Monthly Archives: June 2014

‘let it go’ What CBT did for me

‘I wanna stuff some chocolate in my face’

‘Let it go, let it go. Can’t hold it back anymore. Let it go, let it go. Turn away and slam the door!’

Ok, so I’ve become obsessed with Disney films and music lately, but it’s helping me so much, that and action movies. very bizarre. I have a lot on this week and for a while I’ve been wanting to dip back into my bible. (My cbt folder) It was back in September last year that I got assessed and put forward for this and I now realise at the time it hadn’t had its full effect. I know you shouldn’t necessarily read what you wrote in dark times, but I am quite shocked at what was actually going on and I am so proud of myself for getting through this. Obviously I couldn’t have done it without the help of Sarah my therapist and my friend and family.

The above is what was my goals and what I had achieved and to stick with it. I think that’s why I am always looking for quotes and after watching Meet The Robinson’s (Disney animation version which is just beautiful) I ended up falling in love with the following quote:


On FB someone posted this ‘I accept the challenge to post 3 positive things for 3 consecutive days’

These are mine so far

Saturday –

1. I have a proper hangover
2. I am finally happy even though I have off days
3. I have a fab bunch of friends and amazing family

Sunday –
1. Having a lazy Sunday after a hangover
2. I’m starting to believe I can do this
3. I love book club

Monday –

1. How far I’ve come since September

2. I’m happy with my weight even if my clothes aren’t

3. I can do this!

So it may have taken 4 years and the loss of a relationship, two deaths, Loss of two jobs in 6 months, being unemployed for the second time in my life, *shudders* But I still have my health, my house, my book clubs, and most of all my friends and family.

Oh and these sites  especially this one, look up the poison parrot –

So listen to music, cry your heart out over a soppy film, go for a walk, but most of all remember to breathe.

Thank you for reading



Mad as a box of frogs

Apparently I am as mad as a box of frogs 😀 so I looked it up and I think they might be right. P.S. If you want something kept discrete don’t ask me 😀 shouting ‘Anne, where’s the toilet as they gentleman would like to use it’ 😀
Mad as a box of frogs
Very mad, but typically refers to someone in the public eye. Of course, as the very idea of putting frogs in a box is eccentric to say the least, one who is very mad can be said to be; As mad as a box of frogs
The origins of this phrase are very simple…One fine morning, a gentleman called Bartholomew woke to the sound of Autumn.

He went down to his fishing pond to collect breakfast, Rainbow Trout none the less.

Upon his arrival he was greeted with a most sinister occurance…he could identify not a fish in sight! More to his amazement was the sheer volume of Frog spawn.

To cut a long story short, the spawn produced a phalanx of Frogs. To liberate his beloved Rainbow Trout from the scourge of the Frog, he acquired many boxes. In these boxes, he carefully gathered up all the Frogs he could find and firmly closed the lid. In a frenzy of panic, the now captured amphibious creatures leapt within their recycled prison cells in a feeble attempt to escape.

So there you have it, put a some frogs in a box and they’ll go mad.

Mad as a box of frogs.

Wear Sunscreen -Part 3

Although not everyone can take a trip out to the seaside, once in a while just stop everything. Go do something different, no phone, no internet. Enjoy the air, Enjoy something new. I went in the sea again same as last year but didn’t get as wet. I made sandcastles, I’m 34 but it made me feel at peace. Be around people you love. I could have come home yesterday but I couldn’t be on my own. We’re only human so don’t be afraid when things get tough to seek a little comfort. I may be red raw but I had an amazing time. I just have to keep going. I have amazing friends and family and of course book club. I am also going to take up photography again and observe the world around me.

As for the KES book its something  that has stayed with me since childhood, well the film at least. Revisit something you loved and see how it makes you feel.

Wear sunscreen. Take time out. Its needed.

Thank you for reading


Wear Sunscreen -Part 2

Life is like a box of chocolates

I love this film. I’m also love the quote. I love chocolate to.

I have three more rejections of job applications. and two ere online.  I either need a course on it or its just damn bad luck. Today I nearly cried in the supermarket whilst picking posh cheese to have with my rivita. I had had a busy few days and have been left wondering what on earth is going to happen to me. I was having a moment. I pulled myself together and remembered the time I had bad PMT and cried over the andrex puppy getting trapped in the loo roll, he/she was ok, but for some reason it triggered me off. I have no idea why the cheese made me do this but I think I was just exhausted about all the things I’ve been thinking about. That’s why I was so glad to go to the seaside yesterday and try to forget it all. Hence the title because silly me forgot about the sunscreen and wa la I’m a mini lobster/ crabstick. I even have patches on my knees and thighs. ouchy. I have bought after-sun and sun-cream and will be applying it constantly from now on.  So listen to the song, its not just about sun-cream.

Thank you for reading


Wear Sunscreen -Part 1


In August 1997, e-mail enthusiasts burned up cyberspace sending each other the text of a commencement address said to have been delivered by Kurt Vonnegut, author of “Slaughterhouse Five” and other works. It was surely the most popular speech Kurt Vonnegut never wrote or delivered. As it happens, the sunscreen speech was actually a column written by Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich. Here is “the speech”.

Wear Sunscreen

By Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’98: 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, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve 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 bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blind side you at 4 PM on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day 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 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 anniversary. Whatever 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 of 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 your 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’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a 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 who knew you 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’ll 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.

Book Review: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Project (Don Tillman #1)
by Graeme Simsion
Blurb from Goodreads
An international sensation, this hilarious, feel-good novel is narrated by an oddly charming and socially challenged genetics professor on an unusual quest: to find out if he is capable of true love.

Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.

Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent—and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don’s Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper.

The Rosie Project is a moving and hilarious novel for anyone who has ever tenaciously gone after life or love in the face of overwhelming challenges.

* * * * * SPOILERS * * * * *
* * * * * SPOILERS * * * * *
* * * * * SPOILERS * * * * *
‘Don Tillman is described as being a dead-ringer for Gregory Peck, circa Atticus Finch.’
Not how I pictured him.
Before you go any further be warned there may be some plot spoilers oh and I’m a bit rusty at this reviewing thing so please forgive me. Thank you.
“But why, why, why can’t people just say what they mean?” 
Its been another one of those times that its took twice as long to finish a book. Last night however I was determined to fit some reading in and had quite a bit of the book to finish. That’s why I like having a paper book because you can see how far you’ve got and whether its worth leaving the rest for the morning.  I went to bed at about 9pm and got to a bit where the lead character was in a bit of a squander. By 11pm, not realising two hours had passed I finished what was a roller-coaster ride of a book. I haven’t read chick lit in a while some of it got a bit soppy and silly. But this was amazing, it had laughs, annoying characters, the ‘don’t let her go moments’ ‘what were you thinking’ ‘Oh my god, I’ve done that’ ‘I’m like that!’ .
“Humans often fail to see what is close to them and obvious to others.” 
I loved how it focused on some one who the world would class as ‘not normal’ simply because of  the way he saw the world, and how we’re all wrapped up in ourselves. It did give clues that he may be bordering on Asperger’s Syndrome, I don’t know much about this, but I know as humans we are all wired differently regardless. Then there was Rosie, his love interest. The wild card as he thought but was a complete mix-up in communication who he ends up going out of his way to find out who her father is, a complete stranger helping another. I think Rosie and Don were the perfect match. To always be able to teach each other things and because it proved that the ‘ideal person’ we think we should be with can be the complete opposite. I  love the fact that Rosie loved watching soppy films and crying and Don didn’t understand it but also didn’t mind it. I want a guy like that. You have to have differences, I watch these films, yes to think one day I will fall madly deeply in love, but also as a way of escaping, a release. Every girl needs a good cry once in a while.
“Fault! Asperger’s isn’t a fault. It’s a variant. It’s potentially a major advantage. Asperger’s syndrome is associated with organization, focus, innovative thinking, and rational detachment.” 
“Our first relationship with a male is with our fathers. It affects how we relate to men forever.” 
What I loved most was all Don’s little projects,  The initial one being the wife project and looking for a suitable life partner. I wonder if the author had read ‘How to date a hot chick’ when researching this. That has a list of questions, on what you want your future partner to be/look like.
I loved how it made him realise that it was more to see if any one was suitable for him. People tell me I’m hard work, simple, weird and my relationship with my Dad, well, I think like Rosie it effected me.  I was always wary when someone liked me, I don’t feel pretty, I know I’m not tactful, I care too much, and all I wanted was my Dad too not blame me for how he was feeling , not resent me for being independent and stubborn (yes I think that’s a classic fault but its more when I get angry and someone won’t bloody listen that I’ll stick my heels in, or if I think I can do/should do something from fear of failure or worse looking thick! ).
“I asked you here tonight because when you realise you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” 
“I formed a provisional conclusion that most of these were simply variations in human brain function that had been inappropriately medicalised because they did not fit social norms – constructed social norms – that reflected the most common human configuration rather than the full range.”
‘I thought my behaviour would make you happy, and instead it’s made you sad.’
‘I’m upset because you can’t love me. Okay?’
This was worse! She wanted me to love her. And I was incapable.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this little book, but I laughed I cried, I almost shouted out ‘yes! why can’t people realise that we are all different and stop trying to conform each other!’  I hated trying to fit in at school and as a result ended up in my last year not having many if any friends, I was suffering from migraines at the time and the tablets I was on made my hands shake so I tried to hide it from everyone and then got bullied for this and other things. I still find today as an adult that  you have to ‘fit in’ I hate it. Take me for who I bloody am. Its a hard enough struggle trying to be Helen never mind thinking that I mustn’t show people up, it makes it worse.

Again back to the book, with all the projects going on like the wife project then  the father project, I loved how it made him step out of his comfort zone, how it knocked his routine, pointing out possibly that not all change is bad, that we get stuck in bad/old ways and I Just takes one thing to rock the boat to make us open our eyes.  Don stuck to his routine because he felt safe and then along comes Rosie who thinks Don is a bit odd and in the end both show each other new things.

I love how it was lots of ‘if’s’ and ’causes’ and ‘wrong information’ that lead you down a different path. We also believe, rely on what other people say and do things to please other people thinking that this is the right way, or we’re worried what others think, As Don has proved we shouldn’t and we should embrace life and accept that we’re not all perfect but at least there is someone out there for everyone. And everyone can be happy. We’re just got to accept ourselves for who we are and others and that we shouldn’t try to hard to change them or us.

We all have flaws, we all have issues, but we are all beautiful and unique in our own way.

Read this book its a great book!

Thank you for reading


My love of reading

I have a few job interviews lines up and one question I was asked yesterday was ‘What are your career ambitions or life ambitions’ For starters I’ve never been career orientated as such I just wanted a good job that I loved. Now that I have the chance to do anything I’m not really sure. At the job centre today for my ‘how are you doing appointment’ I asked about interview’s and he led me to a lady (who turns out lives on my street – spooky) Anyway when I asked her if they ask me to talk about a subject for 5 minutes what should I say, I said do I talk about something I love like book club or something to do with their company. She asked why I’m so passionate about it, and my love of reading. I told her its because its the one thing since childhood that I’ve loved. We never had much as children after my Dad took ill. Mum would make sure we were kept busy by drawing, painting, reading. We would often visit the library and come back with armful of books. When we were out and about our pocket money would be spent on what we liked. Mum would visit charity shops and we would sit in the book section looking through the books, ideal for Mum as we could get absorbed in it. I remember school holidays were spent is running about in the nearby fields, playing hide and seek or football, or sat in the garden reading. Once I left school I think it dipped until I spent the summer at my Aunt’s and read Harry Potter to my young cousins, then I was hooked again. Once at uni it was on and off depending on my work load. Then uni finished and I ended up staying in a caravan for a few months and this is where I met Mr Darcy. A 30p copy from the charity shop of Pride and Prejudice and hey presto I was hooked. Then someone told me about the BBC version and I fell in love with Colin Firth.

From then on that was it, I would absorb everything and everything. What I didn’t know then was that I sometimes needed to tell someone about it. But at the time the response would be ‘Don’t talk to me about it as I’m not interested.’ Things changed, I lost the ability to read, I could read a chapter and not know what I read, I think I went a year without reading.

Then being on my own apparently turning into a hermit, someone suggested finding a book club. I found out about world book night in the white swan and behind the bar was a sign for Leeds book Club and you know the rest.

My personal campaign unknown to most is to get everyone reading and to let everyone know its not nerdy or uncool and especially not book club. Its a whole different world. I go to book club, to forget the world. To talk about the book chosen that I did or did not read.  To talk about anything really.

Everyone should read whether you read fiction or not because it gets you to sit still for a while and unbeknown to you help your body heal, and that’s your time to escape from this mad fast paced world.

So come on, pick up a leaflet, a poem book, a hymn book, a comic anything, it can also be electronic but it won’t have that lovely ink on paper smell, or show you how close you have left until the end of the book (yes I know there’s percentages but I don’t know how to work that out)

So start reading today! Even if its just a chapter a day!

Thank you for reading


This is happiness



 I went for an interview for a job today the third in five years and I’m finding I’m a bit rusty. Didn’t help having to get larger size clothes from having a bad diet and little exercise in the last few months, but hey I’m happy. I’ve had a lump under my ear for a few weeks, at first it was rock hard and it started to soften a couple of days ago. I must have knocked it when I was washing my hair as I looked in the mirror brown gunge was running down my neck. I spent 10 minutes trying to stop it bleeding and ended up putting a plaster on it. I was hoping if it didn’t stop I could keep my hair down and no one would notice but, thankfully it did and off I went.

I’ve got to say they ask a lot from you these days when applying for jobs. I understand why, but they may as well add your shoe size for the amount of questions they ask.

I’ve always felt that I’ve not been career orientated or sales person, although in one of my jobs I was really good at it and could work with the stock I had to get a sale. One question asked to day was where do you see your career going or an aspect of your life. I replied with ‘I run a book group for book club and I want to get everyone reading. Even if its just a magazine. At Puffins we’re reading books from our childhood and modern ones. It gets people together and gets them talking about something they love. I want to make reading cool as it’s very beneficial to your health. It helps you take time out and you can learn something. You see it doesn’t always have to be fiction, reading a magazine, a biography a non fiction book, a map even. Reading is magic. it exports you off the earth/planet for a bit and if its a really good book, touches you and stays with you for days, almost like your first love/kiss.

I’m at the job centre tomorrow so I’ll be prepping for that, and then for another interview on Friday. Its busy busy busy.

If you have any tips on job hunting, interviews or life in general please get in touch. I’d love to hear from you.

p.s. I am really happy at the moment and I am so proud of myself for being so.


Thank you for reading


Lessons they forget to teach at school

They probably do this now, but what I’ve realised recently being around students is that, we are cocooned until the age of 21 if still in education, or 16 is we decide to leave and tackle the big wide world, is that we should have got told about cost of things budgeting, how to deal with things breaking. I think I’m asking too much here and someone’s going to tell me its the parents role. But when students are off doing a degree and living on their own for the first time, there should possibly be a mini crash course of how to survive in the real world. In my case I feel like I’ve been surrounded by people to long and now after 4 years on my own, no job, no savings and probably no pension, I’ve spent most the day sorting through paperwork, looking for jobs online and trying to plan my week ahead.

Once you leave the comfort of uni, the student prices soon dry up, bills are probably not split 5 ways any more and student discounts suddenly dry up. I rememeber I got a shock when I tried getting a open return train ticket up to Mum’s and what cost me £15 for 3 years was now going to cost £40. Such a big leap. I had to start looking for cheaper options.

One of the things I keep saying to myself is that I need to clear the house. I have looked at moving but for the same price you get a small room in a house and sometimes bills included. only problem is if someone moves out you have to pay their share of the rent. So I decided for now to stay still. Funniest thing is, that this gradual clear out and reorganising has actually made me feel settled. it seems to have taken years for me to finally feel like this, and especially at a point where everything could go tits up.

But do you know what, Although I’m scared too death I’m actually feeling surprisingly happy and content.  The house is finally feeling like a grown up home. Somewhere where I’m not ready to bolt from every morning. I can actually organise myself and sit and work with unlimited coffee.

Although today I got so bored I dug out the pack of googly eyes and started sticking them to everything. They look quite good. I got told about a kids programme called ooglies and watched this episode. The potato is my favourite.  I’m now watching despicable me2 while sorting through he laptop and getting rid of rubbish, along with checking I have everything I need for the rest of the week.

So I hope you’ve had a good weekend, enjoyed the random weather, and have some fab plans for the next week.

Thank you for reading.