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Five reasons I run

With two weeks to go until the big race, I’m starting to struggle. I’ve been training on and off for the past 18 months; I’ve been hurting all over for the past number of weeks, and I am so so tired. And I’m still not running fast enough to guarantee making my target time.

A bit of inspiration to remind me why I run was badly needed, so I came up with five good reasons to keep me motivated. And here they are, in no particular order..

Running for health and fitness gives me a justifiable excuse for leaving the house and the list, and getting out into the (reasonably) fresh air. Sometimes it’s very fresh, if I get the chance to go for a run in the park or along the sea front. It’s not a self indulgence, so I don’t need to feel guilty – but I still have to tell myself it’s okay.

It’s easier than dieting. No really, it is. With running you have to be mentally tough enough to resist stopping for about half an hour. And do that 4-5 times a week. With dieting you have to be mentally tough enough to resist eating all the time! Also I do lose weight when I exercise harder, which seems to go against expert opinion. I’m still eating cake, but I’ve lost about a stone (6 kilograms), and that makes me very happy.

Running gives my brain a break: I find it impossible to think about my worries when I’m running flat out, and it’s taking all my focus to keep my breathing steady and my legs moving.

It’s about adding something to your life, which has to be a bonus as I’ve found that getting older and becoming a responsible adult and parent seems to be mostly about giving up things.

I’ve always been competitive, and running gives me a chance to compete, against myself and others too. It’s good to feel you’ve achieved something, especially as there is very little sense of achievement or recognition when you’re a carer.

Five reasons I run, me, Essex,

So there you have it, and if you’re a runner too, I’d love to know what keeps you going and why you enjoy it…


Reasons to be cheerful 24.3.17

I’m just going to dive straight in this week, so here goes:

Feeling the fear and doing it anyway

I was published this week.  A recent blog post that I threw together at the breakfast table was seen by a representative from an online paper who asked if I would expand it for publication. Normally I turn down these requests because I hate that kind of publicity and scrutiny of my life and thoughts, but after so many friends have put themselves out there on radio and TV, I felt it was the least I could do. If you want to read it, the link is here.

My long lost love

I’m talking about chocolate. I had a particularly bad day on Monday. and out of the blue I had a craving for my favourite ever bar of chocolate. I’ve not seen it for sale in Ireland, so I just thought I’d check out amazon and there it was. And yesterday this was delivered by post!!!

Cote d'or , chocolate, .png


In the past few weeks I’ve met friends I haven’t seen for a decade, others I haven’t talked to properly for months, some who I see as often as I can. I met them in coffee shops, running slowly, running fast, on the beach and in the pub. When I feel the urge to hide away, I must remember how good these meet ups were.

Trips out

As the weather improves, my disabled daughter B and I are getting more adventurous in our trips out. We went to the theatre , and spent last weekend trying out many of the activities on offer as part of the St Patrick’s Festival. The variety is good for me, and there’s nothing better than seeing her so happy.

B, disability, St Patrick's Festival, .png

Not a hoarder

I’m not naturally a hoarder, but there are a few things I keep in the press (cupboard) just in case. And the just in case actually happened this week when after many many years I finally got to open this bottle of liquid magic and it cleared the biro marks off B’s lovely pink coat. Result.

Stain devils .png

A new wheelchair for B

Progress is being made: this week she and I got to view some new wheelchairs. They won’t have everything on my wish list, but the team are bending over backwards to try and meet her needs as fully as possible. She’ll also get to pick the colour of the frame, upholstery and wheel guards. I may have to hide the Barbie pink option…

So those are my reasons to be cheerful for this week. Head over to Mummy from the Heart for more.

All the fun of the festival #StPatricksDay

The plan was simple: to get my disabled daughter B to as many of the St Patrick’s Festival events as possible. Life and other speed bumps permitting of course.

First on the agenda was the Dublin Parade on Friday.

We parked in one of our regular spots down a back street – one of the advantages of driving an ugly wheelchair accessible van is that no one wants to steal it!

Finding the disabled viewing point on Westmoreland street was a challenge, even some of the officials didn’t know where it was. Finally we got there and it was spacious, with a great view of the parade route, and we weren’t even late (for once).

B was spellbound by the parade. She especially liked the marching bands.

Crazy band behindCrazy band front

The dancers were also wonderful to watch and many of them came over to high five my daughter, and the disabled children sitting with us.

Blue dancerspink dancer St Patrick's Day Parade March 2017

But our spot was also cold and exposed, and we got more and more chilled, until the heavens opened about 20 minutes before the end.

So soggy and shivering, we ended up going straight home instead of meeting up with friends nearby. But it was a great start to the weekend.


On Saturday I was hoping to bring B to a theatre and music event in St Stephen’s Green, but we had to begin the day on the northside, hunting for nappies. We’re lucky that the Irish health service provides four free nappies a day, but it’s not quite enough. So I always have a last minute panic when I realise that she’s going to run out before the next delivery. And sod’s law means that the nappy drought usually takes place on a bank holiday weekend. There’s only one shop in Dublin guaranteed to have the right size of adult nappies and it was only open on the Saturday. By the time the purchase had been made and safely stowed away, I couldn’t face a trek across the city so we searched for Festival events nearby, but found nothing. Even Wolfe Tone Park in the heart of the shopping district was empty apart from some disgruntled pigeons and an eager photographer. So we went to a cake shop and then paraded up and down Henry Street and even in the rain, my daughter was very happy to be back in her favourite place.


Wet B

The plan on Sunday was to visit the giant family funfair in Merrion Square, another southside Dublin Park where we’ve spent happy afternoons in other years lolling on the grass and soaking up the sun to the sound of different bands. There was none of that this weekend. We did have a lovely picnic next to the Dermot Morgan commemorative chair though.

Dermot Morgan chair

We admired the recycling robot.


And B loved the noise and excitement of the fairground rides.

All too soon it was time to head home for toileting. Back to the chores and the needs of my other offspring. The St Patrick’s weekend fun is over for another year, but the festival season is only just beginning. Watch this space for more adventures!



In another universe, St Patrick’s Day might look like this

A much anticipated day off work. A lie in, until at least 7.30 am. Coffee and croissants in the garden listening to the frisky songbirds, doing the crossword and being able to finish it!

Wishing a happy St Patrick’s Day to my teenager and young adult children as they groggily wander into the kitchen. Tell them to charge their phones and that I’ll see them later.

Jump in the car and meet friends for a walk in the hills, followed by a pint of Guinness and a late lunch in a country pub to mark the day.

Arrive home relaxed and wind blown and spend the evening catching up with my favourite shows on Netflix.

Of course that’s only half the story: Before I left my offspring would probably be looking for money and lifts to different places. Then it’s likely I would spend a worried day trying not to text them and find out where they are, what they’re drinking and when they’re coming home. I would be stuck at the country pub, because obviously I can’t drive home after a pint of Guinness, which would disagree with me anyway. It would probably be too cold and rainy for breakfast in garden and knowing my luck, the birds would be fighting not mating….

So today I’m going to be thankful for the beautiful smile my disabled daughter B gave me when I groggily wandered into her room, even though it was 5.15. I’m going to be grateful that I will know where all three of my children are today, that it’s likely no-one will be drinking alcohol, and while I won’t get to escape to the country, I will at least be outdoors and watching the Dublin Parade with my wonderful daughter.

So those are my reasons to be cheerful for this week. More at Mummy from the Heart.






An Inclusive Trip to the Theatre

It’s so easy to do the safe thing when you care for a severely disabled child or adult, to stick to what you know.

Anything new or strange means lots of planning and anxiety – as if I don’t have enough of that already!

So it was with a fair bit of trepidation that I prepared for a trip to the theatre on Sunday with B, my disabled daughter, to see a pantomime version of Little Red Riding Hood by a children’s theatre group. Show time was 1pm, which meant bringing lunch with us. It was in a strange theatre, in a building I’d never noticed before, despite driving past it hundreds of times, so I didn’t know whether or not it would work for us.

But we had to go. One of B’s long time friends was going to be performing. She also happens to have Down Syndrome, and I wanted to support her, and it sounded like the kind of show that B would enjoy.

And luck was on our side.

B used the toilet before we left, so no danger of a soiled nappy during the performance. I left late as usual and rolled up to find no spaces anywhere, so I had to be creative with my parking, to make sure I could safely remove B’s wheelchair from the van.

There was a lift as promised and one suitable space remained at the end of a row where she could see the stage reasonably well.

From the opening song, I knew it was going to be a big hit. B knew all the songs and was very vocal at times with her appreciation, but luckily there were lots of children there so she wasn’t the only one laughing, and no one seemed to mind. There was also plenty for adults to enjoy from the political digs to some really excellent singing and dancing from the talented cast.

We ate lunch during the interval which was a bit weird, but it was lunch time.

On the stage B’s friend was no different to any of the other performers, except we were cheering her a bit more loudly, and I may have had to wipe away an emotional tear or two.

Fittingly the final song was We’re All In This Together. It was the perfect song to end a show that was inclusive for audience and performers alike. It said it all.

An inclusive trip to the theatre