Saturday, 22 April 2017

My personal ‘Gut Regime’

It’s three weeks since I took myself in hand and went to Grayshott Manor Spa in Hindhead Surrey. During my 40’s my health wasn’t great (but I managed) and by my early to mid-fifties I felt my body was falling apart, and there still wasn’t time to stop and draw breath and take stock, until now. As I’m rapidly approaching my sixties it frustrates me that my eighty plus year old Mum is far faster, fitter and slimmer than me.

For the life of me I couldn’t work why my weight kept creeping ever up and up as I didn’t over eat and when out in company often people commented that I ate less than them, however the weight continued to load up until I reached my heaviest weight ever and being as short as I am, this wasn’t good news.

I found Grayshott Manor last year (April 2016) and as a newbie to a Spa resort I wasn’t brave enough to sign up to the Gut regime, until now; however last year’s visit did encourage me to do so, in fact almost a year on from my original visit.

I can only praise the 7 day Gut Regime course. A lot of what is discussed in lectures I knew but had let slip whilst being too busy at work etc, some evidence and specific scientific points were new to me and I did agree with the suggested eating plan.

The food is superb, I mean completely off the scale good, being waited on at table also helps hugely, not having to think, shop, prepare food, cook: a hidden blessing! All I had to do choose from the menu offered.

The spa treatments and therapists made me feel pampered and special and during any free time I turned back into my 6 year old self becoming a mermaid in the pool. And my fellow Regimer’s were awesome; all there for a variety of reasons, mostly personal health issues. Our group of 14 gelled well. Even on days when we fasted, we sat after the Bone Broth supper talking, mostly about food and what we were learning.

On our final day, the final weigh in bought amazing results. The men lost more weight in 7 days than the women, however some of these women’s losses were equally amazing. I lost a lot of weight in 7 days; it’s staggering and likely all fluid; however the significant impact I saw was that the inflammation and swelling in my arthritic left knee significantly and noticeably abated.

Just this single result alone is sufficient reason for doing the Regime and my original driving force to sign up. I’ve a two pronged attack this summer, either get match fit and slimmer ready for the big knee operation later this year or if I lose sufficient weight just maybe I can postpone and hold off this huge operation as my lovely Surgeon has requested me to do.

This is the start of my journey. My new clean eating regime at home. A bit like learning to ride your bicycle for the first time without stabilizers…

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Garden observations...

I grow Hostas. Well let me clarify that statement, each year I attempt to grow Hostas. Usually these are poor attempts, smallish plants ravaged by slugs eating the tender green leaves as one of their five a day! Turning my dreams in to a mottled frilly fretwork of uneven holes.

A few of my friends, who are more gifted than me, grow magnificent plants far larger than mine and I often wonder how they succeed when I view my efforts.

After some recent heavy rain I noted that one of the pots was water logged and turned it on its side to let the excess drain. Then I did nothing as it didn't cross my mind to right the pot in case it got water logged for a second time.

In yesterday's glorious sunshine I inspected my garden for the first time this year, as I'm a fair weather gardening, allowing my garden to rest over autumn and winter months. That is the best excuse I can find for not gardening in the cold and inclement weather.

I righted the pot; to my surprise this pot had a healthy head of live Hosta shoots, far in advance in growth than any of the other five remaining pots! It appears that by turning the pot on its side and placing the crown of the plant in an enforced darkness has encouraged a forced growth!

I'm off to rescue these tender shots now from a slug invasion as I imagine that within a five mile radius these tender shots will attract many more slugs than I already house in my clay logged soil. And perhaps it might be wise to turn the remaining five pots on their side too, and place them in an enforced darkness now.

Let’s see how these fare in a week or two…

Monday, 13 March 2017

The great slug escape

This afternoon was the first time in ages, in months even, that I’ve sat in the garden and done nothing. Well not quite nothing. The sunshine was glorious and its the first proper chance I’ve found to top up the Vitamin D naturally.

It was a mellow moment.

Wonderful bird song filled the air. A lot of noisy wing flapping and posturing by two doves as they made ‘whoopee’ in a large bushy conifer close by drew my attention. A big ol’ bumble bee busied itself buzzing around my head looking for nectar, and the blue canopy of sky seemed further away than it’s done in a while and I couldn’t help but notice that my patio was strewn with large lumps and clumps of drying moss, presumably removed from the roof tiles by the early morning birds looking for nest building materials as there’s a lot of dried stringy plant fibre too and I’ve no idea where that’s come from…

A damp cushion retrieved from the ground was laden with slugs, on its underside, all shapes and sizes, simply Yuk. I pegged the cushion on the line out of the way, while I wandered off to find gloves and removing implements to de-slug it. This was when the moment the conniving slugs made their escape.

I returned to find an unusual sight and as I stood and watched an elongated slug spun itself a fine sliver of a clear trail and suspended from the edge of the cushion it dangled several feet above the ground. The wind buffeted this slipper strand that stretched and stretched until it finally, under the weight of the slug, it snapped and the slug plummeted to the soft new grass below. I’d not seen these slug acrobatics before and discovered there were none left to retrieve!

Before settling down to bask in the warmth of the suns rays again I sprinkled seeds a few Love-in-the-mist and Californian Poppies. If the birds don’t find them tomorrow theses seeds might thrive. As I wandered back to find my seat I spotted a splendid fungi right next to the path, a home for fairies perhaps.

But best news of all is the cherry blossom is in full bud! Encouraged by the warmth of this morning's suns rays a few buds have burst open to reveal soft pink petals. These late winter days, before the Spring solstice, that hold the promise of a Spring day yet to come, is undoubtedly my favourite time of year.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

A farewell kiss.. (unedited)

Being brave...just letting my words fall on the page.

sometimes there are things
that we didn't realize we miss

until a sudden flash of memory
recalls the reassuring sound of the sea rolling in

and then there are people we miss
the people we want to hear from again

a need to see you in person
yet there's nothing I can do to return this loved one to my presence

perhaps a good memory can flood our body with a satisfactory moment
to fill that longing and desire

but that's never as rewarding as the close physical embrace
when arms wrap around warm bodies pulling each loved one nearer
as if drawing them within the whole

missing him

missing her

missing them

missing from my life

missing from your life

missing from theirs

but what is it I am needing you ask?

or to hear you laugh again...

a laugh tinged with excitement
to hear my own laughter respond with joy

that moment of unbridled happiness when two people share ecstasy
when their lives sync

to know with certainty that the one place I want to be is close to you
to do nothing in particular accept enjoy each others company

never be sorry for sharing happiness
never be sorry for spreading joy

knowing that your smile hides secrets
that have hidden depths

and once revealed
there's pleasure to be experienced

remembering a farewell kiss
and longing to see you
once more

Monday, 1 August 2016

Crushed Hope

I was sitting in mind had emptied and these words fell into my mind:

crushed hope

desiccated blooms
cellophane wrapped
unyielding stems held erect
lashed to rusty railings
bleached blond petals and leaves
ravaged by keen sea breezes
a tissue thin everlasting memorial

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Malware: Analogy explaining M.E. (Myalgic encephalomyelitis)

Over the years, more people than I care to count have asked me to explain how my M.E. (Myalgic encephalomyelitis) affects me, what’s it like, what is it, this illness that has a poor press and bad reputation.

The thing is, they all expect me to have an easily relatable answer, when the medical community can’t even agree on it.

So here’s my analogy:

M.E. is like the next generation malware. It sneaks into your operating system through weaknesses in your firewall you don’t even know you have and it infects your hard drive.

Your firewall launches your anti spyware, your malware detectors, your anti-virus, tasks clogging up the RAM until the whole thing grinds to a halt and stops working like it should.

You run diagnostics, but this malware is sneaky, and you can’t remove what you can’t find.

So, you take your computer to be repaired, but this IT person says they can’t find anything wrong with your computer, tells you to run a scan and it’ll work again.

It doesn’t.

You go back to the repair shop, but this time the technician says the system is fine, you’re just not looking after your programs properly.

Eventually, you go to a different repair man, because whether or not it’s a user error and there’s nothing really wrong, you still can’t get your computer to function like everyone else’s computer.

This new technician might take a look at the computer and refer you to a specialist, because they think that there might be something wrong after all.

And when you get to this specialist, who might agree that yes, there is something wrong with your computer, and that no, you weren’t imagining it and no, it isn’t your fault.

But the specialist tells you, they don’t know how to fix it.

Written by CM @ChucktheGremlyn

Published here with her permission

Saturday, 17 October 2015

What does 'writing' allow you to do?

Writing allows me: to explore ideas mine & other peoples

Writing allows me: to explore my emotions

Writing allows me: to explore my reactions

Writing allows me: to revisit old loves

Writing allows me: to reclaim my past life

Writing allows me: to invent impossible new & yet plausible situations

Writing allows me: to study relationships & record events

Writing allows me: to do things on paper that I wouldn’t do in real life

Writing allows me: to be someone I am not

Writing allows me: to do something I wouldn’t easily do as me

Writing allows me: to take a different perspective

Writing allows me: to be honest

Writing allows me: to be less than truthful

Writing allows me: to be down right deceitful

Writing allows me: to escape

Writing allows me: to let my imagination run wild

Writing allows me: to share my ideas

Writing allows me: to express my thoughts

Writing allows me: to rewrite my past

Writing allows me: to reframe a bad situation

Writing allows me: to take a leap of faith


What does writing allow you to do?