Saturday 31 December 2011

A new year

A New Year’s Prayer
Author Unknown

May God make your year a happy one!
Not by shielding you from all sorrows and pain,
But by strengthening you to bear it, as it comes;

Not by making your path easy,
But by making you sturdy to travel any path;

Not by taking hardships from you,
But by taking fear from your heart;

Not by granting you unbroken sunshine,
But by keeping your face bright, even in the shadows;

Not by making your life always pleasant,
But by showing you when people and their causes need you most,
and by making you anxious to be there to help.

God’s love, peace, hope and joy to you for the year ahead.

Tuesday 27 December 2011


Christmas has been very good to me this year. Well, more accurately, my friends and family have been very good to me.

Two pie books?! These people know me too well :) I love pastry and I really enjoy cooking and baking!

Yesterday's effort:
chicken and mushroom pie

And it was yummy! :)

Monday 26 December 2011

This week I shall mostly... playing Wii Zumba Fitness 2:

A great surprise Christmas present!

First impressions are much better than the original Zumba Fitness (which was fun to play but looked like they hadn't spent much on the graphics). Am looking forward to getting to grips with the new version properly, if I can clear my living room enough to jump around in it!

Thursday 22 December 2011

12 hikes...

Hiker Mom at living the hike life suggested a different kind of challenge for 2012: 12 hikes in 12 different states/countries. I thought I could give that a go, with 12 different counties. It shouldn't be too hard to plan one hike a month during 2012, should it?

Places I could hike:
New Forest (Hampshire)

Monday 19 December 2011

Dreaming of travelling

In the cold and darkness of this time of year, I feel the urge to make plans for next year - trips and events to look forward to. Some to places I've been before, some to explore new places...

None of these plans are solid, partly because they're so far away and partly because I'm liable to jump in the car/book a flight and disappear off for a couple of days :)

I've been to Scotland a few times, but mostly as a child, and never to spend time in a city. And I've heard lots of lovely things about it. With any luck, this trip will combine with a visit to Ben Nevis, the tallest mountain in the UK. Despite my rubbish-ness at climbing hills and mountains, I will be getting up this one!
Will need to pack: stylish but warm clothes for exploring Edinburgh (with comfortable shoes) and serious hill climbing gear.

The Norfolk Broads:
As a teenager and young(er) adult, I spent many happy weeks and weekends sailing dinghies up at the Broads. It's one of those places where you slightly step back in time: the pace of life slows and you spend the entire day out in the fresh air. This year I'm hoping to be sailing much bigger boats on the Broads - a real adventure :)
Will need to pack: suncream, hat, buoyancy aid and full waterproofs!

Croyde, West Devon:
After this year's girlie surfing trip, the plan is to head back for more! Maybe even make a slightly longer break of it this time. I am excited already!
Will need to pack: bikini, warm clothes (the weather in the UK is never guaranteed!) and a good book to read on the beach.

In an unplanned manner, I've somehow or other made it to Spain for the last four years in a row. Two years were road-trips through France to Spain and back again, full of happy memories of munching on fresh bread and fuet (a Spanish cured meat) and rocking up at campsites late in the evening :) Then there was a work-related trip to Barcelona and this year's brief trips to Tenerife and Alicante. I really like Spain and I think it's likely I'll turn up there again during 2012.
Will need to pack: Spanish/English dictionary and phrase book (I speak a bit, but not quite enough!), shorts and summer-y tops, flip-flops and a kindle full of books...

Fabulous - that's enough plans for me to get excited about. For now at least :)

Tuesday 13 December 2011

Cold weather attire

Over the last few weeks I've been experimenting with the correct gear to wear when running in the cold (which, in my case, means below about 5degC). I've had particular issues with cold thighs, but tonight I think I might have cracked it:

It's a great look, isn't it?! Especially bearing in mind that I teamed it with a black thermal top, purple short sleeved running t-shirt and grey hairband/ear warmer... It's a good thing it's dark in the evenings and very few people are out to witness this dreadful combination!

Wednesday 7 December 2011

Holiday Bootie Buster so far...

How up and down things are!

Week One: did some exercise (not tons), got a few points, happy but not ecstatic...

Week Two: upped my exercise with a good ol' hilly hike and rediscovering Wii Fii (yay!). I also commited to fitting in more fruit and veg to get a few extra points. Very pleased with myself.

Week Three: was on course for an even better week with two runs in. However, I've had a slight setback which involves a very sore neck and no more exercise this week. I *might* fit in a couple of miles walking, but that's about the limit! Oh well...

Saturday 3 December 2011

Jantastic - spring motivation

Yeah, yeah, I know it's only a couple of days into December, but I had to share this straight away!

For a bit of context, I've been an avid listener to Marathon Talk podcasts for ages now, since I originally started "training" for the Amsterdam marathon. And if listening to people talking about training for marathons equated to real training, then I would have been much better prepared!

This is the launch video for their spring motivation series...

Yup, I've signed up already. Even though I'm currently running 1-2 times a week and their minimum option is 3 times a week. I'll get there... :)

Friday 2 December 2011

Lots of leaves but no fitter

We went walking again, this time in the Cotswolds. Which is much hillier than the New Forest. Much hillier.

And leafy - almost knee-deep!