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A General Life Update – June 2020

By Health, Life2 Comments

Hello Dear Readers,

How endless does this lockdown feel? It feels like it has gone on forever. It feels like the rules of lockdown have permeated every aspect of our lives. In some cases the rules feel like they have taken our old lives hostage. No longer can we take anything for granted. Not even the simplest of things like exchanging a hug with a loved one.

With experts are expecting a 2nd wave, it looks like the relaxation of lockdown maybe reversed. Possibly made even stricter.

With all this going on, it’s not surprising that for some, this has had a tole on their mental health. So I would like to remind you that you can purchase my book Mental Health Wisdom from Amazon for just £7.49 paperback (or £1.99 Kindle) here. It’s full of strategies to help people to deal with adversity and improve their mental health.


Now let’s talk about me. It been a bit of a difficult time. First there was an international shortage of Depakote, one of the medications I take. So I had to switch to Epilim, basically the same thing but a different brand. However nobody at the Pharmacy or GP knew there was a shortage of Depakote, so it took nearly two weeks without any Depakote to get the Epilim prescribed and started. This led to manic and mixed moods.

But before this and underlying I had been struggling with depressive symptoms, that even the maximum dose of Venlafaxine wasn’t helping with. So my Consultant Psychiatrist has taken me off Quetiapine and started me on Mirtazapine.

I’ve never had this mix of medications before, so it is uncharted territory. We just have to keep trying until we get the right balance in my brain. Even though I know this, it is sometimes frustrating.

In other news my iMac (photo below) has died and gone to Apple heaven.

February Photo Challenge 10th
My iMac finally died.

It had been really slow for a while and since getting a laptop I haven’t used it that much; but it is still disappointing.

This week I’m off on annual leave. I’ve taken a few days to rest and recharge. Next I’ve got a few days seeing family and friends – social distancing. Then at the end of the week Steve and I are going to South Lakes Safari Zoo.

I’ll be sure to do a blog post about my visit to the Zoo. Blog soon,


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The Bank Holiday Weekend: 4 Lovely Days

By Friends & Family, Happiness & Joy, NatureNo Comments

The long Bank Holiday has been four lovely days. The sunshine has been out and it has been warm. Really warm. There’s nothing more pleasant than being sat in the sun and feeling it warming your skin. I have done plenty of this over the weekend.

On Friday, my good friend Steve and I went out for a lovely pub lunch. The next day I saw family, including one of my brothers, his fiancée, one of my nephews and my mum. My brother and his fiancée made tea.

Sunday I treated myself to some pagan gifts for my birthday that’s in May. I also bought a couple of little presents for a few people. All online. I know that you’re not supposed to buy people presents for your birthday, but I couldn’t resist. I will share more details and photos on this blog soon. But that wasn’t all I did on Sunday.

I went for a canal-side walk, caught up on cleaning at home, worked on some creative projects (including a web-based App for my health and promotion of Mental Health Wisdom book), played with and looked after my cats. Here’s a couple of photos from my canal-side walk:


Canal-side Walk (1).


Canal-side Walk (2).

We are really lucky are surrounded by so much natural beauty.

Today (Monday), my good friend Kay and I went for a cheeseburger, a Pepsi and a lovely long walk in Rivington. Here are some photos:


A Selfie, taken with the selfie feature on my Samsung S10 Plus.




Me (I know, I need to loose a some weight, I’m working on it).


Rivington – Beautiful Scenery (1).


Rivington – Beautiful Scenery (2).


Kay and I walked up to Pigeon Tower, Rivington.

Kay and I did manage to forget how to get back to the car and where we’d parked. Totally my fault. Rivington always feels like a maze, its many entrances and exits take you to different places. I can never figure out my way around the place. Perhaps this is the perfect excuse to spend more time there.

Hope you had a great Bank Holiday weekend.

Take care,



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Beeston Castle in Cheshire – More a Ruin than a Castle

By Friends & Family, Happiness & Joy, History, LifeNo Comments

Beeston Castle Gatehouse.

Earlier today my good friend Steve and I went to Beeston Castle and Woodland Park. The weather was glorious, sunshine, temperature in the high twenties and not a cloud in the sky.

Beeston Castle is more a ruin than a castle. The gatehouse is at the bottom of a hill and it houses a small gift shop. It’s a uphill walk to the main ruin of the castle, a walk that I felt in my legs and reminded my of how un-physically fit I am.

There was a St. George & The Dragon event on which was popular with families.

Here are some photos:


Beeston Castle has a small exhibition detailing its history.


Beeston Castle exhibition display cabinet (1).


Beeston Castle exhibition display cabinet (2).


Ruins of a tower.


The path up to the main ruin.


The main ruin from a distance.


The entrance to the main ruin (1).


The entrance to the main ruin (2). From the bridge was a sheer drop of at least thirty feet.




Inside the main ruin (1).


Inside the main ruin (2).


Inside the main ruin (3).


Inside the main ruin (4).

Essential Info

  • Beeston Castle is ruins of a castle. It also has a woodland park to walk in.
  • Recommended, but it is pricy for what it is.
  • Admission Fee: Adult £7-9.
  • Opening Times: To see Opening Times on English Heritage website click here.
  • Parking: A paid carpark is opposite Beeston Castle’s Gatehouse.
  • Caution: If your mobility is poor, this isn’t a great site for you to visit. It’s an uphill walk to the main ruin site.
  • Has a small exhibition.
  • Has a small gift shop.

I’ve wanted to visit Beeston Castle for a number of years and I’m glad I did, especially on such a lovely day. But because it’s more a ruin than a castle, I probably wont be going back any time soon.

Especially not when I have Rivington’s Lever Castle on my doorstep with no entry fee and beautiful woodland to walk in.

Blog soon,


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Last Weekend: My Housemate’s Hunt For A Cockatiel

By Happiness & Joy, Life, PetsNo Comments

Steve’s new Cockatiel – Charkuro

Last weekend my housemate, Steve, and I set out on the hunt for a cockatiel. Steve had wanted a cockatiel for years and decided it was finally time to get one.

We scoured all the local pet shops. Most of them weren’t getting any cockatiels in for few weeks. But then we went into PAWS Pet Shop. They had three, two females and one male. We instantly fell in love with the male, who is cheeky, chirpy and curious.

The staff at PAWS Pet Shop are knowledgeable, genuinely care for the animals (evident by clean cages, fresh food and water and gentle handling) and were more than helpful. In fact they were superb. I should add here that I’m not getting paid to say any of these things. I was just impressed with the small local business and want to spread the word.

We left PAWS Pet Shop with the cockatiel, a cage, some food, some toys, some sandpaper and various other bird-related bits and pieces.

While Steve was trying to think of a name for his new pet, I started calling him Charlie or Cheeky Charlie. Steve made me chuckle by saying: ‘You don’t get to name my pet.’
‘Well what do I call him until you think of a name?’ I replied.
‘The Bird.’
‘Okay. I’ll call him “The Bird.”‘

Luckily for “The Bird,” Steve came up with a name the following day: Chakuro. He’s the newest addition to our household and settling in well.


Another photo of the extremely cute and chirpy Chakuro.

Blog soon,



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