Being Forty

I turned 40 the other day. It came as quite a shock. I wasn’t expecting that much vomit.

Yes, in a sequence of events so crappy it could have been a verse in Alanis Morrisette’s “Ironic”, a day that was to contain magic, dancing and celebrations became a day of projectile vomiting, sweats and mumbled apologies.

I have no idea what happened. It could have been food poisoning. It could have been a 24-hour bug with really bad timing. At 7.00 on the morning of my birthday I was in the bathroom praying to the great porcelain god. As the day progressed, so did the illness and I ended up propped up on my mother, in the street, decorating the pavement like a drunk on a Friday night. Not a good look for someone who has been teetotal for nearly two years. And I threw up all over my nice new green dress. Don’t worry Barenaked Ladies fans, it’s not a real green dress (that’s cruel).

Being confined to bed and bucket on your birthday inspires much deep thinking. “Life is short” “Life is really short” “I’m going to die very soon.” “I WANT MY MUM!!” As the symptoms eased so did the melodrama, but I was left with a reminder that you never know what’s around the corner so that “living for now” business really is a good idea. It got me thinking about my future, my ambitions and creativity. The art materials gathering dust, the lack of blog posts and the general neglect of something that means a great deal to me.

So what does this mean? Well, it means as I ease myself into my forties I’m going to try to keep the creativity up; blog more, paint more, knit and play. I’m going to try to honour my ambitions and enjoy every minute of life, because rumour has it that now I’m 40, life has begun. Onwards!

Pre-Op Ramblings – Part One

After years of trying and failing to lose weight by various means, I am now going for surgery. Gastric Bypass may seem an extreme solution to those who believe weight loss is simply a case of not cramming cakes in your mouth and moving more than once a week, but to those who fight the good fight every damn day, it’s a lifeline. After meeting other patients, speaking with experts and doing research, I believe this is the best chance I have of undoing the damage I have sustained over the last couple of decades and finally giving myself the life I deserve.

This is not a magic bullet

I am not by any means deluding myself into thinking that weight loss after surgery will be a breeze. I know that at first, it’s going to be tough – six weeks before I’ll be able to eat solids and then I’ll have to be really careful with what I eat and how much I have. I’m doing as much reading as I can about pre-op preparations, the procedure itself, and how life will change afterwards. It’s scary, but the payoff is worth it (as long as I put the work in).

I am going into this with an open mind, but fully aware of the risks. The bypass operation is quite a common procedure these days, and the hospital I’ll be going to (Musgrove Park in Taunton) is considered a Centre of Excellence and the surgeons are known to be the best in their field. So I’ll be in good hands.

What Happens Next

The lovely people at Exeter Medical Obesity Service have been looking after me for the past year. Now the Clinical Lead has given the go-ahead to continue, I shall be spending a few months carrying on as I have been, trying to lose weight with the support of their dietitians and getting exercise advice from their physiotherapist.

In three months’ time the people in charge will meet to discuss if I qualify for funding through the NHS. If that all goes well then I’ll be referred to Musgrove Park for a range of tests to see if, among other things, I’m able to cope with being under general anaesthetic. Then, if that’s all OK, I’ll go on the waiting list. Still quite a way to go then, but I’m getting there.

Two Years as a Randall

Just a quickie before I fly off to work, but today is our second wedding anniversary. Two years of saying “No, it’s spelled R-A-N-D-A-L-L”.


Many things have changed in the last two years. We moved to another part of the country, and parts of me are gradually disappearing…


But one thing will never change. The glorious, fun, life-affirming, daft and loving relationship I have with my husband.


Happy anniversary, hubster. I love you.

Things I wouldn’t have done a year ago. Part One.

  • Owned gym equipment.
  • Used gym equipment.
  • Photographed myself after using gym equipment.
  • Uploaded photo to Flickr.

The post-workout glamour shot

Funny how life can change, isn’t it? Yep, this is me after half an hour on my gravity walker. Worked out to the usual selection of tunes then switched over to my latest acquisition, the soundtrack to the glorious Ashes to Ashes.

*sniff* Hm. Best get a shower.

2007 leads to 2008

So, there went 2007, and here’s 2008.

It’s been an interesting sort of a year for us. When 2007 arrived, we’d only just moved to Devon, and had sort of theoretically started new jobs, but not quite. In the space of a year, I’ve settled happily into the new job, while Sam’s been through a few of them. We’ve lost a cat, and Sam’s lost a grandmother and eight stone. Her mum had cancer, and then didn’t again.

Speaking of my work, I’ve had a couple of successful projects there – PenFinder and Pencyclopedia, along with enjoying the general day-to-day stuff.

We haven’t finished getting our old house sorted out for selling yet, but we’re getting there. It’s at the stage now where we can get other people to do things, rather than us having to drive over 200 miles each way every time to do a bit more on it. Sam has arranged for some nice house clearance people to visit on Wednesday, meeting her mum there, to quote for emptying it. Then we can have it cleaned, have some repairs done, and get it redecorated. Once all that’s done, hopefully someone will give us some money for it, and we’ll be able to stop throwing away money on rent and mortgage for a house we don’t use any more.

A year ago, I had a little Canon Ixus camera, and Sam had an old Nikon compact. Now, we both have Nikon D40 DSLRs, so we can do a whole lot more photography. I have a 55-200 VR lens, in addition to the kit lens, and a Gorillapod for even more options.

At the start of the year, we’d pretty much given up on the idea of PigPog being anything much more than our personal place on the web, but PigPog hadn’t given up on it yet. We’ve changed that in a few stages over the course of the year, so it’s admitting to being a personal home page now. More catblogging, less attempts at being the world’s number one resource for anything to do with being creative. It’s a step down in a lot of ways, but at least it’s realistic.

Thanks to my parents, we have a new car, which should make exploring Devon more fun. Our old car struggled with some of the hills. Our new Honda CR-V seems to quite enjoy them.

That was 2007 – what about 2008? I don’t really go for resolutions. I’ll probably aim to be less fat than I am at the moment, but I’ve been slowly heading in that direction for a while. Nothing like as fast as Sam is, but I’m happy as long as I keep heading in the right direction. Like almost all bloggers, I’ll plan on blogging a lot more, but I probably won’t actually keep it up. I’ll probably try to get better at actually doing things, rather than just putting them on lists and moving them around. I’d like to spend more time taking photos, and to get better at getting them processed and shared.

In the end, though, I don’t mind too much if things don’t change – I’m enjoying life as it is. My work is fun, Devon is fun, and, most importantly, Sam is fun.