Taking a short break



I never tire of seeing this view as I stagger up the hill out of the woods.


My dearest, darlingest reader,

It is with both regret and relief that I must announce that I am taking a brief break from WordPressing.

Basically, the menopausal mind is a fickle bitch and often, when I come to write, I realise that either a) I have spent most of the week in tears at songs, adverts and cat memes or b) I cannot remember for the life of me what I have been doing this week, but it probably involves crying, wine, or a combination of the two. And probably some cat memes, or me having an attack of the crazies because I cannot find the tiny panda on a page full of snowmen.*

Such things don’t make for particularly interesting reading, do they?

I am also (drumroll please…..!) starting gainful employ as a freelancer on Tuesday. This is my first foray into employment in ten years, and I am both excited and terrified. My current clients seem wonderful, though, so I’m sure I will ease back into working life fairly easily. I’m working from home, part-time, and the opportunity arose just at the right time, almost like Noel Edmonds’ ‘cosmic ordering’ malarkey. I’m not terribly superstitious, but the timing could not have been better and I figured I’d be a grade A numpty not to jump at the chance.

My mornings will be taken up by work; my afternoons I hope will be filled with walks and bike rides and adventuring. I have put on a quite ridiculous amount of weight over the past year (menopause and bad habits, I admit, but also damaging my knee and ending up on crutches last year didn’t help either. And neither did all the cake. Or all the lager.). Although not an official ‘New Year’s Resolution’ (because I hate them), I have vowed this year to look after myself better, get shot of some of this weight, and be a whole lot more active, and I have had a lovely time recently out walking in the woods.


Some people love going to the gym, or Zumba, or martial arts class or whatever. I have realised that I am probably happiest on my own or in a small group, outdoors in nature. I find I can walk for miles just drinking in all the sights and sounds and watching for signs of the seasons changing, and it makes me realise how fortunate I am to live where I do. Richard and the boys have asked if we can climb more mountains this year, and between geocaching and my attempt to stage-walk the John Muir Way (we already have stage 1 in the bag), and Ellis wanting me to walk the Clyde Walkway with him over the course of a long weekend; I rather suspect that I am going to need a new pair of trail shoes soon.

I’ve also signed up for a charity challenge. Yes folks, as if there aren’t enough people asking for money on Facebook, I’ve decided to do it this year too! It’s been two years since I raised over £1,000 for The British Lung Foundation walking The West Highland Way, and I had a break from good deeds last year, so it’s time I pulled my finger out.

I have signed up for the 5 x 50 Challenge which raises much needed funds for Scottish charities through your registration fee, and allows you to fund-raise for a charity of your choice. This year, in honour of my lovely Almost-Mother-In-Law, I will be raising funds for Parkinson’s UK.

The challenge kicks off on March 27th, and entails completing 5k every single consecutive day for fifty days. Yup, that’s 250km, come hell or high water. I am hoping to do a combination of walking, running and cycling, and hopefully even some swimming (although I am pretty rubbish at swimming).

I’ll be setting up a separate category on here – I think I will call it Crazy Pootlathon – where you can follow my journey, laugh at my mishaps and hear me moan and cry about having to go out in the pouring rain; and I’ll link through to my Justgiving and MapMyFitness page where you can keep an eye on my daily routes and times to make sure I’m doing it properly!

2015-01-09 12.25.22

Coming to a pavement / muddy track near you soon…


I am hoping that plenty of fresh air and exercise will help to a) lose some weight and b) improve my mood and c) give me something to focus on when my hormones are going bonkers; and having a team of cheerleaders to follow me and keep me on the straight and narrow would be wonderful. So, you know, you might want to get on board Team Pootle before I start whining on Facebook.

So, blog posts may be no more or, at least, sporadic until March 27th when the challenge kicks off. With the new job, and the meno brain-fog and loss of self-confidence and anxiety, blogging is one less thing to worry about for now. If it’s making me antsy and guilty because I’m not writing, that kind of saps all the fun out of it.

I will, however, still be on Instagram (potterypootle) where I will be drooling over crochet and other clever crafts and microblogging via the medium of pretentious, heavily filtered photography.

*I will read this blog entry back in three years time and I won’t remember what the frig I’m talking about, naturally.


A (rather late) farewell to 2015




My dear reader,

Fondest salutations and my warmest wishes to you and yours on this, the year of our Lord 2016. One hopes that you have had the most wonderful festive season, and that you have eaten your body weight in gloriously unhealthy food, watched hours and hours of television you wouldn’t usually watch, and have responsibly recycled your Christmas Radio Times (the only one you buy all year).

I’m not going to do an extensive round-up of my year, because, frankly, it’s rather too round-robinish and, well, I didn’t do much that would be remotely braggable. I mostly skulked around in varying degrees of angsty, hand-wringing trembly-worry (and that was after the mindfulness course, there really is no hope for me..); though there was a period where I skulked around in angsty, hand-wringing worry on actual crutches after succumbing to a stress fracture just below my knee. That’s what trying to get healthy does for you.

5 things I achieved in 2015

  • I learned to crochet
  • I managed a downward facing dog pose with my heels all the way to the floor
  • I completed an eight week mindfulness course
  • I started helping out with the local scout group
  • I got a job. More about that to follow, I’m sure.

I have also enjoyed some really lovely trips away to Wales, and Yorkshire, and Edinburgh and done what I can to make plenty of happy memories with people that I love and who matter very much to me; and making those memories is the most important thing of all.


Dealing with raging hormones has taken its toll, though. I am feeling old. I am feeling that increasing sense of worry and alarm that life is not a rehearsal and that you can’t go back and do things again, differently. That this is it. Your one shot.

And, my God, life seems to be flying past at the rate of knots at the moment.

So, onwards we go. I’m not going to sit and ruminate on the past. I have a future and, more importantly, I have a now. And so do you.

Wishing you all the very brightest things for the coming year. Treasure what you can, let the rest just slip on by.