Sunday, 30 November 2014

Hair Loss!

Last week I accompanied my friend to the "Hair Solved Clinic". My friend was diagnosed with breast cancer 18 months ago and has undergone chemotherapy and is doing well.  A consequence of the treatment is hair loss.  Her hair was quite thin before her illness.  At the age of 18 she noticed her hair was thinning and this continued until it reached a stable state. However after the chemo her hair grew back much coarser yet thin and grey.  She is now considering options and she saw an advert......

this company was featured on the TV programme "Embarrassing Bodies" as it is something that most of us would find difficult to talk about...

We had a consultation which was over an hour long.  We were given a thorough explanation on "weaving". They gave a comprehensive explanation of the pros and cons of pursuing this form of enhancement. It was truly amazing although not cheap provided a more acceptable alternative to a wig.  However each to their own. My friend is still considering this commitment - what is really reassuring judging from people in the  waiting room that people with this condition are really not on their own and you can talk about it and arrive at a solution which works for you.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Cruise Closure!!

Our itinerary concluded with visits to Cadiz....

then on to La Coruna and Santiago de Compostela ...........................................

Santiago de Compostela is the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia in North Western Spain.  Many go on pilgrimage as it is reputed to be the place where St James, one of the twelve apostles, is buried.

Final place was Lisbon which is a familiar port of call on the cruise itineraries and we always love walking around the streets and taking in the local flavour....literally - many lovely pastries and quiches and delicacies in the main thoroughfares and of course you can't come home without a bottle of Port!

I mentioned earlier that the weather had not been kind to us and although the places were interesting, this holiday was not one of our best.  A great highlight however was meeting up with our table for dinner.  We enjoyed the company of 3 other couples and  shared anecdotes although our recall of people involved in the tales proved to be a great test of memory.  We had to rely on our collective wisdom to complete the discussions!!  Sign of age...............
Another highlight for me was trying out a new evening gown by Missoni - pale blue with crocheted skirting.  A particularly lovely dress and very different. I bought this from and am very pleased with it!! Just wish the sea sickness hadn't got in the way of enjoyment so much !!!  Luck of the draw!

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Cruise Continued.........

Other ports of call....Agadir  city at foot of Atlas Mountains - on 29th February 1960 it was again almost totally destroyed by an earthquake - it killed a third of the population - approx  15000 people.
The Bay is thought to be one of the most beautiful in the world, certainly impressive and unspoilt.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Cruise to Casablanca

Just returned from a 12 day cruise to Casablanca which was our first port of call.  This was going to be special as it would also coincide with my birthday!  My husband had taken great care and planned a special meal on board at Marco Pierre White's.  Unfortunately on the day the sea was particularly rough with a swell in excess of 6 metres.  My sea legs are never that great but this time the roll of the ship took its toll and I was very very sick.  I spent the day in bed and ventured out in the evening rattling with anti sickness pills which stabilised me but left me feeling like a zombie.
We managed to get to the meal but it wasn't quite the evening we planned!!

However things started to get better as our visit to Casablanca proved to be a treat.  Here is a selection of photos taken there and hopefully they will give you a flavour of this amazing place.

There was a "Rick's Cafe" designed for tourists however "Casablanca" was filmed entirely in Hollywood so a little disingenuous! Humphrey Bogart didn't know what he missed!!

Hassan II Mosque

Mechouar de Casablanca

More tomorrow on remaining places on itinerary when I have done yet more washing!!

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Secrets of a long healthy life!!

I know I keep banging on about health and fitness and the benefits derived from a good plan and actions.  I see my family and friends glaze over when we discuss what you should be doing and compare with what we are doing.  As we reach out mature years you realise that all the investment pays off and in the main you get the body you deserve.  However it is never too late!!

Thats why I thought I would share these articles with you and also the quiz below....fascinating reading with some helpful advice.  The Mail does tend to produce some useful health articles which highlight current research.  I know they are probably included in other publications but I find reading the Mail on line is easy and enjoyable.

Its my birthday on Saturday and I suppose these anniversaries make you take stock!! We are all saints and sinners!!


1. I get between seven and eight hours (or more) sleep each night.
2. I eat at least five or more servings of fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants daily.
3. I eat at least one serving of blueberries, raspberries or blackberries daily.
4. I eat baked or grilled fish high in omega-3 fatty acids at least three times a week.
5. I take fish oil supplements high in omega-3 fatty acids or flaxseed supplements at least five times per week.
6. I take folic acid supplementation and a daily multivitamin.
7. I take a low-dose aspirin daily.
8. I drink red wine or grape juice at least five times a week.
9. I exercise most days of the week for at least 30 minutes each time (total of three hours or more of strenuous exercise weekly).
10. I read challenging books, do crossword puzzles or Sudoku, or engage in activities that require active learning, memorising, computation, analysis and problem solving at least five times a week.
11. I have ‘longevity genes’ in my family, with members who have lived to 80 and older without memory loss.
The quiz asks whether a person eats at least five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day
The quiz asks whether a person eats at least five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day
12. My total cholesterol is below 5.2 mmol/l.
13. My LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol is below 3.3 mmol/l.
14. I am not obese (less than 1.4 stone overweight for a woman; less than 2.1 stone overweight for a man).
15. I eat a Mediterranean style diet — one high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, with olive oil as the source of fat and little red meat.
16. Instead of butter and margarine, I use olive oil and no trans-fat spreads.
17. I have never smoked cigarettes.
18. I have normal blood pressure.
19. I do not have diabetes.
20. I do not have metabolic syndrome (high triglycerides, central obesity, and hypertension), also called insulin resistance syndrome.
21. I do not have a sleep disorder such as snoring or obstructive sleep apnea or untreated insomnia.
22. Daily uncontrolled stress is not a problem for me.
23. I have a strong support group and enjoy many activities with friends, colleagues, and family members.
24. I have no problems with short or long-term memory.
25. I’m ready to prevent Alzheimer’s and am willing to do whatever it takes. 
And those taking part in the quiz are asked if they drink red wine or grape juice five times a week
And those taking part in the quiz are asked if they drink red wine or grape juice five times a week

0-11: You have a high risk of Alzheimer’s. Add 10 years to your chronological age for your Real Brain Age. Right now, call your doctor and talk openly about health problems you have. Ask if you’re doing all you can to manage these problems.
12-14: You have a moderate risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Add five years to your chronological age for your Real Brain Age. While there’s not a lot of disparity between your Real Brain Age and your chronological age, you need to understand the risks you have that increase the chances of Alzheimer’s. 
15-19: OK. Your Real Brain Age is the same as your chronological age. That said, you have a mild risk of Alzheimer’s disease, so pay attention. Carefully review the quiz to see what changes you need to make to your diet, exercise, mental stimulation or rest and relaxation. 
20-22: Not bad! Subtract ten years from your chronological age for your Real Brain Age. You are doing a lot to take care of your physical and mental health. Check the specific questions that you marked ‘False’ and be sure to pay attention to changes you need to make.
23-25: Congratulations, you are ageing well! Subtract 15 years from your chronological age for your Real Brain Age. You are presently healthy, with a youthful and productive mind. Unless things change in your life, your risk of Alzheimer’s disease is extremely low.
It’s important that you review the quiz and circle any of the statements that indicate some work is needed. Talk to your GP about your risk factors to see if treatment is indicated. 

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Monday, 3 November 2014

Tooth Fairy.....

A few days ago my granddaughter was having lunch with me and I took a photo to send to her mum. 
My daughter phoned me seconds later to say that a tooth was missing!! Mair's bottom tooth had become wobbly and we knew it was only a matter of days before it came out.  The last thing I wanted was for the tooth to come out on my watch!! Losing your first tooth is such a special event for any parent to witness with their offspring.

Anyway she must have swallowed it which made things worse.  Tears followed but they soon dried up when she realised that one of her close friends had done exactly the same thing.

Nevertheless between us we gave the various reassurances that the Tooth Fairy would visit when she got home....tooth fairy would work out a solution even though the tooth was missing..............phew!!

My daughter then sent me a copy of the letter which the tooth fairy left for Mair....

not sure what the present was but Mair was really thrilled with the letter - how kind of the fairy........

Although this may sound like we are a little crazy its worth thinking about what is important in life.  Creating a little bit of make believe for a child and maintaining the age of innocence is quite magical. 

Also thank goodness for the internet where you can find these little gems like the letter from the tooth fairy which saves a lot of time and effort composing something which fits the bill perfectly!!

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Determined weight loser.....

In an ealier blog I mentioned my two friends who had lost weight on the 5:2 diet and had achieved significant weight loss.

This diet doesn't work for all and you have to find something which works for you and you have a fighting chance of keeping to it.

So I thought you might be interested in this article..

Charlie Falconer has always been regarded as a larger than life character but no more ...he has shrunk.  I must admit when I saw him on TV recently I didn't recognise him.

In the article he talks about the 5:2 diet and how he found it difficult to stick to the discipline.  He then worked out a regime (which some would say that on the surface isn't so healthy) which worked for him.

Inspirational stuff! I am not so sure I could be so dedicated particularly with 5 mile a day run...but each to their own.  He is no spring chicken and so those amongst you who say its too late - take heed!

I'm sure he must have taken the precaution of seeing his doctor first before embarking on the road to a healthier and fitter mature member of society!!