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Wings of a Dove – An Angel’s tattoo

If you’ve read the About me page of this blog you’ll already know that I was born just 10 weeks after my Dad and Sister were killed in a car crash and that my amazing Mam is the inspiration for everything I do.

But what I haven’t talked about before is the reason I was given my name.

As I’m sure you can imagine it was a pretty tough time for my Mam.  She had lost not only her husband of 18 years but also her first born child in a horrific and tragic accident.  But she couldn’t grieve too openly because she had two other teenage children, who were obviously devastated, to look after.

So my birth was not the traditional time of joy and celebration but was tinged with a great deal of sadness.  While my Mam clearly adored me when I was born thinking of a name had not been her top priority in the weeks running up to my birth.

Back in those days new mothers spent about a week in hospital after giving birth.  Supposedly to recover from the ordeal, relax and enjoy spending time with their new baby.  But for my Mam it was a time of worry.  Worry that her other children were being looked after, worry about how she would cope both financially and emotionally and of course worry about what the future held.

So when it came to her leaving hospital a week or more after I was born she still didn’t have a clue what she was going to call me.

Now all the nurses knew her story and I’m sure many felt as I do that this was one incredibly brave and strong woman.  So it was probably with a little trepidation that one of those nurses approached her about my name.  I’m told the conversation went like this.

Nurse: Have you chosen a name yet?  It would be lovely if we knew what it was before you go home.

Mam: I don’t know.  I’ve not really had the chance to think about it.

Nurse: She is beautiful.  A really good baby.  She’s such a little angel.  Why don’t you call her Angela.

Mam: (after about 5 seconds thought) Yes, that’s perfect.  My little angel.

And that was it.  My Mam used to tell me I was an angel sent down from heaven to bring her joy in a time of sadness and to help then all get through the day.  And that’s why she hated it when anyone shortened my name because to her Angela and angel were synonymous.

Now I don’t know about being an angel – goodness only knows I put her through some tough times – but she always said I was her angel and it’s always stuck with me.

So when it was time to decide on a tattoo I didn’t really have a clue.  I thought about having an angel but it seemed a bit pretentious or self-centred.

Then my amazing daughter-in-law, Gemma, suggested a dove.  Not just any dove but a dove with an olive branch.  I don’t know if she knew what it meant but for me, as a Christian – albeit not practising – it was the sign of the Holy Spirit or in other words an angel here on earth.

Then just a few days later I heard the old Madness song “Wings of a Dove”, the first time I had heard it in years.  And it just seemed right.

And of course the charity I’m supporting, the Charlie Cookson Foundation, only exists because one very special little boy got his Angel Wings far to early.

So there was not choice.  My tattoo will be a little blue dove, carrying an olive branch just as it did when Noah set it free after the floods and when Jesus was baptised .

And if you’re wondering why I’m writing about this now.  It’s because I am about to go and get my tattoo.  And I am absolutely terrified.  Valerie from Valonia Tattoos has been great.  She’s doing this for free and I’m donating the money to charity but, even so, this morning I’m still shaking like a leaf but to quote the brilliant Suggs

Take time for your pleasure

And laugh with love

Take the hand of another

And sing for the wings of a dove

So wish me luck because I’m going to need it – oh and I’ll post the photos tonight

If you think I’m being brave and want to support me why not donate to the Charlie Cookson Foundation www.justgiving.com/5iftyby5ifty or to donate by phone text FIFB50 £1 to 70070

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Categories: Making a difference | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Lose to win – Week 26

When I said I wanted to lose two stone in a year I was fairly certain I could do it.  Then when I didn’t start for almost half that year I wasn’t so convinced.

In theory I have lost over two stone.  If you add up all the pounds I’ve lost it comes to more than 28 which is two stone.  But of course that’s only because I’ve had weeks where I’ve put weight on.

And of course losing the same pound can’t count twice, except when it comes to donating £1 to the Charlie Cookson Foundation because they do get £1 every time I lose a pound.  But when it comes to calculating my total weight loss I can’t claim to have lost two stone just yet.

Last week I still had 5 pound to go.  And yet again I gave in to temptation this week and had a takeaway – this time a curry – and although it was delicious I know it can’t have helped the weight loss.

So stepping on the scales yesterday morning, knowing I only had 11 days left to go to hit my target was a bit worrying.  And the result is…………………………

12st 2

Another pound off.  Less than I would have liked and certainly not enough for me to rest on my laurels.  So between now and my birthday I will be good.  In fact not only good but extra good.  I’m not going to starve myself because that won’t help shift those last four pounds but I am going to eat healthy and try to get a little bit of exercise.

Oh and my other strategy for the last 11 days is to cross my fingers, say my prayers and hope the scales are kind.  Because this is one challenge I really don’t want to fail.

Those last few pounds really are proving to be the hardest.  So I need all the help and encouragement I can get.  If you spot me about to eat something I shouldn’t please stop me.

Or if you’re impressed with my success and want to encourage me to hit my goal why not sponsor me to lose those last four pounds at www.justgiving.com/5iftyby5ifty or to donate by phone text FIFB50 £1 to 70070

Categories: I always wanted to, Making a difference | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lose to Win – Week 25

Chinese, chat-ups and charity

Those three words pretty much describe the last week – well along with Prosecco, Cava and Edinburgh Gin anyway.

I started out pretty well and pretty determined to lose weight last week and stuck to my diet right up until Friday evening when I went to a party held by one of my work colleagues.

I had heard a lot about what is known in our office as the “Wylam Soiree” but this was the first time I had attended and I have to say it was everything I expected it to be and more.

After a few drinks (or more) in the local pub we all headed off to Andrew’s house for the party.  There was a pretty eclectic group of people.  Work colleagues, former work colleagues, friends and even a couple of journalists.

The food, Chinese takeaway, provided by our host was fantastic.  And as by this time I was a little tipsy (to say the least) I couldn’t resist – so the diet went out of the window.

Turns out I wasn’t the only one who was a little drunk as I was ‘chatted up’ by one of the journalists.  I say chatted up though I’m not sure the words “come upstairs with me” which when I said no were followed by “go on just come upstairs with me” – another no obviously – then a “just kiss me then” can actually be called been chatted up.

It’s probably about 30 years since someone asked me to go upstairs with them at a party.  Much more a drunken teenager type of approach than I’m used to these days.  But I did find it quite funny and possibly even slightly flattering but it does give you the idea of just how drunk everyone was.

Which is probably why, after getting a taxi home, I woke up on Saturday morning fully clothed.  And if there’s one thing I need after drinking that much it’s high calorie, high in fat, high in sugar, alcohol absorbing food.  So KFC (including 2 lots of chips) and a large bar of chocolate were the order of the day.

By Sunday I was back on track though and went down to the local park to watch the Proclaimers with my fabulous friend Joanne Weightman.

The Proclaimers

Sunny day in South Shields

And I was hopeful that, although I didn’t walk 500 miles, standing in a queue for an hour and a bit of dancing would help reduce some of the damage done over the two previous days – especially as I’ve only got just over 2 weeks to go.

But if I’m honest when I got on the scales yesterday morning (yes, I know, I’m late posting again) I wasn’t sure what to expect.  And the result is…………….

Only 5lb to go

Only 5lb to go

So surprisingly that’s another 2 pound off and another £2 for the amazing Charlie Cookson Foundation.  Which brings me back to the final word above – Charity.  I’ve been working on my 50th Birthday Charity Fundraiser all week and it’s starting to come together really well.  So watch out for more information in the next couple of days

Help me celebrate getting older

Come and join the fun

Oh and if you’d like to donate a raffle or auction prize please let me know either by dropping me an email, leaving a comment or posting on my Facebook page

If you’re impressed with my success you can add to my £’s for pounds at www.justgiving.com/5iftyby5ifty or to donate by phone text FIFB50 £1 to 70070

Categories: Birthday Party, I always wanted to, Making a difference | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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