Thursday, 31 July 2008

No, really.

We won't talk about today. We won't mention the fried breakfast in the little cafe up the lane. We wont talk about the packet of mini battenburgs now empty at the bottom of the bin. We'll move on, we'll let the painters come in with their 'covers every sin' shade of gloss and call tomorrow a new day.

Last Sunday (27th) we headed to our new house. We thought we'd check it was still there. We left our little corner of Fife in thick, wet, grey mist. We couldn't even see the end of the garden. It sucked. It was so typical of our summers here, the sea harr claws it's way in. (Right now there are no lights outside and the rain is pelting the window.)
Our 45min trip saw us emerge into bright sunshine and glorious temperatures. We saw the chickens, filled the feeder, wandered around the house with dreamy expressions and left to explore the countryside. We pootled round lots of country lanes and made exclamations of cuteness at every turn. There are so many good running and cycling routes straight from the front door!
Our choice was to head to Little Glenshee and walk to Loch Tullybelton. A gentle walk of about 2k each way... not taxing. It was lovely, the dogs walked on their leads on occasionally pulling in the direction of a wayward sheep or rabbit. We eventually spotted the little loch covered with birds and lily pads. we wandered around an decided to cool off by taking a refreshing dip. TheO waded in in her pants and top, the dogs swam around her and I held the leads on the shore enjoying just paddling. She came into shore having cooled down and was towelling off whilst I tried to take my jeans off without covering them in mud and sand when there came a yelp: "What the hell is that?" She squeeked pulling something off her leg. A moments glance told us it was a leech. A LEECH. All I can add is that I didn't swim... oh no. I put my now damp and sandy jeans back on and wended our way homeward.
Had it been me, I too would have thought it gross and a bit yucky. As it was not me I was really quite fascinated, I'd never seen a leech in the wild before. This attitude seemed to make TheO smile and the horror of the leech subsided as we enjoyed our amble back to the car. It was a wonderfully beautiful spot and entirely ours for that Sunday evening.

Before leaving for the below I managed to fit in a quick gym trip.
33.43 for 4 miles a new bestest ever.
Delighted - it was on aerobic conditioning and went up from 1% to 4% in 3 hills.
The average of 8min 25 average - rocketh

28/29th saw us packing up the Drover (with massage table, dogs, golf clubs, crates, wine) and heading to Dollar-shire. TheO had many people to massage and I was along for the free grub! A v chilled out night with Ceegar and Meeper passed most amiably, followed by a great lunch at Tormaukin. Our brief trip to Wheeler and RF's (more massages) saw me almost manage to flood the Landrover. I'd left the windows open for the dogs and was inside cooking. The rain was so sudden and so heavy, by the time I made it outside (ie realised that the weird drumming noise was not a) someone drumming or, b) someone having a shower) the car was filling up. A few quick bails and she was safe again, although the pooches were pretty pissed off.
It might have been the fastest I've ever seen Wheeler move as he realised the garage (with the beloved motorbikes) was flooding. Drainage systems were quickly established - disaster averted. :)

30th Saw me get frustrated beyond belief as TheO (kindly) agreed to let me try and massacre the game of tennis a little more. I'm getting there in snail like increments. It's damn good fun though. Albeit I want to SMASH THINGS when it all goes horribly wrong, as it does every 4 shots.
We also went to see the new Batman film. I loved it. I thought it had a great combo of plot and action. Only Maggie Gyllenhall was rubbish - what's with the dead fish face?! I usually find anything over 90min a stretch (I'm a bit simple that way - and need entertainment). At 150+ minutes this really surprised me. It doesn't dawdle, and the effects and music are brilliant. Right, that's it. No more film review from me. It rocked. Nuff said.

31st There's something about the last day of a month that forces me into action. Got plenty of work done today and I tackled the tiles in the bathroom. Oh yes. About 1/7 of the tiles are now removed - it took 2 dusty, sweaty and muscle punishing hours. As I type I can feel the shoulder that wielded the hammer beginning to tighten. Eek, that's going to hurt in the morning.


Saturday, 26 July 2008

More Food ..

Yesterday and today have been so lovely. Ceegar and Meeper came up to see us - and cook for us! Meeper did a fantastic job of a greek inspired salad and crunchy bread, then an incredible long slow cook lamb stew, then Eton mess. 3 delightful courses with Pimms to start, some yummy Chablis, and lots of chat and chilling. Quite, quite delightful.
After a simple start to the day we headed to The Fish Restaurant for lunch. It was quite as good as it always is and crab, then turbot, and a mini pear tart put me in good spirits for shopping. And I managed not to buy anything! (This was a real success for me.) There were incredible green shoes which were so perfect and comfy - but not necessary - so were left. And the Monsoon sale was not raided, despite trying on about 50 items. Meeper found a fantastic dress reduced from £70 to £15! So she was suitably happy. We just had a great potter around and took the dogs for a good beach walk.
Stopping in to see Rockgod and The Professor for a restorative cup of tea (and to pick up a Cath Kidson bag) gave us a good opportunity to see their new place. (Farmer'sWife's old place) They've made it their own and it was great to see Prof covered in soil - a state that makes her knackered but happy - as she worked to tame the garden into some state of usefulness and prettiness.

Getting back to matters of exercise (as I threatened I would) I managed to go to the gym yesterday:
10k in 56.48
All at 6.5 mph or higher and consistent at 1% gradient
6.7 mph for all the 0.2 bits (ie from 1mile to 1.2miles, from 2miles to 2.2 miles etc)

Hands off the machine for every x.2 - x.5 so 1.5m in total hands free. This was incredibly hard and a real challenge for me - but doing it in small segments really seemed to help. It's weird that regardless of speed I can't keep my arms off the bar for too long. It obviously doesn't bother me when running outside. A puzzle.

It wasn't the fastest 10K ever but it was close and it was one of those runs that leaves you feeling like a goddess. It happens to me rarely but occasionally the endorphins go crazy and I feel invincible. It's quite odd but definitely a feeling to savour. I also had all the residual Nedding happiness rushing around my bloodstream and the exercise high on top of a good level of happiness just left me bouncing off the walls.
There are times it is so good to get back to running. There's the Coll Half to run in about 4 weeks so I've got to get back up to scratch. I seem to be a little faster than I was - now I just need to up the distance again. Mmmm miles.
Oh and a new sports bra arrived, and some tennis shoes. Let me make it clear: I bought the tennis shoes not because I am a gadget/stuff freak, but becuase I care so much for my running shoes I don't want to knacker them with unnecessary lateral movement etc. But hell, pretty new sports gear always makes me happy.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

It's all still a secret

Sooo - getting back to the busiest week ever.

10th - we high tailed it to the secret location and got lots of details finalised. TheO was due to give Wheeler another massage that eve and he'd been kind enough to offer us food. Somewhat as expected we arrived to find that RF was cooking ... I've no complaints! We had an excellent curry and, oh yes, and - MOLTEN CHOCOLATE BABY CAKES. After a very long day in the car that was just the ticket. It was a lovely catch-up and chat... only mildly marred by the evil black dog f-cking off and scaring us whitless.(There's a road that a demented cocker spaniel could head to if she wished.) Luckily there was only 10-15min of blind panic, and some wine helped to take the edge of TheO's frazzled nerves.

11th - we bought a bed. On our way to get the keys for the new house. It's perfik. We'd spotted it the day before on our drive and went back to have a proper look. The decision didn't take long.
A slightly fraught day was eventually rescued by the views from the new place. It looks quite daunting and will take quite some time to get ship-shape, but it's got all the things our present home is lacking. Also, so many things are really small jobs and quite cosmetic.
As with all home leavers the previous occupants had left us quite a bit of stuff. Sofas, a bed, a dresser... lots of things we don't really want. But they did leave a perfect mountain bike in my size. We think it needs a bit of a spruce up and some new tyres but it's pretty new. I was v excited by this as had been (somewhat reluctantly) considering getting a bike as it's only 1.5 miles to the post office and wee shop from the new place, and it's flat - so there's no excuse for not taking the bike instead of the car.

12th - had to go back to the new place again to meet KT. The lovely guy who's going to do all the work. A very productive meeting. Just got to wait for the quotes now. Whilst waiting I had a wander round the garden and looked at the peonies (my favourite), the huge lavender bush in full bloom, and fed the chickens who did, as promised, all come when I whistled for them. It was one of those ridiculous country idyll moments.
On arriving home I was quite antsy - I've managed almost no exercise this week and as such was feeling a bit out of sorts. TheO took me to 'play' tennis for an hour. She is very patient as I swipe the ball skywards time and time again, but we did manage to have a bit of a hit and as soon as my body remembers to obey the signals my brain is sending out I might be able to return it and get the damn ball in!

13th - today we broke the back of all the wee jobs still to be done for next w/end and made a final list of all the bits and pieces still to be done. The panic is beginning to abate. A bit. The excitement level is also building. I can't wait for it to be happening so I can just enjoy it and stop thinking about all the little niggly lists. (Who am I kidding, there'll always be little niggly lists, I can't help myself.)

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Crumbling round the edges ...

Today we both managed to find ...
And we ordered ...
And we bought ... and ... and ...

You see - some pesky 'real people' who know me might read these ramblings so I can't tell you anything about what we did today as it was all nedding related. The nedding is only 15 - no really, 15 days away. I've already had my first anxiety dream: Badger - don't ask me how blinds work whilst I'm trying to get changed on the big day.

However the last week has been damn fine (as have the last 6 months as TheO toiled away on plans for the whole shebang and I acted like the grasshopper); it only seems fair that now a natural and realistic amount of panic is now setting in, burrowing down and making a big fat warm nest in my tummy. (Sounds a bit too much like tapeworm for my liking.)

I've discovered much to my chagrin that I might just be a bit of a bridezilla at heart. As a control freak who likes a neat world (except my desk and car), planning a bash for nearest and dearest when aspects cannot be fully controlled, and my desire to have some things 'just so' is on super-high level, and I have PMT, and our wonderful friends have planned the HAG (stag and hen combined you see) which happens in 2 days and I don't know what's happening (ok - I know roughly what to pack and where to go) - has set me into some kind of overdrive. Oh, and there's still a little bit of work to get done pre-nedding. And, and I tell you, I've found a great ... online and it's probably too late to order ... and even if I did order ... it's probably way too expensive. And why didn't I think about all this before when I was busy living in the sunshine grasshopper land. Can anyone say: CALM DOWN AND TAKE A DEEP FUCKING BREATH YOU COMPLETE STRESS-CADET

IN - - - OUT - - - IN - - - OUT - - - IN - - - OUT

Well, there has been some running.
A nice 5k up and down some serious hills in 33min. (The 26th)
A delightful 4 miler with TheO - 45min (30th).

And.. oh, no other exercise. Damn.

However I did have a dress fitting and discovered that whilst I loved my dress I was a little dissatisfied with my body. Not having a waist is a real pisser. Seriously. My boobs are about right for my ample shoulders but my waist and hips are all out of proportion. A UK size 18 waist and size 12 hips do not make for a sexy silhouette, they make for a bag of potatoes. Pah.

Distracting me from the discussion I was having with myself about my waist (as TheO was away for 2 whole days at Wimbledon and without constant human contact I talk to myself and the dogs in almost uninterrupted monologue) were Tigger and Badger who came up for the w/end. We had such a nice time: pooches walked on the beach, delightful lunch in town, the first BBQ of the season (if Scotland can be described as having such a thing), and a day rounded off with games (and Doctor Who which was surprisingly good - even though the dishwasher packed in half way through and I felt compelled to go and fix it).
Sunday followed all sunny and wonderful so we headed to West Lomond for a decent walk - it bucketed it down (as it had last time we attempted this feat)- so we headed to Balmerino and walked in blissful sunshine though the woods and let the dogs swim in the Tay.

Monday was wonderful as we had the unexpected pleasure of Wheeler, Training Wheels, and RF for dinner when we managed to have the roast pork not cooked over the w/end. The night was topped off with a fantastic walk up the hill in the near dark with our dogs running wild and Dougal (sooooo cute) walking practically to heel... Being left with the gift of Walnut (& something) Bread, as well as interiors magazine, was an unexpected pleasure.

Yesterday morning the plumber came. Honstly after years of trying to find one I wanted to pinch him and check he was real and not some kind of plumber-shaped mirage. But the dishwasher is fixed - haleluja! The god of appliances smiled on me. And, even more exciting our hideous shit-and-biscuit* coloured bathroom is going to be replaced (after living with it rotting away for 8 years) just in time for us to move. You've got to love the irony.

Signing off to go and examine our plans and purchases for the nth time today.

*This does describe the colour and not a level of cleanliness.