Funny At Fifty

Unfiltered thoughts on approaching 50! Laying myself bare and encouraging you to join me on this journey.

My Minimal Journey...So Far!

Phew! what a Journey Minimalism is, I've got to admit that I've always classed myself as quite Minimal in my home, as I've never liked ornaments or clutter, but now i've started on my personal journey, Im actually shocked at how much 'Stuff' I actually own, which if I'm honest brings absolutely no value or meaning to my life.  I've started following The Minimalists on Insagram, for those who don't know them, they are two guys Joshua and Ryan, who have been friends for many years, both had High paid corporate jobs, but have given them up to lead a minimal, more meaningful life, they have inspired 1000's of people around the world to begin their own journey, I feel there mantra is 'LESS IS MORE'...

This is a bold statement and one which I certainly can relate to, don't get me wrong its one thing looking on instagram, facebook, pintrest and seeing all these Minimalists completing there journey and living within it, then actually making the commitment to start, but believe me once you do you will never look back, A huge thing Ive learnt, and this is a toughey for an OcD, Impatient personality trait such as me, as far as Im concerned everything has to be done 'yesterday'. Its a gradual process, as it will take time to embrace each step and simply 'see how it feels'.  To give you a clue as to how I     used to be,and why I started my Journey, well As many of you can probably relate, during my early teens to young adult I was caught up consumerism, I was taught this during my childhood, I               remember many fond memories of shopping with my Mum and Nana, literally every Saturday we       would wander around the shops, mainly Marks and Spencer, and also the Market, where every one      knew us, so it was a social thing too, yes it was lovely spending time together but obviously we           came home every week with bags and bags of goodies, did we need them? probably not!    
This graduated me to being caught up in consumerism in a huge way, so by the time I was an adult, left home fending for myself, I , like my friends and many others felt  that we should be living a certain way, seeing clothes in magazines, on tv, even on pop stars, we should be driving a certain car, our homes should look a certain way, then came computers, phones, tablets....PhEw! how exhausting just writing about it, the list goes on and on and on.........................................try keeping up! mmmm hard isn't it!                                                                                                                             
So upon reflection its a no wonder I ended up becoming part of the materialism gang, I cant believe i've lived my 48 years not realising the feelings Minimalism can bring, The calmness, no pressure to keep up with the 'Jones' (I apologise if your surname is Jones and you are a minimalist!) 😁      
No more excess, no more Shopping for things we don't really need.                                         
So where am I up to in my journey, Now I've explained why I'm here as Ive mentioned in my previous posts, I've de-cluttered, Bagged up, sent to charity shops, sold unwanted items on selling sites, and started my Minimal wardrobe,Which is still a work in progress, I've decided on my key pieces, colour, style etc and its beginning to look and feel great, but before I embark on a wardrobe post, I feel there are still some tweeking that needs to be done!
 How do I feel? ..."FREE", I've still got a 'man drawer' of things we don't need, And a bedside of things, If i'm honest  I don't even know whats in there, but its on my list, which as you all now know, I do love a list! So they are next for the de-clutter, And as we are moving in the new year I have started thinking about the furniture I want to keep and what will fit, our new house is 'our downsizing' so a few sq footage smaller, which is our compromise for living in our dream surroundings (post on that one coming soon).  I have already started feeling the benefits of minimalism, learning what is truly important in our lives, for me its spending valuable time doing what we love, walking along the beach, pottering in my garden, simply reading a book listening to music, discovering new adventures, new places we want to travel to, so many options.

             MORE TIME LIVING  
              MORE TIME BEING 

Come and join me in a chat are you going to start your journey, and can I be of any assistance? 



Our English Gems on the Coast

Holidaying in England, maybe not everyones favourite, well its simply that most common talked about topic...'Weather'.  Yes I hear you, 'it rains all the time, and we don't want to pack our wellies alongside our bikinis, do we?, Well Ive got some advice people
Its not bad weather, It's inappropiate clothing!
So no excuses my friends, and believe me when I say our Coast line is one of the most stunning in the world, I would have laughed at that statement a while ago but over the last few years I have been luck enough to discover some of it, and its given me a taste, so much so that I feel a yurning to explore as much as I can, maybe a kinda bucket list of discovering coastal areas I havnt' been to.  You see as Ive probably mentioned before the sea and beach is where I feel at my most calm, where I practice Mindfullness really easily without thought really, a simple stroll along the beach can solve anything, in my opinion.  Last Sunday when having our weekly dog walk along Mersea beach hubby said ' this makes all my stress and worries float away", it was a Eureka moment for me, as, like many hubby isn't as receptive as I am to practising the art of Mindfulness!

We have been lucky to experience living around the corner of beautiful beaches when we lived in Cornwall for a year, they are so unspoilt, we managed to find hidden gems, no tourists, no shops, cafes, or amusements, simply Sea and Sand, Pebbles and Sand Dunes, Sea Urchins and Crabs...Oh and my favourite sound in the world.....The Sea gently rolling across the sand. Simply Perfect!

Only a couple of weeks ago I clicked on Airbnb to find an Anniversary hideaway, seeing as my journey to minimalism is also a way for us to travel more and discover! so I found a beautiful converted Barn in Fakenham a short drive to the North Norfolk Coast and Wow what a coast it is!
When we arrived I knew it was going to be simply Perfect! we drove into the lane, along a gravel driveway, slowly passing a duck pond...
then parking just outside ...
a short walk around the back and Lovely...our weekend retreat.....Straight away we felt totally relaxed and at home.....

as you can see Miss Darcy had her obligatory "Sniff' to suss out her surroundings.
Something I always feel is important when going into someones home, whether its a room or a holiday home, is how welcome they make you feel, and,Well the owner certainly knew how to do this....she left us a tray of lovely goodies, scones, tiptree jam, homemade biccies, clotted cream, milk and butter in the fridge, and a bottle of Bubbly chilling, along with an anniversary card, how thoughtful, even Miss Darcy had a bowl with treats!
this lovely retreat 7 Grove Farm Barns is a definate must stay, we will defo be returning for a cheeky stay.  First visit on our list was... Brancaster beach, with its Miles and Miles of golden sand for as far as you can see....

with a funny lady doing a star jump 😜  And a famous remains of an Old Shipwrck, which you can see when the tide is out.Its also doggy friendly. 
  We also ventured into Wells next sea an ole harbour village, with ships and tiny boats....

And quant little houses which are definitely Photo worthy...
on day Two we decided to venture into Hunstanton after a lazy morning, and poochie walk on the beach, we discovered yet another beautiful beach ...

with Dusk upon us it was simply stunning, watching the sun slowly going down, behind the clouds, watching the sea rolling and listening to the waves, we discovered some caves and walked some more. We then felt the old hunger set in so found a lovely poochie friendly pub just 10 minutes away
The Gin Trap Inn, Perfect low lighting, the best spot, and yummy pub homemade delicious food!

my Fav flowers and the best Gin chocolate pud your'll ever taste, And Miss Darcy had the perfect cubby hole seat, there were so many dogs yet it was so quiet the perfect ambience!
A must visit if your ever in the area. which after seeing these pics i'm sure your all be clicking on my links to book.  As you can see Im quite excited about our little trip, its so refreshing to take time out, and Find ourselves.  Im already searching for our next one, any recommendations? 


Homeless ... with no Sanctuary!


Something I've wanted to talk about for a while now as it has become close to my heart, I wanted to help people in some way for some time, so I done some research last year , I started with maybe helping in a womens' refuge, doing some hair at christmas time, just wanted to make these amazing brave women feel special and feel they look good, but unfortunately I was knocked back due to the nature of the refuge, I understand the women must keep there whereabouts undisclosed.  So I scrolled the internet and found this amazing project HAIRCUTS4HOMELESS, As I read about this remarkable guy Stewart Roberts I thought, Yes this is definitely for me, someway to help people with my skills,
so I took the plunge and rang him, he instantly made me feel at ease, well until he said,' ooh we havn't got anyone in Colchester, so you can be the Team Leader" , Oh Ok, well if you know me well Im not a natural born leader, so felt a tad hesitant, But When i started researching a place to start and planning, I really enjoyed it, And on day One Stewart me me feel comfortable and at ease.
To say Its been a learning curve is an understatement.  I am meeting some amazing, brave Selfless people...
my very first lovely lady, sorry for the not so great photo, I felt so humble listening, as she opened up to me within minutes of taking a seat, how she fights on a daily basis to overcome the addiction that has taken over her mind and body, and how she does this not knowing where she will sleep each night, Sofa surfing,? in a tent in a field?, simply a sleeping bag? Not having what I personally feel is every human beings right to have, there very own 'SANCTUARY', It may not be the same for          everyone, but its as I explained in my very first Blogpost,where I feel my most at ease, safe and        calm, Is my Home! During the last few months I've been meeting these wonderful people, I feel Ive grown as a person, having more of an understanding of peoples coping mechanisms, its a strength that keeps us going, its that Fight or Flight mode, Fighting for that simple human right, a safe place!
Most people probably have their own opinions about 'Homelessness' and how they see the people, maybe that 'drunk' laying on the pavement, smelly clothes, unshaven, stoned......maybe I was guilty of this perception , maybe just maybe if you went and bought a cup of tea and simply talked to a          homeless person, this simple act could change, make there day. And change your perception.                         
 I spoke to a wonderful guy called Mick at my last session,(yes I did ask for his permission to talk about him) he was so Funny, Articulate, charming, and honest with me, Im sure his story would resinate with many homeless people, he left his ex-wife in there family home, after losing his full  time job, the relationship broke down, out of respect for his wife and children, he started sofa  surfing, then didn't want to outstay his welcome, obviously being a single man in his 40's the council could not help him find accommodation, so this is where his homeless journey started.  Fast forward Five long years he now lives in a tent in a field, he wouldn't disclose which field or where, fighting an addiction, which he openly talked about, He stills sees his children, who he is very proud of, and actually said to me, which has stayed with me in my mind...."I couldn't live in a house or flat" why I asked? "well I don't think I could cope with the stress of paying bills and worrying about rent etc" in my naivety I thought he was going to saying, the thought of four walls surrounding me! I didn't even think about the stresses of finances, but that was what got him here in the beginning, so it makes complete sense.  As we were coming to the end of his haircut, we sat and carried on chatting, he stopped, looked at me and said "this is all I want, a lovely chat","Ive really enjoyed our chat", so a simple act of talking, which we take for granted, is all most homeless people would really want from you.  They're not asking for you to change there lives or even to give them money, a 'chat' is all!

  So when your walking ,going about your busy hectic day, If you do come across someone sitting in a doorway, or on the street maybe a simple"hello', 'how are you?', 'would you like a cup of tea?' may make someones day! I feel I have grown as a person since doing Haircuts4homeless, more                 understanding, No I don't always get it right, but i'm not done trying and some days I only cut One     persons hair, but do you know something I can say 'Ive made that persons day, and we had our chat      and I made them Smile!                                                                                                                             

Homemade with love & no nasties included

Over the last year or so I've become more and more concerned about exactly what goes inside my body as well as the outside, obviously when you can see what's going on, i.e. Skin, hair, nails, weight, you can start to do something positive to self help! But inside is a totally different story , now believe me when I say I'm no health addict, I don't advocate weighing food, looking at EVERY ingredient, don't eat this ,don't over exercise, don't under exercise! πŸ˜… phew, I'm exhausted thinking about it....
I truly believe it's about Balance, everything in moderation, as I'm approaching 5 0, I am thinking about goodness and a healthy you ! So I started looking into how to simply make my own, I feel a change is as good as a rest! So changing my life over time.... Minimalism πŸ’‹ ...has helped me create more time a balance to my life. During all my research reading valuable articles I have learnt that minimalism is about creating your own version!
So today my lovely friends I would like to share a couple of things I make to help me embrace my healthy living inside and out.....
Firstly for a great start to the day, we are all told time and time again start with a healthy breakfast, so for me what better brekkie than fresh in season fruit, strawberries,raspberries,bananas,and my favourite Prunes (I know these are an acquired tasteπŸ˜‰), topped with Greek yoghurt, and after some deliberation I now buy full fat, as apparently it's better for you, no nasties in it! And here's the best bit Homemade Granola...


It's really is believe me...
Pour 125g Maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1tablespoon coconut oil
300g rolled oats
Sprinkle some ...flaked almonds,sesame seeds,pumpkin seeds,chia seeds
& basically anything you fancy!
Pop it all into a bowl then give a good ole stir, then pour out onto a baking tray with baking paper on, put in oven for 7mins on 180, then stir and bake for further 8mins
VOILA brekkie sorted for about 10days, I store mine in a large glass jar! Sooo tasty and once again you know what goes in! 

Now for my outside body wonder!

Yes my lovelies you can do this so quick and easy, it take me all of 5mins I promise...

My Sugar Body Scrub

1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup CocoCoconut oil
1teaspoon Lemon juice or
50drops of essential oils i.e. Orange,lavender, 

Then simply mix together and pop into a pot with a lid, and enjoy your pampering and soft silky skin ,knowing that you lovingly made your own! It really feels good, and you can share the knowhow with your friends, let me know how you all get on hope you enjoyed my post look forward to a good ole gossip on my page πŸ’‹


Wedding Planning part two ...

Well all this Wedding planning is thirsty work.... so lots of Tea, water with lemon and lime, Im on the hard stuff you see...Blood,Sweat & Tears later...  
Together we've cracked the venue!


Im still, well maybe even more excited,  Leeford place is a beautiful hotel set in Historic 1066 countryside, and near my favourite place Rye. East Sussex if you don't know has a lot of History with stunning countryside, all explained here...stunning East Sussex  And more important, we have managed to arrange the ceremony at the top of Fairlight to be near our Mum.  My daughter Louise has been nominated to Marry my sister Julie & Dan....Julies even picked out her walk down the ailse song (its a Secret!) Im thinking this is going to be a very special and emotional day for all of us! Our lovely Dad is flying over from Australia to give Julie away and join in our celebrations.

Now being a list frenzy, neurotic, OcD Person that I am, I was pleasantly surprised when a lightbulb went on in my tiny head a few days ago....."i wonder if theres a wedding planning app?"
well my lovlies, guess what? There is ...πŸ’ƒ
its amazing literally everything you need for your special day girls and boys! loads of advice and links, And emails to encourage you, you just pop in your budget, dates and add info as you cross something off, then they congratulate you on achieving each step.....ooooh and apparently we have 333 days till sis's big day!....
as my Daughter keeps reminding me"its not you getting married Mum!'
I know this, its just my inner excited, list freak, arranging ,frenzied personality shining through!
so at the moment i have my tiny trusted notebook, and the amazing app, downloaded on my phone and Ipad, just in case πŸ˜‰

And for all the sceptical people out there asking the question, "what if it rains?'....well theres always white wellies with diamentes, and diamond crusted brollies to find!
 Well actually Ive been having a word with the Big Guy himself and we've come to an arrangement, as he always manages to pop out the sun when we go to see Mum, Im sure on Julie's special day it wont be that hard to arrange!, so Im extremely confident the sun will shine as always!
I intended this to be a short post but as usual my mind begins to travel and words overspill onto the ill stop here but i will be posting updates until the big day, Friday 13th July 2018, & yes we know its Friday 13th, its lucky for us I promise!

Sister...come Wedding Planner

To say Im a tad excited may be slightly understated... Yes this is definately a bucket list tick for me,
my Little Sis (also known as Julie, she's 46 πŸ™ˆ) has given me the power of being her......
Wedding Planner   eeeeek.
Im sure she knows me well enough to know my OcD tendency. And Yes I am Monica from Friends and yes I will have various note books, I have already compiled a Pintrest board 'Wedding Planning for sis' kinda like a mood board for those not familiar! And maybe considering an earpiece πŸ™ˆ ,for those who are also FRIENDSAddicts you will know the episode!
My lovely sister started with getting married abroad, oooh lovely I thought so proceeded to get information and found a lovely lady in Greece on the beautiful Island of Cephalonia, who planned my friends daughters wedding. But then my Sis rang me and said" I really would like Mum there"
this was really a pull at the heart string moment, as you are aware our beautiful mum was taken far too early from us, I know she would love all the excitement and day of the wedding.  We decided not to have a conventional resting place for my Mum, so we all took her ashes to a place in East Sussex,
Fairlight where we spent so many happy years, day trips and holidays, lots of fun, laughter and special moments, and we regularly go and take flowers which my mum loved, and have planted some special flowers which return each year! Whenever we visit ,whatever the weather the sun shines through....

So now I am trying to find a person of the cloth to marry my sister in Fairlight, and find a venue for afterwards. I can do this !
I have lots of wonderful ideas but also lots of questions, so we have our first wedding meeting in a couple of weeks.... is it sad i'm so excited about the prospect of compiling my lists and pictures?
then soon after Sis and I are wedding dress shopping.....can't contain my excitement for that one! It'll be so lovely just me and sis, probably laughing all day, and some tears!
so watch this space for updates and giggles, on a list crazy, organized freek's view to organizing the wedding of 2018!


Time is the greatest Gift

'TIME'....this may be one of the hardest blogs i will write, and I pondered a while ...
 should I? shouldn't I ? Believe me at this moment my heart is pounding, I feel slightly anxious, and still feel hesitant. But as in my bio states ' i'm laying myself bare', so it is important I write as candid and honest as possible.
The biggest reason I started this blog was to talk about growing older, and how we feel about it, me personally getting to fifty is really tough, most people know me as a 'funny' person, hence my blog title.  Obviously everyone has thoughts, fears, worries about life.  I wanted to talk about why I feel this way to try and maybe help other people and maybe get some answers myself. 
                                                    My Beautiful funny, gorgeous Mum....

When she was 50 years young, she was diagnosed with Early onset Alzheimers
The link explains the scientific, biological reason why, but for my Dad and my sister its life changing and shocking.  My Nana also had this horrific disease but she was slightly older, I was obviously younger  so can't really remember as much, my Mum and Dad helped my nana so I suppose we were shielded from what was happening.  When it first happened my lovely Dad had to fight for her diagnoses as it is difficult to see unless you know the person inside out!  its a slight change in personality, or maybe forgetting a small thing, which to many would seem quite normal.

I know some may say you cant spend your life thinking maybe ill get this awful disease, maybe I wont, But I challenge anyone to be honest and say would you not have it niggling at the back of your mind, slowly coming to the forefront as the time gets nearer, a ticking clock.  It's definitely becoming more prominent , so this is why I really don't want to be Fab Fifty! also why I started my Blog. In all the research Ive done over the years its a common statement:

  'If you don't use it you lose it!'

Your Brain/Memory , is so complex.  I've always classed myself as a person that over analyse's situations, and circumstances, a true thinker!  so for me trying to forget or put it to the back of my brain is impossible.  My sister and I have discussed options, 'the Test', which tells you if you carry the gene to dictate your probability of getting the disease, so would it change my way of thinking?
No! and could it make you more anxious , YES! worrying all the time, i've forgotton something, which is perfectly normal to forget, who hasn't run upstairs then said to them selves "why am I here, what have I come up for?'
So in a way my thoughts are 'let nature take its course', I am a believer, I do believe that God has a plan for each and everyone of us, we will be here for as long as he wants us to be, he's testing us on earth,... well he's certainly testing me now!  I really want to think and feel I can enjoy my road to 50, and there will be good times after, which Im sure there will be!  I know I am truly blessed with a wonderful devoted Hubby, gorgeous daughter , lovely Dad , lovely Sister and the best friends  so I will have support through any path I travel, which some may not.
Alzheimers is a cruel intrusive life taking thing, my gorgeous Mum , throughout her ten years of having the disease still found in her a strength which I can only hope I would have, she was always laughing, with a bright smile, and sunny smiling eyes, we still sang and danced in our silly way, whenever, wherever we the kitchen , garden, car...anywhere really, even though i'm sure deep down her heart was breaking and her fears were true.  My Dad was and still is an inspiration to me, how he was always so patient, kind and loving to my Mum, Good, bad or indifferent days. His Love shone through... his vows were truly adhered to  " I will Love you for richer for poorer ,In sickness and in health".  
There are many articles and a lot of information, seminars on Alzheimers but for me after all that, watching my lovely Mum go through it, there are still some grey areas, they say the person cannot remember there loved ones, and maybe most of the time its cloudy for them and confusing, but I know on more than one occasion my Mum knew me, I have a very special moment I shared with mum, that will stay with me forever, its special to me and in that moment Im 100% sure she knew who I was, as i am sure my Dad did.  
Am I angry... Yes! Im Angry because it takes away the person you know and leaves a shell, and No one  wants to be remembered as that shell.
I remember when the book Still Alice came out, I was slightly hesitant to read it, but did, and wow it was so poignant , and then when they made it into a film, I had to watch on my own, i knew it would be emotional , and it truly was, but also helped to see how it affected other families, your thoughts the same as others, which is always helpful when trying to place together your own fears and anxieties ,making sense of them is so hard, but with other peoples experiences hopefully it can aid your feelings. Im still and will be very hopeful that with all the research the Alzheimers Society does that one day they will be closer to a cure and they can slow down the process to a point of leading a virtually normal life.
I hope that in writing this blog people can talk about there fears of getting older and maybe together we can help each other, and I can't promise I wont have more serious blogs because I feel its important to talk about happy and sad things, its who we are and who we become.

So as I said earlier Time is precious spend it wisely and with the ones you Love πŸ’‹

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