365 Day Blog challenge Day 90 – #Flirtology and Books #365daychallenge

In Day 87’s blog I talked about the book Flirtology by Jean Smith and my attempt at asking a question of a stranger. Yesterday I was feeling down when I wrote my blog as I still had low energy from being ill and from the end of January to the end of March I’ve a bunch of death anniversaries which always make me sad. Tuesday was the 3rd anniversary of a good friend who died at the age of 51 of breast cancer. I’m only 5 years off that age and I always find it affects me.

So today was all about me. I decided to go to the local museum to see the Chippendale furniture exhibition and get some footsteps in. I also decided to use the books challenges and see what happened. The one’s I’ve written down to work on are:

  • Ask a stranger a question (the other day I used the ask for directions example)
  • Give a stranger a compliment
  • Smile
  • Look at deal breakers for a relationship
  • Build rapport with a stranger

I reckoned at the very least I should be able to smile at people. In typical fashion though I forgot it was half term and so everywhere was full of school children. Guaranteed grimacing rather than smiling…

In the museum shop I saw a couple of books but as I’m trying not to overspend I decided to pop into the library to see if the books were there and this unexpectedly ended up giving me the smiles, the question and rapport building.

After reserving my books I was looking at the posters on the wall regarding book clubs. There was a librarian hovering nearby so I simply asked what the books were for the groups this month. Yay for asking a stranger a question. This resulted in 3 conversations with 3 people about books and lots of rapport building and smiling. Plus me borrowing 3 books!

In the book it says a lot about how people will say that they never meet anyone and when you dig deeper they aren’t actually going anywhere to meet people. I’m definitely guilty of this thinking so when moving forward and ending the invisibility I need to go places. I’m not a partier anymore and art of that is I hardly drink now. It makes you not want to be stuck in a room full of drunk people. So it’s now looking at places I can go that suit my interests so I can start these meaningful conversations. Might as well start by going back to a book club.

But I’m pleased with today. I went out of my comfort zone but because it’s a subject close to my heart it didn’t feel so bad and I didn’t feel so nervous. It’s about conversing as much as flirting and there’s no romance in any of today but it made me feel good to be chatting, it made them feel good to help and talk about books and everybody got to smile.


Review of Flirtology can be found here kirk72.wordpress.com/2018/02/16/flirtology-by-jean-smith/


365 Day Blog challenge Day 89 – Plastic Free #plasticfree #365daychallenge

I’m not particularly a Christian but I do like following some of the traditions and one of my favourite ones is to try and give something up for Lent. I admit it’s usually just an excuse to try and avoid chocolate but seeing as I am now 48 days chocolate free this year I’ve been looking about for something different.
Flicking through twitter I found a post about going plastic free. I’m interested in the environment but as a beginner to making the right changes this list I saw is an excellent way to kick start some positive changes. Reading through the list (that I’ll post at the end of this) I’m quite shocked by the amount of positive changes I can make. I found some of the information a bit shocking. I think sometimes I’m a bit naive. I didn’t know that toothbrushes are never destroyed.
Seeing as Lent has already started I’ll probably not follow the 40 days but just implement the changes where I can. These are the points I found on twitter and are aimed at UK citizens but I’m sure there are alternatives to plastics if you live in the USA or elsewhere and read this.
Today on Twitter Friends of the Earth are launching #plasticfreefriday today which aims to introduce us newbies to less plastic as well as give the more experienced people a few new ideas. The ones below are credited to a post by @Amelia_Womack
  1. Bamboo toothbrushes instead of plastic
  2. Toothpaste (you can get solid tabs from LUSH)
  3. Detergent – soap nuts instead. I need to look at this one because I buy my washing powder in the card boxes still rather than plastic tabs and due to my sons allergies we never use conditioners or other bottle based added extras in the washing so I may already be doing it. I need to know what the difference is environmentally between powder and these nuts. I also need to make sure they don’t trigger my sons allergies.
  4. Milk – you can still buy delivered bottled milk. I like the idea of this one
  5. Food – not buying plastic containered food, take your own containers. Buying local and try to pay attention to the packaging. I saw a picture of a local supermarket yesterday where they had individually wrapped bananas in a tray with cling film (saran wrap?)
  6. Sanitary products (look at environmentally friendly products).
  7. Water, tea, coffee – using your reusable travel mugs or making sure you have a cup at work.
  8. Toilet roll – you can still buy paper wrapped loo roll
  9. Tissues – use hankies (unless you’re ill).
  10. Deodorant – again to look at – I use bottled roll-ons. Can buy solid deodorant in some health shops and again LUSH
  11. Unpackaged supermarkets – these sound great and I remember a long time ago in Leeds market a stall that had giant bins of rice, cereal and so on where you paid by the pound. I used it a lot and was sad when they closed. I like the idea of these supermarkets doing similar. Lets hope there’s one in my area.
  12. Washing up liquid and household cleaners – Refill sachets. Never heard of these so one to research
  13. Soap – buying solid soap instead of liquid and therefor not having plastic containers
  14. Refusing the plastic straws and cutlery when eating in fast food joints, coffee shops etc. There was mention of using a wooden spork. Our work restaurant offers both plastic and regular metal cutlery. I always use the metal ones (and have my own set in my locker) so at least I’m getting one thing right out of all this
Is there anything you do to use less plastic? Any tips you want to share? What have you given up for Lent?
I’m going to start looking at my changes over the weekend and follow through until the end of March and hopefully beyond. Not quite the lent days but still gives me around 40+ days. Hopefully I’ll then have formed the good habits to continue (it worked with the chocolate so there’s hope)

365 Day Blog challenge Day 88 – The Week That Was #365daychallenge

It’s Thursday so my last day at work before my weekend. It’s 1.30 and I have another 3 hours to go so sneaking this blog in as I’ve not a lot to do.

I’ve felt very ‘meh’ this week. My energy levels are still low after last weeks virus. I’m craving carbs like crazy and I can’t wait to go home and shut the world away.

Every Thursday morning we have a team call where we have to discuss how we feel on a scale of 1-10. I couldn’t muster up more than a 6 and on the couple of occasions people have asked me how I am at work this week I haven’t even had the energy to plaster on a fake smile.

I’ve got an assignment to hand in this weekend but it’s mostly written so my aim is to get done first thing tomorrow morning then I’m going to try and push myself to get out and about the rest of the weekend. It doesn’t look like it will rain (much) so maybe a walk will shift this crappy feeling and perk me up.

I feel like all the hard work I’ve been doing over the last 6 weeks could be lost if I don’t pull myself out of this slump. I watched a make over programme last month where the people had to lose upwards of 10 stone each. They did magnificently for a while then had a slump gaining weight and losing their smiles. I wondered at first if it was part of a genuine journey or if edited for maximum viewing entertainment. But I’m feeling it a bit on a smaller scale so I’m more inclined now to believe it. So many of these self help books and inspirational stories miss out the slumps so as part of being totally honest in my blog (and for me to see patterns as I look back) I’m putting this out there.

I think it’s just because I have the residual low mood from last week and in the back of my mind I know what I have to do to get back on it and have the feelings of wanting to. So time to strap on my sports shoes and go somewhere nice to clear my head.

365 Day Blog challenge Day 87 – Flirtology challenge (1) #365daychallenge

So seeing as I managed to post the Valentines’ blog on the wrong day I need something else for today. I’ve just started a new book called Flirtology by Jean Smith. One of the bits of the blurb says:

It will give you the confidence to speak to anyone, anywhere and get results – without every compromising who you are.

2018 is the year of self care and being ‘visible’. So I thought that part of being more visible, more me, more the person that I am inside being seen on the outside that I would try out the challenges in the book.

I don’t talk to people. I often get told I’m quiet and I’m not but I’ve stopped conversing so that I can be invisible and not be noticed.

At about 20% of the book there are so far 3 challenges so I thought I’d try them as I go along and see if they work for me. It’s not just about flirting to find a partner but to create more friendships and enhance the ones I already have. And every little trick helps.

So challenge one is simply to ask for directions. Doesn’t matter if you actually know the way the challenge is just to ask the question.

Today I was working at an office I’d not been to before so perfect opportunity.

I had a vague idea where I was going so I left the train station and set off up the hill. I got to the top and had spotted no people. So I kept walking and eventually found some old people. I decided against asking them. One thing I am good at is talking to old people. I seem to attract them and get embroiled in conversations. I need to be talking to the under 50’s.

But I guess they were all at work! So I gave up and got out the google maps on my phone. Which then proceeded to take me the wrong way! So bit of a disaster all round really. But it’s not like I can’t try again. It’s a simple ask to do. I’m stuck in the office all day tomorrow so no chances there but intend to go out for the afternoon on Friday so I’m going to ask the question or something similar over all 3 days of my weekend and see where it leads me.

365 Day Blog challenge Day 86 – Valentine’s Day #365daychallenge

Today is Valentine’s Day so Following on from yesterday’s post I thought I’d tell you about a visualisation I found once in a self-help book. The visualisation is called Build a Boyfriend and I’ve had lots of fun playing with this.
There are lots of questions that it asks you – not just to picture the physical aspects of your imaginary man (or partner of choice) but what do you want from them in terms of personality, sexuality (no just straight/gay but experimental, traditional, 50 shades or no sex at all). It also asks for likes and dislikes so for example must love dogs and hate football.

It really gets into the nitty gritty of what you want in a partner. There’s no guarantee that you would actually find this amazing partner. The idea of it is that it opens you up to the idea of looking for one. You may get the tall, dark and handsome you wished for but rather than the all you can eat meat buffet lover you find a vegan. You should probably be specific if you want a fellow foodie. I tried it twice before. The first time the dates followed however I wasn’t specific enough in terms of personality and as with yesterday’s post had a few lousy dates.
The second time I tried it I’d been watching Thor and may have described Tom Hiddleston. Neither him nor anyone like him turned up. So that’s probably a word of warning – try not to picture your media crush.

It’s a fun game to do and you’re putting it out to the universe you are in the market for someone new to come along into your life. If I’m going to be more visible and dating would be part of that then I have to start somewhere. Dating sites and so on can follow on once I know what I want. But I’m curious. Hopefully this time will be 3rd time lucky. I’ll let you know

365 Day Blog challenge Day 85 – Valentine’s Eve #365daychallenge

With Valentine’s Day being tomorrow I suppose I should address it in a blog. I can’t remember the last time I actually celebrated it.

I have no luck with these things. In my dating years I always managed to get the boyfriends that forget or get you the last minute gifts from the petrol station. My ex-husband was of the opinion that £20 shoved in a card was the height of romance.

 I’ve been single for a while and so that means no presents. At the same time I don’t have to worry about buying anything either.

I think this says more about me though. I wasn’t brought up in a romantic household. My parents have been married 6 times between them not to mention a common law relationship as well. My ex-husband was abusive and between the two things I think I’ve set myself up in a way that it will always fail. If you believe that all you deserve are the creeps, abusers and narcissists then that’s all you’ll get

 I need (and am working on) is a change of belief in myself. I deserve someone that loves me for who I am, faults and all. I deserve someone who will spoil me the year around and not just on the day the media says he has to. I deserve someone who cares about being treated right himself.

 I don’t deserve to repeat my parents mistakes. I am better than that and worth more than that.

 It’s a very hard mind-set to change and sometimes I think that I hid behind the weight so I didn’t have to confront it. Easier to say no one loves me because I’m fat than to look at my self-esteem and self-worth, face some hard truths and work on them. Having mental health issues can be hard work & self-sabotaging sometimes. Easier to stay invisible – the 2018 challenge to fix.

 So if I want a Valentine for 2019 I need to step away from the back of the room and be visible. I need to put my hand up and say yes I’ll go on a few dates, see what happens and accept that I’m worthy of finding those nice guys. I need to stop making excuses as to why I don’t do this. Hopefully all the positive changes I am making to myself through diet, exercise, self-care will enable this to happen. I guess I’ve got 12 months to see how it goes.

365 Day Blog challenge Day 84 – Love Yourself #365daychallenge

There’s a group on Facebook that at the minute is asking daily questions regarding self care and loving yourself (especially if you are single) in the run up to Valentines Day. One of the questions the other day was What’s the best thing you’ve ever done for yourself?

I have given it some thought and I could say leaving an abusive husband, quitting sugar & fizzy drinks, returning to study but I think I’ll answer the question by saying I give myself time…

I became, in my worst days, one of those persons who run around everywhere, doing things for everybody, comparing myself to everyone for not having the same body, personality, house as everyone else. Thinking there must be something wrong with me for not doing as good. I never stopped to rest because I was so busy competing.

And when the day came that my brain refused to cope anymore and I had my breakdown none of the above came to anything. So I learnt to put me first. My son was 17 and so understanding of the need for some selfishness. My only other concession to me-time was to look after the cat.

It didn’t happen overnight. I had so much to let go of but now if if I’ve had a long work week and am tired. If, like this week, it’s been a long work week with a virus added in then I give myself time. The world won’t stop turning because I opted to ignore the vacuuming to have an extra half hour in bed or if I didn’t wipe the skirting board and had a long bubble bath instead. Those things are heavenly to me. And they’re all about me.

It’s not time wasted when it restores your equilibrium and your mind set. It’s highly worth it to let those stress levels reduce and you can forget about all the worries of the day.

My house is clean, you can come and check the skirting boards 🙂

But my mental and physical health will always come first. I rest when I need to and get the jobs done when my energy levels are higher. I give myself time for myself. To relax, to let the cares ebb away and I’ve found, over the years that it’s one of the best things I could ever have done for myself.