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R for Random (facts about me)

For R, I thought I’d share a few random facts that you may or may not know about me.

1.  LEGO

I love LEGO.  I love the bright colours and that you can make anything out of them.  With that in mind, I’ve had an idea (for years!) that I would love to bring to fruition.  I have done some research and bought oodles and oodles of pieces.  I bought so much one year, that LEGO sent me a Christmas Card! 

Did you know that if you create something (unique) in LEGO, you can submit it and if it gets so many ‘likes’ it goes through to the next round; and if the idea keeps progressing through the stages (with increasing number of ‘likes’), LEGO will commission the product for the shelves.

So, I’m seriously looking for a fellow LEGO enthusiast (or not) with a design mentality who will collaborate with me.  I truly believe in my idea and feel it has legs… but I’m stuck at the first hurdle as I’m not a designer!   If this is you, PLEASE get in touch.

2.  Bird watching

Back in 2008 when I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue, I spent many a month on the sofa.  It was then that I got into bird watching.  Fed up with watching Phil & Holly (and also, I needed peace rather than background noise), I looked out of the window and was amazed how many different species of our feathered friends came to visit. 

My RSPB bird book was well thumbed as I made it my mission to get to know what I was looking at. 

I still enjoy this pastime today and will never go for a walk in the woods or countryside without a set of binoculars round my neck.  My happy place is the Wetlands Trust in Arundel, sitting in the hides watching the birds and trying to spot the elusive Kingfisher.

My favourite bird is the buzzard and brings a smile every time I see one.  When I go on a car journey, nine times out of ten, I’ll spot the magic three.  A Kestrel, a Buzzard and a Red Kite.  Spotting all three makes Susan a happy girl.

3.  Korfball

Korfball is a mixed-gender sport, originating in the Netherlands in the early 1900s when a schoolteacher wanted his kids to play a sport together.   For those who’ve never heard of the sport, it’s best described as a mix of basketball and netball, although it’s very different to both!

I started playing when I was six years old and continue playing to this day.  I’ve represented my county of Surrey and also Great Britain at all age levels from Under 16s through to Seniors, traveling the world to play.  The furthest I’ve travelled to play was Taiwan, for the Under 23s World Championships. 

It’s now played in many more countries around the world and around the UK too, so it’s becoming not so random!

4.  I’m allergic to fresh fruit.

I grew up loving fruit.  I’d have an apple in my lunch box everyday at school, and when we travelled to the South of France camping during the school summer holidays, we would stop off at the laybys and my parents would by a couple of wooden boxes of the white flesh peaches.  They’d buy two as my brother and I would chomp through a load on the way back to the campsite so there wasn’t any left for them!  Other favourites were pomegranates, apricots, plums, and kiwi fruits.

However, one day in my early 20’s, I ate a nectarine and my mouth and tongue started to feel odd, so I had a glass of milk and after 30 minutes, the tingling sensation calmed down.  This would happen after any fruit I ate, so now I avoid all fresh fruit.  Cooked fruit is fine.  Bananas too – but I only like them if they’re covered in custard!

5.  Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Not so random as I don’t hide it, but a few facts you may not know.

I was diagnosed in 2008 after struggling to hold a cup of tea without elbows on the desk along with a few other symptoms, but I’m sure I’ve had it since I was about 16/17 when I ‘think’ I had glandular fever on a school ski trip.  Looking back now, there were signs, but we put it down to the fact I’m very good at burning the candle at both ends and so often needed time to ‘re-charge’ my batteries – especially as I played a lot of sport.

Whilst I’m a lot better and I can now with 99% certainty know I’ll be able to get up in the morning (which wasn’t always the case), I will always have it, so I do need to be careful not to overdo it.  That’s the challenge and one I’m not very good at.

I’ve had several relapses since 2008, one particularly severe one side-lined me for several months and was the catalyst to setting up my business.

When I have a relapse, I’m unable to do much.  Some days are better than others. 

On particularly bad days I’m unable to get out of bed.  There is a deep physical fatigue (different to tiredness) that feels like you’re sleeping in treacle with tonne weights sitting on top of you.

Other days you feel ‘much better’, so you’re led into believing you’re better, but then the consequences hit.

There’s a very fine line that, if you cross, makes you worse.  The issue is, is that the line constantly moves, so what ‘works’ one day, won’t necessarily ‘work’ another.

…and then there’s all the other symptoms that deserve another blog on their own.

Working from home helps my health as if I’m having a ‘bad day’ (yes, I still get them despite playing sport and looking well) I carry out client work in my pj’s looking a little dishevelled, but deadlines are met and work is done.

If you have any other questions or have repetitive admin tasks that you just don’t enjoy that you’re happy for a dishevelled, sporty, bird-loving and aspiring LEGO builder VA to help you with, then email me, let’s have a chat.

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