Hip Swinging…


After reading up about the health benefits of hula hooping, and feeling the need to rid my waistline of a few extra inches, I purchased a weighted, self-assembly exercise hoop online. It must be almost fifty years since I last hula’d (or is it hooped?) and back in the 60s we used large, hollow plastic circles which were as light as a feather, so the thought of spinning a 1.2kg piece of kit around my belly was a little daunting. However, I’d like to firm up my mid-section and this seemed a fun way to do it.

Luckily for the postman my new toy was self-assembly. With a 60cm diameter I’d underestimated just how much space was needed to avoid smashing the telly or knocking over dozens of plant pots, but thankfully once the sofa was shoved against the wall I was able to get the thing moving, albeit briefly.

Apparently I’m not quite as supple as I was when I was five, but I persevered despite disappointment at the hoop repeatedly hitting the deck after just one journey around my torso, but after just a few days I’m quite proud of the fact I can now keep it going for a whole minute! I’m probably getting more exercise from picking the hoop up off the floor than from spinning it around my body, but ‘practice makes perfect‘ as they say. I ache, and I have some slight bruising to my ribcage, but the good news is that I’ve already lost an inch from my waistline – yippee!


Wired For Sound…

Front view male figure torso with holter monitor and ekg/heart rhythm inset

At my scheduled cardiology appointment I had the usual ECG with a side-order of echocardiogram before spending half an hour discussing my recent health issues with the heart valve nurse. I was reassured to discover that the leaky valves are no worse, however due to some new chest ‘niggles,’ along with swollen ankles and the cough that I’ve had since January, I’m now going to be asked to return in a couple of weeks time to have a heart monitor fitted. I shall apparently be wearing my funky tech for two days so they can see what’s actually going on with my ticker, so that’ll be fun.

In less exciting news I’m also going to be facing an invasive angiogram to find out whether my arteries are furring up like an old kettle; which could explain my symptoms. I have to admit I’m less than keen but I have little choice if I want my cardiologist to make a full and accurate diagnosis. Although it’s positive that the NHS is doing all it can to check every inch of my insides, it’s not a procedure I relish.

Oh well, at least for today I’ve come away with a little bag full of new tablets to try out in the meantime, so hopefully by the time I have to have my arteries filled with something colourful that’ll show up on an xray I might’ve stopped hacking my lungs up. Fingers crossed!

Unexpected Treat…


While pre-arranged nights out are great, unexpected last-minute nights out are a very welcome surprise indeed. An email out of the blue regarding a Quiz Night at a local pub led to a flurry of social media messages, and a few hours later I was being chauffeured to a fun evening out with my mates! Didn’t see THAT coming when I crawled out of bed this morning.

After 3 hours of drinks, chat, cheesey tunes and even some correct answers, we’d managed to win meals and wine! What had started out to be a cold, wet and rather miserable Thursday ended up being extremely entertaining. Just goes to show, you simply never know what’s coming next…

Playing With My New Toy…


After an busy week, which began with a Bank Holiday and included juggling shifts at two different workplaces and a quiz night, it’s nice to finally be able to chill out for a while. It’s even nicer when the sun is shining and you have a new toy to play with outdoors, which is why I’ve been for a lovely long walk, snapping pictures on my new mobile phone.

It takes a while to get used to new gadgets, even longer when you’re technically-challenged, but I’m gradually learning what I can get out of something with only 5 megapixels at my disposal. I’ll always use my faithful old Nikon for important photos like holidays or big events, but I have to say that this new alternative is quite useful, with it’s ability to take panoramic and night-time shots as well as a range of other options. Hmm… I have a feeling this could turn out to be rather a lot of fun…!

Let’s Get Quizzical…


Well, I’ve already enjoyed several Quiz Nights, and a Quiz with Musical Bingo, and now I’ve been to a Quiz with a meal! The event was a fundraiser for a local Wildlife charity and the venue was a fabulous posh golf club right next to a beautiful lake. As it was such a warm evening it was the perfect place to chill out with a drink while watching ducks and moorhens swimming among the water lillies.

Being veggie, my yummy jacket spud was covered in cheddar cheese while the carnivores tucked into chilli. The quiz consisted of questions our team were actually able to answer, for once, and although we didn’t win any of the raffle prizes a thoroughly good time was had by all.

What an excellent way to spend an evening; stunning location, great company, delicious meal, fun quiz and all in aid of a worthwhile cause. Well done to the organisers – can’t wait for the next one!

Affairs of The Heart…


The Cardio Respiratory Department at the General Hospital wasn’t my favourite place to be at 8.30am on a Wednesday, especially when it was already nice and sunny outside, but as I needed to have a heart scan I guess it was the best place for it.

The last time I whipped my top off in front of other people was in Gran Canaria last December, while lounging on a sunbed under a massive palm tree beside a fabulous infinity pool, which was a whole lot more fun than being topless while laying on a hard hospital bed in a cold, clinical environment in front of a Cardiology Technician. However, needs must and all that…

The process itself, laying on my left with my arm above my head while having an ultrasound of my heart wasn’t painful, just a little uncomfy and not the best environment for making ‘small talk’. Fortunately it was all over and done with relatively swiftly and now I have to face the next bit – the two week wait while the scans are thoroughly examined by a specialist and the results sent through to my GP.

No point in worrying about it though – I’ll deal with whatever I need to when the time comes, but for now work beckons. That winter break in Lanzarote won’t fund itself!

I Did It Myself…


There’s no feeling in the world quite like achievements made solely on your own merits, with no help at all from anyone else. Knowing that you didn’t have to rely on another person, or people, to accomplish something is vastly more meaningful than when others did part of the work for you.

I fixed my own tech equipment by watching youtube videos, not by playing the helpless blonde, hoping some nice chap would mend it for me. I got my new career without any help from others, but by making sure I secured an interview and then did the best I could on the day. Whether it’s something relatively small, like DIY, or something huge such as a new career, the satisfaction of knowing you did it all yourself is extremely gratifying.

Of course, I don’t do EVERYTHING myself; quiz nights would be no fun whatsoever flying solo for example; but these days I make sure that I’m surrounded by people I CHOOSE to be with rather than people I NEED to have in my life in order to function, and that’s a very strong basis for healthy and positive friendships.