How is it September already?

My last blog was towards the end of July and since then I’ve done three nights at the Royal Welsh Show, I’ve been to London for a big team meeting then straight to my parents house to volunteer at the Eisteddfod (a Welsh language cultural festival) for the weekend, before jumping back on the train to spend a night in my own bed before popping off to Amsterdam for a week. On my return from Amsterdam I did a night’s camping in the middle of three days of work so I could watch my boyfriend on the new Settlement Camp stage at Green Man Festival. We then returned to Green Man for three nights, one of which was Cal’s birthday so we then partied when we got back to Cardiff.

I had to be poured into my bed by the weekend of August 23rd and on the Saturday Cal was playing Hub Festival.


More photos here…


How do you see yourself?

I’m having a good body confidence day. A new off the shoulder top arrived in the post this morning and it’s cheered me right up.

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I weighed myself about a month ago and I’ve put on a stone since April 2013 when I did my skydive! This came as a bit of shock even though I’d noticed a bit of tightness getting into some of my clothes. I’ve been feeling pretty good about myself as I’m doing yoga now and I’ve nearly completed my #Couch25k program. Over the last few weeks it’s been difficult to keep up these new activities as I’ve been away with work and generally busy due to the lovely weather we’ve been having.

Long story short: I didn’t realise how down I’d been getting about my weight gain until I apprehensively tried on my new top and realised I looked great in it. I’m still keen to lose a bit of weight so I can fit into all the lovely things own but I’m not going to beat myself about it when it doesn’t happen quickly. I’m more worried about my health since I had a little scare a few months back but the doctor says I’m fine and to keep doing what I’m doing. So for now I’m off to the park.

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Doh! I was doing so well…

Once again I’ve let my blogging slip. At least this gap was only a month and a half. It has been a pretty crazy month and a half (she says, trying to make herself feel better)!

The remainder of Action on Stroke Month went as well as the beginning. I recently put together all the statistics for the month in Wales and we took over 1200 blood pressures! That’s 1200 people who are now aware how important blood pressure checks are and many of whom have been told to have another check up within the month, if not the week, as their reading was on the high side. I’ve never been unlucky enough to have to send someone straight to their doctor! (Definitely just jinxed myself) Thoroughly enjoyed my second year of our Pop Up Shop, this time with an added art exhibition.

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With May over it was then time to look to our Life After #StrokeAwards at the beginning of June. We had a Welsh winner again this year! Angharad Lloyd-Thomas, from Bancyfelin, won the Adult Courage Award for her strength and determination after having a stroke half way through her university degree. She’s a stubborn young woman and managed to complete her degree with a 2:1 and graduate with her friends! I feel very fortunate to have had the chance to get to know her through her volunteering efforts over the last six months. She’s done so many favours for me by getting involved in my media work and it helps she’s a whizz on social media. I had to include the shot of her posing with Russell Howard in the #StrokeAwards photo booth. Bless him!


In my personal life I’ve had a busy few weeks going to a couple of impromptu gigs, looking after dogs and rabbits, joining a local choir and organising afternoon teas so my lady friends and I could stuff our faces with tiny sandwiches and scones.

I won’t go mad with detail but I was thrilled to be able to attend another Hot 8 performance and this time down the road in The Globe. It was a sweaty evening of singing (without quite knowing the words) and having my first dance in months.

My room mate, Michal Iwanowski, had another exhibition this time showcasing tattoos on the skin of people over 50. I was thrilled to be able to find a few friendly faces who were willing to join the project, No Regrets. It had an interesting slant to it in that the images were displayed outside on boards, that didn’t feel perfectly smooth, to imitate skin.

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I’m thrilled to call myself a member of the Roath Community Chorus. I joined a month before their WWI centenary concert so that was a bit nerve wracking but I got away with it (apart from a cheeky duet with a fellow alto when we weren’t actually meant to be singing)! I offered my services for social media purposes and should be taking on their Facebook shortly. I’ve also asked my friend Rich Owen to get involved on the marketing side as the posters need sprucing up. He’s doing some great stuff at the moment (I would say this as he’s made a Star Trek poster).

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To finish, I had the chance to see some of my favourite people in the flesh two weeks ago: Penn and Teller. As expected I spent the entire show with a huge grin on my face. They did a mix of old and new routines, some of which I’d seen before but was happy to see live. Particularly the Fundamentals of Sleight of Hand with Penn on his double bass *happy noises*

It has been a brilliant few weeks but I’m happy work has quietened down a bit and I’ve had a few weeks before we’re off to London again and then the Royal Welsh Show! Phew!


Stroke Association Popup Shop



Next week is our pop-up shop in St Davids 2 shopping centre. The images above are from last year’s shop which was a big success. The final preparations are being sorted for this year’s which will be an art exhibition to celebrate pieces created by members of our stroke groups. We’ve been really lucky that our available space is actually inside St Davids 2 this year and directly opposite Costa Coffee.

Can’t wait to see all the art hung and our branding in place in what is currently a husk of an old shop.


Action on Stroke Month Flash Mob

To kick off Action on Stroke Month in Wales we asked staff and supporters to come together in a frozen flash mob on Cardiff’s Queen Street. Over 80 people turned up in purple wigs, hats, masks and t-shirts. There was a great response from passers-by, many stopping at the stall to ask what was happening and why.

To find out more information please visit: http://www.stroke.org.uk/tia

The song used is Stepping Stones by Tim and Sam’s Tim and the Sam Band with Tim and Sam


Stroke Association says freeze!

Stroke Association says freeze!

I am so thrilled with our events last week.

Our launch for Welsh assembly members in Cardiff Bay went brilliantly. We had several speakers including stroke survivor and Stroke Ambassador Angharad Lloyd-Thomas, 21, who had a stroke half way through her university degree. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room by the time she finished. To go full cliche: she’s an inspiration! She hasn’t let her stroke hold her back at all and I’m thrilled to have had the chance to meet and work with her.

Thursday 1 May went just as well. Everyone turned up for the flash mob as hoped! We were promised a few more people but there were enough to make an impact. My new flatmate Michal Iwanowski captured some great poses and we were joined by International Journalism students from Cardiff University who filmed on the ground and from the window of EasyGym.

With my sister’s help I also got some footage that I’ve been editing together. It’s been such a huge relief that both events went smoothly and had a brilliant response. Now onto our Step Out and Community Fair events. Tallyho!