Day 74: Quality mum time

Being grateful for spending a lovely day out with my mum:

I love spending quality time with my lovely mum.

We don’t get to do it too often, which may sound a little strange as we see each other every day (I’m living back with my parents while I recover from CFS). But there’s something really special about making nice plans to spend the day together.

Months ago, when we heard the new James Bond film, Spectre, was due for a November release, we agreed to see it together and would top it off with a yummy lunch. Mum is a huge Bond fan, and while I don’t normally go for action films, I’ve a penchant for a good Bond adventure.

After what has seemed like a long wait, the latest 007 installment has finally opened in our cinemas. We set off for the first showing of the day, and were quite surprised to be joined by a good few other cinema goers: 10:30am on a Monday morning!

And it didn’t disappoint.

I think Daniel Craig is incredible as James Bond. This may be controversial to die-hard Bond fans, but for me he’s taken over Sean Connery as my favourite ever 007. And his fourth outing was an action-packed 148 minutes and we left feeling exhilarated (and dying for the loo!!).

Time for lunch.

I’ve been looking forward to going to George’s, a new-ish fish restaurant in the city. I’ve been dying to sample their Fish Chowder in a Sourdough Bowl – which is one of the most memorable dishes I’ve ever eaten, courtesy of the infamous Boudin Bakery in San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf.

fish chowder sourdough with top

Again, it didn’t disappoint.

We loved the restaurant, especially these cute little beach huts and the newspaper-esque menus. And we happily devoured our delicious Fish Chowders, yum yum.

George's beach huts

Mum then went off to do a little shopping, while I headed straight home, tired but very happy.

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being grateful for spending a lovely day out with my mum.

Day 73: Yahtzee!

Being mindful while playing Farm Yatzy with Callum and the family:

As I’m still struggling with my energy levels, I’ve been trying to take today easy knowing we have a full-on afternoon with the boys and our evening family dinner.

As I was resting in my bedroom, the first little munchkin appeared wanting to play. I managed to coax him into snuggling up and watching ‘Paw Petrol’, the most my energy levels could manage. A little later, munchkin number 2 came in and the three of us watched the heroic puppies save the day over and over. Perfect. And the longest I’ve seen them sitting nice and quietly for quite a while!

Later, after our family dinner, Callum asked if we could all play Farm Yatzy, the game I’d bought him for his birthday. Although I needed to rest, how could I resist?

Yahtzee has been a firm family favourite in our house for years and years. It’s our go-to game at Christmas-time and on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

For the uninitiated, it’s a “seductive game of luck and strategy” and players have three rolls of the dice to rack up points in 12 scoring categories, including the elusive Yahtzee – rolling five of the same number.

It’s seriously addictive and oodles of fun.

Hearing through a friend about Yahtzee for kids, I searched and searched and finally found ‘Farm Yatzy’. I honestly don’t know why they spell it differently, but it took me ages to find it!. Anyway, it has farmyard animals instead of numbers and a slightly easier scoring system.


And Callum absolutely loves it.

Especially as the first time we played, he scored two Yahtzee’s in one game which is incredibly rare. And it makes my heart so happy that now, every time he’s comes to our house, he wants to play it. Again. And again.

It’s wonderful and so much better than him being attached to his device playing computer games.

So, after dinner tonight we all sat down to play a couple of games, including his mummy and daddy.  It was priceless to see the joy on Callum’s face.

It was brilliant for all of us to enjoy this family fun time together, rather than all disperse to our different corners of the house, which usually includes the boys running around noisily getting up to all kinds of mischief!

After a couple of games – which I’d come second and then first, just saying (as I’m usually much further down the leader board) ☺️ – I wearily climbed the stairs with a huge big smile on my face and knew it was worth using up every last ounce of my energy.

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being mindful while playing Farm Yatzy with Callum and the family.

Day 72: A cup of kindness

Being kind by buying a stranger a coffee:

My spirits have taken a battering recently with one thing or another, and so I took myself out for a soul stroll in this morning’s magical mist.

I walked into my local town and stopped at my local coffee shop for my usual, a decaf soy flat white.

Feeling pretty down in the dumps, I decided to reach out and show kindness to a stranger. From the acts of kindness I’ve been doing over the last few months, I know how much they lift my spirits too. And to be honest, this has been an unexpected bonus, it’s like experiencing a wonderful side effect from the kindness act itself.

So today I decided to buy a stranger a coffee.

I paid for the extra coffee and asked the barista to choose a customer who’ll receive the free cup, and give them my kindness card which reads: “You are an incredible person. Enjoy your coffee Xxx”

Kindness Card: Coffee's on me

I instantly felt my spirits lift.

In an article titled “5 Side Effects of Kindness on Health”, kindness author Dr David Hamilton explains why:

“When we do something kind for someone else, we feel good. On a spiritual level, many people feel that this is because it is the right thing to do and so we’re tapping into something deep and profound inside of us that says, ‘This is who I am.’

On a biochemical level, it is believed that the good feeling we get is due to elevated levels of the brain’s natural versions of morphine and heroin, which we know as endogenous opioids. They cause elevated levels of dopamine in the brain and so we get a natural high, often referred to as ‘Helper’s High’.”

So it’s a win-win.

I hope it brings a smile to the face of the recipient on this chilly, misty morning as it has to mine.

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being kind by buying a stranger a coffee.

Day 71: Yoga every damn day!

Being grateful, mindful and kind as I embark on 30 days of yoga:


This is my third post about one of my most treasured rituals, and why not, it deserves it: yoga is an integral part of my life, my wellbeing and my healing journey.

I find stretching my body with a yoga session wonderfully delicious, and even more so with all the bed rest I currently have to take. I also find it soothing and peaceful for my mind and soul, and it’s another opportunity to practice mindfulness.

Not being able to practice as much as I used to has been one of the frustrating things about having CFS. Due to the nature of the condition, my practice is quite sporadic as I sometimes simply don’t have the energy, or my neck is feeling too painful from when I sustained a severe whiplash injury a couple of years ago.

Over the last few months, I’ve been able to get back on the mat which has lifted my spirits no end. And recently, I’ve even managed to go to a couple of classes and would love to build up slowly to attending regularly. But all in good time.

In a good week, I’m managing to enjoy two very gentle sessions at home, alternating between my two favourite short practices on DVD. But lately I’ve been feeling a little bored with my practice as I know them off by heart.

I think it’s time to shake things up a little.

And I’m feeling optimistic that my body can handle a teeny bit more 😊.

And I’m loving the gorgeously inspiring Rachel Brathen’s mantra: “Yoga Every Damned Day”.

yoga every damn day

(And yes, I want the tee-shirt!)

Sooooo, I’ve decided to try and make November ’30 Days of Yoga’.

After some googling, I’ve found a lovely online teacher called Erin Motz who offers a free 30 day yoga challenge. It’s “30 days of yoga in 10-20 minute long online video sessions which we send you directly to your email inbox one day at a time.” Which sounds perfect for my limited energy levels.

I like that there’s a different focus for each day’s session; day 2 is for chest and shoulders, day 3 is for posture, day 4 is for abs, and so on.

I’ve signed up, I’ve pimped up my yoga mat, and I’m ready to go.

mu pimped up yoga mat

I am giving myself permission to skip a day or two if I need to – if my CFS symptoms are too intense, or if my neck is too sore. But I’m really hoping I can try and attempt each day’s session.

And if not, I will see if I can manage a sun salutation or even one little downward dog! And if not, I will at least be able to meditate.

No pressure, no worries, all is well.

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being grateful for my yoga practice, being mindful as I roll out my mat every damn day this month, and being kind to my body by doing lots of yummy stretching.