My home, the fire and what’s next!

If you have followed my blog you will know that almost a year ago my home was decimated by a fire which began next door.  Just 6 weeks to go then my rebuilt home will be ready to move back.

This should be, and is, exciting.  Problem is the prospect of all the upheaval is rather daunting and comes at a time when my breast cancer treatment, tamoxifen, is living up to its reputation for wearing side effects.

SO!  I have two schemes in place; the first is an imaginary box which accompanies me everywhere.  When an unwanted side effect is being a difficulty I talk to myself  “I, Angela, am fine.  Its the Tamoxifen” and in my imagination the side effect is put into the box, hopefully not to reappear for a while.

Imagination is a wonderful and powerful tool.  Just to convince myself that I, Angela, is alright I have a plan ….I am working towards  the possibility of cycling the final 100 miles of the ancient pilgrimage route, the Camino de Santiago.  This will be to celebrate being 86.  For my 82 birthday my daughter and I hiked the same route

So, watch this space!  #SuperAger

Unusual presents!

For my birthday my friend has gifted me with an unusual present.  The art work, machine embroidery picture, which was used for the front cover of my book How to be a SuperAger has been beautifully framed and is ready to go on the wall in my own home which is well on the way to being rebuilt after a fire last year.

Many years ago I had another unusual present.  While working in Egypt I shared rather grotty accommodation with a Swiss friend. ‘Grotty’ included the fact that our water supply was one dripping tap in the kitchen; please do note – no bath or shower!

It was my 56th birthday and my Swiss friend said we had been invited for coffee at the apartment of some Swiss flight attendants.  The apartment was so handsome, the living room marble floors led to a luxurious bathroom where a bath of steaming water was waiting – the bathroom shelves contained every bath luxury a 56 year old could possibly need.  This was my birthday present – 2 hours to luxuriate in the bliss of hot water, perfumes, bath oils and talcum powder.  The luxuries included a large thermos flask of coffee.

So what has been your unusual present?  Do tell!

With love  Angela.  #SuperAger

Happy Christmas

Always on the lookout for news of those who don’t do ‘Give up itis’ I received a Christmas newsletter from my brother and his partner.

My goodness! it took my mind back to when my brother was born.  WW11 was recently over and we were visiting my grandmother in Egypt.  I was twelve years old and can still feel the giggles when my mother said they were going to Groppis to buy a baby.  Groppis, which I  think still exists, was a rather delicious confectionary shop – and no, they didn’t sell babies.

What they did sell was small wooden crates.  My grandmother bought one, attached rope handles and it became the pram I used to drag my baby brother along the street.

But back to the newsletter.  My brother, now in his early 70s has a chronic form of leukaemia but it hasn’t got in the way of Doing, Being, Living!  He has lived in Australia since a squib of a boy at 6 years old.  A keen sailor he already has some adventures under his belt.  And he still goes out on his yacht – when he is not working.  I think he has something to do with ropes and navigation tackle.

My brother has a motorbike and his partner rode pillion.  But they decided it was time his partner had a bike of her own and they bought a small 250cc Kawsaki.  the bike was pretty old but safe and perfect for a learner.  Now they had bought a 650cc Kawasaki which has more power but is also more comfortable and quicker to get away from the traffic when necessary.

A few weeks ago they set off for an adventure biking to a wedding in Eden NSW 600 klms away.  the outward journey of about 12 hours was done in two stints and the return journey in one day.  they were shattered!  But they did it! Setting age and health problems aside they were Doing, Being, Living.

So what is your Get up and go this month?  Let us all in on your story.  It’s easy to do that just click on ‘contact’. on my website.  Meanwhile, in the rather unsettling times we are experiencing, I wish you the Peace and Joy of Christ; of He who is the reason for the season!

With love.  Angela



So what happened to the writing competitions?

Well! it’s like this – I didn’t find any competitions which fitted my purpose to enter.

So instead I concentrated on marketing my book How to be a SuperAger.  Copies were sent to newspaper columnists who had written about the delights and difficulties of growing older.  Copies were also sent to TV presenters and it is good to be able to record here that Lorraine Kelly of daytime TV took time to send a reply.  Thank you Lorraine, it was really appreciated.

The editor of my local newspaper has also replied, so thank you.

Meanwhile a completely different and terrible subject has been at the forefront of news items; the senseless, mindless murders committed by teenagers on teenagers.  I am sure that it is not only in my generation of older people where dismay is felt.  The horror and fear must be affecting all generations but especially impacting young black children.

In my area we have a growing number of young black people and my experience with them is that they are thoughtful, polite and far removed from the distressing profile portrayed by the constant news items of mayhem and murder.

If you know how to help – please do reply.

With love.  Angela


Does life start at fifty?

Does life start at fifty?  there is not a one size fits all argument to back this idea; but there are some generalities.  Actually, what starts at fifty is the next stage of your life which hopefully has gathered some wisdom from your first half century life events.  If you have reached the Big 50 you are breathing and alive and reading this blog.  that is a good start!

Try this – first give yourself a goal or dream – a useful starting point so that you don’t just drift; unless of course you want to just drift with a little sitting down and a folding of the hands as you gently sigh into a comfy armchair.  But be aware – any wishful thinking may only produce regrets.

It is your mind set that helps you to create this new stage of life, that allows you to go beyond yourself and live out the challenges that this stage in life can bring.

Are you gnashing your teeth and snarling at this blog while thinking that I don’t understand your circumstances?  so true – I don’t.  However my fifties started with no money, as in, there was no money, none at all, no coins down the back of the settee and there was an eviction notice sitting on the table.

And even as I type,this article is being produced in a rental house just two doors away from my own house.  A fire which began next door decimated my home and its contents.  But I am alive and importantly have continued to breathe!

Every stage of life has the potential to create challenges.  and if you are breathing – halleluiah! get going on that goal or dream and enjoy the challenge.

Love  Angela  #superager

The generations meet!

Have you noticed my blog hasn’t appeared for a little while?  If you have noticed then it means you read my blog posts!  That feels like encouragement on this lovely windy but sunny day.

However I need to tell you about another source of encouragement – my granddaughter who at age 24 continually sets herself new challenges.  Not so long ago she went to Sierra Leone to run a half marathon raising funds for a charity involved with children’s work.

Now she is trying to find ways to go back to Sierra Leone to work alongside a local children’s charity.

Meanwhile my granddaughter is going on a surf and skateboard holiday – she has never done either of these activities – ;Just a new challenge to stretch herself.’  This delightful young lady has started cycling from her home in Palmers Green to her office in London; a distance of 24k.

The fire on Mothers Day that ruined my home at times feels like challenge enough.  A more exciting challenge has been the publishing of my first book this year ‘How to be a SuperAger’.  ‘Marketing’ is proving to be a new learning curve and at times feels daunting.

SO! an enthusiastic granddaughter taking on new challenging experiences is just the tonic I needed and reminded me of the theme of my book written for third agers ‘Whatever problems life presents, if a new challenge is accepted, a purposeful new life adventure begins.’

Surfing might be beyond me for sure but I can write.  In collusion with my granddaughter I have committed to enter two writing competitions a month.

Watch this space!!

Have a good day.  Angela


How you talk to yourself matter

How you talk to yourself matters!

Many years ago, as a young army nurse, I worked alongside Doctor Roger Bannister, the 4 minute mile athlete.  He succeeded because he told himself that he could!  After missing out on a medal in the 1952 Olympics he told himself that he could succeed and of course put in the necessary training.  He removed the mental barriers and made the impossible, possible.

So far this year has been  surreal.  first a fire starting in the house next door quickly decimated my home –  on Mothers Day of all days!  Publishing day for my book How To Be A SuperAger was only three weeks away.

While living in a rental house nearby  the postman delivers payment demands.  Mainly for electricity/water use estimates.  And, YES, I had informed them of the fire.  Did anyone take notice?  I leave you to guess as I send out the latest letters to say there is no electricity supply, no water supply.  URGH!

The local council did no better sending out reminders for a bill I did not owe – even issuing a court summons.  Getting in touch with my MP plus some strongly worded emails saw the summons rescinded.

And just in case boredom should set in, a routine mammogram indicated need for a biopsy, which led to a breast cancer diagnosis, a lumpectomy, and a Thank You God moment with the good news that all the cancer was removed.  There will just be the follow up radio therapy etc. There has been dignified positive support from my family and friends.

Like Roger Bannister it matters how I talk to myself. ‘Oh dear the house wont be habitable until the end of November’ changed to ‘By the end of November I will be home’ and I smiled.

Post operative tiredness and worry produced unwanted reminders as I repeatedly told myself how tired/worried/sick I felt. Do you see the pattern?  I was reminding myself negatively instead of affirming the positives.  Like Roger Bannister it was about removing the mental barriers.  Talking differently to myself made a huge difference ‘Thank you’ punctuated my reminders   ‘Thank you the cancer was found early.  Thank you for my amazing family.  Thank you for the friend who drove me to all the hospital visits.  Thank you that I experienced the National Health service at its best.  Thank you to God who provided all the above!  Changing my thinking put a smile on my face – even when I am tired.

It is so easy to put limits on ourselves that don’t have to be true.  Look again at the back cover blurb of my book How To Be A SuperAger – ‘If a new challenge is accepted a purposeful new life adventure begins.

With love     Angela