Tag Archives: personal

Must. Try. Harder.

Has it really been a year since my last post? Technically no, as it’s only been 364 days but let’s not split hairs here – there’s no denying that when it comes to keeping Cooking with Apples updated with fresh, exciting and engaging content, I really do need to try harder. Thanks for your patience… if you’re, er, still here?!

Of course I started this blog as a bit of fun – an experiment to see whether or not I was any good at writing, and whether or not anyone would take an interest in what I had to say. The lack of any activity here reflects the fact that things haven’t really been all that much fun lately, and that I’ve been questioning whether or not I’m good at anything, let alone writing.

2013 has been an interesting, roller-coaster of a year with more highs and lows than I can remember – my ship has not sailed a particularly smooth course, and it’s been one of those years that in many ways I’d like to forget. Equally though I will learn from my experiences and take comfort in the fact that I suspect I’m not alone – life has a habit of throwing all of us the odd curve-ball from time to time, some of which connect and cause real pain, others we somehow manage to deal with better, react quicker and avoid any devastating impact.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking for sympathy or for someone else to fix the specific things that need fixed in my life – I recognise what those things are, and need to do the fixing myself. I’ve suffered from stress this year and will admit that I’ve felt very low and alone at times too, but there are people who have to deal with far greater stress, tragedy or misfortune than I do. I have nothing to complain about as I have everything anyone could ask for, and with a loving wife of 18 years and two beautiful children there’s no reason why I should ever feel alone.

Whilst many people suffer from chronic ill health and others battle with obesity, I am without a shadow of doubt the fittest and healthiest I’ve ever been too since making those lifestyle changes 3 years ago and starting to cycle to work. In case you’re interested, I’m still ‘winning’ and maintaining a healthy 11st12lb, plus 2013 saw me clock up an impressive 5,572 miles on my bike – that’s a significant 18% increase on last year and a lot of diesel I’ve not had to buy!

I guess everyone deals with what life throws at them in their own way, and it’s only when too many curve-balls come at you at the same time that things can get overwhelming and maybe reaching out is the right thing to do. A problem shared and all that, although I suppose the cyclical might suggest that it depends who you share with.

I’m my own worst enemy really, still looking for answers when I don’t know or fully understand the questions, worrying about things that I can do nothing about rather than focusing on things I can, and always wanting to fix problems rather than deal with them – 2013 has taught me that those are two very different things.

And so here I am on the verge of another Christmas holiday with part of me really looking forward to a well-earned break from the regular routine, and part of me dreading what 2014 will bring, other than a mid-life crisis – I may not be over the hill yet, but it’s getting very close.

Wherever you are, and whoever you are sharing your Christmas with this year, make sure you have a happy one. With the New Year just around the corner too, if you find yourself looking back on 2013 thinking that it was a roller-coaster ride that got a little out of shape at times, that maybe you could have dealt with things differently, stood up for yourself more often, been more attentive and not got so worked up about things you have little or no control over, you’re not alone.

I don’t normally do resolutions, but this once can’t hurt… Must. Try. Harder.

Merry Christmas everyone.

My iSpeech

I don’t drink, and as someone who normally lacks self-confidence I’ve always been somewhat reserved when it comes to social gatherings, and even family get-togethers can be quite intimidating. So it will come as no surprise that my Dad’s wedding was shaping up to be a nerve-wracking experience, especially as I was his Best Man and had to stand up and make a speech. Continue reading My iSpeech

Everybody needs somebody

Tomorrow is a big day – my Dad is getting married, and not only do I have the dubious honour and very real privilege of being his best man, but both my daughters are going to be bridesmaids too. I have never seen my Dad happier, healthier or more relaxed than when he’s with Norma, and I wish them both all the luck, wealth, health and happiness for their future together.

A tale of two halves

Those who know me and follow me on Twitter will know that I’ve recently started riding my bike again. It’s a bright orange Trek 6500 that I bought 4 years ago – a model that is very well equipped with quality Shimano components and a ‘Super Light Racing’ aluminium frame. Admittedly the garish colour wasn’t my first choice, but I’ve always liked Trek bikes and it was heavily discounted as a previous seasons model when I bought it. Despite being well geared up for it (literally) it’s never seen any serious off-road use – much like I suspect most ‘mountain’ bikes I pass on the cycleways and footpaths. Continue reading A tale of two halves

I’m a loser…

For as long as I can remember I’ve been overweight, suffered from migraines, lacked self-confidence and been quite unfit. Last October I tipped the scales at 250lbs, and decided that for someone who is 5’10” that was far too big a number. Something had to change, but with work and play mostly involving sitting on my back side in front of a computer, and me really rather enjoying my food, what was I supposed to do? Continue reading I’m a loser…

Bah, humbug!

Sometimes we forget the true meaning of Christmas. Turn on the television, and it’s impossible to escape the barrage of advertisements for the latest re-gurgitation of previously released material on DVD, over-priced exotic smelly water, celebrity biographies and cookbooks, gadgets, gizmos, games and garments. Let’s not forget food and drink either, and the somewhat ominous re-running of adverts that I’m sure I remember seeing years ago – budgets tight this year perhaps? And don’t even get me started on toys – a toy dog that actually urinates? Please (and I mean “no thanks”). Continue reading Bah, humbug!