Sam had such faith (no pun intended) when we first launched; we couldn’t be happier for her as she gets involved in such exciting projects. She is OUR warrior 🙂 Here is where it started for us. You ‘gotta have faith’.
Following on from our last piece about Carol Coombes O.B.E and Cracking Wellness (Read Here) we are delighted to share this personal message she has written for all her supporters and friends.
“Last long post re ‘Wellness’ stuff: As ever, I’d commit fully or give it a swerve if I were you..
This is (hopefully) my last long post on this, for a great reason: Cracking Wellness has got to an exciting stage, and I’m handing it over, delightedly, to The Active Wellbeing Society as of now. They’re the organisation I most trust in the world with this. They’ll guarantee it stays for the widest public benefit rather than private gain, as our data is such a huge resource, and we should all benefit from it.
They’re going to need a few weeks to pull together all the various bits, to use everything done so far in the best way, and in the Autumn they’ll launch the next phase, which might be as I pictured, it might be better, but it definitely won’t be worse. They’re great communicators: as soon as the next bit is ready you’ll know, I’m delighted with this.
I’ve taken it from an idea, to landing it with the ideal people/ place for it to thrive, which is what I do best. I’m rubbish at the rest, so I’m off this as of now, as planned. But a week early, due to MRI results.
Pf Magazine, you lot are bloody brilliant. You’ve helped turn an untested idea into a great and dynamic ‘Wellness’ movement that will make a real difference (* an idea based on a hope to slow down the growth from where we are now, of 1 in 2 having cancer; from the dawning that we don’t have as much information as we need; what we do have is either not used well, or is based on information that gives only a limited picture, as we’re not asking all the right questions).
Our poor bloody NHS. Dealing with 1 in 2 having cancer alone, forgetting every other need (which we can’t) Hands tied, bank accounts frozen, and blindfolded. Screw that. 1 in 2 will get cancer. (Source: Cancer Research UK) Let that sink in, for a sec. 1 in 2. I’m pretty much in the majority. And if I’m not now, I soon will be. And it’s rough here. I’m used to being in a Minority and having it rough. The majority shouldn’t have it rough. That’s not the sign of something going well. We could do so much better for everyone.
Reading the cancer sites makes me weep, with the intelligence there that’s not used and the same frustrations raised everywhere. . It’s the same everywhere. In every health conversation, wellness, housing, education.. the experts are those living it, not those managing it, often. We have amazing resources available in this day and age. The cleverest brains in the world can now talk to each other easily. We have an economy that really needs us all to be well. And we all have experiences to share.
I was a strengths-based coach in my last role. My brain automatically sees the good stuff that can happen.. here, that’s learning about and sharing what’s good, and heading towards great, NOT just measuring illness/what goes wrong, as we do now. Once the idea was there, we needed a great mechanism for that. And we’ve done it. We’ve created one that’s really going to make a difference, with the organisation that is known globally for punching above their weight, and who are known for leading with the NEXT thing, not the best thing, in Wellbeing. They’re world leaders, they’re from Brum, and they make it easy for us, to help us to make informed Wellbeing decisions ourselves, and participate equally. I’m beyond buzzing to have landed it there. . Seriously. Watch their space. They’re ace. Info@theaws.org
In other news: We’re all well and happy, hope you are. ‘My’ youngest baby just flew over the Grand Canyon in a helicopter. Life is good and nuts, as ever I’ve got my results in a few hours, and whatever they are I’m signing off Cracking Wellness now as importantly, I’ve signed off posting my health stuff on here. (There is a God, I hear you say) I’ll still be on here, and in dyingtoknow about cancer and wellness, and Banned Aid: weed the world groups when online (the kids, inc sons in law, Mal or my other closest, will kill me before anything else does, if I don’t keep up with what you’re all up to: I’d be vile )
My worlds got a bit small lately, and I’m mental, so I don’t know how they’ve coped so beautifully, with laughter, as they do. Cheers, Tribe xxx
So: I’ve never minded having uncomfortable, taboo conversations..death, illness, wellness, your Nan..whatever.. bring them on: now Cracking Wellness has landed, I’ll be posting personal updates in the dyingtoknow about cancer and wellness group only, not here. That’s the place. We all do it there, and it’s great. I’m older than Santa, and personal stuff is personal (and boring as hell to those who’re not interested ) If you want the updates, please join there, as normal service resumes again here, as of NOW.
I can’t tag all of you who’ve helped get Cracking Wellness to here. I’m Mental, Menopausal and Highly Medicated, and I’m scared I’ll miss one of you. Those of you who’ve added to energy levels, shared wellness tips, sent love, been on walks, shared the info, invited others to join in, etc etc.. you know, I hope, you’re well loved for it. Please tag yourselves, and Big Up yourselves, as my Beautiful Man would say . Really, tag yourselves, and take your bloody credit. (‘don’t be so humble..you’re not that great’ ) Now tag. I’ll be grateful.
We’re celebrating. We’ve done it. We bloody rock. I’m having a break from here for a few days and will be on here way less from now on anyway. I bloody love info (and being told it well, and clearly) and I know we will be, from the MRI, later. . We’re excited, nervous, ready to know stuff, and get our heads around it all as a family. The next Mischief For The Masses will no doubt appear soon at
#granarchyfortheuk ( and anyone else who fancies it) Facebook page. Add any mischief you like, I’ll see it when I get there Big love Xx”
Carol Coombes O.B.E
A Message From The Editor
Sending you lots of love today Carol, to you and your family. We are so excited that you have pulled this off, and proud to have played any small part in helping you in your quest. Thank you for trusting us with your baby. All our thoughts and prayers are with you.
My name’s Geraldine Dingle, I like dancing and I once nearly choked on a whelk during ‘Bingo’ at the working men’s club in town.
I say nearly choked, I would have if the bass player from the ‘Harry Dingle Experience’, hadn’t leapt over the tables and chairs in his two-tone suit to prize it out with a plastic spoon. It was quite a spectacle, like something off the telly.
Course he was fifteen years my senior but that didn’t stop him in his pursuit of the younger woman.
My mother was all for it. She said, ‘You want a man with a hobby Geraldine and Harry’s got a proper job in the day – welding down at the canal-yard. You’ll find his dalliance with music will keep him out of your hair so he’s perfect for you. And besides, you owe him something. He did save your life.’
At first, I couldn’t see past the bulbous nose and acne scars, but after a while I found myself slowly warming to him. Him being one of them ‘Mod’ types. Plus, he had a Vespa 98. Built in 1946 and I quite liked sitting on the vinyl as he whizzed through the town.
There weren’t many that thought we’d make it, Harry and me, but we’ve been a couple now for almost forty years. We’ve built a comfortable life, all things considered; what with my penchant for home decorations and his dedication to overtime. And we’ve got a static caravan down in Devon Sands and how many people can say that?
He’s always seen to it that I have what I want and I’ve always ensured that his scooter magazine is picked up on the first Thursday of every month come rain or shine.
Course, he doesn’t have the Vespa anymore, sold it when we bought the summer house. He still keeps a photo of it on the sideboard next to his collection of stamps and the signed photo of Lonny Donnigan.
And his suit’s still gathering dust in the back-room wardrobe; it’s faded a tad, a bit like Harry and it wouldn’t fit him now, not by a long chalk.
Looking back, we’ve had some nice years together, but the fifteen-year age gap was bound to catch up with us in the end. There comes a point when the yellow stains on the toilet mat and relentless requests to remove humbugs from his dentures, gets a bit much.
I suppose things started to slide during my ‘menopause years’. He was skating on thin ice back then, what with his dodgy hip and his untimely wind. Not to mention him constantly leaving the cheese out.
Plus, I think I never really got over not having children, so the thought that my organs had completely given up the goat, tipped me over the edge. Oh, we’d had tests, but Harry was told his sperm had deformed heads so they kept being rejected.
There were many occasions when I thought of slipping off to the ‘Dog and Sausage’ to allow another to plough my furrow, but everyone around here knew Harry and besides, I didn’t want to jeopardise the holiday home.
If I’m honest, I don’t think I ever really got over having to empty his commode after the knee operation. It all just hit me; what I’d signed up for I mean. When I uttered the vows, ‘In sickness and in health’ I hadn’t really analysed what that was going to mean. I’ve never been able to stomach bodily unpleasantness – I have a very delicate constitution – always have.
Trouble is, in the last few months I’ve found my patience has all but run-out. I found myself watching him whilst he was viewing endless programmes about extreme fishing and DIY and I reached the point of no return. It didn’t help, him cutting his toenails on the duvet, especially when I found that piece of fungal nail embedded in my pillow. No. After some serious deliberation, I came to a decision.
I started keeping a jotter under the bed, you know, recording thoughts and ideas of how I was going to set about it. I made suggestions for the best times of day to carry it out; the best chemicals to use that kind of thing. I even enrolled on one those courses they were running at the local college. ‘Household Chemistry for beginners’.
Do you know, they did everything on that course: how to get stains off the carpet; the most successful way to clean your oven; making your own creosote. We even spent six weeks learning how to make fireworks with everyday items you’d find in your cupboards. Folk don’t realise how much danger lurks in your average kitchen.
I met some smashing people during those sessions.
‘Gash’ the Goth. Course his real name’s Nigel, but apparently only his parents and the Department of Work and Pensions call him that. He has quite a special relationship with the DWP, him never having worked on account of his anger management issues.
It was Gash who put me on to the Latvian supplier, he drove me over to his farm out in the sticks. I was a bit dubious at first, especially as we pulled up in his converted hearse. There were rusty tractors and piles of broken furniture scattered about around the grounds, but Gash said that this man was ‘kosher’ and told me to stop worrying.
He led me to this converted barn patched up with corrugated iron sheets and tarpaulin and you could smell something very pungent as you approached. Inside there were rows and rows of cerise and lilac-white coloured flowers, their tiny heads bursting in a spray of colour. You wouldn’t think something so beautiful could cause such harm, would you?
I was a bit shocked at first, I mean it wasn’t cheap, but my thinking was, if it was good enough for Socrates then it was more than good enough for Harry.
I watched as eight leaves were taken from the plants and packaged into a greaseproof bag. When we got back to mine, Gash pulled a thick piece of plastic sheeting out of an empty coffin which he’d got in the back of his hearse – well I assumed it was empty, but you never really knew with Gash. He said I should lay it out on the table when I prepared the leaves; to make sure none of the Conium dust was left on the surface.
Harry was down at the social club whilst all this was going on, with the ‘Hendrix’ guitar lads. A group of them met up on a Tuesday to pay homage to their idol, by having a ‘sit-down’ jamming session.
Do you know, there’s not a good set of legs between them. Hip replacements, new knees, varicose veins. There’s even one bloke who’s lost four of his fingers. How he plays ‘All around the Watch-Tower’ is anyone’s guess.
It didn’t take us long to grind down the leaves cus they’d dried up nicely in the bag. I used that old pestle and mortar that his mother bought us as a wedding present. I’d always hated the marble monstrosity so it seemed only fitting to utilise it for such an event.
Green Onions by Booker T, was playing on the wireless as I covered the crushed foliage with some foil and I found myself dancing along whilst I prepared Harry’s favourite ‘garlic-soaked whelks’ He’s always been a bit sentimental about them, you know, since the incident. He likes a lot of garlic too, does Harry, which is fortunate as the smell coming from the mortar is a combination of mouse dropping and parsnip.
Harry certainly didn’t notice as he wheeled himself in on his electric wheelchair, complete with the faux fox tail which he’d salvaged off his Vespa and a couple of the old chrome wing mirrors.
‘Is that my favourite I can smell love?.’ he said to me as he clipped my ankle with one of the wheels.
‘What a treat, I hope you’ve put loads of garlic in.’
‘I have pet.’ I said.
I tried to listen to him telling me about a new guitar strap he had his eyes on, but I couldn’t concentrate. I just focused on his face.
I’ve got to be honest, it happened a lot quicker than I imagined.
He’d only had a few bites when his eyes started to glaze over and when he asked me why I wasn’t eating mine, I noticed his fingers weren’t gripping the fork quite as tightly.
I suppose he was about half way through when his knife fell from his hand and he started staring blankly ahead. I’d concentrated the ‘conium’ on his portion see. I thought I’d disguised it well, it just looked like I’d over done the basil.
The strange think about ‘conium’ or ‘hemlock’ as you non-chemists might like to refer to it, is the clever way it causes paralysis of the body and yet still allows the mind to function perfectly, albeit just briefly.
Course I couldn’t help but point out the irony of the situation to poor Harry as the frothy dribble traced a line down his wrinkled chin. After all, we’d met as he cleverly helped to remove the whelk from my choking throat and here I was watching the same treacherous morsel slowly shut down poor Harry’s respiratory system.
Jules Garvey Welch for Pf Magazine
Whilst Love Island stands defiant and continues to start when the football has gone to extra times and penalties, some viewers have stated difficulties in understanding some of the language used within the Villa.
Panic no more! Our most talented translator has agreed to sit down and produce a Love Island dictionary for you, on the condition we give her a cookie and promise to never ask her to do this again.
So, off we go:
Origin: A small ceramic factory in Yorkshire.
Definition: A person will place a hand on their hip, looking like a ceramic mug, and will express that they have been pushed to one side, or they have pushed someone else to the side out of disinterest. Like when a mug of tea goes cold and you push it to one side.
Used in a sentence: “Mate, I’ve mugged her off. Like a mug of tea.”
Origin: The musical instrument the Vibraphone
Definition: When you feel that an individual has made a connection with you, like when people hit a percussion instrument and a sound vibration comes from it.
Used in a sentence: “I’m getting some good vibes, like when you stand next to a drum and it goes right through you.”
Origin: a builder called Petey from South Lahndahn.
Definition: To consider talking to someone you like as excruciating work that needs a lot of effort.
Used in a sentence: “I have been grafting so hard to get her on a date. I’ve spoke to her twice in one day. ”
Origin: People in the South of England since the start of the English language.
Definition: A large group of individuals noticing a new human entering the group.
Used in a sentence: *sharp intake of breath*”OI OI!” *moronic laugh*
Origin: Some utter moron that hates punctuation.
Definition: A word used for punctuation, because, apparently, full stops, commas or pro-nouns are too difficult.
Used in a sentence: “Like, I get it, but, like, do you like me? Or, like, is it, like, not a like thing, but, like, something else, like. Like, you know?
I got a text
Origin: Techno overlords
Definition: To loudly announce one has received a digital message on a tech device and then test people’s ability to distinguish the separation of words in one hashtag
Used in a sentence: “ AAAHHHHHH, I GOT A TEEEXXXXXTTT” #TryAndReadThis #ReadingIsHard #PleasePutOnSuncream
Origin: All of womankind
Definition: A code that women express a desire to keep to, to protect themselves against undesirables i.e. men that may make them feel bad about themselves and poor bra choices. Sometimes expressed as the term “ovaries before brovaries”
Used in a sentence: “I feel it’s good Girl Code to tell you that your boob is hanging out of your bikini top.”
Not being funny, but…
Origin: The section of humanity that genetically have no sense of humour.
Definition: Descending from the original sentence “I’m not racist, but….” This term is a more palatable way of bracing someone for the offensive remark you are about to make towards them or any other individual.
Used in a sentence: “I mean, not being funny, but…..he’s got the intelligence of a spoon.”
Origin: Japanese origami experts
Definition: An acting exercise which involves trying to convince people that what you wrote down on your requirements sheet is what you’re looking for, without them realising it’s a bunch of lies.
Used in a sentence: “It’s just, on paper, we should get on, but…I’m really interested in this other guy’s abs and personality of an orange, so….”
For those interested in seeing the most up to date version of the Love Island dictionary, you can search for them via the Love Island hashtag and watching the show with subtitles on. Although, please note, if you are going to do the latter, it is advised that you watch it alongside a Love Island veteran who can translate and provide a full historical background from the past 4 weeks as to what on earth these people are referring to.
Louise Atkinson for Pf Magazine
I remember as a kid telling my mum I’d never stop reading The Beano.
“I always said that when I was your age”, she replied, “but you will.”
Of course, she was right. Soon Jackie had replaced Bunty and your reading matter becomes a journey into middle age. You have a dalliance with Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire, where you learn that ‘little black dress’ will be a permanent feature in your wardrobe until the day you die; and then on to the slippery slope of Take A Break & Woman’s Own. I’m not sure at what age you settle on People’s Friend and Reader’s Digest as I’m not quite there yet.
It’s the same with sex. You hear and read about women of a certain age expressing, “I’d rather have a cup of tea.” And you laugh. Looking coquettishly up at your partner you say, “That will never happen to me.” But it does. Those evil little hormones don’t only take over your body, they also take over your mind and libido.
Intimate relations follow a similar path to changing your comics. Your sexual Beano phase, the one you think you will never give up, is when you are young and horny. Ripping each other’s clothes off at every opportunity, spending so much time in bed (or anywhere no-one is watching) you consider giving up work, living in a campervan, freeing yourself from all adult responsibility, just so you can satisfy this massive surge of sex hormones that are screaming, “Do it! Do it!” at you.
Your Jackie phase, the one where you have started to reluctantly give up on your Beano, becomes the reality check. OK, you do have to get up for work in the morning. You will lose your job if you pull another sickie. It is ok to have an early night and just cuddle. You have to convince yourself of this as there is always that niggling feeling at the back of your mind where you wonder if you’re having enough sex and the same amount of sex as other people. So you graduate to the Marie Claire & Cosmopolitan phase. This is when you ask yourself:
Does he love me enough?
Can I still turn my man on?
Am I an oddity just because sometimes I do really need to eat?
There is an interim phase of Practical Parenting & Bringing Up Baby. This is the ‘Sex, what sex?’ phase of your life.
The Take A Break & Woman’s Own phase seems to span the biggest portion of a woman’s life. Let’s fast forward to being 50+. By this time there are no rules. It’s every woman and man for themselves. The rulebook, along with the matching undies and razor, have long since been discarded. I am Wo Man, hear me roar! And roar I will. You have finally reached a point in your life when you know what you want, but you don’t want it anymore. The hormone gremlins are casting their final spell on you. According to The Office Of National Statistics, in 2013 the number of divorces was highest amongst women and men aged between 40-44. Just Saying.
Somewhere along the line we left the rollover and fart joy of sex behind us and opted out altogether. Maybe it’s not the hormones, after all, maybe it’s the men. We’re not the only ones that start sporting Amazonian style armpits and pubes. Things creep in slowly. One day you ask yourself, “when did he stop cleaning his teeth before bed?”
We laugh at the sitcoms when, during intercourse, couples start discussing the shopping list, or on staring vacantly up at the ceiling remember it really does need painting. We laugh because we recognise this scenario. Momentarily we consider spicing up our love lives, planning romantic evenings that’ll get the old juices flowing again. But then that hormone gremlin says, “Nah! Can’t be bothered. I really would rather have a cup of tea”.
Lisa Ives for Pf Magazine