Autumn Leaves

I haven’t blogged in rather a while. I work in education and every year without fail the start of the academic year and how busy it is takes me by surprise. This coupled with being short staffed has led to me working on average an extra 10 hours a week. My brain was frazzled (or as the Boyo says head fried!).

I’d built up enough time that I managed to take a week off when the students were on their October break. I promised myself I would relax and just enjoy a few days at home. This of course did not happen. I promptly arranged things for everyday of the week off. I seem to never learn!

I started off the week with a long weekend on the most wonderful Island I know. The Isle of Arran off the West coast of Scotland is my favourite place and this time I got to take some of my favourite people. The Boyo + myself + 2 best friends + 1 husband (not mine!) + 1 toddler + 1 dog + a house with a sea view and a cosy fire = a formula for a great weekend. We had so much fun. Wandering the Island, eating food and drinking many cups of tea and playing games in the evening. The verdict is that the girls are best at Cranium and the boys won the trivia game (only just!). I feel at home and relaxed on the Island and it was great to finally show my friends the place I love. We had a Treasure Trail for Brodick that proved to be a good idea and the games in the evening while the toddler snoozed were so much fun. This time of year is just spectacular and the scenery on Arran was magnificent. I really love autumn and my friends got to see the Island looking rather good. None of us really wanted to leave; my thoughts are leaning towards making this an annual event from now on.

Arran  View up Glen Rosa

My sister then came down to visit me for a couple of days and I did have a meeting in Dundee for work that I had to go to. I spent the latter half of the week in my hometown visiting family. I went to The Good Food Show in Glasgow with my Mum and spent far too much money but I do now have a kitchen stocked with tasty treats (not all unwholesome).



The last day of the holiday was spent at home catching up with my (tired) Boyo who had been at a stag do in Aviemore and then before we knew it the alarm clock was beeping on Monday morning and it was time for me to go back to work.


Countryside around my house

I do feel a bit more rested but at certain points in my week off I had time to think (I was working so much prior to the holiday that there was no time for anything). I had to stop myself a few times from being very negative about myself again. The truth is there are much more important things in life but the only way for me to stop these petty negative thoughts is to tackle them head on.

The conclusion: whilst I am happy that efforts I have made to deal with stress have resulted in the chronic headaches lessening I am very unhappy with the way I look. Looks should not be important, indeed I have no huge aspirations to suddenly turn into a model or princess (haha as if, some very potent magic potions would be needed) but I know that I looked far better 3 years ago than I do now. Yes I do have excuses and some of those are valid (medication, bereavement, desk job) but I’m not happy and I’m being judged by other people (I’ve had comments from Gran and dad in past week and Boyo earlier in the year). Ultimately if I lose a little weight and get some zest back it will do wonders for my self esteem. I do not want to be thin, I just want to go back down 2 sizes so I can fit in most of my very nice wardrobe again.


Graduation 3 years ago, this dress won’t even look at me now. 😦

The key things I am looking at right now to help me with this are obviously food and exercise. I have been doing a bit of research into 5:2, The Hairy Dieters (love them), exercise classes locally (but given my work hours this is proving hard!) and thanks to Molly’s blog I am also thinking about investing in a Jawbone. I am seriously challenging myself to try more vegetables using the techniques the hypnotherapist gave me. It is very easy for me to be weak and need some self discipline and encouragement (not nagging, Boyo has made that mistake before). I’m also stubborn so if I can just redirect my stubbornness in a direction that would lead to a healthier me then that would be useful.

I’d love to know if any of you have tried a particular type of exercise and enjoyed it. I have not got great co-ordination and I have dodgy knees so anything that is a very impact type sport (like running) would not really be ideal for me. I’d also really love to hear if anyone else has had a food aversion issue?

We bought a cross-trainer nearly a year ago and the Boyo does use it but I haven’t. I know how to use it, I am not scared of the machine or find it difficult it is almost as if I am scared to try to lose weight in case I fail? maybe tonight I’ll just face that (irrational) fear and get on it.

Wish me luck!



ps. I am also looking for tips on which mobile phone I should go for. I can upgrade next week but after 4 years with a blackberry it is time to change. I don’t need anything too fancy but something with a  decent camera would be good. Any advice much appreciated!!

Back to reality… and my head doesn’t like it!

There is nothing like a holiday away from everything to reenergise you and help find that motivation that has been hiding whilst you have been enduring long working hours. Well my holiday did do this and so much more but I had only been back at work for a day and a half when a nice big migraine zapped me and my mojo was once more running out the door. It always takes me at least a day to recover from a migraine. The following day I always have a fuzzy stuffy head and my brain just takes longer to get into gear. I forget words, I’m tired and I’m irritable – none of this is a good formula for feeling positive and happy.

However this wee blog is helping me to get back on track. I really want to achieve my goals and be Merry.

I absolutely 100% believe happiness isn’t about getting something or targets (of course those things can momentarily give us a happiness boost or help us to keep on track… mmm cake!) but to be happy you have to embrace positive thinking and just be happy right here and now. Believe me I know how hard that is and I know it isn’t always possible – my episodes of depression mean that I have first hand experience that sometimes no matter how much we want to be content and happy our brains malfunction and we end up in the depths of despair. The depression taught me that in order to keep me on the right track I need to challenge myself, find the positives, appreciate all that I have around me and give myself health and wellbeing goals.

So today now my head has finally cleared I could be grumpy because I am stuck in my greenhouse of a library when the sun is shining or I could think about how truly lucky I am. There has been a little thing on facebook encouraging people to think of 3 positive things for 5 days so here are my first 3:

  1. I have a good job, a permanent contract which is elusive these days and I appreciate that days in my library working pay for all my other fun things I do outwith the library and actually my job is pretty good. So I might be working today but it means I can get ice cream with my Boyo later.
  2. I have just been on a most wonderful holiday to a place that I used to live, I am not yet 30 but I really have had a pretty good life and experiences thus far. I’m wearing a gorgeous turquoise stone necklace from my holidays today, a nice wee reminder of Hong Kong.
  3. I enjoyed a lovely 20 minute walk this morning to my bus. It was a lovely sunny morning, I live in the countryside, those 20 minutes allowed me to chat away to my Boyo and for us to appreciate our surroundings.

So now I’m all happy again (and thinking about ice cream later) I can once again think about ebing postive and think about my  little (big) targets for the next few months:

  1. Start planning meals again. I don’t do a weekly plan but a little forward thinking will help me to be a little more economical and healthier and get back into the habit of cooking everything from scratch again.
  2. Exercise everyday, walking, swimming, the cross trainer and cycling all need to become part of weekly routine. I need to lose weight and think about my long term health. If it becomes a daily habit it will be a lot easier to stick to it.
  3. Start taking my vitamins again. This is just me being tired and forgetful in the mornings – the ironic thing the vitamins help me from feeling so lethargic!
  4. Work harder with the hypnotherapy in order to really work on this vegetable & fruit aversion. Again this is important for my long term health.
  5. Find a hobby or a class or some sort of activity where I can meet new people. I love my Boyo but having some other friends nearby would be nice and maybe help my social awkwardness improve
  6. Finish cataloguing my recipe folders at home (such a librarian)
  7. Do something about the garden. It is only small and it could be so nice.
  8. Show my Boyo that I appreciate him a little more. When you live with someone it becomes all too easy to take things for granted a little bit. I still get wee moments where it hits me how truly lucky we are and how amazing it is that he loves me just as much as I love him, I hope these wee moments never stop.
  9. Stop buying clothes and start exploring my own wardrobe a bit more. I was looking back at some older photos and saw things I had completely forgotten about, granted my weight gain means a lot of things don’t fit me but even with the stuff that does I could be a bit more adventurous.
  10. Save my pennies more. We hope to buy a new home in 2 years, this really should be all the incentive I need, I just forget and live in the moment a bit too much, but saving will mean that more extra special moments – like houses and holidays – will be possible.

So there we go, 10 goals for me to think about and hopefully I will actively pursue them!

That will all for today folks – coming up a little guide to holidays in Hong Kong and of course a Foodie post won’t be far away!



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Wednesday is for What: What’s in a name?

Wednesday is for What.


My first Wednesday blog and this week my topic is What’s in a name?


Next week it will be a What I wore or a What I would Like post. It might even be a combination of both!


So what is in a name? My name isn’t actually Merry but it is close to my real name and the purpose of the name I’ve chosen is to give me a tiny bit privacy and to also motivate me. After all this blog really is all about me trying to be positive and Merry. If I leave out my real name I feel more able to use my voice. I have chosen to stay a little bit anonymous but everything is truthful in this blog and as such there are enough clues that if someone knows me in a personal context they are probably going to twig that it is me writing this blog – that’s fine I am not trying to be a secret agent. That is a career that would never have suited me as I am a truly hopeless liar. People can even tell on the phone if I’m trying a wee white fib. Oh well best to stick to honesty then. 

So why be Anonymous?

 Well I have wanted to do a blog for ages, I have tried in the past, one a travel based one when I lived abroad this failed due to having too much fun on said travels and internet not being readily available. The other was based on food when I set myself a cooking challenge a couple of years go. However my family had a really challenging year and blogging along with my social life fell to the wayside. So this is my third attempt – and funnily enough three is my lucky number!

 Over the last couple of years my own twitter account became clogged with all sorts of people, companies, tv shows, just about anything really and some were people that were related to my work. I just felt that it would be easier to start up a new twitter account and by changing my name it means I’m not instantly connected with my work and people at work are not finding out more about my personal life than needs be. Initially I planned not to talk about library related stuff on my new blog at all but quickly realised that my profession takes up a huge amount of my time and interests and occasionally there will be things that are library related that I’d like to chat about.

 So the little bit of privacy also gives me a little bit of confidence to start blogging without everyone I know looking at my fledgling attempts.


Is it Cowardly? 

Well a bit I suppose and I’m happy to admit that I’m nervous about facing criticism from my friends and family so starting this way eases me into the whole business. One of the main reasons I’ve started this blog is to boost my self esteem and I believe it will help me to achieve my ‘Be Merry and Happy and Healthy’ goals. I wasn’t in a great place this winter (I’ll talk another time about why) and this blog and the name I have chosen just reinforces my message to myself.

 Thoughts on Blogging

 I’m finding new people everyday who blog on a whole range of topics I find interesting.

 Fashion – some of the information I’ve discovered through the fashion blogger world has been really good. So many more options for clothes now both to buy (mostly through shops spoken about by plus sized fashion bloggers) and how to put the things I already own in a more interesting way. I bought a chunky necklace the other day that I wouldn’t have had a clue what to do with a few months ago. So great for my wardrobe, not so great for my wallet! I will occasionally post some fashion & accessories related stuff but mostly I’ll just enjoy reading the wide variety of people I have come across. Bloglovin is great for this.     @amilliondresses   @LittleBitOfWowe @thesmyth

 Food – oh so many food blogs. The cakes! Drool…. but food bloggers are also  inspiring me to become more inventive and healthy and sometimes more frugal as well. I’ll definitely post recipes on this blog. I wish there were more Scottish bloggers talking about foodie places to go nearby but I now have a huge list of places for trips South of the border! @thecakehunter @browneyedbaker 

Beauty – Not something that I anticipate I’ll ever really posy about because I’m useless in that department but I’ve made a couple of new purchases recently that have worked a treat thanks to reading some great beauty blogs. I still can’t paint my nails to save myself though. @essiebutton @laurziecooper 

Travel – Most of my escapades are in the UK now and I regularly do weekend countryside walks. I haven’t really come across many Scottish bloggers yet but if I do I’ll always enjoy tips for great walks or places to explore. I’m off to a more exotic location in June and have been looking through blogs to get some ideas of what to do when we are away. 

Home – So many ideas, I wish I was better at DIY! @younghouselove

 Library  –  for this get on twitter and have a look at my ‘Library Folk’ list. So many Library related people around! 

Other – Everyday I’m finding new blogs on interesting topics, from time to time I’ll do a Follow Friday Post.


Anyway I hope some of those links are useful. To answer the question What’s in a name? for me the name I have chosen is a little reminder of who I am and what I hope to be.


Does anyone else blog under a different name? And any blogging tips for this new blogger would be most welcome, as would any other tips on interesting blogs to read.


Thank You! Merry 😎

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