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!!!


Thursday, 13 October 2016

London Marathon News (?)

Good evening browsers, skimmers and readers of blogs of questionable quality!  How goes it?  A friend offered to create a guest post for my little corner of the Internet (sorry said corner is a bit dusty.  Don't think I'll ever get the hang of the whole  "regularly maintaining your website" thing...think of it as looking "lived in" or "shabby chic" as opposed to just "a bit shit").  This offer reminded me that if I am going to be popping other people's work up onto an online platform alongside my word vom, then I should probably at least put something new up myself. 

Also watch this space for said guest post =). 

So. Yass.  New stuff.  Biggest news this week is...fanfare, please.  Failing that, jazz flute interlude/recorder solo:

I did not get into the Virgin Money London Marathon 2017! 

Boo.  Also hurrah!  I had properly mixed feelings about whether or not I wanted to get in and when I found out that I didn't, I felt sad; Opportunity of a lifetime/bragging rights forever/being part of a historic event, amazing sense of achievement blah blah etc etc. 

Then it dawned on me that I'm not doing it.  I'm. Not. Doing.  It.  I don't have to do it!  For the first time in about 3 years, I have no races on the horizon to nurse semi crippling excitement and anxiety about.  I don't have to worry about whether my tantrumming foot will fall off.  I don't have to run for hours and hours, beating myself up because I want to cry and I'm not fast enough (root cause of this emotion?  Generally hunger).  While I probably will end up caving and signing up to the next thing offering me a shiny medal for turning up in shorts and turning a bit puffy and purple, it's nice to entertain all of the things that I can do now that I know I won't be sacrificing 3-4 months to the running gods:

Things I Can Do Instead of the London Marathon

1.  Be warm - With no races to train for, I can opt for the cozy, swear and sweat warmed surroundings of my gym for a while instead of the endless putting on and taking off of layers involved in winter night time running where your body is BOILING and drenched in the sweat layer between your skin and your coat, but your fingers have turned into frozen carrots sticking out of your palms.

2. Do more of this shit (except maybe with less of a derpy expression and single as opposed to double chin):

I fully expect to be able to bench press a bus load of obese pensioners and their shopping by this time next year.  I mean, is this not the face of a super hero?


 "I'll save you! Hurr hurr!"

3. Develop a "normal person" relationship with food.  

Okay, bit of a long shot, but when you're both constantly hungry from putting all your energy into "da milez" and bragging about all of said miles you've covered in training, your (my) body tends to go into desperation (greedy a.f) mode and it craves anything that requires little to no preparation, preferably made mostly/entirely out of sugar,  i.e ALL OF THE SWEETS!  AAAAAALL OF THE CAAAAAKE!! Logic takes a 4 month nap in which terrible, high calorie, low to zero nutritional content munchies is inhaled because "My body needs FUEL and I DESERVE THIS!!"  I still haven't switched out of this mindset and haven't run a marathon in about a year and a half, but I can hope that time will fix me.  Blind optimism works, right?  Right??
4.  Drink without guilt/remorse

I was just going to write "drink" there, but my super healthy, no booze regime leading up to the Liverpool Rock 'n' Roll Marathon last year had more loop holes that a pair of poorly made, knitted crotch less knickers.  I wasn't to drink during training..unless:
- Is a special day such as birthday, holiday (Christmas etc), weekend or any other day ending in the letter "Y."
- Am being forced to rest an injury.  Medicinal, you see.
- Am thirsty.
- I need the calories because do you know how far I've run this week??

5.  Be in denial that, in fact, even though it's probably the best thing for my slightly wonky, broken body right now...and I'll have so much more time to play with for a few months..and it'll give me a chance to throw myself fully into CrossFit for a bit instead to develop my strength...part of me is still a bit sad that I didn't get into the London Marathon.

Because I'm so not. You are.  Look at you with all that repressed temptation to sign up to the full marathon that's coming back to Cardiff next year instead.  What's the matter with you??

Saturday, 24 September 2016

How To Do Uni

Hello Saturday! Hello middle-of -the-day bath and dressing gown times! Not simultaneous, 'course.  Dressing gown would get soggy.  I know I should be feeling sorry for myself after I made the decision today to forgo another Cardiff Half Marathon since my last week's Swansea Bay 10k reminded my right foot how angry running can make it, but in all honesty, I'm not too arsed.  I'm fully aware that I did this to myself. Zero proper running training, followed by one manic month into which I decided to squeeze in ALL OF THE MILES EVER!! What else was going to happen, really?  Silly sod.

It is precicely because I have such clearly excellent logic skills that I'm going to share some nuggets of knowledge this week, primarily aimed at my baby sister, who used to look like this:

Butter wouldn't melt

and now looks like this:

Butter still wouldn't melt.  Also get that butter away from me, it'll ruin my lipstick for my Instagram post. #selfie #Nomakeup #etc #etc #harambe?

In my mind, she is still 9 years old, and will remain to be so, even when we both reach an age where sitting down is the best and most time consuming part of our days (soo...28, then?) and we are so wrinkly that we look like we've been left in a bath for way too long. So, it comes as a bit of a shock to me that Forever 9 is pissing off to uni tomorrow.  
 
Because everything is about me, me, me (obviously), I have processed my "What the fuck?  Nooo, time is going too fast and I have no control over it and my life is ultimately meaningless and what is life about anyway and is it time to eat yet and help me, I'm so oooold!!" feelings by ruminating about my own experiences of studentom.  

Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20.  And even if my own vision isn't perfect now, it's a damn sight clearer than it was back in 2006-2009 when I was off my tits on 2-4-1 VK Blues 5 out of 7 nights a week.  I didn't have a big sister to kit me out with important hints and tips when I was a fresh faced (spotty) youth embarking upon the adventure of a lifetime (the opportunity to take wild advantage of a body that could drink heavily and not suffer for a whole week afterwards).  So, Shaunna....This is my gift to you.  And no, you can't return it for a H&M voucher:

HOW TO "DO UNI"
 
1.  Say no to as few things as possible
 
I probably took this bit of advice a bit too far. And obviously, if it feels too dangerous/uncomfortable, definitely say no.  I'm not telling you to say yes if a stranger asks you if you want to see some puppies in the back of his van.
 
In Swansea Uni, I worked a part time job, "studied" (read mostly good books that I would have enjoyed in my spare time anyway for a degree - sussed the system there, didn't I? Heh) and said "yes" to every single night out/group meetup/opportunity to hang around in town in a small gang going "ha, look at me, I can buy Haribo for breakfast and no one will tell me off!".  It might have resulted in a few mornings working at Debenhams cafe, hiding in the big freezer and praying for death because "everything hurts", but it was worth it.  
 
3 years fly by about as quickly as 3 weeks in Uni and suddenly it's all over.  Think of it as a mini practice at life as a whole.  You want to look back at it and hate your adult life in comparison because uni was so magical and dramatic and silly and fun because you took advantage of every opportunity you had. Okay, maybe not, hate your adult life, but...y'know.  Memories and that.  If I hadn't said yes to so many things, I wouldn't have had memories like this beaut:

- Going up onstage at a student pub's karaoke night (my first and last ever attempt at karaoke for reasons about to be made obvious) to belt out Tribute by Tenacious D as part of a group of 3, only to finish and realise that my co performers were mute throughout the whole thing.  Then, sitting back at table to rest of friends telling me in the blunt honesty only real friends can employ  "Beck, you had a microphone.  You didn't need to shout."


2.  Check your garden for rats
 
Enjoy your first year in halls.  If your experience was anything like mine, the student housing situation will be dire.  My first house share outside of halls introduced me to the delights of:
 - Having a gaping hole in the kitchen floor, covered only by thin plastic flooring, making each trip to the fridge a potential game of Kerplunk where the marbles are students.
- Fuzzy mold and damp in every nook and cranny of the house that gives you eczema for the next decade of your life.
- Scaffolding left up all year round so that strangers can climb up to the top floor windows to cheerily bid your roomate "Hello!" and scare the living shit out of her.
- Having a derelict building adjoining your house, which you and your peers spend more time in than is strictly safe, causing the letting agent to ask with a knowing smirk the following term "so..ahh...Nice circle of chairs you have in there.  Can't imagine what that's for!"
-  A territorial, jack russell sized rat in the back garden that aggressively rushes at the door every time your dare to take the bins out.  

Don't worry.  It's all part of the experience.  Living in a house not fit for human habitation is all par for the course as a student and it gives you some great stories for when you leave.  Sometimes, I do wonder how Kalashnikov the rat is doing these days.  S/he is a monster not of this world and will defnitely outlive us all.

3.  Eat more than 2 colours
 
Seriously.  Everything I ate was microwaveable, orange, came from a can and was sprinkled liberally with melty cheese.  Sounds delicious, but there's only so much tinned spaghetti and Tesco Value cheddar your body can tolerate before begninning its slide into potential obesity and being struck by oh so "mysterious" colds every other week.
4.  Accept that you will drive your housemates crazy
 
 You will fall out.  There will be at least one impossibly neat one, an infuriatingly messy one (moi!), one that has the ability to party for more consecutive days than should be humanly possible and one that fucks with/steals other people's food when they're in bed (we never got to the bottom of who the nocturnal "bread scruncher upper" was in my house.  Still a mystery to this day). Your habits will drive the nuts and theirs, you. Everyone is annoying, and living in close proximity with other people, day in and day out will inevitably create the odd drama.  However, if you realise that these dramas are just superficial and keep in touch, you could have friends that you take with you for the rest of your life.  Plus, they'll probably know so many embarrassing stories about you by the end of your time together years that you'll have to keep them sweet to keep them quiet and vice versa. 

5. Know that after 3 years of toil,study and making a tit of yourself at the union on a Wednesday night, it'll all be worth it, because you get to proudly wear a silly flat hat and cape like you're in Hogwarts and post for not-at-all-awkward photos to cherish forever.  Like this:
 
 "I graduated! Lolz."
 
 
Good luck, young one!  And don't let Tequila trick you into thinking it's your freind.

Evidence.  Tequila = bad