About Me

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Wife (to Shaun), Mother (to Danni), Dog walker of Archie the JRX, improving cyclist, broken runner. Boxercise & Spin class fanatic. Collector of exercise DVDs & equipment. Cake is my weakness together with cider (Westons only thanks)and brandy. Noisy spectator of running & cycling events. Owner of Tribby the campervan

Friday, 25 May 2018

The end of an era !

It's been a week of mixed emotions.   

Regular visitors to the blog will know of my tentative venture into attending boxercise classes back in 2014 (yes it's been that long!)   I arrived slightly nervous, going on my own during a particularly bad bout of anxiety which was a major step forward for me, but very quickly I settled in and became a "regular" "one of the girls".   To start with it was billed as a "womens only" class but we have seen men come and go during that time - mostly go!   It's been an amazing 4 years of weekly, occasionally twice weekly beasting.  I've made some great friends from it and I think I've learnt quite about my mind and my body.   It's been my Monday (and/or Tuesday) night stress relief  and it's made me realise what my body can actually do when I overcome the "I can't do that" voice in my head.   I couldn't do burpees when I first went - I can barely do them properly now but hey I'm doing it so let's not get tetchy about it.   I still can't do a proper press up but with Claire that never mattered, not in class anyway.   I'm sure in her PT sessions she'd make me do them properly.

 We've had lots of giggles along the way and I've enjoyed it far too much, but sadly due to injury Claire has had to give up Boxercise and Kettlercise. 

Monday was our last class

sad emoji GIF by Twitter

So in true Claire style it was a mad bad vomit inducing beasting - we all look a bit minging in the after-class photo!  

Image may contain: 16 people, including Nicole Webster, Laura Harvey and Claire Abs PT Ori, people smiling, people standing

Words cannot express how much I'm going to miss doing this class and seeing the girls, luckily some of us still do Claire's spin class twice a week so it's not all bad.    I just hope that Wave Leisure can come up with an instructor as good as Claire and a class that measures up - I have no idea what I'm going to do instead but at least it's summer so I can always go out for an hour on the bike! 

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Making the most of the Vitamin D Boost

What a fantastic Bank Holiday weekend we had last week- helped of course by some amazing weather.  Nothing beats a decent run of sunshine and warmth for making me feel better.  Sadly we're back to normal "May weather" this weekend.

On Saturday morning I took Candy (the Cannondale) for a spin to a class at the sports centre and then cycled back.   The class was core blast - I think this is my 3rd or 4th time I've done the class and it never fails to deliver a whole load of pain during and after.   No cardio just a continuous 30 minutes of ab(core)-breaking moves.  I was beginning to feel the effects quite early on in the evening and on Sunday morning I definitely knew I'd worked absolutely every part of my core!   59 minutes of cycling to start off my British Cycling/Strava Ride 5 challenge.    why I didn't spot it was only 59 minutes before I got off the bike I will never know!

On Sunday we got up nice and early, Shaun walked the dog and I got some odd jobs done around the house and then we set off for a ride.  I never ask where we're going anymore because I know I'll only spend hours fretting about the distance or the elevation so it's best not to know.   Shaun did ask whether I wanted hillage or something more gentle - it's Sunday morning ffs, the sun is shining and it's already 20 degrees!  why would anyone want to volunteer to do hillage just for the sake of it.  So we did a nice "gentle" 30 mile ride from home, out to Golden Cross and back again.  Two stops, one at Arlington Reservoir

for a wee, refill the water bottles and snaffle a revolting sugar laden flapjack from the kiosk between us.  Thank god I didn't have to eat it all by myself - think the ducks might've had a nice breakfast.    The second stop was at Southease YHA - we like stopping there, it takes us off a very busy A road and the coffee and food and is very nice, all freshly cooked.  It also has stunning views of the South Downs while you're eating.

All in all a very nice ride over 2 hours 30 minutes.  That takes my total Ride 5 challenge to 3 and a half hours.  I also managed to cycle to and from spin class on Tuesday.  Just got 50 minutes to get done before 16th May.

On Monday (the very much needed Bank Holiday) I spent with Danni.   She'd got tickets for the Foodies Festival at Hove for her and a friend but the friend dropped out so I got first dibs on the ticket.  Shaun and I were supposed to be going but he decided he didn't want to go after all.  Shame 'cos it was very good.  Lots of drink and food to try - I was a bit concerned that we might need help getting home after sampling the gin but it was fine.   There was lots of choice for lunch too.   I had a Chicken Souvlaki and Danni went for a Crispy Chicken Pancake.

Mummy & Daughter day out

Look at the size of them!   We had to walk around a bit after before we decided on what cake to buy for afters!

There were also lots of demo's and talks by various famous bakers and chefs.   We headed to the tent to see Mark Tilling who was the 2016 winner of GBBO Creme de la Creme.  He made the most amazing Gin & Tonic cake and showed us some wonderful handmade chocolate decorations.   Definitely an inspiration. 

Danni entered an Instagram competition to win a Kitchen Maid Mini - fingers crossed she wins!

Having a day out with Danni also gave me an opportunity to search the shops for a graduation outfit.   I really wanted a dress but they're either too long or too short or too flipping expensive (Monsoon!)

I walked a total of 16,000 steps (10k/5 miles) so it's no surprise that my feet have been flipping killing me all week.   Damn you PF !

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Claiming my blog & an edit

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Having a bit of a clear up on the laptop and came across a bookmark for Bloglovin.   Apparently I haven't "claimed by blog" yet so here we go!

It's the last two days of April - having had a bit of a heatwave we're now back to normal "April weather" whatever that is.   We did turn the heating back on briefly yesterday!

This month I've been very humbled by being nominated twice for an "Unsung Hero" award, one for the Town Council and one for the District.   These are awards given out for services to the community above and beyond.  I don't really feel that I deserve to be an "unsung hero" - all I do is motivate people to look after our local park by picking up their dog poo and not leaving litter, plus nag the landowners to improve it for the good of the community.  I couldn't do this without the support of other volunteers so the awards are for them too.

The Town Council event was very low key but well attended - mainly due to the number of people nominated and their supporters.    There were certificates for all nominees and prizes for winners.  The second event was an invitation only lunch which I went to yesterday.   I'm extremely proud to receive these nominations.

Lewes District Council Awards

Town Council Awards Evening
I'm signed up to complete the British Cycling Ride 5 challenge on Strava.   5 hours in the saddle between 3rd and 16th May.   Should be easy to achieve, especially as we have a Bank Holiday weekend coming up.  If I complete it I'll receive a free British Cycling phone pouch, a digital badge and the chance to win a Cervelo R3 Disc road bike or a Focus Raven Max Pro mountain bike.  Sounds good doesn't it?

We're in the process of planning Tribby trips for the summer - no idea at the moment apart from a trip to Carr Taylor vineyard for some winetasting and a much needed Bessie/Tribby trip in June.   Before that we're on "dry rest of April and May".   I desperately need to lose weight - Danni has this week handed in her Uni dissertation and graduation is booked for 1st August.   Having seen the photos from Portugal there is no way I'm turning up to the graduation at 11.5 stone! 

Fingers crossed for the good weather to return soon so I can get out on the bike - otherwise I'm going to be shut away in the gym.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

What? It's April - how did that happen?

Crikey I have let things slide ! 

February came and went, March as you will remember was mainly flipping freezing cold and now we're nearly in May.  Not entirely sure what happened to April but I seem to have blinked and missed most of it.

The house is now off the market.  We did get an offer but it was way below what our budget would cope with and there was absolutely nothing left on the market within our price range.   Luckily Shaun reigned it in, sacked the estate agent and now we're back to not doing housework, tidying up, worrying about what we're cooking for fear of creating a smell and just generally living in our house, clutter and all.  No idea whether we'll try again - at the moment we're just monitoring the market to see how things are moving.  Similar houses to ours are now selling around us so maybe we'll be brave and go for it again.

Our March sportive was cancelled due to the arrival of a second wave of Beast from the East.  Quite thankful to be honest.  We hadn't managed to get out training because the weather had been so awful.  We did however manage to ride the Sigma Sport South Down Spring Sportive earlier this month .... again.   The first sportive either of us rode - the one we cut our sportive teeth on and this was our third outing.   The weather was ok.   Bit rainy at the start and horrendous winds when it stopped raining.  The headwind in the last 6 miles completely did me in and it was the worst I'd ever finished in.   Happy to get the bling and freebies at the end and we got to see some local countryside.

My favourite photos from the day and of course the obligatory bling

Our trip to Hertford was good.  The weather was pretty awful and we did have to cut it short by one day.  It was good to get away.
Archie got a bit muddy after chasing a deer & had to have a shower off!

Tribby bathed in cherry blossom!
Our week off and Tribby trip was quickly followed by the long weekend in Portugal which I mentioned in the previous entry.   Shaun's Dad is 80 this year so to celebrate we booked a family trip to the Algarve.  It just so happens that it's my birthday the day before his so double whammy.  Shaun had booked a lovely surprise of an evening jeep safari for my birthday with Alsafari.   The most amazing 5 or 6 hours spent bombing about the Algarve hills and trails, learning about the culture, the natural surroundings and then enjoying a kind of a sunset (not easy when it's not the best weather) and finally tucking into a hearty meal of soup, piri piri Chicken and a plate of the local oranges.  All washed down of course with a very nice glass of Vinho Tinto.   The whole trip was made by our guide, Marco.
Part of the front of our villa

the birthday people

Winetasting ..... on a Sunday!
mmmmm breakfast

sun's out, legs out

the last supper - huge prawns

Just a few photos of the jeep safari trip - Shaun took quite a few.

I think we'll definitely go back to the Algarve ...... just not in April!

Nothing else planned for the rest of the summer at the moment.  We've got a weekend coming up with our Essex friends in June when we visit the Carr Taylor Vineyard at Sedlescombe.  Following that we've got a week in July, we can't quite agree on where to go so we need to make a decision soon.

Friday, 2 February 2018

February - At Last !

Who else is glad to see the back of January ?  The month that kept on giving! 

A few things to look forward to which we've booked or plan to book - we've got a week off work booked for the before Easter bit so hopefully we'll be able to get away in Tribby, although Easter is a bit early this year so we're holding off booking anything until the last minute.   Apart from the weather issue there aren't many sites that are open before 1st April so we're not exactly spoilt for choice, but Shaun has picked a Camping & Caravan Club site at Hertford (we're heading North for a change!)  It says it's a top site for dogs so that's always a plus.   There's nothing worse for us (or Archie) than getting to a site and there being limited walking from the site.

We've booked a long weekend in Portugal in April to celebrate Shaun's dad's 80th birthday, which just so happens to be the day after my birthday.   A villa is booked for Shaun's sister and husband, one of her sons and a friend, dad and us.   It's a shame that Danni and Joel can't join us but final preparations for finishing Uni come first.

That's it so far although the calendar is marked up with all Shaun's long weekends so hopefully we can get away in Tribby but no solid plans yet.

I'm over halfway through my first book of the year - first choice is David Millar's Racing Through the Dark.   A shocking read about his rise and fall as a pro-cyclist after his doping ban.   It's really well written and easy to read.

We've been out on the bikes a couple of times during January building up and adding hillwork as our training for the SRS Spring Sportive in March.  To be honest I'm dreading it, the elevations are pretty scary and it will be a big test - luckily it's only 36 miles! 

The house is still on the market .... just !   We've had nearly 30 people view and are waiting for news an offer that has been placed but it's not looking good.   We've been able to view a couple of properties too and it's now pretty clear in our minds what we want and what we don't, despite the Estate Agents thinking they know better.   Why do they do that - I'm not a timewaster and I am not going to look round a property just to please them.  Still onward and upward, 3 more viewings this weekend so hopefully we'll get a more firm offer from one of those.   Fingers are definitely crossed

Out for a treat tonight with Danni, Joel and my parents - we're going to see War Horse at the Brighton Centre. 

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Review of 2017 and goal setting for 2018

It's that time of year again!

Highlights of the year were my first New Forest sportive and wearing my newly designed cycling top, my 50th and Danni's 21st birthdays and meeting  David Millar, Vincenzo Nibali, Davina McCall and Ned Boulting at his Bikeology Tour.  Did anyone else get to see Bikeology?  Such a fun evening.

We also had a fantastic holiday in Crete.   I have no idea if we'll get away in 2018, it may only be Tribby trips this year.   We've had some nice trips away this year (again not as many as we would have liked) but we did make it back to Birmingham, Salisbury, Canterbury and the New Forest and we had a lovely long weekend with our friends Paula and Dave in deepest, darkest Kent.   I'd really like to start venturing North in 2018 but we shall see where the mood takes us!

Looking back through Strava and Garmin it's not been too bad a year on the bike (better than I thought anyway) - struggled with motivation and the weather, and there just seeming to be too many other things going on.   According to Strava I've done 502km over 45 rides (compared to 740km last year over 23 rides).   Hoping that we will be able to increase the distance again in 2018 and get some winter rides in to train for the 36 mile SRS Burgess Hill Spring Sportive I've just entered us into for mid-March.   We need to check out some more sportives for later in the year - would like to do another New Forest one, maybe even increase my longest ride.

The reading challenge wasn't too bad - I've only got a couple of books left to read again this year.  Planning on finishing my current read and then start on the new challenge for 2018.

Weightloss has been dire - and I'm currently at the heaviest I've been since pregnancy.   At least 2.5 stone to lose especially as Danni has her graduation ceremony in July - I would prefer not to be the fat momma in the photos.   Possibly back on Slimming World.

Goals for 2018

Read more
Ride more
Say no instead of yes
No sweating the small stuff
Lose weight

Hopefully lots of exciting things to come during 2018 - watch this space!

Happy New Year !

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Juneathon, Diva, Tribby trips, a purchase N+1 & the Bike Show

Not very good at keeping on top of the blogging at the moment - here's a very quick catch up.

Not long after returning from holiday Juneathon started - yes the summer version of the festival of running/exercise and excuses called Janathon.   My efforts were sketchy at best but I did manage to do something every day even if it was only to walk the dog.   June always includes the annual Davina Big Sussex Ride.   Both of us entered properly this time so Shaun could enjoy the whole experience.   I even managed to get my selfie with Davina!   A bit slower this year, probably down to trying to find Davina at the feed station, but it's always an enjoyable ride.



Me and Davina

We've had a couple of Tribby trips since we got back from Crete too - short weekends at Graffham and Crowborough Clubsites and a long weekend at Salisbury.   The weather in Salisbury wasn't brilliant but it was nice to have an extra night away in one of our favourite places.
finally got to see Old Sarum on Sunday! 
The following trip was August Bank Holiday when we met up with our friends Paula & Dave who own Bessie the motorhome.  It's all their fault we bought Tribby.   We had a lovely weekend at a Certificated Site near Marden in Kent called Far Acre Farm.   It was great fun, and just what we needed and a reminder that we don't spend nearly enough time with them.

Also in August I took ownership of Candy the Cannondale -  a lovely hybrid which I've been using for dashes to Sainsburys and Boxercise classes as well as a couple of longer rides.
It's a lovely ride - thanks to hubby's employer's Cycle to Work scheme.  The plan is to use Candy for winter rides.   It has meant I had to sell my beautiful Dawes, my first road bike but it has gone to a lovely new home where I know she'll get lots of use, so not much N plus 1 but N minus one plus one.

A couple of weeks ago we returned to Birmingham for the bike show.  Much improved this year as we got the chance to meet Vincenzo Nibali as well as buy some new kit - to be unveiled later - and "enjoy" the VIP lounge. 
I'm not a massive Nibali fan - he's done some really dodgy things during races and has been DQd from stages and even thrown off races.  However, he is an amazing cyclist and having listened to his interview with Ned Boulting at the show I have gained some respect for him.  He admitted he's done some really stupid things and he is truly sorry for them.  My next cycling scalp is Ned Boulting - we're off to see his show next weekend at Brighton - watch this space!

The cycling and Tribbying has taken a back seat for now while we sell our home of 30 years and look for somewhere to buy.  I'm hoping this period of extreme stress will help with weightloss and in 2018 I can start again with the cycling and set some new goals.  In the meantime it's time to concentrate on the reading challenge (two more books to read) and attempt to keep my house spotless for viewing.  I'm still doing boxercise and spin, need those for stress relief.

I'll be back soon to let you know the latest but it's Ciao for now.