c October 2016 | Garden, Tea, Cakes, (Books) and Me

Managing Your Health: Living with a Disability

Every now and then life reminds you that whilst you value your health you also take it for granted. If like me you live with a disability you make certain adjustments to your day to day life to manage and limit and the effects it can have on you physically. Saving your energy for not just living but enjoying life too.

I have spoken in the past about my disability Scoliosis, and also how I have changed my lifestyle to best help me manage living with scoliosis. 

Planning the thinking ahead is important to manage any disability, here is how I manage and achieve this balance. 

Physio Therapy and Medication Reviews
If you have been given exercises to do from a physiotherapist it is important to make them part of your routine. It is easy to miss a day and then a week, which then turns into a month. But continuing with them is important to manage any ongoing condition. Maybe use a physio diary to manage and keep track of your exercises.

You should also make sure you attend an annual medication review with your GP, nurse or pharmacist. Be sure to listen and to ask any questions you may have about your medication. 

Making Changes
Adapting and planning ahead to your needs will help keep you mobile and comfortable. Some changes around the home that can help are an adjustable bed, I have a memory foam mattress which perfectly supports my scoliosis 's' shaped spine. Having had a number of knee surgeries, walk in showers offer great bathing solutions, and somewhere to sit post knee surgery was essential to avoid accidental slipping. 
Bathing solutions walk in shower
Photo credit: Bathing Solutions
Pacing Yourself
I use the timer on my mobile phone to manage and limit any activities I do. This helps remind me to stop, step away and take a breath. Allowing you the energy to complete the tasks you need to do in phases and the activities you love, such as a hobby or maybe a visit with friends for a meal out.

Most importantly listen to your body, if you can not do everything then accept this and find your balance for what is achievable. If you need help from family and friends do not be afraid to ask, you will find they want to help.

Find out more on the breaking down barriers campaign

Do you live with a disability? Do you have any tips on how you manage your health?

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.
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How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse

Zombies are every where, well that may be rather an exaggeration in the real world. But our fascination with post apocalypse survival continues as the The Walking Dead returns to our television screens. I have watched the tv series since the beginning and even watched the sci-fi channels Z-Nation, which was more comedy than zombie horror.  

I have read some great zombie books too, my favourite The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan and most recent zombie book, Tomes of the Dead: The Words of Their Roaring by Matthew Smith, which I have reviewed for my 2016 Reading Challenge.  

So I thought it amusing that Compost Direct had created A Guide to Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse. Now I am pretty sure I would not last 5 days in a zombie apocalypse, although I like to think I had learnt something from Rick Grimes and all the books I have read. But one thing I know for sure, is I would rock at creating a compost heap to feed all the vegetables I would grow once I had a secure compound for my gardening.

What skill do you have to survive a zombie apocalypse?
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.
How to survive a zombie apocalypse walking dead
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Reading Challenge 2016 Update 4

My best effort to read 20 books for my 2016 Reading Challenge has slowed of late. I found the Summer a distraction of other activities and days out, allowing reading to slip from my radar. However, as Autumn arrived I was sent a reprieve, well unfortunately for me it was in the guise of a bad chest infection. Not able to do an awful lot for 3 weeks I did make progress during sleepless nights with my reading, and have added 3 more books making 12 books read. 

Catch up with my reviews below. They include a brief story synopsis, absolutely no spoilers and my views on how I found the book and if I would recommend it. 
book review reading challenge Tomes of Dead The Good Life CXVI Beginning the End

CXVI The Beginning of the End by Angie Smith
I scored this book 4/5 on Goodreads.

Who will survive?

When the murder of a colleague is linked to a series of suspicious deaths, Detective Superintendent Greg Woods’ team are tasked with solving the mystery. New to the team is Maria Barnes, whose besmirched character sadly precedes her. However Woods quickly discovers there is more to the detective sergeant than meets the eye: her skill level, knowledge base, and investigative talents far outshine his own formidable qualities…

And why is the Secret Intelligence Service so interested in Barnes and the investigation?

It’s a race against time to stop the killer, but he’s meticulous, cunning and ruthless. He leaves the police and intelligence service questioning if they are all out of their depth…

When forces contrive against them, Woods’ life hangs in the balance and for the first time in his career he risks breaking the rules… He and Barnes decide to go it alone to uncover who or what CXVI really is… The shocking truth lies at the heart of the Government and is trapped deep underground.
My Review
Wow CXVI The Beginning of the End, what a read. A fascinating story in the murder/thriller genre. I won this book in a giveaway, and was  really taken by surprise at the quality of the writing of this little know author. The story is very well written with intriguing characters and quite complex storyline. It is a crime detective with depth, not predictable and keeps you on your toes. Whilst the book contains violence I found it refreshing not to be littered with unnecessary swearing and sexual references on every page.

Written in a way that I felt I was part of the crime team and desperate to uncover the details of this disturbed serial killer. There are multiple story lines within the book that now lend themselves to the next book, and continue the story of detective Marie Barnes. A bargain read too just £1.99 as an ebookI scored this book 4/5 on Goodreads.

The Good Life: Up the Yukon Without a Paddle

I scored this book 5/5 on Goodreads.
Dorian Amos — a painter from Cornwall — and his wife decided that they were in need of adventure. Having searched their world atlas they decided to sell up and move to Canada in pursuit of a better life. Having bought Pricey the car, Boris Lock their faithful dog, a canoe and their fishing equipment they set off into the Yukon Wilderness to find a place they could call home. After months of camping alone in the great outdoors — where they encountered bears and wild men of the mountains — they eventually arrived at Dawson City, home to one of the great gold rushes of the 20th century. It was here that they found a run-down log cabin in the mountains nearby and began a new and gratifying life. A life they had always known they wanted.
My review
This book belongs to my sister and has been sitting on my bookshelf for a number of years, had I heeded her recommendation I would of read it sooner. What an inspiring read! 

I love that Dorian is just an average englishman, who one day decides there must be more to life than bills, working and monotony. He makes a decision most of us may ponder over briefly, and actual puts his dream into action. What follows is an exciting, unpredictable adventure in the couples effort to discover a new and fulfilling life in the wilds of Canada. At times they scared me witless with the encounters they faced, and there were situations that would have had me turn back to civilisation. The extremes in temperature they endure will leave you feeling cold to the bone. But they had a dream to follow, even if it did not always go to plan. 

I read this book in a day I was engrossed in following Dorian and Bridget's story. A thoroughly good read!

This book is available as both an ebook and paperback currently costing just over £7.00.
I scored this book 5/5 on Goodreads.

The Words of Their Roaring by Matthew Smith
I scored this book 3/5 on Goodreads.
London's Falling! London – a city overrun by the zombie hordes. Most of the human survivors live from day to day, scraping together an existence amongst the ruins, avoiding the shambling, flesh-hungry undead that stalk the streets. But for others the situation is an opportunity, a chance to establish a powerbase within the capital now that all authority has virtually collapsed. For gang lord Harry Flowers, the plague is his chance to finally rule the city unopposed. Operating out of his well-protected mansion on London's outskirts, Flowers sees a chance to use the zombies and the havoc they wreak for his own ends. The way he sees it, the ghouls aren't going to be around forever, and when he re-establishes a functioning society, it's going to be on his own terms. All he needs is a way to control the dead. But Flowers is not the only one with designs on the city...
My Review
I picked up The Words of Their Roaring with little expectation and had not even read the story summary on the back cove, but I do enjoy a post apocalyptic read. An enjoyable book in the zombie genre, and well written. I liked the fact that story did not stick to the usual predictable zombie themes. 

You explore the  zombie world through the main character Gabe, and his history with crime lord Harry Flowers. Whilst humans are trying to survive the rampent spread of a zombie virus this does not stop others from seeing an opportunity to build empires. The story cleverly flips between past, present and future of the zombie out break. I would of given this book an extra star but I found the last 40 pages of the story less enjoyable, as I felt it rushed the ending. But well worth the read. 
I scored this book 3/5 on Goodreads.

I am just starting book 13 a literary classic, which may just help keep me in reach of my reading challenge for 2016. You can keep up to date with my past and present reads by visiting my Goodreads page, see the link in the sidebar on the right hand side of your screen. 

Have you read any good books of late?

Follow my Book Shelf Pinterest Board 

If you purchase any of the books above using my link, I will receive a small commission. This income allows me to share my recipes, review and crafting adventures with you.
book review reading challenge Tomes of Dead The Good Life CXVI Beginning the End

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Glamping Lodge Break Oxfordshire Discovering Superglamp

There is nothing I enjoy more than holidaying in the UK. I really do enjoy a staycation, there is just so much to explore on our fabulous island. I have stayed in holiday cottages, hotels, bed and breakfasts and caravans, importantly when holidaying I want to be able to relax and be comfortable in my surroundings.  Which is probably one of the reasons why I have never tried camping, but then some clever person invented the concept of Glamping.
glamping UK holiday oxfordshire swiss farm camping hideout house
What is Glamping? 
Glamping "a form of camping involving accommodation and facilities more luxurious than those associated with traditional camping." 
Glamping gives you the chance to enjoy camping without the need of buying all the equipment and with the luxury of many modern amenities. The permanent nature of glamping lodges is perfect for none campers, everything you need is provided. It makes a bid for a quick escape from a busy home life to exploring the countryside just a step away. 

So the lure of glamping with the promise of luxury really appealed to me, I love the countryside and nature and an escape that combined all these elements sounded exciting and different. So given the opportunity my sister and I packed our bags and headed off in the car to Oxfordshire.
glamping UK holiday oxfordshire swiss farm camping hideout house
Perfect package of luxury
glamping UK holiday oxfordshire swiss farm camping hideout house
Comfortable and surprisingly spacious interior
We stayed in an amazing wooden pod lodge created by The Hideout House Company, it had everything you needed, whilst you relax, kick back and enjoy being surrounded by nature. Situated on the outskirts of Henley on Thames, our lodge at the Swiss Farm Camp site sat on edge of a lake surrounded by trees.
glamping UK holiday oxfordshire swiss farm camping hideout house
Relax and unwind on a pod lodge break
When we walked up to the lodge we were amazed by the setting and the lodge. It had a fabulous veranda with outside furniture and a hot tub! So pleased I packed my swimming costume.  Inside the lodge the surprises continued, tv, fridge, sink, toaster, electric heater, shower room and toilet, double bed and a sofa bed and pull out bed. All so cleverly designed to make the most of the space without feeling cramped. 
glamping UK holiday oxfordshire swiss farm camping hideout house
Stunning lakeside setting 
It was not long before the kettle was on and the biscuits open, sitting out on the veranda watching the Red Kites flying above and the ducks swimming on the lake. It was lovely just sitting and letting time slip by.  As it was early October we did use the electric heater in the evening and early morning, which soon had the cabin toasty warm. 
glamping UK holiday oxfordshire swiss farm camping hideout house
Red Kite 
The following day having woken early my sister and I enjoyed a breakfast of tea and toast whilst watching the rabbits hopping around and the ducks flying in and landing on the lake. Is that not the perfect way to start the day. Having spent the day exploring Henley on Thames we returned later in the afternoon to enjoy the luxury of the hot tub. Drinks in hand - a box of chocolates - face masks on! What a sight, but what fun, relaxing in the fresh air submerged in the hot tub looking up to the sky watching the Red Kites soaring above us. 

If this is glamping, I love it!
glamping UK holiday oxfordshire swiss farm camping hideout house
Hot tub luxury
glamping UK holiday oxfordshire swiss farm camping hideout house
Hello Mr Bunny
glamping UK holiday oxfordshire swiss farm camping hideout house
Heron by the Lake at Swiss Farm Camping
Other ways to SuperGlamp 
Wooden lodges are not the only way to enjoy glamping,  you can stay in Yurts even re purposed old train carriage or a shepherds hut. 

There are dedicated glamping sites located all around the UK, some have many pods or lodges on a site other maybe quite isolated and more basic. I know of site in rural Shropshire where country estates and farms have diversified into glamping by setting up a self contained lodge in a countryside setting. 

Have you been glamping? I would love to know your thoughts and recommendations for locations.

Disclosure: I received a stay at the Swiss Farm Camping courtesy of The Hideout House Company.
Glamping ideas uk travel oxfordshire henley

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