It’s that time again. I know it’s coming. How? I have started to use the thinning scissors again. I’ve got really thick hair so it gets to a point where I have no option but get it thinned out. The…

Source: Is it just me ….. or: hairdressers

Image: hair cut trauma

Say no to haircuts!

It’s that time again. I know it’s coming. How? I have started to use the thinning scissors again. I’ve got really thick hair so it gets to a point where I have no option but get it thinned out. The thing is they won’t just do that. They have to wash it, condition it, massage your bloody head (I have no idea why they do this, it doesn’t DO anything), cut it, thin it, blow dry it and then on top of all that, you have to make small talk.

I understand that a lot of women find this relaxing and enjoy the whole experience. I don’t, which is why, when my hair starts to look wider than it is long, I reach for the thinning scissors and then attempt to cut a bit off the bottom in a straight line (easier said than done). Once I’ve completed my beautification session I usually end up wondering why I didn’t just go to the hairdressers. Every time, I do this every single time. Last time I thinned and chopped it so much my left ear was clearly visible through my hair but my right ear wasn’t.

So, I guess I will have to go. I don’t have a hairdresser either. I pick one at random usually based on whether you can be seen from the outside. I hate having my hair titivated. I hate the fact that you end up with some kind of bouffant hair-do that you immediately then have to wash when you get home. I hate the hairdryer. I panic when the ‘any plans for the weekend’ discussion starts. I feel the need to make something up that sounds cooler than what I will really be doing – walking the dog, eating crap, watching TV, gardening. Like err ………. Clubbing! Ha. Who am I kidding? Last time I went clubbing people were still sporting shoulder pads and acid washed jeans and dancing to Kajagoogoo.

I’ll probably make an appointment soon(ish)  … no need to rush :). Now, where did I leave those thinning scissors……….

breakthestereotypeI’m amazed at how many women wish they could ditch their dinner lady arms, fat tummies and thighs yet are afraid to lift weights in case they end up with looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger. This cannot happen unless you train to look like that, eat a hell of a lot of protein and and take supplements specifically so you can look like that and it takes years.

Strength training holds incredible benefits such as:

  • building muscle mass
  • improving performance
  • burning fat
  • strengthening bones
  • preventing injury

With benefits like that, it’s a wonder more of us aren’t lifting. For those of you who haven’t tried weight training before, here are a few tips to get you started.

Form, form, form!
In strength training, form is everything. Proper form ensures that not only are you targeting the correct muscles, getting the most out of the exercise, but that you’re guarding yourself against injury.

Don’t be too fancy
What I mean by this is – stick to the basics. As with anything, there is a huge variety of strength training moves you can perform. Don’t get tempted to be doing all types of advanced compound movements right away – you’ll get there. Stick to the basics to begin with. They’re timeless classics and will deliver results just the same.

Here are some classic moves to incorporate into your routine.

  • squats
  • lunges
  • dead-lifts
  • curls
  • rows
  • presses
  • pull downs

Build up your strength
Focus on getting stronger, not performing a ton of reps. If you focus on getting stronger, you can gradually increase weight while keeping your form in tact. You should lift at a weight where you are only able to complete 5-10 reps so that you can set a solid foundation and build strength for different types of workouts.

Don’t believe the myths
By lifting weights, you will NOT get “bulky” or “manly.” Extra fat is what makes women appear bulky, not muscle! Muscle burns fat, so by building muscle, you will begin to shed more fat. That means, you’ll looked more toned. Not like a rugby player. Try to keep away from the scales for a while. They will do your head in at first.

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed …… most things in life don’t happen overnight. Stick to strength training to see results. It takes time, but is worth it.

Be Proud
I know that making your way to the weight area can be intimidating. I’ve felt it but don’t let that get in the way of your workout. The only way to deal with the intimidation factor? Just go do what you came to do. Listen to your music, be in your zone. You’ll get more comfortable. All that matters is you’re in there doing your best. I’ve also found that there are a lot of guys willing to help if you ask. Don’t be intimidated.

Follow a programme and keep a log
Ask the experts if in doubt. This will also help you commit to your goals and stay on track. You can arrange a personal trainer session or, if you’re looking to save money, review some of the sites online, there’s plenty of them and some have great video tutorials to follow.This is one of my favourites:-

Keeping a log also means you can see how you are improving. I keep a log of my sets, how much I can lift and my measurements.

Enjoy it
You’re doing something so great for your body. Weight training is satisfying and fun. Embrace the burn and enjoy the process.

So, have I convinced you? Let me know how you get on!

SF out.


This is my great great great great great grandfather. He was a neoclassical painter from Germany of Bohemian origin. I have no idea what that means but I’m hoping Bohemian means something hippy, zen and a bit gypsy-like. He was obviously a dog lover too. I’ve definitely got some of his genes ;).

Here’s his bio:

JohannZoffany with dog, Roma

Johann Zoffany with dog, Roma


Jim with his bowls

Jim with his bowls

Today is my dad’s birthday. He would have been 90. He died in 1992 from stomach cancer after a life dotted with health issues all stemming from a very poor beginning in life. Not that he ever complained. That was probably what killed him. He didn’t like to let anyone know he was suffering and always tried to turn everything into a joke, even the most blackest or darkest situation. He was a really wonderful man and I miss him as much now as I did when he died. I find that I think about him almost every day, usually when I am behaving most like him. Over the years I have come to realise, I truly am my father’s daughter and I wish he could be here so I can show him he succeeded in his mission to bring us up as normally as possible, despite our problems.

He would always be on the lookout for an opportunity to turn something he’d found into something wonderful. That’s how it seemed to me as a child anyway. He was the ultimate recycler. He’d find a way to re-use things most of us today would laugh at. He hated throwing things away. The best place in the world to be with my dad was in his shed. Dad’s shed was a magical world to me as a child. It smelled of grass, oil, tobacco and compost. I remember onions hanging up ripening (I am guessing) in pairs of mum’s old tights, held up by old nails. He had shelves of little tiny jars of paint for touching up radiators. He had things with windy handles, putty, bags of cement, bricks, car parts and I don’t know what else! It fascinated me.

We used to collect seeds from the garden from late summer on. It was my job to collect them in brown envelopes and write on the front things like ‘marigolds, mixed, right border, sew april’, ‘cosmos, tall, pink, put near coal scuttle, sew may-july, deadhead often’. I had no idea what some of this meant at the time or how he knew these things, he just did. I wish I had asked him or could ask him now.

Receiving a salesman of the year award

Receiving a salesman of the year award

He had a vegetable garden too and he won a few first prizes at the horticultural shows. He grew tomatoes, beetroot, potatoes, lettuce, mint, onions, cabbage, swede and all sorts. I remember his favourite thing was to pick beets and cook them in a huge pan. We would eat them with our Sunday tea with ham and big chunks of bread smeared in butter. I have never tasted beetroot like his since.

If he found a pretty or strange looking stone in the garden he would declare ‘ That’ll make a nice necklace for your mother’. He would spend hours in the shed preparing the stone, find something to set it in (usually a washer!) and either add a pin or a chain for it. He’d present it to mum as a gift. I used to think it was wonderful that he had made this thing from stuff he found. Mum wasn’t quite so keen (at the time I thought she was most ungrateful) but she’d kiss him on the cheek and say ‘you are the original Dust Hole Fairy’. And he was too. He was the only man I know who would come back with more than he went with to the rubbish tip.

I never knew a more gentle, kinder, funnier man than him. Love you dad, miss you dad. Wish I had  the chance to tell you once more how truly wonderful you were. RIP James Edward Morland. I will see you again one day.

but apparently there could (could!!) be an Easter egg shortage in the shops. Fucking hell …….. noooooooooooooo!!!!! Quick! Run! Get to the shops! Before it’s too late! How will we ever survive without Easter eggs?

The cynical amongst us could conclude that …………

the supermarkets are not selling as many eggs as they thought and have over-subscribed on the old egg front so need you to think there’s a panic.

Course, you could do what I do, melt down a load of chocolate buttons and put them in a mold and make your own.

Easter bunny with attitude

Easter bunny with attitude

Or, do like I did last year, just eat the buttons and miss out the whole egg thing entirely! Nom nom!

It’s how I like to celebrate my pagan festival. So go bite the head off a bunny (chocolate of course) or if you want to acknowledge the religious thing, grill yourself a hot cross bun or three.

Happy Easter! I’m off to watch Life of Brian. Here’s a great clip. Enjoy!

SF out

I was looking for something on motorcycle theory tests on YouTube yesterday. I don’t know if you do this but sometimes, even though I’m looking for something in particular,  I like to just let YouTube taken me on a random trip, a road trip I could say (ha). So, I let it happen. I ended up watching videos of two of my favourite (and funniest in my opinion) stand-up comics. One, Billy Connolly and the other Dave Allen. Everyone who came after were just imitators. So here are the two men in action :).

An Audience With Billy Connolly

And Dave Allen: