Not now, not ever.

It is difficult to know what to write, on occasions such as this. When you are avoiding the inevitable, pending, truth. Death is not an easy concept for anyone to come to terms with, nor is it a likely outcome that I can ever accept.

I worry about this darkness, this empty and bleak space where someone I once knew, laughed, existed, breathed the same air and stood in the same shadows. I want to telephone them – clinging, as if there is a small chance they will still pick up. I remember the telephone number as if it were yesterday, and if I had not all my senses, for a moment I might feel as though it still were.

Still, in this instance, everything is still as it was. Despite the outward appearance, the nervous glances and the truthful comments, I remain hopeful that things will revert back to how they were before, not perfect – no never that, but constant, and relatively happy.

Such strong will and determination, I’ve seen the mightiest fall, and nearly so. I’ve seen the strongest and kindest lose their battles and resign to their fate…but not this time, it is not the right time.

If I could take away all the pain and put you back as you felt not so long ago – 18? 25? not 86, I would. I’d sell my fortune, however little it may be to put everything right. Still young at heart, perfect in mind but trapped in a body that should not be yours.






What’s your New Years Resolution?

Happy 2016 everyone!

What are your resolutions for this year? I’m going to be with the mass majority in a bid to lose a little weight, however I’m not going on a fad diet which I will not stick to…I’m going to do the exercise option. I think with the enthusiasm with the majority of my work colleagues (hopefully doing their own resolutions) I’ll be able to stick at it, at least until February. I want to feel a little healthier and going on my exercise bike and more long walks will help me unwind while losing weight, so the positive results will help me to push forward and preserver.


Also, I’m about to start my Open University course which is a Diploma of Higher Education in Humanities. I’m excited and nervous all at the same time –  as I do not know what to expect. Distance learning is not new to me, but studying at this level is. Roll on the 6th of January, I cannot wait to see what course materials I have!
Health and happiness to anyone visiting my blog. I hope 2016 brings you all the things you wish for. =)

Anxiety and Avoidance- Christmas Blues

It isn’t my desire tonight to have a self-deprecating blog post, but I feel alone and sad…much like a lot of people I’m sure, but I feel like I need to vent somewhere just for a moment – ultimately I’ll regret my post in the morning but hey ho.

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I can find this time of year pretty hard. I enjoy Christmas, admittedly I get a small break from work which is fantastic, but I love the feel of general happiness, being around those I care about and sitting back, relaxing and watching some crummy ol’ Christmas movies…I really do.

But for someone who struggles with general anxiety and occasional panic attacks, I also wish I could hibernate until it is all over. This September, essentially three months before Christmas I was already worrying and obsessing about the work Christmas party. Therefore I didn’t go…again, as usual. I avoided this like I avoid everything because I am too scared of risking “it”, of having a panic attack and ruining it for everyone and embarrassing myself again. Oh how I would love to have a good laugh, mix a little and enjoy myself. Hell, I’d even have a glass of wine or two..and I rarely drink but I want to be that person, not this shadow of a girl I have become.

So I decided long before to visit Sheffield instead and also my friend in Wakefield. Catching a train journey long distance seemed a less scary prospect than going to a work Christmas party, crazy isn’t it? I was all set to go, toothbrush, tickets, journey planner, then I wake up the morning before ill, ill enough to stop me from going. I know this wasn’t the anxiety stopping me as I booked the train tickets already and they were nonrefundable. Last time I forced myself into this situation I did it and had a great time…but this time I felt too rough and now also despise myself for that…letting people down yet again.

So here I am, deluding myself that one day I will be able to climb over this bridge I have chained myself beneath and live a little, not be afraid. To not let my unfathomable emotions think I’ll…

  • Be sick at the dinner table due to anxiety and hyperventilating.
  • Have a panic attack and end up being the unfortunate centre of attention.
  • Being out of place / being the burden / being pitied.
  • Be ashamed of my inability to do basic things…go out for a meal and have a good time.

My partner is currently at his works Christmas party, having a wonderful time no doubt and here I am alone and dwelling about my dissatisfaction over my life. I sound really pathetic I know. But I don’t want to be the one who sits home alone anymore. I hope someone out there understands me and I am not alone in this anxiety madness nightmare.

The Road To Becoming A Survivor by River Hayden

“A touching autobiography written by River Hayden, as she shares with us her tragic story of sexual abuse, neglect, self harming and depression. An inspirational and honest account of her life and her struggle to overcome being a victim and becoming a survivor. 4.5/5”


Book overview and Review:

Reading River Hayden’s autobiography helps open our eyes to many aspects of life which we all hope to never experience. I think if given the choice out of a selection of autobiographies ranging from individuals aged 18 to 80; the probability of selecting a book written by a person who is much older than Hayden may be more common a choice, as some will presume what life experiences could a 25 year old young woman possibly have? I can confirm that this preconceived idea is not an accurate presumption; Hayden has clearly enlightened a few readers here, if ever they needed enlightenment. Tragic and moving life experiences are not “saved” for those with more life experience and are commonly thrust upon us at an age where we do not necessarily understand the difference between right and wrong.

Hayden has bravely and movingly recounted true events from her personal history which has help shaped and unfortunately haunted her throughout her life. From experiencing sexual abuse at the hands of family members closest to her, and later again in life we can only begin to imagine what she has been through. We step inside Hayden’s world and stand in her shoes, and see the events told from her perspective.

I think that River Hayden believes that by typing out her innermost thoughts, feelings and memories she will be able to release some of the pent up emotion that she has held back all these years. She will be able to help and inspire others who have experienced similar trauma and face her fears straight on, as the title of the book suggests, Hayden is on “The Road to Becoming a Survivor.”

I found this book inspirational and very interesting, I feel extremely lucky to have not experienced the sexual abuse that River Hayden and many, many others before and after her have lived through.

The fact that these events have also taken place over a number of years, a huge portion of Hayden’s life make the story even more harrowing. It is interesting to read Hayden’s personal retrospective view on the abuse she suffered, and her attempt to understand why the individuals did what they did and despite everything she has tried to build bridges with two of them. It is an impossible circumstance to pass judgement on, part of me was thinking, “Why are you trying to build bridges with people that have abused you in this way?”, but the other side of me was trying to understand and see how she feels. She tries to see the good in everyone while handling the unforgiveable.

The book covers not only her sexual abuse but the loss of her best friend due to cancer which I felt compelled to mention as it was so sad and touching. We also see a brief insight into the lives that have also shaped her story and helped her to survive.

 The beginning of the book is slow paced as Hayden struggles to reveal her trauma and spends quite a while expressing her fears about sharing the story due to the implications of 1) Revealing what close family members have done to her, 2) Her own personal ability to cope with opening up these raw wounds for the world to see. I believe you will require patience and compassion to bare with Hayden as she repeats her concerns, as she says it is a while before she gets to anything “juicy”,  but her story is an eye opener and I am pleased that I had the opportunity to read this book. I sincerely hope that River Hayden will find peace and enjoyment in her life and that she pursues her dreams without letting the past hold her back. It was insightful to partially walk in her footsteps, I will never be able to comprehend how people can inflict such evil deeds on others.

 I recommend this autobiography to all and I hope this helps connect with other individuals that have suffered with their own abuse, as you are not alone.

You can download the EBook via Amazon USA. Please note the book is currently going through a publisher so please be conscious that any spelling/grammatical errors will be corrected as soon as possible.

Upcoming Book Review – The Road To Becoming a Survivor By River Hayden

This weekend I will be reviewing a very moving autobiography written by River Hayden called “The Road To Becoming A Survivor.”

This autobiography follows Hayden’s life story so far and the sexual abuse she has suffered at the hands of others. River Hayden is undeniably brave and remarkable, she has shared with us the scariest and most traumatizing moments of her life. I look forward to sharing this review with you all. I hope it connects with other individuals that have experienced sexual trauma and anyone that feels they are alone.

Best wishes,

Rina’s Ramblings.

Who Do You Think You Are – With Billy Connolly

Who Do You Think You Are – With Billy Connolly

For someone who is extremely interested in Family History and well, history in general, I haven’t really watched much of the BBC TV series “Who Do You Think You Are?”. I used to find myself beginning to watch an episode and feeling frustrated with just how easy it can make family history appear to be, to search for your ancestors and obtain quick results, as this is not always the case and can also be very time consuming if the records are nowhere to be found! Plus I couldn’t “contain myself,” I struggled to sit through an entire episode without getting an itch to delve back into my own family tree instead of watching someone else do the same!

I was pleasantly surprised this week, after watching a couple of random episodes on BBC iplayer I have started to appreciate the program and educational benefits a little bit more, so much so that I decided to watch an old episode from 2014 featuring Billy Connolly a Scottish comedian.

While I appreciate Billy Connolly’s sense of humor and do find some of his stand up shows funny, I am not his worlds biggest fan, therefore my opinion of him does not massively impact my overall interest in the episode, however he is very like-able and down to earth as opposed to other celebrities that have appeared on the program, which does make the episode more appealing.


Connolly believed his ancestors originated from Ireland; however the discoveries left him a little dumbfounded. He had no idea that some of his direct ancestors had been in the military and were also based in India.  His great grandmother from his mother’s maternal lineage had been born in Bangalore and subsequently we are transported with Connolly to India to delve deeper into his roots.  As the program progressed we discovered more of his relatives and we were also provided with a quick historical background by a historian as to what life was like at this time in India, the uprising and how living in the South and being in the Military was a completely different kettle of fish to the North. This was extremely interesting to me as I have direct ancestors who lived in Bangalore and Madras over a period of many decades. I think by this stage my eyes were glued to the television, eager to learn more.

We also followed in the footsteps of Connolly’s Great, Great, Great grandfather Daniel Doyle who had fought in the Royal Horse Artillery in India, in the 19th century. He was reported to have had good conduct and a promotion, to later discover he had been court martialed therefore leading an end to his budding military career, despite not seeing much action in terms of military conflict where he was based. Connolly predicted part of the reason for this court-martial could possibly be alcoholism,   “It is a family tradition,” he openly admitted. Connolly was partially correct, after a local historian revealed an intriguing set of hospital records which detailed Daniel Doyle’s personal struggles such as alcoholism to his health woes, syphilis.

We were also then informed that syphilis was quite common at that time in the army in India, I believe estimated at 1 in 3 men having an STD. According to the historian, (I apologize her name escapes me) prostitutes were seen as an “evil necessity” and sometimes there would be as little as 20 women for over a 1000 men. These women if suspected of having a sexually transmitted disease would be locked in a separate location for months until it was believed they were cured, and then offered back to the soldiers. These were usually local women.  I felt like I was connecting to Connolly’s discoveries, as if it were my ancestors. I was  happy when Daniel Doyle had appeared to settle down and sort out his life, he married and moved back to Scotland, only to be saddened to discover he and his wife applied for poor relief on a couple of occasions because they were in poverty. The emotional reaction Connolly produced was real and extremely disappointing, he had hoped Doyle would have had a happier ending and was deeply saddened by the end of his ancestors life. It was endearing and also quite touching to see the compassionate side to Connolly and has made me respect and admire this individual more, he seems like such a genuine person.

Towards the end of the documentary we discover that Connolly had an Indian ancestor which left him feeling exhilarated and in high spirits and ended the episode with a nice vibe. I would recommend to watch this if you like genealogy and also if you have any relatives that were based in India in between 1800 and 1900, it is very interesting and informative.

Billy Connolly health


Del Boy “He Who Dares…” Book Review


There are books which can be a little unbearable to finish reading after a while, a little humorous here and there but in a cringe worthy please-make-it-stop kind of way, the puns get old and humdrum.This was not the case with Del Boy “He Who Dares” autobiography which had me laughing for the best part of a few hours.

I picked up the book in my local convenience store and immediately fell in love with the first page, but I did wonder whether it was worth the price. Would I tire of hearing Derek Trotter ramble on about his life and personal disasters when I had already watched all the episodes of Only Fools and Horses many, many times? Plus I wasn’t sure who the book was actually written by (it did not state on the cover) which did make me wonder whether it would be a true portrayal of his character or just a minimal attempt at getting more money out of the fans. I can now confirm that the book is unmistakably written in an authentic Derek Trotter style, corny French phrases and all!


I’d finally shifted the mobile phones and the video recorders and started doing a nice new line in in-car stereos. Top quality gear from Albania, a rising star in the electronics market at the time. They had all the proper dials, you know, MW, FM, ICI, B & Q, the lot! They also came with a pair of state of the art quadrophonic speakers. Chuck in a free Kylie Minogue LP on top of that and I had no doubt I’d flog ’em easy.


“Del Boy” shares with us events from his earlier and later years. We hear a few stories which were not mentioned in the series, and many which were, all told in the classic calamity style that is true to Only Fools and Horses. It is worth mentioning that it is the version of events from Derek’s perspective, which of course we all know to be 100% accurate and above board!  Derek also shares with us his many close encounters with death, however they are not always his encounters..more precisely events that he may (or may not!) have contributed to causing!

A cold realisation dawned on me in that moment. I can only imagine it must have been how a turkey felt when it caught Bernard Matthews grinning at it.


 From Peckham Spring Water…There’s a Rhino Loose in the City to jaywalking in Benidorm, the “Groovy” Gang in Majorca, and Batman and Robin…there are plenty of memories that will take you back down memory lane just like you are one of the gang.  

Derek manages to list his previous female conquests, along with his obsession with getting engaged to every woman he so much as casts an eye on (well, the ones he can remember!).  He also shares with us how Trotters Independent Traders came to be.

I originally came up with “Trotters Wares And Trade”, but it was a bit dull. What really put me off though was when I noticed the initials (see, you’ve gotta be very careful to check all the minor little details in this game or you could end up making yourself look like a right plonker).

 It is a quick read, did not take me long at all, unless you pace yourself and read a bit now and then. There are also an assortment of pictures midway through the book. If you are a fan of the series and want a laid back read and a good giggle, pick up the book and enjoy!

He Who Dares…Wins! You know it makes sense!