Saturday, 22 October 2016


The leaves are turning and the weather has chilled. I've been struck by a cold, powerful but hopefully short. Yesterday I could barely think, today I just feel like I ran a marathon!

The streets in my neighbourhood are wide and lined with trees, and make this time of year beautiful!

Sometimes the leaves fall in a could of days and the grass is covered by a carpet of yellow, red and brown leaves. Other years, like this year, it's more of a gentle trickle of leaves over a week or two.

And something's are just better in colour:

Monday, 17 October 2016

Get me to the airport on time

Well, after a truly fantastic weekend, it's time to go home! I was warned that airport security was a pain and we were worried about traffic so we left with plenty of time to get there. 

No traffic and security in 5 minutes mean that I have two hours until the gate opens, and nearly two and a half until the flight is supposed to leave! Never mind, rather really early than 2 minutes late...

A wedding, family Sunday lunch and today shopping with my cousin (how my suitcase isn't too heavy I so not know!), who very kindly put up with me for a few days and I'm ready to see my family again! 

It's always a strange feeling, going home. I've loved my time here, and yet cannot wait to see my other half our my boy again!

A tinge of sadness this time as well. We all knew that the next time we will be together will be to say our last goodbyes to my father who is not well. I don't think that anyone managed to say goodbye to my parents when they had to leave the wedding reception early as he was too tired with dry eyes. And then everyone felt guilty for crying at someone else's special day.

So, whilst we all want to see each other again, we don't want it to be any time soon...

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Coming out day

Something I am thinking of putting on Facebook for today:

Today is coming out day, not a day to force people to come out - that has to be done in your own timescale - but to make it visible that it's something very difficult that some people have to do.

Thinking about it took me back to when I started coming out, and made me realise that it's a process that doesn't really stop. For me, however, it did get easier to do.

The first time I was terrified of what people were going to think, how they were going to react and just how badly I was about to screw up my life.

And that is what stopped me for, oh, so many years. People commented on me being brave when I eventually did it. But I wasn't. I was petrified. In fact the only reason I did come out is that I was more afraid of ending up in hospital with a panic attack (again) or worse. Really, really not good times. I slept poorly, I could not concentrate on anything and felt I was spiralling away and had no idea what to do.

Thankfully the support around me, from close friends and family I told, to medical professionals, made that first round survivable. And so I moved forward. After each round of having to come out I had such support from a large majority of people that it gradually made the process easier.

But what I have noticed is that I still have to come out, even now 7 years after that first time. New people who give do a double take when I mention my wife rather than husband. Or those who get to know me well enough that my history becomes important (seeing as I refuse hide my past to those close to me - random strangers don't need to know my history, but I am not going to invent a second narrative to my life for those who get to know me now).

But, it is much easier now. Much. And for that I would like to thank each group of people that helped me in round before by being brilliant human beings and listening to me when I needed them to, and by treating me as just me when I told them.

Thank you! I have been unbelievably lucky with my story. Something I never take for granted. If only my story was the norm, as it should be, then there wouldn't be a need for coming out day, and  me from around 5 years old to 35 years old wouldn't have needed to be terrified and so alone.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Famous Five

Whilst walking between offices today I phased this alleyway leading to the back gardens of some houses.

My camera was drawn to the shadows, not quite the contrast I was hoping for, but nice enough.

But my mind was taken back more years than I wish to my childhood playing with my cousins in the summer holidays where we would cycle into the countryside, pretending to be from Enid Blyton's Famous Five looking for adventure down narrow pathways. Amazing how your mind can transport you back decades! (Not that we ever found smugglers, pirates or treasure though!)

Right time for some ginger beer and cake!

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Oh, what a beautiful morning

Driving to work this morning I was blessed witha sky painted by mother nature at her best!

There were scattered clouds, the sun was rising, and the con trails from the planes (ok, they are not that natural...) were working together. 

The sun was still rising, so the contrails were illuminated from below. But it had risen enough so that the low lying clouds were illuminated from above. Beautiful! 

I was thinking that I would miss the chance to get this photographed. I saw a rest stop on the motorway and decided that I would risk being late and just stop. Sometimes you just have to step off of the conveyor belt of life and enjoy the world!

As I said on FaceBook:

A beautiful sunrise this morning. The rising sun shining down into one layer of clouds whilst still illuminating the con trails from below was so impressive I had to stop at a rest area on he way to work to get these pictures.

Sometimes you just have to stop and enjoy nature!

And, because sometimes you need colour in your life:

Sunday, 25 September 2016


Yesterday was about new boots, today was about new running shoes.

Well this morning was; this afternoon was about celebrating my mother-in-laws birthday :) A great time was had by all, and the little guy especially (he exhausted himself!)

But, this morning. My old running shoes were old. Really old in time (probably from 2013 or 2014) as 2014 and 2015 I hardly ran sure to the birth of my son, and a really heavy operation.

This year I have ran lots. So far  since 4th January I've covered around 450 kms and have built from 20 per month at the start to 70 to 80 over the last 4 months (with the vacation September isn't looking great. If I make 42 I'll be happy...)

And it shows (and smells :o) in the shoes... The padding in the soles has totally gone and they are falling apart...

So new ones! Yet more Asic Gels, as my last 4 or 5 pairs have been. And... Wow! The padding and support that new shoes give is always surprising, and this was no exception! When I got back my feet barely knew they had started, yet alone knew that they had done more than 10km over the previous 70 minutes. My knees were also felling pretty good and they are my week point.

The only issue... The material supporting my heel is still stiff, and so rather than shaping to my Achilles tendon, it chaffed. But the blister is already looking better, so I hope it's not going to be too bad!

So, the picture. This is a bridge about half way round my run today. There is a block of houses which back onto water  and a path that runs around both it and the houses. It's about 1km long, so a good place to make distance if you are ahead of time, and lose if you are behind. I was about on time today, so just one lap. The picture was taken during a rest in my intervals (I was tired and dropped the phone whilst taking it. Yet more damage, at least I hadn't had it repaired yet...). I love the ribs along the bridge and have been meaning to get the picture for a while. Considering the circumstances I'm happy with the result!

Saturday, 24 September 2016


I adore swing dresses. So much so that I've even been known to pick the dress over a new tech gadget on occassion :)

But in winter there are some drawbacks...

Namely that it's really hard to wear boots when you need to. Calf boots are just a little short to look good - the leg gap between the tops of the boot and the hem of the skirt isn't my favorite look!

So, I got an early Christmas present yesterday. My parents gave me cash to get some over knee boots to keep me warm! I won't wear them until winter (probably) but wanted to get then now whilst I could find some I liked.

Today was the check that they are long enough to go with a majority of my dresses. 40 minutes, 8 dresses (6 with petticoat) and a handful of skirts shows me that, yes, that are awesome boots and they will get an amount of wear this winter. And, yes, there are a couple of dresses and skirts that make the boots look a little more at home on the street than I would like. I think I have to be careful how I wear them.

Oddly enough one of my shortest skirts looks amazing with the boots (which I wasn't expecting - I was expecting mutton meets pretty woman with that one), whist a longer one looks totally wrong (when I was expecting it to look ok...)

This is one of my petticoatless dresses after I took it off. It floated to the floor and settled so nicely that it had to be today's picture. It's also one of my favourites and, whilst the leg gap makes an appearance with it, looks lovely with the boots. Our maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part :) We'll see when I wear it outside for the first time...