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!


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!


Training continues for the Great North Run

Gateshead Race Day 13 July is truely over! I was exhausted, overjoyed and and an emotional wreck all at the same time in the evening of the race.

I allowed myself 1 day rest and then ran another 10k (just a normal run and not a race) on the Tuesday…and I managed to do it in  just over 58 mins. The race was completed in 59:51 so I had improved my 10k time unofficially! And that’s when I decided I would enter another 10k b4 the Great North Run Half Marathon! So on 16 August I will be competing in The Gateshead Trail!

I ran 7.02 miles in 1hr 15 minutes in the heat today with a few slight inclines which was hard work and while on holiday at the weekend I ran 7.86 in 1hr 13 mins and 5.6 miles in I think c.53 mins.

I have a training plan but it’s hard to stick to it when you are jugglying your time with holidays, kids, work, childcare especially when you have been recently widowed. But I am getting there…. slowly!

I love the feeling when I run. I tottally switch off! It’s my only me time.

So I must keep on running…. it’s also on  Nigel’s and Daddy’s Bucket List ..Mummy to get fit and stay fit.


Race Day 10k 13 July 2014

I didn’t sleep well the night before race day.

I knew physically I could run 10km but it was the emotional side. I was running for Nigel…in this memory to celebrate my husband’s love of life and sport. It was also on Daddy’s Bucket List to get me fit, healthy and happy.

Nigel died on 1 March 2014 and here I am some 4 1/2 months later running for him, me and my children to give me strength, courage, focus and energy to carry  on life without Nigel by my side.

The alarm went off at 7.05am. I showered, had breakfast and put my running gear on. Then I woke the children and they had breakfast, dressed and packed their toys for their Grandparent’s house. I was strangely quiet not wanting to be cheerful or sad so I settled on being focussed.

The kids arrived safely at the Grandparents and then I switched cars as there were 4 of us running the race for different reasons.  We were early so we went to McDonald’s for my second porridge breakfast which I needed as I didn’t eat much of my first breakfast.

We continued on to Gateshead Stadium … when I get nervous, I talk alot …and I talked and talked promising for the next race not to talk too much! I started training on 5 June 2014 and before that I had’t run outside for 16+ years!

Bags were left at the baggage area and we continued to the start. The 4 girls decided to start together so ignoring all the different waves we headed to the last wave – pink. The atmosphere was great and friendly, the weather wet and initially cold while we waited with bin bags on to keep us dry.

The elite runs, and the various waves started then eventually it was our turn and we were away.

Goal 1 was to start the race … completed!

The weather changed to wet and warm while we ran the course down to the riverside and then slowly we started to climb the long way back up hill. Four  hills and then we were in the Stadium. There were still 300 metres of the track to complete until I reached the finish line. That seemed the longest part of the race as I looked at my stop watch trying to run faster …. but I did pass the finish line eventually!

Goal 2 was to finish the race …completed!

I looked for the girls in my party. Two had already completed the race and one was just behind me. We all hugged each other and then stumbled towards the finishers’ bag and timing chip removal areas.

Goal 3 was to finish the race in under 60 minutes … I knew was close my stop watch said 1 hr 8 seconds but I had forgotted to stop it when I crossed the finish line.

I checked my time online later that night and I had completed the race in 59:51 and my position was 1973! And I have a medal and a T shirt to prove it! So goal 3 was also completed!!!!

What a race and what a day for me.

Now training starts for the Great North Run Half Marathon.

Here is a photo of me at the end  … red faced but so happy to have finshed the race.

Thinking of you Nigel now and always… as my daughter is always requoting me ..Daddy is in our hearts and in our mind – we will not forget him! 



Bucket list of Daddy’s brilliant ideas

We have not looked at Daddy’s bucket list of brilliant ideas and fun activities  for a while but I think it’s time to re-look at them to make sure we are on target. However there is no time limit – and from time to time we add more things to it.

It’s been nearly 5 months since my husband, Nigel died.  Sometimes it is so raw that I feel it was only yesterday when he died peacefully in his sleep. Other times it feels as though it was a life time ago…somebody’s else life time not mine.

Some of them we do each day … cuddles, look after each other, be nice, try your best at school, help each other. Others over the weeks go on walks, swim, parks, bike rides, draw, watch DVDs and play games. 

One of mine was to look after me .. the kids give me more cuddles and when I cry they wipe away my tears and say don’t worry Daddy will be in our hearts and brains forever…. I am looking after myself by running.  It’s my ‘me time’ where I totally switch off. I listen to my heart beating, my breathing, the outside sounds of traffic, dogs barking and I feel great. I don’t have to concentrate on the worries of my new widowed life and I forget what’s happening in the real world.  I’m running my first 10k race on Sunday in my husband’s memory for his love of Life and Sport for Kidney Research UK. I know Nigel would have been so proud ….


End of week 5 & Father’s Day

End of week 5 to my 10km Run in Gateshead… and I’ve trained really hard this week. Three c.28 min and 2.7 miles runs Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and then a hard metafit session today Friday. Saturday and Sunday will be rest days…thankfully as I am strugglying with hayfever.

Fathers Day is fast approaching – the first without  my husband / Daddy. Charles aged 9 has made me a card but changed the words to Mother instead of Father.  My youngest Amy aged 7 came up with a great idea to celebrate Fathers Day. We all have to buy each other a present because we can’t give a present to Daddy. So simple. So tomorrow my children are going shopping with Grandma to buy present for me. I’ve already got a couple presents and cards for them. We will be with family during the afternoon so we still need to figure out what will happen in the morning.

Just need to get through this weekend….


Goals Galore!

Goals galore have been started this week!  I now have not one but two incentives (or challenges) in the form of races…..

Earlier this week I entered the Bupa Great North 10km which finishes at Gateshead Stadium on 13 July.  

Today, I completed a 28 minute run (approximately just under 3 miles apparently and there was a large hill to climb around half way – it felt more like a mountain!).  That was the first run outside (ie not on a treadmill in a nice cosy gym) in over 10 years! There was no rain or sunshine so that helped a lot and I also needed a friend to run with me as I didn’t think I could do a run without stopping… She kept me going and at the end of the run I felt exhausted but pleased I had finished it without a stop! 28 minutes of non stop running … hopefully the start of many!

My late husband, Nigel said I should run the Great North Run before I reached the grand old age of 50!  I still have a number of years before that deadline but I thought why wait? I should try and do it in 2014 to celebrate Nigel’s Life and for charity.  So I wrote to the Newcastle Journal earlier this week asking if I could take one of the last 100 places for the Great North Run in September and explained why I deserved a place …. and they said YES!!!! 

So I need to up my training a lot now…

For both runs I will be setting up another just giving page as I am running for Kidney Research UK in memory of Nigel. Think he would be speechless first – Nigel, a former journalist, was never lost for words! – and then very proud!

I’m taking the training challenge slowly at first but am now more focussed as I have less than 6 weeks to train for the 10km and 3 months for the Great North Run. 

My reward will be the odd large glass of Shiraz …..just maybe not at the finish line! 


BUPA North 10km challenge

I decided on 1 June 2014 to enter the Bupa North 10km Run finishing at Gateshead International Stadium on 13 July 2014. I felt I needed a goal to get back on track with my fitness or should I say kick-starting my fitness! 


Excited because of finishing at the stadium will be a great sense of achievement .. hoping I will finish it!

Nervous because I haven’t run outside for over 10 years! I have done the very odd treadmill run in a nice warm gym a few times but normally for only 10 mins…  My training hasn’t started yet … It starts on Friday so I will have just over 5 weeks to train. 

Another reason I am doing this 10km, is because it’s on my Bucketful Of Daddy’s Brilliant Ideas List… in memory of my late husband. The list is never ending… but so far we (including my children) have done so much to celebrate Daddy’s Life. It’s been hard but it’s one hurdle at a time. 

I have my trainers ready so wish me luck…  X