Posted in Real Life

The one about the uphill climb – weekly update #5

Well it’s been a while but I’m back and although I feel a complete fraud calling this a weekly update the plan is to get going again. Ready? Let’s get 2020 started.

Christmas was lovely. It’s my favourite celebration. I love the build up, shopping for gifts, gathering with friends and family, the delicious goodies. And once Christmas was done we spent a long weekend in the Lake District. We overindulged and we made precious memories with our lovely family.

As the last decade ended and the new one began, it was my birthday. And touching very briefly on the fact that I’ve now reached the age my beautiful mama was when she passed away, it has been a little emotional for me. I have no frame of reference now in terms of what she would have been to me and what our relationship might have been like. What I’m reminded of though is how important it is to be healthy in order to live a longer life.

With the fact that I am now firmly in my 50s I recognise that it really is time to get started on living that healthier and more active life. Over the last couple of years I have put on weight. A couple of years ago I had some trouble with my knee that resulted in a consultant confirming that I should expect surgery. However with exercises from a physiotherapist, using an exercise bike daily for twenty minutes and the use of a personal ultrasound machine I cured the problem myself over a number of months. So now I have only minimal joint issues related to a bad spell of psoriatic arthritis and I am absolutely ready for what will undoubtedly be an uphill climb to lose weight.

It sounds so easy right? You eat healthy food, have smaller portions, leave fat and sugar in the supermarket where it belongs and exercise more. Simple. The reality for me however, is that I go out for meals, catch up with friends and get tempted by cocktails and all the goodies associated with “having a lovely time’. I put off going to the gym even though it is literally in my house and kid myself that walking the dog for twenty minutes every day is enough.

So here’s the plan. The weekly-ness of the blog is back and each week, whether you want to hear it or not I’m going to share my little victories, together with my little setbacks! We’re all human right? I’m not expecting an overnight miracle but I am expecting to meet the challenge and here’s why.

Last weekend, we were in Grasmere (the home of an unusual gingerbread that set every single one of my teeth on edge but which was delicious nonetheless). It rained a lot. However, on the Sunday afternoon we had a break in the weather, donned our warm clothes and sturdy shoes and set off on a walk. Now, since my aforementioned ‘knee trouble’ I’ve exercised but not to the extent of anything even close to hill walking. With my trusty camera around my neck and a short-lived jaunty spring in my step, we set off together. After an hour or more we came to a turning point. My brother stood beside me and explained. ‘We can go on up there where the view is better for photos’ he said, pointing in the direction of a steep, seemingly endless path ‘or we can go back the way we have just come’. It was approaching 3 o’clock. Light would fade in an hour or so. My legs and ankles were already struggling. I felt the rest of the group were far fitter than I and I didn’t want to hold anyone back or be embarrassed at how slowly I was walking in comparison to my super fit, marathon running sister in law. My face was freezing. We were already reasonably high up and the views were lovely. And there it was. A decision to be made. Take the easy route and turn back or keep going, onwards and upwards and be rewarded with the more spectacular view? It was an easy choice in the end. ‘Let’s keep going’ I said. It was a stony, uneven path in places and I totally had moments of regret as we continued on. However we reached the highest point of our walk and I felt a feeling of unbridled joy. I thought back to the times I could barely get out of the chair and realised how far I had come and how rewarding the more difficult route was with it’s stunning vista.

I know that losing weight will be a similar uphill climb. I know there will be setbacks and choices to be made. I know some days I will fail miserably (January 24th…. I see it coming already!) and other days I will surprise myself with what I can do. But I’m in it for the long-term win and for the resulting spectacular view. Bring on a healthier 2020. Come and join me why don’t you. How can you possibly regret it?

Big love,

Jules x

Posted in Book Review

Jessica’s Promise by Jill Childs

Hot on the heels of one of my most favourite books of 2018, Gracie’s Secret comes another Jill Childs cracker, Jessica’s Promise.

Angie lives next door to newcomers Teresa and Craig and their two girls, Fran and three year-old Jessica. Harassed Teresa, desperate to make her mark in her chosen career happily takes up the offer of babysitting services from kind neighbour Angie.  Continue reading “Jessica’s Promise by Jill Childs”

Posted in Book Review

The Proposal by SE Lynes

The day after I read The Proposal a stranger knocked on my door asking if I wanted a quote for non-existent repairs to my roof. I held my barking dog close, muttered ‘no thanks’ and slammed the door in his face. Such is the power of SE Lynes new magnificent, dark and twisted thriller.

‘Come in, she said. I want your life story. What she meant was. I want you.’

Continue reading “The Proposal by SE Lynes”

Posted in Book Review

Gracie’s Secret, by Jill Childs (available summer 2018)

This book review starts with a wow! A big huge emotional and overwhelming WOW! I’m reading two books a week at the moment and I genuinely didn’t think that at this stage, and with 600 downloaded books on my Kindle that I would come across a piece of writing that would move me the way Gracie’s Secret has.

Gracie is three. On an average day during an everyday journey Gracie is involved in a horrific car accident that leaves her fighting for her life and having to be resuscitated by paramedics. Only Auntie Ella, who was driving the car knows what really happened but as Gracie recounts details of the journey and the events immediately afterwards her Mum, Jen realises there is more to her ex husband’s new girlfriend than meets the eye.

Continue reading “Gracie’s Secret, by Jill Childs (available summer 2018)”

Posted in Book Review

Review: Vox, by Christina Dalcher (available Aug 2018)

Imagine. You’re a top neurolinguist in a near present dystopian US where men matter most. You have 100 words per day in which to be heard. Reverend Carl’s devastating Pure Movement has all but silenced women. However now they need YOU to deliver a cure for aphasia. Something is amiss. You fear for your life and the lives of loved ones. How far will you go to protect them? Can anyone bring Pure to its knees and in doing so will they have to make the ultimate sacrifice?

It’s superb. I give it five chartbusting stars. It will leave you feeling outraged and alarmed. You’ll want to ….. (DANGER 100-word limit exceeded)