Perfectly Frank with Mandie Stevenson – It’s good to be able to chat about things

Mandie, second right, and friends celebrating last month's good scan results
Mandie, second right, and friends celebrating last month's good scan results

It has been a very quick few weeks since my little sister Nicola left for her year away travelling. It is the trip of a lifetime around Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines and Australia.

The house has been feeling quiet without her fun loving personality. We are all enjoying seeing her many adventures as she has spread her wings and gone on her journey.

Nicola really is a unique character and I can’t wait to see her when she returns home to Scotland whenever that will be. My twin brother and I have been joking that we have bets on guessing when she will return home. I have suggested January and my brother thinks February. With the mad spending spree she is continuing to go on I feel I could be the winner.

I am however not ruling out a last minute visit to Thailand in October to spend some time with my sis.

I had a little dip for a couple of weeks where I was feeling fed up, as do we all at periods in our life. It can be easy to let all the little things build up to feel like a big thing.

My counsellor at the Maggie’s Centre in Larbert reminded me that I don’t need to have a brave face all of the time. Talking through concerns really does help remove the weight of the world from my shoulders and I am so thankful to be able to chat these through.

There’s no better way to feel cheered up and end the month on a high with a day out with friends in Glasgow. The highlight of the evening a delicious juicy steak at Miller & Carter and of course quality time with my fab ladies Debs, Tracy and Pam.

I then thoroughly enjoyed a chilled overnight stay at Seamill Hydro Spa with my friend Laura. I have decided a pamper session is required every month and will do my best to squeeze this in. We are showing our age, I couldn’t keep my eyes open past 9pm – we blamed the relaxing spa treatments.

Laura and I have been best friends for 23 years and shared so many experiences together, we really should write a book sharing all our crazy stories. I really couldn’t ask for any more special friends in my life.

I would like to thank a lovely work friend, Shirley, for hosting a candle and cocktail party at her house. It was such a lovely gathering and to top it off around £920 raised for Breast Cancer Now Scotland via the sales of Falkirk’s famous ‘Perfectly Frank’ candles/diffusers. The afternoon was filled with yummy food, kind people, lots of French Martinis, and fun memories. I really appreciate all the time and effort everyone continues to make.

Finally I bit the bullet and signed up for my biggest challenge yet, the Stirling Marathon in April 2018. Some people think I am mad, yes a whole 26.2 miles however this is something I am on a mission to do and it feels like now or never. I am delighted to be doing this with two good friends, Dani and Ashley, who have both successfully run a marathon before. I am hoping they can drag me over the finish line.

There is no better time to be training than over the dull winter months and it will be the perfect time to get fit and rid of the extra unwanted insulation my body will have gained over the festive period. There is no denying, my love for keeping fit and going out running I find it therapeutic. I hope to be able to raise some money for a charity very close to so many of our hearts, Strathcarron Hospice.

A year ago I visited Strathcarron and I left feeling inspired and touched at the work they do. It is such a fantastic place and there is no better feeling than giving a little back for such a worthy cause.