Category Archives: Days Off

Why am I so important?

That sounds like a big ego statement, but I promise you it’s not. In recent months I’ve been trying to figure out who I am and what I want, what I want for the next 26ish years before I may or may not retire. After recently discovering (good thing or bad, I’m still not sure) that my vitamin D deficiency will be an ongoing thing for the next 6 months at least and has been at least half of what it should be, I’ve realised I haven’t been well and definitely not myself, whoever that maybe.

At my last Doctor’s appointment with the review of the vitamin D, I told him about my forgetting and how things have improved, and the only way I could describe it is, the feeling of waking up, that I have walked,stepped out of a fog. In some cases I’m seeing what others do in me, the success of LBCPuffins and then in others I still wonder what the fuss is about.

Tomorrow I’m back at work after 5 days and I’ve got that back to school feeling you get after a week off. Simply because I’m wondering if I’m still good enough. I feel so much better, I’ve had catch-up’s with people, read books, walked dogs, topped up my vitamin D with natural sunlight, cried at Billy Elliot, food shopped and cooked from scratch. I now have a freezer full of meals and a cupboard full of essentials. My kitchen has never looked so healthy. However I still managed to put the coffee in the fridge. We can’t all be perfect :p

That’s the first sign that things of changed. The fact that there are no ready meals in the freezer, only home cooked food. The only junk food if it’s classed as that is some pack of biscuits and fizzy pop. Talking about signs on Friday and Saturday I watched some films, mainly cartoon ones, Inside Out, The Princess and the frog,  and hop, along with catching up on the tv series Sleepy Hollow where Ichabod Crane awakes in a different time, or something like that. Anyway in all these viewings, it’s about finding who we are and our places in the world.  This is true for me. Trying to look after number 1 for once and focusing on me, has been quite tricky, proven yesterday when I tried to have some me-time.

Me-time you say? but you live on your own. Yes I know that but when you’re at work and may feel lonely even when  surrounded by people, and yes that’s possible, and yes spending time with friends and family is amazing, it’s great to have company, sometimes we need that time when the house is quiet and you’re focusing on you. Now sometimes I can’t stand the quiet and yesterday after returning from a friend’s I went straight out again for a walk. This happens on occasion, I can’t stand being in the house after being surrounded by people, and if I can’t get out I clean the house or play lots of music or find a distraction. What I find funny about this is I seem to never wash-up and avoid it like the plague when I should really do it  every night.

The thing is, I really, really don’t know what I want, except a year out, a year away from retail and to recover, rediscover and enjoy the sun, even though I was so scared when my good friend said she wanted to move away I felt so selfish and didn’t encourage her, I think we all need to find what’s best for us and do it. I can’t take a year out, not yet, what I need to do is refocus and work out what I can do around work. How I can spend my free time, besides my beautiful book clubs, I need to reopen project Helen and discover the art of healing, forgiving and discovering who I truly am, not Helen the daughter, the second-mother (to my sister), the sister, the friend, but Helen the awesome, amazing person everyone keeps telling me. As I can’t see what they do, and I think it’s about time I did.

I’ll keep you updated on the progress but for now I best go and iron my uniform.

Thank you for reading





I’ve just finished a book called ‘sorted! The good psychopath’s guide to bossing your life’ by Dr Kevin Dutton and Andy McNab, another self help book, one I found by accident while looking at ways to improve things at work and in my life in general. its a fab quick read with lots of tips and a personality questionnaire and I’ve done it and I think its spot on, here’s the results:

Neuroticism: You are tense,anxious,highly strung and insecure… the best of times!!!

Extroversion: You are moderately outgoing and appreciate both time alone and social activities.

Openness to experience :  You tend to favour a balance of old and new ways.

Agreeableness: You are generally kind and affable but at times can be sceptical and uncompromising

Conscientiousness: There is some degree of method in your madness!!!! You generally work to achieve goals but also maintain a good work life balance.

And I love at the end how it says: ‘….however, give you some idea about what makes you unique in your ways of thinking feeling and interacting with others.’

Love it!!!

And the funniest bit… I scored average in all subjects bar neuroticism where I scored high. Wonder what it’s trying to tell me :p

Thank you for reading


Book Review: The Shining Grils – Lauren Beukes

As you know, I’m chief puffin of LBCPuffins and part of LBCOutlaws and in recent months even stretching to a year, I’ve been pretty bad with book reviews, but this book has got into my soul, it’s the only way to describe it. After a week at work where one customer ruined it for the rest them and left me shaken for a whole week, to end up full of cold and to spend my Sunday sat/laid on the sofa reading is a bloody miracle. I needed to rest and I did it. And yes this book made me go ‘oooooooooh’ and having to put it down to make a coffee or put washing out was difficult.

Please don’t continue reading if you haven’t read it or are attending Tuesday’s meeting incase I spoil it for you as it has done in the past. 😀

But if you haven’t read it yet, I urge you to!.


The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes

About the Author

The Shining Girls, her new novel, due out mid-2013 is about a time-travelling serial killer and the girl who survives his attack and turns the hunt around.

Lauren Beukes is a novelist, scriptwriter, comics writer, TV writer and occasional documentary maker and former journalist.

The Blurb

The girl who wouldn’t die, hunting a killer who shouldn’t exist…

A terrifying and original serial-killer thriller from award-winning author, Lauren Beukes.

1930’s America: Lee Curtis Harper is a delusional, violent drifter who stumbles on a house that opens onto other times.

Driven by visions, he begins a killing spree over the next 60 years, using an undetectable MO and leaving anachronistic clues on his victims’ bodies.

But when one of his intended ‘shining girls’, Kirby Mazrachi, survives a brutal stabbing, she becomes determined to unravel the mystery behind her would-be killer. While the authorities are trying to discredit her, Kirby is getting closer to the truth, as Harper returns again and again…

I don’t know where to begin with book. Perhaps with the format. One of the biggest things discovered in bookclub is the format we read books and how it can affect the story in which it’s read by paperback,phone,audio,e-reader and in this case for me hardback. I’ve never really been a fan of the hardback, I think it’s always been seen as a luxury of which I’m not accustomed to, and always scared to break it as it is seen as  a precious item, then of course is the sheer size of it (is that the right term?) that is doesn’t easily fit in your rucksack, or there’s enough space for your elbows on the bus.
This book I borrowed from the library and I kept putting it off as it looked so daunting. When I did start I forgot to check the blurb and got slightly confused at the time jumps (it also got mentioned at another book club but I didn’t pick up on it.) It took me a while to realise and at this point I thought the author had made an error, then I reread the blurb, and bingo, it’s a time travelling type book. AWESOME! Also the fact I was reading it on paper meant I could flick back easily to check what year we were in and what character was doing what. Yes, I’m a bright spark I know. But that’s what’s more enjoyable.
This year I have so far read 15 books, some of which are for book club, this time last year I had read about 4, I think. I don’t know about you but I sometimes can be a slow reader and then suddenly  a book grips me and WHAM! I’m off. When people say they can read a book in a day, I scoff. ‘It can’t be done!’ Well I bloody did it, along with a walk in the park, washing and several cups of coffee. Anyway I’ve gone off course…BACK TO THE BOOK!
Like I said I didn’t realise what the time jumps meant at first, I got really confused and wondered how one character could be in a time frame she wasn’t born in but then I think I read something wrong by that point. You see the point of the story, is that the killer steals a coat and finds a key to a house, a house that although stays rooted in Chicago could send the baddie back and forwards in time to kill. That this deranged man picked out girls and waited until they were older before killing them. That was until I thought there was a typo and had to re-read the blurb on the book. Silly me.
That then lead me to practically inhale the book. I got very annoyed when the washing machine needed sorting as I didn’t want to put the book down. You see the bad guy – Harper, sets about picking out girls, gives them a present and tells them to hold on to it for him then years later up he pops and in most cases kills them. But not in Kirby’s, she was given a toy pony while she sat outside her house playing and years later survives a brutal attack by said baddie and goes on a hunt to track him down, all with the help of an older man who is a journalist who first fancied her Mum but then falls her big time, but of course gets injured in the process.
With me so far? I will leave the ending for you to read as I would love to know your thought on the book. I loved the writing style, the descriptions were very detailed, the characters were outstanding, I really felt for Kirby and her upbringing and the strength she showed to find out the truth. I actually felt I was in the story and that rarely happens for me these days, I could see the house, see the streets, the batman and robin duo fighting crime, it was a good read for me and one of those where it left me needing to watch Harry Potter to make me feel everything is ok, it was that creepy.
Whether I would read another of her books, I would have to let this one settle before I decided, as if it was as creepy as this I might need a sunny day to read it. But I highly recommend you read this one.
Thank you for reading

Happy Valentine’s Day 2016


Happy Valentine’s Day everyone whether you have someone special or are single everyone deserves to enjoy the day. As for me, I planned on a pj day of doing nothing and sitting on the sofa, and perhaps reading. Instead I woke up at 10am after 12 hours of sleep, made pnackes from a ready-mix box, went for a walk, cleaned the house, did three loads of washing, fixed the lock on the gate and took the rubbish out, oh and cooked a Sunday lunch, mince and gravy, veg and yorkshire puddings.

On tv this afternoon the famous BBC Pride and Prejudice has been on and in between watching that and pottering about I have had an amazing day. I actually feel quite good about things. I’ve not felt like this in a long time. Perhaps it’s because i cleared the air with someone yesterday, or had natural vitamin d on my walk or had such a long sleep, who knows.


I have my reading mojo back, I have so far read 13 books this year and finished book club bookway ahead of schedule. It’s so good to be enjoy reading again. I just need to kick start my exercising and blogging and I’ll almost be complete, and then all the things I can’t immediately fix will fall into place.

I also have plans to fix things in the house, sort the damp out in the bathroom and fix a new blind, paint both the bathroom and bedroom with anti damp paint and as I keep moaning about it, have  major declutter. But all in good time.

I hope whatever you did today was spent well and that you are happy. People put so much expectations on Valentine’s Day, just like they do at Christmas, and after all it’s just a day, and it’s what you make of it that counts.

Thank you for reading



Things to be thankful for

‘and asks me the question dreaded by all Singletons. So… how’s your love life?’

The line from one of my favourite films. As I realised that it is only 4 years and 4 months away from my 40th Birthday and I am not where i expected to be, I realise that I don’t need to keep punishing myself. As someone pointed out the other day it is my choice to be single. And it’s true. The reason? I just don’t want to be hurt again.

Recently i have felt like I am just waking up. Waking up to a person who still have struggles, who holds down a job, runs a house, try to have a social life, runs a book club, and last of all tries to be a good Daughter and Sister and friend to the ones I love most.

Instead in some peoples eyes (and yes I should stop listening to what others say and think) I haven’t yet made it. Why? because I haven’t dated in such a long time. All my other achievements are insignificant.

I would like a family, but at the moment, I don’t need anyone else in my life and I feel someone would become dependant on me and it wouldn’t be children. I think taking on other people’s emotions and needs is such a big job these days that the romantic nature of Elizabeth and Darcy will always be a dream. But that’s how I feel. I also believe I have so much work to do on myself, hence project Helen, that I love this time I have to myself and I want to make the most of it. What I would love most is finding the time and money to go up home more regularly and see my Mum and Sister. I just seem to have fallen into some bad habits lately and need to get back to prioritising.

Currently on FB you can see what you did a year ago, and that was working in the coffee shop, I also saw a post where I planning what I was doing this year. Oh how things change. So perhaps it’s time to plan the next 4 years and 4 months and make the most of the rest of my 30’s. I you have any ideas let me know.

In the meantime some pieces from articles found on the web.

‘Don’t feel like a failure; seize the opportunity to find yourself instead. “When you’re in a relationship it’s very hard to see yourself clearly because you’re constantly in response to your partner,” says d’Felice. Whereas when you’re single, you can take stock, learn from your mistakes and work out what you want for the future. “Particularly for women who have been conditioned to be givers rather than takers,” she adds, it’s an opportunity to put ourselves first. “This is not an act of selfishness,” she says. “It’s a very important act of selfhood.”‘ from an article here

an article on fictional singletons here

choices here

Thank you for reading


pj day


Today was mean’t to be pj day, to sit all day and do nothing. Well after waking up at 8am getting breakfast and coffee and going back to bed, I finally got up at 9am, for another coffee and to watch Murder She Wrote. By 10:30 I was ready to kick the spider out of the sink, been there for ever! wash up and hoover. The need to put the house straight was bigger than me sitting down and reading. I must be mad. I now have a second load of washing on and about to tackle the clothes pile that has built up before another coffee and give myself an hour to read a book whilst my hair was being dyed.


I went to sit outside, no sun on my side at this time but needed some air. Next door’s little boy was out and started showing me his toys. He then told me about the pegs on the line which led onto super heroes. He went and got his colouring book to tell me who was who. It’s so nice to have someone just talk to you and not be judged or moaned at because your not doing what they want. The little boy asked me what the numbers were in his book and then started counting. His Mum came out and asked what he was doing, his reply was ‘do you mind I’m talking to someone’. Kids can be so funny.

2015-09-06 16.10.14


I’m in my sanctuary. the attic. I’m searching through all the rubbish to make it a bigger space. The tables are just covered in junk and i just tossed it on the floor and gave it a good polish. Trying to read Ghostwritten by David Mitchell and wondering what’s going on. I am determined to finish it today. that’s how I will force myself to sit still.


So third lot of washing done, house hoovered and attic cleared of a load of rubbish. Now sat sorting through the computer and in need of a bath. rest of the night will be reading. But first make something else to eat.

Lesson learned: Need to be more strict and sit down and not let things bug me. house will still be there to sort when needed


Ah Sunday’s. Time to be quiet, to have me time, to be with friends and eating a full english breakfast, to be lying in bed for ages because you had too much too drink the night before or before the woking week was a long one.

Last week I had a chance to go to someones ‘not 40th Birthday Party’, My friend has never told anyone her birthday as She doesn’t like the fuss apparently but had a joint party with one of her friend’s who was just turning 32.

There were people from park run, her family, her friend’s friends and it was an amazing atmosphere. I stressed out all week about what to wear then asking my friend if she didn’t mind if I didn’t dress up went in my favourite t-shirt and skirt, the t-shirt saying ‘I have nothing to wear’. It got some right reactions in county durham I can tell you. Anyway I felt more comfortable in this and in a new group of people  (some I knew) I think it paid off.

I learned a lot about myself that night. I realised how much Caroline’s friendship means to me, how others were grateful I was her friend and helped her out when moving. Especially her Parents who kept thanking me for looking after their little girl (hope she doesn’t kill me for mentioning that) I replied ‘I’m just as lucky to have her’.  I also learned a bit about how others see me and what a special person that is and what more i need to do for myself. Like get drunk more often and relax!!!!

The next morning we hiked up to Horsforth to meet Caroline’s running friends and again another fantastic bunch. I felt normal. There are others who have thoughts and actions like me. Both at the party and in the cafe, like the other month in spiritual book club or at LBCPuffins on Wednesday night I felt like I belonged. I’ve been worried so much lately that Puffins wasn’t having enough attendance, that I was doing something wrong, but realised it was silly and life/work was getting in everyone’s way, oh to have a life of luxury and reading. But on Wednesday night when we sat down and started to talk about the book, I did get nervous about introducing it, but didn’t get a chance as the discussion just exploded, I sat back amazed and felt a feeling of pride, that I had brought these people together and was giving something back by leading this group. I can’t thank them enough for such a bizarre book meeting :).

It’s funny what can go on in your head, it really is, but I’ve come to accept this depression thing has been going on longer than I would like to think, perhaps starting back in 1999 when my friend died. I just never knew how to accept it or deal with it until 18months ago when I couldn’t take it anymore, and something had to be done. Now it’s just a long journey to recover, and rediscover me. I tried living without medication and felt like I failed, instead I realise I need that to help me while I work on the other aspects, and now I know I have a much bigger support group than I ever realised I would have, I know I can do this. I will beat this.

So thank you to everyone, to my family, friends, book group people, the furry four legged kind. You don’t know how much you help me.

Thank you for reading


Be aware of what you can and can’t do

Damn, that was a long-ass journey!

-Homer’s Odyssey

I’ve been sat here for 20 mins wondering how to start this post. I haven’t been on my phone or social networks until now and its been fab. instead I have been sat on the doorstep reading a book in the sunshine.  For some bizarre reason I didn’t put any socks or shoes on and spent the day wandering around the house and garden/yard in my bare feet. I did some washing, reorganised the ‘office’ and carted a office chair up the stairs. and now I’m pondering what to do.

This week I realised I had taken on too much over the last month or so, I forget how tough work can be and to take on other projects on as well took its toll this week, and on Thursday I became allergic to something, and still not sure what. I came out in a lovely red rash, which slowly disappeared to leave incredible itching all over my body making it painful for people to touch me. After a last minute doctor’s a appointment I was given piriton. hoorah! itching slowly subsiding after two days, but body is covered in red blotches, perhaps caused by scratching in my  sleep.

Today I woke up after a 12 hour sleep and still feel tired now. I even had a migraine yesterday, and not had one in years. so that was another signal to slow down. Why I got so worked up could just be from things breaking down and past experiences raising their ugly head when they had no right to be there. Not everything is my fault. That should be my mantra,  it really should.

So today the itching has died down, I’ve just felt extremely tired. I have sat outside most the day reading about happiness and nearly finished the book. I normally can’t do this. it normally takes me weeks as I can’t concentrate, but perhaps the sunshine and drinking lots of water have helped.

I’ve also realised, since last week what else I can achieve without thinking about it. Last week I went to Ikea to get another table and a chair so that I could expand the office and hopefully become more creative. I was even lucky to get another black table when Ikea said it only stocked white. A bonus.

After a trip to Scarborough later on I found myself at home alone and feeling really lonely I decided to tackle putting the chair and table together. After an hour, and a few choice words both were complete. And a week on they are still standing. However I now have 3 chairs, as an office chair was given to me on loan today. From nothing to this. It’s better than I could have imagined. I just need to clear the 12 bags and boxes sat behind me, reduced so much in the past month and we are onto a winner.

So lessons learned this week:

  • Stop getting stressed over little things
  • You can do something even when you think you can’t or it might fail soon afterwards
  • Look after no1
  • sleep/rest more
  • read more!
  • get rid of old crap that is just sitting there. let it go!
  • Forget what others think of you
  • And you’re never too old to be told off by your Mum

Thank you for reading


It’s all about me

Today I decided I needed to sort myself out, spend some time with me. I woke up at 6am and stayed in bed until 9:30 drifting in and out of sleep. I had recently bought an offer for swimming sessions and decided today would be the day I go try and swim. I managed about half an hour of trying to do a mixture of front and back stroke  and not sinking. I found I couldn’t swim to much on my front as it hurt my back but that’s something to work on.

I then came home, dropped stuff off to go to the library to pick up a reserved book and before I got through the door the librarian was getting it out the cupboard for me. After that it was a coffee at home a quick shower, before the first load of washing on and then to tackle the attic. I have cleared loads out from the house today and given it a good clean. Cleaning is my therapy and hopefully, I will get stronger at swimming and then I can think about running again as my knee will be stronger and I won’t feel so unfit or fat.

So today I have got loads done i just need to finish off with a soak in the tub as everything is now aching. I advise everyone to take a day out and do what you need to do and not because you have to.

Thank you for reading