Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Stop the world ...

All going at a bit of a blur ...

My Quick run on Fri night (23rd) was super-quick. My fastest ever 5K at 26.42. However - it was only the elliptical, not actually weight bearing so it doesn't go in the stat bar. :-(
The w/end was quite hectic with the boys, their Ma and the wonderful Ma-in-Law. This on top of two giant poodles! But hey, it made for some fun walks; particularly when Goose had the lead. The dogs were so good, they knew and didn't pull him at all. (Please, don't worry, he was fully supervised at all times - his Grannu wouldn't have had it any other way.)

Saturday night (24th) saw us, Prof and Rock God heading to our local market town to take part in a charity quiz. We, and our nibbles, were happily ensconced at our table by 7pm. We were released from the world's longest quiz at 10.30pm. Holy Crap. There were numerous excellent rounds, and a few oddities: Namely, Scottish football songs - knowledge of which tournament/country they related to was essential. We (I mean Rock God and TheO) did some fabulous deductive reasoning so we managed to not completely suck. After the first few rounds we were aware that this was the hardest quiz we had ever participated in (and we're quite partial to a fine quiz). But also, the fairest. You had to know stuff, and use reasoning, and observation, and ... stuff. There were no 'guess the top ten' questions. When the time came for the results to be read out we sat, all slightly nervous that we might be ashamed, and waited. Out of 9 teams I was hoping for a mid-way placing. I whooped internally when they read out the fourth placed team and knew it into the top 3, then they read out the second team and my only thought was, "we're not second?" So, that only left one place. We had won - we tried hard not to look smug as we (3 Sassanachs, and one Scot without Scottish knowledge) had not been beaten by a huge Scottish history round, a mad Scottish football round, and a series of 'identify the local place - including the names of lanes!' round. There were beverage related prizes. Much like the blooper reel at the end of a mediocre film; we were buoyed into a false sense of quiz-magnificence by our win. Overall, damn good - but not 210min of good!

Sunday(25th) saw a large lunch for all pass in splendid fettle as TheO cooked Guinea Fowls and we had a proper roast. A delightful walk *just* before dusk sealed it. Only Ma-in-Law checking the time of her flight the next day and discovering it was so early she couldn't get it disturbed the peace. (All was sorted - after a few frantic 'phone calls.)

Yesterday (26th) was just a complete blur of seeing everyone off after a slightly frazzled car packing and key finding expedition; and madly catching up on work. Slept like the dead - blissful.

Today (27th) I knew some exercise had to be fitted it. When the cleaners came we headed out with the dogs to do a forest run, something we haven't done in ages. I had the evil black and she loved every bound. As did I. My legs felt like they needed to be unleashed and a first mile of 9min was proof. I managed to maintain a 9. 33min pace over the 4 miles (all under 10min) and was dead chuffed. TheO managed their fastest ever 5k too. Brilliant. A quick trip shopping and dinner out at a friend's to celebrate her getting a table for her new flat really made it a pretty perfect day.

Still got so much work to do - but it's all beginning to feel manageable. Especially now the pmt has subsided - Thursday was almost unbearable. Will put up pictures of the new cabinet when it is finished. I think it looks great - let's hope everyone else does too. (Fingers' crossed.)

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Ahhhhhhhhh - WORK
Aaaaahhhhhrrrrgghhhhh - House full, including the 2 adorable nephews.
Aaarrrgggghhhh - WORK

Managed one quick run on the elliptical. Losing my MIND. More as soon as I have my study back - it's the Ma-in-law's bedroom at present.

Only slightly stressed and deranged.


Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Up. up and ...

Kept up the productivity today - must be something wrong with me.

Also, went climbing for the first time in aaaages . I was truly crap. Things that I'd scampered up last time just defeated me this time. The only routes I managed to complete were level 2s. BOLLOCKS - that's what it was. Reflecting back on it TheO was encouraging when she spoke about our lack of food and general tiredness. I really didn't realise we'd been climbing (albeit slowly) for 2 whole hours ... breakfast was a dim and distant memory.

I also had some real mental difficulties when we started. The first time with no instructor and a dream the previous night about how afraid of heights I am really gave me the jitters. TheO claimed (briefly) that I just didn't trust her! Rubbish. However, that discussion did give me the mental jerk necessary to feel much better about the height.

At the end we went back to do a route we've done every time with relative ease. TheO really pegged it up there making to the top in 58 seconds. I tried and when my foot slipped onto another colour of route and therefore 'cheated' it really riled me. I was done for day. Whilst it hadn't been the usual super-tough work out; I'd obviously just reached me limit of patience and grip. it was the first day that everything seemed to get really slippery. Hmmm. Overall was very glad to have gone though and do like the challenge. Might just need to pretend that there's someone watching to make me HAUL MY FAT ARSE UP THE DAMN WALL. The invisible scorn of others appears to be a good incentive.

Still feel a little restless and knackered simultaneously. Apologies for the less than stimulating posting. Pah. I'm off to bed.

Monday, 19 November 2007


An immensely satisfying day.

Managed to get 3 commissions done, all of which I am happy with; a simple alteration, and an order completed. The cleaners came and did their best - always makes me happy. And we managed to walk the dogs and have lunch out. A salad and panini split which I adored (and sadly TheO loathed).

The dog walk was a bit of a mistake - I urged for the beach as it would be swift and the dogs could be off-lead and romp. TheO was foolish enough to listen to me. It was pouring, and blowing a gale. One of the most unpleasant walks I've had in years. I was not easily forgiven as we were soaked to the skin and a little grumpy. (Even the dogs looked less than amused.)

Yesterday despite both of us feeling less than inspired on the exercise front we managed to get out for a run. We went up the hilly road to a wee village and back covering 4 miles in a manageable pace. (My legs were knackered after the 10K on Friday.) It was 30 seconds faster than we'd completed it together last time so TheO was suitable pleased with herself. It was a bit cold but a lovely early-Winter day, all crisp and clear.

Off to throw a few things in the polisher to finish off then make dinner. Red Cabbage & Sausage - perfect for winter.

Saturday, 17 November 2007


Well I was tagged by Warriorwoman.
The rules are:
  • link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog
  • share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird
  • tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs
  • let them know they are TAGGED by leaving a comment on their blog.
My five things are:

1. I like to eat crisps in size order. Start with the teeny crumbs, then broken bits, then the smallest whole ones up to the most prefect big ones. (This might just be the proof that I have OCD.)

2. I used to not 'get' exercise. I thought my time was better spent 'having a fag'. Now I live up to the phrase: No zealot like a convert.

3. *Hangs head in shame.* I occasionally use the long hallway in my house to practice my 'model walk'.

4. Really simple things make my happy: Sunshine, pretty clouds, laughter. But it can turn in the blink of an eye. (Translation - unstable moody beyatch.)

5. Despite trying really hard I am bad at self censorship and tend to swear around small children.

Essential Nephew Update: He does not have to have a skin graft - whoo hoo. And, might be released on Monday. Bloody brilliant.

I tag (and hope they don't mind):

TheO over at her blog

Cassie at Rector's Wife Revamp. (Cassie was the first person to link to me.)

Ruth at SeeRuthRun.

Tall Girl Running at her blog.

London Jogger at her eponymous place.

Job Done!

I've been TAGGED ... but first I'll catch up. (Long Post)

Last you heard we were heading West. With some apprehension we went off to see Wrecker and Eldest. Who knew what state either of them would be in. A burnt 2 year old and a cooped up 4 year old were a challenging prospect, mix in some understandably stressed parents and you can see why we might have had our fingers crossed. Luckily for us, all were in good spirits. Wrecker looked much more cheerful than I could have hoped for, despite a fully bandaged arm, leg and torso. Eldest was, I think, just delighted to be the centre of attention and enjoyed some quality aunt-time.

13th At his mother's suggested we headed to Kelvin Grove Museum - it managed to entertain us all for a good few hours. Then we headed to a park for some excellent run-around-and-shout-a-bit time. Auntie TheO then came up with the genius suggestion that we head to the Botanic Gardens. We were minorly way-laid by the first of many encounters with A Glasgow Squirrel. These squirrels were incredibly friendly, even coming to nose Eldest's hand as he sat nice and still. They proved greatly entertaining. (Although we decided not to tell his mother lest there be a discussion of evil-venomous-squirrel bites and disease.) He was having fantastic fun. This was only added to by some cake and a smoothie. Then, fully sugared-up we made it into the Botanics. He loved every minute: big fish in the pond, a jungle of ferns to play explorer in, carnivorous plants, hot houses, pretty orchids, tiny fish in tanks and the sensitive plant that folded its leaves when stroked. Finding a great playpark at the end made it pretty perfect. Even if it did take us a while to get a cab at the end.

So, after a day designed for Eldest our search for accommodation started. It was arduous and extremely tiring, especially as we were beset by having to drive up and down a road with more sets of traffic lights than one would have thought possible. Eventually we stopped and I ran into a place that looked nice. Yes they had a room and they could (as it was last minute) give a good deal on it. (RESULT!) Mentally realised that Simon Pegg (from Run, Fat Boy, Run) was sitting having a drink in the lounge. Ran back to the car - tried not to be too over excited about how nice the hotel was, failed.

After being shown to our gorgeous sumptuous room with huge 4 poster bed we instantly went back down stairs and asked if they had a room free for the following night too. We also booked a meal in the restaurant. We freshened up, and slunk down to the bar feeling the need for a drink (how all parents do not succumb to some sort of alcohol induced numbness after the kids are in bed is beyond me); the large GnT's were just the job. After perusing the menu for some time [here I direct you to TheO's blog - she waxes more than lyrical about the wonders] we sat down to have the most wonderful meal I have ever experienced in my life. We've had some damn fine meals but this brought tears literally to the eye. My ham hough was tasty perfection, but even that was not a patch on the boiled egg. The lobster was perfectly cooked, the hot mayonnaise a dream, and the chocolate thing with pear ice cream was to die for.
It was food taken to another level.

It was also service taken to another level. I don't know how they managed this but it was remarkably good. You could take the most traditional type there who wanted all the obsequiousness of 'fine service' and they would feel entirely happy. But, conversely, you could also take someone who hated that stiff formality, and they would feel equally well served. Everyone greeted you with a smile and a polite hello - this sounds so silly but it was a wonderful change from staff scuttling past guests in the corridors making both parties feel a little embarrassed.

A wonderful, only lightly alcohol induced sleep made the next morning dawn significantly brighter. Not to dwell on the food too much I'll just say a few words about breakfast. A huge range for the continental with the glossiest fresh fruits and yogurts, tiny perfect Danish pastries, toast, coffee, fresh juices. Yum!

So - onward to the Eldest. 14th. Luckily we had his Dad's company for a few hours that morning. We all headed to the Science Museum. Looked like it was a bit beyond him but, by allowing his entirely A.D.D. behaviour free reign it managed to entertain for a good 3 hours. Lots of see and everything was there to be played with and handled. Another trip was requested to the Botanics - we happily obliged. Finished off with the play park (again) where Eldest entertained us by proclaiming on the roundabout that he: wanted to go so fast my willie goes all funny. This whilst giggling hysterically. Hilarious. Not possessing a willie I was previously unaware of the effects of a roundabout. Hmmm, must find some friends to ask about that one.

A more relaxed evening ensued at our hotel. They had a small gym (no running machine - idiots) in the basement so I managed 20min on the rowing machine and 12min on the bike. Enough to get the heart pumping and not feel too guilty about ordering room-service and chilling out all evening.

Our final day (15th) as nephew sitters started (for me at least) with yet another delightful Continental breakfast. We then rushed off to the hospital where Eldest's mother was free from baby-sitting so could join us for the morning. Eldest - again - asked for the Botanics so we went and he showed his Mum all the bits he really enjoyed. A simple Italian lunch followed before we delivered him back to both parents and high-tailed it out of there, desperately trying to beat rush hour.

Our return home was welcomed by Professor who had ably coped with our two dogs and a new arrival. Huge thanks - as always.

Yesterday (16th) was a day of returning to normality and trying to run off some of the excess accumulated over the last 3 days. Went to the gym, set the machine to 6.2mph and just kept running. Ended up with 10K in 59.42 - just 59 seconds off my best ever time. Delighted. (Feeling it today though.)

Friday, 16 November 2007

Weird search results - mid-month madness!

So - this month's weirdest search result is:

fat sweat sweet smell

I'm quite freaked out by this. What was this person really searching for - and why?

Back from the wild west, Goose recovering well, but not quite out of the woods.
Full update soon.

Monday, 12 November 2007

Heading West

After a nice little dog walk on Saturday - where the demon dog walked herself into a whole heap of pheasant. Then refused to come back. Sunday was a day of delightful debauchery. We went to see a pair of teaching friends (still freaks me out that any of my friends are mature enough to be entrusted with the education of kids) - Northern Lass cooked up a fantastic meal, Mr. Meep entertained us with his Wii. First time we'd played - it was bloody brilliant. Loved the duck shooting and the tennis. Air Hockey and Cow Racing were beyond me. Fantastically competitive nonsense. The dogs all managed to behave themselves - their pooch has calmed down with age and now understands that when Bridie growls she would really like to be left - the hell - alone. (Alright, she almost understood. Only one chunk of fur was lost to the black evil.)

After a long lunch and an even longer games session we wended our way homeward - only stopping for a quick nibble at a local Chinese place. Stuffed, to bursting... best not to think about it and move on. On, to a world where there isn't as much cake, or creme fraishe mash, or msg-flavoured goodness. Good bye cruel, cruel, calorific world.

My only exercise was early (for me) on Sunday morning. Despite setting the alarm I only managed to have breakfast at 10.30 - I had to head out for my run at 12. With only 90 min from food to run I was convinced I'd get a stitch. I didn't - it was some kind of revelation.
Did 5k in 30.18. (Splits were 9.47, 10.19, 9.24 and 0.56 for the last bit.) Really quite pleased but need to focus on getting more miles under 10min, and build up some decent length.

Might not be able to blog for a few days now. Sis-in-Law needs us in Glasgow to help with the boys. The mighty Goose is still in hospital from the burns. They have fingers (and toes) crossed that he wont need a skin graft. Specialists checked today and the healing seemed to be good. He goes for more general anaesthetics on Wed and Fri - wound checks and debris-ment I assume. Ah well, we'll know more tomorrow. It's an early start. Blessing are showered upon Professor and Rock God - they're taking our dogs at super-short notice, looking after a paying-guest dog should we not be back in time and generally rearranging their lives completely. Bless.

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Wrecker in Iceland

Running out of puff

As usual recently I seem to have been too busy to blog. **Holds mouth in shape reminiscent of The Scream painting.** Surely it can't be true?! Well, for once I'm up to date with work - still a healthy to-do list, but not such a nagging list of things which are starred, and underlined, and high-lighted!

After TheO passed their cbt we needed a day of gentle reflection. What we actually did (7th) was go and exercise. I managed a 4 mile run outside - desperately trying to keep all 4 miles under 10min a mile. Almost made it. 4 miles in 39min and some change - only due to really getting the pace up in the last (flat and downhill) mile - 8.55 - excellent! Then I was picked up by my delightful chauffeur service and taken to the gym. Did another 2.2 miles in the gym in 20.22. Really was hard work but worth it to have completed a 10K for the day in around 60min... albeit with a 20min rest. Then did all the usual weights - taking it slowly but using slightly higher weights. A good work out.

Yesterday 8th - we received the news that Wrecker my wonderful nongod-godson and TheO's nephew had pulled a coffee pot over himself and had been helicoptered off the remote Scottish island where he lives (with his Ma, Pa, Bro, Dog, Cattle, Sheep etc) and deposited in Glasgow with 16% burns to his body. His Dad has sent us photos to prove he really is looking quite chipper despite numerous bandages and a feeding tube. His skin grafts are tomorrow. Poor little bugger.

Today (9th) we took the Golden Angel pooch to the vet for a quick check up. Have decided the vet we saw today was a complete numpty - kept referring to her as "an old dog". This is just bollocks for two reasons; 1) You shouldn't talk about a lady like that in front of her. 2) She isn't old - she's only 7 and could easily have another 7 wonderful years. Pah.

TheO had her usual squash game so I trundled to the gym a little apathetic. Managed to get a new fastest ever mile 7.03 and OMG was it hard work. Also how obsessively irked am I by those 3 seconds. DAMN THEM. However I recovered just enough to do all the weight machines on a good high setting. Can't wait to go climbing again and see if it's made any difference.

Finally off to bed - only stopping for a shower.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Whooo Hooooo

TheO passed their CBT basic motorbike training. I'm v proud.

Running Behind ... in every sense.

As usual I'm behind. In my defence the house was taken over by, what high-heels referred to as: the ravening hoards. My study was playing host to some friends so computer access was seriously limited.

After the success of climbing and aqua-fit, Thursday (1st) was only gently active. We took the pooches for a 2.5mile beach walk - they were delighted, we were almost too knackered to move.

Friday (2nd) was the perfect example of being behind. Don't really know how it happened but we ended up shopping for feeding 10 for a w/end at 5pm on Friday night! This was not logical, but thanks to delightful transport issues everyone was running late. (Wipes brown with relief!) We ended up having a great dinner of Normandy chicken and much wine. Chat and song followed - although we did talk all the way through The Long Way Down. (So much so that Wheeler watched it again the next morning.)

TheO - being an obsessive planner type - had a great plan for Saturday (3rd): We were all having a good brekkie then heading out to the beach for possible surf, games and picnic. Unfortunately she awoke (having had a terrible night) in extreme back and neck pain. This left me to make breakfast - hilarious, managed to glue a pan to the sink-matt, mmmm plastic smoke! TheO didn't come to the beach but managed to do some cooking whilst we ran around like fools on sand dunes and placed French Cricket with a rounders bat and ball - not to be recommended! Wonderful clear Autumn day - incredible skies. Even gave Norman (the camper van) a chance to demonstrate his (IMPRESSIVE) tea making capabilities. (High-heels might actually have drooled.)

When we got back there was a moment to feed the dogs then head out to Ceres for torches and fireworks. It was beautiful, not a display - more fireworks being set off in random bunches - but the atmosphere was great and we were pleasantly cheered by the glittering lights (and roast chestnuts). Returning home to gorge on game stew and open TheO's presents was a damn good end to the day. We all went to bed a little after midnight - our age might be showing.

Sunday (4th) there was the obligatory huge roast (lamb this time and mighty fine) with only slightly charred parsnips. A quick run in the morning - went with Wheeler and Smiler - they chatted (to each other, thank god) for the first half then sprinted off for the way home. 4 hilly-ish miles in 40.40 - not bad, felt a bit slow and crap though. Need to do more running this week. Finished off the Sunday revelries by having afternoon tea at The Craigsanquhar hotel - yum and double yum.

Yesterday (5th) the tree surgeons arrived at dawn to start giving us our view back. It was far too early for me. Still recovering. Did a few bits and pieces for work and then gave the dogs a 20min walk - we all need a rest.

Having difficulty settling down today - might be the constant sound of chainsaws, or a niggling worry about TheO as she does her Basic Motorbike Training today (fingers' crossed). Or even possibly waking at 7 and only fitfully dozing until I got up - more sleep desperately needed. Off to really get stuck in - honest!