Category Archives: Sundays

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





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


Happy 5 year anniversary to me and me

So another year another anniversary. 5 years of being single. There has been brief relationships/dates that unfortunately didn’t work out and I find myself at 35 no hubby, no children and no pets. Just me in a big house with lots of books and crap.

It has only been in the past year and changing jobs 4 times and going through those different experiences that I find that I’m finally waking up as me. That I feel human again. Sounds daft I know, but a few people have mentioned it to. I have always, always tried my best to fit in. At home growing up, there was Dad in his own little world, Mum had to sometimes concentrate on Jane and I would help, but Mum always knew when I was struggling and knew I had a stubborn independent streak, but I always felt I shouldn’t be a burden, not that I was, I don’t think. Then School, I hated comprehensive, going from junior school where we all had our best friends were one big happy group and then we got separated and it was such a scary place I just didn’t fit in at all, especially after I was ill in assembly. I ended up spending most of my school days alone.

College fared better, then I left home and became independent for real. And I think that’s when it makes you think that you don’t need help or that you don’t think you should ask for it. You want to prove you can do it on your own and you don’t want to fail. Similar to when I moved into this house. Again in October it will be 5 years of me and these four walls. I’ve got what I always wanted in a sense, a home, with objects in it, where I can hide away after a long day at work, I’m just not sharing it with anyone that’s all.

“I don’t like to be labeled as lonely just because I am alone.” – Delta Burke


People think that certain goals should be reached by certain, I agree, I thought by now I would have a good career (which I do) 2 kids (don’t have) be married with a house and possibly a dog or two, but sadly I’m not, I’m single, I’m coping with depression, I work full-time and I try to maintain a home (rented), which sometimes isn’t easy. Like I’ve said before, bills aren’t halved, food shopping can be tedious, food goes to waste when you either don’t eat it quick enough or forget its there, and the fairies don’t do the washing up no matter how long you leave the dishes in the sink.

I would like to meet someone, but my heart is still holding me back after all this time, It’s not just people you want to spend the rest of your life with that can break your heart, its friends and family to, and mine seems to have locked itself away for the time being not willing to trust anyone to look after it except me, sounds daft and I can hear you all shouting get over it! move on! I have, I’m still here and living life, but if I did meet anyone they would have to deal with my love of book club and Mr Darcy/Colin Firth and an abundance of other stuff. But especially Mr Darcy – see here

So if someone you know is single, please avoid the dreaded question of ‘how’s your love life?’ because if they had one you’d be the first to know.

Thank you for reading


How not to get your work done: Part one

Drop everything for a chance to go to IKEA as you haven’t been in months and come back with a table (normally candles)

A suggestion to look around Ikea ended up in a spark of inspiration and unexpected purchase after a table hunt, I love it! I put it together alll by myself in about 20mins and its still standing.

At least now I can have a spot near the window and feel like I’m getting some work done.

This was my to do list today

Morning progess:

* Jazz up CV – X

* Clean house – 80%

* Get cooking oil and buns from shop 

* Dig self out of pit of despair – status bar still loading

* Get washing down – still on round 1 now 2 (16:13)

This afternoon

*CV -x

*Job hunt -x

*Sort bag out for tomorrow -x

* Decide what photos to get printed -x

*Finish book -Curious Incident of dog in night time -x

*Enjoy a bit of sunshine –

What not mean’t to do:

* Have laptop in 3 feet feet area of where superglue is incase it expodes and drops land on screen and leaves residue all over it *idiot*

* Eat a whole pack of chocolate biscuits because of the above happening

 * got to IKEA and buy a table, but it was so much fun!

One sunny Sunday morning

Well what a week. First I lose something that I love doing then I lose my job followed by all sorts of other things that make me feel like I’m back at school and my teacher telling me I’m not good enough and that I wouldn’t go far. I then go on to share something on Facebook without realising truly what offence it caused and all hell breaks loose. Silly stupid me.

Yesterday I decided to do something for me, and spent the whole day in and out of the house taking camera equipment around Leeds. I also went down the the bridge by the docks and put a few locks on with special messgaes. I would show you now but as we everything this week, my sd card reader broke and I can’t transfer the pictures across.

Yesterday I felt fine, I was buzzing completely happy, trying not to think about what is going to happen in these next few weeks and the impending doom of unemployment. Last time I went to the job centre they were completely rude and said I was over qualified and most likely not to get help. I’ve heard things from my sister to about how they treat you and I am really not looking forward to that. So today I am feeling like I’m in the pit of despair

In the meantime today is planned to be ‘sort my life out and redo CV day’ so far I have taken my camera out, made a bacon butty and tried to dig myself out of this depressing mood. So far it’s not working and I’m sat on the doorstep with my laptop writing this and moaning to the world. 😀

On the plus side I’m proud of how I pulled myself back together this week, I did feel like I had hit rock bottom again, but what good would that do. I’ve had an amazing time these last few months and there’s a smile back on my face, and I’ve been the most creative I’ve ever been in years, so I must enjoy while I can. I just need to stop getting used by negative people and try my hardest to succeed again. I would much rather someone give me a break but I don’t think that’s in my destiny or whatever you call it.

So to Sunday, let’s get the house sorted, get that set of shelving down and get job hunting. After all I do have one of the best book clubs in Leeds 😀 (Puffins)

Thank you for reading


when it hits you just like that

I’ve been so busy these last few weeks sorting out an opportunity that could change my life forever if I were to get it. At the moment I’m panicking that I’ve put in all the effort but won’t get past stage one. OMG I’m on X-factor crossed with Sliding doors but without the singing. I just wish I knew which path I’ll end up on.

I was supposed to have a lazy day today but I’ve edited the radio show I do, such a laugh, I’ve had the cameras out twice (forgot to put film in the first time round) Cut the weeds down in the garden, washed up (very rarely do this) sorted out stuff for work tomorrow, scanned in my colour negatives, which were processed yesterday and I am so in love with them. Whist waiting for them I wasted time and went into a charity shop looking at books, turned round and there was a cabinet full of cameras. I saw the box brownie and nothing else, I didn’t care if it worked I just wanted to own it. I found later one of the mirrors was damaged but hey if the film still exposures I have a right little gem in my hands. (and breath)

Loki Lego
Loki Lego

I started watching Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire to try to get myself to sit still. I was still working away on the computer but at least it’s something. I have then sat and watched Avengers Assemble and in doing so dug out my Lego Loki keyring. I tweeted this and got told I was obsessed. My reply was ‘It’s probably why I’m still single. That and going through my computer, it dawned on me that I have been living in the same house for almost 4 years and next month I would have been single for that same time. Ouch.

In that time I’ve been to hell and back. No one can judge me on what that is as no one, no one knows what goes on behind closed doors or in someone else’s head, no matter how much you think you know them. The moment I realised that I was getting back to some kind of norm was when my sister said ‘Mum is happy, some of the old Helen is coming back’ She was right. The old Helen that enjoyed life, did take things too seriously sometimes but there was always that spark.

Now I have a few regrets but I have so much going for me right now that I have to just hold this feeling of content and if things don’t work out the way I want them to, well I’ve had a blast, and I’m grateful. At least I know there are other opportunities out there I just need to grab them.

I just want to say thank you to my Mum and Sister for their support. My friend Lynn  and her family. Kirsty White for absolutely everything. Niamh and the book clubbers  who attend all manners of groups and world book night. South Leeds Radio for giving me the opportunity to learn to produce a programme. If I’ve forgotten someone I’m sorry. I suppose I should thank myself for not giving up. For being determined to carry on even when it got tough, or to not let people bully me again. As someone said, I was beaten these last 8 months or so now I have the chance to forget all that and start a fresh. I may not have what I want in some ways, but I’m damn lucky to have what I do now.

I wrote this, and you have to be so careful what you write and publish these days but I wanted to see if anyone else has been in the same situation and let me know your thoughts.

Thank you for reading


What ‘if’

I’ve been working over the weekend and woke up this morning and thought it was Monday and wondered what on earth I did Sunday only to realise it was Sunday and I still have the day ahead. So I’m up and raring to go with the company of Mr Darcy.

I found this yesterday and thought it was very apt to what was going on at the moment:

‘if’ by rudyard kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master,
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

Kipling is said to have written the poem ‘If’ with Dr Leander Starr Jameson in mind, who led about five-hundred of his countrymen in a failed raid against the Boers, in southern Africa. The ‘Jameson Raid’ was later considered a major factor in starting the Boer War (1899-1902).

Tis the season not to be jolly

So, here’s the beginning of the end of 2013. It’s going to disappear as quickly as you say ‘jack flash’ or whatever it is.

Yes I sound grumpy but I have been having such a good time social wise and learning incredible amounts of stuff with the cognitive behavioural sessions,  I just don’t want it to end.

So what have I learned:

* That I still care to much about the wrong things

* That I am only human and when one bad thing rolls into another its best not to let it snowball like it did from Tuesday through no fault to anyone. It was just lots of things to cope with in a space of a short time and I didn’t have a moment to sit down and process it.

* I am finally settled in my house after 3 years but desperatley need to move to cut the costs. I need a fairy godmother I think.

* Life throws so many things at you that some are good/terrific and others are mean’t to test you, and the others will attach to you like leeches that you need to be really strong not to let them pull you down to their level. it’s a toughy

* That it’s good to talk, sometimes on the phone, but so much better face-to-face. Hence why from now on I’m making a better effort to talk/spend time with the people who have helped me over these last few years, I just wish I could go up home more.


* That I’m finally becoming content with myself. I like me, I like what I have achieved, I like being part of Leeds Book Club and the Radio station, in fact I love it, I breathe it. Ask me a few years back if I would be a part of either or doing this I would have laughed in your face. I don’t know what others think or whether I’m any good but I love it. I love doing book reviews and chatting about books, I just need to put more effort in reading the bloody books and not letting life take over. Having depression makes you stop reading. I hate it. I am to resolve it the best I can.

* I don’t like being labelled but it’s took me a while to accept that I have had issues and I’m finally sorting them, I’ve always been slow on the uptake, but a part of me think I’ve always been sacred to accept who I am and that I’m allowed to ask for help or have a problem.

* That some point or other you turn into someone you didn’t want to. I turned into my Dad and something else I didn’t like. But I think I’m fixing that now.

The rest of 2013 and into 2014

* Get Christmas over with. What I mean is I can’t wait to get home/oop north for Christamas and spend three days with my Mum, sister and Milo the dog. I miss my boy. It’s the first Christmas without my Dad and I want it to be a good one. This is about my Mum and what she’s coped with all these years and yet still been there for me, even if I’ve not been in touch enough. sorry Mum. xxxx

* Then there’s the dread of my birthday in January and I’ll be officially a grown up and head south to 40. I will be 34 *sobs* how did I get so old. My friend told me last week at pool that I had turned into a rebellious teenager, I said I had been thinking that to. 😀

* I also want to know why songs don’t have many lyrics in them and that they keep repeating stuff. I want a good song to screech to!!!!! (sign of old age)

* At the radio station I have some big things going on but will tell you near the time,, in the meantime, I am doing a new show with Kirsty called What’s on and we need to know events going on in South Leeds that need promoting. We will also be doing a second book to bookclub to do with health, The first one in January will be self help guides the one in February will be a guide to dating and March mind and spiritual guides. any suggestions are kindly welcomed.

* I got asked what I wanted for Christmas yesterday, like my Birthday I’m never sure. but this year I’m aiming to get my self a printer and have asked for a a4 organiser/filofax so I can keep my whole life in and organise my bookclubs and stuff for radio. It will make me feel and look important *scoffs*

* I aim to be very busy next year, being involved in anything and everything. This year has proved I learn’t a little at uni and that it wasn’t a complete waste of time and that I can do more that I think. I am one talented,young lady.

This is DJ HellsBells reporting from a small place in Beeston

Thank you for listening, sorry I mean reading.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you for reading xxx

Helen: Version 10.8.2

‘what kind of magic spell do you use?’ because you seem so different? are but you see ‘Things aren’t always what they seem in this place.’

‘No nothing is as bad as it seems………And we can learn to love again’

‘And I don’t want the world to see me
‘Cause I don’t think that they’d understand
When everything’s made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am’

People keep mentioning that it’s good to see the ‘Old Helen’ back. They’re finally realising I’m trying to sort things out if not a bit late. To be honest I don’t know who the ‘old Helen’ was  and I don’t think I liked her. Although there has been so many changes over the past 3 years and when I look back, I don’t think sometimes I made the right decisions. I think I just floated along.  I just went with the flow. I went to work did my job came back and then slowly rotted away. I think things started changing once I started running and going to bookclub and passed my driving test. I’ve made so many mistakes over the last three years and it probably started way before that, in fact I know it did, and now I feel like I’ve woken up from a bad dream and I’ve got to clean up the mess as everything is shattered into pieces. I didn’t much like the old Helen. Tell a lie I did and I didn’t. Firstly I’ve never liked the way I look. I’m border line pretty and feel that I don’t look to feminine. *shudders* In recent months I have made the effort and dressed up and ‘put my face-on’ which apparently is a shock to some people. One person said you couldn’t improve on perfection. I had to laugh.

You see here I go again playing the victim when in fact in recent weeks I have proved to myself I can do things, I can manage heavy workloads, I can run a house, live on my own, sort of do a radio programme 🙂 run a bookclub or two. I just need to get the rest sorted and Bob’s your uncle. I have 10 days off soon and plan on cleaning and sorting the house along with helping a friend redecorate (eeks!) and have decided what books don’t fit on the bookshelf will be going as although I would love a large library some day at the moment I need to stop hoarding all the excess baggage and get rid of stuff. I have my kindle for ebooks and the use of the library, and seeing as the libraries are in threat of closure in this country and best do my bit to keep using them.

everyone needs their friends even when they aren't there
everyone needs their friends even when they aren’t there

As mentioned before I am my own worst enemy and in recent weeks I have stopped letting things get to me that I believe aren’t worth it anymore. and you know it works. If things aren’t right then there’s not much I can do about it. I just need to get on with what is working and enjoy the things I love doing and make more effort to see my friends and to say thank you for the help over the last few years. One being my friend Rachel in Norwich. Without her, my sister, the people at bookclub and radio, my friend Lynn and of course my family, I’m not quite sure what I would be doing right now. My school wrote me off when I was approaching my exams, and said I wouldn’t go far. Well, just look at me now. I may not have everything I want, But I’m starting to find peace with myself and enjoying learning new things.

On my days off I need to have a good clear out and a good planning session of what projects I have to complete and what can be binned because I’ll never finished them.

This version of ‘Helen’ might have aspects of the old but hopefully will be a bigger improvement and not crumble and hideaway when things change for better or worse.

Next update: version 10.8.3 download now

Thankyou for reading