Saturday, 18 April 2015

Little Cook

This evening Stephanie took charge of dinner. she decided that she was going to make pasta salad with salmon.
 Chopped salad from the fridge 
Pasta on the hob, and salmon.

 That done she heads up the garden to see what can be found, and comes back with her bowl full. That little lot washed and spun and dinner is ready. This is the part where I confess to tucking in and taking no more photographs! Imagine it all put onto a plate. It was delish!
 I love that she was able to go to the garden and collect some of the dinner. Hopefully in  few short weeks even more food will come from the garden. It's looking all green and full of promise out there currently.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Garden birds

I have been amazed since we moved here by the amount of birds that visit our garden. Loads come daily and hop about the floor. It is fantastic to sit in the garden it is so peaceful and all you can hear is the birds cheep cheeping at each other. Yesterday my neighbours very kindly gave us some of their excess bird feeders and a little food to put in some of them. Stephanie helped me to hang up those with food in our trees straight away.

I've been pottering about in the dining room for an hour or so this morning, the feeders haven't yet been used that I am aware of. I have seen lots of birds hopping about the floor feeding on whatever they find in the grass. I have seen lots of dunnocks, collared doves and starlings. I am not goin ot pretend to be knowledgeable about this. The lovely neighbours also gave us a book to help with identification.

I've been putting this to good use!

I still have these feeders to fill up, 

When I go shopping next I will buy some more food and see if I can identify more of the birds which come visiting.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Mummy Friends

I came across this clip when i first woke up this morning it's all about parenting, how we can all have strong beliefs on how to best parent our children and that we all do it differently. The idea is that no matter the differences we all want the same- the best for our children. Little did I know that my lazy day at home  would result in having 2 extra little people today. I got a text- whilst watching the video from a  friend whose childcare fell through is there any chance I could step in. No prob was the answer. Being a parent and juggling everything is tough. I'm home and new Stephanie would love the company- it's one of her best friends at school. We had an easy morning playing and pottering. Then while we were eating lunch my sister in law called, without going into too much detail she's having a rough time personally at the moment could I please have her eldest overnight. Once we had eaten we headed over to collect him as  she doesn't drive. When I got there I found her in a completely overwhelmed state. "Where's your black sacks I asked?" Confused she went to get them, I bundled up the washing which was built up everywhere and loaded it into the car. I'll bring it back clean and dry I promised. Floor now cleared we could get into the kitchen. the children went out together to play for a while. Whilst we had a drink, a chat and a few tears were shed. Plan hatched to get things sorted I headed home with a car full of children and boot of washing. 

This little love is working overtime;

Tomorrow I will return her child and the 4 sacks of washing. See how she got on with her jobs for today and determine the next few things we need to address to get her sorted. We will soon have things straight for her. 

Not the day we had planned, but very much the day that is needed.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Garden update

It's all beginning to look rather green and busy in the garden. Remember when it looked like this when I moved in?

It now looks like this:

Peas and radishes sharing a bed

red and white onions


just planted carrot seeds

There is also a picture of another 2 beds- one I have divided up into nine to make smaller beds, with mixed salad, and spinach in. I am going to plant more cut and come again type veggies in there too to fill up the empty sections and the final bed will have French beans in it once I have planted them. I love the planted beds which i made all they cost in the end was a packet of screws and a £5 pot of wood treatment to help them to last longer.

I also love how the flowers have just sprung up across the grass, it looks very pretty. I had to be very careful when cutting the grass as I didn't ant to cut the flowers I did loose a few but the majority survived.

The view as I sit here typing:

It's glorious and all I can hear are the birds singing all day long. I love our new home :-)

Monday, 13 April 2015

Brighton Baby Yeah!!

Yesterday was the 12.04.15, just another normal date right- well unless you are my big sister who celebrated her 36th birthday. Or one of the thousands of runners and spectators who were in Brighton for the marathon.

I am so pleased that I took part. It was tough but I loved it. At the start line I could quite happily of not taken part as I was so nervous. However, the same sentiment was being echoed all around me. I walked the couple of miles from my hotel up to the park where the race began, handed all my belongings over to the baggage truck. A surprisingly quick thing to do, possibly because I had left it quite late- from the baggage truck to the start line in  ten minutes. I was so nervous and was doubting myself before I began. So much so that I went into the back of the slowest pen rather than the one I had signed up to start at. I started with a couple of other runners from my club.

Start line selfie

My race number.

All too quickly we were off. I couldn't stop chuckling at the roughly one mile mark. We went round a corner and then all you could see were fellas in bushes, i don't think i need to explain why their backs were to the rest of the world. I can understand why- the queues to the toilets were horrendous. I didn't bother to go into one, I knew there were toilets on the course if needed. I started nice and slow and soon got in to the rhythm I slowly started passing people along with my two club runners i started with. Although at some point i must have left them behind as one minute they were just behind me and then they weren't any more. I decided to plod on regardless thinking they would catch up with me at some point along the way. The atmosphere of the race was fantastic. runners cheered each other along, the faster runners egging us slower runners on at the parts where they doubled back and passed us. The crowds were amazing, lots of supporters cheering everyone along, there were people playing upbeat music both bands and people in the homes having turned up the music very loud so it could be heard. It really was fantastic and made it hard to stop running, you had to keep going after all these people had made an effort to come and watch! 
I don't use gels when I run I usually have jelly babies and lots of fluids so I filled an arm pouch with my inhaler and some jelly babies to keep me going. I didn't carry water as I new there were water stops every couple of miles so I made the most of those. However, so many people were handing out jelly babies I could have managed without carrying those. 
A few weeks before the marathon I read a lot of posts about running and the thing which stuck in my mind was that there will be lots of children wanting to high five runners. Only 1 % of the population run a marathon, the children spectating could be inspired to become the athletes of tomorrow. So I high fived away! Sometimes changing the side I was running on as i had seen runners passing by children without high fiving. 

The toughest part for me was mile 20-23 where we went out along an industrial area, there weren't many supporters there and i was getting tired. Soon i was back on the main area and people were back shouting encouragement. The finish line never looks so far away- it doesn't help that what I thought was the finish line was actually a pedestrian bridge so that people could cross the road LOL 
Finally someone shouted just 3oom to go- 300m has never felt so far. When I finally made it to the finish line i didn't know whether to laugh, cry or kiss the bloody thing! I was exhausted. 4 hours and 55 minutes of running and I did it!!

I walked in a daze for little while until I found a flower bed i could perch on without needing to bend! I ached. I took this picture I was so amazed that I made it to the end. I sat here for a while, people walked past congratulating me. I checked my phone there were 30 messages of support from friends and family who had been tracking me on the marathon app to see how i had been doing. Slowly, I made my way back to the car and drove myself home. I stopped in a services, it made me smile to see so many people in there who had also ran- medals and survivor t-shirts were everywhere. I got myself a flapjack as I was feeling a little peckish but didn't want the burger/chips combos that were being sold.

I realised once i got home and was relaxing in a bath this time last year 5k's were a challenge for me to run- I have now run 42k not bad progress to make  in just a year is it!! 

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Keep on running, running, running

I am still traingin for the Brighton marathon just over 2 weeks to go- very scary. Today the Brighton marathon tracker app was launched so now friends and family can put in my race number and follow me as i complete the run (or if I stop moving for too long come and collect me!!)

I am getting to the stage in training where to be honest its feeling a little bit of a chore. I just want to do more short simple runs but i need to be running further and further distances, well until the long run this weekend and then in need to be tapering.

It was a lovely wet training run this morning, a quick 3 miles around the block. It rained the whole time!

It doesn't show very clearly here but my hair was actually dripping by the time I got in- it looked as if I had just got out of the shower!

There are starting to be more people out in the mornings when I am running, i guess the fact that it isn't as cold anymore, or dark mean more people are coming out. There are some poeple I see every morning- a colleague from work walking her dog, the cyclist, the gentleman that runs with his beautiful white dog, the lady rushing to the bus stop and the friendly teen delivering newspapers are just a few regulars on 'my route'. 

Sometimes I just enjoy the moment as I run, today was one of those days. other days I have to do silly things to keep my mind occupied so I don't go home before I should. I had a day like that last week when i found myself making myself a Dr. Seuss inspired poem;

I do not like running
I do not like rain
I do not like running
Why am I doing this again?
I do not like running
I feel like I will fall
I do not like running
I do not like running at all!
If I do not like running
Why do I run at all?
I do not feel like this always
just for today, I do not like running at all!

Still there is a reason why I am doing this. I have seen first hand how much cancer sufferers have to go through, sadly those I have known have lost their fights. Their fights to have just a little more time with us are so huge in comparison to my fight to get through this marathon. That's why i am doing this. I am raising money for Cancer Research. My running vest came through a few days ago, what a powerful reminder for why i get up early so that i can train before work, why some days i go out twice in one day to try and up the mileage. Why my family are working hard trying to help me find ways to raise as much money as possible.

If you would like to support my fundraising you can go to my just giving page here and donate, or you can text SAJP47 £x to 70070, just replace the x with the amount you are able to spare.

What challenges are you working towards at the moment? It doesn't matter how big or small you feel they are, they all have moments when they seem insurmountable. What tips could you give me for staying focused, and positive?

Monday, 23 March 2015

Spring gardening

Yesterday I spent a lovely day out on the garden. It was chilly but with a coat on was ok. I got a fair amount done. I started by digging over Stephanie's patch of front garden which is going to be a flower bed. As Stephanie had a friend around to play they both got busy planting.

Lots of seeds got planted alongside the flowers.

Then i headed to the back garden. I got the new raised beds planted up.

I transplanted cabbages I had growing in pots over the winter.
In the second bed went the onions, again they had been growing in containers. I also planted lots more onion bulbs. The whole bed should be full if they all grow. My sister popped around whilst i was doing these and commented on how much bigger the raised beds are in person than in a picture. She thought they were very small in the pictures I sent her.

I checked on my seedlings in my tiny plastic green house:
Growing nicely. Then planted a few more and put into the bigger pop up greenhouse
I'm trying to plant seedlings every couple of weeks in the hope of being able to have continuous cropping throughout the summer. I really want to grow as much as possible for ourselves this year. 

Now I need to get on and complete the building of the other raised beds. Dry weather again this weekend please....