2019 Book So Far

Hello again,

I just found a blog post from the beginning of the year talking about how I want to read more. I signed up for talking books through the RNIB a while ago. Not used it too much. But I’ve gone through and put some things on my bookshelf which I want to listen too. Including Arnold Schwarzeneggers Total Recall.

Book List
Michelle Obama’s: Becoming
Stephen Fry: Mythos
Stephen Fry: Hero’s
Stephen C. Hayes PhD and Spencer Smith: Get Out of Your Mind an into Your Life
Mark Williams and Danny Penman: Mindfulness
Sarah Millican: How to be Champion
Virginia Watson: The Princess Pochahontas
Kent Nurburn, PhD. and Louise Mengeikoch, MA: Native American Wisdom
Reni Eddo-Lodge: Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race

At the beginning of the year my lovely Cousin Laura got me Michelle Obamas Becoming. I wanted it as soon as I knew it was even in the works. Whether you’re a fan of Michelle Obama or not, I don’t really care. This is my reading choice.
I enjoyed her book very much. I listened to it constantly. It is interesting how she became involved in politics in the first place. It was incredible to hear how quickly a families life can change from hearing they have become the First Family in America to the first few days in the White House. It is incredible being able to get a glimpse into the life of what it must be like being the First Lady. I will have to find more books written by the women who have occupied the White House.

I have tried to get back into reading fiction this year, which I find quite hard. I prefer reading History and Politics or Biographies. So as a way of trying to get back into fiction I thought I would try looking for audiobooks read by people who have nice voices. Michelle Obama reading her book was lovely. Because I have nystagmus I would often lay on the bed and just relax with my eyes closed listening to her book
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I love Stephen Fry, I mean who ruddy doesn’t?
So I found out he had written a book called Mythos. Not a book about the beer, but about Titans and the Greek Gods and Goddesses. I used to love learning about all of that in school. Plus I love Greece. Marvelous place, wonderful food, excellent people.

So the book Mythos was brilliant. Learning all about Zeus, Hades, Hestia, Artemis and many more. The creation of the Gods and the stories surrounding them was wonderfully told. I really recommend it. Such scandals between the Olympian’s and the Titans, Cronus, Hyperion, Prometheus and more.
It’s like a soap opera. Everyone is out to protect their own interests, which is what causes so many problems in the first place. I mean look at how many people on Earth the Olympians got involved with, especially Zeus himself. Which got Hera very upset indeed. Go on give it a listen.

Next up I found Hero’s a follow up from Mythos. This book is again read by Stephen Fry and is an excellent read. So far I am enjoying it. But only a little way through.

Between Mythos and Hero’s a book I was told about is Get Out of Your Mind and into Your Life. I found this book to be very helpful. If your into self help books I would highly recommend this one. It’s all about accepting things the way they are. Which is nice. I mean you can’t change something unless you first accept it? It has helped me in relation to my back pain for example. I can’t get away from my Scoliosis so I need to accept that I will be in pain, but know that I am only feeling the pain. Rather than being the pain itself. This helps as I can then know that with all my physio exercises I can then manage my pain better.

The other Audiobook which was recommended and I am using still is Mindfulness by Mark Williams and Danny Penman. It’s eight weeks worth of meditation exercises. I am now going back through the audio book and alternating between weeks six and seven. I was never really one for Mindfulness until the other year. It was suggested to me to try sitting for ten minutes at a time and that I should just think about my day. Not really think just watch it go by. I now quite enjoy it. Its relaxing. Very helpful before bed.

I listened to Sarah Millican’s How to be Champion. I loved it. All I want now, is to sit and have a good cuppa tea with her and a nice packet of biscuit’s, maybe cake as well. I love her voice. She reminds me of one of my mum’s friends. Ive seen her Live and she was great. If you’ve never seen her, I’d definitely find out when she’s touring. Not stalk her in the cake aisle at Tesco, that’s creepy.

I never remember watching Pocahontas as a child, but I have a towel with her on. I know the basic story, but not entirely. So I found a book called The Princess Pochahontas by Virginia Watson. But it was about the life of Pocahontas, alway through to her leaving with Captain Smith to come to England. I think learning about the Native Americans is fascinating. So much hurt and pain. The way live, their stories, their history. It is important we learn it too. As we played an undeniable part in changing their way of life.

Another small audiobook I have listened to this year is Native American Wisdom by Kent Nurburn, PhD. and Louise Mengeikoch, MA. It is exactly as it says on the title. If you are one for meditation I would recommend this.

A final book I have found in my list is Reni Eddo-Lodge: Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race. A must read. One of the things which stood out to me was the discussion around how you can’t ever fully understand what it is like to put yourself entirely in someone else shoes. The book might sound like Reni is saying ‘no’ to talking to White people about race. But I found it to mean that the conversation only works when there is listening involved. Mostly on the part of White people stepping back and listening and then engaging with the discussion. Rather than just trying to fix the problem. Which how can we, when we don’t understand the problem.

I have not read as many books as I would have liked. I think it gets frustrating when you find a book and you then search for it as an audiobook but can’t find it anywhere. However, once I have listened to Hero’s I have book on Bletchley Park. Which will be really interesting. I once read a book on MI6 and found it fascinating.

So I have read nine books this year. Which is OK, considering this year I have finally decided audiobooks are going tot have to be the way forward. It’s frustrating my head won’t let my eyes focus. But I can’t change that. So I’ve put that Kindle I bought to one side and never used it again. Oh well. On the plus side it means I can listen to audiobooks when I’m washing up, or on the bus.

If you have any good book recommendations please let me know.

I’m on the Twitter @PhilippaB
My email randomlyanxious@gmail.com

Other books I have read are:
Karl Marx Capital
Carl Jung Modern Man in Search of a Soul
Terry Eagleton Why Marx was Right
Robert O. Paxman The Anatomy of Fascism

Eddie Izzard Believe Me a Memoir of Love, Death and Jazz Chickens
Lee Evans Life of Lee
Judy Dench And Furthermore
Lauren Graham Talking as Fast as I can.

Surfers Against Sewage

Hello all,

My last few posts have been around my fabulous holiday to Cornwall. Today I will also be talking about Cornwall. But this will be a bit different.

A few months ago I was searching online for a reusable coffee cup, I wanted a good quality one from a good sustainable source. I stumbled across a charity called Surfers Against Sewage. I’d never heard of them before, so I did some looking around on their website and was immediately happy with what I found.

They are a charity dedicated to reducing plastic waste, so it doesn’t enter our oceans and end up back on our beaches, inside the magnificent creatures that call the waters their homes, or even inside us. They do beach cleans, they help communities go plastic free, they sell things made of bamboo rather than plastic, there’s so much amazing stuff. Besides all of this, the thing which brings me back to glorious Cornwall, is where they first started- St Agnes.

If you’ve never been to Saint Agnes, it’s a little cove in Cornwall. We have been once and had a walk across the beach. Me and my brother had a look inside the little cave, but not too far as the tide was coming in and you have to remember to stay safe on the beach, around the water and the rocks.

I decided after looking at their website I would buy a bamboo coffee cup from them. They had one in a lovely aqua blue. You can buy it in other colours too. The cup is about £12. I bought it because I occasionally find myself buying a cup of tea once or twice a week, maybe more in the winter. So, while I do recycle where I can, why not just add that to my bag for work. I could also use at work if I wanted.

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I do tend to carry a fair bit in my bag, but I wanted to try this and see if it was really worth my buying it and carrying it around. It really is. It is something I am using and if I can reduce my plastic waste by one cup a week, then that’s something.

(This photo is of my Aqua blue mug and some bees wax wrap I got from the website)

Before I continue, when it comes to reducing plastic waste, I believe that if we all do one thing, be it using a bamboo coffee cup, taking packed lunches to work, or using a tote bag, we can all make a difference in our own way. Everyone can be more conscious. But. What works for one- does not work for all. You shouldn’t shame someone for not using x y or z, they might be using shampoo bars at home, they might be not buying tea bags, they might be using public transport and not owning a car. Everyone can impact the environment in their own way and we should not judge people.

Anyway, back to SAS. Whilst on holiday I noticed the beach cafes were not selling plastic bottles. They were all cans. The water they sold was in resealable cans. This was brilliant because I didn’t see one pop bottle lid on Porth Minster. WIN!

I did however see bits of plastic which contrasted with the sand. So as SAS asks us to do, if you pick up one piece of plastic on your walk along the beach, if possible, then you’re helping to prevent that plastic going in the ocean. It was sad that I had to pick up a pizza box. But the bin had been emptied so it I was able to throw it away. I saw a lump of what I thought was a fishing net. But on closer inspection and looking through a book we had with us, it turned out to be a bit of sea life. It was quite stringy and lumpy.

It was brillifullsizeoutput_498fant seeing all the posters from SAS encouraging people to do their bit. Also letting holiday people know what St Ives is doing to help protect their coastline. If you’ve never been to Cornwall you need to. You have to experience it for yourself, I absolutely love it. There was a family doing a beach clean too. I saw them with a big hessian bag. It had the SAS logo on. I think its wonderful families are teaching their children about this.

If you want to know how to get involved with a beach clean you can look here. There are also some great tips on their website for eco living and so much more.

(This photo here is from 2017, I found a roll of duck tape in the harbour while we were walking from the harbour to Porth Minster. I picked it up and put it in a bin)

Please consider making one small change. Turning off more lights when you’re not in those rooms, using a bamboo coffee cup, switching to bars of soap, or just using a tote bag and saying no to a plastic one.

Thank you.

I’m on Twitter @PhilippaB                                                                                                     I’m on Instagram @VisuallyImpairedPip                                                                          My email is randomlyanxious@gmail.com

I am in no way affiliated to Surfers Against Sewage, I just love what they do.

Knitwear

We came back off holiday recently and I can feel a change in the weather already. The Autumn is creeping upon us. The days of an evening walking home in the sunshine are behind us. We are into darker evenings and colder days.

Still, I quite like September into October. I think it’s because it’s not too cold. I like it when the weather is dry and crisp. Getting to wear woolly jumpers, my mac and Dr Martens. I feel comfy. I think its because these are clothes which are not figure hugging and it allows me to keep the curvature of my spine unseen. Not that I have a problem with the way I look. I just prefer not to have it noticeable. I think it’s nice to be able to wear warmer clothes without people going ‘How many layers today then?’

I love my woollen jumpers. I have a nice red jumper which I bought last year, it was the only one left in the shop. I have a blue one, like a sailors jumper. I also have a brown cable knit with a high collar and a grey cable knit with a normal neck line. They are all made from British wool. I get them from a place called Atlantic Shore in Saint Ives. I would recommend them.

On our latest trip to Saint Ives I bought a woollen blanket for the winter to put over my knees. Yes- I am a 70 year old woman!

While I fullsizeoutput_4965enjoy the cooler weather for the amazing autumnal colours I am not a fan of the cold. It gets into my joints and really hurts my back. Currently I am sat in my room, window closed and pondering whether or not to put the blanket on my knees. If like me you are bothered by the cold you will be in agreement. I think it’s because, like a lot of people on my twitter feed, I suffer with chronic pain.

The image above to the left is a a beige coloured woollen blanket with various patterns knitted into different squares. I bought mine for about £45.

I have written about my Scoliosis before. This is why I get chronic pain. This is why I’m often so tired. I can hear a lot of you mumbling in agreement while nodding sympathetically.

If you suffer with chronic pain, no doubt you will own a number of blankets, hot water-bottles and comfy bed socks. These are our go too’s when we are uncomfortable or in pain. It is nice to feel as comfortable as possible when you’re in pain. You need to be able to sit and allow your muscles to rest. What better way to do that than with a blanket, thick bed socks and a nice warm jumper?

I love the cooler weather for the change in the trees, the smell in the air, but not for the problems it brings to my health. I am living with a lot of health problems so its important I get my flu jab as early as possible. I am then dealing with constant hand washing trying to keep bugs at bay. All the more reason to wrap up warm.

I hope you all have your big knits out, I just put my shorts back in a suitcase and put them away. The seasons are turning. The leaves will be turning and the nights will be getting longer.

I f you have any tips for other Chronic Pain sufferers then please let us know. I’m on Twitter @PhilippaB  or should you wish to email me randomlynxious@gmail.com

Until next time.

I am letting you know of warm knees, and a lovely shop.

Holiday

Hello,

I’m currently sat on a beach in Cornwall. If you must know where, Porth Minster. In Saint Ives.

The weather is lovely. We have our beach mats, which are covered in a light layer of sand. Bags and rocks are holding the corners down. So our stuff doesn’t blow away.

I’m a big fan of Cornwall. Especially towards the end of August into September, or March into April. It’s not as busy. But there’s still lots going on.

We went to St Michaels Mount yesterday. Walked across to the island. Saw Queen Victoria’s footprint. Sat in the little hole in the wall, then walked back along the causeway.

We had lunch at the Godolphin Arms. It was very nice. The views back to the mount are lovely. Weather you’re sat looking out on a clear blue day, or watching the rain hitting the windows & staring at people as they wade across at low tide before it’s too deep. It’s always a good day out.

Image: stood on the beach looking out onto the island of St Michaels Mount. The tide is out.

We visited Tremenheere Gardens. A beautiful garden walk with stunning views across the bay to St Michaels Mount. I love photography so I was able to get some great shots.

The gardens have sculptures dotted around. They fit well in the gardens. Not out of place at all.

Image: Banks of trees and grass. Looking out on to the bay. The island of St Michaels Mount can be seen in the distance.

Image: a sculpture in a field. Thanks sculptor is a greeny grey square with a circular hole in the middle.

I quite liked being able sit in a cylindrical space, looking up into a whole in the roof. You can watch the clouds go by. I bet that looks amazing on a clear night. Staring up at the sky.

We haven’t been to Moushole this year, but that is a great little cove. They have a little pub & a tearoom.

We maybe going on the train. We haven’t been on it in years. Maybe go out to Carbis bay. Wander round the estuary and back again.

Just took a break to have an ice cream. We sat with our backs against the wall to ensure we weren’t attacked by seagulls.

Image: a white circular room with a hole in the roof. Looking up to a fluffy white sky.

Anyway, that’s it for this week. Just giving you an update on my holiday.

See you next week. I’m off for a paddle.

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