A positive experience on my late husband’s birthday?

Thinking of my late husband everyday but more so on Friday 22 August his birthday.

Daddy’s Bucket List – buy each other presents on Daddy’s special days ie his  Birthday – COMPLETED!

The kids woken up excited about giving me their presents on Daddy’s Birthday. We had to go into the Living Room because that’s where we always open birthday presents in our household!

They bought me a big bag of Minstrels (Daddy always bought me Minstrels, Amy Rolos and Charles Mars Bar as little treats!) and Solar lights for the garden not forgetting the flowers from a few days before. 

Grandpa and Grandma bought me a bottle of Champagne for drinking later!  However I think I will keep this for after the Great North Run to celebrate with family (adults not children!) as drinking the whole bottle in one go might be a little over the top even for me!

I bought Charles Vulture,  a spiderman enemy, blue running bottle (for Great North Run training as we are all running for Daddy on the GNR weekend!) and a Mars Bar.

Amy received My Little Pony, Rolos and a pink running bottle.

Special presents were clay hand print shapes of Daddy’s hand for our memory boxes so if we are happy or sad, we can then hold Daddy’s hand for comfort. We had a long special hold before putting them into our memory boxes.

(I was never very good at art at school but the Daddy’s hand shapes are ok, not wonderful but are from the heart  and it’s very creative by my standards! They were made by me the day before he left us ..I was saving them for a special day.)

I wanted to be away on his birthday and we arrived at Haggerston Castle Caravan Park, Northumberland mid afternoon for the weekend.   First we finished unpacking and then we explored.

That night I had a glass of wine ..it was going to be Champagne but the venue only sold champagne by the bottle not glass (I got that wrong!) to celebrate my late husband’s birthday. .

So as a family, we watched Disney’s Little Mermaid and ate pop corn in Daddy’s honour.

Always in our thoughts … Remember we love to the Moon and back. X 💖


Yet another first in my widow’s journey!

Yet another first in this dark journey into the unknown (for me) journey of widow-hood! Friday 22 August is my late husband’s birthday. The first birthday without him.

The children and I agreed to give each other presents on special days to do with Daddy. So Grandma took my kids shopping on Tuesday and they bought me flowers from each of them.


The plain white roses from my son and the mixed flowers from my daughter.

Apparently the other presents they  bought have been hidden in the house.


We did the same for father’s day earlier this year.

I still have to wrap their presents but instead of feeling sad we will remember Daddy and happy times and the presents will be a distraction  even though it will be a hard emotional day where I have to find more inner strength. (So glad I started running as this has helped me a lot.)

I made a decision to go away with the kids on my husband’s birthday as I didn’t want to be home all day. However I had planned to go to Europe but I decided it was too much for me emotionally so we are going to a place only 1 hour away from home for the Bank Holiday weekend to remember Daddy and to have fun as that’s what’s on Daddy’s Bucket List. . to have fun!


Run, run, run – Two new goals achieved!

Goal – Run at least 10 miles before the Great North Run. COMPLETED!

I ran 10.2 miles yesterday evening in just under 1 hour 40 minutes which is amazing because I struggle to run well in the evening! I kept saying long and slow and it worked. I even managed to speed up towards the end of the run. I had thought about increasing the distance but thought I’d just speed up towards the end! Also pleased with 9.15 for the last full mile.

Hoping to do one more long run (8-10 miles) at the end of this week and then a few short runs next week as I don’t want to over do it before the Half Marathon on 7 September 2014.

Goal – Running races for Nigel – Enter another race (no. 4) in 2014 – COMPLETED!

In June I entered two race:
– the Great North 10k on 13 July,
– Great North Run Half Marathon on 7 September

In July, I entered the Gateshead Trail on 16 August.

Looking at my races recently, I realised I had no races after the GNR so I entered race number 4 – another 10k –  Kielder 10k in Northumberland on 4 October. I had always planned to a few races in 2014 but only want to book them in stages depending on my training.

Think I will keep that goal going and try and add another race before March 2015 or soon depending on training and race availabilty! Will it be a 10k or Half Marathon?

The Big Goal is a marathon before June 2015… which to me sounds scary and not achievable yet!  However I won’t start looking until after the Great North Run ….!

Running Races for Nigel (and Kidney Research UK) is letting me focus on something positive for my new life without Nigel. 💖


New PB and can’t stop smiling

Running races for Nigel …

… I ran my second 10k race yesterday at the Gateshead Trail (Tyne & Wear, UK).  I managed to do a pb of 58.27 compared to last month’s race of 59.51 and I can’t stop smiling at my achievement! Even better the medal is a bottle opener as well!


Rest day today then I have to do a long run on Monday or Tuesday as I have the Great North Run (half marathon) on 7 September.

There are 4 girls that run races for different reasons  and we are hoping to enter another 10k on 4 October. My reason is I am running in memory of my late husband (who died on 1.3.14) for Kidney Research UK. I’m hoping to raise £1,650 to celebrate 16 1/2 years of marriage.

Got to keep running!


Daddy’s Bucket List – Seaside holidays

Daddy’s Bucket List ..

While on holiday at the seaside, we had to have lots of fun by ….

Going on lots of rides on the fun fair.
Try and win prizes on the claw machine at the fun fair.
Throwing pebbles on the beach …just like Daddy. The children won… I came last but we all had fun trying to make the biggest splash! See the photo below.


Bike rides to the park.
Running in and out of the sea.
Making sandcastles.
Going on walks.
Body boarding in wetsuits.
Splashing mummy with the cold sea (not sure I like that one too much!).
First family night walk.


Daddy’s Bucket List for seaside holidays completed with loads of fun!


Rollercoaster ride of emotions

What a mixture of emotions (high and low) I’ve experienced on holiday so far.

Normally in the past you embrace your first experiences .. the first to explore the holiday home, first to jump on the bed (that’s the kids not the adults honest!), first to unpack, first to unwind and switch off from home and the first drink of the hols!

However when you are widowed it’s hard to cope with the firsts on holidays but when you have two children aged 9 and 7 you have to stay strong and put a brave face on most of the time!! You watch their smiling faces while they explore the holiday home all excited so young and so full of energy! 

This year has been full of firsts without Daddy … first
– stay in a hotel …. without daddy
– mother’s day
– first holiday
– first Father’s Day
– first bike ride without stablisers
– first end of school report

..the list is endless!

However the Summer Holidays seem to be worse… the reality hitting home yet again of my life without Nigel the person that knew me inside out!

The running helps but this last week has been hard as I have been unable to run alot … I need that me time when I switch off and think of nothing .. I enjoy the running ..even the bad ones as I know I’ve been out!

A long run is planned for tomorrow … may be 10 miles… but it will be long and slow. I feel the adrenalin begin to flow just thinking about getting on the road.

My next race is Saturday 16 August – my second 10k. It’s a smaller race which I’m looking forward too.

Fingers crossed for my run tomorrow.


Somewhere over the rainbow way up high!

The Northumberland coast has always been so special to me. Childhood memories of dipping in and out of the icey North Sea snd feeling no cold! However as an adult I feel the coldness of the sea!


I was feeling a little sad remembering the happy memories of previous summer holidays as a family of four with my own two children and my late husband.  Then I looked up and saw a rainbow and I think maybe Nigel is  watching over us, giving me strength to carry on hour by hour and day by day as a family of three. I’d like to think so! As I watch the rainbow fade, I start to plan tomorrow’s activities with the kids.

Onwards and upwards … one step at a time.  Forever in my thoughts.


Two short runs are better than none on holiday!

On holiday it’s difficult to run …mainly because of the lack of adults (I’m a widow of 5 months).

So after a half a day on the beach and part in and out of the North (Cold!) Sea without a wetsuit,  I decided to do a short run while I had the opportunity of family staying who looked after the kids while I ran.

So a little tired, I set off on a damp and windy afternoon and started to run. I managed just short of 3 miles and completed it in 29 mins with one hill run thrown in. .. it was a bench mark as I did the same run again the day after in 28 mins. Two short runs in two days when I thought I wouldn’t even get time to run on holiday!

So last week I’ve managed 4 runs in total – 4 miles, 9 miles, 2.9 miles and 2.9 miles.

I wonder what this week will hold for training while on holiday…. but it doesn’t matter as I am planning another long run next week …maybe 10 or 10.5 miles!


Back on track!

With a couple of physio sessions on my neck this week, I decided I had to do a long slow run in preparation for the Great Nort Run and the second 10k race.

Ten days ago I managed 7.8 miles but have struggled to increase the distance. So instead of a circular route, I decided for a there and back route. 4.5 miles there and 4.5 miles back equals 9 miles!  It was mid-day, the weather was not too warm or cold but a little breezey.

I set off with the phrase long and slow etched in my mind and for the first 10 minutes I was fine then I began to get a stitch so I reduced the speed for 5 minutes – that helped! I was running comfortably on a slight incline which meant I would be running slightly down hill on the way back!  I did the first 4.5 miles in 47 minutes .. long and slow! I then thought I should increase the speed a little on my return which I did! I ran the whole of the 9.02 miles in 1:28.27 and finally felt back on form!

The next long run won’t be for awhile as I’m on holiday so I will be concentrating on shorter runs or exercises. Just the kids and me now on holiday so I can’t leave them home alone while I go running! So I will be running in the park or on the beach while they have fun in the sun beside me!