Merry Christmas, Baby…

Welcome to crimbo limbo. It’s that time of year when it is totally acceptable to wear your jammies all day long & ignore all the usual food (& drink conventions). Do you want champagne for breakfast? Have it, just bung a little fruit juice in. Fancy a piece & potato? Knock yourself out, carb on carb is GOOD. It’s anything goes & I love it.

I have had the loveliest Xmas, but there was was a lot of running around & really late nights followed by early mornings. So, I’m enjoying a little down time. Before I turn off entirely I thought I would share a little of my Christmas. 

Happy plus size woman in velvet dress
Dress – SimplyBe

Xmas #ootd was one of my gifts from my lovely Mum. She hit it out of the park with this one. It’s so sumptious. I am in love. 

I did Xmas eve in the pub with the toyboy & his friends, but retired to mum’s house early. Jim jams & old movies is the way to welcome Xmas day. 


We got a tiny bit festive for Xmas eve drinks.

Mum & I rocked Xmas day together. Seven brides for seven brothers, delicious vegan dinner & a lot of my new highlighter made for a good day. I spent the evening at the TB’s parents. Christmas bauble cocktails, even more pressies, a freestyle Mary & Joseph rap and multiple Santa suits completed my day. 

Necklace – Kracken Jewellery

I also got to watch both my niece & nephew open their presents via FaceTime. Their happy wee faces were definitely my festive favourites.

I am lucky girl with wonderful friends & family. Oh & I got the most excellent gifts too! I hope you all had an equally fabulous festive period. 

And of course it wouldn’t be Xmas without a festive manicure. So, here’s all of my December nail art efforts. 



I now intend to do a whole lot of resting in preparation for kicking 2018’s arse. See you in the new year.

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A time for giving…

According to Cliff Richards, king of the xmas tune, this is a time for giving. Whilst Cliff is wrong about most things, I think he’s right about this. I love Christmas. I am fortunate enough to have wonderful people to share it with. We always have more than enough food to fill our tums & plenty presents under our tree. If like me, your festive cup runeth over, please consider making a donation to one of these excellent organisations.


Simon Community helps homeless people in Scotland. They provide a number of wonderful services. From teaching life skills to providing accommodation to help people get on their feet, they support homeless people in a multitude of ways. This year they also launched a new initiative to provide both period products & education for people experiencing homelessness. You can help Simon Community by donating your time, money and a number of essentials items. You can find more information here.

Luisa Omielan is my favourite stand up comedian. Her material is not only hilarious, but covers incredibly important issues. She talks about mental illness, body positivity & female empowerment in her hysterical routines. This year she lost her Mum suddenly & horribly to cancer. She has now not only incorporated the difficult topics of palliative care, NHS under funding & death into her routines, but has also started a foundation, in her mum’s name, to raise money to provide comfort items to hospices. My own family was also touched by cancer this year & I became aware of just how important good hospice care is. Until now I was not aware that hospices are charities that do not receive government funding. People at the end of their lives, often suffering, should have access to the best possible care. Luisa is trying to make that happen. Please give whatever you can to Helena’s Hospice Foundation.

Save the Children work around world with children in desperate need. Their mission is to keep children safe and healthy, whether that means battling poverty or exploitation. They fight to create and enforce legal rights for children as well as providing food, clothing and other essentials for those in need. There are too many frightened children in too many places tonight. If you can help give them a better tomorrow, please do.

Tribe is a Scottish animal sanctuary providing a loving home for animals who have been victims of abuse, neglect or who have been saved from slaughter. Their aim is to keep animals safe, but also to encourage compassion for animals not normally considered pets. The sanctuary was founded by John and Morag, animal advocates who wanted to truly live their beliefs. They currently house cats, dogs, cows and chickens. You can get to know their growing family & find out how to donate here.

Please dig as deep as you can and have a very Merry Christmas and a fun filled Hogmanay.

Oh, do it…

Regular readers will probably be aware that I’m not much of a new year’s resolution type. However, recently there have been a bunch of things that I have wanted to tackle, but for one reason or another keep telling myself I’ll get to it after Xmas & Hogmanay. So, I thought, what the hell, I’ll share them with the world & then maybe I’ll actually get cracking. Thus, I present my ‘2018, for the love of god, just do it’ list. 

I’ll kick things off with a biggie. Re decorating. My house needs a bit of a revamp. I was supposed to get it done this year, but there was just always an impediment. I know exactly what I want & need in every room. I have bought umpteen accessories, selected paint colours & even gotten quotes for the work. Still my rooms remain unzhoosed. Next year, I will bring my interior ideas to fruition. The art work the Toyboy got me & my vintage flamingo throw pillows are going on display, even if it kills me. 

Vintage flamingo
On the subject of the Toyboy, he is number 2 on my list of challenges. I love to swim. I was part of a team when I was younger & it’s the only sporty thing I’ve ever enjoyed. Now a days, it is the only cardio I can safely & comfortable do. Plus being in the water really helps my pain. Basically if there is a pool in my vicinity I’m in it. The TB on the other hand, is less keen. His swimming technique is, shall we say, not quite Olympic standard. To be frank, he struggles not drown. I intend to rectify this. I’m going to teach that man to swim (wether he likes it or not). He shouldn’t be surprised if swimming trunks turn up under his Xmas tree.

I take thousands of pictures. Like everyone else, I tend to share them mostly online. I have lots of framed pictures around the house, but there are only so many that I can display. Earlier this year I decided I really wanted to make proper photo albums to organise & keep my pictures in. I duly ordered hundreds of prints & then life decided get troublesome. Project photo album got sidelined & all I actually achieved was adding to the clutter that lives in the spare room. Well, this week I found these beautiful albums made with Liberty fabrics. It’s time to get all my special memories organised & pasted in. Well, nearly time, 2018 will be the year I collate my snaps for posterity. 

This beloved blog is also on the list. The home of my writing needs an overhaul just as much as my actual home does. Again, I have lots of ideas, both creative & practical. Again, those ideas have failed to materialise into a solid plan. The main problem here is I am useless at all of the things involved in giving a website a face lift. I have spent torturous nights trying to add buttons or create small clickable adds. Try as I might, I mess it up. It’s such a headache, that I have consistently applied the Scarlett O’ Hara theory of life to the issue; tomorrow is another day. Tomorrow is finally coming. Any tips or referrals for such services would be greatly appreciated.


My final task is the least glamorous & most ridiculous. It is also the bloody hardest problem to solve. What massive struggle do I speak of? Keeping my bloody washing basket empty for more than 5 seconds. Why do I always have so much dirty laundry? I am only one person! Granted the TB scatters pants & socks everywhere he goes, but bar a few outfits, that’s it. It’s all mine & it never ends. Every single time I get to the bottom of the basket I want to throw a party, but blink & it’s full again. Nothing destroys the calming sanctuary of a bedroom more than the overflowing washing basket in the corner. I no longer want to be terrorised by my own discarded clothing. Next year I will take charge & keep that washing basket empty (ish). I just don’t know how yet.

I also have an ongoing semi- secret pet project. Those of you know me well can probably guess what it is. The rest of you will just have to keep reading. 

So, there it is. These are my mountains to climb in 2018. Which epic quests await you? 

You can’t change the way she feels, but you could put your arms around her…

I dreamt about an old friend last night. A friend who is no longer living. It was a lovely dream that I was sad to wake from. As I tried to commit the dream to memory I realised that whilst I thought of her often, I hadn’t spoken out loud about my dear friend in a long time. Too long a time, which is something I need to rectify. I need to talk about her. Tell her story. Share how she changed me. And that is exactly what I am going to do.

Let’s start by saying I met J because we were both ill. I was in my early twenties & struggling to deal with undiagnosed PTSD. I was trying to hold together a life that was increasingly unsatisfying with a self harm habit that was spiralling out control. J was dealing with similarly unhappy circumstances and a self harm problem that becoming, frankly terrifying. We both found some comfort in a community of sick people who didn’t know where else to turn. We were people who couldn’t ask for help or had asked without receiving the sort of assistance the we needed. No one talked about self harm then. Except maybe in the odd film where it was usually portrayed as something a trouble teen might do or a suicide attempt. Even the mental health professionals treated us like shit (sadly, some still so). If our attempts to hide the problem had failed, our families & friends were frightened ( & in some cases cruel). We were dealing with real problems; rape, abusive relationships, miscarriage, escaping from cults, drug dealing parents & a multitude of other big, scary problems. We were of course also living with mental illness. Some of us had a laundry list of labels and others had not a single clue what the fuck was wrong. But there was absolutely something going very wrong for all of us. This is where I met J. Amongst this this group of desperate people I also found a salvation of sorts. These broken people offered each other a kind of support that we couldn’t find anywhere else. We dragged each other through the kind of darkness that most will never understand. And J was kind of our leader.
J was living with pain beyond what would be considered durable. Her mental anguish was compounded by the physical horror she was compelled to inflict upon herself. J was not ok. Every solitary moment of life was a battle hard fought. And, yet, she always had time for us. She had love and support and encouragement for her damaged flock. J lived in a different time zone, but she still called day & night to remind me to keep breathing. She wrote letters and sent care parcels. She compiled lists of all the things that just might offer one us a couple minutes respite from our own fucked up heads. She replied to every ‘ I can’t do this anymore’ with such kind & convincing entreaties to keep trying, that we did. Her words worked because we knew, that she knew. We were all able to help each other because we shared a world that most people didn’t know existed. For me, j was the ultimate inspiration. If she could do this with such grace, I owed it to her and all the others who loved me to at least not give up.

Kelvingrove park

It’s such a cliché, but this goodness expanded beyond our group. She was studying to be a nurse because she wanted to help people. Everyone in her life adored her. J was that person who offered succour, but she wasn’t a martyr or a goody goody. She was fun. Her sense of humour could be wicked. Most of all she was strong. J fought to live. She engaged with mental health services that let her down over and over and over. She was still working and studying at the peak of her illness. She endured the brutality of her self harm and the callousness of those supposed to treat them. She did it all with dignity. Life beat J black and blue. This world committed an almost constant vicious assault on her. She fought back hard. She battled with and blood and heart and care and tears and wonder. She did not win.
J succeeded in taking her own life in a sad and awful way that left no doubt that she meant it. I wish with everything in my being that I could have changed how her story ended. Both the circumstances & the prematurity of her passing, but I don’t blame her. I understand that life was no longer a viable prospect for J. I hate that, but I do not begrudge her some peace. I am still angry at the professionals who failed her and the people who’s actions caused her so much pain. I will never be angry at J. She gave life her very best shot. Her suicide was neither selfish nor weak. It was just the only option she had left. It kills me that someone so beautiful was left with a choice so ugly. I understand it, though. Whilst I know it may be an unpopular opinion I can accept it. I can respect that it was her decision to make.


So, why I am writing this? What am I left with? Actually what remains is so much more positive than I could have ever imagined. Losing J was soul destroying, but life does go on. I go on and so do those other sad people that she cared for. I don’t want to disrespect those wonderful people by not acknowledging that they too saved me. We all helped save each other. In hundreds of big and small ways. After J’s death we continued to care for each other. We laughed and cried and screamed and swore together. We stayed up nights and called ambulances. We sent Xmas cards and made hospital visits.
From that group I maintain friendships with some incredible people. Some of us are entirely recovered, some still walk the tight rope; we are all still alive. We have partners, careers, babies, hobbies & passions. We all do our bit for mental health awareness. Whether that’s through writing, organising, working in the field, donating to MH charities or just supporting loved ones with their difficulties. I will spend the rest of my life doing everything I can to prevent others falling through the cracks. I will fight for everyone to have more choices than J. I know I am not alone. That is her legacy. She lives on through the people she touched. We endured. We succeeded. We survived.
WE LIVE

1 in 4 adult in UK will experience mental illness at some point in their lives. It is incredibly likely that you or someone you love will have to fight this battle. You can help improve the lives of suffering in a number of ways. Please do what you can to make sure more people survive.

Add mental health education to the national curriculum

Equality for mental health

Donate to Samaritans

Donate to SAMH

You an also make a massive difference by writing to your elected representatives an telling them mental health is major issue for you. Let them know that how they vote on mental health related issues matters to you. You can find your representatives here.
Find my MP
Find my MSP