Monthly Archives: December 2013

Yesterday this blog had a lot of views, in fact it had

51 hourly views! on wordpress *faints*

In the last three years I have lost friends, been told it’s all my fault, that I am to negative and have too many demons to fight. Instead of staying and helping they left or stayed but the relationship has never been the same.

On the other hand I have gained lots of new friends. Via book club and radio.

The following is what I’ve achieved over the last three years, a lot of it makes me beam with pride:

* I’ve also learned to drive and passed my test first time

*  went to the cinema alone

*  went to world book night on my own where I found out about book club, and you know the story there

*  went to do a writing course after seeing a tweet and yes ended up with a show and a bit

* Started writing, created a blog and then another

* Started doing book reviews for book club and discovered yet another talent I never knew I had

* Thanks to a friend, started running, did my first ever 10k in just over and hour and have done another 4 since.

* Put myself up for a twitter account called @peopleofleeds and spent a week tweeting to some poor souls 😀 but I loved it!!!!

* Have finally become comfortable living on my own, it finally feels like home, have finally become comfortable in my own company, but desperately need to find somewhere smaller.

* After a push, I went to seek help and started by pure accident Cognitive Behavourial therapy and after 3 months it’s beginning to sink in: I just got jealous and angry at a facebook comment and had to ‘self-talk’ myself out of it, and boy am I proud. (knew there was a reason to stay off FB)

*sat in a pub alone with a drink, a meal, and a good book.

*ran a house, paid the bills, although still having some problems but I’ll get my head around that.

*Pushed myself to do courses I would never have dreamt to do

*Become interested in things that would have confused the hell out of me or I would have said I could never have done, like the radio course. I now want to become a ‘techie’ and help others

I still have difficulty organising myself but I think sometimes that’s out of fear and not enough practice, hence what my shiny new filofax (such a shock to get that) and A4 personal organiser is for.  Can’t wait to get started. Just got to learn to stop procrastinating and over thinking. Yesterday was brilliant, I got so much done, I just need to repeat that!!!

And once again, thank you to all at Leeds Book Club, Nicola and Kirsty and South Leeds Community Radio, My family, My Mum and Sister Jane, and Milo and Jerry-Lee (dogs by the way 😀 ) and my friends. Oh and that lot on twitter, Thank you for your support and believing in me

So to me, who I need to believe in. It’s been a bit of a roller-coaster, some things I am not proud of, or the way I reacted to, but that’s one of’life’s lessons.

Thank you for reading



Thank you 2013: Part 5 – South Leeds Community Radio



‘South Leeds Community Radio plays out across the internet 24 hours a day 7 days a week! Our shows are made by the community, for the community!

As we do not receive any central funding for the work we do, we have to work creatively to ensure we have enough funds coming in to help us maintain the highest quality output for all our listeners and best possible facilities for our bank of 50+ volunteers. It’s always handy to have money in the bank to pay the boring things like utilities, rent and wages too!

Over the last 12 months we have worked with a number of commissioners, funders and organisations on various engagement projects. Why not have a look at our ‘Projects & Funders’ page for more information.’


In November 2012 I saw a tweet on twitter about a writing course at South Leeds Community Radio. I decided that after a few months of ‘blogging’ this might help me. It was something like a four week course and you learned a bit of radio production and at the end of it producing your story as a recording. At the time it was at Hillside in Beeston, not  very far from where I live. I went along to the evening classes and really enjoyed it. I also got to go to an event and got a free meal and learned a lot about health and eating. And then there was the Xmas party, a chance to meet others and see what happens at the station. 

I think it was after two weeks of me going and babbling on about things, as well as Leeds Book Club, that Nicola asked if I would be interested in doing a bookclub for radio. Me! little old me!!! gosh, I hadn’t even thought this through doing the production course, but I thought why not. One year later, I have met some fantastic people, after a short break in the new year with the move, I met Kirsty who is a big part of the station, or is to me as we wouldn’t have a book club. I have met some amazing people, I even got to meet one of the directors, such an honour.

If ever you want to try something different I recommend volunteering, it doesn’t have to be at your local radio station, it could be anything that grabs your interest. Up until work got busy for Xmas I spent as much time as possible at the radio station and working at home doing stuff. Along with work I do for Leeds Book club (the inspiration for the radio’s show) I am eternally grateful to both groups for letting me be a big part of their family. I love it. It’s giving me so much I just feel like bursting with excitement justa t the thought of what 2014 will bring!!!!



So don’t just sit there and read my waffle, follow the link below and listen to my bookclub and many other shows at this link: and start volunteering today! You won’t regret it!


Thank you for reading



Thank you 2013: Part 4 – @LeedsBookClub

There’s nothing better than people sat around discussing the latest read, and either having the same opinions or learning something new. Also you gain new friendships and feel part of a family.

This year thanks to Niamh especially, who runs this lovely little set of bookclubs, has inspired and pushed me when needed to do things I would never have dreamed of. My sister was always the writer, or so I believed. I was the creative one. The arty one. I couldn’t make sense of writing things down. I used to get it all muddled, one teacher told my Mum, the answer is in there she just keeps adding unnecessary filler. I had been at bookclub nearly a year and Niamh had been asking people to help submit reviews for the bookclubs, I thought it might be a good idea but didn’t have the confidence to do so. Who would want to read my babble I thought. But with a little push from Niamh, and an email with starter points which is my bible, I wrote my first, She told me she could see I was dying to give it a try, and I surprised myself. I have now a shed load to write, but because of all my personal issues, I’ve not been able to read and absorb stuff and have let work pile up. Not for long, I will be back on track soon. It helps my brain when I’m writing. I also have to let myself relax and sit and read. For some reason I need permission to sit still, I go in the habit of seeing it as a chore and leaving it to the last minute, because  I knew If I started reading I wouldn’t take anything in. Now 2014 is fast approaching and I want to start a fresh, I need to keep my mind active and absorb all the new things I have learn’t. Again I hope I can repay her in the same way.

Oh and I can’t forget Sharon who set up LBC Outlaws, and brought a whole new bunch of people together, Thanks to her and Trish for their support and can’t wait to see you all in the new year.


We should all read something, even if it is just a newspaper, it opens you up to other things. As for bookclub, there’s nothing like it, well apart from the radio station I volunteer at. But that’s another story.

My first review:

One of my favourite reviews if I do blow my own trumpet 😀

The unfinished/ongoing Enid Blyton challenge

And by accident via me reading Mrs Frisby Rats of Nimh this happened:

Live in Leeds, then come and be a part of the family

Thank you for reading


Thank you 2013: Part 3 -Family and friends

The chance is there

“There was one other thing that the grown-ups also knew, and it was this: that however small the chance might be of striking lucky, the chance is there. The chance had to be there.”—from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
― Roald Dahl

I cannot be right all the time

“‘Meanings is not important, said the BFG. ‘I cannot be right all the time. Quite often I is left instead of right.'”—from The BFG

You are not alone -“So Matilda’s strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the sea. These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: You are not alone.”—from Matilda

It doesn’t matter who you are – “It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like, so long as somebody loves you.”                         —from The Witches

You will always look lovely – “You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”                                                                     —fromThe Twits

Read more:

“Matilda said, “Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it’s unbelievable…” 
― Roald Dahl, Matilda

This year,I believe, for everyone has been a trying year. Everyone has been worried about money, bills rising, public transport reducing but being more expensive, job losses, people remaining in jobs pushed harder, family and friend relationships put under strain. Yet in the end we some how manage to come together and realise what is important.

For me after perhaps being/appearing to be selfish this year and not ask how others are I have found being there for one another, and doing our best to put a smile on the other person’s face, is the greatest gift you can give. After sat talking with my Mum on Friday for several hours, going for Xmas drinks before I broke up for Xmas and seeing how much people care for me and one another is the best thing I could have received after such a busy month.

I want to thank My Mum, sister, Milo the Jack Russell for being there and getting me through 2013,  and to my adopted family of the walkers, South Leeds Radio and not forgetting Leeds Book Club. With your help and support I’ve finally started to believe in myself. I hope I can repay you one day.


Live in Leeds, then come and be a part of the family

oh and some more self help 😀

and how to evaluate the year:

and therapy as writing:

Thank you for reading


Put a smile on your face until you believe you’re own smile

‘Stay calm you can do it!’

This year, friends and family noticed I was repeating the same things over rand over again and that I was getting stressed out about certain situations, I couldn’t understand why or how things had got so bad. I kept crying, I kept getting really angry over the silliest of things. One friend suggested I should go see the doctor. My doctor is amazing, He has sorted out so many little problems. He put me on some anti-depressants and told me to come back in three months. I did and it seemed to be working and then after 6-8 months, it started again, I didn’t want to ‘up’ my medication and I didn’t want to talk to a councillor and go over the same things again, but I needed to talk to someone. I remember it was a Friday before work, I went in told him what the issue was, he turned round and said, ring this number today, don’t delay, and from that led to the CBT sessions just down the end of my street. I love them it’s helped so much, granted I haven’t always stuck to it but I’m getting there. As my therapist says ‘I’m only human’

It’s not been easy, but who said life is. Do we make it hard for ourselves or do others throw it in to the mix with their behaviours and action or reactions. Everyone has their problems and everyone thinks there’s a worse than anyone else’s. They might be, but if you are going through something and someone has experience of it what right do you have to tell someone how to act? How do you know how they feel?

Everyone is different and has a reaction to the same symptoms/illnesses which might not match yours. Nobody will truly know what the other person is thinking or feeling, or why they are acting like they are, simply because we’re human.

We just need to be there for each other. This year Christmas didn’t feel like Christmas. It seems to have passed by very quickly. This year I tried to make an effort with presents as I have very little money, so I put more thought into it and bought lots of little presents, the £1 shop was a big help. My sister got me loads of bizarre things and thought I would get mad or not like them. Like He says in my favourite film, Santa Claus the Movie, ‘People have forgotten about the gift of giving, putting a smile on a friends face.’

So today I have started operation-clearout and managed to clear a box of books that I have kept for 5 years and never read. I still have 6 boxes left and at some point will go through them again. I have managed to clear 6 bags of crap ready for the charity shop which in the new year I will arrange to collect and hopefully feel a huge sense of relief. I have held onto this crap for too long. Once that’s gone I will start the clearance again.

I’ve also been doing some CBT work and realised there’s quite a lot to do before my appointment in a fortnight, possibly my last. My next task tonight is to do an action plan and resolutions for 2014. I want to start it on the right foot, my new filofax that I got for Christmas has already started filling up.

I want to thank everyone for reading my blog, and to the 102 who follow on this site. It’s much appreciated.

Also a big thanks to my family and friends who stuck with me this year. I have no idea what the future brings but If I can learn anything from 2013, I can achieve anything with a bit of courage and determination, I mean who would have thought I would have my own radio show, or be a manager of a small printing stand!!!

and don’t forget, there’s nothing wrong with asking for a bit of help. I did it and it’s best thing I ever did, sometimes we just need to learn to reach out. Others need to learn we just need someone to listen to or that spontaneous hug. 😀

So if you haven’t got over the Christmas period or are feeling blue, don’t worry everyone’s in the same boat. Here are a few tips I found on a website to get us all motivated:

Here are some more ways of being active:

  • Go for a walk at lunchtime
  • Take the stairs instead of the lift
  • Take your children to the park and play a few ballgames/have a kick about
  • Find a parking spot that is a brisk 10 minute walk away from the shops
  • Go for a bike ride and explore your local area
  • Do a good spring clean
  • Put on your favourite song and dance to it
  • Organise an informal sports session for work colleagues
  • Have a go at jogging on the spot when the kettle is boiling
  • Learn to do some stretches and practise for 10 minutes every day
  • Help a friend or neighbour with the gardening
  • Try an introductory session at a sports centre

Here are some more ways of taking notice:

  • Take a camera when you go out and take pictures as the seasons change
  • Practice slow breathing four times a day
  • Enjoy the small things
  • Take notice of your own thoughts and feelings
  • Take action to deal with negative thoughts before they have time to grow
  • Download free relaxation, stress management positive thinking podcasts
  • Savour the taste for my meals. (Eat sitting down)
  • Think about your day when you brush my teeth at night and recognise what you did well
  • Stop to appreciate something beautiful in your surroundings
  • Compliment a colleague or classmates new clothes or haircut
  • Asked yourself how I’m feeling at 3 points during the day
  • Notice 5 unusual things on a journey you make often/change the journey by walking on the other side of the road
  • Borrow a library book about mindfulness or meditation techniques
  • Spend 1 minute, every hour, focusing on your breathing
  • Take a 5 minute break at work/home and clear your head

Connect with people!

  • Sit with the family to eat a meal together
  • Send a card or letter to someone you haven’t seen for a while
  • Plan to go out the coffee/food/drink/with…
  • Ask a colleague how the week is going
  • Ring… who you haven’t spoken to in a while
  • Talk to someone at work instead of an email
  • Plan a fun activity to do with…
  • Pop into a community centre and sign up to get involved in a community activity
  • Sit and watch a film or something with the people you live with
  • Send an email to… who you haven’t heard from in ages
  • Call… for a chat
  • Say hello to a neighbour
  • Ask what is selling well when I buy something in the local shop

Here are some more ways you can keep learning:

  • Re-tune the radio and listen to something new
  • Browse in a charity shop and look at the sections you don’t usually look at – CDs, DVDs, books, shoes…
  • Read a book you have always wanted to read
  • Watch an interesting documentary on TV
  • Learn a new recipe and cook for…
  • Learn to play a simple tune on a musical instrument
  • Ask a friend to teach me a practical skill I’d like to learn – changing a plug, sewing on a button…
  • Learn and use a new word
  • Learn 5 phrases in a different language
  • Do some Internet research on a topic that intrigues you
  • Learn to identify a star constellation or type of tree
  • Borrow a teach yourself book from the library
  • Read a bit of a newspaper or magazine that you wouldn’t normally look at

taken from

I highly recommend the following websites for workbooks/help with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

Thank you for reading


Thank you 2013 (part 1)

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way. . . .

A TALE OF TWO CITIES – Charles Dickens

I had a dream the other night of a peacock walking around then suddenly opening and shutting its tail and then fanning it out. Not quite sure what I should take from that, I found this though

I think 2014 must mean new goals and projects, I just hope its not the other:


To see birds in your dream symbolize your goals, aspirations and hopes. To dream of chirping and/or flying birds represent joy, harmony, ecstasy, balance, and love. It denotes a sunny outlook in life. You are experiencing spiritual freedom and psychological liberation. It is almost as if a weight has been lifted off your shoulders.


To see a peacock in your dream represents spring, birth, new growth, longevity, and love. It is a good omen, signaling prestige, success and contentment in your relationship or career. Alternatively, the peacock signifies pride, confidence and vanity. You may be showing off too much or are overly arrogant with your success and achievements. A peacock may also suggest that many eyes are watching you.


Today was the first back after the Christmas madness. I had just spent three days with my Mum and Sister and it felt too short. Although I didn’t do much I still feel shattered and this morning was the balckest/darkest I have ever felt in a long while. It took me an hour to get out of bed and then it took just as long to get myself into work mode. It didn’t matter what self-talk I did or coffee I drank, I couldn’t feel motivated. It wasn’t until we finished the day better than expected and then I went and got some cheap pizza and garlic bread and ate the lot that I felt better.  I am disappointed in myself for feeling so low, I questioned myself why and I know its because of not processing in my head everything that went on before Christmas, the lead up to the fact my Dad wouldn’t be there and that I wanted it to be so perfect. But if you do that you end up not enjoying it.

In the end, it was good. I ended up having an afternoon with my Mum where we just talked. it was like old times. when my Dad was there, there hung a cloud, a tension over the place, the house seemed lighter and bigger. Why I felt like I had to apologise 16 years ago for something I wasn’t sure about and get him to stay to keep the peace I do not know, whether he would of left I do not know but I wish he had now. I wouldn’t be sat here feeling so mixed up and wishing we hadn’t wasted so much time. How can one person have such an affect on people/things. How can we let people make us feel worthless?

I had so many plans for 2013, then something or someone took over and things didn’t go to plan. I kept blaming others for the situation I was in, when it was down to me, my reactions, my decisions. I have no money because I am rubbish with it, I have pushed people away because I am to scared to let them in and trust them because I’m scared of getting hurt.

I think that’s one of the reasons I’m not looking for the prince/the one, because I have so much I want to do and so much I haven’t finished that if I let someone in they may stop me doing it and I may become another person. I have changed so much in the last three years and it’s took a lot for me to start accepting that I can do these things that I have talents that I just need to believe in myself. I just hope January is as busy and as exciting as it looks. And if anything bad happens I hope I can handle it. I really do.

2013 has taught me so much. It’s been a strange one. But it’s been my best and my worst. Some things I realise were affected by my depression others because people stopped believing in me, I can’t fight to prove myself and if whatever happens for the worse, then I know it was meant to end.

I have learn’t so much from CBT, I just have to remember I am only human, and that sometimes we have to have these bad days to appreciate the little things the good things. My sister was amazed at how excited I got about the little presents she got me. I told her, someone could give me a piece of cake, a book, a pencil, a note book, a fancy pen and I would be excited. You don’t have to spend much to give much its the thought that counts, it’s the fact you’ve thought about someone to make that effort of giving them a gift to make them smile. Even a hug would do.

This is a bit of a garbled blog but so much has gone on I just wanted to get a bit out. Tomorrow, I’m going through all my washing and, tidying the house and making sure everything is in order before the New Year, just so I can start a fresh. I think I need to do some CBT activities to.

Thank you for reading


The three wise monkeys..

I couldn’t decide whether to start this with the three wise men or the three wise monkeys. You see, there were 3 men in my life at seperate times who I adored, I perhaps made the mistake of putting more into the relationship/friendship then what they did. It happens all the time to me.

Obviously the three wise monkeys means something completely different, but these guys, who no longer have contact with me, at one point thought they were better than me and didn’t take any blame for the break down in our relationship. They thought they knew best, they didn’t think, oh I wonder why she’s acting strange or why she reacted like that. Nope they thought they were bigger and better. The last one not to talk to me always belittled me in front of others, got stuck in this loop of, trying to beat me down with his comments, in the end I wondered why I held him so high, why I thought of him as a brother, and wondered if he did rescue me all those months/years ago or whether I just did what he said because I didn’t want to let him down. But we all make our own decisions and the one thing I have learned is, don’t do it to please others, don’t do it to get praise. I would love to be praised for the things I do, but in some areas I can’t accept it as I don’t believe them. I think it’s the way they say it.

So enjoy your Sunday, I’m off to wrap presents!


well, I didn’t win the lottery so…..

I’m going to find myself a rich man if this doesn’t work… or this, although I’m only good at growing weeds…


Product Description from Amazon:


Guaranteed to put a smile on your face!

Place the mini rich man in water, and watch him grow about 600% in 72 hours!

Hilarious packaging with slogans like:

“You’ll never have to work again!”
“Get invited to celebrity A-list parties”
“You’ll become a famous socialite”

If you know a person who needs a rich man, then this is the gift for them.A great present for a friend, family member or workmate!

Had to laugh when I found this:



“The starting point of all achievement is DESIRE. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desire brings weak results, just as a small fire makes a small amount of heat.”
― Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

“You are the master of your destiny. You can influence, direct and control your own environment. You can make your life what you want it to be.”
― Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

So it looks like my luck is for now, but a girl can dream can’t she?

Thank you for reading


When a tough cookie crumles

‘Causes of Insomnia -Regret. -Self blame. -Loneliness. -Over thinking. -Hunger. -Depression. -Self Doubt. -Anger.’ -Twitter

‘The human mind tends to wander over 70% of the time, replaying memories and creating scenarios of perfect moments’-Twitter

‘Sometimes it’s the smallest decisions that can change your life forever.’-Twitter

‘Letting go isn’t about anger or bitterness. It’s recognizing that what you’re clinging to isn’t life-giving & setting it free.’ – twitter

‘It’s usually quite hard to let go and move on, but once you do, you’ll feel free and realize it was the best decision you’ve ever made.’-Twitter

I mentioned I found a video the other day this is how I have felt at times this year

‘Take on me”

I do love party classics.

Today has been the worst day ever. I really, really did not feel a part of anything.  I felt so alone today. So much so I zoned out a few times and blocked out much of what was going on. I couldn’t even face doing something I’ve done for over 5 years. I just felt like I had no one to turn to. I was so relieved when I could go home and just cry. It’s not how it should be, but sadly I am only human, and don’t ‘fit’ in some people’s eyes.

So instead of a pj day tomorrow, I’m going to do nothing in the morning  or wrap presents for Xmas, then go down to the library and do a couple of hours of CBT and get myself back on track. I have no Xmas spirit what so ever this year. I should be happy, it’s the first Christmas without my Dad since he left, yet a part of me still has that horrible, tense feeling I used to get when I went home, of wondering what to expect. Mum and Jane are used to him not being there. I still think he’ll walk through the door and start saying ‘it’s all your fault, your stubborn!’

How can this be?

The negative thinking has took over. I feel so useless, but I know this will pass. I just have two weeks left and then it’s a new year then everything will be changing. Again out of my control but that’s how life is.

Now to sing along to some party tunes and hopefully kick myself out of this mood.

Thank you for reading


‘Put a smile on your face until you believe your own smile.’

Sunday is going to be PJ day, along with watching Christmas films and wrapping presents, I think I have everyone’s apart from my Mum, who so far I only have two bags of cashew nuts. I really don’t know what to get her this year.

The reason I started with Sunday is because I had my last session of CBT for this year and it drained me. I have had a really bad head all day and I haven’t been able to think straight. I hate the dark evenings, I hate feeling tired, but that’s easily fixed. I am also dreading the new year when it’s the anti-climax or whatever you call it and the lovely month of January. I feel sorry for January, it’s supposed to be a fresh start, new beginnings and yet it’s almost always filled with doom and gloom because people have spent too much, eaten too much, didn’t get the gifts they wanted, etc, etc.

I’m more lucky than some to have my birthday in mid January, but anyone having a birthday a month before or after Christmas will understand the annoyance of it being overshadowed by Christmas.

Anyway I have a lot to get organised, I need to clean and sort my house, get all my work into order, a couple of weeks ago I started to do a weekly plan and was told this morning that it was good to start putting structure into my routine. I also got told that I was doing well with the therapy and not to expect miracles because after all we’re only human.

The other thing was how people think they know how you’re feeling when they’ve had the same ‘problems’. Nobody knows how certain illnesses, situations, etc can affect someone. They know how they feel, and offer advice but how a person deals with things is completely different, we’re all unique, we’re all individuals. Lets realise that people.

So while everyone is rushing around, don’t forget to look after yourself, You’re own physical and mental well-being, as Christmas is once a year, your health is for life. I have no idea why I am bah humbug this year, I felt sad knowing I’d be at the station for the last time this year today and that we would have fresh beginnings, new shows and improve on what we have. For me January is filling up, I am doing a train-the-trainer course, I will also be doing a community reporter course and hopefully try my hand at learning more about the equipment so I can help others. And then there’s meeting up with all the Leeds Bookclub lot. It seems ages. I did meet a few on Tuesday, but it would be nice to see them when I’m less stressed.

Enjoy you’re weekend

and thank you for reading