Tuesday, 5 January 2021

Reasons to Stay Alive

2020 has been very difficult for everybody in many different ways.

Unfortunately 2021 will not get a lot better for quite a long time so it is safe to say that despite the new year, the hard times are not over yet.

How can you cope?  I wish there was an answer.
Perhaps if I share my coping mechanism it might help you.

Early last year, before all the Corona stuff happened, I read a book by Matt Haig called Reasons to Stay Alive and this tells his story about learning to to live again following his mental breakdown. He tries to focus on and remember to be thankful for what he has in his life, not on the bad stuff.
At the end of The Hunger Games Katniss tells her young infant how she copes with the Post Traumatic Stress caused by competing, by saying that she lists everything she is thankful for. She describes this as 'getting a little bit tedious when you do it all the time but there are worst games to play'.

I think that is how we all continue forward from this point, by counting our blessings.
I am grateful for my mum and for having a roof over my head, enough food to eat, my beautiful carefree kitten, Maggie and of course Wi-Fi and Netflix (!).

I have even managed to meet lovely new people and do some new things this year. However, after the weirdest year the last thing I expected was to be nominated for an award. In particular one for my blogging which, as my friends are aware is not a regular thing for me. I only tend to post when I have something to say.
Quality not quantity.
So a big surprise when Richard C Brown nominated me for the Sunshine blogger award. He is a fantastic blogger and here is the link:
I thoroughly recommend that you click the link, have a read and find out what a literal genius he is, as well as a much-loved trustee of Ataxia UK and an MBE.

To accept the award there are a few requirements:
  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide the link to their blog
  • Display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo
  • Answer 11 questions (Richard has kindly provided me with 11 questions)
  • Nominate up to 11 other bloggers for the award, which I will do in a separate post.
  • Provide 11 questions for your nominees

What makes a good blog post?
Have something to say. Don't just waffle.
I like posts that are not just informative but they have a message behind as well I really like it when you get lots of useful information and can relate to an article but also so it provides some kind of answer to a dilemma or or reason for moving forward.
What one thing or person has changed your life?
There is not one thing. My life is many things.
Family = my mum because she enables me to be able to live my life.
Friendship = Lucy, Alison and Lesley. Dr Tuppy Owens who has enabled me to gain a social life and have relationships which I never thought I would.
Do you have any pets?
Yes, I have three. Lily a male African leopard tortoise, age unknown but estimated at about 12. Dillon a male Mediterranean hermann's tortoise, 20 years old and a recent edition, Maggie who is a 7-month old kitten.
Have you done any voluntary work? 
I finished paid work in 2012 due to my disability. Since then I have had three voluntary jobs spread out over this time.
Admin for Dysphagia Matters.
Membership Secretary for Berkshire Tortoise Club.
Trustee for the Outsiders Trust.
I am hoping to volunteer for Ataxia UK and possibly as a text counsellor for Shout.
What is your big passion in life?
People. Family, friends. Socialising, listening, being kind, paying it forward, sending out good karma. That makes life worthwhile.
What have you rediscovered during lockdown?
Gaming on PC and Embroidery.
What is your favourite film and why?
Well the answer to that would be Edward Scissorhands. I love the story and the innocence of the character of Edward. It is so well written, acted and is visually stunning. The music is great too.
Have you ever done anything to raise money for charity?
Yes I have been doing that kind of thing my whole life, right back in the early 90s when I started with the sponsored 24-hour famine. Every year we had a sponsored walk at school and the money would go to a good cause. All my voluntary work includes assisting to raise awareness and funds. Most recently if you look at my last blog, I made a video for Ataxia UK and and posted it with own a donate button and raised £150.
Are you a gamer?
Yes. I have recently rediscovered some of point and click games that I used to play a lot.
I absolutely love Tomb Raider and and have them all but unfortunately with the decline of my hand function I am no longer able to play my PlayStation.
Do you believe in Ghosts?
I guess the answer would have to be no I do not believe that there are spirits and entities around (I ain't 'fraid of no ghosts!) although I will admit to having been to see a few medium shows such as the late Colin Fry when he was touring and I was very entertained. I guess I went because I was curious but nothing happened to me.
Where and when in history would you visit?
Being such a sci-fi dystopian fan it has always been the future that has intrigued me but the answer would be ancient Egypt. The pharaohs and their culture has fascinated me for decades and I have seen many documentaries and read many books about the subject. To experience it would be amazing.


  1. Tortoises and ancient Egypt - who knew? Let's go back there and start a new cult!