Category Archives: Preston

So I had a baby….and lost the blog

Over Christmas 2016 we went to Haslam Park to feed the ducks and this is what we saw:

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It’s so long since I blogged that I’ve forgotten how to put a caption on photos, suffice to say I was never someone who really noted objects….it was always about the garments or shoes….but couldn’t resist the doggy. I’m officially soft since having a child.

Also pink mittens for toddlers are clearly all the rage….not much choice if you have a baby girl. I’m glad I had a little boy – I think the pink overkill would have had me reaching for a Dylon subscription by now!

I captured this at Blackpool Zoo…and I love it.

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It was floating in the penguin pool. Seriously visit Blackpool Zoo. The last time we went was not great. I wasn’t at all pleased, but this time I was heartened, not least by the excellent sea lion demo. The keeper/trainer was fabulous, informative, passionate and encouraging us all to realise that predators are really no threat to animals….we are. He also had an angle on the SeaWorld debacle which came as a total surprise. Despite our global, mutual outrage over Shamu, I had never realised there was a positive side to SeaWorld, at all.

Let’s all strive to be kinder to all living things in 2017. 2016 was a nasty blight on us all. It’s interesting that this piece was written back in the summer….and we were only hal;f way through the year. Pre trump, pre more celebrity deaths, pre countless more attrocities.

I wish you health, love and happiness for 2017.

 

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Lost on Moor Park

I’ve walked round Moor Park a number of times since William was born, probably more so than during the preceding 46 years!

It’s a lovely park which skirts a very beautiful avenue, once home to Preston’s super rich, I imagine, yet now home to consultants’ surgeries, Moor Park High School and Preston College’s annexe, The Park School.

I spotted this purple hand….

Purple Hand!

Purple Hand!

The park has always been a happy place for me although when I once had a personal trainer and was learning how to run, it became a source of discomfort….no loos! There are two public conveniences but both locked following increasing incidences of illegal naughties going on….now, however, some genius has installed one of those all encompassing blocks near the bowling greens – relief!

Sadly some lowlife managed to burn the old building down

The burned out bowling green hire cabin

The burned out bowling green hire cabin

 

……..but they have rebuilt and as I say, installed some new pay as you go loos – oh the relief!

They also have one of those Adidas sponsored exercise areas.

On your marks....

On your marks….

 

Work that body....

Work that body….

 

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like these areas. They remind me so much of the ones you get on the beaches in Spain…so, of course, remind me of being in Spain. I missed it so much last year, choosing not to fly whilst pregnant, but can’t wait to get back there this year to the lovely villa.

I digress…

Moor Park is a lovely place to walk round, you can play tennis, bowls, take a cycling tour, care of a Council initiative, feed the ducks on the pond…or just have a nice sit down.

There’s also an observatory and it breaks my heart to know that it is no longer in use. I would dream of looking up at the stars from there when I was a child and the minute I became an adult, they shut it down and stopped the public viewings. TYPICAL. Someone get Dara O’Briain and Brian Cox on the case!

There’s a car park at the Preston North End end of the park so no excuses for not giving it a whirl – best in the summer and autumn months!

 

Lost in weight-loss

So, many moons ago I wrote that I was treading the streets of Fulwood…..and sometimes the paths of Cumbria, in a bid to lose weight so as to facilitate having a baby.

How the tables have turned – or have they?

Now, having had a baby, I am, once again, having to realise that I need to do some exercise.

The last walk I did when in this frame of mind, proffered forth the highest number of losses in any one walk ever….and I was absolutely sure I’d already blogged them…but I’ll be darned if I can find that blog…so here goes, with an apology for repetition.

 

Lost medical supplies - by Sharoe Green allotments

Lost medical supplies – by Sharoe Green allotments

 

Lost medical supplies 2 - by Sharoe Green allotments

Lost medical supplies 2 – by Sharoe Green allotments

 

Gone off the railings!

Gone off the railings!

 

Lost in Booths Car Park

Lost in Booths Car Park

 

Lost by the hospital!

Lost by the hospital!

 

Lost in Clanfield

Lost in Clanfield

 

Lost with Jeanne Jugan

Lost with Jeanne Jugan

The more I look at these pics, the more I am sure I have already blogged them but I can’t find them so I must be going mad – one of the truer statements relating to becoming a mother – I never really acknowledged how true it was when people referred to baby brain but it’s really quite alarming. I can’t recall conversations I’ve had two minutes ago!

So any Prestonian can see my route – a 3 mile circuit of Fulwood’s main roads – ah yes, getting a lung full of that fresh air ; )

Actually yesterday we did.

We went over to St Annes and walked along the prom, past the old site of the open air baths and to the pier. They are currently restoring the end of the pier by the looks of it, and there’s a lovely new cafe at the end. I say lovely, we didn’t go in, but it looks so quaint and welcoming……bit less full-on than the arcade which you have to plough through before getting back into the open air. I’m a sucker for the British seaside, so piers, donkeys and wind breaks evoke real joy in my heart…..noisy arcades and the constant allure of chips, perhaps not as much!

It was possibly the first bright, sunny afternoon this year that we’ve managed to enjoy a bit of the outdoors…..more of that, please.

Anyway…..in a bid to keep it fresh, I’ll shut up, suffice to say the battle of the bulge is back-on!

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Christmas loss

Another lost soul

Another lost soul

It’s funny how so many gloves find their way on to the railings of a church. Funnier still how the finders, or maybe the elements, point a finger towards the spire…a kind of godly loss?

This fluffy beauty was on the railings outside English Martyrs Church, just outside town, spotted as we took a post Christmas walk up to the Asia Continental Supermarket on Sedgewick Street.

I’ve never been inside the church but just googled them to see if they had a site – it looks very jolly indeed. Having been brought up CofE, in truth, I’ve been inside very few UK Catholic churches and I’m always astounded by how ornate they are by comparison to their protestant counterparts.

Church decor is something which always makes me question the graven images commandment whenever I’m inside one.  St Walburge’s, also in Preston, is a fine example of fabulous church decor, with its splendid stained glass windows and minstrels gallery, the second highest spire in the country and beautiful stone. I’ve no idea if you can gain access for a peek, sadly its parish is all but non existent and I know, years ago, there was an urgent sense of it having to be saved from disappearing as a church per se but if you can get inside, revel in it.

While I find church interiors often quite beautiful in their over the top design, from a spiritual perspective, there can be none more moving than St Martin’s Church in Martindale, in Cumbria. Its serene simplicity, lack of embellishment and ancient design make it an idyllic place to sit quietly and contemplate life’s greater questions.

All that said, as a lapsed church-goer (understatement), for many, many years I ceased going inside churches, as a tourist, after being in Crete one Easter. We took an excursion on Good Friday to a village church, where the presence of so many tourists made it impossible for actual worshippers to attend their own service inside their own local church. I was ashamed to be there, merely to gawp at the interior,when people were trying to get in for more legitimate reasons on the most important day of their religious year.

So I stopped going inside. I missed the Dome of the Rock when I was in Jerusalem, have missed countless divine settings in Europe and chosen to stand outside instead. But I’m going back inside more of them, just choosing my timings and being more considerate, I hope.

On a lighter note, I feel compelled to discuss the Asia Continental – I have to say I love it, although spend far too much on sacks of spices which will go off long before they are used. It’s a wonderful place to find most of your foreign goodies, not just Asian cuisine.

There’s also a really good fresh fruit and veg section with a good range of everything from the pedestrian to the exotic, but best of all, for us, if you’re someone who makes jams or chutneys, you can buy stuff by the crate!

Perfect for when you’re whipping up a batch of Moro’s harissa or Mrs Balbir Singh’s mango chutney – I think it’s her recipe we use (?)!

Lost in weight management!

Preston College drop out

Readers of the lost blog will be au fait with my current weight loss antics. It started as a cursory trip to a fertility clinic for what I’d thought was an introductory meeting about whether or not, should we need help, my husband and I could be considered.

To recap – we’ve been pregnant once but sadly I miscarried. That occasion is long gone but in the absence of another pregnancy, and my increasing age, I was sufficiently concerned to enquire about help.

In the event of our needing help, the doctor said the NHS would not assist because I am in need of weight loss. It’s all based on BMI.

He referred me to a dietitian, except that two appointments came through – one for a weight management course, and the other for a one-to-one consultation with a dietitian…both on the same day!

The dietitian was great. I have a problem with portion size, and ratio of food groups on the plate. Added to this, I work from home, get far less exercise than I did three years ago and am probably dehydrated most of the time. All this adds up to one thing – obesity. No, before all my dear friends cajole me into thinking I am not, I am – FACT! But it’s the BMI thing which is irksome. While a health professional, by which I mean trainer/fitness bod talks muscle being heavier than fat, the fertility clinic see only weight. So I can be 14 stone of lean ripped muscle (in my dreams) or I can be 14 stone of rippling flab (in my reality), the outcome is the same – too big a BMI.

I am therefore, on a quest to shift it, except I had a total meltdown this weekend. Tears, endless tears, of frustration and oh what’s the point-ed ness. I feel like I’ve been on a diet my whole life, one which I fall off every day. And then you see programmes advertised on Channel 5 or Sky or some other crudsville channel – my morbidly obese he-Dad/she-dad is having a baby and think to yourself WHAT IS THE F***ING POINT??

I do not judge, but I do feel resentment.

I have blood tests, an MMR jab, a massive dose of some weird drug which made me cry for 5 days for no apparent reason whatsoever to combat my inner bacterial imbalance, I have had a smear, swabs and now the weight management course, which I must attend weekly for 6 weeks…..and I look around and children are dropping children, fat people are procreating….at one point 9 of my friends were/are pregnant…and sometimes it all just gets a bit much. So all of you will have to forgive the bitter ramblings of a fed up old hag…and to add a totally baseless sexist side to it all…it feels like it’s all me and that my husband can just sit back and wait for it all to happen.

The weight management course is hilarious. Initially I had fears that I would be feeling like an extra on the Jeremy Kyle show but it’s nothing like that. The slimmest woman from week one worked at KFC, she didn’t come back for week two.

We’re all women. I asked if this was on purpose and the nice man who takes us said not, but more often than not, only women ever come. The men apparently turn up to the first one then never return.

It’s all very chilled. The emphasis is on dissuading you from counting points, having red or green days and seeing any food as forbidden. It’s all about redressing your relationship with food.

Week One – classically what I’d said to my dietitian was said back to me at the class later the same day – I bet all of you had childhoods where food was a reward, a way to celebrate or commiserate….spot on. I do not blame my folks for this at all but it’s a good explanation.

The weekend and my emotional turmoil was testimony to that. I had a cream scone, bought (but didn’t eat) some Lindt Pistachio, and ate ice cream, all for the first time in weeks…plus we had two barbecues….a meat overdose.

My dietitian would probably think all his words had fallen on deaf ears while the weight management guy would comment that a little of what you fancy is OK….just don’t do it this every day.

So we’ll see. But for now I am treading the streets of Fulwood, or walking and running at intervals around Moor Park. I come home and cannot function. My legs ache, my back aches and I’ve never known knackerisation like it. Contrary to myth, it does not make me sleep.  I actually think it pumps so much adrenaline around my body that I wouldn’t sleep for days then suddenly I just crash and am snoring like a blocked drain on the sofa in front of the crucial episode of Mad Men that I wanted to see.

Rahhhh.

So fellow women on the same quest for motherhood, I salute you, I commiserate, I feel your frustration, heartache and bepissed off-ness. To the partners of the women going through any/all of this thanks for being there and putting up with the endless crap which comes out of our mouths.

To my readers, please do not read any of this as a cry for help or an invitation for sympathy. This is catharsis, this is my confessional. I am what I am and I know it, and you, who know me, know it.

So, onwards and upwards. Another week. I must try to factor in exercise…it’s where much of it falls down. Take me away from this infernal machine to which we are all addicted as our arses swell and engulf the chairs upon which we perch.

Here are the pics from my first trip around the block.

2 gloves on Garstang Road - non-matching

The cap outside Preston College was the first and then a rush of losses…these two mismatched!

The beckoning glove on Garstang Road

I love this pic. Usually I really don’t like utility gloves, they’re everywhere but I liked how this one seemed to beckon…and matches one of the mismatched ones from above!

Checco's crocheted hat

I’d be so annoyed if I lost this crocheted beanie. It was really pretty. It stayed there for 4 weeks…….which is the norm round these parts. People of Preston, and those just passing through, eat at Checco’s, it’s truly lovely and the food is scrummy.

Lost shoe - first position

Lost shoe - second position

Lost shoe - third position in fuzzy vision!

As the phrase goes – that is all!

Lost sweater makes a splash!

So anyway, I’m not the best football fan the world ever saw but I usually know where abouts my team are in the league and this year, I think it’s fair to say, they reside near the bottom of the table.

My team?

Preston North End.

I grew up on the same road as Sir Tom Finney, the consummate gentleman, a true hero and an all round good guy.

As some of you will know I work one day a week at Design Force Associates and I took Rachel, one of the design team, home one day to show her my new house. I know she knows about my lost obsession but I didn’t think she’d be so into participating, so much so that these pics were taken probably 7 or 8 months ago, I totally forgot about them and she had to remind me to blog them yesterday!

I wish it hadn’t just been some random sweatshirt draped over his head but some North End top, either way it reminds me of the time our local postmistress managed to get hold of one of Mike Elwiss’s shirts for my sister. To say she was in raptures is an understatement.

I have a love/hate relationship with PNE. On the one hand I had a season ticket for about 6 years from I would say 9-15 years old. And you never lose that fidelity. Twenty odd years later my ex’s team, West Ham, played us in the league. We beat them….twice…..then they utterly trashed us in the play-offs. On the other hand, their game hadn’t changed in all those years, a bit like watching England play and wishing they had the attacking balls of a South American team, the artistry, the skills, the sheer showmanship!

 

Lost on the way to the station

Three weeks ago a visit to the hospital confirmed that I need to lose 8kg. Yes it’s as precise as that. In those 3 weeks I’ve lost 4lbs – it’s rather embarrassing really. When I did Weightwatchers years ago I lost half a stone in my first week alone. It seems the older you get the harder but I don’t see why.

In the meantime I work from home so it’s 10 feet from my bed to the office door…so no walking to work, walking in and out of the office, climbing the office stairs or wandering off to clients…maybe I’m just too sedate, added to which I used to walk every Sunday in the Lakes and would never do less than about 4 hours walking …..which of course is how the Lost Blog started.

Now I’ve met the man of my dreams, finally married and am wanting to start a family. I had a miscarriage 18 months ago and genuinely feel that weight has been a whole new ball park ever since. Initially I piled on weight after it. I don’t know if your hormones are going nuts having geared up for a baby and then they have nowhere to go but trying to shift that weight gain is proving such hard work.

Things that I knew were sure fired weight loss winners just don’t seem to have the same success. In the past if I lived off fish and green veg for a week I’d lose 10lbs…now I’m really struggling so the first thing I’m trying to combat is getting some walking in.

OK so it’s an hour round the block, it’s not five hours up Dollywaggon Pike but it’s a start. Things which strike me most….

  1. The people of Preston lose a lot of stuff – each route is averaging about 4/54 losses
  2. The dog owners of Preston have no pride – the pavements are poo central
  3. I always feel more knackered from an hour on the pavements than I ever did from five hours up the fells

So…to the losses, this was a route which took me down Garstang Road (A6) into town via Moor Lane to the railway station.

Ah, Mr Booze is where I had my first gallery - Guapa

Primary school sweatshirt from a school I've never heard of!

The amateur blur of this poor pic only makes the scene more macabre!

Another fuzzy vision glove from the other side? Outside the former Spiritualist Church on Moor Lane.

Cycling glove? Was rubberised and scuba's not got many opportunities in Preston dock!

Non descript hat outside BT on Moor Lane

 

Hat on Hill Street Car Park as hubbyllicious looks on.