Where I am Making Waves…

This is where you get behind the scenes with me and find out what makes me tick.

There is another purpose, too: I want to help empower others — women in particular, and especially women over 50.

If that’s you, I want to help you discover — just I have — that you don’t need to be constrained by ideas you’ve had about yourself, about what’s expected of you, about what you may believe is and isn’t doable.

I want to share ideas, share my own story, and above all my passion for being physical, being at one with my body, whether that’s through my running, my open water swimming, through ski-ing, stand-up paddleboarding (my newest passion), yoga, or plain old-fashioned walking.

Please let me know if I catch your attention — all feedback most welcome!

PS And if you’d like to know when I update my blog, please just sign up below.

PPS Just so you know, I don’t always toe the line around what makes for optimal health and wellbeing, and I can sometimes be a bit controversial…

Not just a place for tears and sadness…

I’d never set foot inside a hospice until my lovely aunt Betty was nearing the end of her life. She had been in pain for some time, mainly from the side-effects of the radiotherapy she’d had many years earlier, and her cancer had returned. By now aged 89, she made the...

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So shall I stay or shall I go?

Day 15 of my 21 Days of Transience takes me back to my earliest days in the workplace... My career — and I still get echoes of the ‘not good enough’ thing going on when I call it that — has bounced around a bit since I left school at 17 and jumped straight into my...

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Snapshots of suffering that leave their mark…

For Day 14 of my 21 Days of Transience, I'm taking a look at one of my voluntary roles... These days I wear a variety of hats, some of which yield an income, some of which don’t. And one day a week I turn my small back bedroom office into a mini-call centre, don my...

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Returning to a simple place of tenderness…

For Day 13 of my 21 Days of Transience I'm back in Buxton with my baby... It never really occurred to me to use a buggy to transport my daughter around when she was tiny.  It just seemed much more practical to strap her to me, especially as we had Becka the golden...

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Overcoming the scary by hanging upside down…

We're at Day 12 of my 21 Days of Transience, and I'm back at school getting to grips with fear... The day I conquered ‘swingy legs’ I felt I could conquer the world. Getting there had taken what, to a child of around seven or eight, seemed like forever. But when I...

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The long and winding road towards motherhood…

Yay! Half-way through my 21 Days of Transience and for Day 11 I'm taking an unscheduled trip... This absolutely was not what I’d had in mind. No, I definitely hadn’t fantasised about being in the back of an ambulance as we made our winding way from Buxton cottage...

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Finding the answer on an Aberdeenshire beach…

Another week, another in my 21 Days of Transience — Day 10, to be precise, and I'm looking at how a transient thought becomes a reality... I’d already accepted the job at this point, so it was now just a matter of location and logistics. It’s November 1994, and I’m...

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Spooked while counting down the miles to Milan…

For Day 9 of my 21 Days of Transience, I'm heading home from our annual holiday in Montenegro... When we decamped for our summer holidays in Montenegro — then part of Yugoslavia — it always involved trundling across a sizeable chunk of Europe in our solid estate car....

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Living with one of life’s more sobering lessons…

It's Day 8 of my 21 Days of Transience, and today we're off to Glasgow for Hogmanay... There are whole chunks I couldn’t remember the next day, never mind nudging 50 years down the line. It’s new year’s eve 1972, I am 18, and I am in Glasgow. I am in Glasgow with two...

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The subtleties of power at the top of the food chain…

It's Day 7 of my 21 Days of Transience, with a look at the balance of power between species... Here we are, at the top of the food chain, us humans with all the power. All the power, and all the potential for abusing that power. But while I’m acutely aware that as a...

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Who knew this could happen on an airport bus?

This is Day 6 of My 21 Days of Transience, and nothing could be much more transient than this... There we are, me and my mother, on an airport transfer bus. We’ve disembarked from the aircraft and we’re sitting and waiting to leave for the terminal. Which airport,...

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When staying safe is less safe than we think…

Here we are on Day 5 of my 21 Days of Transience, pondering what it is that makes somewhere safe... When, exactly, in the past year did everyone start ending conversations, meetings, calls, emails with ‘stay safe’? And what does ‘stay safe’ even mean? What’s safe for...

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Seeking anonymity when there’s nowhere left to hide…

Day 4 of my 21 Days of Transience takes me beyond check-in and off-grid... Was a time when I’d head for an airport and pull on this endearing mantle of anonymity, and have it comfortably in place before reaching check-in. I’d park ‘regular me’ and morph effortlessly...

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Embracing transience en route to an English churchyard

On Day 3 of my 21 Days of Transience, we head for rural Gloucestershire... I never thought to ask my aunt exactly why her husband wanted to be buried in a Gloucestershire churchyard. Born Vilmos Levy into a family of Budapest doctors and intellectuals, he was after...

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What is it that leads us ‘home’?

On to Day 2 of my 21 Days of Transience, which held me at bay for most of a day... When you’re not sure how to start, start anyway. The whole transience piece is clearly at odds with the whole concept of calling somewhere ‘home’. Or maybe it isn’t, not entirely. Maybe...

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Where the penny dropped that nothing is forever…

And we’re off. It’s Day 1 of this annual writing challenge imagined into reality by Megan Macedo, founder of Be Yourself Marketing and a remarkable philosopher and writer. For the fourth time, I’m joining a group of writers from across the world who forget from year...

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Out of the shadows and into a voyage of transient discovery…

One brief flurry of activity apart, I have added nothing to this blog since Megan Macedo’s 2020 writing challenge.   That was never my plan, but as last year’s 21-day roller coaster of words drew to a close in late February, the coronavirus storm clouds were well and...

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The power of a far distant cock-a-doodle-do…

It would be really easy to go off on one and deliver my take on Covid-19.  And yes, it would be my take so not quite like anyone else’s — and after all, we’ve all got our own take on this. Oh yes. But despite the absolute shedloads of research I’ve been doing, and the...

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All boxes ticked and another layer of the onion peeled back…

And we're here — Day 21 of my 21 Days of Courage and time for reflection... I didn’t have an end goal in sight when I started out on this intensive — and intense — journey into some of the farther reaches of myself. All I wanted was to arrive here — on the last day —...

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A life on the move — running away or running home?

It's Day 20, the penultimate day of my 21 Days of Courage, and I'm looking at being the outsider... I’ve moved home 15 times so far and while I know that’s chicken feed for your average forces family, it’s still pretty fair going for most mortals. The first three...

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Why it’s best not to mix exams and politics…

We've arrived at Day 19 of my 21 Days of Courage, and I've turned the clock back 50 years... It’s the day before my GCE O-Level art exam and what I’m not doing is chilling out with my friends or getting my head into any kind of a creative space. No, on 18 June 1970 I...

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Pinning down the proof of the pudding…

It's Day 18 of my 21 Days of Courage (yup, only three more to go!) and it's time to get mixing in the kitchen... If I were to single out one true constant that has woven its way right through my life, from the far reaches of childhood to now, it would be... …...

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Even when there’s nothing to fear…

Day 17 of my 21 Days of Courage, and I'm looking beyond the bogeymen to the role of fear... There were no ogres in my family.  Nobody I feared, nobody I was warned about, nobody with a reputation for actual harm, bodily or otherwise. The same applied at school — no...

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Is this why nobody’s ever called me boss?

We’ve arrived at Day 16 of my 21 Days of Courage, and I’m exploring why I’ve never been a boss... Managing other people was definitely not my parents’ strongest suit, and that’s not really surprising. Neither of them wanted to become managers and neither of them...

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Discovering the importance of relative values

I learned through osmosis growing up that not only was ours a slightly peculiar family, it was also unusually small. While friends spoke of grandmothers and grandfathers, great-this, great-that, multiple aunts and uncles, and battalions of cousins near and far, I...

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Honestly, everything’s just fine with me…

We've arrived at Day 14 of my 21 Days of Courage, and I'm exploring why I use one particular word as much as I do... I apparently have a habit of labelling things as ‘fine’. I only know this because my daughter flagged it up to me a week or so ago. She was...

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My father’s unlikely obsession with spelling

We're at Day 13 of my 21 Days of Courage writing challenge, and today I explore a little ritual of my father's making... Spelling was a really big deal at homework time when I was growing up. So much so that my father would actually decline to comment on the quality...

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Followed through life by my father’s books

If I bring to mind the spaces I grew up in, I struggle to recall much about what was on the walls or what there was by way of artefacts.  We certainly didn’t do fine art, nor did we do ornaments, and given ours was a 100% god-free household we obviously didn’t do...

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Growing up in denial around death

It’s Day 11 of my 21 Days of Courage and I am exploring how we talk about death... We didn’t talk about death much when I was growing up. In fact, we pretty much avoided the topic and I was an adult before I attended my first funeral. Both grandmothers had died before...

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Dictating the dynamic in my childhood home

On to Day 10 of my 21 Days of Courage and I’m looking at who called the shots in our house... I’m not sure I had an authority figure as such when I was growing up. There wasn’t any kind of generational patriarchy or matriarchy on either side of my family and our own...

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Tracing patterns back to the trenches of World War 1

Day 9 of my 21 Day of courage and I’m exploring my grandparents’ legacy... I never knew either of my grandfathers — they had died before I was born. Of my paternal grandfather, I know next to nothing: he disappeared, basically. My father’s last contact with him —...

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The second mother I found on a beach in Montenegro

On to Day 8 of my 21 Days of Courage, and I’m back on a beach in Yugoslavia… When my mother went to the beach, it was to swim a little, sunbathe a little, read a little, and snooze a lot. One thing she didn’t do was talk to anyone, apart from me and my father. They...

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Finding courage from a Sunday morning radio ritual

We're on to Day 7, I’m a third of the way through my 21 Days of Courage, and I’ve turned on the radio... It’s Sunday morning and that meant just one thing when I was growing up — The Archers Omnibus. Nothing much was sacrosanct in our house, but suggest to my mother...

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My curious introduction to the world of work

On Day 6 of my 21 Days of Courage, I’m looking at my family's line of business... My parents did not enjoy their work. They really didn’t. Neither of them had envisaged ending up doing what they did for a living, and this made for a somewhat skewed impression of what...

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Changing the subject when the going got spiritual…

It’s Day 5 of 21 Days of Courage and I’m back at the kitchen table with my parents... There weren’t many subjects that were taboo around the kitchen table when I was growing up — in fact, I struggle to find much of consequence my parents weren’t prepared to discuss...

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A man of courage, a man of his times…

For Day 4 of 21 Days of Courage, I introduce you to someone who had a big impact on me, professionally and personally... There are not that many people about whom I can say it was a privilege to have known them, but I can when it comes to Sam Lesser. Unequivocally so....

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Exploring my mother’s default response

Day 3 of 21 Days of Courage... My mother’s default response to most things she couldn’t instantly fix and that were not actually down to her anyway was: ‘It’s not my fault. I can’t help it.’ I don’t recall when I first became consciously aware of this but I suspect I...

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Finding the courage to stay on the rails…

This writing challenge is the brainchild of Megan Macedo, founder of Be Yourself Marketing and a hugely accomplished writer herself… I’m once again one of a group of people — from across the world and from an eclectic mix of backgrounds — who are taking part, and each...

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Here’s the good news: I am not dead…

It’s been the best part of a year since I updated this blog and I’m happy to report that I am still alive. The truth of it is that — just a few days into Megan Mecado’s 2019 21-Day Writing Challenge — I mislaid my mojo. I completely lost my confidence in my writing...

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Was this the reason I became a vegetarian?

Always takes my breath away when you wake up knowing something that simply wasn’t there when you went to sleep. This notion filtered through to consciousness in sync with the alarm, followed me into the bathroom, then down the stairs and then out the door into the...

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The ill-fated mercy mission that opened a door of understanding

My first proper inkling that nothing lasts forever revolved around a nestling I rescued. A cack-handed and unnecessary rescue, without doubt. But it felt vital to the six or seven-year-old me who took solemn charge of this tiny, naked bird that had somehow survived...

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Peeling back the layers on a new voyage of discovery

It’s a year since I embarked on my 21 Daring Days, a challenge set by writer and storyteller Megan Macedo, founder of Be Yourself Marketing. And I’m back: poised to do it all again, to create a piece of writing for 21 days using Megan’s daily prompt. Only this year...

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When you can’t actually toe the line…

I’d got away with it before, but not this time. And it’s always the mundane stuff: while I was changing the duvet cover, I slammed my left foot into the very solid leg of the wooden bed frame. All five toes made contact and I felt something crunch. I gingerly removed...

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‘Only look back to see how far you’ve come…’

My second guest blogger is also one of my role models! I got to know Susan Jones first as a formidable stand-up paddleboarder: she’s focused, disciplined, and as a competitor highly accomplished. As a club mate — she also trains at Bray Lake — Susan is wise,...

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Setting myself a new average SUP speed — and a target to beat!

A quick update from the SUP front... This week I took part in my first standup paddleboard time trial, at Bray Lake SUP Club night on 3 October — and, to my amazement, set my fastest average speed yet! In the grand scheme of all things SUP, I am very far from fast but...

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How I managed to rob myself of a place on the podium

That moment when you realise you’ve just been a bit of a numpty and you’re wishing you could rewind for a couple of minutes? Yup. That was me as I faffed about just off the beach close to Hayling Island Sailing Club after I’d finished what had been a very satisfactory...

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Counting down to 80 and still pushing boundaries…

You just never know who you’re going to meet and where you’re going to meet them. We were on the ferry heading back to Scrabster after our brilliant Orkney break in June when I became aware of a group talking about their own trip. Like us, they’d visited Hoy, but...

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Windermere wow factor… and another SUP shortfall

Sometimes you can find yourself part of something that really shifts your perspective. Something that stops you in your tracks for a moment and makes you go ‘wow, just wow!’ A couple of weeks ago I was in Windermere, in the English Lake District, as part of a group of...

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Making my debut as a guest blogger!

Delighted to have been invited by Sam to be a guest at her very excellent Loving the Fifty Something blog. Please go and have a look — here's our Q&A session...

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On the road to Rutland Water for my next SUP challenge…

One of the big benefits of running is that there’s not much kit involved. Shoes are obviously the biggie, but once you’ve got those sorted the rest is really just about clothes to match the seasons and maybe a hydration pack once the miles crank up. Same goes for open...

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What happens when you wing it in a 10k race…

The last time I raced a 10k was nearly a year ago and I’ve not been clocking anything much more than 5k in one go since then. It was therefore pretty clear as I stood on the start line of the All Nations 10k at Dorney on 12 May that I would be winging it. There’s...

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A race that really ratcheted up my sharp SUP learning curve

Sometimes what’s neatly lined up in your head just doesn’t quite match reality. And so it was with my first proper standup paddleboard race, the Head of the Dart, on Sunday 15 April. We’d all been looking nervously at the weather forecast and doing that thing where...

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Counting down to a rollercoaster of a SUP challenge

That feeling when a significant challenge is closing in. Not quite there yet, but the final countdown is on. And starting to take over, a bit. A mixture of apprehension, fretting about logistics, allowing — albeit limited — headroom for the ‘I’m not good enough…’...

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I held my breath, kicked my feet, and I moved my arms around…

This summer I went swimming, This summer I might have drowned But I held my breath and I kicked my feet And I moved my arms around, I moved my arms around. 'The Swimming Song' — Loudon Wainwright III You possibly have to be of a certain age to remember it, but this...

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Unpicking my secret quest to be famous

Megan Macedo kept arguably the most challenging for last: the 21st of my 21 Daring Days dares me to ‘write something about a secret you keep (or have kept) from yourself’...   I’ve always carried around this secret notion that one day, some day, I’d be famous....

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How I became hard-wired to stick my head above the parapet

And so to Day 18 of my 21 Daring Days, and today's challenge is to 'write about something you know about your family or your history and how might that have influenced your personal or professional philosophy'.   We didn’t do God or Tories when I was growing up....

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The secret to getting across the finish line

It's Day 17, and today the 21 Daring Days challenge is to 'write about a lesson you learned from a non-work related activity that can be applied to your work.'   I’d never heard of the Jungfrau Marathon until I was skiing in Switzerland in March 2002. In fact,...

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We’re really short on folklore in my strange family

It's Day 16 of my 21 Daring Days, and this has proved a particularly challenging one: 'Tell a story about a piece of your family folklore. What stories are told again and again? Which ones stand out from your youth?'     One of the stranger things about my...

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How I replaced one story about myself with quite another…

For Day 15 of my 21 Daring Days writing challenge, I'm to 'write the truth about something you previously told a bad and inauthentic story about.'    Ah, yes — Eugenie. She’s crap at sport. That was the story I told about myself, and consequently had told back to...

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The easiest way I’ve found to take it to extremes

And now it’s Day 12 of my 21 Daring Days and I’ve to ‘write about extremes or opposites and how they have played out in your life or work at one time’. This one is pretty daring, in fact... Nothing generates extreme experiences for me quite as efficiently as my...

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When singing the Angus Prune song got me into trouble…

We're at Day 11 and this 21 Daring Days challenge is to 'write about something you used to get in trouble for when you were younger'. I'd like to say that this had me scratching my head, but it didn’t. This was easy. Without any effort at all, I am back at school once...

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Bringing on a crisis while playing the numbers game

For Day 10 of my 21 Daring Days challenge, I have to ‘write about a time you brought a crisis upon yourself, big or small, and what you learned from it.’   Oh lordy, lordy — let me count the ways… Most of the significant crises I’ve created for myself have...

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The price of holding back when the stakes are high…

The challenge for Day 8 of my 21 Daring Days is to ‘write something about a time you held back from doing something, for better or worse’.    The fact of the matter is that I should never have married my first husband. I was 26, and therefore plenty old enough to...

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How I missed out on the chance to become a barrister…

On to Day 7 and this time I’m tasked with writing ‘something about a time you missed something — good or bad. Maybe it was a deadline, a family occasion, a plane, a test… Maybe the outcome was disastrous or fortuitous’.   I don’t have to work hard to transport...

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Stepping away from gossip to define where I end and you begin

We’re at Day 6 and the prompt is ‘where I end and you begin. Write about whatever that phrase conjures up for you. It might be about a person, a thing, an activity — whatever comes to mind for you’. I played around with this one for fully three days because it opens...

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The one smell that can catapult me straight back into childhood…

For today’s 21 Daring Days writing task — the fourth — I’m to share with you ‘a story about a smell that means something to you (from your past or present’. Calamine. Just forming the word in my head unleashes a cascade of memories, a tapestry of emotions, all of them...

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The lonely legacy of my parents’ strange take on family life

For my third 21 Daring Days writing challenge I’m to ‘tell the story of the thing(s) you were never given and what that taught you or how it shaped you’… My parents had a strange take on what makes for normal family life. They each came from dysfunctional families of...

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The book that hammered home our double standards around animals

The second task in my 21 Daring Days writing challenge is to ‘tell a story about a book you’ve read at some point in your life that brought you to some kind of revelation or moment of insight’. A revelation, a moment of insight. Not just a cracking good yarn, then. A...

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The day I discovered I’m good enough to win…

Something unexpected happened at the weekend: I won a race! Yup. First over the line in only my fourth stand-up paddleboarding event and only the second time in my life I’ve topped the podium as first woman overall. Now I could easily disappear into a story here:...

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You are what you read — my year in books…

If we are the sum of a whole assortment of life experiences, then books surely have to be right up there. And while I’m not a book hoover, I do plough my way through a fair few in the course of a year so I thought it would be interesting to take a bit of an inventory...

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A basket of puppies at Christmas — what’s not to like?

Anyone who knows me knows I love dogs. I am also a huge fan of the Dogs Trust which does such a brilliant rehoming job. At a personal level, they made it possible for my late aunt to have canine company in her late 80s, safe in the knowledge that should she die first,...

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It’s time to start just being me…

Today I decided it was time to start being me. I gave myself permission to stop trying to meet my own ludicrously unrealistic expectations of who I'd believed I should be — in my business especially — and just be me. Me, complete with my very own back story of...

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Why I’m not buying into Big Pharma’s five a day…

I don’t want to believe this depressing statistic, but sadly I do. Nearly half of all adults aged 65+ in the UK take at least FIVE prescription drugs a day, according to a survey of 15,000 people by the Cambridge Institute of Public Health published earlier this...

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A hard lesson in humility — and a new SUP role model…

I’m fairly regularly asked ‘why do you DO all that stuff?’, and I have to say there were several moments — indeed, a whole collection of moments — during my latest stand-up paddleboarding experience when I had absolutely no idea… I’ve been SUPing for a while now and...

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Back to the future in Belgrade…

For my first post, I'm on the road and there's no specific theme here — just thoughts I wanted to share... The first things that get packed when I’m on the move are my running gear and my swimming things. Once they’re all safely in the bag, everything else can go in....

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Get in touch

Call me: 01344 834834
Email me: hello@eugenieverney.com