Summer Thoughts…

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Summer Flowers by Nick 

A light summer’s day poem.

Watercolour Summer Painting

by Nick 

With a few drops of water,

The paper is ready,

Now to add the paint, 

 

Sparkling jewel-like colours,

surrounding me,

on this dreamily sunny day,

 

Light casts shadows,

Beneath the green and white carpet,

Of lush daisy flowers.

 

Sweet scented perfume,

Drifting through the air,

Casting a pleasant aroma,

 

Low flying swifts,

Flying high up in the sky,

Swooping over my head,

 

An Industrious bee,

Hopping from flower to flower,

A gentle drone fills the air,

 

Golden sunlight,

Highlights bark and leaves,

On a silver birch tree,

 

Just the final touch of paint,

Mixing flowers and leaves,

In a watery final.

The View from Southend Pier

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Southend Pier Photo by Nick

One place that’s great to visit on a hot sunny 😎day is Southend on Sea on the Thames Estuary in Essex.

It’s a British seaside resort with an adventure playground, sandy beach, parks, gardens, shops, library and restaurants. 

For me; Southends main attraction is the pier, which is the longest pleasure pier in the world, at 1.3 miles long.

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Fishing boat Photo by Nick

The pier was opened to the public in 1830 and started out at 600 feet long. The pier was originally designed to allow tourist boats to disembark, from London.

As it was deemed too short for this purpose it was extended to 7000 feet by 1848. This distance ensured that it was the longest pier in Europe and would attract plenty of visitors.

A mini train track was laid on the pier and a service for passengers operates every day the pier is open, to and from the promenade.

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The Kursaal Photo by Nick

The Kursaal was one of the worlds first amusement parks. It was opened in 1901 and is a Grade II listed building.

The building was designed by Campbell Sherrin and was constructed with a huge dome.

It started out as a huge fairground and then a zoo was added. Nowadays it’s been converted into a bowling alley, a casino and an amusement arcade.

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Sailing boat Photo by Nick

We had a great day out in Southend and walked along the pier stopping for tea and biscuits in the cafe used to film Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast, TV series.

The pier has been used in a number of films, adverts and TV programs including Minder in the ending credits.

I’d love to hear about your visits to Southend or summer seaside memories. Post your thoughts below for me and others to view.

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Looking towards Southend Photo by Nick

Finding relaxation techniques to help de-stress…

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Photo by Donald Tong on Pexels.com

with fibromyalgia. Although if your reading this without fibromyalgia the techniques are still worthwhile to try; we all need to know how to relax.

The constant pain experienced with fibromyalgia makes every day tasks more difficult to do.

Simple things like preparation of a meal and shopping for food are tasks that become challenging.

I choose simple meals to cook that have a minimum of preparation. Buying some vegetables ready to cook; like butternut squash can speed up prep time and help to avoid struggling to cut them up.

Having my shopping delivered has made a big difference and can help me budget easier.

Like most things you find your own way to getting these jobs done.

My experience….

When I was first diagnosed with fibromyalgia I had pain in my neck and shoulder constantly.

I remember thinking I’d do anything to get rid off the pain.  I was constantly visiting my doctor for help with various ailments, due to fibromyalgia. It was suggested I try physiotherapy.  I went along and was given various exercises to carry out along with relaxation techniques.

The relaxation exercises were really helpful, although it took a while to learn how to do them properly and get some benefit from them.

Why should I try relaxation?

Just the thought of being able to relax can seem out of reach if your in pain. Finding ways to de stress and relax is something that can make a difference.

Our bodies are under a lot of stress constantly and I found this stress had a big impact on how severe the pain was.  When I was able to relax the pain was not as severe.

How do I relax?

There a number of techniques you can try and it’s a good idea to try more than one technique, as you may respond better to certain ones. It’s more beneficial to practice for as long as possible, up to 20 minutes.

What can I try?

Breathing Exercises

To do this properly, find a quiet place you can sit for a while. Start to focus your mind on your breathing. Take long, deep breaths, try not to rush these. Breathe from your belly and focus your attention on the sound and feel of the breath. By concentrating on breathing it can take your mind away from other thoughts. Check with your health professional to see if this is suitable for you, if you have experienced breathing difficulties.

Body Scan

Try this technique by taking a few deep breathes first. Now focus the mind on the body as a whole and scan it from top to bottom for areas that seem tense. Think about each area in turn and imagine each part in turn, releasing tension in the muscles. When you have completed each area. Try another full body scan again, the tense areas should feel much more relaxed. This technique helps your mind to become more aware of areas that need attention.

Mindfulness Meditation 

Taking mindfulness a step further incorporating it into daily meditation practice can encourage the mind to work in a regular pattern.

Mindfulness meditation works by silently spending a few minutes every day thinking about one aspect of the body, such as breathing awareness and acknowledging thoughts.  When they arise and bringing back attention to the breathing. Take a look at my post.

Visualisation Therapy

To carry out this exercise successful you need to concentrate the mind on places and images you find calming and encourage positive thoughts. Looking at photos from the past or remembering places you have visited could help. There are apps that you can download to help with this technique.

Yoga

Yoga is a gentle form of exercise that combines controlled breathing with movement and postures. It’s a good choice if you want to improve your flexibility. It’s recommended to start by joining a group to learn the basic poses. Check with your doctor first to see if they think it’s suitable for you.

Most of these techniques can be carried out almost anywhere to help reduce stress and concentrate the mind.

As with all forms of exercise check with your doctor first it you are not sure if an exercise is suitable for you.

You can find further help and information on the following resources:

NHS Breathing Exercises for Stress

Mindfulness Meditation

NHS Yoga

What’s going on, in my house?

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What’s Going On, In My House? Photo by Nick 

I’ve written a short children’s poem. 

I had the idea recently when I was woken up in the early hours, by rustling coming from some bags containing clothes from the loft.

I like seeing animals but I’m not so sure I would like to be face to face with a wild one, in my home.

After sorting through the bags one by one in the garden no mouse was found.

No explanation can be made other than the contents may have slowly moved position unexpectedly. Other than that the mystery is unsolved….

 

What’s going on in my house?

 

There once was a mouse….🐭

He got into my house 🏠

Rustling around 🐭

I heard him in the night 🌚

I thought he might take fright

Rustling around 🐭

What a sight

This mouse 🐭was alright,

Rustling around 🐭

Was he, Looking for food?🥘

Amongst the clothes👕👖

In my house 🏠

Where has he gone…🐭

Rustling around

Is he, In the garden now?🌷

Of my house 🏠

 

Since writing this the mouse in the house mystery has been solved.

Mice appeared in the house on several nights.

Causing chaos, waking us up and running amok through clothes, in wardrobes, climbing blinds, hiding under the beds and over furnishings.

Luckily not eating any food but getting very close to finding it in the kitchen. I’ve bought numerous containers to store food and clothes in; to stop some of the rummaging.

It’s worrying because they are classed as vermin, we could pick up something from them if they did get into food preparation or eating areas. Every surface has to be scrupulously clean.

We’ve had to stay elsewhere for some nights, to try and get some sleep. Thanks to my kind relative for putting us up for a while, at short notice.

My carer said it feels like we are on holiday. Not because we are enjoying ourselves but because we have had hardly any sleep for ages and feel jet-lagged!

We’re back home now and hopefully we can get to work cleaning up the mess.

As anyone who has had similar problems will know it’s uprooting when something like this happens. 

Let’s hope they are gone for good this time.

Tell me about…Fibro Fog?

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Photo by meo on Pexels.com

Fibromyalgia produces a number of conditions that are part of living with an invisible illness. 

One of these is cognitive dysfunction or Fibro fog. Due to sufferers feeling confused, experiencing short term loss of memory and mixing up words.

Before I was aware I had fibromyalgia I was often told;

‘Your a scatter brain…’

‘Why do I have to keep repeating this to you…You should be able to remember…’

Usually because I’d had forgotten the time I’m meeting someone or instructions about completing a task.

I used to feel frustrated that others had fantastic memories but I had no ability to retain information.

Now I know why, I’ve been suffering from fibro fog.

It’s true most people at some time in their lives have difficulty recalling things but with fibro fog it can suddenly hit you out of the blue.

At it’s worst I’ve found myself standing in front of someone I know and chatting to them as they look familiar but I cannot remember there name or anything else about them!

That’s really embarrassing!!

Or perhaps even worse than this I’ve forgotten to take tablets I need to help me feel better.

I end up remembering to take them days afterwards and feel annoying with myself for forgetting something so obvious.

What’s causing these symptoms?

Probably the most likely explanation of this is due to poor sleep quality. Added to this fatigue and the daily routine of living with pain all contribute to the severity of Fibro fog.

How can I cope better with these symptoms?

It’s been documented that fibromyalgia restricts the blood flow to the brain. Managing pain levels by practicing some  simple relaxation exercises or meditation and mindfulness can help.

When l was first diagnosed with fibromyalgia I had great difficulty relaxing. Learning some simple relaxation exercises helped me to cope better with the pain, and gradually I’ve found my symptoms have improved. I’ve worked out ways to lower my stress levels and experimented with different techniques for improving the quality of my sleep.

Look at my posts on  meditation , mindfulness , sleep exercise and diet. These all play an important part in contributing to our general health and well-being.

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Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

Other ways to remember important information

Making a list of tasks you must do, perhaps keeping a diary or getting a calendar to make a note of important dates.

The most important of all is to not worry about getting things wrong it’s inevitable that we will forget something important. I think we tend to overcompensate for our short comings. Better to get what we can right and accept what we cannot and move on.