Traffic jams on Monday

Posted: September 4, 2017 in Uncategorized

A tiring but good day. Started off with my usual habit of waking up early but then it was a bit different. I was wide awake from around 3am till 4:30am. At 4:30am I decided to have the dreaded extra 5 minutes in bed and unsurprisingly woke up an hour later at 5:30am and quite a bit later than I wanted to. The reason for my wanting an early start was to avoid the traffic jams on the way to university at Huddersfield, there are road works for a year on my way to Huddersfield and knowing how bad it can be without them I decided to set off as early as I could. As it turned out I needn’t have worried. Apart from the usual morons pulling into my lane of traffic at the last minute it was uneventful and stress free. Consequently, I arrived at university in plenty of time for my meeting at 9:30am but this meant I could relax and catch up on emails and stuff. I’m doing a Masters by Research in Education. The good thing about this is I have a free, creative rein on what I can do. The bad thing is I have no structure to follow so I got some books from the library on how to write a Masters dissertation to give me some much needed ideas! I also looked up ontology. Although I’ve a degree in sociology and the terms ontology and epistemology are familiar to me I have always had a problem understanding ontology and just exactly what it is. Well today I finally came to an understanding of ontology. Epistemology is the understanding of knowledge and how we come to know things. Ontology questions what things are for instance what is a car and what does it mean to people. The epistemological stance would be what do we know about cars and how have we come to accumulate that knowledge. As with most things philosophical this is my interpretation and it may differ to someone else’s interpretation, but I’m happy with what I’ve got now and can make progress with my dissertation. My meeting went well and soon I was back on the road home. Out of Huddersfield to Ainley top everything was fine and my journey went without a problem. Then I hit traffic, traffic tailed back because of the road works that will take forever. For the next hour and a half I crawled along a mile of road with other equally frustrated road users all consigned to having to bide their time until they get through the road works. Maybe it was my sense of resignation and the knowledge that I couldn’t do anything about my situation but the hour and a half passed reasonably quickly. I have been stuck in traffic jams for shorter periods and it felt a lot longer. I thought about the traffic in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo where traffic jams can reach over 100km in length. Wouldn’t it be easier to just drive to work on a Monday and stay there till Friday? To Sainsbury’s for petrol and food and then home. And today I re-potted some plants for the first time ever! Whether they will survive or not remains to be seen but I am so pleased with myself and hoping that they will. End the day watching TV, University Challenge and Have I Lied to You. All in all a good day.

Shibden Wall Sunday

Posted: September 3, 2017 in Uncategorized

The usual sleep and then waking up at a stupid hour and lying there thinking about anything and nothing. Still managed to get up early for a run except I sort of sat at the laptop just staring at the screen and doing nothing. Eventually managed to get changed and went for a run and it was a good run. The pace was nothing exciting but I ran from home down to Halifax and back home via the infamous Shibden Wall with just one stop for water and a gel. Starting to feel good again with my running and the strength is starting to come back. Next Sunday is the Torkshireman Half a tough local half marathon of 14.7 miles (a Yorkshire half) up and across the moors above Haworth and Oxenhope. Looking forward to it although I’ll be happy just to get round. Home and something to eat followed by a bath and some housework. Then a bit of a relax and now sitting down to watch Dragons Den. Early start for me tomorrow as I’m in university for a meeting with my supervisor followed by home and more transcribing of interviews.

Parcel Saturday

Posted: September 2, 2017 in Uncategorized

So the morning after the night before. Sleep was got eventually a welcome relief from the light coming through the curtains. Halifax parkrun for another day of volunteering and watching people achieve their dreams and do more than they thought they could. Home and the wait begins for a parcel to arrive. Waiting can be so tiring. Back to doing my Masters. Need to get back into it or I risk losing more time, time I haven’t got to lose. It goes well. Finish analysing my first interview only two more to transcribe and analyse now but I can do it. No more thinking about it just do it. Parcel comes and it’s a miracle, everything fits and is good. Down to Tesco’s and put the lottery on, buy some stuff and forget to take a carrier bag down with me yet again. TV is crap tonight, that bad I watched F1 qualifying while wondering what to do tonight. Watch X-Factor or read some poetry or a short story. I know what most people would say!


Posted: September 1, 2017 in Uncategorized

The night wins the battle yet again. The battle of whether I sleep or not. It is a battle it almost always wins unless I blot out life and reality or until I breath my last and close my eyes for one last time. I admit defeat and move my weary body yet again on this long, long day. Twenty four hours has become forty eight and there is still more to go. I read some Ted Hughes, if I am awake I may as well make the most of it and I feel something reawakened deep inside, something that has been dormant for too long and needs to be brought to life once again. The heating hums its single tune, no wonder I cannot close my eyes and dream. The air is warm and dry devoid of cold moisture that could help me go to other places. I get up and go downstairs to eat the goodness of another, I shouldn’t eat it but I need it, my mind and body conditioned to eat it by years of socialisation from others. Of all the hopes I have tonight the one of closing my eyes and sleeping is the one that keeps me going.

Words of Praise and a Poem

Posted: August 15, 2017 in Uncategorized

Source: Words of Praise and a Poem

Rachel has got married and is on her bike already!


I’ve just married my best friend. Well, he’s more like an upgrade on a best friend – the deluxe version. He’s the front-facing table seat in quiet coach C on the Grand Central from Halifax – London… first class (of course.) He’s the 12mm luxury underlay as opposed to the 10mm more reasonably priced alternative (yes – we are currently shopping for carpets, and yes – we want the Gav quality “it’ll be like walking on a bouncy castle” option). He’s the Marks & Spencer’s weekly food shop, although admittedly, Aldi do some excellent fresh produce. (And £3.10 for a Pink Lady apple? It does come in a M&S protective polystyrene tray, although I’m quietly confident it would survive the 3-mile car journey home without.)

The last time I had a real best friend was in my teenage years. We did everything together, Jo and I. She’d get on my…

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Gallery  —  Posted: August 14, 2017 in Uncategorized

Can running save your life?

Posted: August 2, 2017 in Uncategorized

a heart warming blog about the friendship around the fell running community


It is a phrase that has often been said, running saved my life. A dramatic statement and at risk of becoming a cliché, but how much truth can there be in it, can running save your life?

Over recent weeks I have given it a lot of thought. I’ve talked about mental health before on this blog and it is an issue close to my heart that in my view cannot be talked about enough.  The past year or so has been hard personally, a relationship breakdown and health problems gave me a mental battering.  Some days have been really dark, I’m not ashamed to admit that I became really scared for the future at times and totally lost my way for a while.  The one thing that somehow managed to remain constant through it all was my need to get out and run.  Yes there were days when I…

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Rachel becomes a cyclist!


It’s only gotten worse, this recent and sudden-onset impulsion I have to transform myself into a cyclist. I look at my newly-padded ass in the mirror (I now own two pairs of Beyoncé-inspired cycling shorts) and I don’t know who I’ve become.

We broke off at my cycling the equivalent of a 1000-piece 101 Dalmatians jigsaw, did we not? This was the 16-mile local hilly route I ventured on with my trusty Trek 2010 front-suspension mountain bike, incorporating the infamous Ripponden Bank in granny gear (without getting off to push, I might add.)

Well, since then I’ve taken to wearing cycling jerseys around the house. In fact, I’m currently sitting in my long-sleeved zip-up DHB spotty number, and if I glance to my left, I can see two spare aero wheels* sitting underneath the lounge window (yes, I can – proof below), these having recently been changed over on my…

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Gallery  —  Posted: August 1, 2017 in Uncategorized

My good friend Winston Plowes wrote this thoughtful poem

A very inspiring blog from Rachel Cullan on saying no to anxiety and beating the demon within


The Dream Stealer 

What does anxiety feel like?

It’s a daily battle with the Dream Stealer.

It rears its head like one of the ugly, mean giants sprawled across The BFG’s hillside.

It’s a cat pawing at a cornered mouse; a bully taunting the vulnerable kid at school. It’s always there, lurking in the background, ready to rouse and pounce, paw and taunt. You just don’t know when.

It laughs and says, “You can’t!” when otherwise, you might have – just possibly – dared to consider that you could.

It prepares you for the worst, even when the worst is unfeasible.

It paints a picture of a scary, doomed outcome on even the brightest and sunniest of days.

It makes you fear the outcome, kiboshing the journey to even get there.

It’s your heart suddenly beginning to race in a supermarket aisle; your chest pounding when sitting motionless, that nobody sees.

It’s fight or flight that won’t switch off – on constant repeat. Only there is no one to fight, and no need to take flight.

It’s teetering on the edge of a cliff, about to jump off. But…

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Gallery  —  Posted: July 22, 2017 in Uncategorized