Back in Brum

Back in mid-November I wrote about some changes that I had either made or was in the process of making and 6 weeks on I can now give you an update.

I have lost a stone in weight (A BIG “Thank you” to Angie at Weightwatchers, Carrs Lane, Birmingham City Centre) and I have just completed my third week in my new job based permanently in Birmingham!

Being back in Brum feels good and definitely feels like home.

I was born on the outskirts of Birmingham almost 50 years ago (more about that later!); my parents worked in Birmingham at Birmingham Corporation and British Motor Corporation, British Leyland that was and lucky me, my grandparents worked at Cadbury’s (nom! nom!).  I am a devoted Aston Villa fan and now have my security pass hanging from a Villa lanyard- Sweet!

Many of my friends are based in Birmingham and I have an enviable list of lunch-dates scheduled for 2013. It will be good to catch up with everyone and I am looking forward to being part of an office-based team again.

My First Anniversary-“Thank you”

Prozac-free and loving life!

“Fighting depression with positivity” is my tag-line and thankfully that’s just what I have been able to do this year. So much so that I am now celebrating a year without antidepressants and I really do feel that I have this unpredictable and debilitating illness under control at last.

Being positive can be hard work.  I know from personal experience that changing one’s thought processes from negative to positive and trying to block out unnecessary”white noise” and “rubbish”  is exhausting and the amount of effort that it takes to implement these emotional changes often takes people by surprise. But with the right help and support it gets easier and the further you progress, the more natural “positive thinking”  will become.

So, I would like to thank all my family, friends and colleagues for their continued support during 2012. I wouldn’t be able to maintain such a positive and stable mindset without my networks-I never underestimate their importance or take them for granted.


Dorothy shoes!

New shoes…who doesn’t LOVE new shoes and I bought some funky footwear today 🙂

I love Alegria shoes as they are not only soooooo comfy but they are soooo cool too! (I think so although hubby is not so keen)

We are lucky where I live in Market Harborough as we have a fab shoe outlet store “Heavenly Feet” which sells Alegria’s at silly prices compared to RRP so;

For £10 I bought these :)….ignore the Poundland socks

and for the rather more princely sum of £29 I bought these 😀  What a great day!


I still have scrapbooks which I made in the 1970’s and which kept me occupied for hours on end during the long school holidays when home alone. A Villa scrapbook is my pride and joy; A picture and write up of Chris Nicholl scoring all 4 goals ina 2-2 draw with Leicester 1n 1976, the same week as he won a cap forNorthern Ireland. Brian Little with long hair and news cuttings about the numerous trophies that Villa won in that decade.  1976 was clearly a good year for a scrapbooking fan as I also have one of the Montreal Olympics with special focus on the gymnast Nadia Comaneci the first person to score a perfect “10”. Wonderful memories of a sports-mad childhood.

Of course it didn’t stop there. As soon as Will could write I encouraged him to keep scrapbooks of his holidays writing down everything we did and sticking photos, tickets, leaflets and pictures on the pages. Every now and again I get these out of the cupbaord and have a laugh. It’s great fun to look back and remember the stories behind the photos.

Scrapbooking and journalling today however is a completely different exercise. Instead of the traditional muted thick recycled scrapbook paper, there are beautiful papers, embellishments, flowers, stamps, journal tags, altered art, distress inks, brads and ribbons to construct your pages with and you can be as flambouyantly creative or minimalist as you like. Whatever mood you find yourself in, there will be a scrapbook page just waiting to escape onto paper.

I have found that scrapbooking is both relaxing and artistically challenging and a great way to unwind. In the last few months I have been inundated with requests to consider “teaching” scrapbooking or holding scrapbooking crops so that groups of scrapbookers can seek inspiration from each other. Some people have also asked me to create scrapbooks for them or their family as presents using  family photos. For me however scrapbooking is not just making pretty pictures. It’s a very personal thing and most of my inspiration comes from the stories and history behind the pictures rather than the photo itself. Colours, patterns, the layout and overall effect comes from knowing my subject and I compliment that knowledge by using various techniques. This is what makes it special.

Scrapbooking reflects an individual’s personality and taste, their creativity and patience. It is very simple especially as there is no right or wrong way to do it. I have developed a certain style and I favour certain colours over others. Some like the pages, others aren’t so keen. Likewise, some pages appeal to me more than others.

Why not have a go and create your own scrapbook using family photos, facebook comments, school reports or newspaper cuttings just to start. You’ll be surprised how much stuff you have around which can be used to make special memories.

Here are some of mine;


Colour inhalation

No, I’m not going crazy but, prompted by a trusted friend of mine who just happens to practise reflexology, crystal healing and all those wonderful new-agey things that I love I have been breathing in the colours of the rainbow all week and have to admit that I like it. All you need is an open mind and a belief that inhaling colours can stimulate, relax, rebuild and cleanse.

As a highly sensitive person (HSP) colour inhalation makes sense and when my world becomes too hectic and unbalanced I sit and practise my deep breathing as usual only now it is enhanced by inhaling the most beautiful shades of blue-violet-purple which are purported to induce relaxation, promote sleep and relieve anxiety. It works for me but I have to be mindful that I don’t miss my station or fall asleep at my desk.

After just a week I think that heaven must be indigo. Peaceful, safe and calm.  

Alternatively, if you need a kick up the backside or some intellectual stimulation you could always try red, orange and yellow/gold. Shades of green and turquoise are said to be healing and cleansing, reducing pain and accelerating the healing process balancing body, mind and spirit. Even if you are sceptical about the physical, mental and emotional effectiveness of colour inhalation, it just feels nice. It’s win win so give it a try next time you have a few minutes to chill out.

Rainbow high.

Where I live in 80 treasures (3)- JLT Crafts, Lutterworth

When I set out to give you an idea of the area in which I live by describing 80 treasures, I did say that some would be unexpected and a little offbeat. My treasures don’t have to be stately homes, National Trust or English Heritage properties or of particular intellectual interest. They just have to be treasures for me.

I discovered such a treasure last week when searching the internet for craft supplies in my vicinity. During periods of low mood I find it therapeutic to sit quietly and be creative. Lost in my own world of papers, buttons, brads and stickers, I get absorbed in writing my blog, poetry, photography, water-colour painting or scrap-booking. Whatever the mood takes.

This week I have been quite happy to sit and create more pages for Will’s scrapbook which I started last year. The great thing about scrap-booking is that you can keep coming back to it as and when you feel like it and if you put it away for a few months it doesn’t matter. It’s a work in progress.

It’s always wonderful however to find a source of supplies and inspiration and if that happens to be coupled with only a 15 minute drive from home and a warm, friendly welcome, what more can I ask? This was what I got at JLT Crafts in Lutterworth, a business that has been open only since October last year but deserves to be a huge success if the client service (I was offered a cup of tea whilst browsing), varied selection of products and ease of access counts for anything.

I will be returning as and when I feel the need and in the meantime if you are into card-making or scrap-booking, try JLT Crafts. You won’t be disappointed.

This is what I’ve been up to this week.