Sunday, 30 December 2012


They say that something can be more than the sum of its parts. I'm not sure that's the case with blogging. Particularly if I only manage a few lousy blogs a year.

So this year. I am ( armed with my new ipad mini) going to attempt to Janathon. Exercise every day. Blog about it every day. Sorts out the shape and the mindset.

Actually looking forward to it.

In between getting all the new 2013 prints done!

Friday, 17 August 2012

new ventures

I've been working my fingers to the bone recently. Getting a whole new business venture started. I have also been running more and thrashed my 5mile time down to 44min dead... I don't think Mo Farrah has anything to worry about, but it made me happy. 

Those that read this little, and much neglected blog, have been supportive over the years and I just wanted to put in a plug for my new venture. 

::hand press print::

you can look at the website

you can buy from the folksy shop

you can like us on facebook

you can examine the images on flickr

you can pin us on pinterest

you can commission - here

It would be great to get a few more people having a look at the site and get the word out there. 
Thanks in advance & hopefully I'm also in the process of getting my blogging mojo back - seems likely. :-)

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

HEAR we go ... again (get it... HEAR, like headphones ...)

My last (saved draft) of a post was all about trying to maintain a relationship with blogger. Well it looks like life got in the way. Pretty majorly.

However, things are going well.

5 mile run in fastest ever time yesterday 44.35 ! And on a hilly Random 9 setting. Knackering!

Free item review:
Also I was luck enough to be sent some JABRA RHYTHM headphones to review and link about. I'm never one to turn down a freebie so here goes:

They are in-ear headphone & really not to shabby for that. 3 sizes of ear piece come with them. Lots of options. I used them with my iphone (link to 3 there - hence the free earphones) and they weren't bad. There are some great options for skipping tracks by tapping the mic. However ultimately I need a volume control more than any other function and that, they do not have. A shame as they are comfy and generally decent. But for me volume control beats fastforward.

Now that I've dealt with the business end of the blog let me mention that life has been so busy as I'm starting a new venture.

Currently my stock is all heavily discounted at Lucklaw Silver but it was time to roll things back. Commissions have been the bulk of my work for 5 years but the economic down turn combined with materials prices that have rised 120% since I started are making it hard to make stock items in a viable way.  I've now decided to just take commissions on an ad hoc basis.

But I cannot rest on my creative laurels and am building up to the full launch of the business below. Please take a look, leave comments, tell friends and generally support small British industry.

Thanks so v much. I hope to be back, blethering, blogging and running - but I keep getting carried away by life.


And my new venture :: hand press print ::

Monday, 19 September 2011

Bit of a sodding moan

What a crappy, crappy run.
Being too poor to go to the gym should have been a great thing. Forcing me to run outside, appreciate the fresh air, bit of sunshine. (I did appreciate those things.)

49.09 for 4.5 miles - fucking pathetic.
Seriously pissed off with myself. God knows why it was so bad. Felt brilliant in the gym a few days ago.  I'd had 2 weeks off and felt far better for it. A good 5k, then some heavier than usual weights - all v positive. Despite proper preparation today was just dire.

I ran up the Seat and round to Duddingston loch, then walked quickly up the steps and back to the top road then ran home. The walk was maybe .2 of a mile - so not far enough to explain the terrible time.
I really, really miss running on empty country roads that are 'rolling' rather than hilly. Must find more routes. Maybe even routes that need a bus? Anything is better than being so dispirited by the sodding hill every time. I don't want to run up hill. I don't enjoy it. I just want to run for miles on the flat-ish without having to think about traffic, or people, or stopping at lights. 

AND another thing.... I really don't understand my weight at the moment.

Spent 10 days counting every calorie and never eating more than 1400 - and exercising a lot.
Nothing happened. Not one pound. (And I've been counting calories for about 18 years so yes I did it right, and YES I wrote down every tiny thing, every ml of milk in coffee, any teaspoon of anything.)
Then I went to London for 6 days, did v little exercise except some walking, and ate basically what I pleased without going overboard. Lost 2lb
Now back home, eating less and exercising more - Gained 2lb

I don't mind eating loads and getting fat (what I mean is that I HATE it, but I see the cause and effect); but I hate a seeming lack of results when I make a serious effort. Maybe it's just age, maybe the serious effort has to be a bit more stringent now.

Ah well, maybe I'm just feeling a bit shit about everything at the minute.
The dress I'd planned to wear to a wedding it too small (no wonder as I've put on 16lb since first trying it - what an idiot!) - only saving grace is the back-up dress which only needs the straps altered to turn it from a dress with a waist-band to a Grecian/empire line. And in doing this it becomes short enough to not need taken-up, thereby making the whole process cheaper. And I like it as a dress... so you know, could be worse.

But I really felt 'normal' 16lb lighter - and I'd never felt that before. And now I've had it, I really want the feeling back - but it just seems so hard to get there, and I don't understand why given how badly I want it... if that makes sense. I mostly just can't believe I let this happen, and I know it was comfort eating due to extreme stress for 6 months, but even so - I feel like such a fool, at this point I think drinking would have been less harmful to me. Really, anything except eating - again.

Ah well, I'll just have to put some serious effort in and hope I get results this time. And then maybe remember to fucking maintain them as I am now the cliche of someone who has been on a diet for the last 20 years and really, really, really has had e-fucking-nough.

Apart from the desire to winge the last few weeks really haven't been too bad. Fantastic w/end of festival madness (5 shows - all worth the effort); wonderful watching of the end of Festival Fireworks from Princes St; work continues to be good and I'm getting to know some of my colleagues - which is great as they're lovely! Seeing inside the Scottish Parliament for a work-do really was a treat. It's an incredible building with so many details that take your breath away. Stunning angles, light and the doors are fabby!

And now chg is in Nepal having a much, much needed break and I'm being delightfully entertained by my lovely friends, who as well as feeding me and stopping me from going completely bonkers (only time will tell on that one) also lend me time-sponges like DowntonAbbey & Twighlight books ... I may never sleep this week as I try to watch and read everything. DAMN YOU HH! :-)

Right, must go wash and feed doggy, and generally mope. Bah humbug. 
And I wanted to go to GrannyGreens tonight but have been a lazy arse so I've got too much work to do. WHY WHY WHY, as with all things, do I bring this on myself?

ps Meeper had a little girl who I finally get to meet this week!
pps The delightful Gold Dog is allowed to come and sit under the desk at my feet.
Good results all round!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Where to begin

Now I could begin where we left of - but somehow I think an unabridged version of the last 5 1/2 months would make pretty dull reading.

There have been some highs and lows. Some stuff that's taken up far too much time emotionally and personally - but isn't my business to make public on the web; and some truly great stuff too.

In this whistle stop tour of the last 5 months there's going to be highs, lows, culture, culinary trips & exercise... because even if the girl hasn't been blogging, she's still been exercising. (And has suddenly started referring to herself in the 3rd person... this must be stopped!)


- Meeper is going to have a baby - truly joyus news. And it's taken me so long to blog about it she's now due in 3 weeks.

- Disovered Tyninghame and The Linton, a truly lovely pub with great food.

- RF finally got her engagement ring, in the right size. This was a tough one to make, but I do think it looks so good on her.Luckily she thinks so too.

- Celebrated on the Tay with Pickle, Dotty and Zacky - a birthday was being had and despite snow covered ground we all made it. Even a cake made by Dotty!

- The bridesmaid dresses were found. Much to the relief of a v unstressed bride and 2 slightly hot and bothered bridesmaids. Trying on dresses can be hard work!

- met chgs stepmother and was soundly beaten at Ludo... no really, there were tactics and everything

- attended the 'see me' finalists lunch as my tweet on the subject of support was one of the final three. On hearing the other two I instantly knew that there was no way I should, or would, win. A very interesting day, with incredible views over the castle from the Apex Hotel in the Grassmarket.

- My rental flat was finished and a tenant was found, they are still in there and (fingers v much crossed), still happy.

- Mini holiday at Easdale, Seil Island and Ardfern. Truly lovely break, best bit being a RIB tour out to the whirlpool on the west and seeing Sea Eagles.
All was V good fun - lots of exploring and camping. Discovered that you cannot fit two people and a dog in the back of a Polo to sleep... and it might have been foolish to try.

- Celebrated all of the May birthdays with fancy cocktails and fun Mexican - a perfect combination. V good to see everyone after a very hectic few months.

- At this point I got a job interview. It was the first thing I had applied for, and a job I really wanted. Part-time, admin, for the charity I'd just attended the writers/tweeters lunch for....

- Drama & Art got married, and had a wedding on barge with Babyhead as a band. I have no idea how they made it all so perfect, but as a 'stranger' to most people there it was the most welcoming and wonderful wedding I can imagine. Also the chocolate cake was a complete killer. Drooling at the v thought.

- Walked out after my first interview in 10yrs to receive an email saying I was finally divorced. Timing is everything with these things. :-)

- The lovely Rock God and Professor invited me to dinner, confirmed that I was not alergic to Mango (despite years of assuming I was), and had a damn good catch-up. Baffie was beside herself with joy to see Rock God again... that dog is such a tart.

-I got the job! It would only another 2 months before one of my referees actually put in her reference.... but then I would start. It was a v long 8 weeks.

-36h trip to the island to look after all 3 boys on my own. They were spectacular. Wonderful, polite, kind. Also unruly and full of energy but that's what I'd hope for really. So good to see them all and have a lovely dinner with MaYa and Farmer at the end of it all. You know that when the COASTGUARD is one of your emergency contacts things have taken a small trip into the surreal.
First trip on a tiny plane - and it was marvellous. A bit like a flying lawnmower but such a good view!

- The Hen Do was had. 2 very happy bridesmaids are delighted it all came off without a hitch and can only hope that the bride enjoyed herself as much as seems to do. A happy, sober band can be seen below, we didn't always look quite as put together over the whole w/end:

- I had my first week at work. After an incredibly stressful first day (all my nerves, the induction was really well done) it's all gone really well. Good colleagues, good vibe and plenty of work to keep me busy. If only Baffie was allowed to sit under the table at my feet it would be perfect. But she's adjusting to the new routine really well.

-At the end of my first week Teech and HH got married. And it was an incredible venue. Blissful and wonderful. The sun shone, in a sun-burn type way. The photographer was a nice bloke. The hairdresser made it all easy (I was dreading that bit and I ended up loving it). And good planning by T & HH made it all run ridiculously smoothly.No dramas, no crises - all just lovely. Even came home with a car load of shopping :-) an unexpected bridesmaid perk ;-0

-Went to Brussels to then go to the Lokeren Festival. Just had a great time. Eurostar does make it easy. Then a fab B&B. Then North Alabama Allstar Duo who could open for anyone, just two talented blokes making good, good, music. Gabriel Rios - great band but the crowd weren't really in the mood for his music; Robert Plant and the band of Joy - that man has his own personal wind machine built in to his every move... to be that age and that cool simultaneously. Then Paolo Nutini played for about 90 min and was incredible, the out and out performance of the night - lots of singing and swaying at every turn.
A v chilled experience with a great crowd and amazing organization. Whole thing helped by finding the only pedi-cab at the end of the night and being cycled home rather than walking after 7h standing! That cycling dude was an angel. A very stinky angel.

- the party was excellent, but Chopper finally emigrated to Canada. The cake was incredible. And that amount of sugar almost makes me forget how much I miss her... almost. But luckily she's a creature of the internet and social media keeps me in touch with her life. Letters have turned into emails, but the contact is still there.

- I had the genuine honour of being invited to a living wake. It was a fun and heartfelt occasion that I was humbled to be a part of. Time was not kind to him and made his last months even harder than they ever could have imagined being but now he is wherever the energy that is within each of us goes. I hope he has a very good book at hand, a good friend at his ear and a lovely glass of wine by his side.

- Attended the funeral of a tiny, birdlike, woman who raised a family in less than perfect circumstances, and kept her intellectual curiosity until the very end; she showed me kindness and trust (even on first meeting) which I truly appreciated. A pleasure to have met her and a shock that she went when she did. She will be surrounded by happy cats and piles of books wherever she is now now.

Went to see Cooking History - at The Filmhouse. This was the story of military cooking from the First and Second world wars up to the Balkan conflicts and beyond. A strange mix of recipes, personal tales and perspectives. All made for an incredible piece that I would recommend. More documentary than entertainment.

Talk on Too Many People at the Science Festival - made so many notes, had so many points to make. Debated them all with the ever locquatious HH. Until a 70yr old has told you that "oral sex is the answer to population control", you haven't lived.

Beltane Fire Festival - a strange but oddly perfect mix of real hippies and real extroverts. The fire dancers completely stole the show. Definitely a fight between the seasons, and one worth celebrating.

Trip to the Natural History museum where we spent 3h running round like kids looking at everything. This was then followed by having the best kebab in London. A day of fabulously cultural contrasts.

Pub Quiz - just us 2, hmmmm, chg knows much but we still didn't make it into the top 1/2. It's a damn tough quiz. Although I like the challenge of aiming for a higher score.

On our last (of 2) days in Belgium went to the Mondrian Museum. This was brilliantly laid out chronologically in different rooms, but absolutely packed as it was a Saturday.

Dirt Exhibition at the Welcome Trust - fascinating stuff dirt. Both how we've represented it over the years, and how we've found out more about it. A well put together large exhibition delving into several eras and cultures.

See the final Harry Potter film in the cinema - not really cultural, but definitely the end of an era. Read the first book in 1998 and read them all as they came out, and seen all the films in the cinema so it only seemed right that one bored Saturday I completed the entire process. Not disappointed but not oscar worthy either.

Met Tigger and Badger at the Book Festival, just for a mooch. Went for coffee with Tigger and ended up being the framing/background for lots of filming of Joan Bakewell. Took all of my cool not to reach across and tell her she's bloody marvellous. Just sat having an entire 'natural' conversation whilst the camera moved around us.

Wind Up Bird Chronicle at Kings Theatre - a wonderful treat from Tigger who came up with Badger for the night. This is a play from a Murikami book. Now, with the greatest respect to the book, and the actors, my reaction at the end was WTF, no really WTF. Brilliant production, great lighting, sound, visuals, everything but the level of surreal and layers of the story/allegory/allusion/illusion were truly marvellous to watch. But the story was ... confusing. Damn lovely to go to the theatre though, then follow that with some Bristo Sq festival drinking and a quick crepe before home.

Nagoya - with Teech, a new sushi place near me... and nothing is near me. Good sushi, would be great take away, but not a place to sit. Too small and no ambience.
Roseleaf - possibly the greatest gastropub in existence. Doing what it does v v well.
Mamma India - indian tapas style dishes, revelation and revel in the food.
Pho Vietnam House - tiny vietnamese place behind Lothian Road, stunning but small menu
The Eagle - a London institution that is deserving of the crowds
The Herne - ah South London, quiet pub that takes dogs and does stonking food
Thai food at an incredible place in if only I could remember the name ...
La Favorita - an oldie but a goodie. Great food and lots of energy in a relaxed atmosphere

and chg did some stunning cooking over this time. Cupcakes with toasted almond butter-cream icing were a particular delight.

- Had my first gym torturing personal training type session at the gym. Could barely walk for 3 days afterwards, but loved it! Whole body agony.
- actually ran 5K outside with Hilary. The worst run I have ever, ever done. Had to keep stopping and I never stop... just a pathetic and embarrassing attempt at a run. Pah.
- 5 mile run 44.03 and full weights session. Desperately trying to get back up to fitness after a time of cake & wine.
- 10k 54.35 hill 5 and full weights
- 8 mile run best ever time 1.15.12!!!! 21/04/2011
- Many 5 k runs, a 10k run outside round Peckham Rye.
Once I got up to 8 miles again, another crazy session with the gym instructor. Better than last time, but still evil the next day.
-9 mile run... getting there, getting there. Still love running a long way. So easy to forget how good it feels.
- a bit of cutting back with work and everything, but still running at least twice a week... honest

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Smug, and aching.

Alright, maybe not actually smug - but definitely damn happy. V damn happy. A 7 mile run yesterday! (I've not run 7 miles since the terrible, horrible, [bird]flu infested Jedburgh Half about 18 months ago.)

It was wonderful. And strangely I do feel as if I could have run further. I also then did a full (for me) gym session afterwards.

And, on entering the gym, I requested a "torture session" with the mad bloke who makes people weep. So that's my Thursday morning sorted. Pain and tears. Lovely. Also free (apart from gym entry).

Now I do ache a little bit, it's more muscular than running related... if you know what I mean. The legs seems fine, but the arms are complaining slightly. However, I definitely need to do more on the arms, particularly if I'm ever to look even close to alright in a bridesmaids dress.

Ah, the bridesmaids dresses - we will get there, we must. And there is still LOADS of time, but we've not managed a second swipe at the shops yet. And life proceeds to get more complicated for all involved.

I'm still managing to keep on top of work; and on top of exercise despite a stressful few weeks. This was necessary not only as stress relief, but also as I just kept eating... no really, loads. So I've got a fair few pounds to run off (again). God I make myself angry. Ah well, all done now, just have to get back to it.

So there was a quick dash up the seat on the 4th - 30.35 for 5K. (Dog also grateful for superior speed leg-stretch.) I do love running outside but I just need to put some effort into finding routes I'm happy and confident with. I hate having to stop at lights etc, but also hate feeling too isolated... suggestions welcome.

Gym Stats: (these are really for me, not for reading with glee - but they made a good place to keep notes of progress etc).

Most exciting bit is that it was my fastest 7 miles ever. And I was on hill setting 8 (out of 15, so not mountains,but it does go up to 6.4% regularly)!

7 miles (hill setting 8) 1.03.29 - 944 calories

Waist making machine 55Kg 3 sets of 12. Now this was properly hard, I think I should leave it on this setting for a wee bit. Finally worked up to where it's a killer.

Triceps - 6kg weight - 3 sets of 12 - now here I finally need to go up a weight... but I think my only option is up to 8kg... this might be a killer initially, but 6kg is finally too light.

Seated Delt Row 25kg 3 sets 12... could go heavier (but don't want to)

Leg lifts (on the weird blue ball back thing) 24 with straight legs

Lateral Pull 26Kg 3 sets of 12 - all in front of body and my 'form' was shocking... but I was doing this last and was bloody knackered by this point.


Got home to discover an incredible dinner cooked for me. AND a very tidy and clean kitchen and dining room, ready to sit down and enjoy it in. Made me very, very happy.

Also discovered that I had a film we both wanted to see *shock* - so The Departed was enjoyed immensely. Then a very, very, deep sleep.

Monday, 28 February 2011


Proper news. The chg is taking a career break, working on her dissertation and hanging around in EDINBURGH for a bit. Bloody lovely to get to see her all the time.

I also picked up the keys to the flat in Inverkeithing and discovered it wasn't anywhere near as bad as I had thought it might be. You know, that moment when you walk in and think... what the hell have I done!? Well, I might have done alright. The letting agent seemed permanently surprised by how nice it was... or she was just being lovely. Still a fair few bits and bobs to get sorted out - but it'll get there.. and I will find tenants... I will. I will I will I will I will I will.

Moving on... went to a lovely book making class at Granny Greens last Monday. Made 2 books, loved the stitching, but as the instructor kept saying how perfect and pernickity book makers were a few of us said, "but you can just judge it by eye, right?" Not a perfectionist and proud of it!

The last week has involved a fair few jaunts. The sunshine has brought out the explorer. So Perthshire, Trossachs, and Fife have all been visited and enjoyed. Quiet spots for a bit of spring contemplation. Lovely. Come on sunshine.

Watching the park change has been spectacular. Suddenly realising a tree that looked dormant and all wintery has changed to a glowing red as the buds appear has been lovely. And watching the pigeons attempt their mating dances on the rooftops opposite demonstrates the hilarious preening nature of beasts and man. Also seeing the crags come alive with figures at sunset as everyone clamours to see the colours over Edinburgh. Ahhh.

Right, enough waffle. I've been busy eating cake (as chg does like to bake!) and neglecting the gym... but today, I decided that it had to be the gym. Even an Ikea trip was delayed so I could go. (It was THAT serious.)

So stats:
4 miles Hill setting Level 8 in 36.15 (555 calories - so barely covered the lemon curd tarts!)
Machine 6 - the twisty waist thing on 52.5Kg (3 sets of 12)
Assisted chinup on 33Kg 6 repetitions
Assisted dip on 33Kg 6 repetitions *** Oooo just checked and I was meant to do it on 47kg so no wonder it was so bloody hard. Delighted I could do it though... go me.... although I might be in agony tomorrow.
Triceps dip 6Kg weight (3 sets of 12)

And I'll add that I had a 90min walk prior to the gym too. So I feel smug, but still fat :-)