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Urban Nature

I recently spent a couple of nights at my parent’s house in Birmingham. Their garden has always been a hub for city wildlife, I’ve spent many a summer sitting in the garden with the vast array of birds that visit the garden, from starlings and herons on the rooftops, and hedgehogs and baby robins hiding in the grass.

On this particular Saturday I was supposed to be having a study day, but ended up at the window watching the endless wildlife that visited the garden over the space of a couple of hours. Mr and Mrs Fox stopped by, the collared dove sadly without it’s mate, a single robin, starlings, sparrows, coal tits and wood pigeons fighting over the bird food and Mr Blackbird made a few appearances too. There were also a couple of gorgeous feline friends but that’s for another (mad cat lady) post.

Here’s just a few of the best photos I managed to get.

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Mini Kiko Haul

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m no beauty blogger, no professional photographer, no make-up artist and not exactly an oil painting, so beauty blogging is always something I’ve stayed well away from despite loving make-up, beauty boxes and having an ever expanding collection. But on a recent trip into Brighton town centre, a rare for me, I ended up steering into the Kiko store, as it just looked so enticing.

I planned on just ‘looking’ at the sale items but came out with five gorgeously packaged, beautiful products that I know are going to become staples in my make up bag.

Firstly, after seeing Meg Says use the Water Eyeshadow some time ago, I’ve had my heart set on buying it. But living with chronic illness means I rarely go to town so haven’t had chance to get my paws on it, until now. I got it in the shade 201, a beautiful neutral shade I feel would suit everyone.

Also in the eyeshadow department I picked up the most stunningly sparkly, shimmery, lavender lilac Cream Crush colour in 12. A fine layer of this cream shadow is great for brightening my ever tired eyes on a workday, and I’ll be layering it up for a sparklier look for a friend’s wedding reception next weekend.

Next up, a scary garish looking pink lipgloss, Supergloss in 119. In actual fact it’s just a sheer glittery lovely shade on the lips that lifts a pale, very English, complexion like mine. A great bargain and definitely one to keep in the handbag.

Moving on to mascara, I picked up Maxi Mod Mascara in a jet black shade. It comes with a little plastic brush at the end of the wand which I know isn’t a favourite with everyone, but I find these great for my sparse, short, blonde tipped eyelashes as the wand gets to the roots and grabs the tips making the most of what little I have.

And last, but by no means least, heading back to eye colour, I threw Sparkling Trail stick eyeshadow in my basket. It was in the sale, and quite frankly, it would have been rude to leave it behind. A natural, sheer shimmer, I got colour 12, which I’m yet to try, but have it on my list of to use this week.

As I mentioned, next week I’m heading back tho the Midlands for a very special friend’s wedding reception. Having grown up in Brmingham I’ve always found the city centre a bit boring. But since I left Grand Central has built and filled with beautiful sparkly stores that appeal to the inner magpie in me. And yes, one of them happens to be Kiko. So who knows what I’ll end up heading back to Brighton with next Sunday!

 

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Southern Rail Strikes – Trinny’s Story

Controversial as this post may be, I suffer endless abuse on social media for supporting the ongoing rail strikes, not just because I’m from a family of rail workers all over England, but because I travel with a disabled rail card.

In the past conductors and train managers have looked after me when I’ve had panic and anxiety attacks, have been so unwell I vomit, and have struggled with mobility after long journeys. Most of the assistance comes from the amazing staff on Virgin Trains and in the Virgin First Class Lounge. I travel first class as I need extra room, less crowding and extra staff to help if needed. I also need to rest between each leg of my journey. Since moving to Brighton, the routes I regularly use locally have not had any staff and it has been the case, on more than one occasion, that passengers have looked after me, from keeping my mind busy during anxiety attacks, to holding my hand to help me get off the steep train steps with large gaps between the platform and train.

I recently discovered the catsagainstsouthern hashtag, and of course, being the mad cat lady I am, I just couldn’t help but get my Trinny involved. So without further ado, here’s Trinny’s Story.

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Organic Life

On a cold, damp poorly weekend, its good to know my kitchen is full of organic fruit and British grown apples to snack on. How colourful and delicious does this fruit bowl look! 

Never one to take much interest in organic produce I’m now a complete convert. Often too fatigued to rustle up anything too adenturous, or not wanting to waste what little energy I have standing in the kitchen, my recent discovery of Abel & Cole has been just what the doctor would order (should they ever decide to take interest in my health). With a selection of crisp apples, super sweet bananas and lemons big enough to make a drizzle cake with after a squeeze in your water or smoothie, I’m in ccomplete heaven. 

Have you ever tried a home delivery service of organic and local produce? I’d love to know what your thoughts were.

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Life With Fibromyalgia

A friend shared this post on Facebook. I don’t usually read long posts like this, or even acknowledge them, but this one really rang true to me and I felt the need to share it to raise awareness, help understanding of such a misunderstood condition, and remind my friends, both off and online, what life can really be like for me.

#Fibromyalgia took hold of my life 15 years ago it was totally unexpected, it just took hold of me and changed my life overnight, people who knew me before #Fibromyalgia know I was a hard working person who enjoyed life, #Fibromyalgia took all that away from me… Don’t judge what you cannot possibly comprehend as if someone had told me about #Fibromyalgia before I was diagnosed I too would not have been able to understand. No one is immune it’s there just waiting for the chance to control your life, all I ask is that my friends are patient and understand sometimes I can’t do normal things without paying a big price a Flare up !

1. My pain – My pain is not your pain. It is not caused by inflammation. Taking your arthritis medication will not help me. I can not work my pain out or shake it off. It is not even a pain that stays put. Today it is in my shoulder, but tomorrow it may be in my foot or gone. My pain is believed to be caused by improper signals sent to the brain, possibly due to sleep disorders. It is not well understood, but it is real.

2. My fatigue – I am not merely tired. I am often in a severe state of exhaustion. I may want to participate in physical activities, but I can’t. Please do not take this personally. If you saw me shopping yesterday, but I can’t help you with house/garden work today, it isn’t because I don’t want to. I am, most likely, paying the price for stressing my muscles beyond their capability.

3. My forgetfulness – Those of us who suffer from it call it fibrofog. I may not remember your name, but I do remember you. I may not remember what I promised to do for you, even though you told me just seconds ago. My problem has nothing to do with my age but may be related to sleep deprivation. I do not have a selective memory. On some days, I just don’t have any short-term memory at all.

4. My clumsiness – If I step on your toes or run into you five times in a crowd, I am not purposely targeting you. I do not have the muscle control for that. If you are behind me on the stairs, please be patient. These days, I take life and stairwells one step at a time.

5. My sensitivities – I just can’t stand it! “It” could be any number of things: bright sunlight, loud or high-pitched noises, odors. FMS has been called the “aggravating everything disorder.” So don’t make me open the curtains or listen to your child scream. I really can’t stand it.

6. My intolerance – I can’t stand heat, either. Or humidity. If I am a man, I sweat…profusely. If I am a lady, I perspire. Both are equally embarrassing, so please don’t feel compelled to point this shortcoming out to me. I know. And don’t be surprised if I shake uncontrollably when it’s cold. I don’t tolerate cold, either. My internal thermostat is broken, and nobody knows how to fix it.

7. My depression – Yes, there are days when I would rather stay in bed or in the house. Severe, unrelenting pain can cause depression. Your sincere concern and understanding can pull me back from the brink. Your snide remarks can tip me over the edge.

8. My stress – My body does not handle stress well. If I have to give up my job, work part time, or handle my responsibilities from home, I’m not lazy. Everyday stresses make my symptoms worse and can incapacitate me completely.

9. My weight – I may be fat or I may be skinny. Either way, it is not by choice. My body is not your body. My appestat is broken, and nobody can tell me how to fix it.

10. My good days – If you see me smiling and functioning normally, don’t assume I am well. I suffer from a chronic pain and fatigue illness with no cure. I can have my good days or weeks or even months. In fact, the good days are what keep me going.

11. My uniqueness – Even those who suffer from FMS are not alike. That means I may not have all of the problems mentioned above. I do have pain above and below the waist and on both sides of my body which has lasted for a very long time. I may have migraines or hip pain or shoulder pain or knee pain, but I do not have exactly the same pain as anyone else.