Categorylife

The general parent category for most of the things I write about on here.

One of the more interesting Louisa-centric sub-categories is biodata (where I explore my personal history with graphs, maps and whatnot), and if you’re that way inclined, you can read about the wonderful felines and canines with whom I’ve shared my life too.

2017

(It’s been an amazing year. I’ve exceeded my main hope from the end of last year – to keep taking babysteps to improve my mental and physical health – and have had some fantastic adventures with John and our wonderful friends. Daisy-dog came into our lives in February too and it’s been a pleasure watching her slim down and return to springing. I can’t be bothered writing a fuller account so I’ll let this – originally posted to Twitter a few weeks ago – stand as a record of my year.)

If @TIME was actually Tom magazine (“for Toms, about Toms”), I’d nominate my friend @thattommyhall for their Person of the Year award. He has had a HUGE impact on my life this year.

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For 17 years, since I moved from there to here, I’ve wanted to travel along the Leeds-Liverpool Canal. For 17 years, I dithered. Then Tom (& @AdrianHesketh) suggested we cycle the whole 127miles in a weekend. I didn’t even have a bike but haha, why not? This is us at the Albert Dock.

At the Albert Dock

I am NOT the sporty type. Before this year, my cycling daily best was, maybe, 5miles – and that was 2+ decades ago. This summer, 100km+ (60mile) days became “yeah, easily doable”. I’ve cycled all over the north of England and made memories that’ll last a lifetime.

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(This last pic is of Steven, not Tom, in Skipton. Steven & Megan have also been amazing adventure encouragers this year – thanks and love to them too :) )

It’s not just cycling. In Jan, Tom arranged a walk on the Sefton Coastal Path, from Southport (my hometown) to North Liverpool, about 20 miles away. It was about three times as far as I’d ever walked in a day and @johnleach & I were sure we’d bail en route .. but we made it.

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As on the canal & my first 100km day, the walk made me see that I was capable of things I previously didn’t think were possible. Yes, there’s much room for improvement – but for the first time in my life, I feel confident as a walker, as a cyclist. All thanks to @thattommyhall.

But the most important thing that he showed me was if you want to do something, you can … just do it. Such a revelation!

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It sounds obvious but as I said, I’m a ditherer. I treated to-do lists as just lists of arbitrary goals, not stuff *to actually do*. But Tom wanted to walk the Sefton Coastal Path so he set up a Meetup group and a few weeks later, a dozen randos (+ John & me) walked it together.

This *totally novel* concept has inspired me so much this year. Despite being naturally lazy people, John & I (and Daisy-dog) have got up, gone out and walked all over the place. Every single walk has been a gem, and generated so many excellent memories.

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Looking forward, 2018 is shaping up to be absolutely smashing. Cycling tours already booked in, walks already planned, but most importantly, I now look at my ‘before-I’m-40’ bucketlist as an actual to-do list. I can’t thank @thattommyhall enough. I really can’t.

Following the popular 2017 meme, I should end this with #BeLikeTom but I don’t think there is enough gorgonzola in the world for us all to really #BeLikeTom. But if you haven’t already got a Tom in your life, find one. I can recommend an ace one. :D

Ainsdale Beach

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Can I have a lick?

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Buddies

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The album cover for the new indie duo, Strange Days

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Daisy-dog

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