Just as I smuggly began sharing instagram snaps off my #new year new me early morning jogs, green smoothies and yoga poses, I was cruelly struck down by the dreaded lurgy.
I’m not going to flippantly call it the flu, though I have felt like death warmed up. Your average cough & cold virus certainly seems to hit harder after you hit 40 ! I managed to escape all the ‘back to school’ bugs in September, and even skillfully avoided contracting norovirus of my husband when i ‘poisoned’ him with fresh Oysters last month. It was too good to last. I got that tell tale tickly throat and those overly dramatic sneezes early last week.Then, despite attempting to keep it at bay with echinacea, and manuka honey, within days I was a pale dribbling sofa bound zombie. My partner is still struggling through an extremely lengthly and excruciatingly painful cycle of ‘suicide’ or cluster headaches, which has now been getting gradually worse since late summer- and for which he has no really effective medication.
So, I feel guilty moaning about my ‘illness’. But, It’s still just horrible trying to get the ‘usual stuff’ done, plus some of my hubby’s chores- when you’re running on 15% battery.
It’s not my first rodeo though- and I have found some things over the years, which really work. “Night Nurse” - not any fake cheap version, but the full strength patented, trademarked, ‘kick the heck out of that head cold’ stuff from Boots. The night time capsules really can knock you out at night, with minimal daytime grogginess- and the daytime capsules are just the rocket fuel you need to help you do the school run and just about handle a ‘not too taxing’ day at work. Cups of strong , sweet tea - as many as needed.Honey and lemon in hot water - with calpol ‘SixPlus Fastmelts’ are what we use for the kids, now aged 8 & 10. They're too old for liquid and don't really like tablets- so these are great.
Best trick ever though, we saw online years ago - ‘Magic Socks’. Basically , you smother Vicks Vaporub over the kids ( or your own) feet, then pull on warm socks ,at night. It completely stops the coughing...honestly, it works, try it! I have no idea for the scientific reason, but trust me, it will change your life.
Even if I feel terrible, I try to get at least half an hour of fresh air. Wrapped up in my woolly scarf and bobble hat at the weekend, I braved the frosty air to take the dogs out. My fingers, toes and nose were freezing when I managed to stagger home, but i really enjoyed it. There was a feeling in the air, that snow is on the way! I may be wrong, but I did dig the boys sledges out of the back of the shed , just in case. The new date for Shepton Mallet’s awesome Lantern Parade, is February 1st, so any day apart from then will be fine.
New Year, New me ! Not really, it’s the same old me but hopefully with some pretty major improvements. It’s not only a new year, but a new decade. How scary was it looking back at photos and facebook posts from 2010? It made me realise just how much myself and my partner had been through, and it’s no wonder we’d had a few rough patches along the way. We’d been living in Swedish Lapland in 2010 having just had our first child ( by emergency c-section), I’d gain a lot of weight and was morbidly obese. I then had an ATV crash, and damaged my back and legs. We started a dog sledding business, and ended up with over 40 Siberian and Alaskan huskies. I gave birth to my second child in 2011 in yet another traumatic emergency cesarean) at 10 weeks old he was critically ill with bacterial meningitis, miraculously he recovered, and only has slight hearing loss in one ear.
I’d gained even more weight, and was so big I was referred for a life saving gastric bypass operation in October 2013. A few weeks later , I was hospitalised again for 10 days with complications and required more surgery. I then developed major anxiety and claustrophobia, which worsened when we moved back to the UK in 2014. We’d had to rehome all but two off our beloved huskies. Bearfoor and Ulf, came with us as we relocated to our new home in Shepton Mallet. The boys were only 2 and 4- my eldest struggled as a summer born having to immediately start infant school ( which he wouldn’t have done until aged 7 in Sweden!). We made friends, and were welcomed in to Shepton. In 2015 we got married, and got everything locally. I blogged about “My High Street Wedding” which lead to this regular column. Wayne and I had various jobs before Wayne set up his business My Big Handyman, and I founded Radio Shepton. I struggled with my weight, mental health and Wayne still struggles with his horrific Cluster Headaches. I found that watching my alcohol intake really helps, I went sober for 283 days in 2017, and this year I’m back on Dry January.
It’s crazy to think that this decade won’t be any easier in some ways- the kids will hit their teenage years, and I’m likely to face the menopause! Thankfully I’ve found some things I love though; writing, my comedy ( next Silly Sausage Comedy Night ‘Laugh Away The January Blues’ - is on 11th Jan, The Venue , Wells - tickets £10 ethertickets.com ) including my new ‘clowning’ skills and spoken word, walking, spirituality, gratitude and mindfulness. I’m grateful for the support and love of my family, and If we all stick together- maybe i’ll reach 2030 stronger, slimmer, richer , happier and healthier.
‘Cheers !’ ( with an Elderflower spritzer) to 2020 and beyond.
I'm a 43 year old, mum of two little boys- currently living in Shepton Mallet in Somerset. I'm the Founder and Creative Director of Radio Shepton, a Stand up and comedian and spoken word performer, and write a regular column for The Wells and Shepton Mallet Journal. Which is the basis for my blog usually. I lived in Swedish Lapland for 7 years until 2014 where my boys were born. My partner and I ran a husky dog sledding business. Before that I was a poet, radio presenter, media lecturer, writer, TV producer, actress and burlesque performer ! I never want my life to be boring :)