Sunday, 15 February 2015

A little story

This morning a very tired person was woken up by her alarm at 5:30- yes you are right 5:30 on a Sunday! She lays there for a while wondering what on Earth made her think that this would be a good idea. Eventually, she persuades herself to get up and get some breakfast. Putting the porridge in the microwave she gets a large glass of water and downs it. No she is not hung over!

She slowly persuades her body that it does want to accept breakfast at 6:30am on a Sunday then goes and gets dressed. The clothes she puts on look a little like this


Once dressed she packs all the things that she will need for the morning
And gets in the car. Soon she arrives where she would like to be.

she follows similarly dressed people until she gets to the building here she is given a piece of paper with a number on which she need to pin to her top like this;

Waits for the horn to signal go and moves one foot in front of another. Realising a little to late that in talking to her friend (who is speedy) she has started way to close to the start line! She moves to the side to let more accomplished runners pass. One foot in front of another up and down lots of beautiful country lanes. Very refreshing scenery to pass and enjoy. People pass at a regular pace. That's ok it's early on we are only at mile 4. Steadily she keeps going chatting to others as she passes, some she recognises but many new faces. Eventually she passes the 10 mile mark. This is where she suddenly feels weary and a little downhearted. What on Earth possessed her to do this? Why would she thinks it's a good idea? Her feet hurt- one of her toes is rubbing against the other, her knee is sore, her hips ache. Maybe she should just give up. Oh look an aid station ahead
Would you like water or coke? asks  a cheery lady. Never having had coke on a race before decides to give it a go, accepting  a fun sized mars bar with the coke. Quick drink and slowly one foot moves in front of the other. feeling a little refreshed, just maybe this is possible after all. Still she thinks that she is going so slow that she must have taken 2 hours 20 minutes already. So much for beating her previous record of 2hrs 28 mins. Oh well just to finish will do. A quick glance behind she realises that she can see no other runners. Those in front are disappearing rapidly into the distance. MOG am I last? Resigned to the fact that she is last- well someone has to. I will make sure I smile when I get there and pretend like its cool.
 Whilst thinking all of this one foot moves in front of the other autonomously. Suddenly a cheery voice from behind says hello. I'm not last! there are even people behind me I can hear them laughing now!A little light chatter about how the 12 mile marker must be somewhere soon- this mile has been the longest so far. The lady next to me has a watch that beeps at 12 miles. I ask her the time. "Oh we've been going about 1:57 now. I saw you a while back and decided you were going to be my target" Comes the reply. I knew what she meant by that. I often pick out someone to be my target, once I pass them I set a new target, And 1:57- I hadn't been running as long as I thought. My target of 2:15 is till in my sights. I speed up, come on then I'm going for it- I might still make my PB I challenge. I speed up- I hear the ladies feet moving faster behind me I keep pushing myself. Then as I approach the end of a road a man says to the right and its just at the end, you are in the home straight now. By now there is the first lady with me, and another has joined in the effort (we passed her a while back). "come on girls lets sprint finish, we can do this!" After you comes the reply from the other two. I start sprinting. suddenly, a voice calls "come on Sarah you're nearly there!" It's my speedy friend wiaitng at the side of the road for me. I move my legs faster still and cross the finish line- 1 second before the lady who decided I was her target. "Thank you," she pants "that was great, and I got a new pb. we are at 1:08 is that the PB you wanted?" We are greeted by other members of our running club. All ecstatic about our times. A quick photo finish and then we realise we still have 3 team members out there- we head up the road to cheer them on as they finish. One arrives, a few minutes later another. A quick phone call is received to say the last team member has had a problem- her knee has popped out apparently this is something she suffers with. "I'll go find her" says one of the gentleman who has finished. Worried we all wait, cheering on other competitors as they finish. Soon they arrive back. She manages to cross the finish line- smiling as she winces with each step.
We all finish. We are all pleased for each other for our times, whether it was 1:27 (our speedy gent) or our injured friend at 2:40. We all are pleased with our times. See for the runners which I have met we are not about beating each other, it's about beating ourselves. It's keeping going even when our bodies want us to quit. That feeling at the end of a run, that's why we do it. That's why we become runners!

Saturday, 14 February 2015


Food shopping is becoming more and more expensive every week. We are living on a meal plan which I write at the beginning of the month, based on the food I already have in and then anything I can get cheap when I shop. I then shop on the weekend to buy things which are perishable- milk, fruit and veg etc. Today was one of those days where I needed lots of fruit. I have had many people tell me that I should try shopping in Aldi as opposed to my choice of the 'big 4 supermarkets'. As I was in the nearest town which has an Aldi I decided to pop in. I was running late for Stephanie's swimming lesson this morning (forgot to set an alarm!) so I didn't have a list. I knew I needed fruit and veg so I picked up the bits and pieces I needed of these. I didn't need any cupboard staples so I didn't buy any but did peek at the prices. I don't think the prices are any different from the bits I would usually buy in the supermarket, although I have been told they are massively different. Perhaps, this is because I do no t buy brands I stick to the value range mostly.

This is my shopping

I have;
 a bag of 4 yellow peppers
1 cucmber
2 bags of carrots
3 bags of bananas (they only had bags of 3!)
1 pack of tomatoes
bag of salad leaves (they had no whole lettuces)
1 bag of satsumas
1 punnet of grapes.

The prices of these vegetables were very similar to those I buy in the normal supermarkets.

I also bought 3 packets of Easter lollies for 99p each- they are for my class before they go off on their Easter holidays.

As you can see my total shopping came to £11.36 if you take away the Easter shopping then I spent £8.39 on my food shop. Not hugely different- although I was not tempted by buying things just because they looked like a good offer which does happen when I go to the big supermarkets. I may resort to the little shops from Aldi- especially when I have weeks like this one where I need to stretch out the last few pounds in the bank account due to some unexpected spending to the monthly budget. I definitely wouldn't be able to do my weekly shop there as there is not the range of products and the meat didn't look very differently priced, most of our meat is bought in the yellow stickers section of the supermarket and so is lot cheaper anyway.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

preparing for the month

Wow January seems to have flown by. we stuck almost rigidly to the menu plan, a few swapping of days here and there but I like that flexibility. We had dinner out 2 nights due to being held up even later than anticipated in swimming fun and secondary school opening evenings. Despite this I still had £70 left in my bank account by payday! That has been transferred over to my credit card bill. Oh and I booked a couple of nights away in a hotel for my brothers wedding in March. Not a bad month at all.

With this in mind I have just sat and menu planned for this month too. The menu plan takes us right up until the 01.03.15.

I have also been busy trying to organise our back garden ready for spring. I have been lucky enough to accumulate a couple more pallets. There was one in the shed when we moved in here, I collected 2 from freecycle in the week (well my brother in law did as they needed collecting during office hours) and as I was driving home from shopping yesterday I went through the industrial estate and passed a sign which said free wood. Next to it were 4 pallets. Now my tiny little fiesta only fitted in one of these pallets- the smallest one. So I will be talking nicely to family members with larger cars to see if they will collect some more for me over the next couple if weeks if there are still some left.

This afternoon I have been out in the garden dismantling pallets for use to make my raised beds. It's hard work- and cold but will be worth it when I have finished.

The pallets waiting dismantling

some of the dismantled wood. This is only half a pallets worth. I will build up one raised bed and see how many pallets that takes then I can source more as and when needed.