Friday, 28 April 2017

Guest Post - How to Make a Cruddy Day Feel a Whole Lot Better by Fiona Gibson

Fiona Gibson is back with yet another fabulous book, The Woman Who Met Her Match. My full review of the book will be published in the very near future but do be assured that I really did adore this book and highly recommend it. 

In the meantime, as part of the incredible blog tour, I'm lucky enough to have a gorgeous piece today from Fiona all about how to make a bad day seem that little bit brighter. So without further ado, sit back, relax and enjoy this fabulous piece, one which certainly got me thinking about the things I do to look after myself when things in life aren't going too well... 

How to Make a Cruddy Day Feel a Whole Lot Better

I have a good life, and I’m generally a pretty happy person - but you know how it is. Some days you just feel a bit stale, as if your brain is filled with the murky water that lies in the dishwasher when it won’t drain properly. Here are 7 simple things that perk me up and make me feel properly human again. So, what are yours? 

1. The beauty of make-up… God, but I love the stuff. From piling it on in my teens to a more natural (but still very much there) approach in my fifties, I’ve never been too far away from a pouch of beloved cosmetics. If I’m feeling a bit bleary, even if I’m only heading to the park with the dog, I’ll get my kit out and apply the whole works: base, liner, lips, the lot. Suddenly, that murky dishwater sensation flushes away. 

2. The joy of running (yes, really)… On a holiday at a friends’ place in Devon, I noticed my mate Fliss looking ultra trim. Her secret? Just plain old-fashioned running. I gave it a go, and have sort of stuck with it. While setting out is torture sometimes, I always feel a whole lot better when I stagger back in through the front door. 

3. Inelegant dancing… Chic, Donna Summer, Sister Sledge, Candi Staton. A blast from the queens of 70s disco and all that dolefulness seems to magically disappear. (Warning: don’t try this at home if there are teenagers present - unless you are prepared to be mocked or, worse, filmed). 

4. The delights of kitchen faffing… I have no idea what I ate throughout the 80s or into the mid-90s. Chips, probably, and things on toast. Maybe the odd lump of cheese and a massive, hangover-quelling jacket potato with a fried egg on top. Then I had children, and suddenly I had to learn how to feel them. Weirdly - as I never thought this would happen to me - I now regard cooking as one of my favourite things to do. I don’t find it especially creative, and I’m not terribly good at it - there are plenty of disasters (I am often reminded of The Great Cheesecake Debacle of 1995). But I do appreciate the whole calm, methodical, step-by-step-ness of it, especially after a full day of hammering away on my laptop which usually leaves my brain feeling pretty fried. Perhaps it helps that I have a keen interest in eating too. 

5. For the love of cheese… Is there really any situation in life that can’t be improved with a lovely melty slab of Brie? I know it’s not the healthiest thing, but I am a firm believer in having a little of what you love, every day. 

6. The sheer joy-making nature of dogs… What is it about hanging out with an animal that makes a day feel a whole lot better? We adopted Jack, our collie cross, seven years ago and I can’t imagine sitting down to write a chapter without him curled up at my feet. How I love the scruffy, stinky boy. He runs to me whoever I come home and coaxes me out on walks. Which brings me to… 

7. The pleasure of walking with a friend… Yes, I love my my canine mate - but I need human company too. Writing novels generally means spending a ridiculous amount of time alone, which can send one a bit ‘funny.’ After striding around one of our local Glasgow parks - with our dogs, lots of chat and my lipstick on - normality is swiftly restored.