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 :-)


Thursday, 17 February 2011

Rambling on

This might be a bit of a ramble. The chg is sitting at the other end of the table working on her dissertation, and I should be working... but blogging seemed like a good idea.

Last week - well some time last week in a period that constituted 7 days I ran 13.3 miles. (The .3 being VERY important.) Not done that in a very, very, long time. Maybe about a year. Boooo. Ah well, at least I'm back at it.

**- this post was interrupted by the computer needing to be plugged in; the dog needing a walk, and some lunch... but lets get back to it -**

Life has been a bit busy of late. I managed to buy a flat to rent. I'm sure it'll all go swimmingly but until I have tenants it just seems like a lot of money left my account for very little reason. Comment from woman at the bank who did the transfer: so now you're penniless! WAS NOT BLOODY HELPFUL.

But in other news I also got all of my new course supplies. All v v exciting. Many books, many bits of paper and a whole bunch of daunt. Ah well, it'll all be wonderful. Right? RIGHT?

Managed to see the lovely Meeper this week (and eat enough pizza to knock out most of the 13 miles), and catch-up with HH and Teech as they enjoyed some half term relaxation before they get sucked into the joy that is Masterchef... also a wee trip down the coast to Dunbar - nice to see the sea properly. )Despite living so close I'm always in the park... incredible what something being easy does. Need to work out quick route to Portabello and get the dog sandy more often.

The gym has been calling me, yet again, and I've discovered that only Friday night is quiet. The others are MENTAL. And has anyone done some anthropology study about behaviour in gyms. Why people would watch TV when you can people watch is beyond me, I'm endlessly fascinated.


10th: 4 miles - 34.30 - hill setting Level 7. (523 calories)
The weird row/delt machine 3 x 12 (25kg)
Waist machine 3 x12 (47.5kg)
Triceps hand weight 6kg 3 x 12

16th: 5k 27.38 Hill setting 8. 393 calories.
Then the waist machine on 50kg 3 x12

After the gym last night I pegged it home and cooked pasta whilst showering. From leaving gym to sitting washed with supper was 25min... I think the only PB I've achieved in months.

Off to take CHG to see Blarney for the first time. Apparently her daughter was told I was coming and asked for the dog. Moment of GENIUS. She gets extra cake.

Friday, 4 February 2011

I've got the glow.

So I might as well blog now whilst I feel all righteous and buzzy. But then, that could just be the Twix. *ponders to self - why don't Cadbury's make a Twix, with their caramel and their chocolate it would be even better*

Right: Almost 2 hours spent in the wonder of the gym. I've finally capitulated and at least bought an Edinburgh Leisure card (£25) so the gym experience is now 25% cheaper each wince-some time.

Let's go through what I did in detail (bet you're all thrilled):
RUN: 10K - trumpets sound as choirs of angels are slowly drifting down to earth - 56.06 - Hill setting 5. (Think the last time I ran 10K was April 2010 - so it's been less than a year... just.) Delighted by this. I will feel it tomorrow but the average is about a second over a 9min/mile which pleases me no end. Think I was helped by Countdown being on the tiny, fuzzy, mini screen on the treadmill. The new Carol wears inappropriately tight and short dresses... is she trying to give the old dudes a heart attack? Didn't have headphones - but entertained myself nonetheless; shame as Greg "cooking doesn't get tougher than this" Wallace was the guest, and I would have liked to hear him too.

So after this run, I could have limped away... but I did not. I quickly nipped out to the corridor to call my solicitor and say yes, give them the extra £2000 for the flat I want. All sorted... now I just have to wait until Monday as they're now shut. Boo. Was suggested I put in the extra 2K - but they wouldn't say it was a definite if I did that... pah, if I don't get it, another one will come along... probably.

Important phone calls made I returned to do the non-aerobic portion of my gym session:

The incredible waist making machine (it's hard not to kiss it):
3 sets of 12 on 45Kg

Then a new torture - the Row/Rear Delts machine - seated, weighted pull thing:
One set of 12 on 27.5Kg
2 x 12 on 25Kg - made me feel like a pussy, but I never work out by back... and it showed.

Having watched a wiry, terrifying man torture a woman for about an hour I then approached him to request how to use the assisted chin and dip machine... Now it is assisted, so the weight is taken OFF your weight, rather than that being the weight you are lifting.
47kg was the setting I did one set dips, one set chin lifts.
He also assured me that he'd torture me for free if I booked a session. V v tempting - he was killing that woman... and she was uber-fit, the kind of woman where she looks perfectly lovely and 'feminine' (whatever that may be) but nothing wobbles... bitch

Then the lat pull down:
2 x 12 on 19Kg
1 x 12 on 26Kg

Finally the sodding tricep weight dip with a 6Kg weight. After the chin & dip machine this was torture, it took me all my time to get through the 3 sets of 12.

I left in a sweaty puddle to buy a Twix and pick up the free copy of The Stylist which is a fantastic Style magazine. Oh the joy of free city newspapers.

Now I'm stuck listening to the washing machine which of put on 60 seems to last for about 3hours... stop spinning, please stop spinning.

Off to shower - eat, then many hours hence collect CHG from the station... what a lovely end to the week.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Running, Amsterdam, Bridesmaid, Crochet

I'm blogging because the heating is on; it would seem foolish to go and walk the dog (in the cold and possible sleet) whilst it's on. So instead I'm at the kitchen table, enjoying the feeling of warmth on my back (and the dog enjoys the warmth too).

As per bloody usual, it's been a while. I'm going to start with what this blog is supposed to be about: running.

I have been going to the gym, a little haphazardly perhaps, but going nonetheless.

21st: Delightful treadmill run 4miles - 36.44 on HILL setting level 5 (495 calories)
Then the incredible waist making machine 3 sets of 12 on 40Kg
Lat Pull down on 26 (3 sets of 12)
Tricep dip - two handed with 6Kg weight.

This was a last ditch effort at health before heading off on my bday/xmas trip to Amsterdam. More on that later.

My next gym session was last night (I know, ridiculous gap):
Another lovely 4 miles (trying to make that my base level of run) - 36.51 HILL setting level 7. (526 calories)
Then again the waist making machine 42.5kg (3 sets of 12); Lat pull down 26kg x 12 then 2 sets of 12 19Kg. Bloody thing. 3 sets of 12 6Kg weight tricep dips; and finally a new addition - the weird half a gym ball thing that you put your back against and grip onto hand holds then raise your legs in the air... brilliant. Feels like a super-low stomach muscle thing. LOVE IT.

Turns out I really like the gym, and I've missed it. I like being in a place where it's ok to want to be fit and healthy. It's ok to sweat and look like shit. It's not a place where random strangers are going to yell at you in passing (not that common round Arthur's Seat, but very common elsewhere). And people watching is fun. A note to women out there - if you're doing aerobic exercise and after 5min you aren't sweating, or feeling a burn in the muscles, or having to regulate your breathing - YOU AREN'T WORKING HARD ENOUGH. Even doing weights should be a proper work out, there should be effort and sweat. I'll shut-up now.

Keep looking at the vibro-plate with interest... and many other machines. Need more time to explore the options, and work out what will be best for my 'problem areas'...
The most fun last night was watching all the men. It's a weird world of strutting, preening and pretending not to care all rolled into one. And why are super-muscle men often (and I'll say this in hushed tones so as not to offend) quite short? All v entertaining. Hair dye and spray tans ahoy.

Back to much more fun stuff:
Amsterdam was incredible. I discovered the delightful dutch profitjes which are little mini puffed up pancakes served with lots of powdered sugar and a knob of butter. Where have you been all my life? I also discovered that pickled herring is not pickled enough and is really quite slimy *shudder*.

We (CHG & me) were staying in an apartment in De Pijp, an area just outside the centre with great markets and a less touristy feel. Fantastic to have our own space and be able to chill out. As we were there for 4 days we made the most of all of it seeing: the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, doing a boat tour, Rembrant's House - and doing lots and lots of walking and looking. All very relaxed. And needless to say there was some great food; a fantastic plastic tabled Malay place with the best vegetable dish I've ever tasted; and a great bistro (for my birthday meal) where I had the most incredible steak with chips and truffle mayonnaise... hmmmm, truffle mayonnaise. (That was a recommendation from an Amsterdammer - they were spot on!)

The only bad bit was leaving at the airport for our respective cities. That really sucked. But the good news is she turns up on Friday for just over 2 weeks - I can't wait. (Even if she has to write for almost all of it.)

Whilst I was enjoying the delights of Amsterdam (bloody cold by the way); golden dog was enjoying her favourite holiday spot. She was staying with RF, Dougal and Wheeler. She had the paws walked off her and I hear reports that she was also put in Dougal's jumper and had THE STOVE LIT for her when she looked a little bit cold... so yes, she was spoilt. She reacts well to being spoilt. But was still happy to come home, always sweet when she acts like she might have actually missed me!

On returning I had a few days to get back to real life before celebrating my birthday. I know, I know - dragging it out!

Five of us headed to Prestonfield House for their Afternoon Tea. The place is incredible, I've been there before and I love, love, love the decor and the atmosphere. The tea was also the best I've ever had; and a fussy group all agreed it wins hands down. Great sandwiches, great cakes, INCREDIBLE scones. The service was... really quite lacking for somewhere like that. We were brought no milk, we had to ask. The plates were never cleared which was fine as that didn't interrupt the chatting. But after serving and checking we were ok once we were not asked again... and we were there 3 hours plus. It took ages (20min) to get someones attention to get the bill (and the ladies next to us had the same problem); then the bill took so long coming that our cab was waiting for us before the bill had been presented. Poor bloody show from a place where the service should be top notch. I know it's only afternoon tea, but even so - a bit more care and attention would be great. You go somewhere like that to feel spoiled.

But the whole day was just lovely. Lots of fizz was drunk, lots of chat was had, and I got some of the most lovely, thoughtful presents. We were all also still awake at 2.30am - unheard of in these advanced years.

The next day was spent with HH doing bridesmaid duty. And it was damn fun. I think her head was spinning by the end of it... nothing like a wedding planner to ask a billion tiny questions. But also much was sorted out; and much was cemented as ideas. All v v exciting.

Monday night also saw me teaching some impromptu crochet at Granny Greens... with my skill level this was hilarious, but it seemed to work -people were crocheting, and seemed quite happy about it. Who knew I'd be the one to show them.

Right, the heating has now gone off, I think we're all caught-up. The sun is shining (temporary measure I'm sure) and I have a million small jobs to get done.