Book review: “The Year of Less,” by Cait Flanders.

Wanting to see if there were new ways of spending less and after scouring the internet, I came across the mention of this book, “The Year of Less,” by Cait Flanders. From scouring lots of pages, I don’t know where I originally learnt of this book and the positive review that was given, but I looked on Amazon and read the reviews there, which mostly seemed all positive.
I have now read the book and although this review may start of negative, it doesn’t finish off that way.

I was excited when I received this book and I could not wait to start and read it. After a few pages in, I was feeling disappointed, but I continued to read, because I was enjoying what I was reading. Although several more pages, I was still slightly disappointed, as it was not what I was expecting. I then started flicking through the pages of this book and found what I was expecting, was more near the back. So the layout of this book was not what I expected. I then mindfully read this book for what it was and not how I was expecting it and continued to enjoy reading it.
As I have not come across Cait Flanders before, reading her story before the tips at the back I was expecting, was handy for me and so the book layout worked well in the end. You get to know Cait Flanders in this book, as to what she used to spend, the debt she incurred and how she changed it all.
Through her mindfully changing her ways, she cleared off her debt and also saved money, learning how to fix some things herself and she truly discovered what mattered to her.
After learning about her year of less, you then read about how you can do it too.

I don’t know how much I will take and use myself from this book, because I am doing most of these things already, but I will definitely be using some of her tips, like only buying something when I have run out. There is also another that is a good reminder for myself; asking myself, do I really need it? before buying it. There is a useful chart in her book with questions on this line, to get you really asking this question on something you may be thinking of buying.

Although this book won’t be staying on my bookshelf, I have made the notes I need and I have enjoyed reading the book. This book I am now passing onto a friend, for her to read and when she has finished with it, she is welcome to keep it, or pass it on.


Why do people look at you weird, when they learn you choose to stay single?

(Content warning: mentions rape, child abuse and a bit of swearing.)

I choose to stay single, as my blog readers will know and understand.
My faith in relationships is no more, other than friends. I don’t want to live with anyone as a friend, or anything more.
Until people have been in my situation where you have been raped and a little mental abuse in your first relationship, find a second to be nice as he his, but did not go anywhere because I was on like a rebound from the first, but there were other things too and so I had so many years break, before meeting the third.
The third I split up from after 6 years, because he could not commit and so during all that time, that relationship was part-time. I had learnt last year as you know by accident, that he was a child abuser and was jailed last June for 4 years and 6 months. So it is understandable that I have lost faith in anything more than friendships.

Yes, I can live on my own happily and mostly, it is not lonely. I keep myself busy, or I relax. Either way, I do what I want to do and I do not have to consult on anyone. I have my freedom and I would not want that to change.

The last relationship I was in, he gave me faith in relationships. I never felt threatened, or pressured while I was with him. At that time I was with him, he was my friend, a soul mate and lover. To find out what he became last year and never see that in all the time I was with him, he has destroyed me when it comes to having faith in relationships. I was hugely triggered when I found out via a website, while browsing for something not related.
Although I do not talk of this man here, or personally with friends much, I am hurt to find what he is. He has destroyed me. There is no way I could live with anyone, on any level.
I never thought he would be a child abuser and that is what really gets to me. But I do remember how our last conversation over Skype went, which I will never forget how he looked like an animal trapped in headlights, when I said “I bet I know why you don’t want to move?” I will never forget that look, because I was mystified then, as to why he looked at me like that and I did not know then, what I know now. But to find out years down the line what he is and remember that day… Well, now I know.

So please be careful when you talk about relationships, as in expect me to commit with someone in some way, because it is a fucking trigger.

Why do people, expect certain people to live together?

Just because  i get on with them as a friend, does not mean I should move in with them. I value the friendship so much, that I would not risk jeporadising it.

Why do people look at you weird when you talk about living on your own happily, or travelling on your own happy? I’m not the only single person in this world, so stop looking at me like a freak.

I find now when I walk around, that I am very wary at times who is near me. There has been times I have felt threatened. That person was probably alright, but because of the vibe I was getting off them, I felt on high alert and triggered. I know that this trigger has re-appered because of learning what my ex became. If ex makes it alive out of jail, he better not come across me, because I would tell him to quickly walk away. If he was to get close enough, I could not say I wouldn’t wallop him one.

The funniest thing I have received in response to travelling alone, when I spoke with someone many years ago was, “Don’t you get bored?”
My reply while laughing, was “Why would I get bored while holidaying alone? Do you think I am going to stay in the hotel all day? I go out and see things.”

But the most inspiring and complimentary comment received was, “I think you are brave travelling somewhere. Especially when you have gone somewhere new. I don’t think I could do that.”

So please don’t judge someone who chooses to be single, because it’s our right, for what ever those reasons may be. Someone may choose to be single ad not have been abused. We all have our own story.

My blood pressure

Since this post, “I feel I am losing a battle,” I have continued to monitor my blood pressure, as well as another nurse appointment that I had this morning, for them to monitor it.

Some of my blood pressure readings I have noted, which I took with me to the appointment today.

Like before, my reading taken by the nurse, was higher than my own readings. The nurse took a second reading and while one number dropped down, the other number went up, so the nurse thinks that I am having ‘white coat hypertension.’ This is when your blood pressure is consistently 140/90mmHg or above, when taken in a medical setting only.
The nurse was going to book me in for another blood pressure check, but I’d said I would book with the doctor, to see what he thought. (A particular doctor that forwarded me to the nurse.) The nurse recommended I take on my readings too, which I would have done, as I have done this before, as usually he will add them on my notes.

My appointment for my doctor is not till 18th July, so a bit of a weight, but I shall take my blood pressure every 2 days until then.

To read more about ‘White coat hypertension,’ you will find it here, over at Blood Pressure UK.

Blog post re-share: Why does my cat Headbutt me? — Katzenworld

Out of all my cats I have owned, Miley (bless her) has been the only cat to do this; headbutt me. I have had lots of these headbutts and I have felt huge love.

Read Katzenworld blog post, on why they do this.

Why does my cat Headbutt me? If you’ve got a cat that loves lots of affection, you’ve probably found yourself on the receiving end of a lovely, soft… headbutt. You might have been left wondering why did your cat headbutt you? And if your cat should be doing this? We’ve got a few answers for…

via Why does my cat Headbutt me? — Katzenworld


Today, my anxiety is showing. It started off small, but then while dealing with something else, it was worse.  What I was dealing with today was something simple that I had to be assertive with. Being assertive was what brought the anxiety out more. This surprised me, because usually when I take something back to a shop that I am not happy with, I usually manage. But then it has been some years in taking something back to a shop and I don’t think I would have had the anxiety then. I don’t think it would have shown to the person serving me, but I felt it.
I am now calming myself down, having lunch and a pot of tea. Maybe when I have finished this pot of tea, my anxiety will gone, or hardly there.

Book review: “The CBT Good Habit Journal,” by Christine Wilding and Gill Hasson

This book is something I have been working on for some time, after coming across it in a bookshop in town. I am still working through this book, as this post airs.

This mindful book is ideal for anyone, because we would all get something out of it and it’s best to read at least two, or three pages a day, as you work through this book.

  • to clarify thoughts
  • to change the way you think about yourself
  • to express yourself in a creative way
  • to help reduce stress
  • to help solve problems more effectively
  • to help resolve disagreements with others
  • to help gain perspective

When using this book, I wrote directly in the pages, because this is my journal after all. This book is interactive and fun, while I learn good habits and build confidence, using the CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) in my daily life.

I in particular loved the tiny frogs story on page 84 of this book, as it made me smile and I wasn’t expecting it to end the way it did. The author who written the frog story is unknown, so whoever this was, it was very good for a short story and appropriate in this book.

The contents of this book:

1. Goals
2. Being aware of your thoughts
3. Challenging negative thinking and finding alternative way of thinking.
4. Thoughts and physical feelings
5. Beliefs
6. Behaviour
7. Emotions
8. Conceptualizing

A surprise turnaround from my mum

So since these two posts from yesterday:

As I mentioned in one of these comments that night these posts aired, mum had sent a couple of apology texts. The first one I ignored, but when I received a second one which was late and past her usual bedtime, I replied with what I felt like saying, when I received her first sorry text, saying how sorry was not good enough and how I want to see her take action with her mental health and either have counselling which I recommend, or see her doctor.

I posted the letter this morning to her doctor, saying how I was still concerned about my mum’s mental health, when it started and how she is not helping herself. Adding that I believe counselling would be the best option, but after the right counsellor suitable contacted her, she cancelled. I also stated how I was tired and I was now done helping her further, with not following any advice given over the years.

The turnaround

This afternoon, while at a friends, an unexpected text came from my mum. She texted to say that she had an appointment that afternoon, with one of the doctors. I texted back to say good, if she was going about her mental health, which she replied yes. Although this was an unexpected turnaround after yesterday, I’m not holding my breath, because there was time I felt for her to back out again.

But later…

Well later tonight, mum texted further, (which mum’s text can sometimes be limited, depending on predictive text) to say that she was waiting on a doctor, so I am assuming she will be going back to where she had help before when she became ill, but as an outpatient. Also, mum has rang the other number again. (Counselling she turned down before.)

I want to feel relieved of this turnaround, but I am on guard, because this could all change again, if she backs out. Time will tell.

I said to mum in the text tonight, that she can tell me more if she likes when I next see her, which I revealed that it will be in a fortnight’s time when I see her. Mum replied ok.