Saturday, March 31, 2012

The final count down

Tomorrow is D day, or B day.  The day I've been cycling my butt off for.  The children have just left to stay at my parents house for the night, and Emma is due shortly to drop her kit off.  I was going to use this afternoon to do some urgent birthday sewing but I'm feeling strangely emotionally and I wasn't prepared for it.  Its my first night away from Niamh, and its silly because she doesn't need me at night anymore, she sleeps right through for 12 hours or more, so I don't know why I'm thinking about her being away.  And then I'm thinking, so who on earth suggested I attempt to cycle 50 sodding miles?!  I'm sure people like me don't do this sort of thing!  Anyway, here I am, rambling at you and uploading photos. 

And to that end..  Above is a pic of a then unfinished bed pocket that I made for Paul's birthday this week. We don't have room for bed side tables and have nowhere for phones or magazines, so I made us both a large A4 pocket, with 3 smaller phone etc pockets on the front. They are attached together on what is essentailly a scarf that goes under the mattress to secure them.. Very rudimentary but in 4 days they have become invaluable!

Yesterday we went to a friends daughters 1st birthday party and I made her bunting.  I'm very pleased with it and think its my neatest yet.  I also LOVE the lime green and pink, a risk I nearly didn't take but one that totally paid off.  Another friend at the party asked about buying some personalised bunting and I initially said no becuase I can't figure out how to price it fairly for both of us, but maybe I should rethink that?!

The party was fancy dress, and Bebe went as Belle as she always does.  She carries her Belle doll around and exlaims about the joys of being twins..  Lochie also as always, went as Spiderman.  The outift is now entirely too small for him and shall be replaced post haste.  Niamh didn't have an outfit as such until a last ditch rummage in the dressing up box produced an angel outfit, complete with wings, that looked like it might fit and low and behold it was perfect.  Needless to say that she came back from the party covered in mud and cake and general debris she had crawled through and the dress was so filthy I have binned it!
At the beginning of last week my Nan came to visit, it was so good to see her and the last time she had seen Niamh, Niamh was just days old.
And here are the triffids that were my sown seeds, massive and ready for hardening off before being planted out.

Wish me luck!!  I don't care about time, I just want to complete it and not be last :-)

Monday, March 26, 2012


We went to Reading to stay with my parents for a couple of days last week, it was my Dads birthday.  I baked a chocolate cake, his favourite and these were a few mini muffins from the left over batter. 
The weather was glorious and we stayed out sipping wine in the garden until it was dark, totally the way to do it!

I was delighted to gift 'Ben' to my Dad and he now sits with 'Grace', old married dogs, happy in their retirement!

We exchanged Ostara festival wreaths with the Tippers last week, I enjoy changing the seasonal decorations.  The Ostara bunting is gaily hung upon the Altar and there are daffodils bobbing about the veg patch in the back garden..  Must be spring, all things seem to be in equilibrium and the Earth is blooming.

And just because I can't do an update and NOT mention it..  6 days til the sportive!!  Emma and I went out on Sunday and did the same 34 mile route that Paul and I did last week..  It wasn't any easier, but I enjoyed it nonetheless!! 

Lastly, one more thing to sneak in..  I do know I haven't done a triathlon yet, I am aware I am completely insane, particularly as I want to train for a long long distance bike ride at the end of the year.. but, this has caught my eye for next year..

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


It seems that it only takes 5 days for life to take hold, or to quote Jeff Goldblum (sp?) from that classic 90's film 'Jurassic Park' "Life will find a way".  The Peas won the race and get to be the star of my photo diary this growing season.  Please help me think of a witty title for what will be a photo montage of their journey from seed to crop and then to plate! (Something better than 'More peas!')

In the midst of all the spring planting (I say that like I run a farm stall or something!), we had mothers day and managed pancakes for  breakfast.  These seem to have become the breakfast that the kidlets recognise as the start of a special day, ie if its not just borning cereal or toast we must be celebrating!  Something.  Lochie likes big flat pancakes, like crepes, that he can fill with chocolate sauce, or sugar and lemon, but Bebe prefers these little 'american' pancakes that we like to smother with banana's in syrup, so we take it in turns with which sort we have.  Paul and I love both and are hard pushed to give a vote.  I think Niamh may well be a help with that once she understands what it is to have a choice.

This is the seed tray today, on day 7.  Seems a little mad to think that in 2 days the busy pot at the back has sprouted all that basil and the courgette has appeared in massive leaves - they really weren't there two days ago!! The Harebell has still to sprout, but its early days.
Today I planted tomato and coriander, they are supposed to grow well together, so I'm giving it a go.

Hello Holls if you're reading!  Thank you for yummy risotto last night :-)

Its my Dads 59th birthday tomorrow and Paul turns a sprightly 33 next Tuesday - obviously the sewing machine and I have busy, and I will update once certain gifts have been given.

I have done something to my back, and if I'm honest it hasn't been right for a couple of weeks, but given that the sportive is now only 10 days away I have been soldiering on.  We got a little past that at the weekend.  Thanks to the Tippers helping us with the kidlets, Paul and I did a great ride, despite 2 punctures and some very steep hills, on Saturday (minus Emma who was poorly) and I knew as I went to bed that I had probably over done it.  Anyway, long story short, Dr says I have sprained the ligament in my sacral joint.  Hurt my back.  Yep.  It'll heal, as everything does and with some massage and yoga from Lucy, I am resolute in the belief that stretching will actually help me going forward..

It had better..  Its 10 days til the 50 mile sportive and today Lucy and I booked our triathlon!! 13 iddy biddy weeks til the 24th June! 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Sowing the seeds (of love!)

Ok, maybe not, but the song is going round my head now!

This week I sowed some pea, courgette, basil and harebell seeds and they are now sat on my bedroom window sill - hopefully thinking about sprouting! 
Whilst having a look in the shed I found a few spring bulbs that I didn't manage to plant out last autumn, so with the help of Lochie and Bebe we have planted them outside the front door.  Google suggests that with a bit of luck they should still come up, so we have our fingers crossed. 
I have back filled all the onions we planted in the autumn, to fill the spaces of some that we lost and to use up Lucy's left over bulbs. 
And then in a real display of enthusiasm I have planted out my long suffering pot rhubarb in the hopes of saving it.  I thought I had finally killed it off last year by forgetting to water it, but it looked vaguely like it was trying to sprout so in the veg patch its gone with good luck to it!

Ostara is just round the corner, so I've made a couple of seasonal bunnies - Hares, obviously (I say obviously.. I think they look bunnie shaped!) and we have confirmed camping for Beltaine in 6 weeks.

Our very own Hare has mastered the little car she got for her birthday and is now able to zip about the house. Phew!

Two weeks til the Sportive!!  Did my second spinning class last Wednesday and still enjoyed it, maybe it wasn't a one off!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


An online friend posted this blurb and I haven't been able to stop re-reading it. It seems to hold all of my truths right now:
It seems so strange to think I felt so awful last week, both physically and then mentally.  We had a good weekend, where we all had a little respite and I got back on track with my cycling.  The weather was glorious and I did a 16 mile test route on Saturday, followed by a 34 route on Sunday with Emma.  This weekend we are planning a 40 miler..  Only 2.5 weeks to go to the big Five Oh..!  I am taking Emma X-biking tomorrow night..  I hope she appreciates it as much as I did/do.

Lochie has a swimming lesson on a Monday after school, and it all becomes a bit of a rush because Bebe comes out of pre-school 15 minutes after Lochie, and so by the time we’re back it’s a scramble into the car to get to the pool on time. Needless to say Monday afternoons are not my favourite day of the week!  Yesterday Niamh and I had spent a lovely day with Lucy, and the sun was just blazing, and as were a little early to the pickup I felt relaxed enough with time before swimming to let Niamh out of the pram for the first time (ie to specifically play).  In the playground there is a wooden pyramid made of 4 tiers that I should imagine double as seats.  Niamh LOVED it.  She tottered around and over it, and then when Lochie came out they both just played beautifully.  The 15 minute wait for Bebe was over in a flash, before she was dashing out to join them and my heart could have just burst with love for them all.  A lovely and very welcome reminder of the amazingness that is my children.

Planted the first of the seasons seeds tonight, a combo of peas, courgettes, basil and harebells are now sat in teeny tiny pots awaiting germination on the bathroom window sill..  The first set to sprout will become the focus of the season and I’ll use that as the focus for updates..  Sort of like ‘Courgette watch’ if you will…  Exciting stuff!!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Highs and the moany Lows

First thing last Saturday I did my first ever X-bike class, Spinning to you and me, and I was the only first timer. As I walked in, the instuctor clearly thought to himself 'Aye aye, we've got a fat one here' and came over to show me how the bike worked etc. He was friendly enough, but clearly did not think much of my chances at staying the course during the class. When he asked me how my general fitness was, I really had no clue what to say, so truthfully told him that I cycle and do a bit of running and swimming. Well, he said, do the best you can. DO THE BEST I CAN? OMG I thought, as I got on the bike and began to fear for my safety. I've been destroyed in the welsh mountains mate, I can bloody do this, I thought. Ahem. And do it I did. Not only did I do it, I BLOODY SMASHED IT!! I was sweating profusely within a couple of minutes and I adored it. I did everything that was asked of me, in the hardest possible setting and my thighs turned to jelly and it was hard and I LOVED IT. It was such a thrill I can't describe it. I adored the sense of achievement, the adrenaline at the end and how great I felt for the rest of the day. After we had finished the class, the instructor came over and grudgingly said I'd done a good job. Good job indeed?? I SMASHED IT!! Oh yes, I’ve said that already :-)

Saturday finished on a high when I went to Holly’s for a craft afternoon and it was good to re-connect.

On Sunday my parents came to visit so Paul and I could go and do a 35 miler in prep for the sportif, but the rain soon became snow so we headed to Pauls gym where I was given a free taster session and we did 9.5 miles on the indoor bikes, I ran 3k and then swam 40 lengths and felt great.  By Sunday evening I had taken some co-codamol and joked that I’d over done it.   On Monday morning I had clearly caught a fluey virus thing and if I’m honest I don’t remember much of the day, other than having to go and collect Lochie at lunch time, ringing Lucy in a mad state (so sorry Lucy!) and then crying all the way there and back before spending the afternoon a shivering wreck on the sofa trying to stay awake to stop Niamh eating the fire bricks..!! It was a tough lesson in extreme parenting on Tuesday, and one of those days when you wished you lived closer to your Mum and could ask for help so you can go to bed and hope you don’t die.  But, 4 days on I am feeling so so much better, very chesty but physically ok all in all – and the children survived so clearly I didn’t do anything too drastically mad!!

Mentally its really affected me actually, I think of the high of Saturday and then the low of this week and wonder if I can really do 50 miles in just over 3 weeks time?!  Am I fit enough, do I have enough positive mental attitude?!

I am having a last rest day today, and then shall do a swim tomorrow night as a sort of MOT, before getting back on my bike over the weekend - in all senses on the word!

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Hello bloggee's (is that the correct term for people reading my blog?)  Its March and the weather is mild and I am feeling like spring is in the air.  New birks have been purchased and worn outside, so it must be official!

We had a great week away for my Mum's 60th, it was lovely to spend some time altogther and see my sister for a few days - it doesn't happen often enough!  Quite apart from family time, we ate and exercised for England.  Paul and I managed to get a lot of time together in, and whilst I know I'm not the easiest person to support through exercise, I am still not confident in my ability to cycle anywhere, I do know that I appreciate it and that I love you bestest.  I lived on cake and champagne for the week, yet over the course of 61 miles on my bike and a bit of swimming and running, I managed to somehow lose 3lbs.  And since being back another 2lbs have gone this week, nearly a stone since I started making a concerted effort in mid Jan.  I'm pretty happy with that!

I don't want to end on a sad note, but I do want to record a moment for 'D', so I'll pop it right in the middle between cheery thoughts. 'D' died whilst we were on holiday and many friends are sad and mourning at the moment, her funeral is next week. Lots of love to those she leaves behind x x

Its precisely one month until my 50mile sportiv and I am starting to feel confident that I'll at least finish it..!  No, I am really.  I think.  My longest ride to date is 28 miles and I felt great afterwards, I could definitely have done more.  This week I am going to do a 35 miler and see how it goes.  Definitely still on track.  Just need to work on my speed I think, I'll never be a racer and nor would I want to be, but if I don't get a bit faster then its going to be a long time in the saddle to 50 miles!!

Lochie is poorly and off school today, so we have watched 'Home alone' this morning.  Their first time and they loved it.  I remember going to the cinema when I was 13 to watch it..  how things change!  Bebe is soaking up all the poorly sofa time tv on behalf of Lochie and Niamh has had her first day time nap in bed - shocker!!  She would normally be walked to sleep in the pram and then left out in the sun, but our neighbours are currently putting a roof on their porch and the noise is deafening so I took the bull (aka hare) by the horns (ears?) and put her to bed as I would at night and off she went..  that was 1.5hrs ago :-)

What would a post be without a few photeys!!  Here we go then..

The 3 projects I made for Mums birthday

My Mum on her 60th birthday, with Niamh, sat in our holiday house at breakfast time

The 7 of us off cycling :-)