Sunday, 30 August 2009

My year of meat

When the doctor told me that my blood wasn't looking quite as hot as it usually does, I thought I'd try an experiment.

After 11 years of not eating red meat; any of our feathered friends; or indeed anything hoofed, I decided to test the waters. Just for a few months I'd try eating meat to see if anything changed.

So last week I had my 'coming out as a carnivore' dinner party.

A lot of organic beef and 18 outdoor-reared pork chipolatas went into the making of it.

Everyone seemed to enjoy their beef & ale stew and stomach of steel reacted fine to its first proper meat meal for over a decade.

Now let's see if it makes me run faster.

Monday, 24 August 2009

'My Sunday' 52 Shots - series #28

A perfect pre-run breakfast at the dining room table

My trail around Richmond Park lies before me like the Yellow Brick Road

An hour and a half and one circuit later, I turn for one last glimpse of nature, only to see that the giants have scratched the sky

Little shiny blackberries line the A3 all the way home

Me and my friend Anna lounge on Clapham Common in the late afternoon sunshine, chewing on life, love and pretzels

After much sun and a long run, I curl up with my middle Earth friends

Thursday, 20 August 2009

One month today


It's really quite far 42.2km is, you know. Quite far indeed.

Halfway from London to Brighton in fact.


Wednesday, 19 August 2009

A bad mac day

My mac seems to be having a bad day.

My 'Word of the Day' screen saver just keeps flashing up definitions of 'depression' and 'malignant'. I wonder if it is trying to tell me something.

I fear its end may be nigh.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009


This whole marathon training malarkey is really rather tiring. When I would rather be curled up on the sofa with Lord of the Rings, I'm instead forcing myself out the door and to the pool. I drag my heels out of work to run along the busy and unattractive A3 home. And Sundays are an extra struggle when I must will myself from the clutches of the duvet and on the road for three hours.

But my (vaguely) athletic expeditions have taken me to sunny Wimbledon Common to chase bunnies and wombles through the blackberry bushes; to Salisbury where I went over five rivers, up four hills, through three country estates, past two castles and one cathedral; and just last weekend to Richmond Park, where I passed a nonchalant stag standing in a pond cooling himself on a midsummer's day.

I guess it's not that bad after all.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

5 things I'll never do

Stealing an idea from a much admired blogger, I have been thinking of things I now have to realise I will never do in my lifetime...

1. Be a young mum
2. Win an Olympic medal
3. Be a rock and roll star
4. Marry my childhood sweetheart
5. Be tall and striking

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Avec camera, map and audio guide

Sometimes it's nice to be a tourist for a day. Especially when the sun shines.

Friday, 14 August 2009


I found myself in the middle of a massive mid-summer's rainstorm the other day. Not even two steps out of work and the heavens opened their worst upon me.

It was one of those moments when all you can do is laugh as the water bounces frantically off the pavement and the waterline rapidly moves its way up your legs.

I got all three quid's worth out of my umbrella in the space of about 60 seconds as I made my way across Blackfriars Bridge. People sheltered their faces with the London Lite; one woman carefully used the skeleton of what was once a functioning umbrella in an attempt to keep the worst of it off; and men in sheeny black suits, and women in now inappropriate white shirts simply succumbed to the downpour.

It was one of those rare moments where you can share smiles and laughter with strangers, despite everyone getting rapidly more soaked by the second.

Monday, 10 August 2009

'Out of my comfort zone' number 1

There is nothing like a Sunday evening trip to the supermarket in your pyjamas to take you out of your comfort zone.

Here I am out the front of the supermarket in pyjamas, complete with my stuffed wabbit my granny made me. Note the fact I'm also wearing big grey slippers. Also note confused woman to my left..

It doesn't look like it from the photos, but the supermarket was heaving. Unfortunately some girl having a massive row with the security guard completely stole my thunder, and I got little more than a few strange looks.

Eight more to go....

52 Shots - number 27

A weekend visit to Salisbury, and my third cathedral of the year proves that, yes, pretty much every historically significant piece of architecture in this country is currently wrapped in scaffolding.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

'9 whilst I'm still 29' progress report

If my maths is correct (and there is sometimes doubt around this) then in three days time, I will be six months from 30.

That will also mean that I'm one third of the way through my quest. I'm not, however, one third of the way through my list.

I have completely ticked one off - my dinner party. Of the others:

1. Marathon - Less than two months away from the race but training is going well

2. Nine books - Am onto the third book of my list although it is 'Lord of the Rings' which is so huge my edition comes in three parts. I'm approaching the end of the first.

3. Quilt - I am in no way any closer to producing a patchwork quilt, however I did deliberately leave this until winter and I do have a craft night crew all lined up

4. Coastal Skipper - As of last weekend I'm now qualified to operate a short range VHF radio. My, that was a cracking course. What is cool though, is that I know the entire 'phonetic alphabet' (alpha, bravo, Zulu...) so I could actually audition for 'The Bill'. Aside from fun with radios, I still haven't even seen the ocean, let alone furled a sail

5. Climb a mountain - plans for a weekend to climb Mount Snowdon were scuttled when we realised just how far away Western Wales actually is. With winter approaching I really must construct a mountain plan

6. Write something - no tangible progress. Although I do now have the tool with which I will write this 'something' in the form of a wonderful new netbook

7. 9 random acts of kindness - I need to put some thought into this otherwise I'm going to end up having to be really ridiculously kind for all of the 3rd of February as I've only done one thus far

8. Ditto on the '9 things that take me out of my comfort zone'. Must try harder to be less comfortable

All reasonable suggestions for the final two would be most appreciated. I obviously quite like my comfort zone and am actually not as kind as I initially thought. Hence the difficulty in coming up with ideas.