Funny Girl

I had pudding last night, for the first time in probably a couple of months. Occasionally, over the Lockdown, I’ve sneaked a mini Bread and Butter Pudding in between meals. I’d forgotten how much I enjoy that experience…

I also spent most of yesterday doing the exact opposite of what I’d originally planned for Friday. I wrote a poem which, once it’s sat and gathered dust for a bit, will be one of the three I submit for the National Poetry Contest I will Never Win [*] and That’s Okay. Normally when I do these it is in the white-hot anger of having not won the previous year. Not this time.

This time, it is something else I am angry about. I doubt this will make one iota of difference to progression, but what it does make for is a poem with real bite, distinct from its predecessors and, amazingly, with distinct style too. All in all, it adds up to a comfortable new high water mark for the journey. It will make editing poetry this morning a lot easier.

I give this Poem

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Saturday’s Agenda

If all this gets done today, I can have Sunday off, and that’s all that really matters to me right now…

Sarah, speaking earlier

I’m sorry, I’m having WAY too much fun with all this faffing about: at some point, undoubtedly, we’ll end up going back to boring five line paragraphs, but the temptation to play with all of this for comedy porpoises remains quite strong. In all seriousness however, there are se7en things on my To Do List.

Six are pretty heavy duty, and if I can get traction on them all, and at least four completely finished, I’ll take today as a towering triumph. One is probably impossible today, because it depends on someone else. However, if I can buckle down and get all this sorted, it gives me the free time I need next week to write poetry collections, and right now that matters quite a bit.

Maybe I could ask WordPress to work out a Strava embed for this new system…

[*] Not with that attitude you won’t…

Here’s the Thing

Undeniable Truth #286

(in a long series of ‘Things that Frustrate Me about Publishing’)

I absolutely HATE learning that I’ve not been shortlisted for The Thing, or indeed I’ve not made it past the first stage by getting the email that tells me who has won The Thing. When I am in charge, there will be communication at every stage of the process. I will attempt to provide coherent feedback. Mostly, it will all be far better organised.

Seriously, how hard can it be?

In other news, I played with the WordPress features yesterday and yes, this will be useful, once I can get my head around the process. Blogging every day will help with this, of course. We learn by doing, not complaining it got too hard. Therefore, there will be a great deal of doing and very little of the other stuff, because nobody has time for that.

I wanna use three images here as an example of what it is now possible to achieve going forward with the website: what you can’t see is that this allows me to make my pretty simplistic layout into something hugely sophisticated and smart. It will also fix an issue I have on various webpages that have previously needed to rely on grids for their construction.

It doesn’t look like much, but the consequences of this really are significant.

This Feature is Great

I promise I will learn to use it responsibly.

There will be an actual post tomorrow as well, not just me faffing about.

Dollar Days

Today, this seems strangely appropriate.

If anybody wants me, I’ll be trying to spawn the perfect Civilization: Beyond Earth map and trying not to think about anything else except a victory.

Sweet Disposition

Yesterday was… the word I want to use is transformative.Β Things took place that previously would have resulted in far more emotional, negative outcomes. This time around, however, the right answers were very easy to ascertain. Often in domestic situations the truth can get lost in petty niggles or undisclosed unhappiness. Not yesterday. All paths were clear, directions easily signposted.

Old Me [TM] might have considered this some kind of bizarre divine intervention. I’m aware that Mercury is in retrograde right now, which means all of this stuff would normally be fraught with danger…except, for me, even the Universe itself does now not get to stop me doing what needs to be done. All of yesterday’s conversations, including the hour after Blaze class, were all very, VERY stress free.

They were also, and unexpectedly, massively useful for me.


This is a journey into unexplored territory. The weekend away was much needed, but ended up as a far from perfect experience. The poetry that’s resulted from it is, let’s be honest, a bit of a revelation. I’ve got some stuff to organise going forward as a result, plus current scheduled stuffΒ  has become a bit backed up. It was far more important yesterday to get the personal issues dealt with above everything else.

Also, there’s the European Washing Mountain over there, bags still to be unpacked (next job on the To Do list) and a ton of other things that were never really dealt with before we went away. However, in a change to our normal lifestyle situation, a lot of those really aren’t as stressful as they were before, so in that regard a couple of days away has indeed had the required effect.

Maybe all of this really is changing for the better.


No, seriously, the path to enlightenment does appear a bit easier to ascertain this morning. A lie in helps, sure, but just being able to get up and get started quickly and efficiently means the world. Being able to focus, all this planning and exercise, is hugely helpful. However, at the heart of it all is a new, and reassuring, belief that I am treading a new path that remains worthwhile.

Okay, less talking now and more working.

These Foolish Things

Won’t mention it here again, because thirty days of telling people you’re exercising when they’re quite happy not to is quite likely to result in losing friends. This morning is noted here for two reasons alone: I turned up, at the Gym, and had to awkwardly stand in reception until they officially opened at 10am. That’s a first. It’s also hugely satisfying when your instructor tells you she thinks you were the only person actually pushing themselves in their class.

That’s a massive compliment.

It’s two weeks before my scheduled Cholesterol and Anaemia blood tests. If I eat REALLY well and am not a complete idiot, both of those are more than likely to come back normal. If they don’t? I’ll cope.Β A month ago, that might not have been the case. A lot has changed since the start of October, mind. The biggest single problem however will not be falling off the sweet wagon. However, not a single mince pie or Christmas Pudding has passed my lips this year. NOT ONE.


Lots to sort this evening, then it is back to rough approximation of normality tomorrow. School runs recommence on the 6th, and I’ll be making the most of every lie-in until then.

Lots of stuff will slowly begin to alter starting tomorrow.

The Only Way is Up

I’m early. There are several reasons, most include not being able to get back to sleep despite today not being a ‘work’ day. Everybody else is asleep. They are sensible and clearly not doomed as I am to spend every waking hour imagining story ideas. They’re being dreamt again too, in a fashion that would make cracking TV. No, that’s not the plan for 2020, but it does mean pulling out some old work and looking again at it, critically.

School doesn’t restart for another week. Remind me to lie in tomorrow.


Next year, I will write here every day. Some of it will be deeply personal. There will be reviews of shit I’ve watched, listened to or read. All the mental health stuff will shift over to the writing blog, and so that everything is not a continuous stream of exercise news (because that could so be all that happened here) there’ll be a new graphic and that will be confined to the weekends only, so you can choose to ignore it.

The only exception to this is RED January which, because it’s all wrapped up with Mind fundraising, will shift over there too.Β The ‘do some exercise every day’ plan has reached Day Fifteen already, despite there not being any scheduled classes until the 2nd. PT will happen shortly, as it did last week, and that’s been a helpful permanence in the sea of bad food choices and late nights.

I’m back on strict rations ahead of blood tests on the 14th.

There will now be a moment to mourn the passing of a mug that made it back through the hold of an aeroplane, but did not survive my wobbly early morning grip. It has memories, of course, but remains just another thing and is the reminder in 2020 that memories do not require physical prompts to maintain. It’s all part of life’s huge, rich tapestry, and it’s time to move on.

Let’s go.

Everybody Come On


There is no fear at this point that I won’t want to go back to words once the weekend is done. Everything is working really well, typing out that sentence will not and cannot jinx the whole thing. There’s even a weekend off exercise, because it’s been a while since that happened too. The next three days effectively, is Christmas organisation. Once completed, I just gotta wrap gifts and throw them at recipients.


The Gym very kindly allowed my youngest in to take some pictures of me for a media project. If I were a different person, a lot of them would have never seen the light of day, including this one.Β Instead this is the one being used for her project. It’s a good reminder that being fit does not mean being thin. STRONG is what matters more, and it’s time to reiterate that fact in my own brain.

That and other things will be suitably addressed this weekend.

Rain is Falling

FINALLY, a decent night’s sleep.


I’d like to spend less time awake, but you can’t have everything ^^

What this week has taught me is that if I want to finally shift the tummy fat, I should be running on an incline. There’s a long way to go in terms of mental toughness, and some harsh questions still need to be asked around my body image. I’ve also admitted that eating well is a far better way of dealing with trauma than binge or fast, which is the lazy way of admitting there’s a problem.

I’m back on shakes for breakfast, which reminds me, I need to order more Huel.


I would walk to the gym but it’s raining, and the forecast says this is the plan all day. Normally that would annoy the hell out of me but after the last couple of days it can rain all it wants and that’s absolutely fine. In fact, it’s a perfect day to drive first to exercise and then to shop. After that, we’ll organise what exactly gets done this weekend and hopefully knock off some more novel…

Oh and at some point, I’ll have a proper conversation about exactly how dieting and weight loss has sculpted a portion of my last decade…

Personal Jesus

Saturday. YAY.

The first brace of Southend poems are out in the wild. I’ll add a bunch more over the weekend, but there needs to be some additional photography done in the week to bring parts of the presentation on my side up to standard. My notional deadline is Wednesday to be done, allowing me four days to gear up for July and get a couple of things submitted for end of month deadlines.

Next month’s already looking packed. I’ll cope. For the first time in what is probably forever, the prospect of doing things is not phasing me. I am ready.Β It was tough yesterday though, fighting physical fatigue, getting all the poems up and ready. This is a different, uniquely different kind of stress that I’ve not previously experienced. Once upon a time I’d have just said ‘fuck it’ and not bothered.

A lot really has altered in six months.


Today, I have to make a poster: I have a vague idea of how it’s gonna play out, and what’s involved in it, so husband can print it: a bunch of A4 and A3 frames will then be made up to hand over to those individuals who have inspired me in Blaze class. Sometimes it isn’t about what you take from an experience that matters. More often than not, giving back is far more significant. I’m looking forward to reactions.

This is going to be a day of learning.

Something Changed

This morning all the people that were lost along the way are recalled, as if this were the end of a long and difficult battle. The people who I no longer wanted to know, for many reasons, because I could never be to them what they obviously wanted me to be. Those I cared for desperately, whose own lives were so much more important than our friendship. The people who just made me laugh and feel comfortable. You’re missed most of all.

So much has been sacrificed to get here.

Also, I know brains can’t exhale. Don’t @ me.


So, next up presumably is the period where all this just becomes normal and I finally head out into the world and make new friends, based on this change of outlook, and everything either fits or it doesn’t. Having a reasonable number of immediate worries effectively wiped out is also a decent start to the week, all told, so no real concerns in any department is a bonus. So, why am I not sleeping properly?

It’s all the fallout that’s not yet settled, possibilities that now rise as a result of these changes. There’s too much light in the bedroom and not enough ventilation, so that needs to be fixed. I should be doing at least an hour’s vigorous exercise. There are still things to fix. All of these things are undoubtedly true, but none of them can be immediately dealt with.

Instead, time to do what can be done.