psychological symptoms can include:

  • feeling worried or uneasy a lot of the time
  • having difficulty sleeping, which makes you feel tired
  • not being able to concentrate
  • being irritable
  • being extra alert
  • feeling on edge or not being able to relax
  • needing frequent reassurance from other people
  • feeling tearful

When you’re feeling anxious or stressed, your body releases stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. These cause the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as an increased heart rate and increased sweating.

Physical symptoms can include:

  • a pounding heartbeat
  • breathing faster
  • palpitations (an irregular heartbeat)
  • feeling sick
  • chest pains
  • headaches
  • sweating
  • loss of appetite
  • feeling faint
  • needing the toilet more frequently
  • “butterflies” in your tummy

Anxiety can also be a symptom of another condition, such as panic disorder (when you have panic attacks) or post-traumatic stress disorder, which is caused by frightening or distressing events.

and I mentioned it before but go to this page to listen to podcasts. very interesting:

Reading in bed is a no-no *faints*

Above is all the sheets I was given, sorry about the dodgy camera work. I won’t show you what I have to fill in as that’s private but I highly recommend reading some of this even if you don’t suffer from stress or anxiety as there are some really helpful tips. I have problems with holding tension in my shoulders and it shows how you ‘hold yourself’ during the day. It could be why I was heavy footed when running. It’s all about the breathing. Did you know when we are stressed we can hold our breath without realising it? This scared me. Also my lack of remembering stuff is due to not being able to concentrate and that’s another side effect of stress. I have to do small simple tasks and if I can’t focus on one thing I need to move on and do another and then come back to it. Funny thing is I’ve been doing that, I just need to improve by noting things down. Also if you can’t get into a book, rather than trawl through it, again take it in bite size bits and take breaks. The funniest thing was I was telling a friend this about how to write her dissertation, that it was best to take breaks instead of powering through. I really should listen to myself more often.

In effect, if that’s the right phrase, I have been doing things right I’ve just done it the long way, or listened to the wrong people and let negative things get me down. Now I have the start of a course to get me to reprogramme my way of thinking and I am so excited. 2013 is turning out to be a good year.

Oh one question, are pollypockets mean’t to stick out of the folder????? surely it’s mean’t to protect them, it’s really bugging me. 😦

Thank you for reading


Hump in the holiday

So we’ve reached the half way point and hit a bit of sadness. Everything has been fantastic so far. Even though here’s been some bad news, well won’t say bad more frustrating, I have done so much and need another holiday 😀

On my first day I edited my radio programme, I think I over did it a bit but I love it. I believe it airs again this Saturday at 7pm on this site

On Thursday night I went to a YELP event at Moments Cafe in Leeds see their site here I learned so much about coffee and how to make an omelette and met some amazing people.

Friday and Saturday a bit of a blur and then Sunday I made my way over to my friends as I was to help decorate and also went to book club where i was highly excited at having 10 days off, apologies to my peeps.

On Monday from about 8am I sugar soaped some walls, using a roller can make a huge difference, by 10am I was hungry and suggested  breakfast, off to subway for a sandwich.

Tuesday was a rest day and we watched films read books and ate cake.

Wednesday was just cleaning and tidying and removing a radiator, well I just helped mop the water up and having a good old chinwag.

Today I had an appointment with a councillor as I’ve started cognitive behavioural therapy and boy is it good! I then went for some retail therapy and got what I call chav pants or lounge pants and a set of pjs which the top is a horrid colour but it’s snoopy and no one is going to see it. I also did a bizarre thing and bought a swimming suit as it’s been recommended for my knee, I just need to fit it in and do that daunting walk up to John Charles Sports Centre.

I also got the worst witch from the charity shop thinking it might be an idea for next years book club.

but what I’ve learned is, that we must take nothing for granted, our jobs, our health, that our friends and family will always be there, that everything is easy when it isn’t, that things will last forever, they might but they won;t stay the same, to live in the moment and embrace it. whether you feel, happy, sad, completely crap and the world’s against you, just hold your head up high, smile and just get through it, life is to short and we don’t have forever. Live in the now, make the person you are today better and don’t look back.

As for the rest of the holiday, I’m helping out sunday with decorating again and Monday it’s meeting a friend to shop. as for the next two days it’s cleaning the house and sorting out all my crap. Wish me luck.

Thank you for reading


To read list for the rest of 2013

In no particular order:

1. The Casual Vacancy -J.K.Rowling (South Leeds Community Radio)


When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.
Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils … Pagford is not what it first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?

2. Complete Ghost Stories – Charles Dickens – own choice


Interest in supernatural phenomena was high during Charles Dickens’ lifetime. He had always loved a good ghost story himself, particularly at Christmas time, and was open-minded, willing to accept, and indeed put to the test, the existence of spirits. His natural inclinations toward drama and the macabre made him a brilliant teller of ghost tales, and in the twenty stories presented here, which include his celebrated A Christmas Carol, the full range of his gothic talents can be seen. Chilling as some of these stories are, Dickens has managed to inject characteristically grotesque comedy as he writes of revenge, insanity, pre-cognition and dream visions, he indulges also in some debunking of contemporary credulity

3. Jane Eyre -Charlotte Bronte – Leeds Bookclub xmas read


Orphaned into the household of her Aunt Reed at Gateshead, subject to the cruel regime at Lowood charity school, Jane Eyre nonetheless emerges unbroken in spirit and integrity.  She takes up the post of governess at Thornfield, falls in love with Mr. Rochester, and discovers the impediment to their lawful marriage in a story that transcends melodrama to portray a woman’s passionate search for a wider and richer life than Victorian society traditionally allowed. With a heroine full of yearning, the dangerous secrets she encounters, and the choices she finally makes, Charlotte Bronte’s innovative and enduring romantic novel continues to engage and provoke readers

4. The Wee Free men -Terry Pratchett -LBC Puffins


“Another world is colliding with this one,” said the toad. “All the monsters are coming back.”

“Why?” said Tiffany.

“There’s no one to stop them.”

There was silence for a moment.

Then Tiffany said, “There’s me.”

Armed only with a frying pan and her common sense, Tiffany Aching, a young witch-to-be, is all that stands between the monsters of Fairyland and the warm, green Chalk country that is her home. Forced into Fairyland to seek her kidnapped brother, Tiffany allies herself with the Chalk’s local Nac Mac Feegle – aka the Wee Free Men – a clan of sheep-stealing, sword-wielding, six-inch-high blue men who are as fierce as they are funny. Together they battle through an eerie and ever-shifting landscape, fighting brutal flying fairies, dream-spinning dromes, and grimhounds – black dogs with eyes of fire and teeth of razors – before ultimately confronting the Queen of the Elves, absolute ruler of a world in which reality intertwines with nightmare. And in the final showdown, Tiffany must face her cruel power alone….

In a riveting narrative that is equal parts suspense and humor, Carnegie Medalist Terry Pratchett returns to his internationally popular Discworld with a breathtaking tale certain to leave fans, new and old, enthralled.

5. The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson, Rod Bradbury -own choice


It all starts on the one-hundredth birthday of Allan Karlsson. Sitting quietly in his room in an old people’s home, he is waiting for the party he-never-wanted-anyway to begin. The Mayor is going to be there. The press is going to be there. But, as it turns out, Allan is not… Slowly but surely Allan climbs out of his bedroom window, into the flowerbed (in his slippers) and makes his getaway. And so begins his picaresque and unlikely journey involving criminals, several murders, a suitcase full of cash, and incompetent police. As his escapades unfold, we learn something of Allan’s earlier life in which – remarkably – he helped to make the atom bomb, became friends with American presidents, Russian tyrants, and Chinese leaders, and was a participant behind the scenes in many key events of the twentieth century. Already a huge bestseller across Europe, The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared is a fun and feel-good book for all ages.

6. The Fault in our Stars – John Green -own choice


Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

7. Wonder by R.J. Palacio -own choice


I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He’s about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances?

R. J. Palacio has written a spare, warm, uplifting story that will have readers laughing one minute and wiping away tears the next. With wonderfully realistic family interactions (flawed, but loving), lively school scenes, and short chapters, Wonder is accessible to readers of all levels

8. A Kestral for a Knave – Barry Hines -My own choice, read this a school  and loved it


Life is tough and cheerless for Billy Casper, a disillusioned teenager growing up in a small Yorkshire mining town. Violence is commonplace and he is frequently cold and hungry. Yet he is determined to be a survivor and when he finds Kes, a kestrel hawk he discovers a passion in life.  Billy identifies with her proud silence and she inspired in him the trust and love that nothing else can. Intense and raw and bitingly honest, “A Kestrel For A Knave” was first published in 1968 and was also made into a highly acclaimed film, “Kes”, directed by Ken Loach

9. A Life Too Short: The Tragedy of Robert Enke by Ronald Reng – Leeds Book Club


Winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year, the biography of Robert Enke, the international footballer with the world at his feet who took his own life Here, award-winning writer Ronald Reng pieces together the puzzle of his lost friend’s life. On November 10, 2009, the German national goalkeeper, Robert Enke, stepped in front of a passing train. He was 32 years old. Viewed from the outside, Enke had it all. He was a professional goalkeeper who had played for a string of Europe’s top clubs, including Jose Mourinho’s Benfica and Louis Van Gaal’s Barcelona, and was destined to be his country’s first choice for years to come. But beneath the bright veneer of success lay a darker story. Reng brings into sharp relief the specific demands and fears faced by those who play top-level sport. Heartfelt, but never sentimental, he tells the universal tragedy of a talented man’s struggles against his own demons.

10.  A Stone’s fall by Iain Pears – LBC Outlaws


A return to the form that launched Iain Pears onto bestseller lists around the world: a vast historical mystery, marvelous in its ambition and ingenius in its complexity. In his most dazzling novel since the groundbreaking New York Timesbestseller An Instance of the Fingerpost, Iain Pears tells the story of John Stone, financier and arms dealer, a man so wealthy that in the years before World War One he was able to manipulate markets, industries, and indeed entire countries and continents.  A panoramic novel with a riveting mystery at its heart, Stone’s Fall is a quest to discover how and why John Stone dies, falling out of a window at his London home. Chronologically, it moves backwards–from London in 1909 to Paris in 1890, and finally to Venice in 1867– and in the process the quest to uncover the truth plays out against the backdrop of the evolution of high-stakes international finance, Europe’s first great age of espionage, and the start of the twentieth century’s arms race. Like Fingerpost, Stone’s Fall is an intricately plotted and richly satisfying puzzle–an erudite work of history and fiction that feels utterly true and oddly timely–and marks the triumphant return of one of the world’s great storytellers.

11. Regeneration – Pat Barker LBC White Swan


Regeneration, one in Pat Barker’s series of novels confronting the psychological effects of World War I, focuses on treatment methods during the war and the story of a decorated English officer sent to a military hospital after publicly declaring he will no longer fight. Yet the novel is much more. Written in sparse prose that is shockingly clear — the descriptions of electronic treatments are particularly harrowing — it combines real-life characters and events with fictional ones in a work that examines the insanity of war like no other. Barker also weaves in issues of class and politics in this compactly powerful book. Other books in the series include The Eye in the Door and the Booker Award winner The Ghost Road

12. Matilda – Roald Dahl  -SLRC bookclub  December read


Matilda is a little girl who is far too good to be true. At age five-and-a-half she’s knocking off double-digit multiplication problems and blitz-reading Dickens. Even more remarkably, her classmates love her even though she’s a super-nerd and the teacher’s pet. But everything is not perfect in Matilda’s world. For starters she has two of the most idiotic, self-centered parents who ever lived. Then there’s the large, busty nightmare of a school principal, Mrs. (“The”) Trunchbull, a former hammer-throwing champion who flings children at will and is approximately as sympathetic as a bulldozer. Fortunately for Matilda, she has the inner resources to deal with such annoyances: astonishing intelligence, saintly patience, and an innate predilection for revenge.

She warms up with some practical jokes aimed at her hapless parents, but the true test comes when she rallies in defense of her teacher, the sweet Miss Honey, against the diabolical Trunchbull. There is never any doubt that Matilda will carry the day. Even so, this wonderful story is far from predictable. Roald Dahl, while keeping the plot moving imaginatively, also has an unerring ear for emotional truth. The reader cares about Matilda because in addition to all her other gifts, she has real feelings.


13.  Awakenings by Oliver Sacks -own pick


This is an extraordinary account of a group of twenty patients, survivors of the great sleeping-sickness epidemic, which swept the world in the 1920s, and the astonishing, explosive ‘awakening’ effect they experienced forty years later through a new drug, L-DOPA, administered by Dr Sacks. The stories he tells of these remarkable individuals are moving, often courageous and sometimes tragic.
Now hailed as a medical classic, Awakenings was first published in 1973 and won the Hawthornden Prize of that year. It has since inspired a TV documentary, radio and stage plays and a major feature film. For this revised edition the author has written much new material, including a section about Awakenings on stage and screen.

14. -Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Dummies by Rob Willson, Rhena Branch

-own choice


We all have aspects of ourselves that we would like to change, but many of us believe that a leopard can’t change its spots – if that’s you, stop there! “Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Dummies” will help identify unhealthy modes of thinking – such as “a leopard can’t change it’s spots”! – that have been holding you back from the changes you want. CBT can help whether you’re seeking to overcome anxiety and depression, boost self-esteem, lose weight, beat addiction or simply improve your outlook in your professional and personal life.

15.   Selling for Dummies by Tom Hopkins -own choice


Selling is really about people skills – to be successful in sales, you must be able to cooperate, have good listening skills, and be willing to put others’ needs before your own. With selling skills in your arsenal, you’ll be happier in a lot of areas of your life, not just in your career (although that will certainly benefit too).But this guide is not only for traditional salespeople who want career enhancement. It’s for all people, because everybody can use selling skills to change or improve their lives. This book is for you ifYou’re beginning a sales career, or just looking to brush up your skills.You’re unemployed and want a job, or you’re employed and want a promotion.You’re a teen wanting to impress adults, or an adult wanting to succeed at negotiation.You’re a teacher searching for better ways to get through to your students, or a parent wanting to communicate more effectively with your children.You’ve got an idea that can help others, or you want to improve your personal relationships.

16.  Managing for Dummies by Bob Nelson, Peter Economy 

-own choice


Being a manager can be an intimidating and challenging task. Managing involves teaching new skills to employees, helping land a new customer, accomplishing an important assignment, increasing performance, and much more. The process of management can be very challenging at times, but it can also bring you a sense of fulfillment that you never imagined possible. Organizations rely on managers to make the most out of situations and get the best possible results.”Managing For Dummies, 2nd Edition, ” is perfect for all levels of managers. This clearly written, easy-to-understand guide will help anyone toHire talented employeesMaster skills such as conflict resolution and coachingInitiate change and deal with resistance to changeSet and communicate your goalsMotivate employees to go above and beyond expectations

17.  Social Media Marketing for Dummies by Shiv Singh -own choice


Learn how easy it is for your market to get your messageNowadays, if you’re not tweeting, Facebooking, or blogging, what are you doing? Everyone has a Twitter account, a Facebook page, or a blog–even celebrities! With the popularity of social networking comes the need to learn about social media marketing. Social media marketing is a cheaper and highly effective way to spread up-to-the-minute news; an easy, inexpensive way to enlarge your audience, customers, and business.”Social Media Marketing For Dummies” provides an indispensable resource for small businesses and start-ups looking for low-cost online marketing strategies, as well as for marketers in larger companies who want to be more involved with social media. Learn which social media site best fits you and your business and how to: Use Twitter, blogs, Facebook, and other social media outlets to full advantageCreate your own online spokesperson for your brand Identify social media sites that appeal to your target audience Tell which social platform works for which objectives Develop a unique, Google-able voice in social media Optimize your page to attract clicks and customers Set up a program to assess your success and measure your results”Social Media Marketing” helps you learn the art of social media marketing to build your business to its full potential. Includes contributions by Michael Becker, Jeannette Kocsis and Ryan Williams

And not forgetting the Enid Blyton Challenge for Leeds book club

continuing with:

18.  Mr Galliano’s Circus


When Mr Galliano’s circus comes to town, Jimmy is very excited. He soon makes friends with Lotta the circus girl and the other fascinating circus folk. Then, when Jimmy’s father is asked to join the circus as odd-job man, the little boy is delighted. Follow his adventures as he learns all about the circus, trains his very own circus dog, rescues an escaped chimpanzee and helps capture a thief. A wonderful story of circus life from one of the world’s best-loved children’s authors, Enid Blyton

19.  The Naughtiest Girl in the School


Elizabeth Allen is spoilt and selfish. When she’s sent away to boarding school she makes up her mind to be the naughtiest pupil there’s ever been! But Elizabeth soon finds out that being bad isn’t as easy as it seems…

20. The Mystery of the Pantomime Cat


When the manager of the Little Theatre is robbed one night, the Five Find-Outers and Dog set off to solve another mystery, and it seems that only one person could have committed the crime – Boysie, the Pantomime Cat.

21. The twins at St Clare’s


When Pat and Isabel first go to St. Clare’s they are determined not to enjoy themselves, but by the end of term they have had to admit that school can be surprisingly good fun.

22.  First term at Malory Towers


Scared and excited, Darrell Rivers has just arrived at Malory Towers. It’s fantastic – but huge. How is she going to remember everyone’s name, let alone find her way around? And will she ever have a special friend of her own?

and just for me as I found the book with the cover I remember and it has my name in it!

23 The Silver Sword – Ian Serrailier -own choice


The classic tale of a journey through war-torn Europe. Alone and fending for themselves in a Poland devastated by World War Two, Jan and his three homeless friends cling to the silver sword as a symbol of hope. As they travel through Europe towards Switzerland, where they believe they will be reunited with their parents, they encounter many hardships and dangers. This extraordinarily moving account of an epic journey gives a remarkable insight into the reality of a Europe laid waste by war

22 Books to finish by the end of the year as long as I don’t get distracted 😀

all descriptions & photos from

Thank you for reading


in no particular order my top ten fave tunes

1. Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls

Because I like to do the air drum bit in the middle

2. Wake me up – Avicci

3. Beautiful Freak – Eels

4. Chasing Cars

Ever since I heard Run at uni I have been a big fan

5. Some Nights- Fun

I just love these guys and saw them in Leeds and they are amazing.

6. Little Lion Man – Mumford and Sons

These have just amazing time. I was turn by this and roll away your stone

7. Good Riddance – Green Day

8. Apunk – Vampire Weekend

seeing them in Leeds in a months time *sqquuueeeaaalllllssss*

9. Here it goes again -OK GO

10.He ain’t heavy he’s brother – The Hollies

Gets me everytime *reaches for the tissues*

Thank you for watching



The 16 Best Things About Being In A Book Club by BuzzFeed Books

Had to copy this across without some of the pictures and added bits

1. Reading a new book at least once a month.

Having set deadlines forces you to read by a specific date, and you’ll likely spend more time opening a book than watching TV. Reading also helps expand your communication skills!

2. Meeting new and interesting people.

Highly suggest ice breakers. They get the party going.

3. And therefore making new friends.

You may even go to weddings together.


4. Reading books you wouldn’t normally read.

This is also the beauty of a diverse book club. The members have different interests and you therefore get to expand your personal library. You may end up loving something you never would’ve picked up!

5. Having people to talk to as soon as you finish a book.

Even if it’s before your meeting.

6. Red wine or fruit cider

7. White wine or fruit cider

8. All wine or fruit cider


9. Having long and thoughtful discussions about your latest read.



10. Or engaging in heated debates.

Nothing wrong with a little disagreement!


It’s like the night version of brunching.

12. And catching up with members about life, pop culture, and new novels.

Spend 20% of your time discussing the book and 80% drinking and gossiping.

13. Discovering a great book that might make you cry.


14. Or collectively arguing about bad stories and terrible characters.

just don’t mention this one


15. Getting excited for the next meeting.


16. And defending your book club to anyone who dares to make fun of you.

my biggest battle


Making the perfect Omelette

Last night at Moments Coffee we were shown how to make the perfect omelette. I’ve just tried doing it but found i had no seasoning and forgot what tp do with the spatula so here goes, If you know what it was let me know.


For a 27cm pan:

Two free range eggs (locally sourced)

Pinch of salt and pepper

butter to grease the pan with

grated cheddar and parmesan


*Heat pan

*in mean time break the eggs and whick with a fork until white has gone (using a fork creates less bubbles) Add the seasoning.

* If eggs are not at room temperature put in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes

*Being careful, wipe round the pan with butter giving a good coating

*when the butter changes colour add the egg.

* let in settle for a few seconds and then start pushing the egg in allowing the uncooked to run underneath see here


*Add cheese as its still cooking and keep loosening the edges and when set fold in half and serve.

I just tried it and forgot the seasoning and put too much butter in but once you get the hang of it, it’s a great quick fix and fantastic comfort food. Considering I hated eggs as a kid (still don’t like boiled eggs)  this is one of the simplest things anyone could cook and costs hardly anything.

Thank you for reading