Gail's Gab: why I've become a blood donor and decided to relax more in 2014

Well it might not be everyone's eve of half century choice but I was determined to fulfil my commitment to become a blood donor before my 50th birthday and I did it.

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Tommy, Gabrielle and me jumped the subway to Nelson Mandela Place on Friday afternoon and although the idea of having a needle inserted into your arm to extract a pint of blood might not sound like fun I have to say the whole experience was not just pain free but totally uplifting.

I met men and women who have donated over 100 pints of blood. It fair put me to shame. I had an excuse for not donating while I was flying but not for the last couple of years.

The staff were so friendly and reassuring and the other donors were also very encouraging. I know it's only one pint but I felt I had achieved something and I will most definitely be a regular donor from now on.

I well remember a few years ago my dad being really ill and needing seven pints of blood. If it wasn't for the commitment of blood donors that blood may not have been available.

I know I'm only new and have a long way to go to earn my spurs but I want to encourage each and every one of you who are able to make the time required [30 to 40 minutes] to become a donor. Each pint can help save or improve 3 other lives. How many other things can you do that give such reward? Go on. If a big fearty like me can do it then anyone can.

Resolve to Relax More

So Christmas is over for another year and we are bombarded with wall to wall ads for diets, fitness fads and holidays.

Truth is I want to accept all three. The cheeky chocolates and tasty cheeses that have been my companion over the last couple of weeks are now barred from the house. The walking shoes are getting looked out and holidays are getting investigated.

It really is a depressing time of year. Sure a new year is just beginning but the fun of the festive period is over for another 12 months and we are all back to the daily routines. It passes so quickly.

I have instructed Tommy to banish the scales to the garage until I have been walking for a couple of weeks and I swear my mirrors have been damaged by the high winds or something because their reflection of me can't be accurate.

So good luck to you with your various diets and fitness regimes. I hope they last longer than mine usually do.

And New Year resolutions? Well I intend to worry less, be more laid back, stop fretting about keeping the house clean, read more in the toilet, watch more sport on telly and lounge about the house more. Yep I've decided I am going to be more like a man this year. That will surely help me relax more.

Charity

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