Monthly Archives: June 2016

My passport application is in the post

StripeyAnne's Blog


I’m not given to out-and-out anger, I’m more of a standing-in-the-wings-making-waspish-comments type. But as I drove to work on Friday, I was angry. Angry and upset. The vote had been put and the votes had been cast. We were out, out of Europe, out of friends and soon to be out of ideas on what to do next.

The central reservation between the carriageways was strewn with massive ‘vote leave’ placards. I wanted to screech to a halt, burst out of the car, rip them from the ground and jump up and down on them until they were pulp. I wanted to kick them, then set fire to them, extinguish them, then set fire to them again, grinding the ashes under my size eights. Boy was I vexed.

I didn’t of course, it may have helped me feel better, but no doubt some other commuter would have captured the act…

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Dear Brexiteer. What we need you to do now.


So well done, first of all. You listened to the arguments, the same ones I listened to. You heard all the same information I did, you listened to the same debates that I did, but you voted to leave. And you won. I take that – it was a democratic process and sometimes in the democratic process you lose, as I have done.

The referendum has activated the political energies of people who haven’t been interested in politics for some time, so we are told, and many of them are like you, who voted to leave. So here’s the plea of the losing side to you now.

Firstly, don’t stop – don’t stop with your political passion and activism, because we need you now. We need you to be active, we need you to keep talking to the people who you trusted with this vote, and we need you to…

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An amazing Man

Stephen Hawking Has An Inspiring Message For Anyone Who Suffers From Depression

“The message of this lecture is that black holes ain’t as black as they are painted. They are not the eternal prisons they were once thought. Things can get out of a black hole both on the outside and possibly to another universe. So if you feel you are in a black hole, don’t give up; there’s a way out.

Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it. If you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don’t throw it away.”

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Step back

After an amazing weekend off, my first 5k at park run in an amazing time of 34mins 48 secs, I’ve realised there’s something not quite right. Even though I started going to the gym a few weeks ago and loving it and that its the one place that I feel safe, there’s something been niggling me. All this exercise and healthy eating to help improve my memory, aid the depression and vitamin D seems to be sending me backwards. The only way I can describe it is I’m being eaten alive from the inside out.

I’ve found recently things have just got on top of me. Having to deal with uncooperative people, excessive heat, extra work load and trying to fit in time to exercise. That my I’m having days where my memory just goes. That I struggle to get through the day. Then because I beat myself up about it, head home and go straight to bed where I fall asleep until the alarm goes off the next morning. The house has become very unorganised and messy, washing up it left for days.

I have even started to find talking to people about things I’ve been doing difficult, because I get, ‘You told me earlier’ or ‘I heard’ or ‘saw it social media’

So what’s the point in talking? What’s the point in using my energies when no one wants to listen?

We were talking about this at park run on Saturday, how much of a negative person I used to be, and I can see it coming back. I can see it, because things seem to go awry when things are going good, and it’s silly, because  things can’t always be perfect, but what gets me is, I’m trying to better myself yet there always feels like a hidden force trying to pull me back. lIke i’m stuck in slime that won’t let me go.2016-06-22 18.45.59


So when I went to book an appointment at the Doctor’s to try ask for some advice, I found that he was fully booked for two weeks and that I could ring up on a morning for an emergency appointment. That doesn’t seem right to me. I only want help in seeking counselling and check if this exercise is increasing my stress levels or that I just need to give my body and brain time and they  will connect and everything will settle down.

When I had a discussion with one of the medical staff, she did tell me that exercise can cause issues with depression and anxiety, so there maybe something in it. Or it could be I just need to take a step back. Be less caring like everyone else and just take things easy. It seems to work for others. But we shall see.

Depression explained

While we all feel sad, moody or low from time to time, some people experience these feelings intensely, for long periods of time (weeks, months or even years) and sometimes without any apparent reason. Depression is more than just a low mood – it’s a serious condition that has an impact on both physical and mental health. One in five women and one in eight men will experience depression at some point in their lives. 

While the exact cause of depression isn’t known, a number of things can be associated with its development. Generally, depression does not result from a single event, but from a combination of recent events and other longer-term or personal factors (such as family history, personality, serious medical illness or drug and alcohol use).

Exercise and anxiety here


Getting started exercising when you’re anxious or depressed

Many of us find it hard enough to motivate ourselves to exercise at the best of times. When we feel depressed, anxious, stressed or have other mental or emotional problems, it can be doubly difficult. This is especially true of depression and anxiety, and it can leave you feeling trapped in a catch-22 situation. You know exercise will make you feel better, but depression has robbed you of the energy and motivation you need to exercise, or your social anxiety means you can’t bear the thought of being seen at an exercise class or running through the park. So what can you do? More here

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The Pudsey 10k, another great race

StripeyAnne's Blog

Pudsey10k Ready to run!

There’s that point, just after I’ve collected my race number, completed the contact details on the back to say ‘the other Akers way up front, he’ll wait for me, he always does’ and arrived at the start line that I find myself seriously questioning why on earth I want to run another race, at my age. I ask you.

Wiry, bald-headed men are whipping past me as they warm up, I’m convinced they’ve removed all visible hair to give them aerodynamic advantage. Even their shorts are like my grammar school gym knickers, skimpy and skin tight. They are serious runners, these guys.

I always make my way to the back, well, I might as well start as I mean to go on, and then remind myself that I’m here because I love it, I’m even paying for the privilege. And on this occasion, I’m expecting to be beaten…

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See you later alligator…


see you later 01
See you later, alligator.
Bye-bye, butterfly.
Not too soon, you big baboon.
In a while, crocodile.
Out the door, dinosaur. 
Give a hug, ladybug.
Take care, polar bear.
See you soon, raccoon.
To your house, little mouse.
In a blizzard, little lizard.
In a shake, garter snake.
Time to scoot, warty newt.
Don’t meander, salamander.
Hit the road, hoppy toad.
Be sweet, parakeet.
See you soon, raccoon.
Stay well, gazelle
Not now brown cow
‘Till then penguin
To your house, mouse
Manana Iguana
Take care, polar bear.
Give a kiss, jellyfish,
Take a bow, brown cow
So long, King Kong.
Toodle-oo, kangaroo.  
See you soon raccoon.
Toodaloo kangaroo.
In a line, porcupine.
To the bus octopus.
Just a word mocking bird.
see you later 02

Children’s Corner

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Lessons learnt today

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

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

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

*that what you feed in to your body is really important for the energies and thinking that comes out. I got meat from the butchers today and it was amazing. After a week of feeling I’d took 10 steps backwards and cried over a split cardboard box, I’ve made the effort to stock the house up with fresh fruit and veg and plan on making and freezing foods.

*your diet is important if you want to function normally

*Vitamin D can make you very tired

*so can stress, and overworking yourself

*you shouldn’t drink alcohol with certain medications 😀 x

*Retail is a hard sector to work in and its very rare anyone is thankful/grateful

* enjoy the simple things in life – parkrun, chat over coffee and cake, family, frineds, being outside. It’s really simple but we take to much for granted

* I also learnt there is amazing amount of pressure on young girls at school for the right body image. this is still going on 20 years after I left school. from what I’ve seen and heard from my friend Caroline and a group called Little Mermaids we need to act now to stop this. I wish I had had help when I was younger. Thankfully I have it now.

* This week I have a had a few signs that doing the exercise, and however little running and the stressful week that I’m doing ok. Sounds silly but I got given a picture of Xena warrior princess during the week and my friend Carly and I loved the programme. I felt that she was near by. Hopefully she’ll be at the 10k.

*it’s 4 weeks until Leeds 10k and less then 3 months until the Great North Run. I don’t feel prepared for either, but I’m giving it my best shot considering the amount of time I have free. But most of all I’m going to enjoy it. I did the 5k this morning after a horrible week I can do these races.

* I should listen less to the inner monologue

*as adults we think we shouldn’t ask for help, but we should, even if its just to have company, we should all take a leaf from the film labyrinth,

Ludo: [in the mirror] Goodbye, Sarah.
Didymus: And remember, fair maiden, should you need us…
Hoggle: Yes, should you need us, for any reason at all…
Sarah: I need you, Hoggle.
Hoggle: You do?
Sarah: [nods] I don’t know why, but every now and again in my life – for no reason at all – I need you. All of you.
Hoggle: You do? Well… WHY DIDN’T YOU SAY SO?
[she spins around and sees them all in her room, including the goblins. She hugs them all, and a huge party begins]
Thank you for reading

What’s important to you?

Today in Durham market place, while I was awaiting Mum & Jane outside the bank, a young woman came over and asked if I minded helping them with their campaign and tell her what was important to me.

I replied and said no, and that it might appear soppy.

I told her ‘family, friends and mental health’. In that order, I realise I should have said mental health first but that’s for another time. Her name was Naomi and when I said mental health, she quickly turned around and say I have too totally agree with you there, it’s so important’. I then explained briefly about the depression and vit D and how much affect it has had and she turned round and said ‘I fully understand about the depression, I had it a few years ago and does take a lot out of you’.

And it’s true. The amount of times I’ve had moments where I felt like I’ve ‘woken’ up to a situation is ridiculous. Like this past few weeks, I’ve not wanted to run or read a book. The fact I’ve managed to get myself tot he gym and do some sort of exercise and keep myslef motivated has been a miracle, well to me anyway. I said to Naomi how I felt silly that even the smallest tasks like washing up can seem daunting to me and then by the time I feel like doing it, it has piled up so high it’s a bigger task to deal with. The other day when I picked up my prescription of my Vitamin D and saw how many boxes were in the bag, it actually gave me a bit of a shock. I’ve already been on them for 6 months and thought nothing of it, and now to take them for another 3 before I’m tested again is a bit scary.

However the good news is, I have all this going on and I have a massive amount of support from various people that I feel slightly humbled and know that what ever happens in the next 6 months, everything will be ok, even if I’m not fully mended, as I think that’s where I’ve been going wrong. If you had asked me 10 years ago, what I would be doing in 2016 I would have said I would have a family,house,car good job and be very happy. If you had said to me ‘actually you’ll be living alone, have a great job, no car, great family and friends, have done a few 10ks, be running a book club and be organising book clubs, be skint all the time and the biggy….you’ll be dealing with depression and to top it off a vitamin d deficiency which makes you forgetful.’ I’d have probably turned round and said I don’t think I would survive that, that doesn’t sound like me.

And yet here I am, 2016 doing a 42 hour job, running a book club, about to embark on an amazing adventure of a Leeds 10k followed by the Great North Run. I’m starting to think someone’s watching over me and decided I needed a break. so thank you. I will grab this opportunity with both hands and hope to become a success when years ago some people said I would fail.

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I learned this week what it is like to be fully in charge of a business. I say fully, there are some decisions I can’t make and yes I have been in charge before where there’s no hierarchy due to holidays, but this time felt new to me, I mean I have anxiety over whether a book from the library is overdue, the door is locked, or the oven is still on.

Luckily we had a delivery early on in the week, due to bank holiday Monday everything was delayed, all for one day. However things became very busy during the week, very unusual for a half term holiday, and in the end I had to make some big decisions, which now have proven to have paid off.

How I kept my cool this week I don’t know. I’ve had to ensure the machines are in working order, that my colleague is ok, that the jobs were completed on time, a normal week really, just felt a little alone with everything that needed to be done. Funny how it feels to be in someone else’s shoes for a short period of time.

It was such a busy week, I haven’t been able to go for a run, and instead went to the gym, I’m kind of glad I’ve joined as I’m able to do a mix of exercises, such as weights, rowing machine and treadmill and although its not out on the road running, I can see an improvement on my body. Today I did one and a half hours on my own and managed to blow away the cobwebs built up during the week. This week, I have a pure loser class to learn about weight loss, a book club meeting, and some family time. so possibly again no running but lots of walking and two times at the gym. I’ll get there. I know I will.

34 days or 5 weeks

until Leeds 10k

97 days or 14 weeks

until Great North Run

Thank you for reading