Friday, 27 January 2012

The Run Up

This title works for me on so many levels! I shall explain! I have been working on the ball, and also the running, and it is nearly the one year anniversary of Kevin's death. Organising the ball was such a stress at first, then it went so well that I was really excited and really positive about the start of 2012, being so much better than the start of 2011.

I also entered a 10 mile race, as a training run for the marathon. It went well, I decided not to do my usual ( try too hard, go too fast and not be able to complete it well), I didn't treat it as anything but a training run, and I completed it in 1 hour and 39 minutes, thus managing the 10 minute miles I had planned, and whats more, I felt good at the end. I ran using my iPod, this is something I never do, mainly because I am always combining taking the dog out and a run, and as the dog is so prone to distraction I make sure that I am concentrating on what he is up to, so that needs my full concentration. I really enjoyed running to some "tunes", however I forgot that I had put on "Monster Halloween Hits" for the Menace, so when the "Adam's family" snuck in there it made me giggle. And I should mention my Catherine Tate moment when I car tooted me to get out of the way and I screamed very loudly, much to the amusement of the other runners!

So the ball arrangements were going well, and the running was going well, but for some reason I just hit an emotional wall! I had a lot to look forward to, but had put off allowing myself to be emotional for so long. I exploded at work one day, I was in tears, fed up and I wanted some support. I work in an environment where you are mainly on your own, and suddenly I wanted to be part of a team, not always on my own. I have asked for some meetings, I need to get my enthusiasm back, and feel motivated to want to do things again. Right now I find it hard to maintain my momentum, and I feel tired and well.... depressed.

So work are finding ways of supporting me and I am also trying to find some time for "me"things. I don't mean a project, like the ball or the run, but just relaxing things - these are the things I never do. Why do I feel like this? As I said before, its coming up for the year's anniversary, it was this time last year that Kevin died and whilst we have made it through the year, it just feels like another long year ahead facing the same juggling and constant battle to keep everything afloat. It is like running a race, but not knowing how to pace yourself, its a constant struggle to keep up the momentum. I will find the energy again, I know I will, I won't give in to depression and lethargy, but I think I just need a few days feeling sorry for myself.

However it is not all bad, I am pleased with the ball and looking forwards to it, I am pleased with the run, and just when I was feeling really low (its my birthday at the end of next week and I can't muster up any enthusiasm for it) I got a bag in the post. I thought it was a raffle prize, but no, it was my birthday present from the lovely Gemma, Kevin's niece. Kevin always got me nice new handbags for either birthday or Christmas, she wanted to get me a nice bag, it made me cry, it was such a lovely thing to do.

I know that I feel low, because I miss his love and his thoughtfulness (and knowing that I have to keep going without it can be so hard), it was so nice to think somebody else was thinking of those special things like he did, and I can't think of a better person to do it. He and her were so close, and I know how much she misses him. It will be hard for her to be so far away on the anniversary of his death (she lives on the other side of the world) . I promise to post a picture Gem xx Thank you for reaching out, at just the right moment, with just the right gesture, Kevin would love that! The bag is lovely, but the thought that went into it, is so much more.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Organising the ball

I have got to be honest, I did this because a friend suggested it, and it seemed a unique way to get some money, and also have some fun at the same time, but organising a ball is really hard work. I am not a natural at promotion or selling or PR, and so I was doing my best to get together prizes for a raffle and ask for donations, but it was/is HARD WORK!! Initially things went well, I sold nearly all the tickets, a huge relief, I did spend a few days wondering if I was going to lose money rather than make it!! I now have less than a handful left, of course, I still have to get the money for them. I kept the prices low to make money on the night - this was at the advice of the chairman of OA's rugby club who are hosting it for me. I have to say they have been a huge help, lots of advice and contacts.

I have had some wonderful offers for prizes from some of the lovely twitter folk!

A beautiful red fire engine from @Cuthberts_Toys, St Albans (
A lovely Jo Malone candle from a lovely lady known to me as @gillyjamjar. She is giving up posh coffees and wanted to put the money to good use.
A chocolate making workshop from the Melting Pot, in Hitchin @makechoccies.
Some vouchers from @splashman, otherwise known as Paul.
A massage voucher from @lucindamassage (
A £25 voucher for @allabouttheboys, designer clothing for children. (
A voucher for £350 worth of family photography from @emilyquinton (
A home networking kit from @solwise to help with all your wifi issues.
A free letting service for one year from @RuthPH.(
A cretan villa for one week from @annieqpr. (
Some chocolates from @goneFairtrade (Cadbury's)
A little valentine cupcake for all the guests from @heavensacupcake (
An organic pork pie from @samphireshop (
A case of wine from @CraigLeGrice (
Some Sylvanian Families goodies from @mandyvictory
A singing/acting children's party from @DebotutsNWHerts (
and a couple of other leads from @mattbigg (
not forgetting to say thank you to @mediocre_mum and also @pminthepub for helping me with their Klout!

Offline, I have also got a case of wine from
3 sets of day passes for two at Sopwell House
A Handbag from the Dressing Room
A meal for two with a bottle of wine in the Cock (St Albans)
A meal for two at the Rose and Crown (St Albans)
A meal for two in the White Lion (St Albans)
A party from
£100 to do whatever I like with from Nick Banks a local investment bank consultant (will be used for either wine or chocolates )
A family ticket (for 10 people) from Saracens for a match at Wembley on 31st March Against Harlequins)
A jewellery making workshop from Rachel Jeffrey (
A five course meal for 2 at Manoir aux Quat Saisons (Raymond Blanc's restaurant in Oxfordshire)
The promise of some flowers from Fuchsia Pink, in Wheathampstead.
A week at a mutually convenient time for the winner and the vendor of a caravan in South Wales (
A trip out in the solent or round some of the Isle of Wight for a day in a Yacht (four people can go! - adults)

Not forgetting the loan of a roulette table for a raffle type game (as I don't have a gambling licence), from GCasino's in Luton (

So, once again friends, and friends of friends have been wonderful, and also the virtual friends on twitter. Thank you to you all xx. I am now very excited, looking forwards to it, and thinking that 2012, is so much better than 2011 was!