Thursday, 30 April 2015


I've just had a revelation. I've just been lying in bed listening to James Blunt 'You're beautiful' and the opening line is 'My life is brilliant' and I realised something. My life is brilliant. Okay, something really shit happened, but my life isn't shit. I have a fantastic family behind me. My lovely Dad who would do literally anything for me, my brother and sister who are just fantastic and my fabulous Nana and Grandad. 

My Mum might have died when I was so young, 19 is a young age to lose a parent, but I am lucky to have ever had her. So many children have abusive parents who may be around for a long time but they are horrible. Other children haven't even got their parents. Think of children on continents such as Africa who aren't as lucky as us and have lost parents from such preventable causes such as malnutrition and AIDS.

There is so much pain and hurt in the world and yes what happened to mum was horrendous but there are much worse atrocities happening in the world with murder, dictatorships and wars going on. It is sad that Mum died and it shouldn't have happened but it did, and it was peaceful. She just went in her sleep. She wasn't frightened or in pain, and she wasn't murdered. We don't have to live on knowing that someone deliberately hurt her, because they didn't, she just died. 

I've been to university- something so many people and especially women are deprived of in the world. I'm lucky. I will probably end up with a career I love. I also have the most fantastic friends. Friends who have been there for everything. Friends who take my shit when I say the wrong thing which I quite often do now (I don't have the ability to think before I speak since Mum died, I'm not sure why). Friends who stuck by me even when I struggled to socialise at the beginning. So many people don't have the amazing friends that I have. 

In short, what I'm trying to say is, my life is actually fantastic. Yes it is sad at the minute but it won't always be. I won't always be consumed by memories of mum every second of the day and one day I'll be able to have fun again properly. Other things in my life are things I am so lucky to have and things that I am so grateful for and for those, I am happy.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Running- Couch 25K Week 3 run 2

I did plan on running 3 times this week but due to work and social commitments I haven't had time. I managed to squeeze in a run this afternoon and if I'm honest, it wasn't my best run.

I don't know if it was because I wasn't putting enough effort in (probably) or if it was because my asthma has been bad this week (partly) and also was rushed because I was going out. Either way, it was a bad run and one I'm not proud of. Hopefully tomorrows run will be drastically better. I'm going to do one more run of week 3 and then hopefully be able to move on to week 4 of the C25k.

I've been thinking of signing up to the Morrisons 10K run in July. As a sort of preparation run for the Great North Run in September. I'm also thinking about signing up to the London Marathon. Maybe not next year, maybe the year after instead. It's something I'll have to think seriously about because 26.1miles is a lot of miles. 

Also, well done to everyone who completed the London Marathon today, you are all fantastic.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Running- Couch 25K week 3 run 1

So I decided to go right in there to week 3 of the C25K podcasts. And I was right. It was manageable but challenging enough that I had to take my inhaler a fair few times!

Week 3 goes like this- 5 minute walk warm up, followed by 90 second run, 90 second walk, 3 minute run, 3 minute walk and repeat. 

I managed it all except at the end where I missed the last 30 seconds of the last 3 minute run as I had to stop at traffic lights.

It took me ages to decide to go running tonight but I'm so glad I did. Running through Manchester at sunset was actually lovely. I also discovered a lovely park where I might go for a run through at the weekend sometime. I feel like I've achieved something by going for a successful run tonight, long may it continue!

Monday, 20 April 2015

I'm done

For the last 6, nearly 7 months, I have felt sorry for myself. And for that, I am royally embarrassed. I'm sick of it. I'm sick of moping around being upset all the time. I'm done. That's not to say I'm trying to forget about Mum and move on. But I seem to be spending far too much of my time doing nothing and being unproductive because of it all. I can't be like that anymore. I have a life to live and I really need to start living it.

I'm not a religious person. I don't believe in heaven (although I really really would love to). And I don't believe that I will ever see my Mum again. For that reason, I don't take comfort in the thought that I will see my Mum again; quite frankly if I thought that, then I'd probably have killed myself by now. And I get by purely through coming to terms with it having been the end. 

I'm not done writing about my 'journey' through grief. Because despite the fact I hate it, it is a huge part of my life and probably will be for some time. And there will be times where I feel utterly miserable and take to the blog to pour my heart out, as I so very often do. It serves as a bit of relief for me sometimes. There are some things that I just can't say out loud to the people around me (partly because I like to pretend that I'm the strong one) so it is nice for me to be able to just type it all out. 

But anyway, here I am, blabbering away again about nothing. Basically, I'm going to try and be less miserable and more productive......rrrriiigghht after I have this one quick nap!

Friday, 17 April 2015

Running Again

I have decided to use this blog permanently as a place to document my running 'journey'. I know that's a bit cringe but I suppose that is what it is. 

So today I went on my first run in weeks. WEEKS! I know! Shocking. It was horrendous, I could only run for about 3-5 minutes and then had an asthma attack. 

I've been 'trying' to follow the Couch 2 5k podcast program recently and to be honest I'm finding week 4 tough. I decided to miss out the other 3 as I could comfortably run for those lengths of time at the time that I started doing it. It's not that my legs get tired or anything but my asthma means that I really struggle. 

I also really want some new running gear. I really want a thin pullover jumper that I can wear running. Nike do a lovely one but its 75 quid so I'll not be buying that anytime soon. I could also do with some new running trousers. Again, there are some lovely ones on Nike's website but as a poor student, I cannot afford to pay for them! 

So anyway that's a quick update on my running. I'm definitely going to make it more frequent again. I do quite like running once I get started.

The Poem that describes grief perfectly

It's been a long time since I last watched Four Weddings and a Funeral. And I forgot about this poem. Yes it is depressing but if you are going through the grief of a loved one, you'll probably find that this poem very much describes your feelings. In my opinion, it has hit the nail on the head perfectly. More so the last verse. The first is a bit too depressing. 

W. H. Auden

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

One of those shit weeks

It's six months now since mum died. And everytime I think I'm coming to terms with it, another wave of grief washes over me and I'm not anymore. I've felt shit since the beginning of last week. I can't describe what it's like to lose a parent who is also a best friend. And you can't possibly understand what it's like unless you're going through it yourself. Losing other people, although devestating, is different, because that person was not someone who was a part of everything in your life (or maybe they were in which case, yes it's the same). I spent so much of my day worrying about Mum, I told her everything (yes seriously, everything) and because of her health problems, we had a special relationship that I know a lot of my friends don't have with theirs.

I feel like a piece of me has been ripped out. It hurts all the time and some days it is unbearable. I'm still struggling to come to terms with the finality of it. I'm struggling to accept that I will never ever see or talk to my mum again.

One of the hardest things is the sympathy. I know people are just trying to be nice but sometimes it feels like they think of me as a different person now. Someone who is vulnerable and broken. And people are awkward about it. We might me talking about something and I'll say 'oh my mum said that...' and everyone will go silent and ignore me. And everytime I see someone I've not seen in a while I get sympathetic eyes as they touch my arm and say 'how is everything? How's your Dad? How's your brother and sister?' And although they're just being kind, what am I supposed to say to that?

Some days though, everything is okay. That's what makes it all so confusing. That I can go from being happy, talking about the future and being really productive to lying in bed all day everyday wanting to just sleep because it isn't real when I'm asleep.

So anyway that is a collection of my thoughts lately. They're depressing and probably not something anyone wants to read but like I've said before, it helps me to write them down on the blog. 

Friday, 27 March 2015

Going Home

Tomorrow I'm going home for the first time in 6 weeks.

When Mum first died, I wanted to be home all the time. I came back from Uni every weekend from mid October to Christmas. It was draining. It cost so much and took up so much time. I also missed out on socialising with my uni friends every weekend. So after Christmas I made the decision to stop going back as often. I went back once in about early February.

The thing is, it was easier for me to stay away from home. Being at home is weird. The whole dynamic has changed. Everyone's miserable and a massive part of our lives has gone. At uni though, everything's the same. And that is easier for me to bear than going home and having to face the reality of what's going on.

It's selfish really. It was so selfish of me to leave my Dad, brother and sister alone in their grief whilst I swanned off back to Manchester to pretend that everything is alright. I worry about them a lot. And I feel guilty about leaving them a lot. But ultimately I know I had no other choice but to go back to uni. I just couldn't give up my degree. I'd worked too hard to get to where I was.

I'm not trying to make anyone feel sorry for me. Believe me when I say that I HATE sympathy so much. I know people mean well but I don't like it.

Anyway, I can't wait to go home tomorrow. I am apprehensive though. At uni I can get away with not talking about Mum and what not, but at home I just can't avoid it. I can't wait to hug my dogs and cat though! Well, and my family of course!

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

The future

I always thought that by the time I got to University I'd know what career I want to go into. When that didn't happen I thought that I definitely would by the time I got to 2nd year. Well guess what guys, that STILL hasn't happened. I've come up with a million ideas. I've started applying for internships that I thought I wanted then quit because I've changed my mind. Researched countless jobs. But I've never known what my dream job was.

But I think I've found it.


I always did want to be a teacher. I did work experience in schools when I was 16 and 17. Then I changed my mind. I thought I quite fancied a job that's more exciting than that. One where I can travel the world or whatever. 

Geography is that degree where people go 'what can you do with that? Become a teacher?' So I never wanted to be that sad geography teacher that we all laughed at at school who got excited over volcanoes. Because I never thought I would be that sad person to get excited over volcanoes. But I am exactly that. 

I don't want to finish my degree then ditch my favourite subject to go into a job in management. And what better way to pay homage to your subject than to teach the younger generation how to love it?!

And so here I am, researching PGCE's and trying to get my little sister to ask her geography teacher (also my former geography teacher) to get me into school to do some work experience.

I'm scared. And nervous. To stand up in front of a bunch of 14 year olds who probably don't care how high the Sichuan Earthquake was on the Richter scale and try and teach them and enthuse them.

But I know that I'll make a good teacher. Because I don't just want to teach because it's a job. I want to teach so that I can make a difference in children's lives. Give them the oppurtunity to be fantastic and to believe in themselves. I want to teach them Geography and show them that they should be and are fascinated by the world around them.

I want to be the teacher that inspires children to love geography, the way my teacher did for me. 

Sunday, 1 March 2015

5 Months

Wow, it's been 5 months. 5 months since the worst day of my life. I can't quite believe it. This is the longest I've ever went in my life without seeing or talking to my Mum. Sometimes it overwhelms me to know that this is what my life will be like forever.

Even now, I'll still see something or do something and get my phone out of my pocket to phone Mum and tell her. Then I remember. 

I dream about her a lot still. Everything is normal in my dreams. The way it used to be. I dream about family days out. Things that we used to do a lot together. And I can tell you, there is no worse feeling than that one about 10 seconds after I wake up and remember what is the quite frankly, shit life that I live now. Those first 10 seconds whilst my brain adjusts to being awake are the best 10 seconds of the day. Because I forget about reality.

At the moment, the only way I get through the day is by trying not to think about Mum. It's hard. Especially with mothers day around the corner. On the way to work I have to walk past Wetherspoons, which has a massive sign outside advertising their mothers day menu, several hospitals with ambulances whizzing about outside and also a big blue signposts that says 'Adult Mortuary' on it. Everything is a constant reminder.

I'm also jealous. Jealous of everyone. Everyone who goes home at the weekend to visit their Mum. Everyone who leaves the room to answer a phonecall from their Mum. Just everyone. 

We were never that family. We were the happy family. Yeah we had our own personal issues, but we were happy. Mum and Dad had been married for well over two decades (literally 4 weeks short of 24 years) , there was us three kids who were all doing well at school and university. Then this happened. And destroyed everything. Why couldn't it have happened to someone else. Someone who deserved it? Like an abusive mother or something. But that's just selfish. Because life isn't fair. There is no limits to how much bad or good stuff can happen to us. Some people live their lives with very little going wrong for them whereas others go through hell with everything going wrong for them (by the way, I don't think this is me). Life is not some predetermined thing that balances good and bad. 

And we just have to deal with it. 

People told me at the beginning that 6 months down the line I would have come to terms with it a lot more. What a load of bullshit. I know that in a months time I will be nowhere near close to coming to terms with it. Hell, every time I go home I get excited all the way home from the train station hoping that it was all a dream and that mum will be in the house when I get back. I know she won't be, but that's how much I am not coming to terms with it. 

One of the hardest things about it all is people's awkwardness. If I mention Mum, everyone around me ignores my comment and gets awkward. All I can think the whole time it 'how selfish? Why are you awkward?! You haven't lost anyone!' I know why they're awkward, they just don't know what to say, but I find it selfish. And I feel guilty, like I shouldn't talk about her in case other people feel bad. 

In a nutshell, month 5 is no better than week 1. In fact it is worse. Because now, we are expected to carry on as normal as if nothing has happened. Well fuck that. I can't do that I'm afraid.

I know my blogposts are depressing, but I don't write them for anyone else. My blog is a place for me to write my honest feelings and if other people want to read that then that's okay. This space helps me. Helps me release my feelings somewhere without making anyone else upset or uncomfortable about hearing them- something which I get when I talk to anyone in my life. 

I will look back on these posts in the future. Further down the line. And I'll remember. I'll remember how I felt, hopefully, I'll feel different. More accepting of reality. We'll see.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Mothers Day

credit to-

As soon as Valentines day is over on Saturday, the shops will begin to fill with Mothers Day shit. I am going to have to spend the next 4 weeks looking at it in shops everytime I nip in for some milk or whatever. 

These big events are starting to creep up on us now. We've done our first christmas without Mum. Everyone tried their best but with a space missing at the dinner table, it was shit. Now my dad has to deal with Valentines Day. My parents were never massive about it but it will still be hard for him. Then begins the rest of it. Her 50th birthday, mum and dad's 25th wedding anniversary (their 24th was about 4 weeks after she died but obviously this one is significant). Then there's significant birthdays, my brothers 18th, my 21st. There's my sisters prom and GCSE results. Next year I will be graduating and she won't be there. It is never ending. A continuous stream of torture and heartache. 

I'm not sure how we're going to handle Mothers Day, I've read that you just have to do what you can to get by. I don't really know what that is. Maybe just lie in bed and cry all day. I don't fancy leaving the house or going on facebook to see all the soppy facebook status' people have written to their mums. I get jealous of people who still have their mums. Life is just not fair. It's awful.

Monday, 9 February 2015

5 Running tips: From a beginner to a beginner

I know you might think who am I to be giving running tips when I've only just started out myself but trust me, I have already made a lot of mistakes. Here are my list of running tips if you are just getting started like me.

1) Buy the right clothes. Definitely wear a sports bra if you are a lady, like myself. Mine is just a cheap one from M and S and it does the trick just fine. Also, get some good leggings. Mine are only from primark but they are so comfortable. At first I was running in yoga pants but the cotton made me feel uncomfortable and the weird maternity style waistband kept falling down.

2) Buy some decent trainers. This is a must. My nike flyknit free runs are so unbelievably comfortable. They fit like a glove and are bouncy so they make you want to run from the second you put them on. Cheap tennis type trainers are not as good a fit in my opinion. You should really go for a gait test to determine what shoe to buy but I didn't do that.

3) Stretch. I learned this today. When I read Runners World, there seemed to be a debate about this. Some people seemed to not be that bothered about stretching whereas others swore by it. I didn't stretch and as a consequence, I got a spasm in my right thigh not far into my run and both my legs seized up. I think a good stretch beforehand definitely would have prevented these.

4) Don't push yourself too hard. You might be like me and have a race to train for but if you train too hard, you will end up injuring yourself and thus hinder your training schedule. Pace yourself and only do what you can manage and then build it up. Obviously you need to push yourself so that you get better at running just don't do more than you are capable of without hurting yourself. 

5) Don't be worried what other people think. I am still struggling with this. I stop running everytime I pass someone. But seriously, no one is watching you run. No one cares how slow you are or what you look like. But even if they did, so what? At least you ARE running. I just keep reminding myself that I am becoming fitter and have raised about £800 so far for charity so I honestly don't care what people think about my running. As they say, 'you might be slow but you are lapping everybody on the couch'. Cheesy but definitely true. 

Good luck in your running journey. Don't stop just because of other people. The first run I went on, my flat mates laughed at me. Probably because they didn't believe that I would actually go out running. Once they realised I was serious and got used to the idea, they stopped. The hardest thing about running is not caring what other people think. Once you get past that, you're good to go. Forcing yourself out on a run can also be difficult but you feel amazing for it afterwards. Especially when you can feel your muscles burning. 

I hope my tips help you. Obviously I am by no means and expert, these are just things I think are helping me become better at running.

Monday, 2 February 2015

One of those nights

I'm having one of those nights. One of the lonely, sad, grief stricken nights. One where I find it all too hard to believe and come to terms with. 

I just read a blogpost about a woman who lost her babies. It struck a chord with me. Sometimes I find it hard to accept that my mum's death is something I will ever come to terms with. Reading posts like this makes me realise that coming to terms with it is possible. I just need time. Today is 4 months (1st February) since Mum died. I can't believe it. A third of a year. I feel like I should be over that initial grief now. I'm not. 

Mum dying has destroyed my life. Imagine a bomb hitting the town you live in. Destroying your house, killing friends and family members, destroying your place of work etc. Then you have to rebuild your life. That's what it's like. 

People are initially shocked. At first they ask you how you are every day. Then as time passes in becomes more infrequent because they are over the shock and ultimately, it hasn't affected their lives much if at all. Here I am, trying to pick up the pieces. Trying to make everything fit. But my life is like a jigsaw now, with the middle missing. It's hard. Everyday is a struggle. People think that I'm okay and doing fine but they haven't got a clue. I laugh, I go out, I join in, all because I don't want people to know how I really am underneath. Sometimes I let it slip like when i was drunk on Wednesday. I told some of my friends about how hard it is to talk to people about because they get so awkward. But usually, I have my guard up. I don't want people to think I'm pathetic or to feel any sympathy towards me. I know I am the girl who people say 'oh yeah, that's Alice, her mum died bless her'. I don't want sympathy. No matter how well intended it is.

On that blog (, I had a look back at her early posts from when her babies first died. I wanted to know if she felt anything like me now, so I could believe that one day, life won't be as hard for me. I found this poem on it:

'A Pair of Shoes'
Author Unknown

I am wearing a pair of shoes.
They are ugly shoes.
Uncomfortable shoes.
I hate my shoes.
Each day I wear them, and each day I wish I had another pair.
Some days my shoes hurt so much that I do not think I can take another step.
Yet, I continue to wear them.
I get funny looks wearing these shoes.
They are looks of sympathy.
I can tell in others eyes that they are glad they are my shoes and not theirs.
They never talk about my shoes.
To learn how awful my shoes are might make them uncomfortable.
To truly understand these shoes you must walk in them.
But, once you put them on, you can never take them off.
I now realise that I am not the only one who wears these shoes.
There are many pairs in this world.
Some women are like me and ache daily as they try and walk in them.
Some have learned how to walk in them so they don’t hurt quite as much.
Some have worn the shoes so long that days will go by before they think about how much they hurt.
No woman deserves to wear these shoes.
Yet, because of these shoes I am a stronger woman.
These shoes have given me the strength to face anything.
They have made me who I am.
I will forever walk in the shoes of a daughter who has lost her Mum.

I changed the last line from 'a mother who has lost her child' to what is there now. Because my line is more relevant.

Sometimes I think of all the things I miss about mum. Tiny insignificant things like when we used to go to Sainsbury cafe together and get a belgian bun each. Or when we used to go for meals out. We used to go on road trips to places like York in the car together. I miss these times so much. I don't think anyone understands just how much I would give just to see my mum again one last time. To say goodbye. 

I think of all the times in the future when my mum won't be there and it saddens me so much because what happened should never have happened. And sometimes I am selfish and I say 'why couldn't it have happened to someone else?'  I worry that I will forget my mum. Her laugh, her smile, her little mannerisms that made her the person she was. 

I hope no one reading this, ever goes through this in the circumstances that I have. Because it feels like hell.

Saturday, 31 January 2015

The Beautiful, Beautiful Seaside

I love living in Manchester. It's a lovely, homely Northern city with a lot in common with Newcastle. But unlike Newcastle, it isn't close to the sea. At home, a ten minute drive will get me to the sea. I love being at the seaside, I fell at home there. I just love watching the waves. Sometimes, when everything gets too much and I get overwhelmed, I just want to go and spend an afternoon at the seaside.

I am feeling that right now. I just want to get up in the morning and go to the beach. It's just so calming and helps to put your life into perspective. I love going to places like Beadnell Bay pictured above especially when it's in winter and is deserted. 

I absolutely can't wait until the summer when I get put on the car insurance of my mums car. I will obviously be the only one using it. I can't wait to just take my self off to the Northumberland coast for a walk and some chips. 

For now, I'm just going to sit and stare at this photo and pretend that I'm there right now and be jealous of everyone that lives by the sea. 

Friday, 30 January 2015


I turned 20 on Sunday. If I'm honest, it was a rubbish day. I did nothing. I did however, go out on Friday and my best friend came to Manchester from Leeds to see me.

I'm sad to be saying goodbye to my teenage years. I feel like turning 20 is signalling the bit of life where I actually have to grow up. I'm over halfway through my degree now (I can't believe that!) and I am starting to think about my dissertation and getting a job after graduation. Hell, today I even started googling anti-ageing creams. How ridiculous is that!

I'm sad that I'm nearing the end of uni. When I graduate, my housemates and I will all go our seperate ways back to our own corners of the country and won't see each other every day like we're used to. Once a year if we're lucky. And I'll have to move home again. Although I love my family and my little town, moving back into a house full of teenage angst, a dog that isn't toilet trained and that is at least a 45 minute bus journey into the city center is just not appealing. Not having tea when I want it, probably spending months trying to find a job are equally as unappealing. I won't get to go out and get pissed about 3 times a week (probably a good thing) then spend the next day hungover chatting rubbish with my equally hungover housemates dissecting the night before. 

I'll have to become an adult, even though I still feel about 15. I'll have to get a proper job, move out, get a car, get a cat etc. It sounds so hard and confusing and scary. I still don't know what kind of job I want after uni.

Basically, what I'm saying is, I want to be a teenager forever. I know 20 isn't old. But your early twenties are just such a stressful point in your life. Particularly if you're a graduate. 

However, I am looking forward to the belated birthday cake that I will be getting on my return to Newcastle in a few weeks.