Energy is Currency in Depression or Obesity – how to make it work for you.

Energy levels are like money, you can save or invest. In crisis you’ll think you have to save, but the trick to happiness is to spend like it is going out of fashion.


Currency is important, right?  It allows us to purchase things or services.  It gives us a sense of security that we have enough of it.  Different places use different currency and it is important to know the distinctions.

I’ve been thinking about Energy being Currency and how that interacts with depression or obesity.

I’ve noticed that when depressed or tubby, it becomes essential to be to conserve energy, the physical internal resource, lest it become depleted and I die or some such.  There is a perception that depleted energy reserves will be catastrophic and calamitous to the detriment of the soul standing there.   Continue reading “Energy is Currency in Depression or Obesity – how to make it work for you.”


I Want Nice Things, Gosh Darn It!

At what point does a person say “I know there are folks who live on very little daily but that isn’t me, it’s ok to buy the thing”?

I’ve never really been very materialistic.  I find it easy to do without.  I find comfort in owning few possessions but am not a minimalist.  I prefer to think of myself as a “comfy not much-er”.

We have everything we need, we’re not deprived in any way.  I found that there isn’t actually that much that a person needs in life.  My most cluttery items are books and DIY Tools but it’s not clutter if you use it all, and I do.  The more you own the more you have to tidy and maintain and that is just an annoyance and commitment I can do without.

I get some kind of “consumer guilt” over purchases, feeling awkward because of two reasons, firstly I don’t NEED it, I just want it, and secondly so many people live on less than $5 a day that paying £100 or more for a handbag seems so totally outrageous that it cannot be justified.

I also get stuck in a spiral of comparative purchase value.  For example, a fancy but non-designer handbag is equivalent to a weeks groceries, a fancy car is equivalent to three years mortgage payments or a years University tuition, a fancy haircut (or any haircut!) is equivalent to two months sports membership.

My daughter recently quoted Jay-Z (popular media professional) saying “if you can’t pay for it twice, you can’t afford it” which, considering the source was a remarkable insight in my view.

Now, I want a new sofa and chairs, I want a new dining table and chairs, I have a nice handbag so that’s fine but I want nice shoes and a nice hair cut and colour and a nice new set of clothes in the wardrobe, and new devices because ours are a couple of generations old but sill work perfectly.  I want, I want, I want!

I keep window shopping for new sofa sets.  Nothing really meets the requirements yet.  I’m getting betrayal guilt for the eclectic furnishings we have right now because technically there’s nothing wrong with them, they just don’t match and we’re an inclusive household, we don’t throw people or things away because they’re not quite the same as other things!

The armchair we currently use works perfectly fine, it reclines, it is the same armchair I cradled my new baby in when she wouldn’t sleep in the middle of the night, it is the same armchair that one of us sits in so that we can be opposite each other and chat about everything and nothing.

The red chair from Ikea.  I bought it during all our house moves, it was my first pretty thing in ages and it is really great for sitting and reading.

I have shoes, I don’t actually like buying shoes in reality because they’re uncomfy beasts, I’d prefer to go through life barefoot!  Wouldn’t go down too well in Vendor meetings at the office though, and it is illegal to drive barefoot or in flip flops.

At what point does a person say “I know there are folks who live on very little daily but that isn’t me, it’s ok to buy the thing”?  What triggers that internal dialogue?  Is there buyers remorse when a bill comes in later on?

I think my current position on consumer purchases isn’t necessarily healthy, part of it might stem from selling everything we owned 5 years ago to pay the bills and for down payments on rental homes.  It was a little bit of an extreme circumstance but has pretty much been resolved.  We’re not rolling in spare dosh but we live comfortably enough.

Never wanting to move over to the dark side of consumer gluttony I think I might like to dabble in having a couple more nice things, pretty things, simple things, a nice TV cabinet, nice photo frames, nice flooring in the bathroom, nice outfits to choose from for work and play.  Recently I bought two very nice mirrors, I waited until the sales and went back to the store 3 times before saying finally yes but now they hang in our house as they should and I am happy that I own them.

Life has changed significantly in the last year and I know my thought processes have lagged somewhat.  How much is enough and how much is too much?  When is it ok to purchase and not be thinking too much afterwards about the investment in that transaction?  How can a person just let it go and enjoy the things they own?



Black Kids, Time To Be Loving and Spoil Them A Little

I am white, my family is Mixed, perhaps we need to try a new thing to keep our kids safe.


Every Black or Mixed family (yeah I said it, I put Mixed families in the mix) in the Western World have to have “The Talk” with their children.  The talk on how to keep safe, how to interact with Police and other authorities.

I am White, very White, yet I’ve had The Talk with my family because my family is ethnically diverse.

Something I heard recently which has resonated is that the raising of Black Kids or Mixed Kids is to be hard on them, to prepare them to interface with how the world is going to interface with them, to get used to the idea that they will be harassed.  To be physically rough a little, to yell a little, to be super demanding on grades at school.  And there is merit in preparation.

HOWEVER, that’s pretty much not the tack I have approached.  Perhaps because I didn’t have to grow up in that sense or feeling of being oppressed.  Perhaps as a direct result of being white.  Perhaps because I wasn’t particularly raised that way.  I was raised Irish-ish in England – “obey your parents, pinch of salt everyone else”.

I have noticed that I have chosen to make the family aware of the challenges Black Kids face when going about their ordinary business.

But I have tried to raise my family with a sense of belonging, of expectation, of belonging, of being able to absolutely count on having someone in her corner, of expecting that she will take opportunities as they are presented to her, that if she chooses she can obviously attend University, that as she chooses she can obviously have the career of her choice, that she can count on daily hugs, of affirmative words in the home, of being happy to see her, of parental strictness and cultural protocols, of gentleness and kindness from her parents hands and everyone else in her sphere of influence, that we will not let her coast along flying under the radar, that we know who she is and she has a responsibility to raise her game.

Perhaps it was because I was raised in a white household without those long reaching external influences and fears that my family now has had the freedom to be raised in a similar environment.  Perhaps it has been entirely the wrong message to give her, this after all is a 40 year experiment I have got going on.  Perhaps life will hit her like a freight train, the same freight train which used to roll past my front door in the childhood family home.

I fear for her, I know full well what the world can do and how brutally lives can change in an instant.

However, I believe if she is not raised in a fearful of “them” home she will not interact fearfully with authority and this will smooth the edges of the interaction.  Her body language screams positivity and “I’m English, I belong, I will interact with you in a mutually respectful manner” which is disarming and hopefully safety assuring.

Now, she’s had the privilege of being raised in a town in the Countryside of England and all of the insulated safety that provides, but has been to the City Of London frequently to take advantage of all that offers and visit with family who are based there.  She has frequently experienced racism but so what.  She’s not a country bumpkin but instead some kind of hybrid city/country kid, she see’s the world but doesn’t have to fear the world.

Perhaps, if we can, we parents of kids who look ethnically diverse could hug our kids more frequently than we yell at them about how other people will interact, we’ll raise a more confident generation who feel they belong and in tandem with demanding that authorities treat them right, they’ll start to exude a sense of calmness and exude very little fear.


Jury’s out.  I’ll let you know how it went in another 23 years.


9 Days Holiday To Take – Whooohoooo

While all my “if wishes were kisses I’d sure be a floozy’s” dreams of what could be done are delightful to contemplate, I still need to be realistic somewhat.


Our company holidays run from April to March.  Being in the UK, we have an organised system for holiday days from work.  Mine currently run at 25 days per year plus Bank Holidays.

Much has happened this year around work.  There was a company restructure which took a few months for word to reach us individually on how we were impacted, if at all.  During that period I looked for new roles, was successful in an internal role and an external role.  I enjoy working here so opted for the role within the organisation.  Then the training was scheduled and that will take a while because the job is in a completely new discipline and bears little to no relation to what I was doing before.  If all goes well and if everything is signed off on to a permanent contract at the end of March, happy days!

During all this period, I’ve been banking days holiday because transitions and training take up one’s calendar.

Now I have 9 days to take before the end of March.  It is currently nearly the end of January.  That’s a huge quantity of days to take.  Almost unprecedented among my peers.

What to do, what to do?

I could see if we have a few shekels left for a get away in the sun.  I could schedule days out in the UK.  I could schedule absolutely nothing and just sit in a chair in the conservatory and read books.  I could visit friends.  I could do house repairs and maintenance as the shed needs a new roof and the stairwell could do with a lick of paint.

9 days is 7 days too many to waste.  I can mooch around for 2 days happily but after that I start to feel the guilt of a slothful life.

While all my “if wishes were kisses I’d sure be a floozy’s” dreams of what could be done are delightful to contemplate, I still need to be realistic a little and accept that this year I’ve cleared down £25,000 in legal and other expenses, bought a house, bought a car, put my kiddo through an expensive state school and seen her pass all her 16 year old exams, nearly lost my job, secured another job and I learned how to fix a wall which was missing bricks, renovated a home to go from vandalised to liveable, sourced some food storage and put up a curtain rail.  That’s quite a heavy load for one year and not one that I’d wish on another person.  Had fun though.  How often can a person say they cleared £25K liability, bought a house and car, raised a kiddo and saw friends often – most frequently down the pub?  Not many, I’d bet.  Sometimes my wants outstrip my ables.  At some point I have to accept that I shall remain dissatisfied, or shall have to learn some grace in dealing with this malarkey we call life.

So, 9 days.  I have 9 days.  9 days to call my own.  Now, deciding how to spend them, that’s the next challenge.  What to do, what to do…..


Is it Domestic Violence? How to discern.

I can testify that through the other side of scary is a delightful, gorgeous, joyfully ordinary life free of fear and free of worry over things which shouldn’t be a thing.



Thanks to my friends at Women’s Aid ( and the founder Pat Craven, there is a handy infographic to help a person figure out if their relationship is affected by Domestic Abuse.

What we do is look at the picture above and tick any that apply to our situation if there are any at all.

If a person can tick a bullet point, it is cause for concern.

If the page looks like a teacher marking homework, help is needed and required to navigate a dangerous situation.

If you are in a relationship, please review the different types of abuse on the picture and see if you are impacted.  This is also gender non-specific.  If you are in a same gender relationship, same rules apply.

To, to recap, one tick on one line, might be indicative of a problem.  Two or more ticks and we have a problem which needs resolving.

Abusers behaviour is never novel or new or innovative.  It is textbook cliché, every single time.  Experts literally write textbooks about this stuff.  It is also dangerous and will never ever ever ever go away by itself no matter how much the recipient of the abuse tries harder.  Never.  It will never stop because you wish for it so or because you comply with the current demands.  Never.  It only escalates.

There is a pattern, it is documentable.  An abuser isn’t doing anything new or innovative.  What they are doing, however, is dangerous and frightening.  But it doesn’t have to remain so.

There is help.  Lots and lots of help.  People take this stuff seriously nowadays.  Police are well trained, they get other services involved as appropriate, Judges have seen this a thousand times.

But first, review.  Is your relationship healthy and safe?

Here’s what a healthy and safe relationship looks like:



It’s not rocket science, it is not rare as gold dust, there are a great many good people out there who’s affection is not frightening or conditional.

Women’s Aid ( is choc full of pertinent and useful information.  I recommend them wholeheartedly, they’re a safe place, their website doesn’t leave cookies or history on your device if you hit the really big “don’t leave cookies or history on my device” button.

I trust them.

Nobody should live fearfully.

It is a scary time, likely a recipient of this behaviour has been conditioned to believe they’re to blame, if they behaved differently then it’d all be fine, that if they try and leave the perpetrator will keep the kids.  That if they’d put out more they wouldn’t have been forced to have all those affairs.  That if the recipient were more trustworthy they wouldn’t have to bug or scrutinise their phone and decide which friends could be around.  That if they were a better parent they wouldn’t have forced the abuser to shove them around and hit them in front of the kids.

Re. the custody thing….. NOT GONNA HAPPEN!

It is not written in to law but is typical and common practice.

If the kiddo’s are in senior school, the judge will ask them who they would prefer to be with if it gets to that point.  And the judge will listen.

Talk to a friend.  Determine if you are willing to act.  Please be willing to act.

I can testify that through the other side of scary is a delightful, gorgeous, joyfully ordinary life free of fear and free of worry over things which shouldn’t be a thing.

There are ordinary worries, bills, schedules, kids playing up and being a bit of a worry or pain in the posterior.  We call this “normal life”.

However, there is safety, happiness, contentment, freedom (oh the joy of freedom from abuse – there’s nothing comparable).  There is emotional growth, there is calmness, there is dancing in the kitchen just because you can, there’s kissing boys who fancy you!  There is happiness.

Now it is likely the recipient has forgotten what that feels like, but it is worth pursuing.

In closing, if there’s been a blow-up recently, there’ll be a honeymoon period, but we know – it is textbook – that the honeymoon period will not last.  People are poised to help, plus you are tough and if you had to, you have it in you to go it alone because alone is better than this, surely?  You’re tough, you’ve survived this thus far, you can surely survive being happy and safe!


Cycle of abuse.png



Toughen up a bit, People.

Lamenting and pearl clutching are becoming a hobby born of a feeling of impotence, of feeling like there is nothing that can be done, a default reaction, and yet those move the cause along hardly at all.


I love that all kind of -ism’s are being called out and revealed in broad daylight.  I love that everyone from creepy weirdo’s to predatory world and industry leaders cannot now easily hide their evil doings by throwing money at the problem or intimidating somebody in to silence.  I love that people are finding a voice, are being heard and have courage to say the difficult truthful thing.  Love it.

There are times where feelings occur, it is natural to have compassion for our fellow person on this planet.  These feelings are a motivating force.  But that brings me to my point.  Force and power.

People, I perceive, are clutching at their pearls and lamenting about awfulness which every woman on the planet has known is going on for generations.  And then people are clutching and lamenting further and then a little more.  I perceive that lamenting and pearl clutching are becoming a hobby born of a feeling of impotence, of feeling like there is nothing that can be done, a default reaction, and yet those move the cause along hardly at all.   Speakers need people to hear them, absolutely.

We cannot become a nation of cissy’s, of passive people, of those who wring their handkerchief between their fingers in helpless distress.

We have to be able to face the unpleasant things in life and we have to be able to deal with it there and then.  We have to reclaim laughing in the face of adversity.  We have to be able to demand a seat at the table of our own life.  The best creativity, art, music always stem from periods of adversity.  Maybe the best of our life can be brought forth in times of trial and difficulty.

We need to know who we are despite what others say about us.  If somebody withdrew their approval, would we be bereft or flounder?  No!  We wouldn’t, we’re tougher than that!  Our emotional core strength is invaluable.

With the caveat that we should do no harm to ourselves or others, it matters not whether somebody accepts our lifestyle.  Do we accept ourselves?  Are we going to embrace the good in life while the others yell in to their own echo chamber?  Are we going to bruise at an unkind word or are we going to be resilient and cheerfully persist?  If somebody insists on telling us all our faults, can we be resolute in our own sense of humility and self worth?  Can we continue to learn and grow, developing an amazing life?

Standing in front of evil ill intent and boldly declaring as Gandalf “You Shall Not Pass”, or as Doctor Who “She Is Defended” is a minimum starting point.  A swift “thanks for your input” and going your own way is another possibility.  A further step would be to separate our wants for our life from the wants of others for our life.

To whimper and twist a hanky will do nobody any good.

For items playing out on the worldwide stage, there are things we can do.  We can write to our government representative if the matter relates to a national situation.  We can join Amnesty International’s Facebook page (how  easy can that be!), always be polite if you are contacting an organisation.  We can donate to organisations pulling in the same direction.  We can be a person who can be confided in, who survivors and fellow travellers can trust.

Be true to your word and be braver than you think you are.

And laugh, laugh lots, laugh at funny things.  Take away the fear of living in a dented world.  Go out dancing, have kitchen discos, use the nice things you own and treat yourself and the people around you kindly.  Speak the truth.  Have the courage of your convictions and the courage to continue learning.  Hold the line.

But for the love of sunshine, stop clutching your pearls.




Single Mum Sickness

Single mums have pretty strong superstitions


You know a single mum feels really sick if she tidies up a bit around the house. It is not a sign of her feeling better, it is actually a sign that she feels wretched. 

Coughing up a lung, take the cups out. Sneezing her head off, gather the laundry and chuck in a load. Vomitting, have a whip round the bathroom while you’re there. 

Doesn’t matter if she has taken over the counter medicine that makes her smell colours they’re so strong. Doesn’t matter she’s not kept anything down apart from simple carbs in two days. Don’t matter.

No one is coming in her house saying she can’t look after her kid. It is a primitive drive. It cannot easily be overridden. They try, but always seem to fall prey to “the whip round instinct”.   

Sure the dusting may not get seen to, and she won’t be in the kitchen prepping crock pot dinners for a month, but it’ll be tidy enough that if paramedics get called or if someone drops rund they can receive ther guests with the dignity befitting the occasion. True story.