About Me

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Wife (to Shaun), Mother (to Danni), Dog walker of Archie the JRX, improving cyclist, broken runner. Boxercise & Spin class fanatic. Collector of exercise DVDs & equipment. Cake is my weakness together with cider (Westons only thanks)and brandy. Noisy spectator of running & cycling events. Owner of Tribby the campervan

Saturday, 21 April 2018

What? It's April - how did that happen?

Crikey I have let things slide ! 

February came and went, March as you will remember was mainly flipping freezing cold and now we're nearly in May.  Not entirely sure what happened to April but I seem to have blinked and missed most of it.

The house is now off the market.  We did get an offer but it was way below what our budget would cope with and there was absolutely nothing left on the market within our price range.   Luckily Shaun reigned it in, sacked the estate agent and now we're back to not doing housework, tidying up, worrying about what we're cooking for fear of creating a smell and just generally living in our house, clutter and all.  No idea whether we'll try again - at the moment we're just monitoring the market to see how things are moving.  Similar houses to ours are now selling around us so maybe we'll be brave and go for it again.

Our March sportive was cancelled due to the arrival of a second wave of Beast from the East.  Quite thankful to be honest.  We hadn't managed to get out training because the weather had been so awful.  We did however manage to ride the Sigma Sport South Down Spring Sportive earlier this month .... again.   The first sportive either of us rode - the one we cut our sportive teeth on and this was our third outing.   The weather was ok.   Bit rainy at the start and horrendous winds when it stopped raining.  The headwind in the last 6 miles completely did me in and it was the worst I'd ever finished in.   Happy to get the bling and freebies at the end and we got to see some local countryside.

My favourite photos from the day and of course the obligatory bling

Our trip to Hertford was good.  The weather was pretty awful and we did have to cut it short by one day.  It was good to get away.
Archie got a bit muddy after chasing a deer & had to have a shower off!

Tribby bathed in cherry blossom!
Our week off and Tribby trip was quickly followed by the long weekend in Portugal which I mentioned in the previous entry.   Shaun's Dad is 80 this year so to celebrate we booked a family trip to the Algarve.  It just so happens that it's my birthday the day before his so double whammy.  Shaun had booked a lovely surprise of an evening jeep safari for my birthday with Alsafari.   The most amazing 5 or 6 hours spent bombing about the Algarve hills and trails, learning about the culture, the natural surroundings and then enjoying a kind of a sunset (not easy when it's not the best weather) and finally tucking into a hearty meal of soup, piri piri Chicken and a plate of the local oranges.  All washed down of course with a very nice glass of Vinho Tinto.   The whole trip was made by our guide, Marco.
Part of the front of our villa

the birthday people

Winetasting ..... on a Sunday!
mmmmm breakfast

sun's out, legs out

the last supper - huge prawns

Just a few photos of the jeep safari trip - Shaun took quite a few.

I think we'll definitely go back to the Algarve ...... just not in April!

Nothing else planned for the rest of the summer at the moment.  We've got a weekend coming up with our Essex friends in June when we visit the Carr Taylor Vineyard at Sedlescombe.  Following that we've got a week in July, we can't quite agree on where to go so we need to make a decision soon.

Friday, 2 February 2018

February - At Last !

Who else is glad to see the back of January ?  The month that kept on giving! 

A few things to look forward to which we've booked or plan to book - we've got a week off work booked for the before Easter bit so hopefully we'll be able to get away in Tribby, although Easter is a bit early this year so we're holding off booking anything until the last minute.   Apart from the weather issue there aren't many sites that are open before 1st April so we're not exactly spoilt for choice, but Shaun has picked a Camping & Caravan Club site at Hertford (we're heading North for a change!)  It says it's a top site for dogs so that's always a plus.   There's nothing worse for us (or Archie) than getting to a site and there being limited walking from the site.

We've booked a long weekend in Portugal in April to celebrate Shaun's dad's 80th birthday, which just so happens to be the day after my birthday.   A villa is booked for Shaun's sister and husband, one of her sons and a friend, dad and us.   It's a shame that Danni and Joel can't join us but final preparations for finishing Uni come first.

That's it so far although the calendar is marked up with all Shaun's long weekends so hopefully we can get away in Tribby but no solid plans yet.

I'm over halfway through my first book of the year - first choice is David Millar's Racing Through the Dark.   A shocking read about his rise and fall as a pro-cyclist after his doping ban.   It's really well written and easy to read.

We've been out on the bikes a couple of times during January building up and adding hillwork as our training for the SRS Spring Sportive in March.  To be honest I'm dreading it, the elevations are pretty scary and it will be a big test - luckily it's only 36 miles! 

The house is still on the market .... just !   We've had nearly 30 people view and are waiting for news an offer that has been placed but it's not looking good.   We've been able to view a couple of properties too and it's now pretty clear in our minds what we want and what we don't, despite the Estate Agents thinking they know better.   Why do they do that - I'm not a timewaster and I am not going to look round a property just to please them.  Still onward and upward, 3 more viewings this weekend so hopefully we'll get a more firm offer from one of those.   Fingers are definitely crossed

Out for a treat tonight with Danni, Joel and my parents - we're going to see War Horse at the Brighton Centre. 

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Review of 2017 and goal setting for 2018

It's that time of year again!

Highlights of the year were my first New Forest sportive and wearing my newly designed cycling top, my 50th and Danni's 21st birthdays and meeting  David Millar, Vincenzo Nibali, Davina McCall and Ned Boulting at his Bikeology Tour.  Did anyone else get to see Bikeology?  Such a fun evening.

We also had a fantastic holiday in Crete.   I have no idea if we'll get away in 2018, it may only be Tribby trips this year.   We've had some nice trips away this year (again not as many as we would have liked) but we did make it back to Birmingham, Salisbury, Canterbury and the New Forest and we had a lovely long weekend with our friends Paula and Dave in deepest, darkest Kent.   I'd really like to start venturing North in 2018 but we shall see where the mood takes us!

Looking back through Strava and Garmin it's not been too bad a year on the bike (better than I thought anyway) - struggled with motivation and the weather, and there just seeming to be too many other things going on.   According to Strava I've done 502km over 45 rides (compared to 740km last year over 23 rides).   Hoping that we will be able to increase the distance again in 2018 and get some winter rides in to train for the 36 mile SRS Burgess Hill Spring Sportive I've just entered us into for mid-March.   We need to check out some more sportives for later in the year - would like to do another New Forest one, maybe even increase my longest ride.

The reading challenge wasn't too bad - I've only got a couple of books left to read again this year.  Planning on finishing my current read and then start on the new challenge for 2018.

Weightloss has been dire - and I'm currently at the heaviest I've been since pregnancy.   At least 2.5 stone to lose especially as Danni has her graduation ceremony in July - I would prefer not to be the fat momma in the photos.   Possibly back on Slimming World.

Goals for 2018

Read more
Ride more
Say no instead of yes
No sweating the small stuff
Lose weight

Hopefully lots of exciting things to come during 2018 - watch this space!

Happy New Year !

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Juneathon, Diva, Tribby trips, a purchase N+1 & the Bike Show

Not very good at keeping on top of the blogging at the moment - here's a very quick catch up.

Not long after returning from holiday Juneathon started - yes the summer version of the festival of running/exercise and excuses called Janathon.   My efforts were sketchy at best but I did manage to do something every day even if it was only to walk the dog.   June always includes the annual Davina Big Sussex Ride.   Both of us entered properly this time so Shaun could enjoy the whole experience.   I even managed to get my selfie with Davina!   A bit slower this year, probably down to trying to find Davina at the feed station, but it's always an enjoyable ride.



Me and Davina

We've had a couple of Tribby trips since we got back from Crete too - short weekends at Graffham and Crowborough Clubsites and a long weekend at Salisbury.   The weather in Salisbury wasn't brilliant but it was nice to have an extra night away in one of our favourite places.
finally got to see Old Sarum on Sunday! 
The following trip was August Bank Holiday when we met up with our friends Paula & Dave who own Bessie the motorhome.  It's all their fault we bought Tribby.   We had a lovely weekend at a Certificated Site near Marden in Kent called Far Acre Farm.   It was great fun, and just what we needed and a reminder that we don't spend nearly enough time with them.

Also in August I took ownership of Candy the Cannondale -  a lovely hybrid which I've been using for dashes to Sainsburys and Boxercise classes as well as a couple of longer rides.
It's a lovely ride - thanks to hubby's employer's Cycle to Work scheme.  The plan is to use Candy for winter rides.   It has meant I had to sell my beautiful Dawes, my first road bike but it has gone to a lovely new home where I know she'll get lots of use, so not much N plus 1 but N minus one plus one.

A couple of weeks ago we returned to Birmingham for the bike show.  Much improved this year as we got the chance to meet Vincenzo Nibali as well as buy some new kit - to be unveiled later - and "enjoy" the VIP lounge. 
I'm not a massive Nibali fan - he's done some really dodgy things during races and has been DQd from stages and even thrown off races.  However, he is an amazing cyclist and having listened to his interview with Ned Boulting at the show I have gained some respect for him.  He admitted he's done some really stupid things and he is truly sorry for them.  My next cycling scalp is Ned Boulting - we're off to see his show next weekend at Brighton - watch this space!

The cycling and Tribbying has taken a back seat for now while we sell our home of 30 years and look for somewhere to buy.  I'm hoping this period of extreme stress will help with weightloss and in 2018 I can start again with the cycling and set some new goals.  In the meantime it's time to concentrate on the reading challenge (two more books to read) and attempt to keep my house spotless for viewing.  I'm still doing boxercise and spin, need those for stress relief.

I'll be back soon to let you know the latest but it's Ciao for now.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Sometimes a break does you good

Decided to have a bit of a break from blogging after we got back from Crete in May.  No particular reason but I just didn't feel like it, and couldn't come up with the words I wanted to write - a bad case of bloggers block I'd guess you'd say.  

Our holiday in Crete was amazing despite the rain for the first few days.  We'd treated ourselves to an upgraded room - one with our own swimming pool.  Our hotel, the Solimar Aquamarine was beautiful having just had a lot of money spent on refurbishing it.   Our room was enormous just for the two of us, a huge double bed, a walk in shower and a bath and of course the pool outside.
Our pool

the hotel pool
Before we'd left we'd booked a cycle tour with Hellas Bikes and had picked out some other trips we wanted to book through our travel company (First Choice).   Unfortunately because we hadn't been able to contact our rep we missed a Gorge Walk but luckily managed to book a trip to the Palace of Knossos which is on the other side of the island.   Whilst the hotel food was good we did venture out to enjoy proper Greek food at local tavernas.  We've decided we won't go All Inclusive in Greece again, you lose the atmosphere.

We found a great way of getting around Chania - the Little Fun Train provided a number of mini tours including the one we chose - a ride up through the Gorge to a small village in the mountains where we could have lunch and a cold beer or visit a local museum set up to show the German occupation during WW2.  It wasn't very expensive either just 19 euros each - a great way of spending 3 hours, and a lot cheaper than some of the excursions being offered by tour operators.

Wish we'd known about it before we left for Crete - there was so many other trips we could've done.

Our trip to visit Heraklion and the Palace of Knossos meant a very early start and a never ending 3 hour coach ride.  It was well worth it, the Palace was amazing, I've got a zillion photos, far too many to share on one blog.

Our bike tour was brilliant.  Our guides took us up into the mountains and we cycled back down, stopping off at various points to learn something of the life of the Chanian people, their religion and their ancient past history.  We stopped off for coffee and cake soon after setting off.
Coffee & cake stop

it was mainly downhill but there were some small inclines too!

Our finish line - the beach at Maleme

me on my "flower bike"

If we go back to the Chania area we'll definitely do another tour with them.  They picked us up from the hotel at the time we'd arranged and made sure we were safe the whole time.  We even thought we'd hire bikes from them too, getting around seemed quite simple.

We even braved the local bus service and went to Chania for a few hours.   The bus stop was right outside the hotel so we just waited until it came along - no timetable available - it wasn't very expensive and well worth the trip - Chania is a beautiful Venetian port.  Lots to look at and you can just sit on the harbour and get ripped off for food and drink - 17 euros for a beer and a sprite!  Lesson learned - lunch was bought away from the harbour.

All in all a lovely 10 days, despite the weather and First Choice attempting to make our lives a misery! Absolutely couldn't have done without our own pool - it felt a bit unsociable but we still managed to get to know other holidaymakers.  

Lots more to come - including a new bike and a couple of Tribby trips and a sportive!