Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Reasons To Be Cheerful

I could sit here today,  and tell you about how grumpy I am.  I could whine about how it's not fair, and I get all the bad luck and nothing good ever happens to me.

But I shan't. 

I mean, yes, I did get the news yesterday that my moving in date of 1 Jan to the new flat has fallen through.  And yes, I couldn't find a proper parking space last night or this morning (or in fact, the winter coat and flat work shoes that I went shopping for last night which caused me to move the car in the first place).  And yes, I managed to spill toothpaste down myself this morning (note - don't attempt an entire conversation whilst brushing your teeth - it doesn't work) and was therefore late for work.  But frankly, none of that is the end of the world.

The toothpaste came out.  The car can be moved tonight.  And there are always have other options on the flat - the girls I was planning to move in with are still keen to do so and we just have to work out where.  In the meantime, I've done a bit of research and there are places I can move to for a month or so after Christmas if I need to.  Or we could look at getting a different flat that's available sooner.  And my wonderful friend Hannah actually suggested I could just stay at hers for a bit longer if I need to.

Plus there are reasons to be cheerful:

  • People at my work are lovely, and they give out compliments all the time - I've had 2 people 3 people (another one just came to chat to me at my desk whilst I was writing this) tell me how much they like my new black lace tights today - one of them I don't even know terribly well and stopped me in the corridor just to mention it!
  • My friends are super-awesome.  When I told Hannah about the flat problem last night, she just offered that I stay another month with her (subject to her flatmate's agreement of course).  Other friends have rallied around with suggestions and condolences and further offers of beds.  Then there's the fact that they always have nice things to say when I see them, and seem to genuinely care what I'm up to.
  • I might be between permanent abodes, which is unsettling, but it's definitely saving me some cash.  With any luck, by the time the flat thing is settled, I might have a little extra lump sum to put to my debts.
  • I will be ok.  All of this stuff, testing as it is, will make me stronger.  The more things I survive on my own, the more I know I can and the more capable and confident I become.  I will find a lovely new home.  I will sort my debts out.  And I will be healthy and happy.
  • And there just might be a rather nice man interested in me.  An actual bona fide man from the real world, not the world of the internet, but a friend of a friend.  We've only met up a couple of times so far, but we get on well and he's invited me away this weekend for a casual weekend with some friends of his, some of which I know too.  Eeeeeeep!  I'm still trying to decide if that's a good idea (2 of the girls are terrible gossips so it might all be a bit under the microscope) but it's exciting none-the-less.
On a more boring front of food and activity, I don't seem to be doing an amazing job unless I keep a really active eye on it, so I'll aim to make today a good day, and just keep taking it one day at a time.

More anon, Challengers of Life!

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

And Now For Something Completely Different ...

Last night was time to try something new.  A friend had bought a two-for-one voucher for a climbing taster session at Undercover Rock in Bristol, and had sent the cry out for willing victims to come with her.  Naturally, not being at all accident prone (or a tiny bit scared of heights), I jumped right in there and volunteered myself.  Then another friend decided to join us, and thus it was that the three of us were stood looking slightly intimidated outside a random church in a suburb of Bristol at 6.30pm last night.

It turned out that all of us were slightly nervous about heights (clearly, we'd all thought this through properly), so there was a certain amount of nervous anticipation as we watched the climbers going up the walls like spiders, hanging in improbable positions, and very occasionally, falling off.  Then our instructor appeared and quite firmly lead us off in a totally different direction to some walls that looked a lot more friendly.

The first trip up the wall saw me scamper quite quickly up a beginner's route (4? 5a?  Who knows!), but then suddenly realise that I was quite a long way up at the top, as I hesitated trying to figure out the last step-up / hand-hold.  Then there was  a slight dicy moment as I reminded myself that it's ok to trust the harness when you abseil back down, and in fact that relaxing is much more comfortable than somehow trying to hold your entire weight on the line via your hands.  Once the first time jitters had subsided though, and I'd had a quick break whilst belaying the two girls up and back, I set off up a different route much more comfortably the second time.  Up and back quite comfortably.

I'd have quite happily gone for round 3 on the wall, I think, but from the climbing wall, we transferred through to one of the bouldering areas to try something a bit different.  I loved these!  Short climbs with only a short way to fall, so you could scamper up and back and then try something different.  On our section we had pink routes, which were the easiest and purple with yellow spots.  I tried two of the latter, before spotting one last pink that I reckoned I could just fit in before we all finished.  Apparently this one was different though, as the instructor said although it was pink, it was more complicated as it straddled the corner of the room and a jutting out section of wall, and you had to move laterally as well as vertical.  She offered to coach me up it though, so I was game to try, and whilst it was definitely more challenging, it was also more fun because I was really having to think about where my hands and feet (and bum at one point!) were going, in order to allow me to change direction.  I came back down from that one, just starting to feel that the strength of my grip was wearing out, and my calves were just starting to threaten to cramp as I pushed to reach a foothold.

What really amazed me about the session was how strong I felt.  I expected to suck at climbing, thinking that I'd be totally the wrong body-type for it, but, at the level we were working at, it was great.  I actually ended up feeling really athletic.  It probably helped that I'd been to my normal Body Balance class at lunchtime, as I seemed to be a bit more flexible that some of the others on the taster course.  Once I'd been up a few times, I also started to feel much more comfortable with the heights and the ropes, and my own ability.

The girls did well too, but ultimately decided it wasn't for them although it had been fun - they were that bit more nervous of the heights than me, and I could see them struggling a bit with the pshcological aspect of it at times.  For me though, I could feel that if I practiced a bit more, I'd be able to get more comfortable and probably have at least a degree of improvement before I hit the discomfort barrier again.  And did I mention how strong it made me feel??? :o)  So I've booked on to a two session beginners' course, which is the follow up to the taster session we did last night.

Food-wise, I didn't do too badly yesterday.  I seem to be in a bit of a hungry phase at the moment, so I'm probably eating a little more than I should, but tracking it all again.  In a bid to save pennies, we decided not to bother with dinner out last night, which meant I had an hour to get home from work, get changed, shove some food down my throat and leave.  Since I'm still staying at Hannah's, I was a bit hesitent over which veg was ear-marked for which meal, so constructed a speedy bowl of pasta with pesto with a bit of sweetcorn and some chorizo in.  There might have been a Yorkie bar after climbing as well, but I felt that was fairly well earned.

Right, I'm going to sit here and try and work out where else I ache in a slightly improbably place!

Monday, 28 November 2011

Foody Weekend

Ooooh - it's been a weekend of gorgeous food!  Several glorious meals out and some amazing home-cooking later, and I'm surprisingly still at the same weight I was pre-weekend.  I think that has to go down as some kind of success story!

I kicked off Friday with a delicious curry at Myristica in Bristol.  I probably only started eating curry about 18 months to 2 years ago, so I'm still fairly cautious about what I choose, but I decided to venture and have something a little different this time, so tried a halibut tail curry with coconut and tamarind, which was absolutely delicious!  There was quite a lot of booze on Friday night too, but I somehow still managed to make sure I stopped when I was pretty comfortable full and just had a small portion of rice and naan with what I ate of my curry.  I have to confess that I went to bed feeling a little fuzzy-headed though.

Saturday's venison stew when we got back from the beach was a masterpiece.  Tender from being in the slow-cooker and chock-full of winter vegetables, and I was particularly proud of the dumplings I made - light and fluffy and falling apart - perfect Winter food.

The walk yesterday in the Quantocks was glorious.  The beech woods were in full Autumnal colour, with crunchy leaves underfoot, and the moorland up top was all russets and greens and wind-swept with blue skies overhead.  And we saw deer!  A whole herd of red(?) deer sprang out of the brack ahead of us and darted away over the ridge. 

I nearly missed dinner in Bath, as I was still busy drinking tea and chatting in Bridgwater after the walk, and hadn't thought to check how long it would take me to get to Bath from there - I was assuming about 45 minutes, and when I checked on my phone it was more like 1hr 20 - just enough time to throw off muddy trousers, chuck on clean clothes and jump in the car - oooops!  

Dinner was well worth it though.  We caught a deal to eat on the terrace at the Pump Rooms in Bath.  As anyone who's ever had afternoon tea there knows, the kitchens are really rather good, so the opportunity to have dinner there, overlooking the main Roman baths after dark, was really too good to miss.  The food was superb too - a spiced parsnip and butterbean soup served with a warm cheese muffin (and I am so not too posh to dunk, even in good company!), a main of beef and apricot casserole with parsnip mash and parsnip crisps, one of the best dauphinoise potatoes I've ever had, and lovely fresh spring greens and buttered carrots and Brussel sprouts, and finally a warm spiced apple strudel with cinnamon marscapone on the side.  Ooooh, and a glass of prosecco too (although just the one, as I was driving - the girls also sampled a local Chardonnay blend, which they said was very nice indeed).

For me, this was perfect winter food - flavoursome and filling, but with beautiful little touches lifting it above the standard of anything I could cook.  Other choices on the menu included salmon with braised fennel and a mussel sauce, and a game terrine with cherry chutney, and a triple-layered chocolate mousse with marinated cherries.  Everything was seasonal, local and beautifully presented.  Soooooooo good.

I've managed to be a bit more organised today, and actually pulled out my yoga gear and packed it, so I could head to my lunchtime session - my god, I've missed that the last couple of weeks!  After work tonight, I'll be heading to Undercover Rock for a climbing taster session .... ummmmm, should be interesting!  I'm not sure I'll be any good at climbing - the last time I tried it was when we did Via Ferrata in the Alps in 2008, and I realised I had no head for heights.  But that wasn't technical climbing, and this will be.  Ah well - will be interesting to try!  I think we're then heading for a late supper afterwards at a little Lebanese restaurant round the corner from the climbing centre .... I'm not sure I've ever had Lebanese before!

The good think about the next couple of weeks is that both the girls I'm staying with have decided that it's time they got back on their own healthy eating / fitness regimes, which will hopefully make it easier for me too.  Now I've just got to stop eating out so much.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Writing It and Fighting It

I just realised this morning, looking at the feeds I get sent to my phone everyday (which is most of the ones I read) that of the 64 I have listed, literally only half of those, 32, are still actively posting. Given how many of those were weight-loss or healthy-living blogs, I wonder what happened to the others. There's one that I know is still going very strong, as I follow her via other mediums, but the rest? Well, I wonder.

As much as this journey, much like life itself, seems to be 2 steps forward and 1 step back, I feel like I'm still trying - especially when I write about it. Celebrate my triumphs, record my mistakes for posterity and future learning.

This weekend has been fairly sensible so far. Friday was my relaxed day, ending with a curry and some drinks after work. Yesterday was a sort of chill out day - we were toying with surfing, but had to deploy our back-up plan of a bit of a walk as the wind was so high the surf was completely blown out at Saunton. There was also some very silly frisbee on the beach, which was a bit like Extreme Frisbee with the wind and ended up with us chasing it out of the sand dunes a couple of times. I got home to amazing venison stew out of the slow cooker that the girls had put on in the afternoon, and I made dumplings to finish it off.

I'm heading off for a walk in the Quantocks today and meeting the girls in Bath tonight for dinner on the terrace at the Pump Rooms as a belated celebration of Hannah's birthday.

Happy Sunday!

- Posted from my iPhone

Friday, 25 November 2011

Slotting The Pieces In Place

It seems like every day this week sees things change and my life turned a little bit more on its own head.  Yesterday saw me slot another piece into place with my possible new flat, as Sam (my first new flatmate) and I interviewed three more people and both instantly decided on the same person - the very lovely and bubbly Chrissie.  I met Sam on Monday, when I went to view the flat we want to take, and we really hit it off well - I think it bodes well that we immediately ranked the three girls we saw yesterday into the same order of preference. 

Now we're just waiting on final confirmation that the flat will be available for the end of the year - it's Sam's friends who live there at the moment, and one is in the process of buying a place, so everything hinges on her purchase going through next week.  Fingers crossed that if it all goes through, not only will I have somewhere to live, but I'll have an address to transfer my troublesome BT contract too, thus saving myself a whopping £360 in the process.  Although, let it be known that once this contract is up, I am never going back to BT after this, as I have been mostly appalled at their level of customer service with the exception of the one very kind guy who stuck his neck out for me, and risked getting in trouble, to try and help me out.

I'm also in the process of trying to find my first surfboard to buy, so the Thursday meet of the Surf Club at the pub last night, saw me involved in lots of board debate / discussion as I weigh up the options.  I really wanted to get away this weekend to get some surfing / boarding-trying in, but the surf forecast has defied me (and the amount of stuff from my flat still sat in the car), so that's going to have to wait for a few weeks .... booooooo.

There was other exciting stuff too, which I might tell you about in a couple of weeks, when I see how it turns out :-)

And finally, there was my committment to being healthy yesterday.  I think I did pretty well.  I ate more sensibly than I have recently, and I walked the 3 mile round trip to the pub to get some activity in.  It was nice to set myself a little target and stick to it.  I'm out for dinner tonight with work, so I'm allowing myself a slightly more relaxed day, but then tomorrow I'm aiming for another good day of eating and some activity of some sorts too.  And hopefully Sunday will see me going for a nice long walk.  If I get time, I'd even like to head for a run or some yoga over the weekend, but I'm not sure where that will fit in yet - we'll see.

Hope you all have fantastic weekends xx

Thursday, 24 November 2011

A Step At A Time

There are a huge amount of things going on in my life at the moment, or at least it feels that way.  Some you know about (hi, Housing Crisis, how are you?), some I've kept to myself, at least for the moment, as I don't know where they're going.  Forgive me my mystery moment - I don't have them often, and I reserve the right to be quixotic once in a while!

However, that is not a giant excuse to let things slide on the healthy front.  Yes, my life might be in quite a lot of turmoil, but I can still make better choices.  It's one of the few things that's still within my control.  Last night, I caught myself having a massive case of my eyes being bigger than my stomach at dinner, which lead me to sitting on the couch feeling sooooooo full, and wondering why I hadn't stopped eating.  Very silly.  So today, I'm making the committment here and now, to make it a good day, full of sensible choices.  I might not have much time today for exercising either, but I can do my best to move when I can.  It's here in black and white, and now I must stick to it.

I felt great after running the other night.  I even felt pretty great during most of the run.  And in the scale of scariness that is me having to start my half-marathon training in a couple of weeks, I realised that the run I did on Tuesday is the same as where I'll be starting my first week of training.  Which makes it a whole lot less scary.  So if I just concentrate on where I'm starting my training, and not freaking out about what I'll be attempting weeks down the line, I'll be better off.  I'm paying for the run at the moment though, as my quads feel a bit sore, and completely inexplicably, so do my ribs.  Uh, ribs??  Oh well. 

Actually, just concentrating on the here and now, will work well for most areas of my life-chaos at the moment.  Just deal with what's immediate, focus on what's in front of you.  One (arsehole) utility company at a time.  One step forwards with possible new flatshares at a time.  One day of healthy eating at a time. 

Keep it simple, and tackle each item, one at a time.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Drama Day

My birthday on Monday turned out to be such a day of highs and lows. I said a final good bye to my flat, and ran around like an idiot loading a final van of stuff into my storage room and getting the van back to the depot before work. Then at lunchtime I had to go fetch my car in the pouring rain and drive the keys back up to the agency, before driving round and round in circles in vain for 25 mins, just trying to find a parking space. It turns out that living in the city centre and not having an allocated parking spot sucks.

Then to round off what was turning into a bit of a sucky day, I rang BT in the afternoon to cancel my line (since I don't have anywhere to move it to right now), only to have an extremely unhelpful woman tell me that I can't because they sold me a 2 year contract and it will cost me £360 to cancel!!! I nearly cried. I later spoke to a second guy (I have to admit I hung up on the first woman as I just couldn't deal with her any more), who was trying to help me but explained that there was mechanism on the system for suspending an account when a customer has no address to move it to. In-fricking-believable.

I left work feeling pretty glum, I can tell you. I didn't have any time to dwell on it though, as I had to go straight to see a possible flatshare. Finally the day started to look a bit up, as I really liked the girl I met, and the flat seems nice, as well as being stupidly cheap, and she ended up offering me a spot in the new flatshare she's putting together.

When I finally stumbled home to Hannah's, I was greeted with a cup of tea and a big hug. It's certainly nice being able to unburden yourself at the end of the day - I guess that's something I've missed. And then I got my birthday present - my wonderful friends have bought me a Kindle! That was totally unexpected, but very lovely :-)

We celebrated my birthday with dinner at a lovely local restaurant called Europa, which Is a proper family-run Italian. The food was magnificent - coarse duck pate with Melba toast, tagliatelle with chicken, courgette and a tomato and cream sauce, and a magnificent chocolate dessert to finish - with a candle in it and happy birthday being sung. And a flaming sambuca, on the house, to finish. And lovely wine. And wonderful friends.

With my birthday out the way, I thought it was about time I started tracking my food again, as I realised it must a good week since I last did so. I also finally felt like running again last night. Slow but feeling strong, and maybe 3.5 miles. I've a long way to go before I'm even close to being ready for a half marathon, but it was nice to feel the strength of running again. Slightly sore legs today so I'm glad I didn't go any further. Slow and gentle.

There's some things to sort with house still, before I'll feel confident that it might be sorted, and there's still the matter of the
BT contract from hell to sort, but I'm slowly feeling that maybe I'm sorting things out a bit.

- Posted from my iPhone

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Things That Make Me Happy ...

.... listening to Paradise by Coldplay.

Everytime I hear it, I see tropical beaches in my head (a la the incomparable Starfish Bay on Bocas del Toro last summer), and I feel happy and calm.

Sometimes it's the little things.

The Other Side

I've survived.

It's officially my first day of having no fixed abode, which also happens to coincide with today being my 31st birthday.

The carnage of moving is nearly over, with just a few loose ends like handing back the keys and ringing the utilities companies to be accomplished.

The funny thing is that it hasn't hurt as much as I thought it would. I've been occasionally stressed and grumpy by turns, and I nearly cried when I thought I'd locked myself our yesterday (my poor friend Dave didn't know what to do, and was waiting for me to stop banging my head against the door - luckily we managed to get someone to let us back in the main door, and by some fluke I'd stopped my front door from closing all the way when we'd gone out, so he didn't have to see me cry).

I read somewhere over the weekend, that people who exercise regularly are more resilient and able to cope in stressful situations. I've been a bit off my game recently, but maybe it's helped me, all the same.

I'm going for dinner with friends tonight, and tomorrow I have to get back on it.

- Posted from my iPhone

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Oh Dear


It's a very subdued version of me writing this evening, as it's all gone a bit pants in the last week.  My housing jinx has struck again, as my beautiful, perfect flatshare, that I was so excited about moving into this week, fell through on Sunday.

Where does that leave me?  Ummmm - a little bit homeless. 

I still have to be out of my current lovely pad on Monday this week, and there has not been time to sort out a replacement flat in time for that. 

The unfortunate thing about this situation, is that it plays on all my personal insecurities.  It pushes all my little buttons, and has left me pretty down.  The flat fell through because the (ass of a) guy who was meant to move out, suddenly decided that he didn't want to move after all.  He decided that on Sunday, which was a whole 10 days after I'd been offered the flat.  But, unfortunately, since I hadn't actually signed anything at the time, I hadn't a leg to stand on.

Ah bollocks.

Before the axe fell, I enjoyed a fabulous, if messy, weekend surfing Newquay.  I'm now the proud owner of a lovely new winter wetsuit and boots, and I'm suddenly thinking that surfing into the winter is looking like a fun thing.  A bit too much booze (read for that: a lot too much booze), not enough sleep, but on the whole I was pretty impressed with my eating, which was a bit more on par for a surfing weekend, than I've previously managed.

I can't say that I've tracked much this week - between the stress and the running around, I've not felt like it (yeah, yeah, not big, not clever).  However, I don't think I'm too far off beam - I'm probably more maintaining at the moment than losing, but that's ok.

In the meantime, I'm working on getting my flat packed up and into storage.  The wonderful Hannah, amongst so many other friends which has amazed me, has stepped up to offer me somewhere to stay for the next couple of weeks.  I've booked a storage room for the next 2 months, to give myself plenty of time, and I'll be camping out at Casa Hannah.

I'm just trying to press down all my irrational feelings of rejection and failure and loss of independence, which are plaguing me - ok, so I got turned down from two other flats, but since I didn't really want either of them (no bike storage for a start, and further away than I wanted), so I shouldn't be too downhearted about not being picked.  And I did nothing to deserve what happened with my lost flat (stupid little internal voice that cunningly whispered to me this morning that maybe my flatmate-to-be had simply found someone better and fobbed me off - why????  Why would I think that??). 

Sooooo - I'm like a little ball of emotions at the moment and trying to cope with it.  Trying not to be too down (even Dom who I work with said I seemed quiet when I was in the office earlier in the week), trying not to be paranoid, or stressed, or anything that isn't helpful to me.  I have a plan, I've set myself some timescales and back-up plans, and I have soooooooo many friends who are rallying round me, if I'll only let them help me.

I'll survive, and it will all sort itself out, because it always do - I always land on my feet - just usually via a rather undignified scramble with a few bumps and bruises along the way.  And then I'll go surfing again and wash all the grumpiness away.

Hope everything's going better for you lot than me. xx

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Eggsactly What I Needed

Oh - the relief of getting home again and being able to eat lovely, simple poached eggs on toast for tea!

Long, long day - I cancelled my date for the evening as I just didn't feel up to being a sociable person - now vegging in front of Strictly It Takes 2. Heaven.

- Posted from my iPhone

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

I Don't Want To Eat Out Anymore

I just want to stay home and have some healthy home cooked food.

Despite best intentions, eating on business trips is hard - I had breakfast at quarter to 6 this morning, got taken to a Thai restaurant at lunchtime where the entire lunch menu consisted of variations on Thai curry, and then got taken to a pub tonight by my boss for dinner with not one bloody healthy thing on the dinner menu. Chicken fillet burger with chips was about the healthiest thing on there.

I did stick to no booze, despite repeated suggestions otherwise, but I feel bloated and horrible at the moment, and want some time out at home to loom after myself. And maybe run.

It doesn't get much better tomorrow when I've got a friend over for dinner and we said we'd have takeaway because I'm not back til later, and then this weekend is beach, booze and BBQ.

I hate feeling like I'm just getting bigger again. I want the opportunity to get smaller!

- Posted from my iPhone

Flying Around

It's currently earlier than Stupid o'clock in the morning, and I'm sitting at the airport waiting to fly to Edinburgh for a couple of days for work.

It's been a mighty busy couple of days in which I've been to London for the weekend where I did a lot of catching up with one of my bestest friends in the world, Jo, enjoyed walks in a very autumnal Hyde Park and thoroughly cheesed out at Madame Tussauds (I'd never been before!), before managing to catch a local community display of fireworks back in Bristol on Sunday night.

Yesterday was spent prancing around in amazing full make-up, courtesy of the superb Lisa-Marie, in front of lovely photographer Lilia, creating some images in which I barely recognise myself. My photo session was a part of my birthday present last year from two of my closest friends but it's taken me this long to get round to using it (clue: my next birthday's in 2 weeks!). I had one photo print included as part of my package, but I'm not kidding I loved these photos so much that I closed my eyes and extended my credit card and purchased the digital rights to the whole shoot. I already know which one is being blown up massive and printed on canvas!! I can't wait to share a few of them when I get the files :-)

After the shoot I met new friend Laura for drinks, which turned into late dinner. We met through the funniest connection, as a mutual friend put us in touch when we thought we might both be looking for somewhere new to live at the same time - it turned out that we're both sorted separately on that front, but we chat so incessantly that we've decided that being friends is a good thing. I love new friends!!

Unfortunately, given I had to get up at 4.15 am this morning, and hadn't packed before meeting her, I didn't get home till after 11pm last night. Doh!! We talked too much!!

Food hasn't been perfect, and I know I'm a little bit over, but considering how busy it's been it's definitely not been terrible either. At least I keep thinking about my choices, and if I'm not tracking 100% I'm still doing a fairly good job.

The rest of this week is a bit bonkers, as I get back from Edinburgh tomorrow evening and then I only have Thursday and half of Friday in the office before I'm shooting off to Newquay for the final surf club trip of the year. It's mini surf festival this weekend with bands, BBQ, surfing (brrrrr!) and, I would imagine, a lot of booze. And then next week I have to move house.

Busy, busy times!!

- Posted from my iPhone

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Final Total

At 10am yesterday morning, I listened to my team mates count down from 10 and cheer as we finally finished the 24 hour cycle relay for charity. Tired, sweaty and sore.

If I ever see another spin bike again, it will be too soon!

Final stats:

Individual distance - 136.9km in 8 half hour sessions on the bike.

My team: just shy of 900km in 24 hours on the one bike, plus the use of a second bike for an hour or 2.

Total charity challenge (400 people around the globe relaying over the 24 hours in teams of 6, same as us): over 25,000km!!

We were aiming to cycle 18,000km, which is the land distance round tue globe, but we smashed it at 3am in the morning, so the event co-ordinater reset the challenge as the distance of the equator c. 24,000km and we smashed that too.

My only problem with 24 hour events like this is they totally screw up your eating - faaaaar to much sugar consumed. After a shower and a quick nap yesterday lunchtime, I was craving dirty super-noodles for lunch - I don't know why but that was all I wanted. That was followed by about 8 super-tasty ginger cookies.

I'm down in London for the weekend visiting Jo so we also shared a bottle of bubbly last night, to celebrate her new flat, and a martini to investigate her new local bar.

We're going out and about today to do fun tourist stuff, but I want to get back to eating a normal routine as I feel a bit blah at the moment. No weigh-in this week, as I haven't been near a scale at a sensible time in days.

- Posted from my iPhone

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Halfway Point ...

4 sessions completed, 2 hours in the saddle, 73.9km cycled.

Sore quads.

- Posted from my iPhone

Home Sweet Home

I got it!!! I got the lovely flat I went to see on Tuesday night!

I'm not one to believe much in fate, usually, but it was such a perfect set-up for me, that I just felt it was meant to be, so it's a huge relief that it's worked out that way.

The flat is in a great location and in an amazing house. There's off-road parking most of the time (which is practically unheard of in that area), and space for my bikes, and any future surfboards, safely indoors.

And there's lots of little touches that make it feel really homely - it's a garden flat, so it's got its own front door and huge folding doors onto its own little terrace from the kitchen. And the kitchen is made for entertaining - it's spacious with a large farmhouse table in the middle that will easily seat 6-8 people. And, please be jealous, there's a log-burning stove in the corner of the living room and working wooden shutters on all the windows.

But the absolute best? It's at the bottom of my budget I wanted to spend, so it's really going to help me get back on my feet financially. Ooooh - and it's still less than 20 mins walk to work.

Cycling today - I've done my first rotation for the bike challenge: 16.3km in 30 mins - not bad!!

We're on the home straight, folks!!

- Posted from my iPhone

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Busy, Busy.

After a rather solid weekend of eating and moving, I seem to have wobbled a little the last couple of days, but I don't think all is lost this week.  I realised this morning, that I feel the need for a bit of a detox today, so that's positive.

I haven't eaten atrociously the last 2 days, by any means, but I did have dinner out on Monday night, and I was at a conference morning yesterday that culminated in a buffet lunch, and then dinner with friends last night with a few (let's be clear - by a few, I do mean 2, not *ahem* a few), so I know I'm so points over where I shouldn't be.  So today, is all about eating sensibly.  Soup for lunch, followed by maybe a little walk, and something delicious with some meatballs for tea, because they need cooking.  Not with pasta though - I'm thinking something to do with baked sweet potatoes and some lovely tomato-y sauce with veg.  Or maybe couscous.  Whatever - a minor 2 day blip will not derail my recent good eating.

Another reason, I'm not too worried about eating a bit extra this week ...... tomorrow is the 24 hour cycle relay challenge.  I will be spending a minimum of 4 hours hours steady to speedy cycling, and that's going to buy me back quite a lot of mini over-indulgence.  I'm not sure when I'll be weighing in, as I usually step on the scales first thing on a Friday morning before breakfast, and obviously I'll still be in my office after no sleep and most likely breakfast at that point, so it might have to be a Saturday weigh in.  Or no weigh in - it won't matter either way, because my progress is not defined by a single day of the week, but my behaviour in between.

Other than that, I've been grumbling because I woke up Tuesday morning with my back a bit sore - it hasn't been sore for ages, and I wasn't amused!  At.  All.  This is the soreness that is residual from my old back injuries, and very occasionally, it rears its head again.  It's all been good for ages, so I suppose a little timely reminder isn't a bad thing - I need to take care of myself.  Not sure if I tweaked it in Body Balance on Monday, or just slept awkwardly on Monday night (as I remember waking up feeling a bit uncomfortable), but I'm doing what my physio would recommend if she were here:  precisely nothing.  A couple of days of exercise (especially with the biking coming tomorrow) to just let it calm down, and it feels a bit better already.

I also went to see another flat last night, and I don't want to tell you too much about it in case I jinx myself.  I just had a gut reaction to the place:  I WANT!  The flat felt like it could very easily be my new home, and I very much liked the girl who lives there (and prospective new flatmate) - my quick flying viewing turned into an hour long chat over a cup of tea - so I'm fingers, toes, legs and everything in between crossed that I get it.  I should hear tomorrow, and it feels like it's fated to be, but I'm trying very hard not to get too attached to the idea, in case it doesn't happen (yeah - the above is me trying to be unemotional - I'm doomed).

In between all that, I've been organising myself for a trip to Edinburgh next week with work.  Sadly, it's a flying trip - up Tuesday and back Wednesday - but I'm excited as it'll be my first time there.

I think that's all in my world, for the moment.  Catch you later, when I have more news!