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Intermittent Fasting, (the every other day diet) the facts, is it for you?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

I posted about this subject on a team thread, and judging by the response, thereís a lot of misinformation around, about exactly what fasting is, and isnít.

I started fasting on 17th March 2013, after reading a book about the 5:2 fast diet, and how fasting can considerably cut oneís cancer risk, and I am already a breast cancer survivor, of a type of tumour that is aggressive and prone to reoccur.

It cuts this risk by cutting down the rate that cells divide, which cuts down the rate that mutations occur, (they repair and recycle instead), by reducing a measurable blood marker IGF-1, (Insulin-like Growth Factor) which encourages cancerous cells to divide, and by reducing glucose levels in the blood, glucose is the cancer cells prime fuel source.

The research on this program has been ongoing for over 16 years. The evidence is very difficult to refute, and is well published in scientific journals, by Dr Krista Varaday, who deserves all the credit for it.

It is not a starvation diet! On the 5:2, you can eat normally on 5 days out of 7, but I soon discovered that I could overeat on those 5 days, to a far greater extent than the 500 calories eaten on the other two allowed for.

I then decided to try Dr Varadayís own recommendation, which was 500 calories, in the form of a 400 calorie meal, and a 100 calorie snack, every other day, and eating as much as I liked, of whatever I liked, on the others. Since starting in March I have gone from 179lbs to 151lbs, a loss of 28lbs.

Iím not too precious about it, I Ďtook offí my three week holiday in the USA last September, also Christmas and New Year, and if a fasting day falls awkwardly, or I have a horrible day that needs a beer and a takeaway, or am unexpectedly asked out, I simply move the whole thing on a day. You NEVER fast two days running.

Also during this time, I have never felt weak, wobbly or faint due to fasting. I don't suffer headaches, or even much hunger. In fact I routinely do 2 hours of karate on 2 evenings a week, (Monday and Wednesday, so if I fast on one, I fast on both,) and regularly burn 6,000+ calories during a week according to my spark tracker. Which is public, so you can check! On the contrary, I have this enormous surge of energy on fasting days, so much so, that sometimes I have trouble getting to sleep.

Now whether or not you feel that this program is for you, and I am the first to say that it doesnít suit everyone, (one size doesnít fit all remember), there is also a growing body of evidence to suggest that people who cut their calorie level daily by several 100 calories a day, permanently reduce their BMR (Basic Metabolic Rate). Thatís permanently!!! Which explains why itís so difficult to maintain weight loss, as successful dieters need several hundred calories a day less to maintain, than those who are at that weight naturally. Also why, if you Ďfall off the wagoní, you regain hand over fist, much, much faster than you were losing it.

(Done that, been there, got the tee-shirt in every conceivable size, design and colour)

So may I humbly suggest, that you try calorie cycling? E.g. if the middle of your allotted range is 1,500 calories, then one day at 1,500, one at 1,000, one at 1,500, one at 2,000. The calorie intake over a week/month/year is precisely the same, but the effect on your metabolism isnít. It basically keeps it Ďon itís toes.í

If on the other hand you would like to try it, but donít see how you can achieve it, or are nervous of trying, and letís be honest, nobody LIKES being hungry, (even Iím not that odd), then try this gradual alternative.

On alternate days, aim to eat no more than 1,000 or maybe 1,200 calories, (up to you where you set the bar, this is YOUR program), but on the others eat as much as you like, of whatever you like. It has also been proved that fasting is easier and more weight is lost on a high fat diet than a low fat one, contrary to perceived wisdom!

Now, I can see you all recoiling in horror! ĎIíll gain weight,í you all wail! Bear with me though and read through to the end. Yes you might, probably will even, during the first few weeks, but this is long term remember, for life in fact, not just till the next weigh in.

As former dieters, we actually need to practice eating like this, because weíre so unused to it, and feel such guilt even thinking of it. It is necessary however to practice NOT cutting our calories since when you eat only 500 calories on alternate days, you need to eat well on the others, and anyway, you will do it like this for only one week, possibly a couple if you feel more comfortable taking more time.

The next week you cut down by 100 calories a day, on your proto-fasting days, while still eating properly on your non fasting days. Also you are going to eat your calories on fasting days, in three meals or two meals and one snack, because snacking is not fasting! On non fasting days you can snack as much as you like.

Continue cutting down by 100 calories each week on your fasting days, until you reach 500 for ladies, or 600 for men. When youíre on 800 calories per fasting day, cut it down to two meals a day, or one meal and one snack, which is what youíll be doing on 500 calories per fast day. At that point (about 800 calories) you should start to see the pounds come off too.

Iíve been doing this for 10+ months now, so it's not a fad diet, and I intend to continue for life. Itís nice to have to intentionally eat enough on my non fasting days too. I hope that a few of you will try it and succeed, but if not, at least will understand a bit more about it, and my passion about it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZOEANAEL 3/4/2014 9:13AM

    Thank you for the info. I jumped in the primal LCHF wagon in january and naturally, I've been skipping days of eating where I would no eat until dinner. I don't really count precisely my calories (on fasting and non-fasting days) but I feel great and I see results already. I wouldn't be able to do it I think if I was still doing Low-Fat/High-carb, because of the Blood glocuse rollercoaster but sometimes I'm simply not hungry (which surprises me everytime!) and I simple not eat. Thank you for the great informatons. People on SP keep telling me I'm starving myself, but I'm not at all!

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TIME2BLOOM4ME 3/1/2014 12:01PM

    Great blog. I want to try it !

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LIVE_AMAZINGLY 1/30/2014 7:22PM

    Congratulations on your weight loss!

I read recently that fasting, or even going long hours between meals, lets our intestinal system rest, and it is that rest time that allows our bodies extra time to heal, and rejuvenate. Also, the lower metabolic rate that it puts a body into makes for less cell division, which = less chances of making a mistake that leads to cancers.

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SUSANNAH31 1/13/2014 10:58PM

    A very interesting program. I'm glad you have found success with it.

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IONA72 1/13/2014 5:18PM

    Thanks for the info, certainly something to consider. You must be pleased with your results, keep up the good work.

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ALIHIKES 1/13/2014 3:31PM

    Interesting blog, thanks for sharing. I have friends who are doing IF (5/2) but they have not explained the science or reasoning

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BEANIES_MOM 1/13/2014 8:10AM

    I love the IF approach! Thank you for the info

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-BLESSINGS- 1/12/2014 6:17PM

    great info... thanks sooooooooooo much for sharing

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PREDEL 1/12/2014 6:03PM

    Thanks so much for laying it all out for me. What your saying makes perfect sense based on my personal experience in the last 60 years. I've seen far greater weight loss when I'm drastically varying my calories day to day (one day really good, one day bad) as opposed to 1200 calories day in and day out.

I am definitely going to try this, gradually working my way to your plan. I really, really like this. emoticon



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SUZIEQ1097 1/12/2014 5:53PM

    emoticon for sharing.

Susan : )

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MISSDAISY23 1/12/2014 4:26PM


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BOPPY_ 1/12/2014 2:06AM


First, your entire report is extremely well written. The first part on 5:2 was very informative, and I thank you very much.

The second part on "calorie cycling" does not (according to the details of your report) seem to be based on anything but your own intuition. But note that the very credibility that you site for the 5:2 diet is based (according to your own report) on controlled scientific observation and measurement. According to your report, the, the second part is antithetical to the spirit of the first part.

Or, what am I not understanding?

I, for one would have been much happier with this situation, if you had broken the report into two blogs, the second expressing your (?) hypothesis about "calorie cycling"!

Lee emoticon

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IDICEM 1/12/2014 12:54AM

  This is an interesting approach. I will look into it. Thanks for sharing!

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ALIIDA 1/11/2014 11:14PM

    Thank you so much for taking the trouble to explain this. I was intrigued by your fasting. Your explanation of the science of it is fascinating, and the link between glucose and cancer answers a lot of questions for me.

Wishing you continued great health!

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REGILIEH 1/11/2014 10:00PM


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JUNEAU2010 1/11/2014 6:59PM

    Thanks for the food for thought. I flirted with calorie cycling a while ago, but, reading your info, did not approach it in a sane, methodical fashion. I think I will try this again. I appreciate the nudge!

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DEBB1313 1/11/2014 6:41PM

    Thanks for the post. it was a great blog! You have me very interested and I am certainly going to investigate further. Oh and by the way, great accomplishments in your journey!

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A_BIT_AT_A_TIME 1/11/2014 5:13PM

    I was having success with this back in the summer - I found out about it after watching this video
R>I need to get back to it!

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LIVE_AMAZINGLY 1/11/2014 2:21PM

    For me, the 5:2 diet caused excessive fatigue on my fasting days, but that may be due to the fact that I have heart failure. The positive that 5:2 did for me was "reset" my appetite towards healthier eating, and stopped the raging between-meal cravings. It also greatly reduced my GERD.

What I recently found that works well for me, even with my heart failure, is doing low-carb one day (lean proteins, low-carb vege's with healthy oils, and berries); then the next day doing high carb (with lower amounts of protein & fats, and all carbs being whole, natural, non-processed foods).

With this alternate day life-style, after just a few days I started experiencing what you describe: greatly energy and trouble going to sleep at night due to having so much energy and sense of well being.

There are many styles of fasting, and of alternate calories & carbs. If one doesn't work for a person, they can likely find one that does, with some experimentation. In the end they each reduce insulin, body fat, cancer risks, and other health risks. Here's to health, however we find it!

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FITADMIN83 1/11/2014 1:39PM

    This is an interesting program to think about. I am glad it has worked so well for you. It seems as though the key is to look at what you are eating on the days you are not fasting and keeping it healthy but not limiting yourself. Thank you for sharing:)

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MARITIMER3 1/11/2014 1:23PM

    I just joined the 5:2 team, which recommends 2 consecutive days of 500 caloriea, eating the regular SP range the other 5.

Main difference seems to be that the 5:2 says you have to do this on 2 consecutive days, while your friend says definitely not to do it on consecutive days.

There is also some evidence that the 5:2 plan may prevent the onset of Alzheimers.

I definitely believe there are benefits from fasting. My daughter in Europe pays a fortune to go to spas to fast and exercise.

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JIBBIE49 1/11/2014 12:55PM

    Of course, you will get negatives from Sparks since they have their own diet here and a Cookbook, etc. This type of information really comes from someone like Dr. Mercola (he is a medical doctor) and has a lot of information about IF on his web site and lectures on YouTube. He stays in Ketosis and eats a lot of healthy fats and organic meats, etc. I understand why you want to do this diet since you are a cancer survivor. My son, Nathan had Testicular Cancer five years ago, so we have learned much from Dr. Mercola and also from Roby Mitchell M.D. (he is DrFitt on YouTube). Dr. Mitchell has a medical degree and also a PhD and he has studied in China. He had advanced prostrate cancer and cured himself with diet and exercise.
My son is doing IF plus lots of strength training, because he knows if his cancer comes back it will not be in his Testicle (5% chance) but somewhere like in his lungs or liver, so he wants to be strong to fight it. Plus they have told him that in his 40s he might get cancer from all the cat-scan/x-4ays he's had to have, but that is down the road and he plans to be very fit in his 40s as well.

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AMARILYNH 1/11/2014 12:45PM

    I have heard a bit about IF from others on SP but this is the clearest description I've heard. Very interesting about the cancer link - having lost three siblings to cancer this is quite important to me. I read a bit online about it too - actually tried it a couple of times and didn't really find it that difficult as I don't normally eat my first meal until around noon anyway and routinely eat two meals a day, sometimes with a snack, sometimes not. After reading this I believe I may need to look into it further.

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BATCHICK 1/11/2014 12:35PM

    I LOVE intermitent fasting for its flexibility. Like you said if you have a bad day or get invited out you just shift everything and its that easy. That is why this is the only "diet" that I feel can be a eal lifestyle for me. I have been doing 5:2 since October and I have never felt better!


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KENSHO 1/11/2014 12:09PM

    As you know...I did the 5:2 diet for 3 months and lost 17 pounds. I stopped for various reasons and gained back 7 pounds.

Recently I have been trying another approach and I'm curious about your take on it. 8:16 is what I call it. Eat for 8 hours a day and fast for 16. I eat between noon and 8pm. Before and after I only drink water or tea.

I'm not entirely sure if it's working for me or not only because I've been sick with a nasty bug so the scale is not a great gauge right now. I've lost weight but I can't say why at this point.

Anyway...thoughts on 8:16? Do you think I will reap any of the benefits from fasting for those 16 hours?

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GARDENQE2 1/11/2014 12:01PM

    I joined Evelyn in alternate-day-fasting in July. emoticon
I have lost 20 lbs. since then. The best result for me has been a lessening of symptoms of formerly aching joints no longer ache and my allergy/sinus infection, which has annoyed me for four years has almost disappeared. emoticon

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RAWCOOKIE 1/11/2014 11:57AM

    very interesting; and thank you for describing at least two ways of approaching it. For me, I think the idea of having a 'free' 'no limits' day is a bit scary for me - I might think I can eat whatever I want and more than make up for the previous day. Perhaps the 1000/2000 alternate days might work for me. I will look at your tracker and see how it works for you.

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MALAMI518 1/11/2014 11:48AM

    That is very interesting, and I will definitely look into it. I was calorie cycling for a while, but I've fallen into bad habits again. I will at least go back to that, but the alternate day fasting sounds like it would have some real health benefits, too.

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ZELLAZM 1/11/2014 11:33AM

    The details of your program are very interesting, Evelyn. I know you did alternate fasting days and a little bit of the why, but not the nitty gritty of the practice. Will keep this in mind for the future after my next trip. Starting out must take a good deal of planning, but it's doable. I used to do a weekly fast as more of a spiritual discipline but it was helpful in other ways as well.

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    Thank you for explaining your nutrition plan. I have been curious about fasting plans but not enough to actually make the time to do any research.
Thanks again, Audra

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CHAKARA1 1/11/2014 11:11AM

    very interesting

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SUSANELAINE1956 1/11/2014 10:52AM

    Great write-up. I've actually started doing this lately, but not to the extent you do. I cut back 3 days a week, have a free day (though still around 1600-1800 calories), and 3 days of moderate eating. I've only been doing it for 2 weeks, but I like it. I'm close to not tracking my foods (in 2 more weeks), and am excited to see how that goes.

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 1/11/2014 10:48AM

    As a triple negative breast cancer survivor, I'm a big believer in doing anything I can to reduce risk of recurrence/mets. I do think fasting makes it more difficult for cancer cells to survive because they require so much energy. What you are doing is awesome in my book. I want to learn more about it.

Right now, I still have a little bit of chemo left to go, surgery and radiation to come...but I'm giving a lot of thought as to how I want to make my "terrain" very inhospitable to cancer cells....particularly over the next five years.

Thank you for sharing all that information. I'm going to look into it.


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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 1/11/2014 10:41AM

    Thanks for taking the time to explain the concept and how it works for you. I'm not considering it at this time (have to do some more research and talk to doc before starting anything like this). But I do like the idea in theory.

Congrats on your success!

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MADEIT3 1/11/2014 10:38AM

    Interesting. I will need to learn more.

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WATERONE 1/11/2014 10:35AM

    Very clear explanation. I'm glad this is working so well for you. emoticon

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WATERDIAMONDS 1/11/2014 10:32AM

    Your explanation is lucid and compelling. Thank you for giving me something I seriously am going to think about/investigate.

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NEW-CAZ 1/11/2014 10:24AM

    thank you for posting in such detail, very interesting.

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SIRIUS2014 1/11/2014 10:15AM

    Thanks for the blog. It seemed to describe my last 2 months. Overeating, hungry and gaining 6 lbs. ugh. I have such a fear of failure now although I did well all summer. I am going to reread this and try some of your ideas. Hugs

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MARUKI52 1/11/2014 9:44AM

    Thank you for detailing this diet so well. That will be really helpful to anyone considering starting on this route. I have noticed that I have some weeks when my calories on some days are pretty low but this is not intentional. I have noticed that when this happens and I exercise then I am notified that I am not eating enough for the amount of exercise I am doing. Obviously on the days when I eat more it is not considered to be enough.

Having been brought up in the war years and with rationing my body has never been used to eating lots of food, it just wasn't available so we just didn't have access to lots. I often wonder if this has an effect on weight gain in later years.

Editing my post: Just out of interest I've just inputted a typical day for when I was at school and it tells me that I was eating 900 calories but that was a day when we had syrup sponge pudding! I'm not sure how it would work out with any other meals that I had. It was largely made up in the carbo's rather than other nutrients. I wonder if that was enough for a growing teenage girl? emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/11/2014 10:10:00 AM

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EFFIEANNIE 1/11/2014 9:43AM

    So nice to hear you explain this. I have heard other people talk about this, but never really had much explanation. Thanks for posting this.

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BEWELL48 1/11/2014 9:37AM

    Very interesting. What does your fasting day look like in terms of food and times?

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SLIMMERJESSE 1/11/2014 9:35AM

    I've been seriously thinking about it and will find out more about how to do it. Thanks for this blog in reminding me to look into it further. And best wishes for continued good health in this not-so-new year.

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A walk in Scotland in Pictures

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Yesterday, New Years Eve we decided to take our last walk of 2013, through Scolty Woods, and today we took the first walk of 2014, walking the five miles round Loch Kinord. Both walks were taken in greylight rather than daylight, but we got round in the dry, and the rain started as we left the car park and drove home!

So now I'm going to keep quiet, and let the pictures speak for themselves.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARYDSAN 3/5/2014 6:23AM

    Thanks for another beautiful walk. I took my Dad to Scotland 3 years before he died. He wanted to go to St. Andrew's. We flew to London, got a rental car, and drove to Scotland.

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TIME2BLOOM4ME 3/1/2014 12:02PM

    I wish I could come walk with you. It's so beautiful, lovely, amazing. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GEMINI-SKY 1/14/2014 6:37AM

    Thank You for My Beautiful Morning Walk !!!!
Simply Beautiful !!!!

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DANAPRIME 1/13/2014 7:36PM

    Wow! That was some beautiful scenery! Hope you had a wonderful time!!!

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CHOCOHOLIC2276 1/7/2014 10:38PM

    Beautiful pics! Thank you for sharing, I love the vibrant colors!

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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 1/6/2014 5:01PM

    Absolutely Stunning! I LOVE the pics. Thank you for sharing your walk.

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FEISTYOWL 1/6/2014 1:06PM

    thanks so much for sharing your pics...someday I'm going to get there to visit!

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SIMONEKP 1/4/2014 10:46AM

    you always have great pictures

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HIKER-SQUIRREL 1/3/2014 3:53PM

    Thanks for sharing. Looks like it was a great walk!

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PARASELENIC 1/2/2014 4:42PM

    So beautiful! I especially love the red tones of the paths and the rich greens of the moss-- I can almost smell how gorgeous it must have been from the pictures alone!

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    Thanks for sharing the pictures!

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KENSHO 1/2/2014 9:56AM


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CTUPTON 1/2/2014 9:38AM

    thanks for letting me share your lovely walk


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WATERONE 1/2/2014 8:22AM


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    I. Want.To.Be.There.

Thank you for the tranquility and the beauty.

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FERRETLOVER1 1/2/2014 6:52AM

    Awesome photos - thank you so much for the peaceful break in my hectic day!

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GOANNA2 1/2/2014 6:06AM

    Beautiful countryside. Thank you.
Happy New Year. emoticon

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ARTJAC 1/2/2014 1:10AM


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REGILIEH 1/2/2014 12:47AM



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MARYJEANSL 1/1/2014 8:26PM

  Really lovely, even in winter.

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MARITIMER3 1/1/2014 7:37PM

    Each season has its own beauty, doesn't it? Hope you kept drier on this one compared to the one at Balmoral.

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AMARILYNH 1/1/2014 7:10PM

    Scotland is on our bucket list of places to visit, and your blog just confirmed that we need to allow time for some hiking when we visit!! BEAUTIFUL!!

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BATCHICK 1/1/2014 7:04PM

    thanks for sharing your pics!

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CATLADY52 1/1/2014 5:42PM

    Beautiful countryside. emoticon

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SQUIRRELMOMMA1 1/1/2014 4:44PM

    Lovely. You are very lucky to live near such beauty.

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MUDGE4 1/1/2014 3:49PM


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LADYIRISH317 1/1/2014 3:21PM

    I am so jealous -- I love Scotland almost as much as Ireland. I'd love to see both countries.

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OLIVIANIGHT 1/1/2014 2:53PM

    Oh it's gorgeous. I was going to go for a walk tonight but it's raining sideways!

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DR1939 1/1/2014 2:10PM

    What a lovely way to end and begin a year. Have a Happy New Year!

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EFFIEANNIE 1/1/2014 1:54PM

    What beautiful pictures. Do you get much snow there? We are all covered in snow and ice in Illinois. Mad a visit to Scotland a few years ago. Loved it.

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 1/1/2014 1:54PM

    Beautiful! I love Scotland. But it must get dark very early right now.

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SLIMMERJESSE 1/1/2014 1:36PM

    Beautiful! Happy 2014!

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NEW-CAZ 1/1/2014 1:18PM

    emoticon Happy New Year emoticon

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CIPHER1971 1/1/2014 12:32PM


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ZELLAZM 1/1/2014 12:28PM

    Lovely photos - those mossy rocks and the "babbling brook", serene lake view - and all this in the dead of winter.

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JENSHAINES 1/1/2014 12:20PM

    Jealous - but in the best kind of way!!! Looks absolutely lovely. I'm off to do some dancing in my decidedly less beautiful family room. emoticon

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MARUKI52 1/1/2014 12:13PM

    Beautiful pictures. What a lovely walk.
Happy New Year.

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    Thanks for sharing your pictures.
Wishing you a grand 2014 !!

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JERSEYGIRL24 1/1/2014 12:03PM

    So beautiful. We are expecting almost a foot of snow tomorrow, so I am especially jealous. Happy New Year!

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GARDENQE2 1/1/2014 11:53AM

What beauty...I love the mossy stones!

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TRUCKERSMRS 1/1/2014 11:50AM

    Stunning photos. Thank you for sharing them with us all. Happy New Year and safe journey home.

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ALIHIKES 1/1/2014 11:48AM

    What a beautiful and magical walk! Thank you for sharing yourremarkable photos.

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Hiking near Balmoral

Sunday, December 29, 2013

It was drizzling when we stopped in the car park near Balmoral. Undeterred we pulled on our woolly hats, gloves and scarves and headed off up a well made path.

We walked past a very posh house, which had a rather flash sculpture in the garden. Personally I wouldn't fancy it on my back lawn, but each to his own!

Then leaving that path we started to climb steadily through the trees. This path had a small brook running down it.

The path continued to wind gradually uphill, I was carefully sticking to the middle of the path out of the water, as I was only wearing trainers and they're old and not waterproof. To the sides of the path the snow was lying in the trees.

We carried on climbing, taking pauses to 'read the map' and take photos! We emerged through the tree line, and found the snow line, but the view behind us was magnificent.

As the snow was lying on the path now, the clearest bit was in the stream. I decided I'd rather be wet than flat on my face, so I stepped into the stream. Wow that water was cold!

Eventually the trail was totally covered in snow. My old trainers were not only soaking, but didn't have much tread left, and I hate slipping and sliding. Fortunately my daughter and son in law are very patient and waited as I picked my way over the ice, disappearing up to my knees a couple of times.

We started to come downhill again, and dropped back below the snow line, but this is the view back up the track.

The view though was well worth getting wet for.

We started to work our way downhill.

We were following a path with a stream running on our right, tumbling over the rocks. We were confident that we would soon find a bridge to cross over. Unfortunately we didn't!

I was so pleased that my feet were already soaking wet! While the other two looked for an easy way across, I just forged through, as did my daughter. My son in law with his long legs found somewhere to stride across. It was very pretty from the other side.

Congratulating ourselves on leaving the stream behind, we started to go downhill quite quickly, but the stream had other ideas. Going round a loop, it crossed the path again further down, and I had to get wet again! The scenery was still stunning however.

The third time I had to forge the stream, my poor daughter was mortified that her 'easy' walk had become so difficult, but really I wouldn't have missed it for anything, I was having enormous fun. As you can see I was really enjoying it!

After this, the last half a mile to the car park was an anti climax! I walked about 5 miles, and did 15,700 steps, and had a lovely day!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 1/6/2014 5:03PM

    Love the pics! What a fun (if challenging) walk. Beautiful pics!

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AMARILYNH 1/1/2014 7:15PM

    Wow - talk about the intrepid hiker!! I bow to you - I'd have most likely been turning around the first time my feet got wet!! Awesome!! Note to self - take rainboots for hiking in Scotland!!

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MARUKI52 1/1/2014 12:29PM

    What beautiful scenery and lovely pictures. Your poor feet must have been totally frozen by the time you finished your walk.

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MARITIMER3 1/1/2014 12:21PM

    Thanks for sharing the pictures from your hike. I take it you didn't see any royalty! emoticon

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ALIHIKES 1/1/2014 11:51AM

    Beautiful photos, beautiful walk! Thanks for sharing. The scenery is spectacular!

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WATERONE 12/30/2013 7:32PM

    What a beautiful walk. Thank you for sharing it.

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KENSHO 12/30/2013 3:51PM

    Gorgeous pictures! You look so happy. You really do have a fabulous's quite refreshing!

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FUNGIRL81005 12/30/2013 12:57PM

    Evelyn, The pictures are gorgeous. HA!! Your feet were probably numb!! Snow and Water!! The picture of you staning in the stream was very cute...You really looked like you enjoyed yourself. Great memories..Thank you for sharing

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ALIIDA 12/30/2013 12:14PM

    Talk about intrepid! Your feet must have been frozen! I spent a few months in Scotland in the nineties. Your lovely pictures bring back memories.

Happy New Year!

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GOANNA2 12/30/2013 8:28AM

    I can imagine the water was cold thus giving
you cold feet as well. You did very well today.
Glad you had fun. thanks for sharing the lovely
hike and scenery with us.
Happy New Year. emoticon

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WATERDIAMONDS 12/30/2013 6:28AM

    I don't do well with wet feet, so I surely admire your stamina!

Seriously, it does sound as if it were fun, so kudos for making the very best of the situation and obviously enjoying yourself!

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SUNNYBEACHGIRL 12/30/2013 12:10AM

    What walk, lovely views

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CATHEMARIE 12/29/2013 11:18PM

    Always enjoy the pictures of your adventures!


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LIVE_AMAZINGLY 12/29/2013 9:52PM

Sounds like you had a lot of fun!

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BEWELL48 12/29/2013 9:28PM

    Beautiful pictures! Thanks!

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REGILIEH 12/29/2013 8:31PM

    FANTASTIC!!! emoticon

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    Thank you for sharing your trek.
Great pictures, and of course your narrative made the day.
Thank you for being part of my 2013.
I hope you will be part of my 2014, too.
Keep Safe, Keep Dry?, Keep Warm. and Keep SPARKING !!

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SQUIRRELMOMMA1 12/29/2013 7:00PM

    emoticon It looks like you had fun!

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QUEENIEBELLE 12/29/2013 6:58PM

    emoticon You are such a good sport!! What a fabulous experience, all because you were willing to say YES. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon for the beautiful pictures. ~Sandi

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CATLADY52 12/29/2013 6:35PM

    You look like you are having a good time. I take it that it was a a short jaunt for you. emoticon emoticon

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JENSHAINES 12/29/2013 6:00PM

    Gosh Evelyn, this is gorgeous! I can't believe how cold it must have been, though - I hope you're toasty warm now!

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PATTYKLAVER 12/29/2013 5:53PM

    It looks wonderful. I need a hike like that.

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SLIMMERJESSE 12/29/2013 5:28PM

    What fun! And thanks for sharing such lovely pics.

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JUNEAU2010 12/29/2013 5:25PM

    How absolutely fun! Thank you for sharing!

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MYTHMYTH 12/29/2013 4:49PM

    Thanks so much for sharing the photos of your adventure! I really did enjoy seeing them along with your commentary! emoticon

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CMFARRELL36 12/29/2013 4:49PM

    What a lovely day you seem to have had.
In my part of Ayrshire it has been windy and wet - at least it was coming from above as well as lying below LOL!

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 12/29/2013 4:40PM

    What a beautiful place to hike.....thanks for sharing all the pictures!

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GARDENQE2 12/29/2013 4:34PM

    What beautiful scenery! I'm glad you got in such a good hike! emoticon

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MARYJEANSL 12/29/2013 4:25PM

  Love it!

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MADEIT3 12/29/2013 3:55PM

    Gorgeous area despite the wet feet. Good for you!!

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CIPHER1971 12/29/2013 3:34PM


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NEW-CAZ 12/29/2013 3:30PM

    wonderful journey, thanks for taking me with you emoticon

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PCOH051610 12/29/2013 3:30PM

    What breathtaking scenery to be able to walk/hike/wade emoticon through! You look so happy (and beautiful!) and I'm thrilled you took it all in stride. Thanks for sharing your adventure!

We have a lot of snow here and today was bitterly cold but we did manage to walk for 60 minutes.


P.S. Are you feet warmed up yet?

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SHELTIE2013 12/29/2013 3:24PM

    Good for you!!! You sound like you created some memories!!!

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FITNHEALTHYKAL 12/29/2013 3:17PM

    You look so happy! Are you dry and warm now? What a gorgeous adventure you had! emoticon

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DR1939 12/29/2013 3:08PM

    Lovely day. Thank you for sharing.

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ZELLAZM 12/29/2013 2:54PM

    Lovely tour, wet feet and all!

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COCK-ROBIN 12/29/2013 2:40PM

    Such beautiful pictures, and you had a great walk.

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BLC 23, What Have I Learned?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

When I registered for BLC24, and asked to remain with Azure Destinations, I started to think about what the BLC meant and had done for me, and what I had learned since I first started on BLC22.

I started the BLC with Azure, and have stayed an Azurite. After initial concerns whether I could cope with it, I settled in, and found a strong caring team that fitted me like a glove. I wouldnít want to leave them. This round, being my second, having got my feet under the table, I have learned a lot.

I NEED the scale! One of my concerns when I started was with the weekly weigh in, as I know that I am an obsessive person, who can become fixated on the numbers, which then take on an importance they donít really have. For years I have been saying to anyone who will listen, that itís not all about the numbers, itís about how I feel in my skin, how my clothes fit etc, and thatís all very true, BUT, and itís a big but, my easy going, laid back personality that can ignore what is going on in the mirror, and is an expert at not seeing what is obvious to everyone else, who can chuck the scales under the bed and not use them for months, well, that all contributed to me becoming the 220+lbs person that I was when I originally joined Spark.

I have learned that I need that weekly weigh in, but not to take it too seriously, lots of things can upset that number. Itís merely a tool.

I NEED the structure. Although I have exercised for the last couple of years, it has been sporadic. I will seize upon any excuse not to do it, and I donít push myself. Although Azure doesn't have the same challenges as the other teams, (we do however always have others), when weíre traveling, we take on their challenges. I love the TNTís, the weekend challenges, and the LCWís. It hauls me out of bed and gets me to the gym. It gets me in the pool after, it sends me off to karate, when I really would rather not, just to gain extra points for my team!

I needed to be more flexible in my attitudes. I started out in round 22, thinking ĎIím not doing thisí and ĎI canít do thatí and have gradually found myself doing all sorts of things. participation not perfection, is the phrase, and itís meant wholeheartedly. If you are physically not capable of doing something, you can modify it until you can at least try.

I love meeting the other teams and visiting them. I meet lots of different personalities, and make friends and see how they do things. it is fascinating, and I can do anything if itís just for the week! (except I draw the line at jogging!)

I NEED CI/CO. Azure is a team that doesnít use this, and as I love Azure as it is, and would be sad if it changed, I am very glad of it, but I had never even heard of it before recently visiting the Outlaws. I have always resisted calorie counting, not only does it take a lot of time, but it doesnít work for me, because Iím set an unrealistically high calorie limit which I then eat Ďupí to. Then I gain weight!. CI/CO though worked! It was a revelation, my BMR was calculated much closer to what I calculate it to be, and if I Ďsavedí 3,500 calories over a week, guess what, I lost a pound! Simple as that! and as I can calculate over a weekly, rather than a daily target, I get less Ďtaken overí by it too. It's just another tool.

I would never have found or tried that if not for the BLC, and independently, will keep on using it.

I NEED Azure! My journey through SP has been littered with teams joined, briefly flirted with, and discarded. This one is different. if I only had one team on SP, and in actuality, I only visit this one, it will be Azure. A no apology, no blame, no criticism zone. I have learned to be honest. Because nobody criticises me, I no longer need to be defensive, whatever I have done or not done, someone else on the team has been there before. I can be proud of my successes, and simply acknowledge my failures. We are a close knit team, without exception.

Itís always interesting, I have never been bored by it. My team chat thread, and the thread of the team I am visiting, are the first things I check in the morning and the last I look at at night.

So, at the end of BLC24, I will sign up with Azure again for round 25Ö.and 26Ö..27...... ad infinitum as far as I can see at the moment.

Perhaps I will meet you there on one of the teams.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZELLAZM 12/24/2013 5:02AM

    It's been fun getting to know you on Azure!

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ZANNACHAN 12/23/2013 11:26PM

    Well said! And many of your discoveries are things I've learned about myself as well (such as the need for flexibility and benefiting from having structured challenges etc.) so I found myself nodding my head a lot as I read this.

And you are definitely right about the part where there's probably nothing that any of us have done or experienced that someone else hasn't! But the upside, not only does that help me from feeling defensive (which is different from motivated to do something about it, LOL) but also inspired--because if they didn't give up and if they can continue losing weight and getting healthier, thinner, and stronger, so can I!

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ALIHIKES 12/21/2013 5:44PM

    Great blog about the importance of a team (and support) for success in achieving goals emoticon

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BOPPY_ 12/13/2013 7:36PM

    Different strokes for different folks.

I've never found the challenges of interest to me, but I can see that they are quite useful to many.

If it works for you and it advances your program, health and well being, I cheer you on!

Lee emoticon

PS BTW, I had to google BLC to have a clue what you were talking about. emoticon

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LIVE_AMAZINGLY 12/12/2013 10:14PM

    Iím glad you found a team where you arenít criticized, and are supported. I have in the past joined teams where I thought I would find that, but instead found people being critical or snippy, or worse. Sometimes the Ďpowerí (?) of being Ďteam leaderí goes to some peopleís heads, and instead of being supportive they end up demanding that you do things exactly as that team suggests, instead of taking what works for you and modifying. And so, though there were teams I really would have liked to be a part of I left when those things happened. And have pretty much avoided participation with any team since the first several that happened at. Your example shows plainly that those positive teams are out there and that I should reconsider my stance of Ďno real participationí in threads.

I am really happy for you that you have found such wonderful support as you have.

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PINKYYSUEE 12/12/2013 2:00PM

    I have loved getting to know you on Azure..I loved hearing about your trip and I love hearing about how many steps you got in a day...

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PCOH051610 12/12/2013 7:44AM

    Awesome way of putting it all!

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FEISTYOWL 12/11/2013 10:59AM

    Evelyn, I have so enjoyed getting to know you with BLC. You have been a great inspiration to me, and I find my thoughts often are similar to yours! I, too, enjoyed and learned the CICO model, which I hadn't heard of before either. So, cheers to you and all your wisdom learned and shared!!

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GOANNA2 12/11/2013 9:50AM


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WATERDIAMONDS 12/11/2013 7:50AM

    What a well-thought-out tribute to the concept of the BLC teams. And what wonderful insight into yourself.

Good for you and best of success in the next round!

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JUNEAU2010 12/10/2013 10:56PM

    Happy for and proud of you and just a wee bit jealous!


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LETHA_ 12/10/2013 9:54PM

    Sounds like you found the perfect spot. Most excellent!!

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MARYJEANSL 12/10/2013 8:27PM

  It sounds like you are well on your way.

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HMJ5053 12/10/2013 5:20PM

    Enjoyed your post. BLC was the first (and only) group in which I participated on SP. So glad that I did. Just like you, I've tried and learned new things that have been very helpful. Completing the various aspects of my team's challenge has kept me on track far more than I would have been without participation in the challenge. I too found a wonderful team and have signed up for BLC 24 because I know for sure, it is something that I need to be successful in reaching my goal.

Wishing you a great finish to BLC 23 and on to BLC 24 in January!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SEAJESS 12/10/2013 4:17PM

    emoticon blog, Evelyn! I have loved getting to know you on Azure and am grateful it was a great fit for you so you stuck around for a second round! You've been a bright, funny, encouraging and interesting addition to my Spark life. emoticon
emoticon Loved what you said about needing the scale and needing not to take it too seriously!
emoticon I also love that BLC23 had a variety of teams so that others also have a chance to find their perfect fit. (Another great aspect of Azure - getting to travel to meet those teams. I've thoroughly enjoyed every team Hula Cabana visited this round.)
emoticon I appreciated Azure's flexibility so that it could accommodate individual differences. I'm a big believer in "best effort" and Azure supported that almost 100%. Even the MOJO Challenge, which I hated, was good though because it made me get in touch with what I valued and what worked for me.
emoticon also for the perfect timing of this blog. Just in time for WI Wednesday!

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FITNHEALTHYKAL 12/10/2013 3:45PM

    :::sniff::: This is just such a wonderful description of who we are and what we're about and I can't imagine Azure without YOU! emoticon Ohana is family and Azure IS that.

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FUNGIRL81005 12/10/2013 3:36PM

    You are a perfect fit for Azure.... emoticon emoticon

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THE_SHAKESHAFT 12/10/2013 3:32PM

    So great to hear from you again :)

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AKELAZ 12/10/2013 3:03PM

    Great blog, Evelyn. BLC and Azure sound great. I've given up joining teams because I am never consistent and end up feeling I'm letting people down. I need to investigate BLC and probably give it a go.
If nothing else transpires I'm grateful for the inspiration - for which I thank you.

Comment edited on: 12/10/2013 3:03:41 PM

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WATERONE 12/10/2013 12:55PM

    Great insight into what is working for you and why. Glad you found the team that fits you best.

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CIPHER1971 12/10/2013 12:43PM

    Brilliant you found such a great fit for you

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GARDENQE2 12/10/2013 12:12PM

    Glad you're doing so well!

We sort of miss you on the Fast Diet threads!

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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 12/10/2013 11:53AM

    I love what you have learned through your journey with BLC & Azure. You are awesome! Congrats on finding tools that work for you and the ability to utilize them as such without letting them take over your life.
May you continue to have fun for a very long time!

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SUSANELAINE1956 12/10/2013 11:33AM

    emoticon I thoroughly enjoyed reading this blog, just as I have thoroughly enjoyed reading all of your posts. I love your honesty and humor, and am so glad I got to meet you through Azure. emoticon

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CHOCOHOLIC2276 12/10/2013 11:10AM

    What a great blog!! I am so happy to have found BLC also!

AGREED the scale is only a tool. I weigh in every day, no it does not define whether my day is good or bad based on the # I see. It's merely there.

You are a force my friend and I'm sure Azure sees how lucky it is to have you also. Huge emoticon

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BELLSES 12/10/2013 10:49AM

    And we're so glad you're on Azure with all of us!

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DR1939 12/10/2013 10:44AM

    Glad you found the right place for you.

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REGILIEH 12/10/2013 10:07AM


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TEKRU1 12/10/2013 9:55AM

    emoticon You ARE a perfect fit for Azure - we're lucky to have you!

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MYTHMYTH 12/10/2013 9:17AM

    emoticon Glad that you found such a supportive team!

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 12/10/2013 8:53AM

    I'm glad you found a team that works so well for you!

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AVAMARIE62 12/10/2013 8:49AM

    Evelyn well put!
I know what you mean about the scale. I would really like to wean myself away from it. I am trying hard to focus on healthy eating and physical fitness and let the numbers and pounds take care of themselves!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/10/2013 8:58:11 AM

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LADYOLIVER 12/10/2013 8:36AM

    Evelyn this is great. I have been on the same page of viewing what I learned from BLC, just had not blogged it yet. emoticon

emoticon and emoticon

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NEW-CAZ 12/10/2013 8:30AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LOVELESMILLS 12/10/2013 7:59AM


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October 15th 1987, London, England.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

October 15th 1987, was a very ordinary day, it was the day before my husbands important exams towards his BSc. It was a mild autumn Wednesday, and that night, London, and all of south-eastern England was pulverised by the most violent storm in to occur in over three hundred years.

Now many of you will live in places where real hurricanes or typhoons are part of everyday life, but for us, sitting smugly in our little semiís in London, it was cause for some amusement when the weather announcer (with the rather unfortunate name of Michael Fish) announced that a lady had phoned up the BBC, and said that a hurricane was brewing. He rather condescendingly said not to worry, it would be just a little windy over night. The poor man never lived those words down!

It was a little windy when we went to bed at about 11pm. I went quickly to sleep but was awoken by banging at about 2am. The curtains were dancing the gay fandango from the draught around the windows. We had an old fashioned fireplace in our bedroom. Someone over the years had covered the opening with hard board, and affixed a gas fire to it. The noise that had awakened me, was the fire and hard board being alternately pushed away, then sucked back to the chimney. I laid in bed listening to the howling of the wind. My husband, oblivious, slept peacefully on. I always said that he could sleep through the last trump, and here he was proving it.

The wind was like a live thing, screaming round the house. We faced west, and that was the direction the storm was coming from. A little white face appeared around the bedroom door, the children were awake, they were then aged 17, 14 and 7.

We sat on the landing for a while. My son said he had been woken by the noise of slates sliding down the roof. You could hear nothing but the sound of the wind, it was deafening. The loft hatch was also bouncing up and down in its hole.

My husband slept on! The children werenít frightened exactly, just in awe of the power of nature, so after a while they went back to bed. I slipped downstairs to the toilet, and to check on my cats, very grateful that I always insisted that they were indoors at night. It was quieter on this side of the house, I looked out of the kitchen window into the darkness of the garden. The wind was still strengthening. The old apple tree outside the window was being almost pulled up by the roots. It was extraordinary watching it, almost like it was a human, being picked up by the hair and then dropped again!

At about 4.30 the electricity went off. I had gone back to bed, but it was impossible to sleep. I must have made a noise, because my husband asked what was the matter, then told me not to be so stupid, and went back to sleep!

Finally I did sleep. In the morning there was chaos. My husband actually wouldnít believe me, and set off for his exams on his motorbike, only to be turned back by the police as all the roads into Guildford were closed by fallen trees. Shops and schools were shut. Trees were down by the thousands, if not millions. In October in south-east England, all the leaves are still on the trees, so there had been devastation. Oaks Park had lost all its oaks, Kew and Wisley Gardens mourned their losses. To this day, under the undergrowth, in English woodlands, you can see lines and lines of pushed over trees, all pointed the same way.

Ships from the English Channel had been blown inland and dumped by the waves. It took over a week to get power back to some of the more rural parts of Sussex. The slates, fortunately, came from a neighbours roof. Equally fortunately, it was not full moon, so there was no accompanying storm surge.

So why am I blogging about this now?

Forecasting has improved a lot over the intervening years, satellite and radar have got it down to a fine art. Just off the eastern coast of America, a storm is brewing. It is forecast to meet up with the jet stream which is lying across the south of England at present. The low pressure will intensify and deepen, then rush across the middle of England, on Sunday night. The wind speed forecast across south east England in the early hours of Monday morning, is in excess of 80 mph in the gusts, about the same as 1987.

Also in the intervening years have come a number of false alarms. We have been forecast wind, hail, snow and some events of almost biblical proportions. So far, theyíve all amounted to nothing, so in all probability, this will be another storm in a teacup. (sorry, couldnít resist!)

But, it just might...just might, another night to the hurricane of í87.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNNYBEACHGIRL 12/8/2013 11:45PM

    How is winter doing. Stay safe and warm

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SEAJESS 11/17/2013 12:42PM

Thank you for an engaging piece of writing.
emoticon What a tale to tell!

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 11/13/2013 6:06PM

    It just occured to me that this day was very well treated in the novel "WHITE TEETH" by Zadie Smith. It was a fascinating (if quasi-fictional) depiction.

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ASPENHUGGER 11/12/2013 11:37PM

    I remember this well, even though I was back in California after having spent the summer over there. I read the news about the devastation, & how many old trees were blown down, and the grieving that England wouldn't look the same for centuries. The photos of huge tree trunks all jumbled together like pick-up sticks. I feel so fortunate that I was able to see it as it was.

And glad you didn't suffer much damage personally!

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ALIHIKES 11/6/2013 6:57PM

    Great blog, and very well written! I remember the first (and only) time I saw a tornado, I was living in Portland Oregon -- which never has tornados. But freak weather conditions gave us one!

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DANAPRIME 11/3/2013 12:43PM

    Hope you came through it safely!

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GOANNA2 11/2/2013 10:22PM

    What a storm that was. I can imagine the
devastation.Did your husband get to his exams, lol?
I loved reading your blog. You are a born writer.
As for DH sleeping through the storm, I have to say
that I can sleep through almost anything also. If
anyone ever attacked me in my bed, I would never
feel any pain I suppose. Have a great Sunday. emoticon

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LOLABLACK69 10/31/2013 5:47AM

    I saw the forecast, and there was a lot in the news about storm in England that spread on to Germany and rest of the north-west Europe. Luckily, we in Croatia didn't get any of it. I must say it looked very frightening.
Is everything OK now? Hope there's not a lot of damage in your part. emoticon

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SUNNYBEACHGIRL 10/31/2013 1:31AM

    What a descriptive blog? Hope this last storm was not as bad and that you got through it

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 10/30/2013 7:49PM

    What a mesmerizing read! You really convey so well all that you went through at the time. You are a true natural-born writer!

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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 10/30/2013 7:35PM

    Fantastic blog! You describe what you went through then so clearly. I can see how the weather forecast had you thinking about that momentous night. May you weather any other storms teacup variety or not as well.

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TEKRU1 10/29/2013 12:48PM

    Wow! I felt like I was there with you - great blog! Hoping the next storm won't be one of those. Incredible to witness what can happen though, isn't it?

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FEISTYOWL 10/28/2013 11:55PM

    You have a gift with a story! Hope it turns out to be nothing much, another false alarm. But if not, I hope you are handling it as well as the last one!!

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ANAIS57 10/28/2013 12:50PM

    Evelyn, keeps us posted... read your status and see that you are still in the middle of it all.

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A_BIT_AT_A_TIME 10/28/2013 11:46AM

    What a great tale! Glad the worst of this storm is over now. emoticon emoticon

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PCOH051610 10/28/2013 10:41AM

    Hopefully things didn't get that bad this time! We don't get that many storms either where we live although the coastal communities do get a fair bit of wind and tide.

Your husband sounds like mine! Mine slept through a tree falling on our house and coming in through the dining room on the floor below are bedroom! That was a combination of an old tree and late spring frost.

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WATERONE 10/28/2013 9:07AM

    Wow, that was some night. I hope you didn't get a bad storm on Sunday night.

I am also on the East Coast of America and we have had several bad hurricanes in the past decade. There was one the week I was born (many decades ago) that almost prevented my mom from bringing me home from the hospital. They are scary and awe inspiring events.

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BONOLICIOUS2 10/28/2013 8:10AM

    Wow! Your poor husband and his exams!

I live on the East Coast of the US where hurricanes are frequent. You never know which way nature will go and they always give us the best and worst case scenarios. All you can do is prepare and hunker down. Last year this week was when Hurricane Sandy came through - we've been very lucky this year but you always remember the bad storms of the past!

Hopefully you have a set of spare candles and matches on hand and this storm just passes you by! Good luck and let us know how it goes!

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EOWYNRUSS 10/27/2013 10:31PM

    You are an incredible writer. Your words brought back memories of my first experience with a freak storm. We had moved from Chicago to southern Missouri, to a small ranch house in the middle of farmland in the middle of nowhere. Our living room (sitting room) stretched the entire center of the house, like the middle of a capital H. It was a huge room, with five enormous picture windows--2 side by side in the front wall, three in a row in the back--to take advantage of the views. In late spring of 1984? we went to bed with storms forecast. Tornadoes are common there, and storms have a lot of open space to gather strength. At 2am we were all awakened by the most horrific noise. Thunder, lightning, howling wind, and...gravel?...pounding the house like a giant dump truck was pouring a load right onto the south wall. I sleep like the dead, and it woke me up. I jumped out of bed to find my family huddling in the hall, wondering what was going on. We walked into the living room, towards those 3 back picture windows. The glass was jumping in the frames. I put my hand out to touch the window. It felt like rocks hitting the glass, thousands of them. Then the lightning flashed, and all we could see was white. My Dad pulled me away from the window. We went to the dining room, and found a window we could look out of. The ground was covered with what looked like snow. We all stood there, mouths hanging open, staring dumbly out at the storm. It had been 80 degrees that day. That couldn't be snow. Finally, one of us bumped into the truth. "That's hail. Holy hockey pucks, those are hailstones, piling up in drifts in the yard." Shell shocked, our parents turned us back towards bed, probably thinking it was all a dream. The gravelly sound stopped halfway there. The thunder and lightning kept going. Next morning, all was quiet. I got ready for school, and ran outside as soon as I was dressed. Up against the south wall of the house was still a six inch drift of hailstones. All the others had melted. There were branches, leaves, and buds everywhere. A friend had lost 2 cats. Some people lost livestock. Never saw anything like it, before or since. Your story really reminded me of that night. Hope your predicted bad weather turns out to be a false alarm.

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JUNEAU2010 10/27/2013 11:34AM

    I lack the words, yes, me, with a BA in English, to say anything more impressive than comments you have already received. What a fabulous story teller you are! I love the humor, I can almost hear and feel everything.

I've lived in Juneau, Alaska, where the Taku winds are legendary. The story goes that they used to have an instrument to measure wind strength on top of the mountain. The wind blew it away at something over 200mph (the top measurement it could record).

Umbrellas are useless when it's windy and rainy at the same time! They serve as levitation devices!

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MYTHMYTH 10/27/2013 8:23AM

    You did a wonderful job of telling the story - made me feel like it was right there. Hope that you escape the one that is brewing.

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WATERDIAMONDS 10/27/2013 5:30AM

    Your recall is astonishing, your story-telling vivid. Kudos!

All I can add is my best wishes that this particular storm NOT come to pass!

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JIBBIE49 10/27/2013 2:08AM

    emoticon I live on the Gulf Coast of Florida and we had Hurricane Ivan in 2004 that had a 43 foot storm surge. Yes, that means that the water level came in at 43 feet high so it did a HUGE amount of damage. A number of people died, including one truck driver who's truck cab was washed out to sea when the bridge over the bay collapsed. The highway was closed but he continued to drive in the storm. It was 24 hours of a horrible storm. I don't know about in England but in America the worst part of a hurricane is THE TORNADOES that occur in the Hurricane. In Hurricane Andrew in south Florida there were over 500 in that one night. Water damage from the storm surge is another thing that does so much damaged on the properties near the waterfront. But, people don't realize that the water can come into the town up through the drain areas that naturally flow out to the sea. It is bad. My friend got four feet of water flooded into her house.
Yes, with each storm, we get a LOT of hype on getting ready, but you can't just act like this won't amount to anything, because when it DOES come your way, you have to be prepared. We didn't have electric for 12 days after Hurricane Ivan & it was hot September. It is better to be safe than sorry. Thankfully, the 2013 Season had few storms and we were LUCKY, as that helped save billions of dollars in damages that no one needs.

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AKROXIE 10/26/2013 10:13PM

  Super memory & what great telling. Thanks for sharing!

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WALKINGBYFAITH2 10/26/2013 10:03PM

    Excellent writing! Typical husband! Lots of wishes for a safe ride through the next one!

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COCK-ROBIN 10/26/2013 9:52PM

    I hope it misses you.

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MT-MOONCHASER 10/26/2013 8:53PM

    I hope that the storm isn't too bad. Here in Montana we are preparing for the first blast of winter weather. Wind and snow, just in time for Halloween. It's amazing how often we have nasty weather near Halloween and fairly nice before and after...


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MEADSBAY 10/26/2013 8:38PM

    Wow, what a good memory you have, Evelyn.
I hope you never have to live through another one like that!

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RAINBOWCHOC 10/26/2013 8:22PM

    I was in the city that afternoon and we watched a piece of building fall onto a car and give it a sunroof! We survived quite well, let's hope it soon blows over.

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PATRICIAAK 10/26/2013 8:13PM

    hope it blows over

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KATESQUEST 10/26/2013 6:51PM

    Your writing had me sitting right there with you on that night not sleeping! I'll lift some prayers that if the storm comes, it brings only memories and no damage!

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MARYJEANSL 10/26/2013 6:46PM

  I most sincerely wish you a storm in a teacup. ;-) But it wouldn't hurt to lay in a supply of candles and/or flashlight batteries.

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CATLADY52 10/26/2013 6:06PM

    Prepare for the worst and you will be fine. emoticon

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DR1939 10/26/2013 6:00PM

    I can remember standing at my grandmother's back door watching a hurricane. I was less than 5 years old. It was dramatic. I've lived through others but none made the impression that that one did. Here's hoping it is that tempest in a teapot for you.

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    wow emoticon

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 10/26/2013 5:45PM

    I love that your husband slept through it all! Amazing story. Thanks for sharing it!

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MALAMI518 10/26/2013 5:09PM

    You painted an amazing picture with your words. I felt like I was with you for that hurricane. I hope that this next storm does not bring the same devastation!

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SLIMMERJESSE 10/26/2013 4:26PM

    Wow, hope it's not as bad as the other one. BTW, loved that family pic of Prince George with his little arms open.

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NEW-CAZ 10/26/2013 3:57PM

    I remember it well, Micheal Fish will never live it down LOL

Comment edited on: 10/26/2013 3:59:12 PM

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STFRENCH 10/26/2013 2:16PM

    I heard about the 87 storm, even though I only came to England 10 years later. We're in Yorkshire, and I think the South is more at risk, so I do hope it turns out to be nothing more than a storm in a teacup.

Be safe emoticon

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MRSBETH99 10/26/2013 1:45PM

    That was a fascinating read! I pray that you truly do have a tempest in a teacup and stay safe and snug.

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SALLYLEE84 10/26/2013 1:41PM

    Wow, very well written. And ya'll sound like a very calm family, I wouldn't have been able to sleep a wink. Here in the U.S. in the non-coastal south we don't have to worry much about hurricanes, but tornadoes are a different matter. Here's hoping you weather down and nothing comes of it! emoticon

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    Hope this new storm becomes a gentle giant with minor imprints left behind.
Even better is that it just dies a non-violent death at sea and causes no grief at all.
Thanks for sharing your memory of that major storm.
hugs, Audra

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LEANNAW4 10/26/2013 1:33PM

    Great story - a very interesting and well written read! Thanks for sharing!

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ZANNACHAN 10/26/2013 1:25PM

    Yikes! I hope that the storm you get is not that devastating--but in any case, take care of yourself and stay safe.

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GARDENQE2 10/26/2013 1:00PM

    I remember seeing pictures of the damage!
I hope you get off lightly this year! emoticon

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REGILIEH 10/26/2013 12:48PM

    HOLD ON!!!!!

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LIS193 10/26/2013 12:45PM

    I remember that storm - we had family living in Kent (Biggin Hill), so much devastation!

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