Tub on the Run


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Ultimate Coffee Date: August 2016

I completely missed July’s Ultimate Coffee Date for some reason, so I have a couple of months to get caught up on. You’ve been warned – it’s a longish one!

Over coffee, I’d tell you about the week off I had in July. My last week off was back in March, so I was definitely ready for some time off. We didn’t have anything planned as such, so we stayed at home and went out on day trips. First stop, we had a day out to Lynmouth and came back via the Doone Valley.

Lynmouth - Beyond the Sofa

It was the best day, weather wise, of the whole holiday. The sunshine was absolutely gorgeous and it really felt like summer was just coming. We walked around Lynmouth, then up the hill (which is so ridiculously steep) to look at the Cliff Railway and I was reminded that I don’t think I could have done that walk about 6 months ago because of my weight. Don’t get me wrong, I was hardly sprinting up it, but I lumbered slightly more gracefully than I would have done previously.The climb was definitely worth it for the view though!

Lynmouth Cliff - Beyond the Sofa

One of the highlights was seeing wild Exmoor ponies. I’m quite used to seeing Dartmoor ponies roaming around Dartmoor. As a family, we have spent loads of time on Dartmoor, but not much time of Exmoor.  They’re so lovely. A little further up the road, there was a mare and her foal – so adorable!

Exmoor Ponies - Beyond the Sofa

On the way home, we stopped off at the little chapel in Doone Valley. Apparently Lorna Doone was the Devonian Romeo and Juliet. I don’t remember the story at all, so Matt’s Nan dug out her copy and sent it down to me (which I still haven’t read…).

The rest of the week, we weren’t blessed with good weather, though that didn’t stop us making the most of our National Trust membership. We visited Cotehele and took Matt’s nan to Tyntesfield. That was probably one of the more rewarding days. Nan doesn’t get to go out on day trips all that often, as she isn’t so mobile these days, but we offered to take her out for the day. I never realised how hard pushing a wheelchair around all day is. I definitely got a good sweat on, going up the hills. It was totally worth it though – she enjoyed herself and we were pleased to be able to do something with her too.

Cotehele House - Beyond the Sofa

If we were having coffee, you might notice I’m a bit stiff. I’ve finished my 6 week introduction to Mysore style yoga course, and have since signed up to do one class a week. I’ve got part way through to the seated poses and it’s really challenging me. I’m enjoying it though, but I also need to make sure that I get into a better routine for some home practice.

If we were having coffee, I hope you’d see that I am quite a bit thinner than when I started the year. This is my February to July progress:

Beyond the Sofa - Feb 2016 to July 2016

My Whole 100 is going really well still. I am actually on Day 90 today, and will do a weigh in post tomorrow, but at Day 60, I was 40lbs down. I still have a long way to go, but I’m pretty pleased with how it’s going. I really thought I was going to have some food boredom but now, but I’m not feeling it at all.

If we were having coffee, we’d probably be having coffee from a paper cup at Gatcombe Horse Trials right now. As part of my birthday present, Matt bought us tickets to Gatcombe. We went a couple of years ago but I felt we didn’t make the most of it. We’d gone, not really knowing what to expect, having never been to a big horse event before. We got absolutely soaked and didn’t really get round to seeing what we wanted to.

Gatcombe 2014 - Beyond the Sofa

This year, knowing what to expect, we’re going to try and squeeze a bit more in. I’m also hoping to get to play with my camera a little bit more this time. I definitely feel like I am able to tackle the hills with relative ease now so I’m hoping to get out onto more of the cross country course.

So, that’s where I’ve been. How is life with you?


Thank you as always to Lynda, Coco and Deborah for hosting Ultimate Coffee Date.  Thanks as always to Deborah, Lynda and Coco for hosting Ultimate Coffee Date each month! I think it’s a lovely way to catch up with and discover new blogs.


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Ultimate Coffee Date: June

Coffee at the ready, it’s Ultimate Coffee Date time! It’s time for a catch up! I cannot remember the last time I blogged so much. I’m not sure whether it’s the Blogtacular effect and my brain is coming up with new post ideas because of that, or whether I’m just doing a bit more that I can write about lately. Who knows!

Coffee in a teapot

If we were having coffee, you’d notice that I’ve caught the sun a little bit. I’m genuinely hopeful of a tan this year instead of going red then back to porcelain white. When we lived in the flat, we didn’t get out a huge amount as we didn’t have anywhere to sit in the sunshine unless we trekked a load of furniture with us, and even then, it’s not the same as being sat in the garden. Now that we have a house with a garden, we’ve really been enjoying getting out in it and tackling the lawn and will very shortly start weeding. Our acer has also gone from having very little in the way of leaves, to suddenly being the most beautiful colour. In terms of working in the garden, I seem to be the person who gets to do the mowing, while Matt rotivates the flower beds (which is fine by me – my weakling muscles can’t cope with rotivating manually for very long!). I think we have been outdoors a bit more lately too, which has helped, and it is amazing what a bit of vitamin D can do for your mood!

Garden 2016

Over coffee, I’d tell you that my Whole 100 is going okay. I’m near the end of a normal Whole 30 now (30 days are up on Tuesday I think). I’ve gotten into a bit a funk lately, which doesn’t seem to have any reason behind it, so I can only assume that it is the junk still leaving my body and it’s just kind of throwing me out of sorts. I know it’ll pass, and I know that I need to invest some time in getting it right too. I haven’t been great at my meal prep outside of dinner. Yesterday, because I hadn’t prepared anything and I was doing some training at work and time got away from me, I didn’t have breakfast or lunch. Not ideal. So today, I suspect is going to be a hungry day. On the plus side, it is a good kind of strange to recognise what hungry is for me. I’m trying to make a conscious effort to only eat when I am hungry, rather than “oh look, it’s 1pm, it’s lunch time”.

Whole 100 breakfast

Over coffee, I would tell you that I am going to be attending a yoga class on Monday. It’s a 6 week class which is meant as an introduction to Mysore style classes. Thankfully it is designed for the complete beginner, though while I am not a complete beginner, it’s been a while since I last practiced. My thoughts have started turning towards the last yoga course that I did in October, and I’ve been quite aware of how shallow my breathing is. Anyway, I’m sure I’ll ache and be a bit stiff for the first couple of times, but I’m really looking forward to it.

Exeter Yoga 2

Over coffee, I would probably still be singing the praises of the Devon County Show. I haven’t been for about three years, but Matt bought us tickets to go this year. I really do need to finish the blog post I’ve started for it, but I enjoyed myself a lot, despite getting up at the crack of dawn (at least it felt like it!). Normally, Mum and I go on a Friday as there are less children around, but Matt didn’t have enough holiday to do that so we went on Saturday instead. Also, with Mum, usually we try loads of different foods, from cheeses to honey to seeds to whatever sounds interesting in the beer and cider tent. This time, my Whole 100 scuppered my plans and I couldn’t eat much at all which was a shame. I actually didn’t buy too much – just a HUGE steak, some sausages and a potted rose for Mum. I would have sneaked an alpaca and/or horse out as they are one of my favourite animals, but I think someone would have noticed!

Devon County Show 2016 Collage

So that’s me this month.

What’s happening in your world?


Thank you as always to Lynda, Coco and Deborah for hosting Ultimate Coffee Date.  Thanks as always to Deborah, Lynda and Coco for hosting Ultimate Coffee Date each month! I think it’s a lovely way to catch up with and discover new blogs.


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Ultimate Coffee Date – May 2016

It’s that time again! I would say let’s have a coffee, but it’s getting a bit late now, so caffeine probably isn’t the best idea! I have just got in from my day out, so I have a glass of water by my side.

If we were having a drink, I would probably have said that motorsport season is now upon us. So far, Matt and I have managed to get out to Brands Hatch for the British Touring Car Championship, and to Silverstone for the World Endurance Championship. Matt won tickets to Brands, which isn’t a circuit we had been to before, so that was quite nice. The weather was absolutely gorgeous on the Saturday, but a bit nippy on the Sunday.

Ginetta GT4 Supercup Brands Hatch April 2016

Silverstone was very similar. It is the first time that I haven’t marshalled that particular meeting in about 6 years, and it felt quite nice to just be a spectator and walk around. I definitely got my steps in on the first day that we were there, but then I discovered the beanbag lounge (or wife crèche as I like to call it). The Sunday brought quite a cold wind, so as I opted to stay inside a bit more, I ended up taking less steps. The highlight of Matt’s weekend was meeting Mark Webber while he was having a meeting in one of the media suites. I was sat on the free bus, taking a ride around the circuit. Typical!

Dane Train 95 AMR World Endurance Championship Silverstone Aprl 2016

If we were catching up, you’d probably notice I am not much thinner than when we last met! Weight loss has not been my strong suit this month – with three busy weekends and manic working weeks, I’m not beating myself up about it. I think I’m actually about half a pound up from my Ultimate Coffee Date in April. I’m not too worried though – I’m about to start my Whole 100 (a Whole 30, but 100 days instead of 30… Eek!).

If we were having a drink, you would probably know that the stress that I have from work is about to ramp up quite a bit as my friend and colleague resigned. She leaves in a week (where has the time gone!?). I’m still not ready for her to go, but I’m actually doing quite well on what I promised myself I would do. I took some time out last weekend to do a huge amount of batch cooking, partly in preparation for my Whole 100, but also to prepare myself for work demanding a bit more from me.

Whole 100 meal prep

I also took some time off to have a good run through the house in terms of housework which felt good. I’m never sure quite how we manage to generate so much laundry between the two of us, but I was definitely glad of the nice weather when I had my day off so that I could put my washing out to dry (with help – this lovely little cat always comes over to say hi when I put the washing out.  I’m sure the neighbours think I’m mad for talking to her).

Washing Line Help

I’m also trying to get a bit more fresh air while I’m at work, though this, along with getting to bed by 10:30pm are proving to be areas for improvement. Overall though, I’m feeling quietly confident that I won’t emerge in July as a complete nervous wreck.

If we were having a catch up, what would you tell me?


Thank you as always to Lynda, Coco and Deborah for hosting Ultimate Coffee Date.  Thanks as always to Deborah, Lynda and Coco for hosting Ultimate Coffee Date each month! I think it’s a lovely way to catch up with and discover new blogs.


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Ultimate Coffee Date 2016 #1

I haven’t done an Ultimate Coffee Date in absolutely ages, and I have been trying to think of a way to sum up the last few weeks in a structured way, rather than a brain fart of “here-is-everything-that-I-have-done”.

First up, over coffee, I would probably say sorry – it’s been a while! I ended up having an unintended break from most things digital over December. I stopped weighing in too which had a knock on effect on the blog. Again, that wasn’t intentional, I just kept forgetting to get on the scales in the morning.

Early in December, we celebrated a significant birthday for mother-in-law. We had an absolutely amazing meal at Il Michaelangelo in Weston-Super-Mare. I won’t lie, my expectations of most things in Weston have been suitably pared back, but this restaurant was absolutely lovely. I had crab cakes to start and a king prawn tagliatelle for mains. Matt and I will definitely be back – I can imagine it’ll be even lovelier in the summer sunshine on their little terrace.

The following week, Matt, my parents and I went to Exeter Cathedral for the Night of 1,000 Voices, which is a carol service with various choirs. The same weekend, Matt, my sister and I were meant to run the Weston Christmas Cracker 10k. Once again I signed myself up (and Matt this time) in the summer when the entries opened, with the best of intentions. The run supports the Weston Hospice which looked after Matt’s grandad until his death earlier this year, so we thought it would be a nice thing to do. My sister has been running relatively consistently with one of her friends this year, while Matt and I have been very consistently not running. We agreed that we’d go at our own speeds, walking if we had to. My sister completed it in 1 hour 24, and Matt was 1 hour 44. I pulled out as my ankle started to give me hassle on the sand. I was (and am) so proud of both of them for completing the course. The marshals were really lovely, despite the awful wind and rain and cheered everyone on to the last. It’s such a friendly race, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a festive run.

Early December

After that, there were some Christmas parties to plough on through before the break for Christmas.

If we were having coffee, I would say happy New Year! I hope you have had a nice time over the Christmas period. We celebrated our first Christmas in our own home, though went to Mum and Dad’s for Christmas day itself. I have really enjoyed the break, and must make sure that I space my holidays out more consistently this year so I can get some proper rest.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I wish my sister lived a bit closer. She came home for Christmas, and it was really lovely to spend time with her. On Tuesday this week just gone, we went exploring along Tiverton canal. We haven’t walked there since we were little. It was the perfect day to go out for a walk and blow away the cobwebs. There were quite a lot of people out with the same idea.

Tiverton Canal

Lastly, over coffee (and surely cake by now), I would tell you that I love our little town that we moved to at the end of summer. I had some reservations about moving out to mid-Devon, but regret nothing now I am actually here. The Christmas lights have lit the town up, the church has had the scaffolding removed and we’ve now been in – the carol service was probably the best that I have been to.

Cully at Christmas

What’s your news from December? 

Ultimate Coffee Date is hosted by Lynda at Fitness Mom Wine Country, Deborah at Confessions of a Mother Runner, and Coco at Running with Perserverance, 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 I 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.


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Ultimate Coffee Date – December

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.

I’ve been a bit slack on the blogging front this month, so I think a catch up is overdue!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that if I had to move out of the country, Belgium is still my top place to move to.  It is such a beautiful country and the people are very friendly.  Mum and I went over for the Christmas markets last weekend.  I will do a full blog post on our trip shortly.  Surprisingly, I didn’t stuff myself full of Belgian chocolate, waffles or crepes, but I did manage to knock one of my #30before30 items off the list.

SAMSUNG CSC

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am struggling with my work/life balance.  That might have been a bit obvious because of a lack of blog posts, but I am probably struggling the most that I have done in a while.  We’re going through our first major project at work since I took my new role on last year, and I won’t lie, I’m feeling an immense amount of pressure.  Looking back over the last year, I think I have been particularly poor at achieving balance and maintaining my physical and mental health.  I can see that I need to focus on this more.

(Source)

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that me, Matt and my sister went ghost hunting this month.  I am the resident sceptic.  Every Thursday is “Ghosts on Really” (the TV channel) and is a regular fixture of our week.  Matt has been into supernatural type things for a very long time, and I’m open minded about it.  We headed off to Fulford House, met Francis Fulford, and then went off ghost hunting, organised by a small company called Haunted Happenings.  It was an interesting evening, and I won’t say that I am a converted believer, but there are some things that I can’t work out a logical explanation for.

On the thought of scary happenings, if we were having coffee, I would tell you that I had a rather disturbing call from a researcher at Sport England.  The caller themselves weren’t scary, and most of their questions weren’t, but there was a segment that made me think hard.  It started off quite innocuously – age, gender, height, profession, education.  All things I am comfortable with.  What is my weight?  Ha! No.  I declined to answer that one (somehow tell you on the internet is not as bad as tell a complete stranger on the phone!). Next up: how many times in the last week have you walked briskly for more than 10 minutes?  I thought hard.  I was sad and slightly concerned to say “not once”.  In the previous 7 days, I hadn’t walked continuously for 10 minutes at all, let alone briskly.  How bad is that!  There was a question about whether I had cycled.  No.  I don’t really like cycling.  How many portions of fruit had I eaten in the last day?  None.  I like to think though that I redeemed myself on the next question – how many portions of veggies had I eaten in the last day?  I’d obviously had something that was veg heavy and I could answer 7.  I think it was part due to a salad at lunch.

So, because of work commitments, it hasn’t been my most interesting of months.

How about you?  What’s new with you?


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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.

SAMSUNG CSC

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?