Tub on the Run


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Gallivanting

I tend not to blog when I have nothing to blog about.  I’d say that was definitely true on the weight loss and exercise fronts, but unusually, life has been a bit on the busy side for me lately so I haven’t found much in the way of spare time.

I said in my last blog post that Matt and I had been given notice to move out of our flat in the summer.  We don’t have a definite date yet, but when we were told that we needed to move, we got straight to it with house hunting.  The paperwork is all done for the mortgage now, and we’ve had an offer accepted on a house.  It’s in mid-Devon, much closer to Killerton parkrun, and super convenient for hopping on the motorway to both sets of parents.  We are just waiting for the full survey next week.  We’re hoping to move by mid-August at the latest.  It’s all very exciting, but quite stressful, and also quite scary to see how much junk we’ve acquired in the 5 years we have lived here.

We’ve had a couple of weekends out and about too.

Two weeks ago, Matt and I joined his mum and step-dad to go to London.  Step-dad was running in the London Marathon, so we had said we would like to go and cheer him on.  We joined him for the expo, and wandered around London for a short while.  We made it back to where we were staying and had a lovely dinner at a local pub.  It was a very early start (for a Sunday morning) on race day.  We caught the train to Blackheath and waved him off about 20 minutes before the start, before heading back towards Greenwich to catch the Tube.  We got off at Canary Wharf, intending to get to somewhere around Mile 11.  As it turned out, we found a great little spot between Mile 17 and 18 on the North Colonnade, so decided to stay there.  Unfortunately, I was on a coffee run when the elites and Paula Radcliffe came past (thankfully, Matt snapped a picture or two!).

London Marathon 2015

Father-in-law came through, looking really good and definitely on for the time he was looking for (he completed the Marathon in 2010, in 4:25:21, and wanted to beat that).  After cheering him on, we made our way over to Hyde Park to the finish line.  The finish line area was definitely interesting – broken, but incredibly proud (and some disappointed) people.  It definitely made me rethink any daft notion I had about entering the ballot!  Unfortunately, father-in-law didn’t beat his time.  I think he was just happy to make it around in the end, as he had started to experience some of the niggles that he had picked up during training.  Nevertheless, we were all very proud of him!

Last weekend was the culmination of a lot of planning between my sister and I.  Mum celebrates a significant birthday this year, and we wanted to do something special for her.  It was top secret and Mum was told to keep the first bank holiday weekend in May free.  Matt and I picked both my mum and sister up on Saturday morning, having put together a packing list and arguing about Matt needing a car for the weekend (it was all in hand, Matt would be keeping the car).  We arrived at Exeter airport, and made our way to check in.  We still hadn’t told her where we were going, but when we got to the check in, she scanned through the flight lists – there were three options – Edinburgh, Dublin or Paris.  Mum and P had gone to Edinburgh on a holiday relatively recently, and she has never expressed a desire to go to Dublin, so she guessed (correctly) that we were heading to Paris.  Her reaction was absolutely priceless!  P and I had worked out the itinerary and transport links, and tried to make it as smooth and worry free as we could for Mum.  We checked in our hotel, which was a fab little apartment in Courbevoie, close to La Defense train station.  Sadly the weather wasn’t really in our favour, and we’d had a delay on the train from the airport, but we’d booked a city tour on Big Bus Tours.  We managed to catch the last bus of the day from the Arc de Triomphe and see most of the major sites in Paris.

Paris

I would definitely do this tour again, and make use of the hop on hop off if we had more time.  It was a really nice way to see the city without any hassle, and with a little bit of commentary.  On Sunday, we had booked to go to the Palace of Versailles.  Wow.  It is absolutely breathtakingly splendid.  The queue to get in was massive, but surprisingly orderly for a European queue.  We queued for about an hour to get in to the Palace (definitely getting there early is the best plan), but it was worth it.  I like a good historical building or place, and have been very lucky to go to a lot of castles and houses in the England and Wales, but Versailles was magnificent and in a league of its own.  It’s another place I would love to go back to, as we didn’t get the chance to get into the gardens or any of the other buildings at all.

Versailles

There was just one sting in the tail of an otherwise brilliant weekend – the travelling home.  We had a very early flight home on the Monday morning, which came back via Manchester.  Despite rising at such an ungodly hour, Mum enjoyed the whole weekend, and I am pretty sure that P and I would do it all over again just to see her reaction!

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This weekend was my friend Helen’s hen party.  Her bridesmaids had organised a weekend away in a Georgian mansion in Rockbeare.  It was a perfect setting for a relaxing weekend away in a beautiful house, with probably one of the best bathrooms I have ever seen.

Westcott House

There were rounders, drinking games, vast amounts of food, lots of laughs and a murder mystery.  It was a really lovely weekend, and great to get to know some people before the wedding in a couple of weeks.

We have nothing planned for next weekend, which I am quite glad about!  The washing is piling up, and the house won’t pack itself!

 

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Life, lately

Matt and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary at the beginning of the month.  I feel like say this all the time, but where has that year gone!  We went to London to see a band, along with my Mum and sister.  It was a nice weekend away, good music (in my opinion!), okay food (it was a Marks and Spencer picnic in the hotel), good wine (M&S zinfandel FTW) and great company.  We didn’t get too much time to do a lot on the Saturday, and after nearly 8 hours of travelling, I was very much ready not to burn out before the gig.

On the Sunday, despite the Tube closures on seemingly every line we wanted to use, we did make it to Westminster for Matt to get a few photos with his new camera (not realising that the batteries needed a charge).  It was then a short Tube hop and walk over to the Tower, as we all wanted to see the poppies.  Matt and I had got a couple of photos from when we were in the City in August, but to see the nearly complete field was breathtaking and so sad all in one hit.

I didn’t realise that the poppies were being sold until quite recently, and I am pleased to hear that they all sold really quickly.

In other news, I am the heaviest I have ever been (grump!).  I do feel a bit down about that, but I have more pressing concerns right now which are work related.  I’ve also caught the office lurgy which has moved to my chest and stopped any kind of exercise.  Having considered my weight, my 2 year-old’s-lung-capacity and the distinct lack of training, I have made the decision to pull out of the Weston Christmas Cracker 10k, which I am gutted about.  I don’t want the place to go to waste, so I am offering it out (I don’t want any money for it – if you know anyone who might be interested, please let me know!).  It’s a really great race, but my timing sucks.

Thankfully, I have a couple of things dotted around between now and Christmas to really look forward to, and of course, there is Christmas itself, which is all helping to keep my spirits up.

Did you see the poppies?


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Ultimate Coffee Date – November 2014

I was introduced to the Ultimate Coffee Date by Laura over at Laura: Fat 2 Fit a few months back.

Post shopping cuppa

Ultimate Coffee Date is hosted by Jill Conyers, Grab your kicks, and Fitness Mom Wine Country, and takes place on the first Saturday of each month.  Some of the blogs that I have added into my reader have come courtesy of link ups, and think they’re a great way to get introduced to new people.  The point of the Ultimate Coffee Date is to take 5 minutes once a month for a bit of a catch up.

So…

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that Matt and I are celebrating our first wedding anniversary this weekend.

Coming out of church

I can’t believe that this year has gone by so quickly, but if I am completely honest, I have thoroughly enjoyed not wedding planning this year!  2013 felt like it was all wedding planning and it was all I could talk about, which I have no doubt got incredibly boring for my nearest and dearest.  Having said that I still need to find homes for some of the left over bits and bobs (and get my dress dry cleaned…), and get a momento box thing together.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am loving autumn.  Autumn is probably my favourite season.

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Autumn means wellies, and I have awesome wellies!  I like the colour changes as the world prepares itself for winter, from red and orange leaves to the high streets preparing for their Christmas lights.  Candles in the evening as entirely acceptable again, and mugs of steaming hot tea become my drink of choice.  Also, it means that I feel more comfortable running again – as the nights draw in, I much prefer the anonymity of running under cover of darkness.

If we were having coffee, you would know how excited I am for this weekend.  One of my favourite bands is playing at Wembley, and it is going to be amazing!  We came across Blackstone Cherry when they supported Nickelback on one of their tours (I can’t remember which it was), and have seen them once since, when they came to Cardiff.

Because I have a cool family, it is a bit of a family outing – me, Matt, my mum and sister.  Dad has to stay at home unfortunately.  We don’t get a huge amount of time to spend in London, which is a shame, but I am hoping to be able to see the progress made with the poppies at the Tower of London.

What’s new with you?  Do you have a favourite season?


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Adventures in the South East

Phew! What a week!  Sore today, strong tomorrow has lasted quite a long time, and I’m still not 100% which is irritating.  It didn’t stop me enjoying my week off too much though!

It has been a week of indulgence and excess, and while I enjoyed it, I am also glad to see my kitchen and normal food again!

Mid-week, Matt and I headed across country to stay with his aunt and uncle in Sussex for a few days.  The plan was simple – go, relax and enjoy some time with them.  We arrived on Wednesday afternoon in their lovely little village, and spent the afternoon chatting away with his uncle while we waited for his aunt to return home from work.  When everyone had arrived home, dinner was prepared, and it became apparent that the cooking gene runs in the family.  Matt is a good cook, as is his mum, and so it seems, is his uncle.  He cooked the most delicious steak and veggies, and washed it down with plenty (too much?) wine.  Pudding was home-made tiramisu which was like heaven in a glass dish.  Needless to say, we went to bed full and content.

On Thursday, we all went to Hampton Court Palace.  I’d said quite a long time ago that it was somewhere I would like to visit, having never been there before.  It didn’t disappoint at all.  I was surprised to see such a beautiful animal so close to busy roads.

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There were free audio guides which worked in conjunction with a small leaflet that guided you through different parts of the palace.  Matt and I only managed the Tudor part, and didn’t get anywhere near the newer parts.  Matt’s aunt and uncle managed to cover a little bit more ground than us though.  I would love to go back and have a look at the parts we didn’t get to see, as well as the gardens which we missed out altogether.

Hampton Court Collage

A thoroughly pleasant day was topped off by one of the best Thai meals that I have ever had in a great little restaurant called Good Evening.  I’m not normally much of a fish eater, but even I thought the salmon dish was amazing.

Friday was a little slower paced, and we headed to Arundel for the afternoon.  The sun shone as we made our way around the various antique shops.  I don’t think any of us had a specific purchase in mind, but it was just nice to wander.  We didn’t stop at the castle, as we arrived a little too late to have a proper look around.  On Friday evening, we were joined by Matt’s aunt’s niece and fiancé, who had made the 7 hour trek down from Manchester.  Dinner was at the Rose and Crown.  I think my experience here was marred a little bit by my neck, as it had become increasingly painful during the day, so I didn’t enjoy the meal as much.  I also had food envy of Matt’s aunt’s meal.

I have never been to the theatre before, which Matt’s aunt and uncle thought was a travesty.  So on Saturday, ticket had been booked for a musical in London.  We made the train by the skin of our teeth.  I enjoyed playing tourist, watching the sites of Battersea, the Shard, the Thames and the Eye as we made our way in to London Victoria.  Matt’s uncle, despite having worked in the City for years, has only set foot on the Underground twice before.  I was amazed, as I have always travelled on the Underground when I have visited London.  We travelled in the means that I am accustomed to, and headed towards the Tower of London, as Matt’s aunt and I wanted to see the ceramic poppies.

 

Tower Poppies

It is so sad that each poppy represents a fallen soldier, and that despite the large amount of poppies already there, it isn’t yet finished.

Back on the Tube, we zoomed over to Regent’s Park for the Open Air Theatre.  This was a real highlight of the weekend.  The production was Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.  The weather was perfect, the show was moving and I would definitely recommend it to anyone.  I’ve said to Matt that I would like to go and see something else there one day.

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The weather couldn’t have been more perfectly timed – within 5 minutes of leaving the theatre, the heavens opened.  We made a swift exit towards London Zoo and headed towards the Feng Shang Princess for dinner.  It’s an interesting little restaurant, but I can honestly say that I have had much better Chinese food elsewhere.

I wish I had a little more time to have spent in London, but Matt and I have said we’ll try to spend a couple of days there during our next holiday.

We really enjoyed our few days away, but it is nice to be back to normal.