Breath Of Life

The life and times of Mr Mark Allen....

Wednesday, March 04, 2015


Hello - It's been a busy old time. Since Christmas I have had loads of visitors and had loads of visitors, human and feline... I have rediscovered my love of old Momus tracks, been to a lot of gigs and spent a lot of time at the gym...

I am doing the publicity for the transplant racquets/table tennis event at Warrington/Widnes - and with my day job keeping me busy for at least eight hours a day, it's all been manic...

Health is on the level. I think the gym and table tennis is helping that, but I am  finding now I need a snooze after the gym. Or a strong coffee..

I love a Saturday afternoon with nothing planned. Exercise, sleep and then following football on Twitter!!

Well. I will write again soon. Promise. I may just have 20 per cent lung capacity but I have a lot to say. Follow me on Twitter @widneschappy

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Awards and curling

Hello, I suppose the big news is I am Halton Sports Person of the Year 2014.  It was for the double gold and silver I won at the European Transplant Games in Lithuania and the bronze medal I won at the British Transplant Games as well as the silver hard bat doubles awards locally.

So I  guess I have been a European Champion for the last six years (as they Euros are only held every other year.)

I attended a lovely ceremony with my friend Claire at The Select Security Stadium. And we got a roast dinner before the awards. I wasn't driving, so utilised the bar!

One of the other highlights was a morning of curling at Silver Blades Ice Rink in Widnes.  The next day the wrong leg ached, so I think I need to work on my technique. It was great fun though! I don't think I will be playing in any winter Olympics any time soon though! x

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Friday, June 06, 2014

Comms - Great advice from a friend

Hello - It has been a tough few weeks with ever more demands on the communication/press/PR officer.

This was a great piece of  advice from a friend today: "The problem with comms people is that they have a can do attitude.

"It means that they will try and make everything work.

"Even the times when they need to step back and say 'no.'

"Because you can only work at 11 for so long. And when you do 11 becomes the norm so when they come looking for something extra you will fall over.  "

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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Where there is 'Hope'

Hello - Sorry if I have been neglecting you. Life has - as usual - been busy in Mark-ville! I went to a gig a week for a few weeks, work is manic as ever and my social life is healthy.

Health wise, my blood sugars do seem to going up and down still. They keep changing the insulin and regime and diet. Perhaps something will work...

I went 'home' to Cannock Wood for a nice break over Easter - although it did include a lock-in in a pub with my friend Jo - and lots of alcohol and scratchings...I am sure Jesus wouldn't approve.

Back to the grind and I have been applying for jobs. I have been media/PR officer at Halton Borough Council for seven years now. Most people there are nice and I enjoy the job, but it isn't going anywhere.

I think I have the 'seven year itch' - And need a refreshing new challenge. I applied for a job at the Co-Op (it needs all the PR if can get) and one at Hope University in Liverpool... That one looks great.

Today (after a gig last night in Manchester) - I went for a yoga session. May not be able to get out of bed tomorrow.. Ho hum..

Sports wise - My next major table tennis venture is the European Heart and Lung Transplant Games i Lithuania.. Wish me luck!

Hugs and sparkles


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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Blue Monday?

Firstly. I have recently done a little article about blogging. I come at it form an angle you may not expect...


Well then. So what has happened. A recent long weekend in Surrey/London/Ascot kind of refreshed my batteries, and kind of made me wish for more time off!

It as good to catch up with old and new friends. But as ever the five-and-half hour drive gave me too much thinking time (and chance to listen to that EMF double album - better than I expected btw)

I am so far sticking by my pledge to keep my energy levels up. I am trying to go to the gym every alternate day - if only for 40 minutes.

I have been fitted with a 24/7 blood sugar monitor. I saw fitted. it should be more like 'third time lucky, I was fitted with...' - Repeat early morning trips to Liverpool.. Not the best.

As I have a diabetes related to CF and not type 1 of 2... My levels seem to go up and down for less than  obvious reasons... A huge doughnut did not effect then, a crumpet (eaten dry) did!

They keep changing the insulin doses and types.. But two years from when they first went mad they are still no nearer getting them under control.

I first contracted in while living in Korea - And despite their faults, they did control it there...

With the CF, transplant rejection and this, the medication side effects like gout, kidney problems and skin issues.. one has to be positive, or  turn to the bottle..

This Monday was meant to be 'Blue Monday' but for me it was ok.. Mum and the cats stayed for the weekend, I went to Anfield with friends to see my team Aston Villa and met up with a friend at Cheshire Oaks..

Nobody told me there was more than one Costa there however and we kept missing each other while Costa hopping, it was like Terry and June (comedy gold, if you are asking.)

Well, was an a seminar after work and it is time to put one's legs up...  For entertainment value here is a pic of me in in The Lamb in Surbiton, Surrey...

A bientôt

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Thursday, January 09, 2014

Reaching a peak (flow)

Hello Blogg-ettes,

Well Christmas was spent mostly in Cannock Wood, enjoying catching up with friends old and new, watching Villa lose at Villa Park and seeing relatives...

The infection I caught in Tenerife eventually went. It was a slow process. Us transplantees have an artificially reduced immune system so our bodies don't reject our organs.. I had to to get some magic drugs from the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital - and take things easy..

Strangely my lung capacity stayed at 23 per cent - even when I was feeling grotty. That's the weird and wonderful world of peak flow for you!

SO I guess the break came at the right time...

New Year was fun in Lancaster. Thai food (see pic) then a Champagne do at a friend's.. But it all seems such a long time ago now..

I found out a job I had missed the application date for in Stafford, may have been still open. So I spent a frantic two days doing the forms, CV and meeting the people spec, but turns out it was closed.

But it made me update my details and get back into applying for stuff. The bad news is for the people of Cheshire and Merseyside, you have got me living and working up here for a while yet.

I have other irons in the fire...

Since recovering from the infection I have been going to the gym every other day. It made the first table tennis session of the year less painful.

It is less than six months until I compete in the Europeans in Lithuania.  Wish me luck..

Until next time..



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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Tenerife and storms

Well it was an interesting time in Tenerife, sun, champagne, a romance, the worst storm to hit the island in decades, more sun. Hope to a chester infection and an attempted break-in in my house..

Such is life.. such is life! Getting over chest  infection (antibiotics and steroids) and been on a couple of Christmas night outs/ins..Almost got Fairy Tale of New York down to a fine art on the piano..

Happy Christmas! xx