Friday, 8 December 2017


Today, (December 8th) I’ve lived in my home with Dolly for three years.

I actually moved in on December 1st, 2014 but Dolly wasn’t ready to leave her Mum until the 7th so it didn’t really feel like ‘home’ until she joined me!

I remember when my Out of Area Care Co-ordinator, Janice, called me to say that they’d found a bungalow that I was eligible to move into and she asked if I wanted to go and check out the area with her. There were two bungalows on the Close empty, so we weren’t sure which it was but seeing that one was on the end and nearest to the local park I hoped it was the other one! While the bid was in for my home, she called me to tell me of another one that was available, but it wasn’t in a nice area. A little while later and I was sat on a bus with my Mum when Janice called and told me not to worry about this second home. I asked why; “because you got the one you wanted!”

I had the keys before my move-in date so that furniture could be delivered, the whole house be decorated, and the floors fitted. But it was such a relief to finally leave Hospital and move into, what we called it at the time, my ‘Forever Home.’ I didn’t, for one moment, imagine that I’d be sat here three years later engaged to the love of my life and talking about getting a house together!

To mark the three-year anniversary, here’s my top three favourite moments in my home in this past year:

Monday, 27 November 2017


Photography: RJ Photography
It’s that time of year again!

Some people will probably think this post a little premature: “it’s not even December!” I hear them say… But I think that the majority of people have now started doing the typical Christmassy things by now; buying presents, decorations, look at Christmas photos on Pinterest for ideas of DIYs…
Personally, my Christmas shopping is almost done! Just three more presents, and another gift bag and cards to buy! And yes, I’m one of those annoying who says – whenever the subject of presents comes up – that I won’t be buying much for people and I won’t be buying for as many people as the previous year. And then I find myself with three large gift bags, and eight medium sized ones looking at me in the living room.

I also, have my Christmas tree! Last year, I thought that my tree was one of those ones that have colour co-ordinated branches that match a certain height of the tree and you just slide them in. So, I pulled the branches off – thinking ‘God I must’ve put them in tight!’ to discover that it wasn’t one of those trees. And so, my partner and I were looking at Christmas trees and had narrowed it down to three before Wilkinsons put one of them as 50% the normal price; and our trip into town to do the food shop ended up with us getting a big trolley in Morrisons to stick the tree in! But don’t worry, it isn’t up yet -I usually start decorating around two weeks before the big day.

Saturday, 25 November 2017


Being invited to conferences, I like to make sure that I:

1. Understand the topic,

2. Have an interest in the topic, and

3. It will be relevant to readers.

When friends and family were asking what the event was about, I simplified it (not to sound patronising or condescending) with ‘talking about how working together can result in less restraints and forced medications and things(!).’ Number one? Check!

Co-production is the buzz word of the mental health industry right now; professionals are all promoting working alongside service users to create; a better experience of services, a safer environment, and a better understanding.  My personal experience of mental health services (as a whole) has been that staff would tell service users the rules and there were ‘punishments’ when they weren’t 100% adhered to. As my mental health improved, I began to see that what would be easier, is to work together; there could be no understanding without equality. Number two? Check!

The conference was centred around mental health. Number three? Check!

It was an early start - as most events/conferences are – but refreshments in the registration room and Rafik(Raf) Hamaizia’s cheerful, and positive Welcome speech seemed to have everyone eager for the day ahead!

Wednesday, 22 November 2017


In exactly two years (22nd November 2019), I’ll be standing at the front of a church telling my soul mate “I do,” love him and will continue to for all eternity.
And tomorrow will be the one year anniversary since I said ‘yes,’ I’ll make that promise, and say those vows, and wear that beautiful princess-cut diamond ring.

Forever and beyond
That’s how long I’ll stay
How long I’ll love you
With the promise not to stray

I’ll be by your side
When times get tough
Through the good and the bad
When things are rough

I can’t imagine life without you
I hope I never do
I’d much rather think about
The moment I say ‘I do’

Tuesday, 21 November 2017


I’m sure this it quite common for writers/bloggers; but I can draw inspiration for blog posts from the random of things. This post comes from a ‘challenge’ doing its rounds on Facebook. Every day for seven days, you’re meant to post a black and white photo. It can’t be of a person and you can’t explain it in the photo description/wall post. You also have to nominate someone on day one (you’ll have been nominated yourself from someone else, obviously!) to keep the challenge rolling.

Obviously, you’ve seen the title to this post I’m sure there’s no need to point it out, but the ‘black and white’ aspect of the challenge inspired me to write about black and white thinking.