Monday, 26 December 2011


My Gruffalo

I'm far

We LOVE Lego & Bananagram


This was playing on my iPod the other morning whilst I was on my turbo trainer. This really sums up 2011 for me with regards to what is happening in the world right now. Seems like we are a little fractured right now. Can 2012 be a more positive year, I hope so.

Sunday, 25 December 2011


In my opinion, Christmas seemed to take slightly too long to show up in this neck of the woods this year. The children broke up exceptionally early this year, hence I had mad, excited boys thinking each day they would wake up to "Christmas".
Right so thinking caps on - lots of activities to get organised to keep them busy.

Didn't do too badly as we had a party on the Monday with friends and their children, lots of crafty bits for the children to do/make as well as a village hall to run around in. Yep that worked.
Another activity we returned to this holiday was Geocaching. Thanks to I am now the proud owner of a Geomate Jnr, a robust, colourful GPS device with geocaches pre-loaded onto it. You literally turn it on once outside and it locates your nearest cache. If you have never tried it you must, it is great fun, although I have to say that finding the cache is the ultimate goal as was our failure on several occasions previously. Now, that has all changed thanks to my new gadget.

Myself, 2 friends and the children all went to try out my new toy. We have a cache located only 1/2 a mile away, this was our destination that afternoon. We took ourselves down the country lane, over the fields and up a hill to locate it to the very metre. There it was, my PRECIOUS!! I have failed on each of the 4 attempts I have taken previously with geocaching so this was not only a major triumph for me but it helped to instill confidence in the children that we could indeed find our treasure and not endure another fruitless trek across fields and such like. Hoorah!!

The Chalk House and the bouldering wall was another fantastic choice. Both boys have been once before and really enjoyed it. JT gets so much out of it, it is very much a drop in gym where you can come and go in that day once you have paid your initial entrance fee. There is always someone there who can navigate the boys through some new moves to challenge their climbing hence JT comes away feeling his self esteem particularly inflated. You can almost see his puffed out chest, bless him!

The cinema was also another destination of choice on a particularly wet and windy day, Alvin & the Chipmunks - Chipwrecked was the film. Not the most high brow of movies but I have to say it meant I could sit down, eat popcorn and not endure 90 mins of my kids teasing each other. I regard this then as a mission accomplished.

Another feat with which I struggle is getting my running in when Mr T is still at work and I have the children home. It either means an early start or an evening run. Luckily I managed both this week, one great, wet 6 mile run with the running club and an early morning one with Mrs D In our morning run we ran over the fields in order to locate the geocache again as Mrs D loves her mud runs and our usual route only takes us on roads, I was able to impart my precise knowledge of the location of the cache for Mrs D - I could see she was impressed!!!

All in all not bad really for a week where the boys were intolerably excited, had that time to let it bubble and manifest and unleash it on their mother!!

I hope you are all enjoying the Christmas break and in the words of Jerry Springer take care of yourself and each other :)

Friday, 16 December 2011


Well I've only gone and done it now haven't I? I have registered for my first ever Janathon! Run every day, blog every day is what greets you on the home page. It looks like 2012 is going to be the year of new challenges for me. First a daily blogging and tracking of a run EACH day ( or some other form of exercise) then a marathon in May. Being 40 next year is not looking at all bad from where I am sitting.
I am addicted to a fan of twitter and through this vast vessel of social media I have come into contact with an enormous running community. Through this I have heard about Janathon via @jogblog aka Cathy on twitter and as it is becoming ever more difficult to haul my sorry state out of bed in the mornings to complete what used to be a regular early morning run, I have given myself a challenge of running each day as well as blogging and tracking those miles.

Another tweep @Rob_Herron has been kind enough to send me some free samples of High 5 Zero Electrolyte tablets, a fantastic chance for me to try out some new forms of nutrition especially as I am now going to be upping the mileage with my long runs. So thank you Rob, check out this link for a selection of supplements available

Looks like that is January all sewn up for me then, should also schedule some time in for the husband and kids or you might just find them running around with me!!!

Saturday, 10 December 2011


You know when you have a plan and you get underway to accomplishing what you intended? It feels right and good. Then suddenly this little devil on your shoulder tells you to abandon all those plans to take yourself back home and miss that run this morning. Welcome to my morning.
Instead of running straight from home this morning I decided to mix it up abit and drive a short way into Bude to start my run, taking in the canal, coast path, beach and country roads. I had been getting somewhat tired of the same routes of late and needed the change as my mileage is increasing and I needed that extra motivation as my Mrs Motivator was not along for the ride today
No longer than 5 mins into my drive in did the devil start it's pestering. It started to rain and that gave it ammunition to work on. I very nearly turned the van around to make my way home. I then remembered where this was all going to lead me - to the marathon that I so desperately needed to get under my belt and to how I really wanted to challenge myself to get there. Also to those who believed in me and to those that I wanted to raise money for, I owed it not only to myself but to all those not to give up today.

Now to get the record straight I don't normally get this problem, once dressed and route planned I never deviate, so today's little blip was most disconcerting. Got to my destination and started out, felt good, met various other runners around the first 3 miles along the canal, a great flat route to start to proceedings, then a climb into Upton to take me onto the coast path over to the Pepper Pot. The tide was out this morning enabling me to run across the beach ( amazingly good for those core muscles), up the steps by the sea pool, then across to meet Maer Lane.
At this point I was feeling good, then like a bolt out of the blue that little devil appeared and decided that I should cut my run short - what the.....? I took myself off for a few minutes, had to have a little word with myself. My plan was to get 9 miles in and that was what I was going to complete.
With that little episode dealt with, off I went. The rest of the run was completed with no interruptions and was sheer joy. Saw several club members out and about enjoying the dry, crisp morning. Saw my sister and my niece leaving the swimming pool, stopped for a quick chat before descending a wonderful hill where I let me legs just go as fast as they wanted - weeeeeeeeee!!!!! Think Phoebe from friends style!!!

Back home and feeling great but wondering why the interruptions this morning? There are no reasons to explain them as I want to do this and am enjoying having a long term plan to work towards. I guess it is all part of challenging me to listen to my body and not always my head. My body really WANTED this run and it seems my mind was not in the same place this morning. Has anyone else suffered this imbalance of the physical and the psychological?
Lets hope that's the last I see of that devil for a while anyway.

Thursday, 8 December 2011


Today I re-established my relationship with my bike via cupid - aka the turbo trainer. We had been seeing each other on a fairly regular basis until around a month ago when I got my head turned, once again, by the running.
I will always be a runner first & foremost. It's where I am at home, it's what's lifts me, empowers me and keeps me sane emotionally, physically and mentally balanced.

The weather was a tad windy here today so a ride outside would have meant utter confidence in my riding and those on the road with me - hence the decision to go inside. I do like training on the TT as I can plug myself into my music and get an hour's session done with no boredom factor involved. As I rarely take my music on a run with me these days, it is a chance for me to appreciate my amazing varied musical tastes.

As I was cooling down on the bike, spinning my legs this came on my iPod. Just a perfect song.

Monday, 5 December 2011


You ever get that feeling when you are reading a fantastically amazing book, when you want to wiggle your nose ( Bewitched style) and jump into the book? I thought so. I found I wanted to do this whilst reading Stardust by Neil Gaiman recently. It was a very magical, enchanting read.
Imagine my excitement when scouting the charity shops in Cardiff ( more on that trip to come) when I happened upon the DVD of Stardust - or was it who found it for me in there? Needless to say I am the proud owner of a copy of the dvd with Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert De Niro and Sienna Miller in it to name but a few. I had promised the boys I would sit down with them last night and watch it. I had been raving about the book so much JT was sooo very excited at seeing the movie.

We had a wonderful roast meal whilst the heavens opened outside, the wind was picking up and the temperature outside was starting to take a more seasonal turn. PJ's were the order of the evening as we set up the movie, all snuggled on the sofa.
All too often the film version of great books are somewhat disappointing but Stardust was in no way in that category. It was a most beautiful tale told with an amazing cast, true cross-generational film magic. JT was transfixed for the 2hr 5 min and I was enjoying having "jumped" into the book all over again.
JT was being taken to school this morning by who by all accounts might as well have watched the movie now as well. According to Mrs A, JT re-told the story of Stardust to her on the journey to school, didn't stop talking about it. Do you get the impression he liked it as much as his mum???!!! As soon as it had finished he wanted to see it again!

Winter evenings are made for moments like these. It's starting to feel a lot more like Xmas in the Trewin household now, thanks to a little sprinkling of stardust x

Tuesday, 29 November 2011


My marathon has been picked and registered for.
Training plan is set and already in the process of.
The final piece of the jigsaw was to find a cause that I could raise money for.

That final piece has been found and I am pleased to announce that I will be running for The Blurt Foundation. I first heard of them via Twitter and was so impressed with what they are doing that I felt I wanted to help them. They provide a mentor scheme via their website for those affected depression and they work tirelessly to tackle the stigma of depression.
They need funds to cover the costs of the CRB checks, volunteer training and to help develop their schools programme.

Jayne Hardy is the force behind it, alongside her husband Dom. It all started with a blog post on and the rest as they say is history. Not only do they sound like an amazing couple with a fantastic vision but they are also a young, local organisation.

I look forward to being able to raise as much money as I can over the course of the next 5 months for this very worthwhile organisation. If you would like to sponsor me and have a paypal account, you can pay the money in online at Otherwise I will be out and about with my sponsor forms so look out for me!!!
Thank you.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011


I've been charity shop shopping again!! Returned with arms like an orangutan from finding almost TOO much great stuff. Highlights were a guitar (for my dad) and a dinosaur track with vehicles, dinosaurs, bridges etc for my youngest.
That's what I love about pre-loved items, they get a chance to be loved all over again by us!

In this case my father will undoubtably strum away many an hour whilst he makes his way along the canals and waterways of Britain. My son I will build, dismantle, rebuild and dismantle the dinosaur trail for countless days, with plenty of friends for the next year or two.
The guitar has been well loved by the looks of it but is amazingly in tune. My eldest had his guitar lesson earlier, I asked his teacher to give me his thoughts on my find. He picked it up and made THE MOST AMAZING SOUND with it. I was so pleased, my dad is going to be stoked. Status Quo only used a few chords in the noise songs they produced so my dad will be well on his way soon once he masters those 2 chords!!

To summarise, the girl did good at the shops today.

Saturday, 12 November 2011


I am shaken and have been stirred into action today. I have finally made my mind up I HAVE TO DO A MARATHON BEFORE I'M 40!!! It's in capitals as I have had it banging around in my head for too long now. It is now down on paper so no messing with my head anymore!!!

The date 6 May 2012, the venue North Dorset. A small marathon (400 entrants max) which is 1 lap, scenic and as flat as can be expected. Has amazing reviews on RW, so here's to some long runs in the coming months.

Here I will document the highs and lows I encounter and hope to enjoy what for me is now a personal mission. Join me on the ride? Great, see you soon.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011


There are days that come slapping you in the face with reminders of how lucky you are. Today is one of those days. Awoke in usual semi-grumpy frame of mind not least because I had to forfeit my first run since the 10K last night due to Mr T having a monster pile of work to get done. I'm glad to say the day just got better from there.
Both boys are at their educational centres of choice and I have the day ahead.

My first appointment this morning was with my sister in law for a reflexology treatment. I qualified in reflexology 11 years ago and was working on a part time basis until TJ arrived and we moved. Here I have no "nice space" for me to work from home at the moment and very much offer treatments to friends on a non payment basis. They do have to put up with the chair being placed within the boys playroom (tidied) of course! But I have had no complaints thus far - as if they would dare!

I forget how much practising reflexology chills me out. Even though I am working, it is a very fluid treatment and as I am always using my skills it is second nature to me and I float away into my own little world as well as the person in the chair. I know my sister in law went away very chilled and stress free so I am happy.  The chair sounds a little clinical, it is actually the most wonderful chair in the world. It enhances the feeling of total relaxation as it enables me to tilt the chair and for the feet to be raised. Putting your feet up never felt so good. Sheer bliss.

Part 1 of a chilled out day - achieved.

Part 2 looked a little something like this:

This helped me to gallop along the road to achieve a fast 4 mile run - felt alive and tingly after the run.

Home. Lunch. 6 music on.

As you can see the day looks good so far......

Sunday, 6 November 2011

PB = Painful battle!

6th November was the date, Plymouth 10K race was the event. It had been in the diary for a while now and as it was the first ever Plymouth 10K, I was very much looking forward to it.
Myself, Mrs and Mrs C (my friend and my pilates teacher) had decided that the 8.15am start would mean one thing, a night away in a hotel in Plymouth so as to avoid a 1 and a half hour journey on the morning of the race. A great excuse for a girlie 24 hours away.
We booked into the Future Inn, just on the outskirts of Plymouth at around 6pm on the evening before the race. We booked a table in the restaurant to ensure we carb loaded, which we did in fine form with the help of a chargrilled chicken burger and fries, mmmmmmmmmm.

During our conversations over the meal, we discussed the element of pain that you experience whilst running a race. Well, I must admit that I really had never pushed myself to the point of pain in a race before and have always found myself giving myself a bit of an easy ride. It was rather like a light bulb moment for me, I think I just expected to be comfortable in my runs no matter what. Don't get me wrong, I give myself a push and look at my pace regularly, incorporate technical sessions such as speedwork and hills to push my body to become stronger. I have never got to the point of "pain" in a race before and this got me thinking. What could I achieve if I gave myself permission to feel a little pain.
Well the answer was a PB!!
My sleep that night was sporadic to say the least, I had a lot to get nervous about. I was going to experience pain tomorrow and knew I would have to dig deep to get through it. Nervous but ultimately excited!!

The morning came, we gave ourselves time to have breakfast and made our way down to the city centre to meet up with Lenny, a friend from way back who was also running. It was a cold, crisp morning which was a beautiful way to start the day, the potential for the sunshiny day ahead was already apparent. We took the short walk over to the start area, where we deposited our baggage in the Guildhall and then took the opportunity to warm up with a short run around the start area.
We had the inaugural photo:
We also met up with fellow Bude Rats runners, Jo and Tina. These lovely ladies were with Mrs D and myself when we were leaders of the Bude Womens Running Network and had since joined the Rats when the WRN went into receivership.

1200 runners lined up at the start line at 8.15am and Katherine Endacott (GB sprinter based in Plymouth) started the race. The first section was a loop back, which I have to say doesn't do much for my motivation. With my new found need to push myself to the max, funnily enough the second loop back hardly registered and I was just concentrating on keeping up the pace I had maintained throughout. Throughout the course there were friends encouraging their club mates, people running together and marshals who were giving us support. At one point I saw Tina and Jo, was great to give them a wave, Mrs D was close by within the race and Mrs C was ahead after about the 2k mark. As our finishing times prove, Mrs D and I were only seconds apart, she is my role model when it comes to running as her attitude is so positive, she pushes herself to perform to her best and has such a healthy attitude to the sport. Was great to see Lenny and Mrs C at the end as well, cheering us in. Mrs C time was 49.25 Lenny came in at 46.48, my time was 52.13 and Mrs D was 52.16.
Jo and Tina came in at 1.03.57 and 1.06.17. Suffice to say we were all very happy with our times.
Yes, there was pain, but ultimately I beat my last 10K PB by 3 minutes.

As I was constantly being assured by Mrs C and Mrs D over our evening meal the night before, "pain is just weakness leaving the body"!

Does it look like I had been in pain - hint check out that red face!!!

Thursday, 3 November 2011


Myself and Mr T have been looking through the photos of the Exmoor Beast which Mr participated in on Sunday. I am so very proud of him, not least for completing the 100 mile distance, but for all the training he put in from day one.
It all started in the Pyrenees and ended up on Exmoor. Whilst we were travelling through France, he got to ride some amazing Cols and a new level of excitement for his riding was born. He immediately entered himself into the Exmoor Beast on our return and training got underway.

He was shattered on Sunday evening but amazingly refreshed after a good night's sleep, with very few aches or pains. Shows what training does to prepare your mind and body for endurance events.
Here he is:
Mr T

Tonight we have been looking at events that we could both enter, with trepidation on my part I might add!!! Cycling is still not a discipline I am wholeheartedly confident in, since most times I have been out I have managed to fall off, being unable to get my SPD's unclipped in time before my body reached the tarmac! The only answer, training, training and more training.
Looks like we are set on the Lands End 100 in October 2012, my distance being 100km, Mr will be doing the 100 mile route. Sounds like an amazing route as far as reviews go. Entry opens on 3rd Jan 2012 so have popped it in the diary to ensure I enter.
Here's to staying on the bike...........

Wednesday, 2 November 2011


My winter training is looking somewhat different than last year, mainly due to the addition of 2 new elements: cycling and swimming.

This time last year, I was unable to swim front crawl for toffee, seriously!! I had NEVER mastered the breathing technique needed to successfully get myself from one end of the pool to another without a) taking in way too much pool water than is healthy b) breathing like I am taking my last breath.

Needless to say if I was to master this freestyle swimming malarkey I needed some help.
This help came in the form of my lovely niece who I hasten to add is an amazingly competent swimmer, swimming in county championships but most importantly a patient and very thorough teacher. She went through the basic techniques with me, breathing, position of body, arm stroke, etc over a period of 2 sessions. Before long I felt much more confident and was able to manage around 50m without stopping before a short break. Phew, I was getting there!! Thanks Amber x
As if by magic, around the same time as my first achievements in the pool, my local running and triathlon club, were sorting out their winter swimming training sessions again. BONUS! I put myself down as being interested in taking an 11 week course of swimming sessions through the club, starting in September this would give another discipline to work towards over the winter months.
All I can say is that I AM LOVING IT. We are certainly not being given an easy ride, we are ramping up to 2000m a session at the moment, but I feel I am getting stronger and ever so slightly faster as I go through the weeks
Last nights session looked a little something like this:
Warm up: 400m F/C ( 16 lengths)
Main session: 6 x 100m F/C with 20 secs rest between reps
200m kicking
7 x 50m F/C all done within a minute
Warm down: 200m pull and 200m drill
I come away feeling shattered - in a very good way!

This fits into my week perfectly:
Monday: Swim for 1 hour with RATS
Tuesday: Run for an hour with RATS
Wednesday: Turbo train on bike for an hour or an hour in the pool
Thursday: Technical / speedwork session with RATS (1 hour)
Friday: Early morning swim then Pilates (1 hour)
Saturday/Sunday: Long run or bike ride outside

Am loving the variety this gives me and am feeling stronger for it, winter training never looked so good.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011


Since completing my last half marathon, shamed to say that was a whole7 months ago, I have suffered with a mild form of plantar fasciitis. After seeing my sports masseur soon after the event it was evident through an hour of kneading areas deep enough to produce noises (from myself) that I hadn't heard for at least 4 years. Note my second child was born 4 years ago - you get the connection now?

My soleus muscle was my initial cause for concern when booking my appointment, the tightness in my lower calf was noticeable and annoyingly annoying. It always fascinates me how the human body compensates for injuries that appear in one area of the body initially, the body wanting a constant state of equilibrium will strive to keep the body in a state of homeostasis. This often leads to related injuries/tension within other areas of the body. Hence the transfer of pain from the soleus to the foot over time in the disguise of plantar fasciitis.

Every night When I remember I used my purple spiky massage balls to help alleviate the niggle in my foot that the PF brings. The reason my cross training took on more of a precedence was largely due to the need for me to rest the feet more and enable my body to make it's way back to it's equilibrium.
So far I am finding my 2 days of running is enough for me to cover my training for the 10K's I am doing recently and to keep my PF in check. Those purple balls of loveliness are great company to my feet whilst enjoying a wonderful new series of The Fades on BBC3, if you haven't seen it, make yourself! It's more than a little scary but in a really good way??!! The 2 main characters, Paul (Iain De Caestecker) and Mac (Daniel Kaluuya) are brilliantly cast. Unfortunately the end of the series was last week but I am fairly convinced by the way we were left wondering about Paul's ascension status among various sub plots within this series, that we have not seen the end of this series. If creator Jack Thorne reads this (!) please can we have more? Many thanks.

Ooh, did I just go off on a tangent there, well that's the power of The Fades for you. Basically whilst doing various menial tasks at home I can incorporate the healing of my PB inflicted feet. Hoorah for the purple balls!!

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Friday, 28 October 2011


To 10K or not to 10K now that is the question.

Since I completed my last half marathon in 1901, whoops sorry, March 2011, I seem to have stumbled upon the shorter distance and am liking and liking alot. Not only does it mean I get round quicker but it makes way for more training in other disciplines.

Since Mr T signed up for the Exmoor Beast ( he gets to come face to face with said Beast this weekend) I have been following a fairly regular training program on the turbo trainer. I have to admit to being a little dubious as to how I would fair with the fact that I would be a) going nowhere and b) sat in our garage for up to an hour at a time. I have to say I have found it surprisingly easy and enjoyable as I have my ears plugged into my iPod and have been finding some great tracks to help with the various interval training I am doing.
My session of choice is lovingly called Stairway to Heaven. This comprises of a 10 min warm up spinning the legs, working my way through the cogs whilst on the small chainring at the front. After 10 mins I move to the big ring at the front and keep towards the smallest ring at the back. After 5 mins of riding hard, I take it up at the back by 2 and down to the small ring at the front for 2 mins to spin the legs out and recover. I do 5 x 5 mins sessions with recovery in between, then have a 10 min warm down. Throughout I am listening to a variety of tracks but there is one that takes me through even the hardest climb. The most amazing track to exercise to ( in my opinion) has to be this:

If that won't get me climbing those hills then don't know what will!
The only problem with enjoying other disciplines is that the running gets pushed into a tighter gap within the week, therefore the 10K distance has worked into this new phase of training beautifully!

I very much enjoyed some great runs with the Bude RATS recently. Myself, The Day to Davis, Mr D and Avril enjoyed a morning on the coastal paths and countryside around North Cornwall participating in the Grrrr Rats Relay in September. On 15th October the National Trust supported by Bude RATS held their first Mouth to Mouth race. This couldn't have been planned any better, the weather was AMAZING, blue skies, no wind and I was keen to get into the 10K course. 1 hour and 8 minutes later I felt like I had not one ounce of energy left in my lead legs. The hills were incredible and took it out of me more than I could have realised but I must admit to having had enjoyed it so very much. The atmosphere was so very friendly, with a great RATS turnout, visiting runners from various other clubs gave us some amazing finish time to marvel at, and I came away with a 2nd in age category medal which I was totally amazed at!!!
Mouth to Mouth 2011
My medal!

My next race is on 6th November in Plymouth. Another debut race, the Plymouth 10K, looks set to be a fast course, am hoping I can do it justice. Good to see some new races being added, lets hope both the Mouth to Mouth and Plymouth 10K become yearly additions to the running calendar.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

1,2,3,4...........wowsers how did we get here!

My little man saw the arrival of his 4th birthday yesterday. Not like it was unexpected or anything, he had been talking about it non stop since his brother's birthday in June!!! Every conversation in the last few months has pretty much commenced with the words, "When I'm 4, I will..........." Why is it that when we are young we so desperately want to be older and when we are advancing in years we seem to hark back to our younger years?! C'est la vie.

It was a fun packed day, with a young boy who was so very excited by presents, by "the best party" at the local playzone and by being the centre of attention all day.




Birthday 2011


I always get excited at the thought of getting the craft box out with the boys, very often they lose interest all too quickly for my liking and we end up with half finished projects.

Not so this half term week.............
we attended a creative craft session at Bude Life Centre on Tuesday with Ayres Rocks and her lovely boys. The projects ranged from intricate Christmas cards for the older children to making moving Santa's and snowmen for the smaller hands, with other great projects in between to suit all levels.
We came away after 2 solid hours, yes you read correctly 2 HOURS, where my boys were engaged in making some wonderful decorations for xmas, to either decorate their bedroom or to give as gifts.

This morning I had intended on having a quiet day with the boys after we had a manic day yesterday with the arrival of TJ's 4th birthday. I had seen a post on a lovely blog and had wanted to attempt this with the boys before halloween past us by. This morning was the day to do it, wet and miserable outside, warm and crafty inside!! What a treat it turned out to be. We were joined by Jamie, JT's best friend, all 3 boys made some wonderful, highly individual pop up cards. I made up different templates for them to decorate as they wished and they were off. I left them too it with "one I had made earlier" and the laptop on showing the various cards shown on the blog. I loved the way they commented on each other's cards with praise and complements flying, just lovely.
The process

TJ's finished card

JT's finished card
I can honestly say we had a wonderful morning creating these, ahh, long lazy crafty days, I love you.

Friday, 23 September 2011


Music was my first love and it will be my last, music of the future and music of the past as John Miles would so aptly put it.

From an early age, music was a part of my life. From the accompaniment of a piano in my ballet lessons at the age of 5 to the contemporary dance routines I learnt for many dance festivals shared with my dance partner, Michelle Sparey. The one that sticks in my mind so vividly is standing on stage with Michelle dressed as a blue toothbrush whilst she was suitably dressed as a pink toothbrush.
The recent find on you tube of the Max Bygraves song brings back visions of Michelle and I dancing our wonderfully choreographed number on stage and getting our picture in the Gloucester Citizen (where I lived until the age of 13). Incidentally, Michelle Sparey is now working within the entertainment industry and has been frequenting the West End as a dancer. Needless to say she was the better performer out of the 2 of us. I was never destined for the bright lights. The fact that I had to wear stage makeup at such a young age is my reasoning for not wearing much make up as an adult!!
I digressed! Recently our household has become ever more musically influenced. JT has started guitar lessons and I happened upon a wonderful find in the local North Devon Hospice charity shop recently in the form of the Yamaha VSS-200. As a child, I learnt both the piano and the violin and was in a local children’s orchestra as well as a choir. I even sang with Richard Baker in Gloucester Cathedral with my school – ahhh happy memories. The song we sang was Music was my first love.
TJ and I have also been attending our local Music Train classes for over a year now with the lovely Mrs Ayres from TJ has so much rhythm inside him and very much enjoys the singing and playing of instruments in the sessions. There could well be another instrument making its way to our household soon in the form of a ukulele, as TJ wants to learn the guitar like his brother and gets most upset when he can hear JT and his teacher strumming away and he can’t join in! We shall see.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011


Since the WRN is no more, I joined the Bude RATs and have been back a couple of times since my return from our holiday. I have to say I was slightly lost after having not done anything other than a measly 3 mile run whilst in France and having no races to train for. I was feeling despondence rising and a need to either shape up or ship out. Shipping out was not really an option as running has been such a part of my life for the last 3 years that it would be alien not to exercise my body in one form or another. This is the beauty of being part of a large group such as the RATs, there is very little time to get complacent as there is always a new race on the horizon or a new opportunity to train in another discipline. RATs stands for runners and triathletes, therefore the group offer opportunities for cycling and swimming as well as their 2 training sessions of running a week.

Needless to say I felt I needed a different challenge and seeing that my swimming has been almost non existent since I was pregnant with TJ, when the swimming training sessions were offered at RATS for the Autumn, I jumped at the chance. Last night was my first taste of “training” in a swimming pool, it was absolutely amazing. Extremely well run, pushing me to identify areas that are in need of more than a bit of work (kicking action) and above all inclusive of everyone’s level. There were some amazing triathletes within the group, one being Mrs Day to Davis, who has been training for her first triathlon on 2nd October over the summer and is seeing fantastic results. The fact that I was able to train alongside those with a wealth of experience was great, felt sky high when I came home.  Shattered but very much looking forward to next week.
With my despondence given the big boot up the backside it needed, I am looking forward to the RATs Random Relay on 25th September and the Mouth to Mouth Sandymouth 10kish run on 15th October. Here’s to training again with a vengeance.
I will hear in October whether I have been accepted into the ballot for the Virgin London Marathon 2012, if I get in a whole new level of training will kick in, so watch this space!

Mr T has not been without focus either. Whilst holidaying near the Pyrenees, Mr T took opportunities to cycle some amazing Cols around the Biarritz area and whilst in Northern Spain he was chomping at the bit to get out on his bike at any given opportunity! Once home he is upping his training and looking at entering the Exmoor Beast 100 mile cycle ride in October as well as organising an epic cycle ride for his 40th year! If nothing else we will be high on fitness endorphins!   

Monday, 12 September 2011


I was slightly concerned about suffering from and lingering within the post holiday blues that set in once the grey skies had made an appearance last week. I need not have worried as I received my first copy of the Saturday Guardian for 5 weeks, I realised what I love about being home and what I enjoy about my life. My friends who are just around the corner or down the street, the familiarity of the faces and places I see each day, the lovely school which I see my boys enjoy and a lovely big queen size bed!!
Two articles this week really hit home. The first was detailing the Reading Promise that Alice Ozma and her father made to each other, I immediately ordered the book online and can’t wait to delve into it. Resumed our nightly reading with JT in earnest, The Scarecrow and His Servant by Philip Pullman was started last night!

The second article was on mothering and the way in which has not been very “fashionable” of late, the word parenting has replaced it in everyday use. Many articles and books show us how to “deal” with our children and control them, whereas Naomi Stadlen talks about understanding them and comforting them. I know I have been guilty of being torn in two by not knowing how I should bring my boys up, there is so much out there making mum’s feel guilty about their relationships with their children. I am guilty of listening to opinions from “experts” whose opinions are regarded as more important than a mother’s.
Over the years I have meandered around parenting forums on a website, reading books written by Baby “experts” and getting advice from friends and childcare workers. I think this is very much a first mother experience for me and found that when TJ arrived, I felt more “established” as a mother and much more confident in the way our family unit was making it’s merry way through life. The boys still give me many sleepless nights when I regularly have to understand the way they react to things and compensate for that in my relationships with them. All in all I feel like I can mother the boys confidently and try not to “control” them but enable them to explore the best way to deal with events and feelings they experience in life.  

All in all, it’s good to be home.


All I can say about our summer is that I want to do it all again. What a wonderful experience we have had this summer. Leopallooza music festival, cinema visits, time with friends and best of all 4 whole weeks of sun, sea, camping and family time.

Our 4 weeks travelling through France and Spain was an amazing treat for us as a family, partnering up with my sister’s family and seeing the boy’s and their cousins create some wonderful memories. Well all I can say is, we are doing it all again next year, for sure.

Thursday, 4 August 2011


Wow and don’t I know it. The boys are like whirlwinds at the moment wanting entertainment every waking minute of every waking day!! Just changing into my wonder woman outfit as I type, cook tea and mop the floor!!! Here comes the school holidays with a vengeance.
Remarkably though, the weather has played ball this year and allowed us an almost perfect 2 weeks of weather so far. Composed of some really great warm beach days, with less sunny, dry days where we can still get out and about. We are breaking with our usual course of action for the holiday’s and instead of saying “we will go camping further into Cornwall this year” only to find we get just 2 day’s of weather in which Mr T and I wish to camp in, by that I mean, no hail, blustering winds or temperatures that suit autumn more than summer. This year we are taking leave of our senses and travelling through France, in our van with both the boys!!!
It has been many months in the planning as we are meeting my sister and her family there 2 day’s after we arrive. Their experience last year encouraged us to jump on their band wagon and get those Vdub wheels a turning down those autoroutes of France. Am taking nearly all but the kitchen sink as it is an extended trip due to take us from the tips of Roscoff right through France into Spain. Sometimes I have wondered why I would swop my lovely open plan,spacious home in Cornwall to eat, sleep and travel within the confines of a SWB VW T5 converted van, then I look back at my sister’s photos of her trip last year and it reaffirms why. The boys adore their cousins and I feel myself slowly relax into a more sedate way of life whilst camping, children laughing, bottles of wine being uncorked, brie being spread over copious amounts of French bread, yes I think I’m ready for my adventure now!
Saying that we have not shirked our daily outings thus far here in lovely Cornwall. Many day’s have been spent on or near the beach, around Tamar Lakes with friends, watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 at the cinema, picnicking with friends and watching my eldest make all the names of his favourite characters from HP out of Lego.
Hermione - can you see it?

Harry - yes you're getting it now

Et voila - Ron

I have also enjoyed a treat of my own so far this summer by attending Leopallooza again this year, this time for the weekend and not just the Sunday sessions. What an amazingly festival this is, not only are we a stone’s throw away but the line up for the whole festival was explosive. They even improved on last year with the addition of a dance tent and from what I remember of last year’s there was more variety in the catering available as well ( always something to consider in my book!). Avril and I rocked up on Saturday just in time to see the Crowns play, a Cornish band who Avril had seen whilst at the Eden Sessions earlier this summer. Man Like Me were amazing as was the jaw dropping Le Shark, who caught many an eye including that of  .Our rug was strategically placed so that we could take in the main stage whilst being well positioned to peruse the rest of the site. This is what makes it so very lovely, it is still a relatively small festival,with many folk being those you see walking in the town or serving you in the local Fat Face store. Small but perfectly formed would be how I would describe it. I will be back for more in 2012 and I will probably even camp!
This one's for Katie - Le Shark

The field at night - *sigh*


I was reminded with wonderful decorum by a fellow Leopallooza -  festival goer this weekend, that I had failed to update my blog for over a month, verging on the 2 months mark. Not acceptable I must agree and to be perfectly frank I have no idea why not.

I sit here with my document open only to discover my last ramblings still on my document and not posted onto the blog – slack just doesn’t even start to cover it! Where is my head at recently?

Please read the following post as if you were reading it around 30th June 2011:

I have very mixed emotions this week as it is the final sessions of Bude Women’s Running Network. I started the Bude WRN back in October 2009 after having caught the running bug whilst running with some friends within the village. I gradually started to see improvements in many areas of my life, my energy levels and my new zest for life was very addictive. I also found that I very much enjoyed the social aspect of the runs with Claire and Katie and I am sure that is how our friendships became as solid as they are – something I will always be grateful for.

I had been a subscriber of Runner’s World magazine for no more than 3 months when I read an article detailing how a woman who had recently started running and had felt the same benefits that I had. She had decided to start her own running group as there wasn’t a group that catered for beginners or those who weren’t 9 minute miler’s in her area. I think I knew there and then that I was going to have to do the same. I had already been very aware of the Women’s Running Network when I had lived in Exeter (where it all started in 1997) and knew they were geared towards getting women of all levels and all abilities to run within a social, safe group. There were opportunities for runners in Bude through Bude RATS but nothing specifically tailored towards beginners at that time and so the idea of Bude WRN was born.

I booked myself onto a Leadership in Running Fitness course to be held in Launceston in Sept 2009 and then my first run was scheduled for 31 October. I remember thinking that no one would show up and that myself and my county activator, Charlotte Lawson, would end up doing a run together!! I was amazed when the women started to arrive and had to hold back my nerves when introducing the concept and the way the WRN worked. 

From that day to this, as they say, the rest is history. Myself and have encouraged many women to dust off their trainers and give running a go. Some have now gone on to join the Bude RATS who have accommodated all us ex WRN members and made us all feel very welcome. Many have achieved things they didn’t know they could, 10K races, half marathons to name but a few. The most wonderful memories I will take away from it all is that I have shared in someone’s feeling of triumph. Be it running all the way to the top of a hill which has always challenged them, finishing a beginner’s course when they had said “I am not a runner!”, booking themselves in for a half marathon and then training each weekend together, encouraging each other. I am so very happy to have been a part of an amazingly supportive bunch of women – to all of you, keeeep running!! (Said in a Bruce and Tess kind of way!)

Friday, 17 June 2011


Not quite up to the minute but ......newsflash........Website address is I realised yesterday, when  mother asked how the website was going ( she is a follower of Maid in Cornwall), that I hadn’t updated the blog with regards to the website having going LIVE!!!
Take a peek, hope you like it, then tell all your friends who want to visit Bude to stay there!! Been busy titivating the house after the last visitors, there is not much to do, had the carpets cleaned yesterday so feeling nice and fresh. Really want to update the children’s bunk room with some cushions as I have managed to acquire some lovely fabric that would look great in there. All in good time I think!
Am now responsible for getting the SEO for the website monitored and to try to elevate our position in the Google searches, am quite enjoying keeping the website updated and am so pleased with the way it is looking. Not my comfort area – technology- but I am learning bit by bit and have to say it is a minefield of information.
Another area where I struggle at the moment is shopping, I know, strange for someone who’s wardrobe resembled Gap’s latest collection and most of the high street alongside it some years back. These day’s I find clothes shopping a testing activity where I get bamboozled by the array of choices offered, I’m sure that’s why I love charity shop rummaging as there is a limit to what you are offered.
Yesterday was D day for getting my ball dress for next week’s Hartland Ball.  I started with the North Devon Hospice Occasion Wear shop in Barnstaple, thanks to a “tip off” from unfortunately I didn’t find what I was looking for there, beautiful cocktail dresses but not full length ball dresses which was the order of the day. Next stop, Monsoon. Katie came with me and it was good to get a second opinion on the dresses, I know what suits me now and am no longer disillusioned into thinking I can wear the styles that I can’t but it is always nice to have a second opinion when you are searching for that special dress. After only 2 dresses I had found “the one!” Feels lovely to wear, very simple (always good with me) and tastefully accessorised by the lovely lady in Monsoon I am kitted out for next week. Within an hour and a half of arriving in Barnstaple we were sitting in Pizza Express eating lunch with Katie’s mum, mission accomplished!! Food is a great motivator for many things I do in life, shopping is no exception!!
Looking forward to getting dressed up for a wonderful night out, for a wonderful cause.

Thursday, 16 June 2011


Quite profoundly taken aback by how emotional I was feeling on Tuesday as my “big boy” turned 7. For some reason this changing of years from 6 to 7 seems like a huge leap, mainly for me. My sense of pride when I saw him come into our room at 6.30am to open his presents was magnified this year, his sheer joy at opening his presents whilst saying “ah thanks” for each one opened. I loved it when he said “you remembered when I said I liked that, thank you” made my heart just fill with deep love for this lovely boy.
I remember so vividly my pregnancy, birth and first moments with my eldest son. The pregnancy was an anxious one for us as we had to say goodbye to little Emily at 20 weeks gestation, 18 months previously. Due to being hospitalised during and after Emily’s birth, I was adamant that I wanted a home birth for this child, luckily the midwives in Bude were very pro home births and were well versed in home birth procedures and I had much faith in my midwife, Chris Edwards.
A 20 week scan unfortunately showed 2 anomalies at JT’s scan and I was sent to Bristol for further scanning, unfortunately this is what happened with Emily, as you can imagine I was an emotional wreck until we had some good news that they would monitor the cyst and his kidney development and would hope that it would rectify itself by the 30 week scan I was booked in for. Still, a tense 10 weeks past before we had the all clear and I knew that my baby was in the clear – phew!
I remember the home birth with happy memories, was a very warm day and I spent some time in the bath with the window open listening to the voices of people and life going by, little snap shots of that day stick with me. Mr T was there for me as and when I needed / wanted him, at times I just wanted to be alone and others just with Chris (my midwife).
Eventually after 14 hours, my little man arrived, delivered in the bathroom, which to this day causes much laughter with JT as he was almost born on the toilet!!
JT - 1 day old x

Just made me realise how lucky I am to have my two healthy boys and am privileged to be able to be part of watching these lives develop and have learnt so much from becoming a mother,  that I count my blessings a little more today.