Tuesday, 21 August 2012

034: Running around in circles.........

Does life feel like you are constantly running around in circles?  Well mine does at the moment! 

 I sometimes wish that I could just hit the 'pause' button of life especially when I find myself in tranquil and peaceful places.  All I could hear was the clicking of grasshoppers, the birdsong from the trees and the gurgling of running water ............. I could have stayed by the water's edge all day!

And then the moment was shattered by the call of 'mum', 'mum', 'mum'........... unfortunately a day out at Dunham Massey in Cheshire with my daughter and the Postie was not a time for solitary contemplation!

Here in Cheshire we are spoilt, in every direction we seem to have a National Trust Estate within travelling distance and we had decided a quick trip to Dunham was the perfect solution for a day when the weather was looking unsettled.  Amazingly the weather held out and whilst we were on the estate the sun came out especially for us!

Dunham Massey Hall dates back to the 1730s and is now owned and cared for by the National Trust.  The main attraction for my daughter is the herd of deer that roam freely within the 300 acre estate.  We've been here many times, and she has on previous visits spent hours sketching the deer but this time she wanted to capture the deer on her new gadget - her Ipod Touch - so she could put the pictures on instagram which is currently the new 'cool' thing for a 10 year old!

My photo skills seem 'old fashioned' in comparison!!

After the deer had posed for a countless number of shots, we had a brisk walk around the woodland on the estate and eventually took the time to 'pause' and watch the microcosm of life in a simple lily pond ... and then I realised that even in nature everybody was running around in circles too! The fish darting to and fro below the waters edge, the strange blue insects (photo below) hovering just above the water and the large dragonflies dive bombing the lilypads and us.  They were all just getting on with it ... no rest for the wicked even in that pond!

The weekend brought another challenge in a busy schedule - a 10k race on an extremely hot sultry sunday morning.  No pots of coffee and croissants on the patio for us, no instead the motorway beckoned for a jaunt to .......Warrington!   I rarely visit the town, only the lure of Ikea and the occasional road race are enough for me to contemplate getting lost in its maze of identical roundabouts, seldom have I ever visited without at least taking the wrong turning at one.

The Birchwood 10k race is an ever increasingly popular race, nearly 1,000 entrants on a sunny Sunday morning gathered on the car park of the Birchwood Shopping Centre for a 10.30am start.  The heat slowed down many as we followed the twisting course over one roundabout and round another. Everytime I looked up I saw another in the distance!

By the 5k mark I had started to lose count of the number of roundabouts we had encountered, I had the feeling that I was running around in circles....literally!

 I decided at the 7k mark that it wasn't going to be my day for a good time and I just scraped through with a respectable time 39 seconds slower than my current 10k PB, though in retrospect I'm happy with my run given the heat and the undulating nature of the course

As we came through the finish line we were greeted by the cheerful smiles of children with bunches of flowers for all the women runners, and to mop up our very sweaty brows everyone received a souvenier towel which was the perfect colour for me at the moment, can you guess????????

Duck Egg  Blue!!!!!!!!!! (well nearly...sort of that shade!)

Anyway, apologies to all you crafters for the lack of craft-relating posts, normal service will be resumed soon.....probably when the school doors reopen and peace and quiet are restored once more!

Goodbye for now
Fleur xx

Saturday, 4 August 2012

033: As time goes by............

 'To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else'

The words of the American Poet Emily Dickinson resonate with me today.  I look at the calendar and can't quite believe we are already in August.  I look back at the last month and my previous post and wonder where the time has gone?  But I am not sad, it has been a busy time and many things have taken a back seat whilst I have been concentrating on family life, but life has been good!

So whilst I have been 'living'.......... time has ticked by, and a whole new room has been decorated in my new favourite colour.  Can you guess? 

So whilst I have been 'living'......... time has ticked by, and new pictures have been bought to go in my new duck egg room.  Inspired by all the 'Britishness' and 'London Love', I just couldn't resist these two prints from the London Transport Museum collection, click here to have a browse.  They were both London Underground Posters from 1936 and they carry on the duck egg theme perfectly.

Can you guess where this one is?

You've just got to guess this next one straight away!

So whilst I have been 'living'....... time has ticked by, and new fabric has been spotted, desired and finally bought.  The fabric is from Amy Butler's new collection and is called Deco Dots ..... so it will complement my 1930s Duck Egg Blue scheme perfectly.  As I have been so busy 'living' the fabric is still currently folded neatly ready for action, I hear it calling to me often ...... cut me, sew me!!!

So whilst I have been 'living' ....... time has ticked by, and I have to admit that not a lot of clicking has been heard in my household in recent days.  Every year around this time I seem to have a knitting lull but my fingers are itching to get back clicking again, and I know that although I've got at least three WIPs in various stages, I really must start with a new project.  What better to get me going again .......some new duck egg yarn.

So whilst I have been 'living'....... time has ticked by, and I have been a very good girl!  I've lost 9lbs in weight, just by cutting out the junk, and my fitness has really improved.  This year although I've been running a lot and entering races I've felt as though my fitness was being held back by my weight.  I can't believe what an improvement there has been in my times and stamina since shedding those excess pounds.  Last weekend I ran a 10 mile race, my race plan was to try and run 9 minute miles, hopefully finishing around the 1hr 30 mark, I was so pleased when I finally finished a few minutes quicker, and when I looked at my mile averages they were all under 9 minute mile-ing!  So afterwards I was allowed a little treat ....... my prize for completing the race, a bottle of 'Jogger's Tipple'!

Hope you all have a great weekend.  I'm especially looking forward to watching the Olympic Athletics, it does astound me how these fantastic athletes can run the same distances as me but in only half the time!!!!  Whatever 'living' you are up to this weekend, enjoy it.

Goodbye for now
Fleur xx