Henrietta Maddox Webloner

A belated acceptance of the Versatile Blogger Award
December 14, 2011, 12:11 am
Filed under: Help Yourself, journalism, Mental Well Being, Physical Health, Trivia, Writing

When I received this award in August (would you believe) from the wonderful Chuck Allen, I had no idea what to write. The requirements of accepting the award are to reveal little known facts about yourself and then pass it on to another wonderful blogger.

To check out Chuck Allen’s random little facts click here. To find out facts about me, read on:

1. I would love to be an agony aunt

I’ve always thought I’d make a great agony aunt. After finishing my course in magazine journalism and completing some work experience at Brighton’s eco-mag Rocks, I was lucky enough to get an internship at Scarlet magazine. I hoped the experience with this leading mag in sex & relationships would get me on the route to success. However, it ended up sending me in a very different direction: creative writing.

2. Hot and steamy beginnings

My first short stories were in the genre of erotica. I didn’t attempt to write anything else until 2009. Most of my stories were for Scarlet but I also managed to get one of my stories published in a book called Ultimate Decadence – all proceeds still go to the Macmillan Fund for Breast Cancer. It was part of a sub-charity called Burlesque Against Breast Cancer.

3. Soap maker

Like @chuckallen I enjoy taking up new hobbies and on a constant mission to better myself. I believe this is a typical writer/artist thing to do because we love to experience new things and find new material. At the moment I am learning to make soap using some skills I have picked up over the years from mixing essential oils. So much fun! Next step is sculpting it.

4. Self-help lover

Whether I read the whole thing, the contests page or just the cover, I LOVE self help books. Love bettering myself and finding out new things to help others. My favourite one in the past few years have been A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, expressing the need to live in the moment. Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus was the first one I read (I think) but I only read half of it because it tends to say the same thing in every chapter: let women talk their stress out, let men have their space. Not much more to it.

5. Secret Cinema obsession

I suddenly get very obsessive when I go to the cinema. I like to get there early so I don’t miss any trailers. Also, I like to sit in the centre of the fifth row because of some advert I saw over 15 years ago when the actor says, “The girl in the middle of the fifth row….” – I can’t even remember why or what he says 😉


I would like to give this award to @Helenscribbles. This will make her a versatile blog award winner THREE times!! Well done Helen. Helen’s website is filled with fascinating and unique stories. All with wonderful twists, interesting scenes and intriguing dialogue. I especially recommend her Flash Fiction and Tuesday Serials.

Right, I’m very tired – so off to bed. Hope this all makes sense. Thanks again Chuck Allen for my award. 🙂


A blessed mortality check

No matter what the form, most adults have them. That moment of dread when you realise, “Oh! No – sorry – my bad, it could happen to me. I am not immortal.”

Recently, a television show has come out called The Big C. All about a woman who gets cancer which is already at stage 4. Living with a family of all men (husband, brother, son), she decides to keep it to herself and try to really live life before her time runs out. She experiments with new things that her old, dutiful, mature self would not and begins to have a lust for all things debaucherous. My basic point is she reassesses and I am sure many women who get cancer do.

Last week I was told I have CIN 3, also known as severe dyskaryosis. It’s when you have all abnormal cells in your cervix. And today I am going for a Colposcopy. When I found out I was, of course, immediately petrified. But yesterday morning, walking along the beach, I realised it is such a wonderful thing that has happened:

First of all, it’s not cancer. It’s pre-cancerous cells. And I’ve found it early because I take care of myself.

Second of all, it’s a fantastic mortality check for me. A glimpse at what some women and men go through on a mammoth scale with diseases like cancer, multiple sclerosis and parkinson’s disease (to name a few).It’s like the ego becomes confused and needs to readjust with its relationship with time. And so the real you can come out for a little while as the stronger self.

I am remembering what is important: right now. The things that usually spur me into the slightest distress, anxiety or depression, have not this week because I know they don’t matter. It’s got me writing again and more interested in new things like twitter and going out to meet new friends. Like a bad break-up it’s left me feeling deflated, but equally grounded.

Back to basics for staying warm

With gas and electric bills rumoured to go up £500 a year, you’re going to want to cut down on turning on the heating, using loads of hot water and spending hours on roasts. So here are my top tips for staying warm this winter without turning the heating on:

  • Hot Water Bottle – you can get them from Primark for £3. They are great for extra warmth in bed or on the sofa while you watch a film; when your ill or just want to get cosy with a glass of red wine.
  • Slippers – can also get from Primark for about £4. Keeping your feet warm is so important – it just makes sense.
  • Thick Warm Blanket – one word: snug
  • Cuppa Tea (use from the same kettle water as the bottle to save on energy) – if you want to feel even better make it a herbal one.

A good look in the mirror

Who says that taking a good look in the mirror means you have to scrutinize and criticize?

A study in Germany of over 7,000 adolescents found that ‘feeling fat’ had a greater effect on quality of life than actual weight. So basically it’s all about a confident state of mind. Isn’t that what that book ‘The Secret’ is about?

Having high self esteem seems to be the most important thing for overall well being. Another recent study found that positive thinkers live longer. You may think that sounds like rubbish but it does make sense: a light, positive energy is bound to make you happier. And we all know, when you are happy anything seems possible.

But trying to alter the view of yourself is really not that easy. Perhaps you need to constantly remind yourself. Like putting post-it’s in your room saying things like, “I am beautiful” or “I am thin”. Or maybe you could get hypnotised.

To soy or not to soy
August 23, 2008, 9:17 am
Filed under: Mental Well Being, Physical Health | Tags: , , , ,

You know, if there’s one thing I hate about life, it’s making uneasy choices. I can imagine there are some of you out there that enjoy taking the risks and, admittedly, sometimes I like to be spontaneous too. But when it comes to my health and the future of my body, I become quite anxious.

As some of you may know, over the last few months I have given up dairy. This means anything made from cow’s milk but I can still do the goat’s cheese and the buffalo mozzarella (thank god).

So I have been sitting happily with my soy milk coffee’s and now I’ve found out that soy milk might be detrimental to your health. If you did a bit of research, you would find sites called things like Soy and accelerated brain aging and Concerns regarding Soybeans.

If you look at some of these sites, you will find a lot of reasons to eat the food in moderation. You need to wary of your intake. They have many harmful substances that can cause problems with the stomach and according to animal testing, serious problems with the pancreas.

There are alternatives like rice milk and oat milk. I have not tried rice milk but oat milk is more like milk than soy. It doesn’t have such a tangy flavour – I highly recommend it for cereal. But as non-dairy users among you will know, it is hard enough to get soy milk at coffee houses and restaurants. What will we do now? Have an orange juice, I guess.

Of course, next thing you’ll know one of these will be in the paper. At some point rice and oat milk will be your enemy and newspapers will warn you against them. I bet you.

Tomorrow, I venture to Italy, land of dairy – pizza, cheesy pastas, fresh fruity ice creams, cannelloni. My housemate has suggested they may kick me out when I say, Non posso mangiare latticini…..he he.

Got soy?

Got soy?

Long live the liver
August 8, 2008, 8:53 am
Filed under: Friendships, Mental Well Being, Physical Health

Yesterday I watched a programme about liver damage and La Vie En Rose. I wasn’t consciously trying to theme my day around binge drinking. But obviously I needed to tell myself something, and give myself a little scare.

I am definitely what you would call a drinker. In a night, I can happily swig back a bottle and a half of white wine or more. On a heavy night, add dark rum and coke plus sambuca shots to the tab. In my early to mid twenties, I was a red wine drinker and even worse – most mornings I had no memory of the night before. Just a hangover mixed with strong pangs of guilt and paranoia. I have to avoid red wine because I drink it like Ribena.

But now, my health is more important. Staying on top of it seems like a smart way forward. Women are supposed to drink 2 – 3 units a day. A 250 ml glass of wine just slightly exceeds that amount. Thus, things are going to have to change.

The biggest challenge is not cutting the alcohol down, it is dealing with your drinker friends. Mine are very important to me, and I worry how they will react when I stop at one or two. But the benefits of drinking less are fabulous: you lose a ton of weight, you have high energy and you are not killing off your liver.

By the way, your liver is very good at regenerating itself but unfortunately, this means that diagnosing liver cancer or cirrhosis usually happens too late. Looking at Edith Piaf in that movie says it all. She looks decrepit and tortured and she’s only in her forties.

I understand that life is short but does it always have to be about getting wasted? Surely there are other ways to enjoy yourself and relieve stress?