Welcome To My Blog

29th May 2019

Hi my name is Michelle & I am returning to this blog after several significant life events.

Recap for those of you who are new to my blog; current followers please bear with me…

In 2015 I had an epidural go wrong which has subsequently resulted in me being diagnosed with a neurological condition called FND (Functional Neurological Disorder) Which means there’s been a major ‘plot twist’ in my life & I now rely on crutches & a wheelchair to get about.

This is a new blog, but I’ve included some of my first ever posts around the time that it happened in 2015. Please scroll down & read  #LifeThroughACrutchLens to find out how that hashtag became a reality & now helps me cope in a Mindful way!

I’ve recently been asked by FND Hope UK if I would blog so people could follow my journey & raise awareness of this condition so this is why I’m back!

Part of my condition means my brain gets scrambled & I now at times struggle with reading & writing, so blogging is a major challenge for me at the moment so please forgive me if the words don’t flow like they once did

A Review Of ‘The Silent Treatment’ By Abbie Greaves 

Netgalley kindly sent me a copy of Abbie Greave’s, extremely moving, debut novel  ‘The Silent Treatment’ due to be published 2nd April 2020.

The main characters Maggie & Frank have spent a lifetime together & after coming through the emotional trauma they face just before their wedding it seems like the foundations of their relationship are rock sturdy & from the outside looking in that they go through their life on the ‘same page’ as each other & in a happy, loving marriage.

But then Frank stops speaking & for the past six months hasn’t uttered a single word. Day after day they go through their routines in utter silence, eating meals together & sleeping together but not one word is spoken between them & Maggie finds this silence totally deafening. 
Then one day Frank is in his office when he hears the fire alarm go off, Maggie was cooking tea so he goes to investigate & finds her in the kitchen, unconscious on the floor with an empty bottle of sleeping pills on the table. 
Maggie is rushed to hospital & placed in a medically induced coma while the doctors assess the damage. Frank is overwhelmed at the thought of losing his wife & a kind nurse encourages Frank to sit & talk to her so that she can hear his voice & give her something to fight for.
After six months of silence will Frank be able to find his voice again by her bedside  & explain to his darling Maggie why he stopped talking & what secrets will he uncover of Maggies when he comes across her journal, in which she is counting down the day’s until she takes the pills unless Frank breaks his silence. 
This book is so thought provoking! A loving couple who are both going through such emotional pain in isolation because they stopped communicating & their marriage became mute, a lesson to always stay on the same page in the book of love! 
A fantastically clever debut novel, full of emotional tension creating a real page turner.
One to pre-order for next April folks! 

Hamford View – A True Vintage Tea Room Experience!

So yesterday we decided to pay a visit to HamFord View vintage tea room & activity centre. It’s set in a beautiful quiet & idyllic location with stunning views of Hamford waters & I took my camera!

When you open the door to the tea room you’re greeted with a very warm welcome by Michelle & her staff & are instantly filled with a sense of nostalgia & wonderment. There is also the amazing aroma of home baking filling the air!  Upon taking a seat; either at one of the tables or on a sofa, the true quirkiness of the tea room delights the senses!

At each of the tables there are vintage ‘magazines’ from years gone by such as ‘Home Notes’ which used to cost 3 1/2 d! Flicking through them causes much amusement at some of the articles on how to be a domestic goddess by knitting this or baking that & adverts of the time, it’s like a real trip down memory lane! 
Also on the tables are various games such as dominoes & you can hear the words ‘I’ve not played that for ages’ 
Our lovely waitress had to come back to take our order as I was so engrossed in all the memorabilia I hadn’t even looked at the menu! 
As your eyes wander around the tea room there is just so much to take in! Vinyl records decorating the walls, bunting, fairy lights, a games ‘ book corner where you can choose a game to take back to your table or peruse one of the many books. 

Comfy blankets in a basket to snuggle up on the sofa with if you so wish, old fashioned type writers & pictures. Vintage clothing for sale, It’s quite incredible! Then there is the ceramics section where you can paint your own & they also run special themed workshops too. Plus they run craft mornings, music nights & archery sessions etc. 
Here’s a guide to what events Hamford have coming up…
I then noticed a basket saying French Knitting & inviting you to have a go! So I took a bobbin & some wool back to my table & realised I hadn’t a clue what to do! 

Thankfully the lovely Michelle came to my rescue & sat with me & gave me a lesson! We talked about how good it is for mindfulness as are knitting & crochet & when I admitted I wasn’t any good at those either she said she was thinking of running some beginners workshops & I said I’d definitely be up for that! 

We’d ordered tea to start with to have while we played some games before we had lunch. The tea is served in China teapots with knitted tea cosys & it’s proper leaf tea with a tea strainer. Even this experience felt like a luxury, really taking time over a cuppa.  
Sooooo #Hygge 
So whilst we drank our tea 🦸‍♂️ decided to try & teach me how to play chess ♟ OMG how many rules to remember about what each piece can do & how it can move, all I can remember is that the horse can jump & turn corners 🤪 the whole concept was too much for my #FND brain which was starting to scramble so to avoid that I told 🦸‍♂️ to take my king 👑 & be done with it 🤣 (I don’t think he’ll be suggesting we play that game again any time soon!) 🤣
So we swiftly moved onto dominoes which is more my level although I still lost every game! 😜
By now it was time for lunch; here’s the menu, plus they have a specials board! 
I ordered the salmon & cream cheese sandwich & 🦸‍♂️ had marmite & cheese crumpets! 
After lunch I declared that I wasn’t one to give up on a challenge so I bought the bobbin as a souvenir & she now lives in my #hygge box of old fashioned toys which all started from my first visit here a while ago (scroll back through my previous blogs if you want to read about that!) 

This is an example of French Knitting & hopefully one day mine will turn out like that lol!
This is such a great venue, the environment can’t help but provide endless possible conversations & the ambience is so relaxing. ’The Hamford View experience’ is like stepping out of the world for a while & I realised the whole time we’d been there (approx 2 hours in total) had been pure mindfulness & time spent totally in the moment! Thank you Michelle & team for looking after us so well, we can’t wait to see you again soon! I’m thinking I’d love to try the afternoon tea next time! 
(This pic is taken from their website)
You can visit their website at http://hamfordview.uk
In the car on the drive back 🦸‍♂️ started laughing & when I asked him what was funny he said ‘ Life with you is rather random. I never know what’s going to happen next & I love it!’ Awwwww 

So until next time #Namaste 💜

M x

A Review Of The Family By Louise Jensen 

I was lucky enough to have this book sent to me by NetGalley & OMG I have just finished reading this book & I literally can’t breath! 😱  not sure I can even put into words how gripping & surprising the plot is as it thickens & twists, keeping you literally on the edge of your seat, turning the pages so fast that your reading speed is sure to hit an all time record! 

What an incredibly talented author Louise is. I’ve read her previous books which are all fab but I think this one tops the lot! I’m in awe at how many layers of deception there were in this book; as a reader I was left feeling not sure which of the characters I could trust as secret upon secret was uncovered in this totally gripping psychological thriller. So much suspense that literally does keep you guessing until the very last page! 
The story is about a character called Laura whose husband suddenly died, both her & her 17 year old daughter ‘Tilly’ ~ Matilda are grieving but struggling to cope both financially & emotionally. So when Oak Leaf Organics offer them both a ‘home’ they take up the offer to join this ‘community’ but it takes them away from the outside world & they find themselves in a commune environment & Laura really fights every gut instinct that she has about it to keep a roof over her & her daughters heads. 
The charismatic leader, Alex comforts her & reassures her that the people there are hers & Tillys new ‘family’ but life on the farm takes many sinister turns & when one of the community dies in suspicious circumstances Laura wants to take Tilly & leave but Tilly has developed feelings for Alex & refuses to leave!
Laura then frantically tries to save them both from events that you just can’t see unfolding as she uncovers why they were invited to join the community in the first place & why they’ll never let them leave….
This book teaches us that in fiction, like real life, things are rarely as they first appear. Totally mind blowing! 

Last Day Of September

Evening Peeps,

I hope you all had a fab weekend.

Thought I’d share some of mine with you. So those of you who read my last blog will know it’s been a ‘bit of a month’ so on Saturday afternoon I wanted to get some sea air & take my camera out for a spin! There happened to be a mental health event happening down the road so we had a mooch around there & they must have know I was going as there was a prosecco bar awaiting & it would have been very rude not to partake lol 😂

We then had a lovely stroll ♿️ by the sea & I got to try out my new toy 📸 here’s some of the pics I took.

I was papped too! 😂

We ended up by the marina so sat & had a glass of bubbles & had the munchies so had a sharing platter for a late lunch. It was so relaxing & it felt so good to be out just sitting watching the world go by & chatting.

We got home in time for strictly where there was a bottle of bubbles on ice & a Chinese take away delivered. It made me realise how much I needed to chill after quite an intense end to the week being sent back to hospital & it was like a late Birthday celebration! (Guess I better take my cards down now!) 😂

Sunday was rather spontaneous, we’d planned to go to a food & drink festival but it was absolutely pouring it down. 🦸‍♂️ parents came over for coffee in the morning & we ended up going back to theirs so 🦸‍♂️ could help with some DIY & then they suggested we all go out for a Sunday roast & we went to a fab pub in the afternoon that I’ve never been to before but will definitely be going back to! As soon as the door opened & I saw all the fairy lights my face lit up lol. It was so quirky too, our table was over an old well! How cool 👍🏻 was a delicious roast & I thoroughly enjoyed it.

A spontaneous weekend from start to finish & very chilled!

So It’s the last day of September today & this morning this quote spoke to me…

The day started off with much laughter as 🦸‍♂️ decided to make a breakfast that had pinged up on his Instagram feed & all I could think of was an old song but I changed the lyrics & couldn’t stop singing it 🤣

‘There’s a hole in my bread dear Liza, dear Liza, there’s a hole in my bread, dear Liza a hole!

So shove an egg in it dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry, shove an egg in it’😂 great recipe @bbcgoodfood

I have to say it was immense & BBC good food retweeted my tweet saying we’d perfected Monday morning breakfast 🤣

🦸‍♂️ then swapped his James Martin hat for his Alan Titchmarsh one & mowed the grass, I got very excited that the lawn had stripes 🤣

Post lady then delivered a parcel & it was from my fab friend Lisa, a beautiful wooden sudoku puzzle, very #hygge & a great beach hut get well card! Was such a lovely surprise, thanks so much hon 😘 x

The gift is perfect for mindfulness which was totally perfect timing as I had a session with my own counsellor this morning (yes Counsellors can have counselling too!) to offload the things I’ve been through in the last month & as always I felt much better for doing so. Having to rest so much is difficult for me, as most of you know & keep reminding me! I’m quite stubborn (‘you don’t say’ I hear! 🤣) & when you ‘become disabled’ it’s not always easy to accept your limitations, which is something I do still struggle with 4 years later!

I think I’m not the only one who when emotions come to the surface has a tendency to make themselves keep busy but when you can’t you have to sit with it & let it be. So I feel I need to pick up my mindfulness tool more & live in the moment rather than stressing over the future or thinking about the past. I feel my camera is going to play a great part in this for me. It’s like my alternative to yoga 🧘‍♀️ when your looking through the lens trying to get the perfect shot you’re in the moment & that’s the best place to be! I’m excited now I’ve got a proper camera to see where my hobby takes me!

So there you have it, my September! Thanks for taking the time to read my blog! Wishing you all a very Happy October.

#Namaste M x

September Shenanigans!

So my last blog post was 2nd September & I was wishing everyone a happy new month ahead, unfortunately for me I’ve had a bit of a mare, hence the lack of blogs but I’ve had a lot of messages from you guys this week saying you’re missing my blogs so here’s an update…

On the 4th I started feeling a bit off colour & was getting a lot of pain in my stomach & back. I thought I’d pulled a muscle so was using heat packs & swallowing ibuprofen & paracetamol but they weren’t helping. So on Saturday 7th I was bundled into the car after a call to 111 who made an appointment for me to be seen at a walk in centre at the hospital, I was thinking what a waste of time it was but when I got there the doctor said he was sending me straight to the surgical assessment unit at another hospital 😳 WTF! I thought it was all a bit dramatic for a pulled muscle but the doc I saw thought it was appendicitis so off I went.

The pain gradually getting worse as the morning went on. When I got to the hospital I was given IV paracetamol & then morphine plus I was put on a fluid drip. Pain & drug combo triggered a seizure (apparently as I was told afterwards the crash button was pressed & a call was accidentally put out as a cardiac arrest so within seconds my bed was surrounded with doctors & nurses 😱) when I came too my throat & neck were killing me & felt like I’d been strangled. Apparently I’d stopped breathing & they were trying to open my airways & tried to shove a tube down my throat which made me gag & breath lol talk about serious drama! 😝 I then had the usual blood tests etc & given an X-ray. I was then admitted to the surgical ward & on the Sunday I had an ultrasound & on the Monday they decided to operate. 😳 what the heck this all escalated quickly!

As I was nil by mouth they gave me sponge lollies that I was allowed to dip into water & wet my lips with. I think it was about 2:30pm when I went down to theatre & I remember waking up in recovery in absolute agony & there seemed to be some confusion as to what had been done when I asked & all they could tell me was my appendix had been removed but the surgeon had also done another procedure as well & he would explain when he came to see me 😱

I was on oxygen & morphine for the rest of the night & felt rather pantso to say the least. I wasn’t wheeled back to the ward until nearly 7pm.

I then had a Bridget Jones moment because of all the IV fluid I was being given I desperately needed a wee but wasn’t allowed to get up! I tried to explain that my track record of weeing laying down wasn’t good & didn’t usually end well but I was told that was my only Option 🙈 & my predictions were right & they ended up changing me & the bed! I came to the conclusion that dignity had left the building 2 days previously & I’d have to pick it up at the door when I left! 🤣

To add to the situation when they were changing me I saw I had 3 dressings on my stomach but not one where I was expecting one so I lay there thinking OMG they’ve done the wrong operation! I asked the nurses what had happened but they didn’t know so I had to wait all night until the surgeon came to see me in the morning – which happened to be my Birthday! (Extreme measures to go too to get breakfast in bed hey! 🎂 🤣) anyway he explained that he’d performed an appendectomy & had gone in from the other side because of the size of the tools ⚒ which is why there was no dressing where my appendix had been taken. I asked why I had 3 dressings & he said while he was operating he found a tumour on my bowel that had twisted it so he’d had to remove that too! So essentially I’d had 2 ops in one😱 he even had photos of it to show me! 😝

This was all a bit of a shock to be honest to find myself in hospital in the first place. (Thankfully the tumour was benign!) I lay there thinking Happy Birthday 🥳 M!

The first thing I did was google how much an appendix weighs thinking its removal might have led to dramatic weight loss lol but was disappointed that it was only a few ounces 🤣

The ladies I was sharing a ward with were lovely & had got me a Birthday card & all signed it & they requested a song on hospital radio for me which was so sweet of them! My over the bed table was soon filled with birthday cards that had been brought in & 🦸‍♂️ bought in a helium birthday balloon & banner which he fixed to the end of my bed & fairy cakes for everyone on the ward.

It all felt a bit surreal to be honest. My Mum & Dad came to visit me with Birthday prezzies & I was speechless as they’d bought me a camera, I’ve wanted one for so long & it totally made my day! I was so excited to be able to get home & start snapping!

The physio came round to see me too to try & get me up but as I rely on crutches to manoeuvre because of the FND I really struggled as they put a lot of pressure on your stomach! So I ended up being wheeled backwards & forwards to the bathroom & being supervised! 🙄

That evening my fab friend Grace & her boyfriend came to see me which totally made my day! (thanks guys!)

On the Wednesday I was feeling pantso but managed a few steps on the crutches. I then had another seizure! The ward suddenly became extremely noisy as well which was triggering my sensory overload which I now get thanks to FND & it was all feeling a bit too much so I asked if I could go home on the Thursday & they agreed I could!

On the Sunday I managed to get locked in the bathroom 🤪 & had to be handed a screwdriver through the window so I could unscrew the handle, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry but was grateful I wasn’t home alone at the time 🤣

That next week was a wipe out I felt so rough but was trying to do what I could when I could. The weather was still warm so I layed in the garden practising with my new camera snapping pics of the birds which I later entered into An Essex Wildlife Trust competition.

Once I was home 🦸‍♂️ presented me with a beautiful pandora necklace for my birthday & a beautiful pen engraved with my first name & then an authors ‘novel scribble book’ with my ‘pen name’ personalised on it! Encouraging me to write! So I was brave & entered a flash fiction writing competition that week too, never written flash fiction before but as I was having a coffee the required 300 words came to me so I thought what the heck enter it girlie, so I was a little productive! Lol

That week I had loads of flowers delivered & my home looked like a florists, so beautiful! 💐

I was hoping I’d be well enough to go to a Prosecco festival on the 21st during the day with the girlies that had been arranged ages ago for my Birthday. I decided on the morning that I would definitely go & ended up wearing a dress because I was too sore for zip & buttons & I wore a beautiful necklace that my little man had given me for my Birthday too. We had such a lovely time – we were VIP’s & had our own table. There was a Live band & lots of lovely bubbles! We bought a very special bottle so I got to ring the bell & it was yummy! I even had my face glittered. 🤣

🦸‍♂️ picked us up & then when we got home we went to the marina for a drink & then a local pub & had seafood platters.

I was running out of oomph by 9pm so came home. Tired, sore but had made fantastic memories with special friends!

On the Sunday 🦸‍♂️ was on a gardening mission for me taking down the pool for the winter & using his new power tool (boys toy) to cut back all the hedges. I was on supervision duties but managed to fall over in the garden 😱 not the best move after stomach surgery! My stomach swelled up even more & I’ve basically felt like I was going to burst so yesterday decided I better get checked out at the docs who said ‘I’m sending you straight to hospital’ what the heck! She thought I may have internal bleeding😳 seriously!!!

So got to the hospital at 10am was told I was nil by mouth, had bloods taken etc then X-ray & scans & had to then wait at which point the last few weeks caught up with me I think & I was a blubbering wreck & couldn’t stop crying 😢 was having an emosh afternoon lol but was thankful to 🦸‍♂️ for holding my hand, wiping my tears & being supportive. Also hugely grateful to a dear friend who called me during that time & spoke to both of us making sure I was ok & not losing the plot completely lol (thank you special lady you know who you are!) 💕

I found out late afternoon that thankfully it’s not internal bleeding but bruising & trauma from the op & fall 🙈 & I could go home with instructions to rest!

Phew what a day that was! By the way 🦸‍♂️ please think of a better date location than hospital for this weekend I’d like to do something nice & I’m not nil by mouth anymore 🤣 ☕️ 🍰 🥂

So there you have it Septembers shenanigans! Apologies if I’ve waffled on, I’ve been processing it all at the same time as writing it & I’ve told it as it is.

I feel like I’ve been a character in Holby City lately & I’m now trying to avoid hospitals; well until next Friday anyway when I’ve got to go for a mammogram! 😜

If women ran the world 👇🏻🤣

Going to sign off now & wish you all a happy weekend. Huge thanks to everyone for all your lovely messages, especially #TeamAwesome my Tweethearts 💜

Appreciate you all,

Until next time… #Namaste 🕉

Once More

Short entry this one, it’s just something I had to get down in my blog…

On Saturday night I needed some escapism so I decided to watch a film called ‘Once More’

It was about a disabled novelist, Monte Wildhorn, whose passion for writing had been sapped. He stays at a lakeside cabin for the summer in Belle Isle, dogsitting for a friend & becomes friendly with the family next door; a mother & her three girls.

The middle daughter Finnegan O’Neil, is interested in writing stories & asks Monte to teach her how to write. He encourages her to see what’s not there. Monte is in a wheelchair but tells Finnegan a story about him running & dancing under the stars, when she questions whether he needs to be in a wheelchair he said yes he can’t walk but then said ‘but you imagined me running didn’t you’ she agreed that she had & he said ‘that’s imagination!’

It was a really lovely film & I thought nothing more of it. Until I woke up yesterday morning that is because Saturday night I had a dream & in it I wasn’t disabled. For as long as I can remember I haven’t been mobile in my dreams; crutches & the wheelchair always feature but that night in my dreams I was walking unaided & wasn’t poorly. So when I woke up Sunday morning it was kind of like a reverse nightmare as I woke up realising it had ‘just been a dream!’

It seems my imagination had been working overtime & I guess the film offered escapism in more ways than one! In reality I shall continue to be an #FNDWarrior 💕💪🏻💪🏻💕

Happy September by the way & until next time #Namaste

M x

Breakfast At The Beach

Hi all, it’s been a while since I posted but feeling inspired to do so today!

I didn’t sleep much last night & was awake at the crack of dawn so I decided to make the most of it & pack up some breakfast & head to the beach. So armed with my croissant, flask of tea & beach towel I set off ♿️ & had set up camp as it were by 8am.

Thankfully I took my phone out my bag to take a photo because I saw I had missed calls from my Mum & Careline. I called my Mum first who was just running out the door to come to my rescue 😱 it seems my wrist alarm had gone off as I came out & Careline couldn’t reach me so they rang my Mum thinking I was ill. Ooops my Poor Mum she was very relieved when I told her I was sitting on the beach having breakfast lol (sorry for the false alarm Mum 😘) so once I’d called Careline & explained they laughed & said they’re glad I’m ok & how lovely to be at the beach already 😂

The scenery was breathtaking! A gentle breeze making the early morning salty air lovely & fresh, the tide was out & so there was also the scent of ‘eau de seaweed’ awakening my senses. Everything was so calm, boats moored up & a few already setting sail. Seagulls overhead. Taking in the panoramic views it was like watching an ever changing painting. Pure mindfulness, watching how the cloud formations changed, the sun rippling on the water as the tide started to come in.

It made me realise I haven’t been doing this simple act of selfcare for a while & after the past week where I’ve been reflecting & thinking a lot, that is now going to change. I will write more about my selfcare plans in a future blog but for now back to the beach…

As I sat eating my breakfast & drinking my tea I didn’t know that the morning would turn out quite as lovely as it did. Not only did I have the most amazing view but everybody who was about to walk, jog or cycle past stopped to talk to me first. It was literally like a conveyor belt of people & then as someone was stood talking to me someone else would come along who maybe they knew so they joined the conversation too.

I had lots of friendly dogs come to say hello, for a pat & to be made a fuss of & they ended up laying by my side while I talked to their owners!


Each person who stopped had a story to tell; one guy was telling me about how him & his ‘retired girlfriend’ like to paint (he laughed telling me this saying doesn’t that sound funny having a girlfriend who’s retired lol) he told me how she has boxes of all sorts of paints & has had to get a cupboard to store them all in & he uses a simple kid like paint box. Lol He was also taken aback by the clouds & told me how he’d paint them & how he wished he had his paints on him.

Another dog owner of a gorgeous little dog called ‘Cassie’ stopped to talk, he was telling me how his wife had died a few years ago & his girlfriends husband had died the month before, they hadn’t known each other then but met & moved here by the sea, so lovely! He shook my hand & said how lovely it was to meet.

Then I had a lovely surprise as a dog ran over to me I looked up & recognised the owner it was an old friend & her husband who I hadn’t seen in years. She ran over & gave me the biggest hug & stood chatting to me for ages, seems they know pretty much everyone as our little chatting crowd grew quite big! Lol 😂

And so this went on! One chap stopped & just started talking about the state of the country 😳 & politics 😱 too heavy for my relaxing time by the sea so I kept changing the subject ooops lol

Another passer by told me all about the cafe that was supposed to be re opened this summer but about all the problems they’ve had with the builders etc & how the lift that was installed isn’t big enough for a wheelchair!!! Watch this space on that one; when it finally opens I shall report back! 😉

I then decided to wheel on ♿️ & take some more photos, again passers by stopped to talk even on the move.

It seems I’m inspiring apparently according to one of those people because I look happy, & am not letting my illness stop me despite my ‘obvious mobility issues’.

I lost count of the amount of people I’ve spoken to this morning but inside I could feel that I’ve needed this & it felt so good for my soul!

After following the coast line I decided to go by the marina; absolutely stunning! It was one of those moments I wanted to bottle. The photos I took on my phone don’t do it justice. Soooo peaceful & tranquil it was like I was unplugged from everything & was Re- charging!

By this time it was just after 10am & I fancied a coffee after all that talking lol so I thought I’d go along to the Coach House cafe but there was a sign on the gate saying they were now closed until September as they’d ‘gone sailing’ lol 😂 I found this so funny & thought ‘good for them!’ So instead I stopped at the shop & bought a Starbucks cold latte, to take home with me, they are so refreshing!

It’s been such a therapeutic morning for me & after a very long chat, late on the phone last night, with a very dear & special friend of mine I feel inspired once again & selfcare is back on my radar! 💜

Thanks for reading & until next time #Namaste 🕉

M x