Always Remember Who You Are! #livehack #liveyourbestlife


When the shit hits the fans and you are feeling stressed, it can be hard to remember who you are, but it’s essential to your soul that you do remember who you are. In this video I talk about how to remember who you are, and tips and techniques you can do that will help you how to do just that, and keep yourself in a positive frame of mind.

In this video you will learn:

  • The importance of gratitude and things you can be a grateful for.
  • About conditioning and how to maintain being you.
  • How to self-love.
  • How to have maintain a positive mindset.
  • And more.

Let me know what tips and techniques from this video you benefitted from the most, by writing in the comments below! I would love to read you.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my #lifehacks channel, if you haven’t already, www.youtube.com/quirkybooksTV

As always, stay quirky and write soon

Sandra xx

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It all happened at once


Hi everyone

Just to let you know that I have been a bit quiet with blogging for a while because a lot has happened at once. (Well over a few days, one after each other.)

I am currently signed off work until the end of the week with a chest infection. I am on 1000mgs of antibiotics a day and they make me drowsy, dopey, feel sick, feel dizzy and give me stomach pains. I have got some anti-sickness tablets that are helping a bit.

Last week, on Wed 16th of October, I spoke to my mum on the phone and she was clearly not with it and very ill. She saw a doctor and he gave her antibiotics and anti-sickness tablets but told her not to take the antibiotics until she was eating again but she was too sick to eat much at all.

On Thursday 17th of October, I went to a meeting with my Grandma’s care home Manager about the poor care that she has been receiving. My dad had to be there too for legal reasons. His idea of what needs to be done to improve the care in the home and mine are sometimes not the same so the meeting was a bit stressful. I was glad that I stuck up for my Grandma’s rights. We have a special bond and if I didn’t try to improve the quality of her life whilst she is still alive, then I would never forgive myself.

Work in my day job was very stressful last week because there were two different customer issues that needed to be resolved. One of these issues went on for 4 days and the other became bigger. I am pleased to say that none of these issues were through any fault of mine. I was trying to get them resolved for the customer but both were beyond my control for resolution. I had to wait for the relevant managers to taken action and keep the customers happy in the meantime. It was hard work.

After work on Friday 18th October, I spoke to my mum on the phone. My mum had seen a doctor at home and had been told to go immediately to Torbay hospital in Torquay. I arranged to stay at my friend’s house in Torquay that night and by the time I got to the hospital it was almost midnight. I took the latest train as I had to clean, feed and settle my guineapigs for the night. I had never left them on their own overnight before.

My mum has a rare eye condition that affects her kidneys and at that point they thought it was a kidney infection.

My mum was on a drip and exhausted, I stayed briefly to check she was okay and I told her that I loved her. The receptionist said the consultant would be coming to see her the next morning some time between 8am and 10am.

I stayed over my friend’s house and had about 3 and a half hours sleep.

I headed back to the hospital on Saturday 19th of October to see what the consultant had to say. He said she had pneumonia. Me and my mum were a bit shocked.

I had taken the day off work to spend it with my mum and later she told me to see a Devon Doctor on call whilst at the hospital about my chest infection. It was a good sign that my mum was telling me what I should do. He tested my chest, diagnosed me with a chest infection and prescribed me 1000mgs a day of Clarithromycin antibiotics. Which is the maximum dose for severe infections. I had these antibiotics earlier this year for a severe chest infection but the 500mgs a day didn’t work and only double that dose would work. The side-effects are too bad to work with.

When I got home on Saturday night after seeing my mum at the hospital all day, the right side of Cinnamon’s face was swollen up like a tennis ball. I phoned the emergency vets and took him straight to the vets in a taxi. The vet said he had an abscess and they could operate and drain it or I could wait until Monday to see my own vet. After Peaches’s sudden death, there was no way I was going to risk it and so he had surgery that night. The vet phoned me to say he had come through the anaethetic okay and to collect him tomorrow.
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I ate a late meal then checked Daisy, just to make sure she was okay. I found two lumps on her stomach. I phoned the emergency vets and they said if she is eating and drinking then not to worry at the moment and to see my vet on Monday.

The next morning, Sunday 20th October, I called into work sick with my chest infection. I found a third lump on Daisy’s tummy and she hadn’t eaten or drunk hardly anything all night. I phoned the emergency vets and took her in. He couldn’t find any mites and he said he believes that they are fatty tissues and nothing to worry about it but to take her to see my own vet when I take Cinnamon at the end of the week for his check-up. They gave Cinnamon back to me to take home with Daisy. They asked me to syringe feed Cinnamon for the next 24hrs until he is eating all of his own foods again. He ate it from the syringe for them, but not for me. He hated it. Luckily he was eating his own foods almost straight away so I didn’t have to syringe feed him as often as every 2 hours. Daisy started eating too. The vet had concluded that Daisy must have been off her food and drink because she was pining for Cinnamon.

To cut an even longer story short. My mum is out of the hospital but still not well and my dad is cooking and cleaning for her. She had to come off one lot of tablets because they were making her have severe hallucinations and she phoned me up terrified. Without going into all of the details, she was seeing a younger version of me whilst I was talking to her on the phone. There was worse but I will leave it at that. The only trouble is, those tablets were the ones that I have to take for my chest infection. Although they gave her a higher than normal dose of 1500mgs. Without leaving an 8 hour gap in between tablets. My mum is worried about me still taking them.

I am drowsy from those antibiotics that I am taking. I finish taking them on Saturday night. The anti-sickness tablets that I am taking are for dizziness too. These also make me drowsy. Apologies if there are any mistakes in this post because I am really not with it.

Cinnamon, Daisy and Snuggles are all off to the vets tomorrow at 4.15pm to be checked over. Snuggles has been doing some face twitching and going on her side a little. It could be her heart and lung condition.

If I am well enough, I have to go to the hospital for a chest x-ray on Friday morning. There is no appointment, I have to go to the x-ray department with my doctor’s authorisation form, between 8am and 4pm and wait.

Apologies for the longer than usual post but I wanted you to know why I am not able to blog as much at the moment or interact as much on social media.

To look at the positive, I am blessed that my chest infection was diagnosed on the same day as Cinnamon had to have surgery because I need to be at home to look after him and give him his antibiotics.

Thanks for sticking with me. I am blessed to have such supportive and loyal blogger friends.

Write as soon as I am able to.

Sandra

My Invitation to St James’s Palace


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Hi Everyone

I thought you may be interested to read my latest post from my other blog http://www.beatredundancyblues.wordpress.com – here it is below:

As you probably know http://www.beatredundancyblues.com is your one stop resource for redundancy. As well as the practical aspects of redundancy it also covers health and wellbeing including stress, anxiety and depression.

You may like to know that I do voluntary work as a Health Buddy for CSV (Community Service Volunteers) in association with BBC Radio Devon. We promote health messages, learn from health specialists and encourage the 5 ways to wellbeing:

  1. Connect
  2. Be Active
  3. Take Notice
  4. Learn
  5. Give

On Wednesday 10th of March, I went to a CSV Health Buddy celebration of music and activities from local refugees who are being looked after by Devon and Cornwall Refugee Support.

I could not help but take notice of the variety of talent amongst the refugees. There were lots of activities including singing, sports, character making out of carrots and foods from their country. I learnt more about them and the foods they eat. People from different backgrounds connected and it was lovely of them to give up their afternoon to entertain and teach us.

At this event I was pleasantly surprised to be presented with a bouquet of flowers and a Certificate of Achievement for helping a distressed and vulnerable person as part of my role as a CSV (Community Service Volunteer) Health Buddy.

I was even more thrilled to be told that I had been chosen to represent the CSV organisation at their 50th anniversary celebration, to be held at St James’s Palace in London on Monday 15th of July 2013. In the presence of Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I feel incredibly honoured to be chosen for.

Redundancy can make you feel deflated and powerless. Take back the control in your life by discovering what you were born to do and make it happen for yourself.

I am living my dreams and I want you to be too.

Stay positive

Sandra Bellamy

A Refugee’s Story


Hi Everyone

Aside from writing, helping people who are redundant to get back into work and demonstrating fitted bedroom furniture in my day job, I also work as a volunteer Health Buddy for CSV (Community Service Volunteers) in association with BBC Radio Devon,

Each month, as Health Buddies, we attend a meeting to learn about a taboo health topic from a specialist in that field and last month was no exception as we learnt about asylum seekers and refugees. I could go into detail about the difference between these but what really made a difference to me personally, was the real-life case studies that had been compiled into one refugee’s case study story to give a rounded view of a refugee’s journey. Here it is:

Case Study

I had a very happy childhood living in a village with my family, my mother, father, brother, sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins when the fighters came. My father was shot because he was against the government and my Mum had a heart attack and died when she heard about how he was killed. I was really scared and ran away with my younger brother. We walked for days and days over the mountains until we were in the next country. We thought we might be safe there but people like us were being put in prison and not allowed to work and study because of who we were. A man told us if we paid him all the money we had he could get us somewhere we would be safe.

We were taken to a house and given some food and allowed to sleep on the floor with lots of other people. The agents beat us and we had to do what we were told. We travelled in the backs of trucks and were passed to other agents on the way. One time we stayed in a place that people called “the jungle” where there were lots of trees. Some people from a church brought us food there as we hadn’t eaten for three days. The next day the agent made me and another boy climb under a lorry and hold on. The lorry drove off with us underneath. We were getting really wet and I was so scared of falling we couldn’t move at all and we got so stiff. My brother and I were separated and I think he went on another lorry. I don’t know what happened to him. I never saw him again.

Eventually we stopped and some men in uniforms looked under the lorry with torches and fund us. We were taken out and said we were being arrested. I asked them where we were and he said we were in the UK. I wasn’t sure where this was.

We were then all taken to another place where we were asked about why we had come and how we had got here. I was so sore, stiff and exhausted from hiding under the lorry. It was difficult because although they had someone from my country to talk to me on the phone and translate what the official lady was saying, he didn’t speak my language but another language from my country and I couldn’t understand all of it. They wanted to know when I was born but I don’t know. We don’t record our ages or celebrate birthdays in my country. I was so tired I just wanted them to stop asking questions.

A group of us were put on a coach and taken a long way to a place called Wales. The people on the coach were from all over – so many different nationalities and languages. We stayed one night there and then five of us were taken on another journey to Plymouth where I live now.

I was given a room in a shared house and told that was where I would live and then left on my own with some vouchers to buy food but I didn’t know how or where. I felt really scared. Everything was so different from home. I didn’t understand what anyone was saying to me. No-one else here looks like me, speaks like me or dresses like me. Later other men came home to the house but they didn’t speak my language either. They did try and be friendly and gave me some of their food. I’m going to have to learn how to cook though.

Gradually I have begun to understand what I need to do. I have a solicitor in Cardiff who is helping me. I have told my story to the people who will decide if I can stay but they want to know how old I am. They don’t believe that I am 15. They say I am 18 or 19. They want me to prove my story about my father being shot and what he was doing but I don’t know how to get proof of that without making life dangerous for other people back in my village. That’s if they are still there.

At night I have horrible dreams about being under the lorry and about my father being shot. I don’t like to sleep incase the dreams come and I don’t like to sleep on my own. Then I feel so tired. Sometimes during the day I feel angry and frightened. I want to cry for my family – I don’t know if anyone is still alive.

It’s difficult to fill the days. I’d like to be occupied so I don’t think so much about what has happened and worry all the time about what would happen if I get sent back. We are not allowed to work and I can’t start an English class until I’ve been here six months and even then the waiting lists are so long it might be a year or more before I can learn properly. I watch TV at a friend’s house to try and pick some up and when I’m sat in the town centre I like to listen and see if I can start to make sense of it. I can go to a couple of free classes and at one we can all help prepare a meal together before the class. We end up either just sitting in our rooms or hanging about the town centre. That’s not so good as we do get picked on sometimes. People shout as us to go back home and call us horrible names. Sometimes it’s good not to understand.

I don’t know what will happen and I guess that’s the worst now. The not knowing. The waiting for a decision. Yesterday one of my friends who comes from a different area of my country was refused asylum as they say it is safe for him to go home. He is scared he will be put in a detention centre near London while his solicitor tries to stop this and prove that it’s not safe for him to go home.

Another friend is living on the streets now. They say he can’t have asylum and he doesn’t meet the definition but his country won’t accept him back. So now he has no support here. He has to live on the streets and accept whatever help he can get from anywhere. I try and give him some cigarettes when I have some. At least that’s something.

But at least I feel safe here. People can say things here – criticise their government, wear what they like, go out at any time of the day and night, be all sorts of different religions and no one minds. No-one beats them. No one forces them to do things. The police or authorities don’t come to take them away or torture them or kill them because of it. It’s safe and I feel safe here.

There are some nice people here too who help us. Like the people who teach us some English and help us with our cases. There is a football team with people from lots of different countries and I like playing with them.

Ideally I would like my country to become peaceful like this one and I could go home and work for a good life and find my family. If that’s not possible I would like to stay here and work and study so I can make a good life here.

End of case study story

Reading this case study made me think of how lucky I am that I wake up everyday knowing where I am, that I can choose where to live, that I have family and friends around me, that I have some certainty, familiarity and security in my life, that often these people do not.

At the meeting, we were asked by the specialist to list everything that mattered to us, that was really important to us personally and that we felt we couldn’t live without. Each member of our Health Buddy group was then asked to take another person’s list away from them and we then had to share how we would feel if everything on that list had been taken away from us for real and we could never go back to get it. This felt shocking to me and a real eye-opener. I knew I would feel absolutely betrayed, devastated, angry, upset and bewildered if anything like this should happen to me and I pray that it never does.

We learnt that not only do refugees leave behind family, friends and loved ones, some of them leave behind well paid jobs that make them rich in their own country, only to be thrown into poverty in another country, as they have to flee for their lives. In reality I guess we would all do whatever it takes to stay alive and that’s just what they have to do.

Any mis-conceptions that I may have had, have gone by the wayside and I just hope every one of the refugees are able to stay safe and find some inner peace and happiness.

Write soon
Sandra

Write-A-Thon Winner – Close Contest


Hi Everyone

quirkybooks’ latest competition to win a signed copy of Rochelle Melander’s Write-A-Thon, was a close contest, with many people trying several ways to win.

I am pleased to announce that Casey Jo Roach is the winner of the signed copy of Write-A-Thon. Congratulations Casey.

Thanks to everyone who entered and made the competition a great success.

For this competition I asked the question: “If you could buy any self-help book, what topic would you choose and why?”

Amongst the answers were books about:

  • How to write well
  • Writing resources
  • Writing an interesting Novel
  • How to write a novel quickly
  • Getting published
  • Overcoming Depression
  • Mindfulness
  • Stress
  • De-stressing
  • Anxiety

I thought it was remarkably interesting that two main categories shone through: Writing and Health and Well-being. Two of my favourite subjects to write about. So watch this future space!

If you could buy any self-help book, what would it be? Please leave a comment below.

Next post will be about my nominations for the Liebster Award, so don’t miss it.

Write soon.

Sandra