Saturday, 12 August 2017

Changes Afoot (Weddings/Jobbo)

I am so happy right now.  It's Saturday, and I'm sitting in my safe place - the spare room; A blissfully Sky Sports free zone.  Just me, a Leslie Knope Pop Vinyl (for inspiration and stuff) and the dog...who is currently chewing loudly on his toenails while I try not to vomit at the sound.

"WWLD - What would Leslie do?"

This is the first Saturday in a while where I have literally naff all planned (my favourite kind of Saturday!).  2017 is the year that all of my friends from school and university are evolving into "marrieds" and leveling up into parents and "proper adults".  Even I'm not immune.  I've come down with a terminal case of Mortgage.

Facebook has become a baffling mind game where I have to guess who these smiling people whose surnames I don't recognise anymore are, despite having known them for at least a decade.  It's like being flung into an alternate reality with only minor differences where a Westlake is now a Davies and a Dew is a Purdon.  My poor, easily befuddled brain.

Anyway, point I was getting at is that I've been busy attending parties, hen dos and ceremonies.  My liver is pickled and my head is packed with fun memories, but I'm ready to go into hibernation for a bit now until the next round of I do's and bouquet flinging at the end of this month.  Bring me water and a blanket!

In other news, I got a new jobbo this week!  I work with a company I really like, and luckily, the job is with the same organisation.  I had a crack at applying for this new "as-if-I'll-manage-to-get-it-but-I'd-be-stupid-not-to-try" role, and to my surprise, I only went and bloody got it! It involves creating content, meeting lots of people and occasionally nipping about Wales to share said content with aforementioned lovely people. I can't wrap my brain around the fact that I'll be getting to do that stuff for actual, real, not-imaginary money dollars. Just...what?!!  

I'm already bracing myself for the day I leave my current office ugly-crying because I'll miss working with the people I see every day right now, but I'm sure it'll be worth the hour long commute and the inevitable sobbing (I've cried leaving every full time job I've departed since uni.  You could say that I get slightly attached).  I've never had a full time creative job before, and I'm simultaneously completely over the moon and soiling myself.  There's no change of pants on the moon, so the plan is to get stuck in and just enjoy myself when I start.  I can't wait!

I suspect you'll want me to impart my wisdom re: how I secured said jobbo via the interview I attended.  Truth is,I have no bloody idea! The people who interviewed me were so nice that I assume they'd have been equally lovely regardless of how well/iffily I did. Here is what I remember from it, so take from it what you will:

 Becky's "tips" for "nailing" an interview:

1.  Show up 40 mins early and spend 20 of them trying to pry your white-knuckled fingers from the steering wheel and enter the building.


2.  Sit in waiting room for further 20mins, smiling like a puppy who wants to be adopted at anyone that passes through.

3.  Forget that when you go to shake potential boss' hand that you actually have to grip back and weakly (and slightly creepily) touch palms with her instead.

4.  When offered a cup of water, cling to it for grim death.

5.  Talk really fast while your free hand conducts an imaginary orchestra next to you.

6.  Sweat profusely.

7.  "Jokingly" inform prospective manager how nervous you are, as though doing so will dissipate said nerves. Be incorrect about this.

8.  When leaving the room, take plastic cup of water with you because water cup is life.  Water cup is safety.

9.  Sit back in the car and wait for the adrenaline of having survived a (relatively short, friendly and informal) interview to pass. When this doesn't happen, drive home.

10.  Fall into a coma at 8.30pm while the sun is still up. 

Hurrah!  Promotions for all! If you're lucky, your mum might troll you with the gift of a "celebratory" T-Shirt.

 ...thanks, ma...you sarky mare.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

A Quick Catch Up

 ....aaaand we have internet!  A month into living in my first ever owned home (not renting, not squatting in, not sitting in the bushes outside of...owned!), and I am finally connected to the big, invisible web of Youtube videos of animals playing the keyboard and ranting weirdos on Facebook.  Now I'm home =)

Obligatory "look, I've got some keys!" photo.  I am wearing a top, and I do have boobs. 
Both top and boobs are both just possibly hanging out with my knees... Or I was so excited that morning that I put my head on the wrong way round and the fleshy area you see is really my back.  Who knows.
...Did I mention I've got a house??

A brief catch up on my to-ings and doings(because I'm feeling too lazy this lovely, bright Sunday to think of an actual post with a proper structure and theme (you know, like all the other masterpieces I've flung onto this thing like a monkey throwing poop):
  • I may never move house again in my life ever ever, even if an asteroid flattens this one.  The experience leading up to it had so many highs and crashing lows that I think I have house buying PTSD.  Every time I hear the word "solicitor", I now get the chills and start mumbling in tongues. 
  • My mum should legit be one of those Ikea elves that create rooms for people to look at in the "furniture zoo" section of the shop.  I mean, look at this shit - I definitely wouldn't have put this lot together using my own brain:
 

Just .... *gestures*  I spent a good few days genuinely welling up at how much I love my surroundings and how much my family must love me to give up their time to help make it look so nice.  
Or maybe what I perceive as love is actually their "fear of allowing Becky to be within 50 feet of a drill and/or flat pack furniture."  The Sunday we moved in, Andy had to deal with violent swings between 
"I'm so happy!  I love it here!" to "Waaah, I've done nothing to deserve to live somewhere so pretty!  My family are too good for meeee! DON'T YOU DARE MOVE THAT COASTER, IT'S PERFECT WHERE IT IS!!"
I think I win at first world problems this month.
  • I've started running again.  Sort of.  Through the NHS' Couch to 5k app, I've built up to running in 90 second intervals, which my aggro foot appears to be tolerating for now.  Injury still infuriatingly "there", but at least on good stretches where it pretends that it's a normal, functioning foot, there is no pain at all, and aforementioned stretches are getting longer each time.  *holds breath and crosses everything that this is the start of actual, long term recovery*
  • There's been a change of gyms. In the name of time and petrol saving, I've been going to a local functional fitness (essentially Crossfit without the affiliation) gym called F.I.T Pontarddulais and enjoying it a lot. I do drag around a degree of guilt for not going to Outcast Strength & Fitness in Swansea anywhere near as often as I did (still going every now and then as a treat to myself.  No way can I go cold turkey) because they got me to a place where I can fling more weight around than I ever could before, but the way things are at the minute, I'm enjoying the extra snippets of time I get to spend with my fur child (doggo) and my man child (boyo) during the week.  I've also seen signs round this way for yoga classes, soooo...might be worth a go?  If I'm going to cheat on my first love in group exercise, it may as well be with multiple facilities.  Once a ho and all that.
Busy old month coming up, so I should have lots more to report soon.  I have:
  1. Friend Wedding 1 of 4 (!!) in 2017 next week, as well as..
  2. A seminar on writing for children because maybe that's where my calling secretly lies, as I am a child trapped in a drinking, cursing adult's body after all.  Or it could just be a bit of a fun thing to do on a Saturday afternoon.  Either way, I win.
  3. An all-day leaving do (*cough* drinking session) in Tenby with the work peeps for which I have already purchased 3 dresses...If anyone wants to follow me round Tenby and periodically hand me a costume change as I get increasingly nonsensical, please get in touch.  I will pay you in cuddles and questionable life advice.
 Right...I'm off to play with the doggy cam my sister got me as a housewarming gift.  A has been in the same position for so long that I thought the screen was frozen, so I'd better go and make sure he's alright...Or I might use the "voice" function on it to scare the shit out of him.  Heehee.

*gasp* d'you think he saw me? =/

Saturday, 25 March 2017

We're Not Worthy: A Mothers' Day Post


 *sheepishly raises a hand*


...Hi.  Been a while, hasn't it?  May have lost my sense of humour for a time there.  Been a bit, um...tense, to tell truth.  This whole buying-a-house thing is a bit of a head fuck isn't it?  I'm fully aware that it's not a real problem; I'm purchasing a brand new roof over my head, which many many many people will never get to do, but in my current petty tunnel vision, it's the HARDEST THING EVER!! So much adminny minutiae to remember.  So many people to chase up.  So many goats to sacrifice to the house-buying gods (praise be).  Doesn't help either that one of the key players in Operation Becky's New Digs is the actual real life manifestation of the "computer says no" lady from Little Britain.

*cough*

Next Friday, Andy and I will be temporarily moving back to our respective mothers' homes while we wait for the house to be given innards (it has a roof and everything now!), so you can at least guarantee that I won't be short of material in the coming weeks.  Blogs aplenty.

Today, I thought I'd veer away from my obsessive thought vortex about being a home owner and instead focus on something a little nicer.  Tomorrow is mummer's day! During which we acknowledge the fact that our matriarchs once shat us into life via their front bottoms.  Hurrah! 

God, that's a vile mental image, I'm so sorry.

Meh, I'm leaving it in.

This morning, I've been mulling over why it is I'm grateful to Tina T (ooh, ahh, just a little bit..) for bringing me forth into a world of sunshine (for other residents of Wales - that orb thing that occasionally peeps through the murk in the sky), joy and endless, endless paperwork and phone calls.  *Starts to viciously rip out chunks of own hair*

..Sorry, slipped back into the vortex.  Genuinely, though.  Whatever token tat I manage to present to my mum on mother's day will not be enough to thank/apologise to her for what she's had to put up with.  The reasons for this area many


LIST TIME!!

Why Flowers & Smellies Will Never Be Enough on Mothers' Day

1.  Remember when you were a teenager...how embarrassing your mum was to you?  God, how could she be so inconsiderate as to exist?!  It struck me recently that it probably works both ways.  I've never been the coolest of chicks, the hippest of the hip (case in point: use of the words "hip" and "chick"...am I a T-shirt from Tammy Girl??).  Imagine the shame of having to be all "Well..yep, that's my daughter.."

 "Get up, people can SEE you!!"

2.  The obvious - she stretched her body beyond all reasonable proportions to house you for 9 months. You made her sick, tired, nauseous and uncomfortable.  And, in all likelihood, you continue to do so to this day.  

3.  A £10 Amazon gift voucher in a soppy card will never cover the thousands of pounds your mother had to spend on your every new whim that took you as you grew up.  I dread to conceive how much my fleeting hobbies amounted to in pounds sterling:

- the briefest of careers in karate and aaaaall the kit that came with it.
- mountains of felt pens replaced because "Muuuuuuum, these ones have gone all dry!"
- the pets you nagged for and then totally neglected as a child because "they're a bit annoying and they keep sitting on my homework."
- the hundred BILLION small, plastic animals that you hoarded because you NEED ALL OF THEM!!
- the  countless "borrowed" £20 notes that you took "just in case" you needed extra money for a taxi home from the local night club at aged 17, with wriggle room for a cheeky kebab in the queue.  Yes, drinking totally counts as a hobby.

4.  If your mum was anything like mine, she was essentially an unpaid counselor for all your insane non-problems from toddlerhood right up until whatever age you are now:

- Age 2(little sis born) to 10: "I truly feel that I deserve more of the things because I am older than the newcomer.  The amount of attention, food and stuff she gets is more or less equal to what I get.  Clearly, I am bigger and more important, so we need to correct the balance here."

 - Age 11 to...present, let's be honest"I'M FAT AND UGLY AND UNWORTHY OF LOVE!  I CAN'T STOP EATING AND THE ONLY THING THAT WILL MAKE IT BETTER IS IF YOU GIVE ME A MASSIVE PLATE OF CHIPS WITH TRIFLE FOR AFTERS, WAAH!"  Trifle and chips eaten, whole cycle starts again.

 - Age 17 to...okay, present again:  "I'm hung over.  Come, sit with me and I shall regale you with tales of desolate woe and unbridled happiness depending on where my hormones are currently at and how recently I've eaten.  Can I have some soup and a blanket, please?"

5.  No matter what you agree or disagree on, if your mum is anything like mine, she has the solution to your issues when you need it the most.  Example: letting you and your dog live rent free in her already person and pet filled house for a month, maybe more, while you wait for somewhere new to live to materialise.  *proudly gestures at the total lack of sarcasm and mocking in this point, awaits "daughter of the year" medal*

Happy early mothers' day to you if you've done the brave and terrifying thing of materialising a person/people from your DNA and innards (biology isn't my strong suit) and for then putting up with their shit for a lifetime. We're not worthy.


#
xxx

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Spring Clean/How To Be Injured

Welcome, welcome.  You may have noticed that I've done a bit of spring cleaning here today.  Winter cleaning?  Not very spring-y outside.  Currently watching snow fall from an eerily quiet house and starting to believe I've gone completely deaf.

*loudly claps*

No, I'm good. 

Now that we've cleared that up...I tweaked my blog title from Rebecca Writes & Runs to Rebecca Writes and Runs (a bit); Not because I'm going off recreational shuffling (far from it.  After 3 months of walking...like a goddamn muggle, I'm gagging to get back out there again).  It's to stop myself from having a mental breakdown.

I've got a structurally bollocksed right leg.  If it was made up of scaffolding, I think it would be made of brittle rubber and bound loosely together with Cheese String.  Because of this and my clever decision to keep running on it while it hurt, I've managed to lollop myself into an injury which is taking BLOODY AGES to fix.  No idea when I'll be able to pound pavements again.  I will be able to eventually, but I need to do some work on cheese string leg first and actually let myself heal.  

I've spent the last few months getting treatment (Swansea Body Kinetics), not running and assuming that tomorrow will be the day where I wake up with a fully functioning, pain free foot and leg.  Blind optimism and no patience got me nowhere.  I've been ignoring my frustration for weeks now, and it came to a head where I lost all sense of perspective and cried into my fried egg the other morning because it's just so UNFAIR!! I'm a runner and I go to the gym lots now - it's what WHO I AM!! 


Becky.  Mate.  It's not.  Maybe it's time to remember you had a personality before you started moving about more than you used to.  Maybe.  I think.

You're not suddenly not-a-person because you have to sit down a little more for a while.  Calm.  The fuck.  Down.  So...yeah...name change!  Less pressure to write about the running I'm not currently able to do = less weeping into my breakfast over a problem that isn't really a problem in the grand scheme of "problems you could have." Time for a list, then!

How To Be Injured

1.  Perspective
Have you actually lost a limb?  Are you suddenly homeless?  Is there no food in your fridge?  Do your friends and/or family no longer care about you?  Do you find yourself unable to hold down the day job?  Have they cancelled New Girl or Modern Family?  

No?

Then man the fuck up and develop a little patience!

2.  Stop Googling your injury
"I'll just have a quick search...tendons...plantar fasciitis...leg...Oh my God.  I'm going to have this problem forever! I'm going to have to live in a weird boot for the rest of my life, or get leg splints like Forest Gump....I'll never walk again!"

*walks perfectly normally to fridge to find some food items to cry into*

3.  Adapt
And by "adapt", I don't mean "go to Crossfit 5 times a week and do all of the movements that might still make the problem worse, because it's okay, I'm not running!"  I also don't mean  "adapt to a sedentary life on the sofa where you well up every time you see a pair of trainers on the telly."

4.  Don't overdo your stretches
Yeah...I've gone from having a sore foot, to a sore foot and entire leg that alternately feels like it's a bit on fire and slightly numb.  Gentle stretching means gentle stretching.  You are not made of melty toffee.  

You would like some melty toffee.

5.  P.M.A
Pinch my arse. No..positive mental attitude.  Remember that you will get better eventually, and just accept that you've got to make some alterations for now.  Allow yourself to feel frustrated sometimes, because it's natural. Don't swallow down your feelings, British style, because they will vom themselves back up in a wet explosion of drama and snotty tears that you could do without.  Grab a coffee and chuck a sitcom on while we wait this mild inconvenience out.  


Namaste.*

*Apologies if I used that in completely the wrong context.  I was hoping it would make me sound all wise and zen.  Did it work?  No?  Sorry.
 


Saturday, 28 January 2017

28 Wise, Wise Wisdoms

Yes, it's that time of year again!  I've come through another whole 12 months during which I've saved up golden nuggets of priceless information, especially for you( Priceless because they won't accept them at Cash 4 Gold).  You lucky, lucky devil.

...Or I've not given this post any thought whatsoever until today, the day after my 29th birthday, and I've sat down to share whatever mulch I can squeeze out of my head (lush).  I've had a week off work, so the contents of my head have been diluted by Budweiser and day naps. Here goes....something!

1.  Budweiser tastes better when it comes out of a bottle with a screw top.  I don't know why.  Maybe that's a fact for me to share next year.

2.  Running for months on end on a sore foot doesn't "toughen it up."  This is a strategy for idiots. My brain, it turns out, was giving me alternative facts.

3.  Speaking of alternative facts... Next level alternate dimension shit does occasionally happen.  We live in a reality where a toupee wearing, baby handed man with no political experience is farting out terrible decisions from a mouth that looks like an anus is in charge of all of 'Murica.  #whereisdoctorwhowhenyouneedhim

4.  29 is not too old to get that Blink 182 tattoo you've wanted ever since you had a constellation of spots and wore eyeliner blacker than your soul (so...this morning, then?):

*endless squealing and heart emojis*
Yes, I am aware that with a heart tattoo and a movie quote on the same arm, my body is starting to resemble my secondary school notebooks.  No, I shan't be laminating myself.

5.  It is possible to discover that you are very very much a "dog person"rather than a cat person as you'd originally believed.  This knowledge comes after becoming the proud pet parent of a big-eyed, poop eating squish monster from the land of Cute.  I mean...after becoming a responsible dog owner.  HAVE YOU SEEN MY DOG?? HE IS THE COOLEST DOG IN THE WORLD AND I LOVE HIM SO MUCH, AND, just....

 SEE?!!

6. Guided meditation (see Headspace app - is v.g) is magical, especially if you're alert.  If no, you still win because you get to have a little snooze in the name of zen.  Am so spiritual now. 

7.  Crossfit has changed both my physical shape (I have actual arms now, as opposed to floppy toothpicks) and brain.  I no longer wish to be Beyonce (wouldn't turn down the offer to become her if it arose still, though.  Am not crazy), but instead pine over being a Davidsdottir or a Leblanc-Bazinet.  If unsure, do a Google image search.  But only after you've read this, because you'll disappear down a rabbit hole of impressive muscles and tiny shorts that you won't want to be rescued from.

8.  Putting a deposit down for a house does not make you feel more grown up.  It makes you feel more like a lady baby than ever because what do I do when the heating packs in?  What if I set it on fire by accident?  Do I have to start opening post addressed to "the home owner" now? What if someone steals it from me in the night?  Like, the whole house?  What if???

9.  You can only put on so much weight before you have to stop accepting friends' reassurances that "It's probably just muscle from all that going to the gym that you do."  If there is such a thing as a muffin top muscle, mine is in fantastic shape.

10.  Since A started making Youtube videos, I've learned that I turn into a duck voiced weirdo with the posture of a velocoraptor when a camera is pointed at me.  Or I look like that anyway and have only just realised. 

Nah.  I choose denial.  It's the camera.*

11.  Unless I'm drunk, it is now nearly impossible for me to stay awake after 10.30pm. Or wake up after 8am.  My body clock has either reversed into "small child" mode or "pensioner" settings.  

12.  Middle Sis is queen of buying gifts that both warm the heart and insult.  Case in point:


Cheers, pal

13.  There is a tipping point where the effort it takes to get drunk (3 day hang overs, wild mood swings & the need to sleep into the next ice age the following day)  starts to outweigh the fun of it.  The see saw I'm on is not going the way I'd like it to.  Boo hiss.

14.  These annual lists are getting so long that there is a new need to "refuel" with "brain food" part way through it.  Golden syrup on toast if you're interested.  

15.  The Harry Potter books are SO chuffing GOOD and if you stop at book 4 as a teenager because you've decided you're "too cool" for them, then you're wrong.  Dead wrong.  FYI, your favourite trousers are luminous pink flares.  You're not too cool for anything, little buddy.

16.  Nikes and Heavenly Feet are the only shoe brands you need. Ever.  Also Doc Martens, but you're too poor to buy those right now, and if you try to break a new pair in, your already battered foot may well finally fall off.

17.  It is possible to cut your own fringe and not be ridiculed as long as you don't grab the whole thing and lop straight through it like you used to. 

18.  A moustache looks frighteningly natural on me. 

It's like looking at Hulk Hogan's sexy younger brother, isn't it?

19.  28 is a big number of things to think up a list of stuff for.  No, I'm not stalling or filling up space for the sake of it.  Fine, you write it instead if it's so bloody easy!

20.  I must practice patience.  Maybe should stay awake for longer whilst listening to Headspace...
 
21.  Binning things is great!  I have thrown most of my current house away in readiness to move into the new one within the next couple of months.  I'm practically besties with the guys at the local rubbish tip now, and chucking out clutter makes me feel all clean inside.  Until we actually need something.

"Beck, have you seen the coasters/spatula/entire book case?"

"Erm..."

22.  Dogs are like tattoos.  You can't stop at one.  I have big plans to get a little sidekick for Jesse.  I firmly feel that he needs a tiny chihuahua body guard because HOW FREAKING CUTE WOULD THAT BE??  I could buy him a little "security" t shirt and...when did I become this person?

23. Audio books and podcasts are the absolute balls.  I can't walk the dog, go anywhere in my car or generally leave the house without being told a story or learning something about how my brain works.  I need a constant supply.  I couldn't name more than one person in the charts right now (one person is Justin Beiber/Bieber...  Is that right?  Am I hip now?), but I can reel off pop psychology factoids and anecdotes that aren't actually mine like a crap Yoda.

24.  It isn't enough for me to be a bit of a deaf bird.  I now own glasses and a hearing aid, but there is only so much space behind my right ear, so I have to choose whether I would prefer sight or hearing at any given moment.  Ooh! Or I need to invest in a monocle!  Where can I get  a good monocle?  Does anyone still make those?

25.  All of the movies have now been made.  Everything produced from here on in are going to be reboots and/or remakes.  Not all of them good.  I wanted to like Ghostbusters so badly...*sniff*

26.  Taking a Facebook hiatus doesn't turn you into the clear headed workaholic you secretly believe lives underneath all the procrastinating.  It just makes you miss Facebook a lot.  Facebook is king.  All hail Facebook.

27.  Hoarding pretty notebooks because "you might need them for something" is a worthy hobby.

28.   After your mid twenties, it's a good idea to keep back at least a quarter of your salary for Yankee candles.  You don't know why you need the smell of "fluffy towels" and angel's tears in your home at all times.  You just do.  

Yeah, I struggled to come up with that many things.... I think on my next "Wise, Wise Wisdoms" post, I might just have to post a picture of me shrugging with the caption I dunno, I forgot!  Underneath it.  I hope that this year's wisdome are...umm...useful?

Bye!

* Andy Price Vlogs: if you want to see me duck out of shot in several weeks' worth of videos =)

Saturday, 21 January 2017

When I Can Run Again....

To say I'm a bit grumpy this morning is an understatement.  Just told my cute, fluffy, saucer eyed cat to "fuck off" for meowing at me.  Doesn't help that we've woken up to a world where a cartoon character with an anus for a mouth is now supreme overlord of the U.S.  Also, my "lie in" comprised of 5 hours of sleep.  Cheers, body!

Oof, that was a more negative introduction than I set out to do.  Let me grab a coffee.

Right.  Start again.  Hello, world!  How's it hanging?  Yeah?  Good!  You may (or may not, I don't know your life, man..) have noticed that for a blog entitled Rebecca Writes and Runs, there's not been a whole lot of content about the plodding I love/hate so dearly.  Welp, after 2 years of essentially ignoring an intermittent "hurty foot", I've now got full blown plantar fasciitis (the medical term for when your heel decides it FUCKING HATES you and all that you stand for).  For the last 2 months or so, I've had to stop running altogether and have become very well acquainted with the rowing machine at my gym.  At least I've not had to stop working out completely. Could be worse.

Still.  Doesn't stop me from missing the crap out of flinging on some trainers, stepping out the door and panting like a pervert round the local pavements.  I really really miss the freedom of it.  You don't have to wait until a class starts or for the right weather conditions or time of day.  No one is telling you how much to do and how long for.  Unless you're a professional athlete.  In which case, probably best not to wing it...

In a world of obligations, you can just tune the fuck out and bimble about until you're sleepy/hungry/wanting to fall down.  When I spot runners in the street recently, I look at them in the same way that I look at waiters when they bring out other people's food first.

"Why can't that be for me?"

One very good thing that's come out of my temporary (thank you, sweet Jesus!) ban from running is that I now appreciate it in a way that I didn't before.  This post is essentially a giant "note to self" - things I promise to do once I'm able to terrorise the neighbours with my sweaty fringe and wheezing face once more.  Here is my pledge to running. 

*places one hand on chest, the other on John Bingham's Marathon Running for Mortals*

When I can run again, I solemnly swear to:

1. Recognise that running is a privilege and not a right.  It is not up to me, but my poor, abused body.

2. Make the effort never to complain again how slow I am.  It may look like I'm gnashing and gurning my way through a swimming pool full of treacle, but at least I'm moving.  Even if it's not clear to the naked eye that there is actually motion involved in what I'm doing.

3.  Stop worrying about how much distance I cover.  No one is going to chastise me for not covering the 10 miles I set out to do, just as much as no one will release party streamers, a marching band and a troupe of dancing bears into my garden upon my arrival home if I do.

4.  Respect my gammy, knackered feet by actually looking after them and not smacking them against concrete when they are especially ouchy.  That's what got me here in the first place.

5.  Try my best to avoid responding "yeah, but I'm rubbish!"  whenever someone politely asks "Oh, you're into running, are you?"  Running me is going way faster than injured and sulking on the sofa me is right now.  Running me doesn't feel the need to tell their pets to fuck off.

....Yep, I think 5 promises to the running Gods should suffice.

*Patiently waits for my foot to magically and immediately heal ("heel"...heh. I'm so tired)*

Praise be, Farrah, Radcliffe and Bingham.  Praise be.


Sunday, 1 January 2017

My (totally realistic) Expectations of 2017

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Happy 2017 to you, lovely, generous readers! 

Resolutions have been made (1. Finally get the better of the plantar fasciitis that's been making me walk like I've soiled myself on and off to two whole, limpy years. 2. Try to remain in the moment more often, as opposed to constantly leaping at warp speed into the future with a to do list that's longer that a Lord of the Rings script), my liver is diligently working to rid my body of the last traces of a month's Christmas boozing, and my jeans are cowering in fear for the next time I have to lie down to wrench them over my ever expanding hips.  It's been a fun festive season, but I'm happy to get off the bus now.

2016 was a mixed bag for me. On a personal level, it was great:
- Something in my head clicked into a new gear at Crossfit, and I now adore exercise more than I love a nice sit down (and I love those a lot!)
- I put a deposit down for my very first home.
- I've spent a whole year working for a company that I enjoy being part of and actually want to do well for.

Globally...well, I'm still waiting for the "gotcha!" moment on most of that.  Surely it's only a matter of time until Trump zips off his body suit to reveal Mr Blobby/Noel Edmonds pissing himself laughing...and for Bowie, Rickman, Harper Lee, Carrie Fisher et al to step out onto the world's stage, mega lol-ing at the funny, funny prank they played on us.  Silly, gullible public.

I genuinely have a good feeling about 2017.  And that's not just because I saved myself a fortune cookie from a Chinese take away for midnight that read:

Apologies for the stubby finger and poor picture quality.  Only the "selfie" camera on my phone is functional.  I may or may not have dropped it one time too many.

In the light of the Brexit/Harambe/celeb culling/Trump fuckery that 2016 offered us, I have curated a list of what I fully expect 2017 to bring.  The books need to be balanced, so I believe this list to be perfectly reasonable.  Please feel free to add your own items in the comments section under this post.  Right, so... 2017:

1.  David Attenborough will be granted immortality.

2.  ....as well as the U.S presidency.  After Blobby has revealed himself at the inauguration, of course.

3.  Fed up of dividing and themselves and alienating whole groups of people from each other, world leaders will come together to merge all countries into one super-space called Planet Happy Town, where local elections will be won by pillow fight and the losers all get a big cuddle and some hot chocolate afterwards because at least they tried their best, didn't they?

4.  A swathe of beloved cancelled TV shows will be given massive budgets to return to air.  I personally cannot wait for Pushing Daisies to come back.  God, I've been waiting far, far too long.  My poor heart can't take it any longer.

5.  Memberships to gyms will be free to all.  Fear not for the gym owners/coaches/trainers, because currency will no longer be cash.  Wealth will be amassed in the form of  "gratitude points", where those who do the most good will be the richest of us all.

6.  ...meaning that the NHS will be the blingiest public service going.  Nurses and doctors will treat patients in a uniform of tiaras, capes and those Kanye West trainers that are super expensive and hard to get.

7.  Dogs will become sacred animals globally, on account of their loyalty, unconditional love and cuteness.   Those who put them to sleep or cast them from their homes without due cause will be forced to live in outdoor kennels, where children occasionally visit to pull at their ears until they have learned how not to be a colossal ass hat.

8.  Active wear will become acceptable in any and all scenarios.  It is perfect for both running to that meeting you're really late for, and for dancing until 5a.m without giving yourself blistery claw feet, and the world will finally acknowledge this.

9.  Weekends will be 3-4 days long.

10.  Houses will become self cleaning and completely flame retardant.  No more running back to the house because you think you might have left your straighteners/oven/massive collection of Yankee Candles on.

So...forecast looks good, don't you agree?  See you at the gym tomorrow, on Sunday #2.  I'll bring my dog and my 24hr active wear.  All hail Attenborough!

💗

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Too Much Christmas: A Guide

Help! My multiple chins are suffocating me!  I don't think I've consumed anything that isn't made up entirely of fat or sugar since the festive period began.  I feel as though am turning into a wobbly me-monster.  Gutzilla, if you will.  Doesn't help that I've proper fudged my wonky foot up and I'm on a temporary, osteopath ordered ban from both Crossfit and running while it heals and all. Little to no exercise + ALL OF THE CALORIES is making me feel ever so slightly sluggish.  Not even sluggish and in slow - more like, I feel like a formless lump without vertebrae. Hrrmph.  At least I've been able to focus all my energy on growing this bad ass moustache.  Cool, no?

Andy "sideburns and lipstick" Price looking rather dashing too.

Been a weird month, hasn't it?  Soaring highs of snuggly (translate:drunken) Christmas family time and all of the obligatory "do"s leading up to the Big Day... Crashing lows of the inevitable hang overs accompanied by the depressing flurry of massive icons and influencers passing away.  Just learned of Carrie Fisher's passing, which felt like a kick in my cheese filled guts.  Such a funny, outspoken, admirable lady as well as a great voice for mental health.  Just.  Ugh.  Don't know what I can say that hasn't already been said better. I'm sure if she had anything to say about it, it would be in the form of a cryptic tweet, made up entirely of emojis. 

Instead of dwelling on feeling a bit morbid and watching the clock for when I have to go to sleep in preparation for work tomorrow (which I was doing for a little while there), I thought I'd hop on here and write something silly and try to raise a smile instead.  On December 27th, we're officially in that void between Christmas and New Years where nothing makes sense,  and the after effects of Christmas are fully upon us.  Here, my friends, is my handy guide to recognizing when you've had a bit too much Christmas:

Too Much Christmas:  The Symptoms

1.  Lack of hunger, surge in appetite.
The patient may claim to have "forgotten what hunger feels like."  At any other time during year, this will generally coincide with a loss of appetite, and the sufferer will have an aversion to food as a result.  In the case of and overindulgence of "Christmassing", the physical feeling of hunger will be missing, but the desire to eat food intensifies, particularly if said food is presented on a cheese board or in a Quality Street tin.  Unless that food is salad.  Because it is Christmas, and who eats salad at Christmas? Monsters and rodents, that's who.

God, I miss nutrients.

2.  Emotional Instability
After imbibing Christmas, you may not feel the correct emotions in any given situation.  This may have something to do with the fact that you've been piss-arseholed for a month solid and you are living in a constant merry go round of sugar and alcohol highs and lows.  Do not be alarmed if you find yourself laughing at "harrowing" TV dramas and crying when you see a video of a child getting a puppy for Christmas.  And then watching said video over and over again even though you are watching them through a misty veil of salty, salty tears and can't tell which moving blob is the little girl and which is the puppy any more.  

Mmm.  Salt.  Someone, pass the peanuts.  I've not eaten for thirty seconds.

3. "Where am I?  What year is this?"
 There is a high probability that at any point between December 24th and January 1st, you will have no idea what decade it is, what the time of the day is and who these people  in paper hats are around you.  Don't freak out.  Just do as the vaguely familiar people who all look a bit like you (relatives, perhaps?) are doing.  Keep your pyjamas on, watch only films that you've seen a hundred times before to avoid further confusion and just keep shoveling crackers (the edible kind, not the ones that go bang) into your face hole until it passes.  Hopefully, when you come around, you'll be in the right century.  Don't worry - I've also heard the ice age sucked, but the fact that you have a onesie on and access to the internet should be indicative that that's not where you are right now.

4.  Food Group Confusion
One of the more obvious signs that you've recently been off your tits on Christmas is that you may no longer be able to distinguish the difference between beer/wine and water.   This is temporary.  Eventually, you will remember that trusty, non-hangover giving H20 doesn't have bubbles in it and doesn't make you fall over or want to show your nan that "look, Nana, I can twerk!!"  

Similar confusion can also occur between food and oxygen.  

5.  Smelling/Being Flammable
A sudden increase in gifted bath and body care items often leads to an over use of scented products.  This symptom is innocuous enough and is usually the least damaging to the patient's health.  As long as they don't stand too close to naked flames for a little while.  Best save the Yankees for January.

Additional handy hint for men:  No, those ladies aren't fainting because of the "enticing" fug of Lynx that shrouds you.  They are passing out from the fumes.  Please alert the emergency services.


Happy holidays all, and I wish you a speedy recovery from all the festivities!
😘





Tuesday, 8 November 2016

How Writing Is Like Running

Whoops, looks like October came and went.  This year feels like a ride on a dodgy fairground waltzer, where the man in the flammable trackie bottoms and a fag sticking out of his mouth flings you madly in circles, making you too cock eyed to see anything passing at normal speed.  Stop 2016, I want to get off!  I've just been sick on my shoes!

I can't blame 2016 for everything, though.  Main reason I've missed an entire month's worth of blogging opportunities (how was your Halloween by the way?  Well done for surviving the creepy clown epidemic if you're still around to read this), is that I got into a familiar cycle of thinking "must write more...must write more...", which, I should know by now only serves to make me freeze up and view my keyboard as a tray of tiny mines that might explode at my touch, and I need my fingers for scrolling through Facebook 999,991,003 times a day.

It's not been a totally unproductive month, though.  I've learned lately that working out is my favourite hour of the day.  It's time that's 100% mine and no matter how useless, lazy or incompetent I'm feeling before I go into it, I always come out thinking "I CAN LIFT A FUCKING BUS!! COME AT ME BRO!!"...despite being logically aware that there might be slight discrepancy between the biggish kettle bell and an actual bus.  

I never used to feel like this when I started - especially when I took up running.  I went into most activities involving getting my trainers on with trepidation and it was anyone's bet whether I'd finish up feeling invincible or berating myself for a whole weekend for being overtaken that one time by that pensioner rollin' along the seafront in their pimped out mobility scooter. Now, I'm a lot more forgiving.  I (mostly) see exercise as a cumulative thing to be enjoyed for its challenges, and feel grateful to be allowed a whole hour or so just for my lycra-legged self to get stuck into just moving for fun.  Is marvellous!

I feel the same way about writing now as I used to about running.  I love the activity, but I beat myself over the head with self criticism before I even put pen to paper.  So, in order to get me writing something other than "why have I stopped writing?  What can I do to make myself write more? Why isn't what I write better? Blah blah narcissistic whining, first world problems etc etc" in my trusty notebook (*cough* diary *cough*), I thought I'd compile a list of ways that writing is essentially the same thing as running. *Flexes fingers*


HOW WRITING IS LIKE RUNNING

1.  GUILT
1.a For not doing it.  When I started running, I was super self conscious about the label.  I wanted to be a runner.  And in order to be a runner, I needed to run lots, constantly and fast.  And if what I was doing didn't meet up to any of those things, I was a wannabe runner.  A shambler at best.  As a writer, I must churn out a bazillion quality words a day.  On top of the blogging, I must start and actually finish a fully drafted novel in order to be able to bestow the title upon myself...even though after getting 2 chapters in on my projects, I inevitably realise that I don't have the inclination to do it really..Or I secretly do, but think that what I've made so far isn't good enough to carry on with.  Then I kick myself in the pants for not having enough of a concentration span to achieve something printable.
 1.b For doing it
"OMG, how dare you be running/writing right now?  That hour could be used for cleaning (which often makes you want to eat a tea towel out of boredom), entertaining others (because they're not capable of doing it themselves, or...?) or organising the next 12 months of your life in meticulous list-y detail.  Oh, you want a break from the lists and the over thinking in order to keep yourself a sane member of society?  Well that's just selfish!"

2. "REWARDS"
Okay, so this is something I'm still guilty of.  I may overcompensate after a 3 mile bimble by "refuelling" with an entire battenburg and several slices of cheese, despite the fact that I've grown to learn that getting to move in an otherwise sedentary, office-based lifestyle is a reward in itself (endorphins are REAL, people, I've FELT them, I swear!), but, to be fair, I probably would have stuffed the marzipanny goodness down my cake hole even if I'd sat around all day long, sooo...it's okay?  

I may reward myself for stringing more than a few sentences together by binge watching Netflix and telling myself that it's actually creative research.  Ooh!  Ooh! Speaking of, has anyone seen Black Mirror?  I'm on series 2 and I've never been so depressed/inspired/amused/terrified by a TV show in my life.  Hoo blimey!  

What were we talking about again?

3.  PROCRASTINATION
 When I started running, my house was actually clean.  I mean, not super clean or anything because, well...it's me doing it, but my organised chaos was lots more organised than normal.  I could locate a matching pair of socks in under two minutes and only lost my keys once a day as opposed to every time I put them "somewhere safe."  How do I know I'm having a little tailspin about how much I write in my spare time?  The other day, I polished my hoover.  We're at crisis point, people.

4.  COMPARISON
I'll never be totally free from the desire to compare my performance in most areas of life with the people who do it better, but I'm learning to compare myself to the only person worth doing it with - myself.  Sounds cheesy, but it's pretty euphoric when you huff your way through a little 3 miler and then it dawns on you that you just referred to 3 miles as "little" when 3 minutes used to be an achievement in itself.  I haven't quite got there with writing yet, but I feel optimistic that I will learn sometime soon that I can't be Margaret Atwood because she's already been taken.  

5.  SMUGNESS
Pretty sure I only ever do anything in life for this reason.  My life is a constant pursuit of smugness.   I'm not proud of it, but it's the truth.

"Look how much I've been sweating!  TOUCH MY SWEATY, SWEATY FOREHEAD! TOUCH IT! THIS IS WHAT AWESOMENESS FEELS LIKE!!"

"I ran a distance that most people would only go in a CAR!"

"I wrote a WHOLE blog post and put it on the Internet for EVERYONE to see!  Am so brave and creative.   Oh, God, what if there is a typo?  What if I used "to" or "two" instead of "too"? What if someone sees it and then tries to talk to me about it in real life?  Should I take it down?  But if I take it down, then it will look like I haven't posted for ages and it's already been a month. Ohgodohgodohgod!"


Hmm.  Maybe need to work on my post writing smugness.  In the meantime, am off for a run.

TOUCH MY FOREHEAD!!!