The most unlikely topic or so I thought #Nashville

I honestly never thought I would be writing about one of my favourite programmes right here on my blog. #Nashville has been one of my favourites ever since it began, I knew I would either love it or get bored and guess what I love love love it.

I adore a good old acoustic sound and I long to play the guitar – please don’t get me started this subject could be talked about until the end of time and I still haven’t managed to get a guitar tutor.
Anyway enough of that the reason this fits the bill is because of the cancer storyline that has been one of the major focus points in season three. Seeing cancer stories on TV is hard as TV is supposed to be where you chill out and escape for a while. I do still get that from Nashville with the music (which is amazing) but what I must applaud the writers for is how well they write it. Now anyone in the states who has already seen series three no spoilers as that’s one thing I cannot tolerate, and as the series hasn’t finished yet I do not know the outcome.

This weeks viewing was hard but real and that’s why these storyline’s happen. Deacon was attending a huge fundraiser when he gets a call about a donor for his liver transplant. Life changes and Deacon, Rayna, Scarlett and Maddy are excited for this gives them hope. I apologise for anyone who doesn’t watch. The saddest thing was this joy was dashed quite quickly, in the end there were complications the other end. These situations happen every single day and I also feel for the doctors as they are also frustrated as they give families hope and have to temporarily take that back.

It’s so well written, they have managed to show how many people are effected when someone close to you receives the devastating news that they have cancer. Even the joy at transplants and treatment isn’t always a sure thing. Then you see the strong people (well that’s what everyone things from the outset) they are often the people who break down in private which is exactly what Rayna did.

I felt compelled to talk about #Nashville having seen the first hand affects cancer has on families. I know all of us who have lost people to this terrible disease feel like we relive our pain when we see this on TV. For me the more I see it the more it hits home this is real and we need to find a cure to stop all the suffering.

That is why I volunteer my Saturday mornings, I am also in the process of potentially sorting a new venture too, but more on that when I have news. That is also why I have stuck to my #Dryathlon challenge still going good but more on that soon.

Until next time….


Dryathlon with a twist

Now for the back story…life is a rollercoaster…

Today is day fourteen of my #Dryathlon twist and in some ways not drinking tea and coffee is getting easier and in others it really isn’t. I have some Starbucks treats to look forward to come the 1st October. Having had a fair few donation free days today I received an additional £10 from my mate Amy. I have to say I am feeling very humbled by all my friends, some like Amy I don’t see that often these days but it is awesome to know they are still there to cheer me on and support me, and for that I am truly thankful to everyone who has donated and supported me in any and every way they can. Your kind words of encouragement really do mean a lot. Some days really are better than others, believe me, I work in retail.

I have wanted to and will start writing up my snapshots about my time at Cancer Research these will become Dear Readers….there are some lovely tales that I will share with you soon. So, I wanted to give you a bit of a back story explaining my reasons and motivations for not only volunteering but also to this blog.

I had already started writing a post that was named 2014 but as much as 2014 was the major changing point that is not where this post or where this story starts.

In December of 2013 I remember being told that Nan had a growth on her bladder. Every single member of my family tried to instantly think differently but deep down we were all thinking the worst. Each one of us broke down in one way or another. I remember thinking Ronan Keating sure was right Life is a bloody Rollercoaster. The one thing I was certain of during every moment of worry was that my Nan is a fighter and one of the strongest women I have ever known, she wouldn’t give up. I was so angry and extremely upset, I am an emotional person at the best of times but every little thing was making me teary. I knew that we had to be there for Nan and for Granddad during this emotional and tense time, so that is exactly what we did.

Onto 2014, in February of 2014 Sophie one of my beloved work colleagues lost her mother to Cancer. We were all deeply saddened for Sophie, and when she asked a number of us to attend her mum’s funeral we did just that. (I was not prepared for how this year would turn out and how many funerals that I would attend – that is later on) I like to think that me and my colleagues have well and truly been there for Sophie in her time of need. Since then she went onto organise an awesome event in memory of her mother where she raised a shed load of cash for Cancer Research. Well done Sophie.

Nan had her operation/treatment in March and was recovering well but then a series of events changed not only her life but that of every member of my family, In April 2014, my beloved Granddad Sam passed away – he had been unwell for a while having been diagnosed with COPD but he carried on with life to an extent. None of us were ready to lose Granddad and Nan was lost without him. What I will say is I did truly love the time I spent with them both, Granddad shared my love of books and I am still reading some of his books to this day, and a number of them live on his old book shelf. Last May I read an awesome intriguing book called We Were Liars and at the end I cried as it was exactly the sort of book I would have passed onto him and I couldn’t. Watching films with Nan will be a memory I treasure. I even got the chance to show her the video of me and my best mate swimming with Dolphins these memories are priceless.

In August 2014, a friend of mine Katherine Bones passed away from liver Cancer she had had a beautiful baby boy just over a month earlier. This was heartbreaking, Kat was a kind-hearted soul who I will remember as being my Shane buddy and Mummy Kat. She was a people person and she loved sharing her love for music and boy-bands with anyone and everyone. It makes me sad that she had just got the one thing she wanted and her life was cruelly taken away. The number of people who attended her funeral and swarmed to Facebook to post condolence messages really proved how many lives she touched in her life. When Shane Filan’s new album gets released next week I will be yet again thinking of Kat – who I won’t bump into any longer.

In October 2014, we received the news we never wanted Nan now had stomach cancer, we were told to make the most of our time with her which is exactly what we did. In January of this year my Nan passed away in front of me and my closest family members. It was by far one of the hardest things that I have ever witnessed in my life, but I am glad we could be with her before she returned to Granddad and was suffering no longer. In all honesty the last week or so was the hardest before that she was just Nan – same as ever. My brother and sister are both grateful that she met both of their daughters. Nan had two and a bit years with Pippa and a few weeks with Freya and those memories are once again priceless.

My Nan was a huge lover of a bargain from a charity shop and I started volunteering in the November of last year and every week I would visit her and she would ask me about the shop and if I was enjoying working there. She also had me on the hunt for a red scarf, I never did find one but this year I will and I will wear it with pride when I do.

So that is a little into why I volunteer, why I have given up tea and coffee argh! lack of caffeine lol and what inspired me to get back blogging.

Until next time 🙂

Dryathlon with a twist

#DNATrail and a little bit more…

Sadly there were not enough hours and not enough days for me to get many more of the gorgeous #DNATrail pictures. If only I had found them sooner and if only the days were longer I could have crammed loads more in.

I did manage to get to South Kensington one day before work to snap this beauty….


As you can see this picture was taken on a relatively good day. I really do adore London in the sunshine it really is one of my favourite sites of my hometown.

So as day eleven ends I have barely thought about tea and coffee bar when someone offers to make a cuppa or if I pass someone with a strong coffee…or is it just seeming stronger because I haven’t had any. I am looking forward to having a Pumpkin Spiced Latte when my challenge is over, I know it will taste all the better on the 1st October. I haven’t had anymore donations of late but I am sure I can still smash my target for Cancer Research.

I really should stop writing and stop listening to music and get some sleep ahead of my volunteering tomorrow. Have an awesome weekend all.

Dryathlon with a twist

Sorry for the silence…

Firstly, I have to say sorry. I know I said I wouldn’t write every single day of my #Dryathlon month but I haven’t written at all since day one and today marks day ten. What a journey it has been and I still have twenty days left.

So I hear you saying so how are you doing Hayley?

It sure has been a rollercoaster and I have told a few friends about how I felt and looked at the beginning of my challenge. In some ways I wish I had taken a picture of my face on like day two or three because I honestly think I looked like a druggie with proper red raw eyes just from having no tea and coffee – to me that seems pretty extreme. I have also noticed that I am hungry for my lunch waaaay earlier than I used to be, and at the beginning I was really tired.

The donations have been amazing and I am completely humbled by everyone’s kindness. I am currently sitting at £121.00 before Gift Aid and with Gift Aid- (this will feature in it’s very own post very soon) I have just received the milestone email for £150 which is amazing especially as I set my target as £200 and I still have twenty days to well and truly smash that out of the park and raise a decent amount for Cancer Research. On day three I decided to get a hot chocolate on my way into work with marshmellows and everything – this sugar boost really did help. The headaches were god awful at the beginning and for anyone who knows me I like to read and obviously to blog and with those headaches I couldn’t do anything and even work was pretty intense at the beginning. I met up with my good friend Hannah for a catch up and some food, we decided to have a cocktail instead of a dessert and Hannah picked a gorgeous Espresso Martini and instantly felt guilty for me. I insisted that she had it so I could really test myself. It smelt amazing but I was a good girl and steered clear of the caffeine. Some days are harder than others but when I really think about the reason I am doing this it is made so much easier and I plug on.

There is so much I want to say to you all but one day at a time, I have lots planned so I hope you stay with me. I have finally sat down and penned this post which seems to have been a series of notes for days. I have just felt completely wrecked in the evenings of late – I sure am starting to show my age ha!.

If you would like to sponsor me you can do so here speak to you soon.

Dryathlon with a twist

And so it begins #Dryathlon Day One

Everything has been leading up to today, the beginning of my #Dryathlon quest. Getting up and having water with my breakfast was weird but much easier than I thought it would be. I then made my way to work, walking past many coffee shops and many people drinking said beverages and I survived.

As my day went on I started feeling extremely tired relatively early into my shift which was weird and is relatively extreme because I cut caffeine. I think I was more shocked at how cruddy I was feeling but I battled on having had water and a smoothie – which was gorgeous and cheaper than a coffee. By lunchtime I needed to recharge my batteries so I ate well with a juice and then I started to feel more like me.

I must admit day one was a lot harder than I imagined it would be – granted I knew it would be hard. I am so grateful for all the kind words and especially the donations they have spurred me on. As day one ends I have raised £36 for Cancer Research. Dig deep people no matter how tough this gets I will carry on.