Book Review: When All Hell Breaks Loose: Stuff You Need to Survive When Disaster Strikes

aka What I’m Reading Wednesday

When All Hell Breaks Loose: Stuff You Need to Survive When Disaster StrikesWhen All Hell Breaks Loose: Stuff You Need to Survive When Disaster Strikes by Cody Lundin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Bookshelves: adventure, reference, social-sciences, survival

This book gets you thinking about your priorities in various different scenarios, some of which are gruesome and antipathic. The options are explained and you’re taught how to deal with them. The point this book strikes is that nothing is impossible if you are prepared and determined. In showing you how and why to prepare this book improves your chances, you have to do the rest.

Next up is When Technology Fails: A Manual for Self-Reliance & Planetary Survival by Matthew Stein. I appear to be in the mood to prepare for the end of the world. Which, considering the current state of affairs and politics and all that shit… maybe it’s not such a bad idea?


Fishing Is More Than Fish

My girls are having a home-spa weekend so I escaped the house for the day today and spent a wonderfully relaxing day, sitting on the shores of a local lake, fishing. I didn’t catch a single thing which doesn’t bother me – and besides, it’s a catch and return lake

It’s the act of fishing I enjoy. Sitting out in the glorious sunshine and fresh air, being by the water, a cold beer in hand, music playing softly in my ears. I dozed off for a while, I read for a bit, I did a crossword. I watched the fish in the lake. It’s almost meditative, being able to just let my mind wander. I met fellow fishermen, made some new friends, saw some amazing 20lbers reeled in. There’s a sense of camaderie, of adventure, of challenge.

Most of all it’s fun, I’ve caught the sun and I avoided being exfoliated or masked by Samantha and Lucy!

10 Things That Make Me Smile

Apparently continuing on with my self-care theme and mostly inspired by yesterday’s post – thinking about what makes me happy, about what makes me smile.

1) My wife’s smile. When something really excites her, she beams. She has dimples, her whole face lights up and she smiles from ear to ear. It’s infectious and always makes me smile.

2) When Lucy doesn’t realise she’s being watched, and she’s dancing and singing as she cleans. A mop makes a good microphone stand!

3) The successes my son has in his career. I’m very proud of what he’s accomplished. Something to do with computers that I don’t understand Wat all!

4) A rousing uplifting piece of music. Jupiter, from Gustav Holst’s Planet Suite is one such piece. I can’t not hum along.

5) Manchester City winning.

6) An evening spent with a good coffee, a good book, my girls, my dog and some good music playing. Best way to spend an evening

7) Receiving a thorough spanking. Falling into subspace and flying on endorphins.

8) Playing with the dogs. I’m never too old to roughhouse on the floor with them. Sure I may need help getting back up again these days but that doesn’t stop it being a whole lot of fun

9) Superhero movies. I love both Marvel and DC and as an old-school geek it makes my heart swell how popular they still are

10) Winning a game of monopoly. Because we’re old and boring, the three of us love to spend an afternoon playing boardgames and monopoly has always been a favourite. I’m competitive by nature and winning makes me feel good

What self-care means to me

Samantha and Lucy have been all about self-care lately – massages, spa days, yoga, meditation, guided relaxations… that kind of thing. It made me stop and think about what self-care means to me.

It doesn’t mean any of that to me. Although I’m not going to turn down a good massage.

To me, it’s more about making time for <i>me</i> in my daily life. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day stuff, in the routines of life, in the things that are important to be done. It’s about taking the time to stop, put some music on, a mug of coffee and a good book or going out for a meal and a movie with my girls. Sometimes, it’s bigger and it’s going fishing for the weekend, going to a football match.

I definitely feel better when I take time to connect with people – with Samantha and Lucy, with my son, with my friends. My relationships with the people in my life are important to me so it seems just as important to make sure they’re healthy as well.

As I get older, it’s important to me to take care of my physical health. I have a number of old injuries that need to be cared for properly. It’s been a long, slow, process but I am learning that if my back or my knees start to hurt, I need to stop what I’m doing and care for them – whether that’s taking a little break, some gentle stretching, applying heat or ice, or taking painkillers. Sometimes it can mean a massage or a trip to a chiropractor but it’s about knowing my body and what I need to do for in that moment.

A long overdue return

Hello WordPress. If there’s anyone still out there, how are you? I’ve not even been on the computer in a while but over the last few days I’ve found myself wondering about the lives of the peoples who’s blogs I would read, who let me into their lives only for me to disappear.

If you recall, we were having some struggles towards the end of last year and the beginning of this but everything has smoothed itself down. We’re fully settled into our new house, all injuries have healed, routines have re-established. Samantha is thriving in her job. Lucy is coming back out of herself again, settling down and making friends.

Things are good and it feels amazing to be able to say that.

I’m settled down in my favourite chair, mug of coffee and some music playing. Samantha is in her office. Lucy is in the other room doing the march set up in the her bullet journal.

My current plan for today is:
Catch up on emails
Catch up on the blogs I read
Update sites like trakt/goodreads with books read and movies watched so far this year
Figure out what I’m going to do with this blog.


Apologies for the lack of updates over the last couple of months. It’s been a crazy busy time around here but I’m mostly still treading water. We’re all a little stressed – and that’s a trigger for worsening poor Lucy’s schizophrenia

The basics are
Samantha has been offered a new job at the other end of the country. After much discussion, she’s accepted it and we’re moving next month down to Cardiff.

Unfortunately, and making packing and moving much harder than anticipated, Samantha has broken her leg. One of the most terrifying phonecalls a man can recieve is one from the hospital saying his wife’s been in an accident. She tripped and fell down the stairs at work, gave herself mild concussion, a couple of cracked ribs and a displaced fracture of her right leg. She’s been struggling post-operation on her leg, groggy with painkillers and looking for something to do other than watch TV and read – she’s a very active woman and being mostly immobile isn’t working for her.  I’ve been spending a lot of time with her, keeping her company

I’m hoping to get caught up reading your posts over the next couple of days or so. Things are getting easier now we’re finding our current rhythm around the house.

Dirty Old Man

The internet, blogging spaces especially, make me feel like a dirty old man. We’re going to completely ignore the fact that I am a dirty old man and focus on how young everyone else online seems to be.

I come across random blogs, start reading only to realise that the writer is in their 20s or 30s. I’ve joined interest groups on Dreamwidth and all the posts seem to be from younger ladies. I feel hesitant to start a conversation, to request to add them because I don’t know how they’d feel about a… (and I use the term loosely) more mature man reading their posts.

I try to imagine how I would feel if the situation was reversed; if I were that age and found out that someone old enough to be my father were wanting to read my blog. I think I’d feel quite awkward. I doubt I’d be interested in reading what they had to say.

Do I necessarily feel comfortable reading posts by someone young enough to be my son – if not younger than him. Am I opening myself up for completely inaccurate accusations of inappropriateness?

I did an interest search for over 60s but it was unsuccessful. I did a google search for ‘over 60s blogs’ and learned a hell of a lot about how to dress as a woman over 60 which I’m sure would be really useful were I of the female persuasion. I offered to send the links to an amused Samantha* and she shot me a look that would make a lesser person drop down dead.

Then again, does age really matter? Isn’t this whole thing about getting to meet people that I wouldn’t normally meet. Doesn’t science-fiction etc transcend barriers of age, gender, race, sexuality etc.

Or is my son right and I am ‘too old’ for this?

* Samantha is still many years from 60