One Year On

Well it’s now a year since I wrote my first blog. I’m happy to say that I’ve really enjoyed it for the most part. There have been some weeks when I’ve struggled to know what to write, but that was meant to be part of the challenge, so that each week I would do something interesting enough to write about. So I hope I haven’t bored you too much.

I’ve decided to carry on writing my blog again this year, but just once a month, except of course if I go off on any interesting travels and I will keep you up to date with those.

A year in review

In the year that I was 50, did I achieve all the things that I wanted to do? Probably not, but the things that I didn’t achieve are still achievable this year and it was actually a really great year.

There were lots of celebrations, including my 50th birthday, my eldest daughter’s graduation, my youngest daughter’s 18th birthday and the birth of my niece’s first baby.

I walked lots of miles, I di lots of park runs, but didn’t manage my first 10k as I had intended, due to being unwell. Maybe I gave in a bit too easily after that and have not really kept up with my fitness,

I lost over 2 stone…..and then put most of it back on again.

I saw lots of shows at the theatre,. Some that I have seen many times before that I really love and some that I have not seen before, but I really enjoyed all of them.

I got to go on some amazing holidays in America, Spain and also some beautiful parts of England too.

I also set up my own business from my hobby, which is still a work in progress, but who knows how that will go

So all in all I think it’s been a pretty good year.

A year just begun

So what about this year. Well I haven’t made any resolutions, but as usual I plan to get fitter and lose weight as I always do. Other than that I just want to keep my life interesting and worthwhile. I want to work more on my business, but still keeping it small at the minute as I still have a full time job.

I have some travel plans already. Certainly different to last year, but hopefully just as interesting.

I will also set myself some challenges, probably another long distance walk and I will keep up with the park runs and Tingley run fit

An unusual start

So just to get you up to date, as I have missed my blag for a week or so. We had a great New Year’s Eve with my brother and his family coming round for a meal. We played games and quizzes and laughed till our ribs hurt.

Unfortunately New Year did not begin so well with the news of the death of my mum’s cousin. She was 98 years old and had had a great life. When we were children we would spend a lot of time with her and her husband and they took us to lots of different places. So a sad day, but a life well lived and she will be remembered fondly.

On 2nd January my dad was taken into hospital and over the following days other people in the family were struck down with a sickness bug, including me. I also contracted a severe case of conjunctivitis, which is slowly clearing up now but has not been much fun. I have to say a big thank you to my husband, my brother and his wife for doing all the running around once I was ill, as I’m not sure how my mum and dad and my girls would have managed without them.

So hopefully we’ve put the sickness behind us and can crack on with the New Year.

I guess considering the last week it has to get better!?

 

 

 

 

Just for me

Run Forrest Run

I surprised myself this week by taking part in a running session at an athletics track. I had signed up on line with Tingely Runfit and it seemed like a really good idea at the time. I thought that it would be fun and a bit of a new challenge for me. On the night however it was absolutely pouring with rain. I briefly thought about cancelling, but felt that this was unfair to the lovely lady who had organised it.

So I turned up in the pouring rain, expecting to absolutely hate it. Bizarrely I found myself really enjoying it. Running the different distances around the track was different and allowed me to get a bit of speed up (and I do mean a bit!) without worrying about whether I would make it to the end of the run.

On Saturday I also got a personal best (43;08)at Oakwell Parkrun. This may still be really slow for most, but I was really pleased with my progress. On the back of that I’ve also signed up for the Abbey Dash, which is a 10k run in November. Hopefully this will spur me on to keep training and hopefully get round the 10k in a fairly reasonable time.

If anyone had ever said to me that I would be running because I enjoyed it rather than because I had to, I would never have believed them. now I do it just because I can.

 

Just Sing!

On Saturday night, I was honoured to be part of the Summer Harmonies concert as part of Batley Community Choir.  Also in the concert was Batley Parish School Singing Group and the Gawthorpe Brass ’85 Youth Band. The Town Hall was full and the concert went really well. The children sang beautifully and the band were excellent. I loved singing with the choir and the evening ended with the whole audience standing up and singing and dancing to “Walking on Sunshine”. It was great! The money raise will go to #more in common, the charity set up in memory of Jo Cox.

Being part of the choir has been a great experience, as it was one of the first things that I did just for me. I’m not involved in the organising, the planning and I don’t have to feel responsible for anyone else. It has been brilliant to go along and do something purely for pleasure, which has got me involved in other community activities along the way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Inspiring Weekend

The beginning of the week started off as fairly average really. Not that I’m complaining, sometimes having an ordinary makes me perfectly happy. However, this weekend was something else.

Volunteering Warms The Heart

On Saturday, because there was a shortage of volunteers, I helped out at Parkrun for the first time rather than running. I have to say, it was really great to see it from a different aspect. All the runners were so friendly and were thanking the volunteers as they ran past. I know when I run, I struggle to speak at all, but always try and give a smile to the volunteers just to let them know they are appreciated. I really enjoyed volunteering and as the last person came past, I walked around the rest of the course and then walked across the park too, just to make sure I got my steps in for the day. I’m glad I volunteered, as without people volunteering, things like the Parkrun wouldn’t exist.

Saturday afternoon was our church Summer Fair. I had created some activities for the children to do and some games and challenges for the adults too, all on a teddy bear theme. I think that most people enjoyed them. One was a matching game, a bit like the game of pairs, but timed to see who could do it fastest. It never ceases to amaze me how competitive adults can be! There were some who had to just have another go when someone had beaten their time.

The main event of the afternoon was parachuting teddy bears off the church tower. They  were hauled up in a basket, attached to a parachute and then launched off the roof. The winner was the bear who landed nearest to the target. A few of the bears got near the target but there were quite a few that had to be bravely rescued from trees and from the church roof!

Run For Jo

On Sunday I took part in the Run for Jo at Oakwell Hall Country Park in Birstall. The day started with me singing with Batley Community Choir, as we opened the days celebrations in memory of Jo Cox. It was warm but quite drizzly, but we sang our hearts out on the little stage. Everyone was excited by the fact that Eddie Izzard was joining in the run and he gave a short speech before a warm up for the runners.

Luckily the rain dried up and the sun started to show its face, just before the runs started. The first run was 2.5k and there were people of all ages taking part, from really small toddlers, to grandparents. It was great to cheer them on at various places around the course.

The next run was 6.5k, which I had signed up for, but to be quite honest, a few minutes before it started I was having serious doubts about why I had! I don’t know why I do this. Whenever I have put my mind to something in the past I always manage to achieve it, so I need to stop convincing myself that I can’t.

The run was through the park, across fields, paths, through trees and bridges over streams. Interspersed along the way were singers, drummers, buskers and cheerleaders, along with the marshals, all willing everyone along and keeping us all going. There was even a climb over a style at one point, which allowed everyone to catch their breath whilst they waited. I managed to have enough energy on the way round to say thank you to the musicians and marshals.

The finish of the run was down hill and I managed to run all the way to the finish line hearing people cheering. It may have taken me 57 minutes, but what an amazing feeling!

After We had food, there was then a mascots race, where Ronnie the Rhino, The Fairtrade banana and various other mascots raced against each other.

It was an absolutely brilliant day, with people of all ages coming together to run together and to celebrate #more in common, remembering Jo Cox, whose vision for a better world has inspired so many people.

Long may it continue!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where’s my Blog?

As this was a Bank Holiday weekend, I did think that my blog might be a day late, but for some reason it’s actually two days late. It certainly feels like this will be one of those weeks when I am constantly on the wrong day. It certainly feels like it has been a long week. There was so much going on that it was sometimes hard to believe that it all happened in a week.

A sad day for Manchester

It was shocking to wake up on Tuesday and hear the news of the terrorist attack at the concert in Manchester. You could not help but be moved and feel great sadness for those involved. As the news unfolded during the day, there were some terribly sad scenes of people who had been injured and terrified when they should have been having a safe journey home after a great night out.

I think what was also extremely important to show, was all the good deeds that came from such a terrible incident. People who helped strangers, protected their own children and other people’s children, those who took drinks and staff for the emergency services and people who gave their time and skills for free.

Whatever is behind these terrible attacks, whether we apportion blame to the individuals, a particular group or whether we blame the government doesn’t really matter. It certainly doesn’t help those involved. However those good deeds, acts of random kindness, people doing the right thing, may help Manchester, the victims and other places, where terrible things have happened, to heal and move on.

The Play That Goes Wrong

On Friday night my husband and I went to the theatre to see “The Play That Goes Wrong”. I originally booked it as I was given theatre tokens as a gift, so I decided that I would book something that I wouldn’t normally go see. I am definitely a musical theatre fan and have only ever been to see a couple of plays. I have usually found them quite interesting, but I am definitely waiting for people to burst into a song and a dance at points.

However, this play was very different. It was so funny all the way through. there were no dull moments, or waiting for something to happen, it was full on from start to finish. It was very old fashioned physical comedy. There was no real swearing or smut involved, just the occasional double entendre. It was a really good night and my sides were aching when we left the theatre, from laughing so much.

A BBQ weekend

It was really nice over the weekend to be invited to a couple of barbeques. The fist was an invite from work and it was really nice to spend the afternoon in the sunshine, with a few of the people from work, having a laugh and chatting about things other than work.

On Sunday we went to my sister in laws for a barbeque. It was a lovely still afternoon and quite warm. We spent the afternoon chatting as a family and also being entertained by my niece’s five year old step son, who was a bundle of energy and kept us all on our toes.

Back on the plan

I started back on the healthy eating this week and felt much better for it. I’ve also carried on walking and doing a bit of running, so certainly feel back in the swing of things. On Saturday I went to park run, but did a different one to the one that I usually do. It was a really lovely run in Oakwell Country Park. We used to go there a lot when the girls were younger. The grounds there are beautiful and it makes me realise how many lovely places there are that are so close to home that we get out of the habit of visiting.

 

 

Smashed It!

Pleased as Punch

My first “smashed it” day was on Tuesday, when I finally managed to reach the point where I have lost a stone! I am so pleased and it feels like a massive achievement. I know it’s taken about nine weeks, but it has definitely spurred me on to keep chipping away at that weight bit by bit.

The second “smashed it” moment came on Saturday morning at Parkrun. Again this has been slow progress over the last nine weeks, but I managed to get my time down to under 40 minutes (actually 36:51), which considering that when I started in January it was taking me 46 minutes, this is definitely a big hurdle that I have managed to finally leap and makes me feel that all the hard work has been worthwhile.

Proud as a Peacock

I had one of those moments on Wednesday when I remembered how wonderful it is when your children do something that just makes you so damn proud. I attended a BTech performing arts concert in which my youngest daughter took part. She had been talking about the fact that she was going to do a solo of some sort and by Sunday night, giving herself only three days to prepare, she finally decided what she was going to do. Sitting in the concert my husband and I were convinced that she would chicken out, but were also really nervous that if she did do it, it might not be the best performance we’d seen, considering the lack of rehearsal. Needless to say, her rendition of “Cabaret”, was superb. She has the knack of just being able to pull things off when she really needs to. This left me wondering why I ever doubted that she would, which is often the case with her.

Confusing Contradictions

This week was International Women’s Day, which saw a number of inspiring events, celebrating Women and their achievements. However there were some stories in the news that felt a bit of a contradiction to this.

One was the Bishop who stood down after attracting criticism for his opposition to women priests. I don’t agree that anyone should come under personal attack, but what other organisation would employ someone in such an important position, who automatically alienates a large part of their members.

The second was a female Judge who made comments regarding women who get drunk and are raped. I think as women we should certainly be aware of our own safety and should not take unnecessary risks, but to mention this as part of a trial and seeing the sentence that was handed out, makes me feel like we have stepped back in time to the days when victims were made to feel shame for being victims.

So ladies let’s keep celebrating our achievement, because although we’ve come a long way, we still have very far to go.

 

 

Ups and Downs

A personal Best

I went to Parkrun again on Saturday. I know I keep banging on about it, but I can’t tell you enough how much it’s encouraged me to keep on running. As well as being lapped by the fastest runners, I also get lapped by parents running with double buggies, adults running with small children and people running with dogs. Despite all this there is constant support from the marshals and a tail runner to make sure that no matter how slow you are, you always have someone with you. I hit another personal best this week, at 45:10, still at the back, but still determined.

A healthy eating lapse

My healthy eating plan went out of the window for several days this week. The first reason was due to comfort eating. I haven’t done this since the start of the year, but for some reason I allowed other people to undermine my confidence and make me feel miserable. Before I knew what had happened I had called in the supermarket on the way home and was tucking into a full tub of Ben and Jerry’s. This was then followed of two days of eating sweets and biscuits which made me feel rough. I know that comfort eating is not the answer, but still occasionally slip back into these habits without even thinking about it.

The second reason was that on Saturday I spent the afternoon in Leeds with some lovely friends from work, as one of our lovely ladies is leaving. It was a great afternoon and although it’s very sad that someone is moving on, it was lovely for us all to get together and spend some time away from work. It wasn’t great for the healthy eating plan (I’m not sure you can count cocktails as part of your 5 a day) but I thoroughly enjoyed it and I’m now back on track ready to face a new week in a positive frame of mind.

Decluttering

I spent my Sunday afternoon decluttering the attic bedroom. This was occupied full-time by my eldest daughter prior to going to university. She’s been gone for three years now and there are things stored in there that haven’t seen the light of day in all that time.

To be fair there were things that haven’t seen the light of day for a lot longer than that. This included the following:

  • A pair of ski salopettes belonging to my husband (we haven’t been skiing for over 20 years!)
  • My wedding dress (we’ve been married 26 years, but it did have an airing about 6 years ago when my eldest daughter went to a Tim Burton themed party as “The corpse Bride”)
  • Several pairs of shoes belonging to my youngest daughter (She absolutely had to have them, but wore them only once)
  • Various blow up air beds (some of which don’t actually inflate anymore)
  • Spare rolls of wallpaper and carpet (none of it which matched any of the wallpaper or carpet that we have now

Thankfully we agreed what would be taken to the tip, what we were keeping and what would go to the charity shop, which now leaves space for more useful items and after a coat of paint will make a lovely bedroom again for when she comes home, or a guest bedroom for anyone else who wants to stay.

A bit of a mixed bag all in all, but here’s to next week, whatever it brings!