Monthly Archives: July 2022

Last night

Last night, on our way to an island on Lough Ree, the engine stopped working on the boat behind me in the picture.

Nothing anyone did got it started.

As we floated out in the Loogh Ree, wondering what we were going to do, Marian suddenly got the engine started!

We didn’t move.

The propeller had fallen off.

After using an old door as an oar we’re currently stranded on the coast. We set up camp last night and lit a fire. Now, this morning, we have to work out how to get home.

Anxiety at the gym

Anxiety at the gym

So I’m fat. No amount of pulling my stomach in is going to hide it. There are days I don’t mind it. I never like it but there are days I think “I’m happy, I have a great life, Brad loves me, who cares what size I am!”

These days are few and far between.

At work I can ignore it.
At home I can ignore it.
Out with friends I can mostly ignore.
Performing I can always ignore it.

At the gym, well that’s a whole different matter.

At the gym, where I’m going to try and get fitter, I often get body image anxiety. And by often I mean every singe time. I’m not exaggerating there, I get it every single time.

Sometimes I can ignore it. I switch it off by saying “hey, you’re doing something about it!” but other days I can’t. Yesterday was one of those days where I couldn’t turn it off.

In I walk, ashamed of being so big and wondering which member of staff is judging me.
[None of them are!]

I get changed, trying to find a spot where no one can see me because, well, who would want to?
[No one! Not because I’m fat but because straight men rarely want to see other men naked, and yes, most of them are straight — we can smell our own!]

I walk to the exercise room, noting how busy the pool is because if it’s too busy I’m not going in because people will judge me.
[No, they won’t! They don’t care, they’re there to swim, not look at me!]

I spend thirty minutes to an hour on the treadmill, panicking that my fat feet make too much noise pounding the treadmill.
[My feet aren’t fat, they’re feet! And no one can hear me as they have their music playing!]

I then move to the weights. I pick up two dumbbells and do some bicep curls but I’m constantly seeing the other guys looking at me.
[They’re not. They’re looking in the mirror watching themselves work out. I don’t even appear on their radar!]

I move to a machine to get away from the guys watching me.
[Again, they’re not watching me, they’re watching themselves, I’m not important!]

I don’t spend long on the machine before anxiety gets there better of me and with everyone watching I get embarrassed and leave.
[No one watches me!]

I go back to the changing room and the staff stare as they know I’ve not been there long.
[The staff are actually more concerned that physically and mentally I’m okay and not worried about how long I’ve been there – I know this to true, they’ve proved it!]

Again I find a corner of the changing room where no one will see me.
[Again, they’re not interested in seeing me!]

I shower and dry off in the shower cubicle and panic that the towel is too small and won’t go around me.
[Our towels are huge, they swamp me even now.]

Back at the bench I sit and wait until people have left. They don’t want to see me dry my fat belly.
[No, they don’t want to see it because they don’t care!]

I leave and keep my head down so I don’t have to interact with the staff because I’ll make up a lie about why I’m leaving.
[They won’t care about that, they just want me to get a good experience from the gym.]

I sit in the car and do all I can to not get upset about everything that I think that just happened.

It won’t matter how many times people tell me the pieces in [brackets] as I already know the truth. I know no one cares what I look like. I know the other gym users are interested in themselves not me. I know the staff care. But right there are then it doesn’t matter. It never matters.

I’m fat.
On bad days I detest myself.
On good days I’m just fat.
I don’t mind being fat.
I just don’t like how I feel about it.

The Invisible Man (2020) – A Review

The Invisible Man (2020) – A Review

This review will contain spoilers!

When Cecilia’s abusive ex takes his own life and leaves her his fortune, she suspects his death was a hoax. As a series of coincidences turn lethal, Cecilia works to prove that she is being hunted by someone nobody can see.

One of the things I like about this film is the concept that what you can’t see is far scarier that what you can. The first Cloverfield, even with all its faults, did well in that respect.

Cecilia is played by Elisabeth Moss and she does a stellar job of portraying the fear of the unseen. She does ‘is she crazy or is there actually someone there’ well. Especially given that we know there is someone there. There is a couple of tension building scenes very early on – will he wake up as she leaves the house and is he sat on the chair for example – that really work well. The fact that we also don’t know where he is helps with the tension.

Sadly this is also part of where the film falls down. With the action centred entirely around Cecilia we miss out on the actual character building of the villain – Adrian – played well by Oliver Jackson-Cohen. Of course, I say played well but we barely see him, if you’ll pardon the pun. Aside from the mind games he plays, essentially it’s not until towards the end of the film that we’re properly introduced to him.

There’s a couple of times I was annoyed with Cecilia, like why she never requests a death certificate to prove Adrian was dead. If the shit is hitting the fan and you know there’s an invisible man around wouldn’t you ask your police friend, who clearly trusts you (or did until you apparently hit his daughter) to look it up for you? And on the subject of the cop… not one smoke alarm? A frying pan goes up in flames, smoke is everywhere, yet no is alarm sounding. A good cop who seems like a sensible father would have smoke alarms!

At one point Cecilia calls Adrians mobile phone and it’s still active. As a lawyer and executor of his will surely his brother would have had that disconnected? Of course we know why he hasn’t but that wouldn’t make sense to Cecilia.

Adrian allegedly drugs her with diazepam and Cecilia passes out at a job interview. It’s a short while later we hear from the doctor that it was a large amount of the drug in her system that made her pass out. Trust me when I say I speak from experience that if she had enough to make her pass out she wouldn’t have been walking into that interview without seeming drunk and she’d know well before passing out that something was wrong.

All that stuff aside it’s a good tension building movie – the paint scene made me jump – and one definitely worth a watch. And at least it’s a suit and not a drug! I gave it a seven out of ten.

If you want to see more of my ratings click here and head over to the page 1183 Movie Ratings. I’d be interested to know if you agree with my score or not.

My work bag!

My work bag!

People often comment about the contents of a woman’s handbag so let me tell you wants in the bag I take to work almost daily.  The items in bold are what I use daily.

– Laptop
– iPad
– Contact lens case
– Beard comb
– Make-up
– Tissues
– Solpadeine
– Rennie
– Diclofenac
– Injections
– Vape
– Vape refill
– Empty vapes
– Random letters I should deal with
– Notepad and pen
– Various pens
– Nail kit
– Aftershave
– Deodorant
– A bottle of water or Coke Zero
– Mints
– A specs case with earrings
– Specs
– Sunnies
– Cap
– Phone lead
– Laptop lead
– iPad lead
– Powerpack for laptop
– Powerbank

Yes, it’s a big bag.

27 out of 29

Before I met the man of my dreams, the man I now call my husband, I was dating a Scottish lad called Stuart. He was handsome, good body, pleasant attitude but man, very high maintenance, and spoilt. Yet, something kept me with him for five and half years.

We split up because he was an asshole who, when I asked about us moving in together, his response was “I don’t think I’m ready for that kind of commitment!” Yes, after five and a half years of being together he wasn’t ready for the commitment of living together. How much more time did he need?

So I ended it. And I have to say the second it was over I never felt so much relief. I’m assuming he did to because he didn’t once try to reconcile anything. He did call me six weeks later but it was to ask for money. Funnily enough he was decided to total up how much I’d cost him in one year. Wasn’t that a lovely thing to do? I never did the reverse but I kinda wish I had.

Anyway, following the split I decided to do whatever I wanted without having the burden of him hanging over me, so I went out.

It was 29 days later when I met Brad and that was one of only two days I’d been sober. Twenty-seven of twenty-nine nights between splitting with Stuart and meeting Brad, I’d been drunk.

I don’t think it was because I was consoling myself but genuinely because I no longer had to think about anyone else other than me. I didn’t have to think about where I was going to live in the next few months, how much I needed to save so I could drive to Edinburgh, which I’d been doing every two weeks. I didn’t have to plan anything! It was so freeing.

Now, twenty years after the split, I’ve never been happier!

They say that your school years are the happiest days of your life but for me they weren’t. They were horrible. I hated every minute of school.

No, the happiest days of my life have been the last twenty years with Brad.


At the weekend we had a lovely trip away. Not too far, just to Roscommon to visit and stay with our friends Pat & Marian.

Their house is a beautiful little contact on the main road but, with us able to close their front gates, we were able to take the dogs and give them the run of the large garden.

We spent the water afternoon/early evening chatting and then having a totally vegan meal. I was very touched that they’d gone to the effort of making everything vegan. Most people go to the effort of doing vegan food but it’s just for me, while they sit there munching away on something that had to suffer and be killed so they could eat.

On the evening we headed to a local pub and listened to a very talented young lady play the guitar and sing, occasionally joined by another lady on the harmonica. Everyone was so friendly.

On Sunday we drove to disused bog that had been turned into nature reserve and fairy garden. It was beautiful. Then we took the dogs to the lake and finally headed home.

Sadly my bronchitis is back so I’m sat relaxing and feeling sorry for myself but he weekend has been fantastic.

My favourite group/song

My favourite group/song

A question often asked when people are getting to know each other is “What’s your favourite song?” or “What’s your favourite group?”

Often people will reply “oh there’s too many to name!” and that’s understandable as music can be emotive and people can have lots of favourites.

For me though, it’s easy.

My favourite group is Erasure. I’ve loved them for longer than I care to remember and have seen them in concert around seventeen times.

Growing up Andy Bell was an out gay man who looked like he enjoyed life even though we, as community, were constantly being attacked. I wanted that. I wanted to enjoy my life even though we lived under Section 28 and the constant fear of being beaten on the streets for just being our true selves. My life was good but it wasn’t Andy Bell good!

Oh L’Amour, released in April 1986 was their third single and sadly didn’t too well in the UK charts, only getting to 85. In South Africa it got to number 2 in their charts! Annoyingly, Dollar, who I can’t stand, got their cover to number 7 in the UK. They covered in ’87, a year after Erasures original release! Who does that?! Talentless wannabes that’s who!

Anyway, below is a live version of Oh L’amour. It’s my favourite version of this song and although I was at this concert I have seen it performed like this.


Loughrea Toastmasters

Yesterday I took over as Club President for Loughrea Toastmasters, a positions I’m looking forward to serving in. I thought I’d share with you my presidents message for the year.

Presidents Message

I owe Toastmasters a debt.

My husband likes to tell people that I’m a “ringer!” What he means by that is that I already had the confidence to speak in front of an audience before I joined Toastmasters and, to be honest, he’s not wrong. The problem was my confidence was only in the form of giving training courses or acting, both of which essentially rely on scripts and direction. To really deliver a speech in front of an audience I was missing three essential elements.

How to structure that speech.
How to deliver a speech.
How to speak in an impromptu manner – answering questions.
Toastmaster taught me those skills, and much more. The tagline for Toastmasters International is “Where leaders are made” and how to lead is one of the biggest skills Toastmasters has taught me.

I followed the programme and achieved my Distinguished Toastmaster award and learned so much more than just how to give a speech. I went on to be a club president and then followed it up with being an Area Director and then a Division Director, roles which I adored even with the various challenges they brought.

The skills I gained gave me the confidence and strength to go on and lead various community organisations, handling conflict and recruitment, while remaining calm and professional. Encouraging the members of those groups to be the best they can.

I assure you, I owe Toastmasters a debt!

At Loughrea Toastmaster we foster a meeting of diversity and inclusion which makes meetings educational and fun. Our innovative “Creative Corner” has been the talk of the district while our members have gone on to be leaders within our organisation on a national level as well as being contest winners representing our Division.

As a charter member I’m very proud of our club and the success it has become, made possible by our eclectic range of members who make it work.

This year, like every year, we have a dedicated committee who are going to bring that same diversity, inclusion and fun to the meetings and welcome our members and guests, as we have done since the day we had our very first test meeting back in November 2017. We, as committee, will uphold the four pillars of Toastmasters – Integrity, Respect, Service and Excellence – and continue to make our club a welcoming place for anyone who comes through our door.

So come and see what we do and how we do it, you won’t be disappointed.

Rob Partridge

President 2022 – 2023

Loughrea Toastmasters

Day 1

Day 1

Today marks the day I said I’d write something every day.

So how about I start with a bit about me. Maybe it’ll serve as an about me page.

I’m Rob. I’m a number of years old and I live in Galway, Ireland. I’m married to an amazing man who I love dearly.

I work full-time in healthcare but I’m currently at uni retraining and loving it. I’m also training to be a See Change ambassador.

I’m hard of hearing and use Irish Sign Language in work and personally.

This year I’m the chairperson of Galway Community Pride and even with it’s stresses it’s something I adore doing. We’ve a lot of great plans for the 2022 celebrations.

I’m overweight but doing something about it. Slowly but oh well.

I’ve a fantastic circle of friends, most of which I care about dearly even if I don’t keep in touch with them as often as I should. I’d do anything for my friends because I know they’ll be there when I need them.

My family live in the UK and I don’t get to see them as often as I’d like.

In my spare time I work on a couple of different projects. I’m a Toastmaster, a vegan and an LGBTI+ activist.

I’m sure there’s more but for now that’ll do.