Gambling Participation in GB

At the end of February the Gambling Commission published a full report on participation and problem gambling rates in Great Britain. This precedes a combined report due out later this year that combines two recognised gambling screens in the health surveys for England and Scotland, and a survey including a screen for Wales.

Gambling Commission report on gambling participation and problem gambling

The majority of this report is official statistics, however additional information has been included to provide an overview of some additional data.

New Year, New waffle.

I have an indeterminate amount of time to post, it may be as much as 20 minutes but most likely will be 5. These tiny windows are usually my opportunity these days to get some general tidying done, but I am missing writing and Yoga to the point that I’ve considered getting by on a couple of hours sleep to make time for them.

I was once told I would be watching lots of box sets on maternity. I wish I could remember who that person was and condemn them to a list of untrustables. I do manage to get a peek at other blogs on the odd occasion, it usually requires me to shut out whoever is around to hold Hazel for 5 minutes. It might seem rude but it’s necessary for my sanity. I’ve stopped buying papers as the heap of unread Guardians didn’t seem like a wise investment. When I finally got an unexpected chance to pick one up the news was history – literally. I was still reading about the potential repercussions of a Yes vote in Scotland long after the margin had been exposed as a crevice as opposed to the hairline fracture in distance it had purported to be.

News is also a major problem, every time I turn it on there is another hostage taking and it becomes consuming in a way that the working day prevents. There is no one expecting me to turn my mind to anything other than the basic (yet exhausting) needs of a baby and so my brain eats itself up with devastation. Of course I’ve found coping strategies for this, it is essential – and I wonder about the thousands of other mums in their homes doing the same thing. At least the impact of old news is lessened by the knowledge of the final outcome.

Well, I’ve had more than the expected time to at least say a few words, I hope to be back soon and in the meantime I may not be involved in comments and discussions but your blogs are a little lifeline for me and I read as many as I can keep up with.

Oh and the garden was a great success (plant rescue) and perhaps one day I can update with a few pics. In the meantime, back to my cheeky little madam… just – waking – now….

Gardening for a small space on a budget – Project

I’m likely to be making the most of any sunshine my small Stratford garden can capture over the next 9 months during maternity, I’ll probably get over the budget planning and lay out decking when I’m mobile again but for the time being I needed a challenge.

After a stage 1 spruce up of £20 on flowers and similar for updating potting necessities the winter edge began to fade. Pruning of my non-survivors from the winter (RIP Chillis, Thyme and the Mustard plant that I accidentally beheaded) gave way to a re-emergence of Lillies and much to my surprise the fuchsia has begun to spruce out of it’s hanging basket for another summer. At the front of the house was the need for a complete overhaul and I am still in possession of three large plants which aren’t strictly mine and awaiting transfer to their new, spacey home in Devon before they suffer root knot. In the meantime they are keeping things very green here.

Stage 2 required edibles – I blame the failure of the Chillis on myself as they made it to February and finally got waterlogged – lesson learned for next year. On a no-garden spend day at B&Q I found myself alone in the drizzly garden section pulling out half dead plants that had been all but written off by the store. Some were clearly beyond help, others just in need of some TLC. Forseeing the problem at the counter I made a mental note of the shelf prices – it wasn’t hard as the majority had been offloaded on the 0.50p shelf with little hope of rescue. After failing to find a way to hold my finds I soon found a basket before teaming up with my other half and filling two drag baskets with improvised shelves. It seemed less dangerous than sourcing a trolley…

By checkout time I’d accumulated a considerable stock with varied odds of success.

My list was as follows:

2 X Lobelia trailing (hot tiger plants) @ £0.50 each

1 x Penstemon Vanilla Plum @ £1

4 X 9 mixed bedding plants @ £1 each

6 X Strawberry Plants @1.50

1 x Mimulus Cocktail mix @ £1

1 X Mixed pepper (3 plants) @ £0.50

1 X Mixed Strawberry (3 plants) @ £0.50

1 X San Marzano (3 plants) @ £0.50

1 X Mixed Chilli (3 Plants) @ £0.50

Grand Total: £10

Among these were a small handful of casualties which couldn’t be be planted, several bedding plants and a tomato plant among them, for the rest I will update on their progress through the summer!

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UPDATE

We’re now long into the winter and many of my rescued plants are surviving well. This is pretty much against the odds as following my last post I became almost too big to move with the pregnancy, and the plants soon suffered mild neglect followed by complete abandonment on the arrival of the little one.

Despite my failings, the garden sprang to a hive of colour and food that took me somewhat by surprise. I was grateful to myself for taking the time to construct well planned locations as some required more sun / shade / space than others, but here are some snaps of the results:

Rescued B&Q plants Rescued B&Q plants1 Rescued B&Q plants, on shed Rescued B&Q plants, Strawberries IMG_1246Rescued B&Q plants, peppers Rescued B&Q plants3 Rescued B&Q plants and Betty Rescued B&Q plants 4 Rescued B&Q plants 5 Rescued B&Q plants, wall

New news!

Hey hey! It’s been a while and I’ve a million subjects to get onto but have probably missed the boat for many. I will be catching up with y’all ASAP – I do wonder how you’re all getting on.

I had several Yoga posts up my size 8 sleeves which have since increased to 10s… No, I didn’t get lazy. But I am eating at a rediculous rate. And i can no longer attend my beloved 90minute hot yoga classes, as they have been replaced with: Pregnancy Yoga.

I don’t intend to de-rail the blog into baby territory, however I DO hope to join YogaBellies as a teacher for expectant mothers and young childeren as soon as time and funds allow. I also intend to lay off the cake and get back to three square meals a day, juicing, blending and all things good.

For now I will capitalise on the update to share one teeny bit of my excitement, a present my mum’s neighbour knitted for the future baby:

 

Sublime for the summertime. Salvaged juice!

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Sainsbury’s smoothies. It’s a new love. In particular, Kiwi / Apple / Lime (no bananas) I don’t know exactly why this is added to the label but as I tinkered with my own concoction in the kitchen I practically barked the braketed phrase at Gary for suggesting this very same addition. Slavering over the smells I was on the verge of driniking straight out of the blender, but as with all experiments it was only fair to let Gary test the product for taste and safety first. The dinky glass was still mostly full as he drifted out of the kitchen making some comment about it being a bit sharp. Damn. Even an extra apple didn’t entice him to try any more.

As the evening drew in my spirits lifted momentarily when he asked ‘is there still juice there?’ only to push me back off my elevated state with ‘you’d better put it in the fridge then’. Gr. I needed a plan B.

PLAN B.

Bunny shaped ice pole trays from Tiger. They salvaged my juice. 4 kiwis, 5 apples and 2 limes… I can see them getting plenty more use as my juicing skills develop.Thanks Tiger 😉

FCUKing WNAKers *Said with a cheesy grin* #edfringe

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Most heroes are crazy. Some are so utterly off the wall it could only ever happen once. When that once is telling a story that is not only based on fact, but that you can relate back to very real memories which have subsequently been erased of the internet you begin to wonder if you’re a little crazy yourself… or perhaps it’s the world that’s lost it. 

It would be forgivable to look at the above image and make a number of unfounded, inaccurate judgements about the rating of this comedy. The roaring laughter that is provoked for the very first day of the fringe is intensified by the outrage, injustice and hypocrisy that is illustrated in a series of images that had the room gasping beyond lung capacity in ‘C U In Court’. 

This isn’t just a gimmick name to make you look twice, it nearly was a reality that most people would breathe a sigh of relief over and walk away, however endlessly amused by the threats and retorts of the World Wide clothing giant FCUK, comedian Dave Griffiths could end up there yet. Armed with an array of cheeky tee-shirts this seemingly harmless bloke from some funny corner of the UK has declared all out, hysterical war on litigation mafias and everything they stand for. 

After six years of battles, lighting the fireworks and watching the explosive window display responses you too will find yourselves questioning seeming allegiances that never were and learning a little history along the way. Don a shirt and fight the cause – if you can keep a straight face. 

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Scientific Excuse

Jogger

I believe I share far more with you guys in my head than actually makes it to WordPress. I then overcompensate and re-tell stories rather than read previous posts. I have no idea if I have told you about this upcoming weekend, so…
Last year my super sporty, charity orientated, instantly likable and always present friend was killed in an ironic yet tragic road accident. Ironic because he took to his bike during the Olympics to avoid travel issues on the underground at a busy time when we’d all been warned to seek alternative methods / times of travel. Ironic because it was an Olympic bus that he was hit by. Ironic because the last tweets I’d read from him only days before included a rant at cyclists jumping red lights and another musing over painting his cycle helmet like ‘Toady’ from Mario Man. Ironic because the first press release was a quote from cycle champ Wiggy (Bradley Wiggins) who retorted along the lines of – if people don’t wear cycle helmets, what can they expect. you will have guessed from the above – of course he was wearing a helmet.

A charity event was organised for his first love, the Royal National Lifeboat institution. It was awesome. This is plan number two. Several days before the fatal accident Dan and seven friends competed in the Thunder Run – a 10k relay that runs over 24 hours. They had agreed to repeat this year. Now without Dan, another close friend as a replacement his team are one of eight, all comprised of his friends, in the race.

We are of varied abilities. Personally, I used to run long distance, but I have brain battles and began to find excuses to stop running. Eventually I realised I just didn’t like it much and stopped, entering only the occasional charity race. The last was several years ago now. Still, competitive by nature I intend to complete 3 laps. THREE! ARGH. 30k in 24 hours.

I was also on the reserve list and naturally didn’t begin training until I was confirmed – three weeks ago. Hopeful that Bikram Yoga would mean I was in decent shape I hit the treadmill… to begin with things weren’t frightful. They weren’t amazing, but not frightful. But then my boyfriend got competitive with himself, which increased my competitiveness and t’other day lead to a brain blow-out, which is what I really want to tell you about.

Setting off with the intention to run 10k along the beautiful south Devon coast, I was sure that the scenery and company would keep me in check. From the very first downward hill there was trouble. I was out of breath and panicky. As we hit the promenade I began to relax, we’d beaten the crowds and I could at least obscure my heavy panting by closing my mouth again. There were then sand dunes, soft, luscious, uneven sand dunes….

Beach

Desperate to find stability I zig zagged across the terrain, relieved to finally reach the even, tough stretch of beach. This kept me going for the whole of about 100 meters and my brain cut out. No more. Upon stopping, I checked in with my legs. All good. Usual culprits – the ankles – best they’d ever been. reactive, strong and supple, almost certainly from yoga. Calves? Chest? anything else…?? All good. As I watched Gary bounce off into the distance I blamed the cut out on my mental attitude and strolled several meters, maybe a bit more in his trail. Inevitably I spend the rest of the morning stewing in 2km frustration, snapping at Gary’s “disappointment” for only managing 8km. Dammit.

And then I was genuinely ill – but that has nothing to do with this story.

Back at work I instilled confidence in all of my sponsors by relaying this story. Painfully open, I should really learn to consider what is about to come out of my mouth. However I was pointed in this very helpful direction –

Prioperception.

Kenetics. Balance. Nerves. Uneven terrain.

I’m not bad at running, I’m utterly CRAP at Prioperception. I wish I knew about this term years ago. Essentially the brain has to work especially hard to gauge the surface, the reflex required before it happens and balance. This requires high volumes of brain juice, so presumably by the time I was hurdling great big rotting beach divides the gauge in my head was on red. Gary, on the other hand plays football twice a week. Actually he trains once and plays once, explaining why his brain juice stores would have dwarfed mine.

Of course he argued that he was just intelligent enough to look for tougher surfaces (?!?!?! as if I wasn’t!) but frankly, proprioperception has reignited my confidence to go for it this weekend. Never mind only having hit 6km in training, of course, I anticipate that music, crowds and lots of supplements will see me through. And Yoga? It certainly helped keep my calves in check and breathing calm, I think I have a way to go yet to replace negative thoughts and ’embrace the pain’. EEP.

On that note, if you wish to sponsor, please read below. Otherwise the odd word of encouragement will be relished!!
The charity is the Outward Bound Trust which has been providing out door learning / survival skills to young people since 1941. As a keen climber / hiker / sailor / cyclist etc etc we’ve all agreed this would have been an important and relevant charity to Dan. The full story and some pics of last years teams are all here –
Thunder Run 2013
Support from bloggers would be very exciting!!
Runing1