Sunday 8 December 2013

A (more than) quarterly update…

Four months, a third of a year, much too long to leave a blog un-updated…

During that time, the second anniversary of my brother’s death has come and gone, and with it the deadline to complete my 52 Firsts. It become quite apparent, as July 12 edged closer, that I was not going to fit everything in. But it didn’t bother me too much, I thought I would just carry on going until I got to 52, no matter how long it took me.

On the 14 July 2013, I ran my 10k. Well, I ran most of it and walked a few 100m. The weather was blazing hot and my knee started twinging somewhere just after the 5k mark but I still managed to complete it in the respectable time of 1 hour, 2 mins and 38 secs. Not quite within the hour I had wanted but still not bad for a first attempt.

After it was all over, I felt a massive amount of relief and pride. But then this soon gave way to a feeling of emptiness. It took quite a few weeks of reflection for me to actually pick myself up again and start living life with a positive focus, rather than just seeing the depressing side to everything.

But I am well and truly there now. Life is a positive experience and there is so much you can take from just living your day to day life. 

So that is probably the biggest thing that has happened to me in the last few months. But here is an update on what else has been going on…

Me with my medal after completeing the 10k
I was the third highest fundraiser for CALM in the London 10k – I cannot say thank you enough to everybody that sponsored me and supported me (it was amazing to have my family there cheering me on). And, despite raising over £1000 for CALM, I was still surprised when I got a letter personally thanking me for my efforts, along with a voucher for cocktails for me and five friends as a thank you. I think I can safely cross the ‘Do something big…’ first off of my list.

Thursday 11 July 2013

Thank you all for the sponsorship!

Thank you to everyone who has supported me and sponsored me so far for my run... just a few days left now. I'm very excited about it! It's part of what is keeping me going through the next day, which is going to be a difficult one, as the second anniversary since my brother's death. 

I've had a really good response to this story on the Ipswich Star website. So thank you to everybody for that too. 

For anybody who needs a little bit more convincing about the pain I'm going through training for this, here's a little peek at the bruise I got from the physio last week.

I am a little bit proud of this bruise. 

Tuesday 25 June 2013

An Explosion of Firsts... A Poem

I know it has been a while since I last updated this blog. And even longer since I last updated my list of Firsts. But in the last few weeks, there has been a 'First explosion' in my life that I thought I would share with you… in poetry form.

Here goes…

Monday 13 May 2013

Writer's Block...

Well it’s been a while.

I’ve been finding it tough to keep motivated with the blog recently and I’ve been wondering why. There have been times where I could have sat down and penned an entry but I have just not felt up to it. Plus, I’ve got out of the habit of actually doing the Firsts.

Writer's Block?
By Pi Guy 31415 via Wiki Commons

There are a few reasons why I think I’ve been more reluctant to write...

Tuesday 26 March 2013

Try a Regional Delicacy...

For this First, I went all out on a trip to Scotland. I shall let the pictures do the talking...

Haggis. Technically not a first, but definitely not
something you eat outside of Scotland...
Loved the Islay Single Malt Scotch. Despite being told repeatedly
how 'unusual' it was for a lady to choose the smokey ones...
Cranachan. A proper dessert. 
Deep Fried Mars Bar. Yes, this picture
does a lot of talking...

Sunday 17 March 2013

JustGiving Page Up and Running!

My JustGiving Page for my London 10k run is now ready to roll! 

To sponsor me, please visit or text EMDA52 + amount in pounds you want to donate to 70700 (eg. EMADA52 £5).

I'm very passionate about supporting CALM. They are a national, who run a helpline and website to offer immediate assistance to men who are down or facing a crisis. They also work to challenge the culture that prevents men from seeking help when they need it and to challenge stereotypes that prevent men from talking about the issues they face. To find out more about CALM and the work they do, visit their website

My target of £500 would help to run the phone line for just one day. One day that could make a massive difference to many, many people’s lives. As I have witnessed, it is not just the lives of these young men that CALM is helping to save, but also the devastation and heartache of every person that knows and loves them.

Go on. You know you'll forget to do it later, so click through now to sponsor me.

Last year's 10k runners for CALM.
Looking forward to getting my snazzy vest!

Thursday 14 March 2013

Random Acts of Kindness

I’m fully aware that ‘Random Act of Kindness’ sounds like a phrase that can only be pronounced with a cheesy American accent (for any readers from the States, this is not a bad thing, just an acknowledgement that in general, Americans appear far less cynical than us Brits when it comes to self improvement). But I like the idea of it. And I warn you before you read any further that I am going to wholly subscribe to the concept of it, without apologising, for the rest of this blog post. 

So, what is a random act of kindess? Wikipedia describes it as… 

a selfless act performed by a person or people wishing to either assist or cheer up an individual person or people. The phrase may have been coined by Anne Herbert, who says that she wrote "Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty" on a place mat at a Sausalito restaurant in 1982 or 1983.[1][2]

So far, so open to whatever I want it to be.

My idea to have ‘Perform a Random Act of Kindness’ as one of my Firsts in the Hat was inspired by people like this and this, who go out of their way to do amazing things for others in return for what appears to be very little (aside from the giant ego boost of being a generous person).

Tuesday 12 March 2013

A Quick Catch-Up....Exciting Times Ahead!

So much for my new year's resolution to regularly update my blog. I have been doing firsts, including some random acts of kindness and eating Scottish delicacies. But there's an upcoming first that I'm quite excited about. I've just been accepted to run this...

The British 10k London Run July, to raise money for this...


Exciting stuff. And  I never thought I'd use that phrase to describe physical excersise. More details to follow, including how to sponsor me (yes please), but just wanted to share the news. 

Tuesday 22 January 2013

Taboo... Why Aren't We Talking About Suicide?

I’ve been thinking about suicide as a taboo subject recently and I’ve been inspired to write some of my thoughts down because, the more I think about it, the more I feel like I need to write it! And what better day to do so, than the day that it comes to light that the number of suicides rose sharply last year?

Ok, I admit, the game Taboo is fun, but now let's get serious...

Friday 18 January 2013

A Couple of Dietry Firsts...

My poor digestive system did not know what hit it this week, as I completed not just one, but two firsts.
By Rootology Via WikiCommons

Friday 4 January 2013

My New Year's Resolution....Update My Blog

In the spirit of New Year, I have been reflecting on my blog (and my inability to update it regularly). I think the posts I write are much better when they are more focused and less like a long account of all the frists I’ve fitted in during the ridiculous amount of time I have left it since I last updated…. But here’s a nice long and waffly update for you anyway on all the firsts I’ve fitted in since December…

Knit Something
George modelling the Mo
The one phrase that keeps begging to be written is this: Knitting is hard! Teaching myself to knit was much more difficult that I expected.  Being the kind of person that I am, the less practically-gifted, more ‘I like reading about stuff’ kind of person, I thought the two brief ebooks I downloaded would be enough to get me on my way. It turns out you actually can’t learn practical skills like that. Who knew? It takes patience and practise. And a few instructional Youtube videos to give you a visual example of how your hands should move...

So, I did practise and I did try and stay patient. And, despite numerous failed attempts which, as I did not know how to correct mistakes, meant I had to start from scratch, I now have a lovely little Movember Mo to show for my efforts. The only real downside was that it was well into December by the time it got finished.