Having a positive outlook on life is a crucial part of finding inspiration

There are a lot of things that can provide inspiration – seeing other people accomplish great things, seeing other people overcome adversity, even the sheer beauty of nature can remind us just how lucky we are to be alive.

It’s easy to forget what an amazing gift life really is. Our lives are nothing but a cosmic blink. Even our seemingly all-encompassing world is just tiny blue dot circling an average sized star spiraling around a galaxy of 200-400 billion stars, which itself is just one galaxy among billions more. Yet for one brief moment, we get to experience the wonders of existence, of consciousness.

Having a positive outlook on life is a crucial part of finding inspiration. Our brains are wired to find things we’re looking for – if you’re always cynical or waiting for things to go wrong, then your life will reflect that. On the other hand, having a positive outlook on life will bring you joy and provide you with inspiration when you least expect it. Of course, there are times when it’s difficult to feel cheery or positive – life can be difficult. Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.

What inspires you?


Bike Ride around Rutland Water Park In aid of Cancer Treatment Funds

Thousands of people diagnosed with cancer in the UK are turning to Crowdfunding or setting up donation pages on Facebook to pay for potentially life-saving medical treatments that are not available on the National Health Service (NHS). It’s a practical way for friends, family and the community to come together and help as well as providing a lifeline for people by giving them access to pioneering treatments when they’ve been given a cancer diagnosis.

Friends and family members are taking part in various fundraising events to help raise much-needed funds for a much-loved family member who last year had Breast Cancer, sadly this year spread into her brain, kidney bone and stomach.

Heidi is doing a half marathon on the 24th Feb
Danielle is walking from Gibraltar to Estepona a 12 hour walk on 14th April including the bike ride around Ruthland Water Park in April. Set in 4200 acres of open countryside, Rutland Water Park is the central rural attraction in England’s smallest county of Rutland and offers activities for all the family.

Gail Mansfield who set up Raising Money For a Family Member Facebook Donation Page says:

At some point in your life you can be touched by cancer, it is the most heartbreaking news you will ever hear. As a family we are raising money for a family member who has won one fight but now faces another with the cost of treatments going into thousands of pounds.

We are doing a bike ride around Rutland Water in April. Your support would be greatly appreciated any amount will help our cause and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts – Together we can beat this.

A Cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming. Find out about coping with the emotional, practical and physical effects from Cancer Research UK Charity

You can make a Donation to help the family treatment funds with this link > Receiving donations on behalf of a family member



Dear Spoonie’s this won’t cure your disease BUT ….

Dear Spoonie’s,

This weekend, try and leave the house – Yeah, I know this makes you cringe because we hear this all the time from people who are sure we will be cured if we just get some fresh air and vitamin D from the sun. But we all need a change of scenery and seeing the same dirty dishes and dingy walls can quickly send you into depression. Walk outside and sit on the patio. Go to the local coffee house and check your email. Go to a movie, even if it’s alone.

Will it cure you of your disease? No, but it will put you back into the world and make your bed look even more appealing at the end of the day.

Living with illness is like sitting on a pottery wheel as a soft lump of clay. It doesn’t matter how long we sit there or what shape we are, as long as the hands of illness keep touching our life, we will be reshaped into something new.  Enjoy your weekend, whatever you decide to do.  If you decide going out this weekend isn’t for you, why not join other Spoonie’s > https://www.facebook.com/SpoonieQuotes/

They should issue medals along with the steady stream of medication

One of the things that baffles me (and there are quite a few) is how there can be so much lingering stigma with regards to mental illness, specifically having ‘Spoonie’ In my opinion, living with manic depression (plus few other things) takes a tremendous amount of balls. At times, having an invisible chronic illness can be an all-consuming challenge, requiring a lot of stamina and even more courage, so if you’re living with this ‘Spoonie’ and functioning at all, it’s something to be proud of, not ashamed of. They should issue medals along with the steady stream of medication.

Statistics say that a range of mental disorders affects more than one in four in any given year. That means millions of us are totally screwed and feeling alone and lost and very confused to why them.
Having perused the various tests available that they use to determine whether you’re manic depressive or whatever, I’m surprised the number is that low.

Feelings don’t try to kill you, even the painful ones. Anxiety is a feeling grown too large. A feeling grown aggressive and dangerous. You’re responsible for its consequences, you’re responsible for treating it. But…you’re not responsible for causing it. You’re not morally at fault for it. No more than you would be for a tumor. (touch wood that never happens) It is naively assumed that the fact that the majority of people share certain ideas and feelings proves the validity of these ideas and feelings. Nothing could be further from the truth. Consensual validation as such has no bearing on reason or mental health.

Some seek the comfort of their therapist’s office, other head to the corner pub and dive into a pint, but I chose writing as my therapy – The pain of severe depression is quite unimaginable to those who have not suffered it, and it kills in many instances because its anguish can no longer be borne. The prevention of many suicides will continue to be hindered until there is a general awareness of the nature of this pain.

What people never understand is that depression isn’t about the outside it’s about the inside. Something inside me is wrong. Sure, there are things in my life that make me feel alone, but nothing makes me feel more isolated and terrified than my own voice inside my head – which started when an amazing man in my life was taken by Prostate Cancer – He was my Hero, my best friend and also my Dad!

If you’re feeling down (or worse) you can send a text to 07725909090 and a volunteer will text back for a chat. Some people don’t like talking on the phone and find it difficult to open up to their friends and family.

You can also join a ‘Spoonie’ group on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SpoonieQuotes/

Everyday Hero walks across Europe in aid of Charity

Phil Crane will be walking across Europe starting February 2018 in aid of charity. Phil will be heading off on a non-stop trek across 8 countries in all – Holland, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey.

Phil will be taking this trek in the footsteps of Patrick Leigh Fermore, who in 1933, aged 18, bought an ex-army greatcoat and a pair of hobnail boots and crossed the continent. He wrote three books about his journey and arguably became the best travel writer of his generation.

Paolo Marvasi said:

I think more should know about my very good Friend Phil and his strong personal committment for a 69 old person, the peaceful and low impact intention, the historical and narrative inspiration, the charity and fundraising aim for a Childs Hospital in UK.

During The Second World War Patrick Leigh Fermore fought with Greek partisans in Crete and achieved legendary status in a daring kidnap of a German general. In 2011 a young journalist, Nick Hunt – did the same journey and also wrote an excellent book. He took seven months and estimated the distance at 2,500 miles.

Phil’s challenge is to be in Istanbul in under seven moths but also do it entirely on foot. His two predecessors occasionally took lifts, rode a bicycle and even borrowed a horse!! The idea has been in his head since 2011, on reading of Leigh Fermore’s life in his obituary.

Phil said:

So why now? – Because I can. And sometimes belief alone simply makes things happen. I guess there’s also something about proving as Ranulph Fiennes has on many occasions, that being a OAP doesn’t naturally bar a person from the odd adventure. I will be leaving on my 69th Birthday.

Originally the trek was to be a very low-key affair but my lovely daughter who has had a chronic kidney problem since aged five, convinced me to take the less selfish route of raising money for charity. The Edinburgh Children’s’ Hospital Charity. All my kids and grandkids have had copious visits (broken legs at Hill End, falling out of supermarket trolley) to what used to be called “Sick Kids”.

It’s a great cause and every single penny you donate will go 100% to the charity. Please visit to donate > Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity

If you would like to join Phil for some or all of this adventure which includes a bit of wild camping and about 100 miles per week walking for 25 weeks. You can contact him direct at philcrane2010@gmail.com So far it’s an EXPEDITION OF ONE and aiming for a 12th February 2018 kick-off

A man dies from prostate cancer every 45 minutes in the UK

A man dies from prostate cancer every 45 minutes in the UK, with the disease overtaking breast cancer to become the third biggest cancer killer in the UK, new research shows.

According to Prostate Cancer UK, the number of men dying from the disease has overtaken the number of women dying from breast cancer, with 11,819 men now killed by prostate cancer in the UK every year, compared with 11,442 women from breast cancer. However, lung cancer and then bowel cancer are the two most common cancers to die from in Britain.

While the number of women dying from breast cancer has steadily been decreasing since 1999, the same is not true for prostate cancer. Despite prostate cancer overtaking breast cancer to become the third biggest cancer killer, the shift does not represent a worsening situation for those with the disease. Men diagnosed today are two-and-a-half times more likely to live for 10 years or more than if they were diagnosed in 1990.

An enlarged prostate is the most common cause of urinary problems in men as they get older. Possible symptoms include:

  • a weak flow when you urinate
  • a feeling that your bladder hasn’t emptied properly
  • difficulty starting to urinate
  • dribbling urine after you finish urinating
  • needing to urinate more often, especially at night
  • needing to rush to the toilet – you may sometimes leak urine before you get there.

You may not get all of these symptoms, and some men don’t have any symptoms at all. These symptoms can be caused by other things such as cold weather, anxiety, other health problems, lifestyle factors and some medicines. Blood in your urine is rarely a symptom of an enlarged prostate and is usually caused by something else.

If you have any of the symptoms above, you should visit your GP to find out what is causing them.

You can read about how symptoms might affect your life in there booklet, Enlarged prostate: A guide to diagnosis and treatment.

20 Things to do every month to be happy!


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