Friday, 24 December 2010

Almost that time of year again. 2010 - a summary.

2010 - it's been a ...

It's been too much to sum up in one word, so I thought I'd try just a few more. Here's a month by month summary - 12 months in 69 words (dude).

No heating. Curling.
Break Up. Incredible friends.
Paris. Secured flat.
Incredible friends. Ceramics.
Meet chg. Celebrate friends BDays.
Bridie goes. Discover Acoustic Dave.
21212 & spa with Meeper. Marrakesh.
Festival Madness. Scotland trip & discover Orkney.
Move to Edinburgh. chg moves to London. See new house on the Island.
Manchester. London. House warming.
London. Granny Greens. Time to Breathe.
Bridesmaid dress shopping. Chopper xmas party. Xmas expectation & preparation.

Ultimately I can't have imagined this year; but then the things you don't expect are often the most fundamentally life changing and life enhancing. It's been a big year: Friends have got married, friends have got engaged, friends are emigrating, and it starts and ends with SNOW. Not only is snow a challenge that makes you realise you are at the whim of the elements, but also makes you want to play like a kid. Bloody brilliant.

Not even the random occurrence of my neighbour (below) letting me know the main soil pipe is frozen could dampen my xmas spirit. [Luckily neighbour across the way has given me her key (and is away) so we have a loo until the thaw comes!! Thereby demonstrating that it pays to be nice to your neighbours, and friendly! She gets a big bunch of flowers as a thank you come 2011.] Although this does make it clear that plumbing problems are not just restricted to country dwellings. (Damn it... DAMN IT.)

I'm looking forward to 2011 with much, much happiness as I sit in my warm and lovely flat with a snoring dog beside me, a fridge full to bursting, and the chg on her train north. Only my cold is a minor irritation, but then again, even that could be worse. It's just a cold.

There's a lot to look forward to in 2011. I've got another birthday approaching. (I like birthdays but can't quite understand how they seem to be so close together these days!) There are wedding's aplenty; I even get to be a bridesmaid for the very first time! And a whole world of opportunity out there. (Some possibly exciting work projects in the planning!)

I normally give a running update at this point but shucks, the running has been a bit poor this year. Still churning out 5ks with regularity - but life has been a bit busy... I do have ONE decent stat for the year: January saw me do my fastest ever 10k at 53.40... pretty sure there's been no improvement on that... might even be much slower. But hell, I'll get there. More running is definitely in the plan for 2011. Need a few more 1/2 marathons under the belt. Maybe when the ice clears ... whenever that might be.

There have also been many challenges this year, not least of which was behaving like a grown-up when my contractor held his phone towards me and said: I've got some great pictures of black knobs for you!

Ah, the kitchen does look good.
Moving on to 2011 at great speed.

Enormous amounts of love to all my incredible friends and all those who have helped to turn 2010 into something very very special.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Running away

I ran, then I forgot about it. It was when it was clear enough from snow and ice (sort of) to attempt a run round Arthur's Seat. I managed 3.5 miles (mostly as the 5K was so slow I had to keep going ... side stepping the ice had been a bugger). I think it was about 34.50-odd. Not stunning. Think it was last Thursday morning first thing. It was about -3 and lovely with it.

But I do love it, and I felt like I could have definitely run substantially further. But the gold dog was not happy. Not happy at all. Too much ice. There was even a tiny bit of limping at the end. I don't think it's caused by running, I think it's caused by when she goes completely puppy-mental in the snow. She rolls, dives, and generally makes a complete fool of herself; even turning her nose into a doggy snow plough.

Now all Christmas making is done - or at least all Christmas making that I can get done. The collet inside my millbro fractured into pieces today .... just glad most things were done; only some hand finishing took extra time.

Just food to buy and house to clean. But the tree is done. It's short and fat ... no funny comments please. :-) All presents bought, sent, wrapped and ready. Come on Christmas, I'm ready for you now!

Merry Christmas one & all.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Run v. Brownie

I did go for a run. It was wonderful and I felt fantastic doing it. I just loved it. It had been too long; the snow, snow, snow has permanently held me back. Although 32 minutes for 5k was (for me) sodding shocking; but there was a lot of ice and snow to avoid - in Peckham... not Edinburgh. And the time has come for running sweat-top not t-shirts, and long tights - oh, and gloves. Brrrrr

Spent most of my run thinking about how import running was to me. How much it had changed me as a person. More confident, more willing to do stuff, try stuff, and just more willing to interact with life in general. Also how differently it has made me think about my body. I don't know if it's age, or a change in physique, but I now feel quite happily neutral about my body. Nothing to be proud of, but nothing to be ashamed of either. It seems like quite a nice place to be.

The gold dog was on pretty good form during the run - she wasn't up to full speed, but she was definitely content, and is now enjoying a well deserved snooze next to me.

I also did some sit ups and some press-ups when I got back. Trying on multiple bridesmaids dresses definitely let me know that my arms need some serious work... (and the rest of me, but the dresses cover most of that).

Hmm, a short walk to get stuff posted, and get some shopping - and now I'm almost taken away by the richness and size of the brownie that's been eaten. Maybe a little lie down would help... aww gold dog now woofing and growling in her sleep - she always dreams more when she's had a really good set of exercise.

Enough waffle - I must get some work emails done ...

Monday, 6 December 2010

Not running but thinking. Possibly just ranting.

Crimble, crumble and all things chr....

The snow, the m*f* snow. One or two days is pretty Now we're up to our 10th day (here in Edinburgh). One of my great loves of the British weather is that is changes. Just seeing a white winter wonderland is lovely, but I don't like the same-ness - I find it slightly repressive, particularly today as it's a bit foggy and I can't see far enough. I'm a girl who needs a big vista.

Now that does seem like a bit of bah-humbug but I've been stymied left, right, and center by the white stuff. I was meant to go and see RF tonight (no chance); no Granny Green's for 2 weeks; and I'm desperately waiting on materials to make stuff - despite ordering them 11 days ago...

On that note huge thanks and praise go out to Royal Mail - after 5 days I got post from them; and my postie is battling through the snow (with a smile) and constantly friendly. City Link on the other hand have failed to deliver anything, and have failed to update their tracking system.

Also, to continue in this ranting frame, snow stops me running, and makes me eat more as it's so cold... this is not a good combo. This is, in fact, a bad combo. I *could* go to the gym, but I still baulk at £6.50.

Hmm, but what have I been up to? (Apart from ranting against the snow.) Well the chg came up for a visit and we just chilled out and enjoyed the snow (1st two days - I still thought it beautiful).
I've also managed to enjoy some lovely meals with friends who were enjoying/feeling guilty about getting snow-days. Tried Treacle for the first time with Meeper & it was lovely. Great value, super lovely service, and really enjoyable food. A pie will actual pastry, and sides - not just a square of dust piled on top! I was then lucky enough to be cooked for by HH - she made great stroganoff, and we drank fizz whilst watching crappy tv - what perfection.

We (HH, Blarney and me) all braved the snow & christmas shoppers to go bridesmaid dress shopping. I think we did a great job, lots tried, many ideas gleaned and just a lovely catch-up and girlie day. Can't remember the last time I did that - maybe with RF around her Birthday... hazy of brain, must be the cold.

In between all this I managed to get all of my xmas shopping done - and the important stuff is now sent (although who knows when it'll get there). Christmas cards were also posted on the first. I feel far too organized, but it does make for a calm December. I just need to buy/order the food now... even the xmas tree is ordered to collect nearer the time.

Today only a tiny treat (and a lovely bagel) from Manna House saved me. The walk to the post office and back had me practically crying with cold despite being properly dressed. Two pairs of gloves (one lined) and my hands hurt so much even warming them up was miserable.

Right. I need to try and work on what things I can. Still snowing, no let-up in many hours.

Merry Christmas all.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Still running around like a headless chicken

I could claim illness (it was a v mild cold). I could claim lack of time (work has been marginally busy). I could claim cold weather (but we all know I looooove to run in the cold).

So really, I've just been a bit of a slacker.

I have made a small electronic thing with random flashing lights at Granny Greens - it involved soldering and everything. Never happier than when surrounded by pliers and doing a task that's both tricky enough to demand a little concentration - but also not so fiddly that you're tempted to throw it across the room in frustration. Also re-started my enormous blanket. It's such a big project that everyone who sees it says I might finish it before I'm 90, if I'm lucky!

Had a wonderful cocktails and dinner at The Dogs with the cheeseboard. Nothing makes you feel old like finding the music too loud somewhere (although I thought the dj was doing a stonking job) - and having to find somewhere else quieter.... a bit of a contrast to bouncing up and down to ska. But life needs all of these things. Everything in abundance - moderation is for the weak!

Then RF threw a party. A lovely winter country party where incredible food was pulled from the aga - the mountain of mash was unending (in a good way) - and the bed after whisky was comfortable (beside the stove for me!). The company wasn't half bad either. A short walk and tasty lunch - I had an Afternoon Tea with HH - were the perfect antidote to some mild hangovers.

And after those days of excess I've been constantly telling myself I was *just about* to go out for a run. But then something always came up, like lethargy, or a cup of tea. Or more cake with friends.

But today - after stepping on the scales and finding myself at the top of my personal comfort zone I know the time had come. So me (and the newly mental gold dog) went out for a run. Up The Seat again. 5k - 29. 14 - my uphill doesn't really seem to be improving (10.48), but my flat and downhill were better (the quads will be screaming tomorrow) 9.17 and 8.20 respectively.

So I'm .... Oooo - just checked the last runs, I lied - it appears my uphill is considerably better. Hmmm, as so often happens after a break - the legs are keen for a run-out. I'll continue to be happy if I can pull off that trick again... Where was I. Oh yes, so I'm quite happy with that really and psychologically it's always great to get under the half hour. If only I can actually keep up some sort of running regime I'll be happy. Still need to work on the 3 times a week that it used to be.

It feels like just getting out and going for a run should not be a success - it should be sodding normal.

Well, what with life being more complicated now and with me desperately trying to make my way in the world - please, go on, buy stuff from Lucklaw Silver - save a starving (*cough*) runner and her little dog. I'll have to pimp out the dog for pats soon, and she'd like it, I know she would - but I'm not sure she'd cope with the shame. ;-)

Now I'm just waiting for snow and looking forward to seeing the Christmas lights as I know Edinburgh does a good line in twinkly at this time of year.

Friday, 12 November 2010

The Big Smoke

As an alternative to Auld Reekie it does alright. I'm very glad to have both in my life.

I've not really taken 'full advantage' of all London has to offer this time. But as such I'm a more relaxed, and financially better off, person. (Not a bad combo I think.)

However, there has been great Thai food; a fantastic roast with new friends; catching up with an old school chum; a pub quiz*; and tonight some Ska in Camden ... so maybe that last one is a 'bit London'.

And I even managed to fit a run in. 31.35 for a fairly flat 5k.... it seems to mock me when I know I go faster when there's a big hill - possibly a case of rising to the challenge (both literally and metaphorically). Big News from the run was that the gold dog is now up to speed - she was ahead of me the whole time and seemed to love it - either that or the biting wind made it her only option to keep warm.

But I've been a tiny bit under the weather so the rest of the exercise has been walking... lots, and lots of walking. Baffie fulfills her roll as *squirrel patrol* and we wander about enjoying all that Autumn has to offer. Although - much less pretty post storms... boo. I'm in awe of the leaves still holding on in the face of winds that brought down a 30 foot rowan.

*Getting back to the Pub Quiz. A Pub Quiz is, done well, a many splendored thing. This one was a corker. The quiz master appeared in biker leathers and on first glance (and second and third glances) looks a lot like Jeff Goldblum (not relevant info, just adding a bit of 'colour'). Enormous booming voice that easily informed and controlled the room. There were 20 basic questions per half and about 4 bonus questions. A picture sheet with all sorts of stuff on it (good mix) and a maths/knowledge puzzle at half way (worth a massive £240 - no one got it; I wished RockGod had been there as it was a F1 question I think he'd have nailed). There were also a few bonus, free drink questions. A better time could not have been had. I discovered that the chg ROCKS at pub quizzes. Far too many times for my liking I was left saying, "but HOW do you know that?!" However her knowledge of crisp flavour colours was shocking :-p (Do you see the tiny fragment of dignity I'm clinging to here? And also my personal level of general knowledge...)

So I'm mostly just stopping in to get back into the habit of blogging. Because sometimes it's easy to be too self conscious; too concerned about what you've got to say - and the point (of this blog anyway) has been far more free-form than that. It's a bit of a verbal wander pegged to some dodgy running stats. (Think this should be the tag line?)

Right - off to walk the paws of the dog before getting ready for some serious Ska North London action whilst watching Mad Men on the big TV.... oh, this is the life!

Wednesday, 3 November 2010


It's been a busy week or two (as usual it appears). Although I'm not sure I'm actually achieving much!?

I discovered that my old dog wasn't just the usual 'old-d0g-itchy' but had a skin infection. So: pills, shampoo and consultation - £98.... really... ah well, better that's she's comfortable. (grrr)

Had a delicious mutli-course dinner with the fabulous Miss Lane. Spinach & Watercress soup ROCKS - and had it been on a menu it would have been a tough sell, but in person - stunning.

Quick trip up to Perthshire to see ceramics friends & celebrate their wedding. Also saw Dotty which was wonderful - some good natter over cups of tea with dogs sleeping in the sunshine.

Pickle then visited Edinburgh and I took her to sample the delights that are The Phuket Pavillion - I love that Thai, and they have the knack of remembering you, which is just such a nice touch.

Coffee and chat with Smoothie as her son was doing gymnastics. Good to just catch-up and find out how her mammoth trip to Africa was. (Pretty bloody good.)

A bit of careful planning meant that CHG's visit to Edinburgh was timed to coincide with my first proper dinner at the new place (I'd call it a house warming, but that felt a bit too overwhelming). I gathered as many as could be seated, and tried to feed them well. I think the lack of left overs means that they were quite happy with the grub:

Home hot-smoked salmon with beetroot & horseraddish cream.
Roast Venison with dauphinoise and green beans.
Cream cheese brownies with a massive stack of berries.

(A menu that enabled lots of prep before-hand and simple enough to make the night easy.)

So after that wonderful weekend, where the sun was gracious and enabled a lovely walk on Sunday, I decided that the new week was going to include what I now think of as: The Revenge of the Brownies. (Da da dahhhhhhh.)

On Monday I put on my running gear. This is the first time I have done this in Edinburgh since moving in. I thought: I'll run through the park along the flat sections and once I get to the 1.55miles just head back. This will avoid most of the hideous hills.

But for some reason, as soon as I entered the park I found myself heading up hill - just going straight up the steep side of Queen's Drive. I don't know why this happened, but once started it seemed churlish to give up. And my only aim was to get to the top without any walking.

I was genuinely apprehensive. I don't really like running up hill. (Some people do - Wheeler - and they are generally known as nutters!) And I haven't run up that hill since my very first 5k years ago. But, it wasn't too bad. In fact it was confusingly un-bad ('good' would be over-selling it).

November 1st:
1mile up - all up - 11.45
I mile across the top and back - 9.51
1 mile all down hill - 8.59

Total for 5K - 31.30
I was satisfied by this, but a little irked that it's over the magic 10min/mile pace - a pace I desperately worked to get under. But I suppose that is what you get for not training enough and running up big hills.

After this run I felt the pain. Not horrible, but definitely pain. The ache in the legs and the slight wince going up and down stairs (not useful when you live on the 3rd floor). I tried to walk it off by doing another 4 miles that day heading to and from the fabulous Granny Greens.

So, in a bid to quash the pain I went out for another run today. Conditions were much better - it was dry for a start; and this time of year is just the right side of cold (for me). All I need are 3/4 leggings and a long sleeved shirt. It works perfectly.

Mile 1 - 11.43 (now I swear this could have been faster but the golden dog needed some time to warm up... and she seriously pulled me off my stride)
Mile 2 - 9.43
Mile 3 - 8.39 - the dry weather made the fear of slipping on the downhill negligible so I could go a wee bit faster.
Total for 5K - 30.57

Honestly, despite a lack of form and not being quite where I want to be with running I was bloody delighted by this. It's 17 seconds slower than I ran the race 3 1/2 years ago - but it also isn't hard to do. I'm not killing myself to get there, I'm just able to do it with relative comfort. (Mental note: must actually try harder.) Also it is *just* under the 10min/mile pace - which always makes me feel better.

Now this renewed interest in running is both the old feeling of just bloody enjoying it, and the fact that the council gym in Edinburgh (about 3min walk from my door) is £6.50 a visit. Holy Shit that's expensive. Now I know that if I pay monthly, or buy a discount card it gets significantly cheaper - but I still think £6.50 to use a gym is just taking the piss. (Or have I lived in the sticks too long?) Rant over.

The running really does give me a weird sense of satisfaction and I'm beginning to believe that my basic level of fitness might be ok. I can top it up more easily now, and am surprised by what I can do, rather than frustrated by what I can't. I'm not sure if it's just getting back to a low level of consistency - or all the city walking - but things definitely feel easier now.

So all I can do is work on further and faster...

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Running again

It really does make me feel better.
Today was 3.1 miles (the beloved 5k) in 30.15 which felt a litter better than usual.
Getting there. Improving. Slowly.

Had one of those incredible sleeps where you could sleep forever. But today had important things to get done... a new lead for the gold dog- her squirrel hunting habit has shredded the old one. Hilarious when running and she heads into the undergrowth at high speed.

So, a run, some work done, orders taken; and now off to the British Museum to see 100 objects that define the world. Sounds like heaven when followed by nooodles.

I thought a quick blog was better than nothing. Bye for now.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Monthly update!

If any of you are still reading, congratulations on almost endless patience!

The real news is that I went for a run, a 4 mile run... read it and weep fellow runners... 4 miles. Go me.

The fact I'm so excited about a 4 mile run suggests that I'm still a bit behind on the whole idea of a schedule at the moment. Although, living on the 3rd floor I am generally walking far more than I ever have for the last 10 years. And carrying stuff a lot more too. Not that I really feel any fitter - but then I was fit through running for a while... must get back to that level of fitness.

4miles - 39minutes 9.53/9.31/9.47/9.47

I'm not over the moon that I'm still slow - but this time my 5k time was 30.15 which is about 30 seconds faster than last time; despite it being a pathetic improvement, I'll take it.

Lovely London sums up the last month. Has been great to discover new bits south of the river, and to go and see some shows (BP Portrait Award), enjoy the parks & The Heath.

Also made it to The Island to see the nephews; this was wonderful. A new house to visit and 3 very excited small boys who were DELIGHTED by their modest Go-Go gifts. At first you think, "what is this plastic shite that entices them?"; then you realise that the plastic shite is really cheap. Brilliant. Fresh Mackrel & fantastic beach walks were a real highlight, that, and the company.

First trip to Manchester to see Tigger & Badger. Great, great hosts; incredible food; and a lovely place to put us all up. I think Tigger enjoyed her birthday and HH enjoyed her dress shopping.

After all this madness I'm back in the big smoke, and loving the change. Managed to make my first stock & some soup... if I post again it means it was edible.

Off to grab a drink and rest my aching legs. ('Cos god, they do ache after 4 miles, last time I did that was July 19th.. v shabby.)

Thursday, 16 September 2010

So, it really has been a while.

It's not that I stopped running - but I sort of did for a bit. (I'm back in the saddle now - one run on Monday and I'm *just about* to go out for another.)

Life got a little bit hectic. A little bit different. And a lot better.

I'll start by saying that I met someone (CHG) - and it's all good. But that's all the detail you'll get about that.

The last 3 MONTHS - (3 months - holy christ! how did that happen) have been quite sociable and included the following: (Any details missed out are purely accidental and if I've missed anything vital - screw it.)

1. Sometime in the summer RF & Wheeler had a BBQ - this involved the police (due to a crash down the road, not our antics) and drinking whisky all night... yes, all night. I went to bed at 6am. It was a great party... I think.

2. I discovered the joy that is Acoustic Dave. I had help in this discovery from a psychic Australian... this sounds like the start of a bad joke - all true I swear.

3.Very kind friends who hold BBQs (see above) lent me an incredible pad in Edinburgh on the basis that I did a little light painting. They are forever blessed. In fact, that might be why the Pope is visiting.

4. Managed to catch up with a visiting friend from the states. He was hale, happy, and flashing his new iPad and iPhone 4 - we didn't talk much, there were gadgets to drool over.

5. MaYa and brood descended for a lovely few days in Perthshire. 'Phews were fantastic company and I think all had a good time (including me).

6. I carried my dog into a ceramics class in a bag for 3 days and she behaved impeccably! They still miss her (more than they miss me). I still have to go and finish some pieces... one of which is a fancy dog bowl...

7. I was treated to an incredible spa day and lunch at 21212 in Edinburgh. Many thanks go out to Meeper and Ceegar.

8. I finally saw a new continent by going to Marrakesh with RF & HH for 5 days. A better trip could not have been had. Thanks to HH for all the planning & organising.

9. Lots of good times, and good food, with friends old a new. This sounds quite general but they did all make it a great summer.

10. The beginnings of festival madness: Nina Conti, Phil Kay, Dead Cat Bounce.

11. An incredible trip round Scotland. Stopping points: Lunan Bay, Secret Location near Inverness, Dunnett Head - THEN ON TO ORKNEY* - Across Sutherland, down the west to Ullapool (not Unapool which is substantially closer when driving!), back to Inverness, then Fort William, then back to Edinburgh to finish festival madness with:

12. Henry Rollins & Chris Addison. (Not together - that would be quite something.)

I'll pause my list here to say that Orkney was incredible. Not only was it beautiful but new acquaintances were kind, generous, funny, and loved the gold dog (again, far more than me). It could not have been a more spectacular trip. Particularly heading out to a far flung island to find stunning weather, white sand beaches, and Caribbean blue seas! Felt privileged to have seen it all.

13. Then, just to top off this madness I moved house. It was a little more stressful than anticipated. Advice: Never let anyone give you a moving quote over the phone, insist they come and see it! It was a shitty experience and one I hope not to repeat. However, it was one day. And I am delighted with how the new place turned out. Still got to unpack the workshop - but I'm getting there. Managed to feed friends 48h after moving in ... not bad, I think. Optimism was rewarded.

14. After moving I then loaded the wee car with CHG's stuff and headed to London. As it's only right that the week I move to Edinburgh, she moves to London... c'est la vie!

15. I'm now enjoying London life in small bursts. EXPOSED exhibition at the Tate was the first cultural highlight (although it's bloody depressing).

Now I'm off for my second run of the week. The first being 5k in 30.40 - I was unimpressed with myself - but that's what you get for not having run in about a month (the fact I don't even know disturbs me). All I know is it was along the water of Leith and it was before going to a festival show as I was trying to exercise the gold dog...

So, once more into the breech. Good to be back - lets hope I can keep up this blogging malarkey after such a long hiatus.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Every year..

I suck at Juneathon. And yet every year I keep coming back for more. It is the great unfinished race for me. The blot on my landscape.

I keep 'doing stuff' (summarised below) but life keeps taking the sodding piss and distracting me. No kidding.

However Wednesday:
2.2m dog walk
And I'm pretty sure I went to the gym and ran 5K. How flaky is that - I can't even remember... but I'm sure I did...
Thursday: a shocking 1.5m dog walk.
Friday: Improvement - a 2m dog walk then in the gym a hilly 2m run in 17.48; then the fully tummy series and the full arms series. (Proper exercise!)

So really, I'm not doing that badly, but I'm also not doing too well. Will try and get better - but life is v hectic.

Although, despite the Juneathon thing it is nice to be back in the habit of blogging. Even if it's just drivel. Even if I'm not running far enough and I have to get into training for the Coll Half marathon. Bugger - should start planning that now. Eeek.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Messing with perfection

Well after the delight that was Sunday's exercise regime ...

Monday included a 4mile dog walk round Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh - seriously hilly...
Tuesday was a 2.2mile dog walk.

So I am managing some exercise - but not enough!
Will try and rectify this tomorrow. (And tomorrow, and tomorrow).

But I have lots of work to catch up on. Damn, might have to go to bed early and make a sharp-ish start tomorrow....

Sounds hideous.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Got it all worked out.

So - it's a day where I have both exercised (properly) and am blogging before midnight. Who knew I was capable of this feat? (Not me.)

The exercise:
A 2mile dog walk in the pouring rain (shows commitment) followed IMMEDIATELY by -

1m in 8.48 (Aerobic setting 1) on the treadmill
2.2m on the bike (took 10min) - exercise score '46' - whatever that means
1m on the arm bike in 5.25 (resistance level 5)
Full tummy series
1 mile on the elliptical, crossramp 19 - 11.50 time
Full arm series

Did work hard, but did also take it slowly moving between exercises - this could not have been called 'circuits'; more like 'ambles'. Had lunch too late (and too close to exercise) to make my body happy about doing any sustained distance running. But feel better for working the whole body out. My muscles will ache tomorrow. Sunday exercise feels like an act of worship, so quiet in the gym, and Friday Night Comedy (from Radio4) on the ipod makes the time scoot past.

Off to make myself a little less skanky - and dry some v wet dogs... it's an exciting life.

ps If I lived close enough I'd bribe jogblog with wine too - lets hope Juneathon isn't fixed! :-)

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Right day (for posting) Wrong Exercise

It was hot - I was pathetic.
2 mile "jog" no time, no watch, not much bloody effort. Pathetic.

Also 2m dog walk.

I'm a rubbish Junathoner - but tomorrow I'm going to do LOADS... just you wait and see.

Abject failure

I don't think walking round the shops for 2 hours counts - even if it was in heels.

And then letting the neighbours get me drunk... it was a work out for the liver, just not for the rest of me.

A lovely day - but not a great Juneathon.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Day 3 - honest.

Day 3 was good as exercise went. Then I ended up working 'til 3.30am ... and neglecting to blog.Damn - I'll get this sorted at somepoint this month.

Exercise was: 2.4m dog walk
2mile run on Crosscountry 1 setting in 17.37
Then 40 crunches
Then 2 sets of 12 tricep exercises. (one with weight 10, one with weight 12).
Then I kept wondering why my shoulders hurt.

Now I'm more tired than is right. But lots of things were achived. And today I can just chill out and take RF shopping for her bday treat.

Juneathon is bloody brilliant for focus though. And the good news is I *might* be getting better!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, 2 June 2010


Alright 1.5m dog walk it'll have to be... it was exercise - it did involve a big hill and it was done in 26min (fast right?).

But I'll admit I was aiming for more - I was aiming for at least TWO dog walks...
Oh, and I did do a couple of press ups.
But I might be stretching now. Oh, I could actually do some stretching...

I'll say that day 2 was a success as I:
1. did something
2. posted it before I turned into a pumpkin.

Swear I'll do loads tomorrow.
Proper pinkie swear.

Day one!!!!

I haven't gone to sleep yet. So as far as my personal rules go this counts as the first post on the first day of JUNEATHON.

I decided to go all out and ignore the lingering illness. And jeeze, is it lingering!

Dog walk - 1.5miles
Gym: 5k 27.07 on Aerobic1 setting

Full arm series with free weights (now, as it's Juneathon I'll detail what this entails- then I can just use shorthand).
This is: 3 sets of 12 reps of the following exercises.
8 weight shoulder pull up
6 weight bicep curl
10 weight two arm tricep lower from above head to shoulder blades

Also full tummy series - this is:
20 crunches
20 right oblique crunches
20 left oblique crunches
20 double leg raises
20 crunches

Feel much better for getting back to the gym. Gives me faith I might finally shake those 25 extra lb ... Maybe not ALL this month.

Also drove 120miles - this should be some form of exercise, but it might be hard to get that past the judges.

Night night!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, 1 June 2010


That last post was written at about 1am on June 1st - so don't be thinking that's my post for the day... oh no. I'll do real exercise, and real writing before the day is out... mark my words.

Come hell - or high water.

Right - June is going to rock. I've decided.

Juneathon will give me a new body, and a new attitude will be mine. (See how optimistic that shit is! Looks like a new attitude to me.)
Despite still having the "virus from hell" I'm going to give it my all. I've been managing 1 gym visit a week; but also walking 15-20miles a week to try and keep some level of fitness up. I've got happy dogs, and maybe even a little bit of a tan.

So June - bring it on. Lets see if I can beat my 18 days total from last year. There's even prizes to aim for this time. And I do love some incentive!

Friday, 7 May 2010

Busy, busy, but not always productive.

To try and get me back into the swing of this blogging malarkey I'm going with the simple list formula. Since we last communicated I have:

Walked the dogs for 39.4 miles
Run 19 miles (all under 9m/mile though - I'll take that positive)
Done innumerable arm and tummy exercises
Collected a new (to me) car
Attended or hosted 10 social events (yes, I do mean met with friends)
Made lots of things in ceramics, including making cakes for election night
Been to see a Diane Arbus exhibition - thanks HH
Voted - lets see how that turns out!?
Found an NHS Dentist - thanks Tigger. Was told I need a filling. :-(
Hot smoked my own salmon for the first time - v tasty (thanks Dad)
Contracted a nasty chest virus which has stopped me doing v much. Boooo
Worked a fair bit - but not enough.
Lost no more weight - but gained no weight. Again a plateau is better than nothing.

Hope this manages to keep you all caught up. The progress with the flat is slow for reasons I do not understand. I think 'cos the people selling are on behalf on an estate they aren't as desperate to get it done.... but jesus people, lets get this moving!

Generally quite frustrated as the virus just makes me a bit lethargic. Want to go to the gym to make myself feel better, but also know I can't do too much. Might go and give it a go tonight though. Just use the bike and elliptical - nothing too stressful. Got to try though. I'll take it easy.
Still got work to do, and I'm away all day tomorrow - hmmm, it might be a long night.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

A fresh start.

This will hopefully be the start of me blogging again. I finally feel up to it. I finally feel like I have a life to share with the outside world.

I wont pretend the last 2 months haven't sucked. They have. But life does move on, particularly if you make it move on.

Good things:
I'm still running. Usually about 10-15 miles a week. And all miles are sub 9min now. Quite a break through. Almost all are in the gym though, this is v bad and I have to get back outside; it does so much more good for the psyche.

I got a flat. It was all very quick. But I think it's going to be an incredible home. It's large, not overlooked, and right on the park - so gold dog will be very happy. It needs a lot of work so I probably wont be moving for a few months, but that's ok. Change is manageable in steps. And adjustments that large should be handled with care for all concerned.

I'm still appreciating my friends more than I ever thought possible. I'm also learning that calling people is not a sign of weakness, it's a sign of being sociable. And so far, it feels pretty great. (Friends may think otherwise, but I'm trying to rotate them all!)

Using the gym as displacement activity is a healthy solution. It could have been booze.

I kicked my coffee habit, and my food addiction simultaneously. No habits left, except running. Feels weird. but good. Feels like control.

I love doing my ceramics course. I keep making unweildy or ugly things, but it's such fantastic fun to just keep making things. Also there's a bizarre bond about having the focus of making things, and chatting too.

The break-up - now to be referred to as TBU had one positive outcome. I lost loads of weight. This might be why all miles are now sub 9. But I'm being very careful not to let any creep back. If I maintain this for a while maybe I'll even get down to a healthy weight... less than 14lb to go!

I feel like I'm becoming my own person again. I didn't even know I'd lost me, but I think I had. It's interesting to wait and see who I'll be now.

It's strange after so long to be single. It's not a feeling I've ever had as an adult, but maybe now is the right time for me. I still have moments when I think this is so crushing I can't quite bear it. But those moments grow fewer. Now I try to keep my head up, facing forwards, looking on. I'm not going to try and critically asses the last 10 years of my life. They were what they were. Sometimes things just 'are'; trying to put a spin on it in retrospect wont help me now.

There will be worse moments to come. But I'm going to hold onto this up swing and see where it takes me. I hope there are still a few readers out there who'll come with me. It might finally get a bit more interesting. ;-)

Tuesday, 23 March 2010


What I said about finally being ready to tackle 2010, and how it might even be a bit great... well, I was v v wrong.

1oth Feb TheO broke up with me after 11 years.

Spent next 5 weeks in denial.

Went to Paris for 5 days to see beautiful things and be on my own for a bit.

Stopped being in denial.

Now moving onwards and upwards - often literally. (The flat hunt has begun.)

I am still running, and I will be blogging again. But I had to take a bit of a break.

I just thought you should all know.

And I'm also going to say a very large THANK YOU to all my wonderful friends who are really making this so much better than it could have been. I know you've all got a lot of listening still to do, so I'm keeping you all placated with cake. Is it working? xxx

Friday, 5 February 2010

Finally the muse is with me.

It got to the point where there was only so much bitching about the heating that could be done! So instead of writing about other stuff, I just shut up.

Luckily during the worst of it we were taken in (in a kindly way, rather than in a slave labour/ sold to pirates way) by RF and Wheeler. Thank god for friends. We, in turn, showed them a great restaurant just 20min from their house ... this seemed like a fair exchange.

Fitted in (since I last blogged):
5 miles in 43.41 - rocked the socks of my old time.
5K in the gym
5 miles - 45.05
5k in the gym
5K - Outside in the sodding snow and a gale. Hideous the higher I went, luckily Black dog looooved it.
5K in the gym. 26.43
So I've not really been slacking or progressing in the running stakes; more just making sure that I maintain a decent level of fitness. And I've got a plan worked out for the next half in April - so watch the miles start to tick up. (As I bitch about the cold more and more.)

My nearest and dearest friends also came and celebrated my birthday (31) in a very cold house, in a very cold month, in a very cold year - when we had no heating. So they were brave souls (and god are they great; these are the same friends who have had dinner at midnight as we had no water and no electric one year!). The all survived without frostbite and with good humour. A lot of radiators helped. And blankets. And a fire. And keeping everyone in one large room as much as possible.

After a night out at East Haugh pub we headed home and made a relatively early night of it. Friday can see people a bit knackered after a busy week, and we knew we had to get up early the next day.

When we went CURLING. I know! When told MaYa said, "how terribly ethnic" and she might be right. I think the Scots are mighty fond of 'sports' where you can have a pint, and stop to have a fag, and not really ever get out of breath. Brilliant.

We had almost 2h with an instructor (Claire - brilliant) and just had a great time. I had felt quite apprehensive about waking up in a cold house and then going to stand in a cold place for hours at a time but it worked really well. I'd recommend it to anyone. We did eventually split into 2 teams and have 2 'ends' - it was a pathetic tie. 1-1.

A lovely walk, and lunch (obviously) eventually took us all back home where roaring fires and heaters made it quite nice really. We did all sorts of art activities and just chilled out. All through this TheO was damn ill. She had a cold of epic proportions and was just about managing to stay upright. She even held it all together long enough to put together the epic feast of deli good, fantastic bread, a huge salmon she cooked, and the lobster Teech brought. It was fantastic. We all dined like queens. (Okay, and kings.) Shame TheO had lost the ability to taste all food. :-(

We all parted ways the next day - and managed to entice RF to the gym with tails of hot tubs. So I even fitted in a work out on my birthday. Finally that evening we headed off to see Stephen K Amos in Perth. It was v funny, but - as is always the sodding case, we had seen a lot of the show earlier in the year.

A few lovely lunches catching up with friends we've not seen in a while also made the end of January really great. Being sociable stops you from being quite so introspective and gives me the interaction I desperately need (but am, for reasons I don't understand, incapable of organising myself!).

After a particularly long spell without heating we began to get a little bit hardier, and a lot more worn down. It really took a toll on our collective mood, so it was beyond wonderful when it was finally fixed. However, we have taken further action and 2 sets of stove engineers are now about to furnish us with quotes. Our living room really, really needs more than the small fire can provide. So lets see if they can get us a bit warmer for the rest of the year (whilst simultaneously using a bit less heating).

That was a great welcome to February. A great welcome to 2010 really. People eager to turn up and provide you with a quote. So far we've only had to make one enquiry each, no chasing, no further phone calls, no rubbish. Lets hope they keep it up.

February started with far more promise. We not only discovered a great wee place for lunch in Crieff (Delivino) but TheO, with her incredible style managed to surprise me with a further birthday outing. She took me to Andrew Fairlie. (Her blog does cover this in detail.) This was just brilliant. The best service I've seen anywhere. And some of the best food. A tiny bit lacking in 'show' but not in ability or quality.

This fantastic night also enabled me to get dolled up. Something I do occasionally enjoy. I even put (clear) polish on my nails; but I used it as an opportunity to try out my birthday present from HH. I've been desperate to have some heated rollers for aaaages. My hair is quite flat and doesn't really do much unless I put the effort in. Heated rollers seemed like such an easy way to get a big effect.

OMG do these things work. On dry hair, with a 5min heat up and left in for about 15min I got brilliant curls.

Honestly - these were great curls. And this is a rubbish picture, taken just as I was running out the house; I'm quite happy at this point, but am appearing FURIOUS in this picture! (I'm also wearing the necklace I got as a bday present from TheO... who spoils me, and I don't deserve it.)

So, what with the excellent food, brilliant company, big hair, and too much booze - it was a damn fine night.

I now feel much more like tackling 2010 head on. And it might even be a bit great.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Trying, very trying

I'll cover the basics first. Since we were last here I've managed a paultry 11 miles. A 5k on cross country setting ( harder hills), a fast 4 miles and another 4 last night.
The running is going quite well. I seem to be able to maintain a sub 9min pace now over about a 10k distance which is really a massive breakthrough for me. But not being able to test it outside is a real pain.
Hopefully that'll change soon as everything is beginning to melt - finally.

We also had a visit from Maya and her two youngest last week which went v well. Ok - it was wonderful desire the stress of managing to lock TheO and the boys out of the house. But I think she told you about that I'm her blog. It was wonderful to spend quality time with my godson and see what he's like on his own. (Delighted to report v sweet and pretty good at craft, also a big lover of computer games. Got to love it. There weren't even home computers when I was his age. Man it makes you feel old.)

The highlight of recent times has been a fantastic trip to Hotel Missoni in Edinburgh with the cheeseboard. It was wonderful - cocktails, fine food and feeling safe in the knowledge that we all really were FABULOUS.
We stayed with Blarney and it was wonderful. Nice trip to North Berwick really topped it off.

Other jaunts with neighbours have kept us busy but really - after all that I'm here for a good old fashioned rant.

Our heating has gone off again. And it's just a bit too much to bear. So far 2010 really is just a case of wading through stuff. Heating, mice, rats, ice, moles digging up the entire garden... It's all just a bit much. And it's making me v down. I'm trying to just be positive and 'get stuff done' but there's always something getting in the way - and for the last month it's been snow and ice and biting cold.

And it put us in a permanent state of concern. We've got 7 people and 2 kidscoming to stay at the w/end. If the heating is still giving us gyp then I'm not sure what we'll do.

Maybe I'm just moaning becuase I'm sick of being cold and I'm sick of lying in bed fully dressed as is the only place with heat. And I'm not sure that should even count. See picture.

Looking back over 2009 just managed to remind me of the heating breaking then, and the drains, and the mower. But also a fantastic amount of time spent with friends. The kind of time that makes your soul happy.

However I don't think I achived anything in 2009 and I have no one to blame but myself (god that sucks, it would be most excellent to be able to blame someone).

Jesus I might just have to quit this blog post here as I'm not really cheering myself or anyone else up. So adios for now.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Heat and aching muscles.

The heating has been "fixed". I say "fixed" as there were some horribly unanswered questions, the kind that are always true but deeply frustrating. "Oh, we have about 5 or 6 units in Scotland that break down in winter, yours is one of them, we don't know why!"

Also when your heating engineer suggests you call his mate and have a different boiler/furnace system fitted ... well, let's say we're not that desperate yet but I do spend a considerable amount of time delighted that we only have to pay the bills, we didn't pay to have the world's least useful system (for this house) fitted!

And breathe.

So, in retaliation for being sodding cold I went to the gym today with a mission. A mission to beat my 10K time. And, luckily for humankind as you'd have heard the shrieks of anguish world wide, I kicked my old time's arse. 53.40 (45 seconds off my old time) and this did involve running up a 3% slope for 12.5 mins of this time and a 2% for 12.5 min also. It was a damn hard work out but it felt great.

This week I've managed 13.3 miles which is a huge improvement on the last few months.
I desperately need to kick-start this year.
With the heating off doing anything (apart from waiting for engineers and leaving the house to go somewhere warm) has been pretty impossible. Everything has felt a bit like being on holiday, but not in a good way. You feel you should start the year with a bang or January will be over and then... and then.

So tomorrow - back to some sort of grindstone.
And preparing the house for MaYa her youngest too and MaryPoppins ... a flying visit starts on Sunday and they leave on Wednesday so we'll be lucky enough to celebrate Goose's birthday! My godson - I'm delighted.

Right - make a list for tomorrow and lets get this month started.

ps/ We can't really turn the heating off properly... just in case. Anyone care to imagine how crap the bills will be?

It's cold here.

Now I know that a lot of people are suffering from the cold but our heating is broken, so it's genuinely cold.

So cold I can't sit in my study and blog.

We did have a fantastic Xmas and New Year a topic I might revisit in warmer times, but for now I'll just say it was all good.

All our friends left by the 2nd and the heating broke on the 3rd so normal service has yet to be resumed.

I have fitted in a few great runs in the gym though -anything to lose the post Xmas lard! The gym also has heating AND A SAUNA which does help to knock the ice from my bones. We've had 17 days of sub-zero so far and probably another 14 to go ... So the heating dude had better work some serious magic tomorrow.

Also I was lucky enough to get an iPhone for Xmas - so I can sit by the fire and let you know how I'm doing.

So much more to say but I think I'll keep it simple and say a v happy 2010 to all, and thanks for the kind wishes.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone