Over my birthday weekend we went to my in-laws (my Father-in-Laws birthday is the day before mine). My Mother-in-Law is an exceptional gardener and her garden is both wonderfully matured and maintained. So we arrived to see borders bursting with colour and life. I got back home and peered out to our garden – immature in my view, having only lived in the house since Autumn last year – and also neglected because I don’t have the time to spend on it that I used to in a pre-H world. I know my MIL and I have very different life situations but I still felt incredibly depressed about it. My garden in the old house had reached a point where year-on-year it looked amazing and now I’m back to square one. I needed to see some new life in it and I needed to see it now! So on our way to Music Train one Monday, H and I dropped by our local B&Q…
So another year has gone by and more so than ever before, it feels like it has flown by. Following last year’s structure, I have broken the year-up by month and called out the top highlights (of varying degrees of interest!) for each. I decided to start this entry with a new section though – some ‘Of the Year’ callouts – it’s the sort of information you quickly forget and I wish I had for the last 4+ years, but better-late-than-never in starting to capture this stuff! As always, this is a long blog post, but it would have made for a dull year if it wasn’t.
As the title may suggest, I have just completed the last scheduled 5k erg test of 2011. “HOO-RAH” I hear you all cry and indeed it does deserve a cheer. Of course, with over 6 weeks until we reach 2012, I had best err on the side of caution and I am making this bold claim with my fingers crossed, whilst resting them firmly on a wooden table and holding a rabbit’s foot (well a vegetarian-friendly replica!). It is hardly a glamourous way to spend a Friday evening but it actually worked quite well – I left my work properly behind me in the office so I was completely focussed on the erg and we went for dinner at the pub afterwards without the worry of work tomorrow. Lou and I have agreed we may try the Friday night approach again.
Of course, this weekend I get a Saturday morning lie-in because I am *sharp in-take of breath* not going to training tomorrow. The reason: this Sunday is ‘The First Wedding Anniversary’, so Sam has organised a surprise fun event. The last year has gone so fast, although I would not want to rewind to this time last year – far too much stress and angst. Many people say they would love to live it again; I am personally just happy with the memories.
So, on that note I am going to bid you all goodnight and go back to watching the end of ‘Transporter 3’ before getting some well-earned, post-erg sleep!
Okay, so if my entry title made you jump in excitement thinking there was a new way to monitor physical and mental fitness, I’m afraid I will have to disappoint you, because it is not so (or at least isn’t the focus of this post). My motives for writing this are far simpler and, as often seems to be the case these days, from a conversation with a colleague (a different one from last time though, I might add!). I am, by nature, a bit of a busybody; I tend to run-walk everywhere, juggle 101 different things, make comprehensive lists and many other stereotypical neurotic person traits. So, whilst in my meeting earlier, my colleague asked a fairly innocent and well meaning question that got me thinking. What he asked was “You do take a lunch break, don’t you?”. The cogs started to whirr…
Firstly, to set your mind at ease, I do indeed take a lunch break. Not every single day (sometimes stuff does come-up), but at least 4 out of 5 days every week I take a good 20 – 30 mins to have lunch with friends. Apart from anything, it’s a great way to keep in touch with people and find out what is going on in other areas on the company. But, I digress. What I started thinking about was my life this time last year. At a high-level I was:
I shan’t try to explain why I thought it was sensible to do all of these things at the same time, but I ended-up doing them. I was also fortunate because things went to plan. My system went live, the entries were in on time, outings were planned, I did my training and, most importantly, the wedding went as smoothly as one could hope for. However, after our honeymoon, when I returned to real -life, BAMN!, I came down with the flu. I was in bed for almost a week and couldn’t train for almost three. My body finally spotted I had some free time again and it avenged itself with a blind-fury.
My point – everyone has their limits, even the neurotic, busybody types like me. We can’t do everything – there isn’t enough time. If you find yourself at a loose-end once in a while, it’s is often ok to not fill it with cleaning or working. We’re human and we only have a capacity for a certain number of things. So, I ask again, what price would you pay to find your limit? I know pushing myself to breaking point isn’t a price I would pay again. If you start to feel like you are about to break, have an evening off, go home early and chill out with a film, some wine and a bath*. Trust me, it’ll be the best thing for you in the long-run.
*I would like to caveat here that if you find yourself doing this on a weekly basis just to survive then you perhaps need to man-up a bit, or seriously assess the commitments you have in your life!
I’m not even 30 yet but I can no longer handle nights out at all! We met our sisters in town last night for dinner and drinks. By 10:30pm, I was yawning away. Albeit i had been awake since 6:45 because of rowing, but still, we had enjoyed a few cocktails which usually wake one up with the sugar and alcohol content! Anyway, we were in bed by 12:30am (we stayed at some special hotel for Sam’s work it town!) but I have felt most worn today. Although, I haven’t head the usual headache I had most of last week so pros / cons. We vegetabled this afternoon watching Avatar (I do love that film) and the I started putting together the wedding photo albums, until I got bored. With that another weekend has drawn to a close though. But we have a four day week this week! Exciting! I am going to have a bath shortly to relax before the week. Time to try out having a bath whilst reading a Kindle. I hope it all goes well – I really want to read my book though so I will be giving it a try!
So, another year has gone, can you believe it?! It doesn’t seem like 12 months ago since I was sat here writing my review of 2009. I’m having to drag my mind back to the start of the year in order to start and I’m finding it a bit tough!
Ok, so I shall start in the most logical place which is January. As one might expect, it was a rather quiet month. We went for a trip up to Leeds in early January for our friend Clare’s birthday. We went to visit my friend Jenny in her new house as well. The weather was really snowy in January all over the country and Leeds was no exception. We had some fun times trying to push Clare and Matt’s car up a hill in the snow. In the end a passer by in a truck gave them a tow! Rowing training was also tough at this point in the year – the cold and the walking to and from the station were energy zapping.
Moving in to February and the weather started to pick-up a bit. However, things with us remained quite quiet. I raced at Peterborough Head which was my debut in the stroke seat. Whilst it went quite well, the wait for the race was truely awful (an hour in the freezing cold) so it doesn’t hold happy memories. We then raced a few weeks later at Nottingham Head of the Trent. We also went on a day trip to a nearby house called ‘Benington Lordship’ to look at the snow drops.
In March, it was the usual Women’s Head of the River Race on Sat 19. With the completion of that race, I got to indulge in a long awaiting chocolate eclair (see relevant blog post for details!) Later in the month, Sam and I went on holiday for a week to Madrid. We rented a little apartment in the centre of the city which meant we were close to everything. It sadly meant a lot of noise too, but you win some, you lose some! Anyway, whilst we were there, we got engaged which started off much fun and games for the rest of the year!
In April I went away on training camp to Chester for 3 days. It was a fun but tiring weekend. When I got back, it was Sam’s birthday so we went for a nice meal out. It was a quiet one for him this year though. Then in May we started researching wedding venues and all such things. We ultimately settled on a hotel in Elstree called The Edgwarebury. It is a really beautiful old Tudor building from the 1500s.
I also started sorting out my dress, which I was going to have made by a lovely and very talented dress maker in Welwyn Garden City – Rebecca Cole of Made By Rebecca. We also ramped up our training for the British Heart Foundation London to Brighton Bike Ride. This included our longest ride of over 40 miles cycling to Letchworth and back!
I also saw the Hogwarts Express in Kings Cross!
In June it was my birthday and Sam took me to Butterfly World for an afternoon outing. There were a lot of beautiful wild flowers and some amazing butterflies.
We also did the London to Brighton bike ride, starting at 6:30am on Clapham Common and finishing at some point around 2 – 3pm. There was an incident which forced a 1.5 hour stoppage so our cycling time over all was about 5 hours. Not bad!
In July, there was some racing and Lou, Anne-Marie, Ruth and I won WIM1.4+ at Bedford Quarts with Sarah coxing. We got a big quarts pot to add to our collections. A few weeks later, it was time for St Neots regatta. Lou and I raced our double again and after some pretty tough races, we beat Barnes Bridge Ladies in the final to go on and lose our sculling novices! Another happy day at St Neots. This was also the summer of racing duck who had his second win!
In August, we raced again at Sudbury and Peterborough, both times in the double. We were very close to victory in the WIM3.2x at Sudbury but some bad steering on my part meant we lost. At Peterborough, the weather was awful so I’m sure we even really tried and got knocked out in the heats! At Sudbury though, I had my first Masters win in WMasA.4+ with Lizzie, Anne-Marie and Amy. No points but got some pewter! For the bank holiday weekend, Sam and I returned to Paris again like last year, but this time to spend the weekend solely with Carol. We did many things and had a lovely relaxing 3 days!
In September, I took over the Vice Captains role for the Senior Womens squad at rowing which, essentially, just meant more admin for me to do! I was still doing my entries and work was busy, so it was quite a stressful time. We continued doing wedding preparations as the day grew ever closer. We did manage to squeeze in a 25 mile bike ride on Foulness island though!
Lots of work and wedding prep continued in to October and I had to work late on quite a few nights. The weather also started to get colder making rowing less and less inviting, especially on Monday nights! Lou organised me a ‘Non-Hen Do’ which involved a fun afternoon of Go Karting followed by pizza, chatting and playing Wii games (primarily ‘Just Dance’).
In November, my project finally went live and only two weeks later Sam and I got married! Apart from some stress where the cars didn’t arrive to collect me (we piled in to Dad’s Audi) the day went swimmingly and we had a wonderful time. The first set of pictures can be found on Revado and will be added to in the New Year!
After the wedding, we went to Malta for a week and had a wonderfully relaxing honeymoon. We hired a car so we could tour the island and enjoyed some 5 star luxury! I also had my first massage at the hotel spa! Again, photos on Revado
Then we reached December and the build up to Christmas. After getting back to work for a week, I was struck down with flu and a horrible cough that accompanied it. By the time that had cleared up, it was almost Christmas Day! The snow struck the weekend before, causing mayhem. But we got everything we needed and Sam’s parents and Sophie made it to our house. The turkey cooking went well and everyone enjoyed the meal. All in all, a top notch Christmas was had by all!
So, I find myself up to date and on the cusp of 2011. Another excellent year with many lovely memories.
Let’s hope 2011 is even better! Happy New Year everyone!
I meant to blog sooner than today, but time sort of ran away with me. We are now back at work and I am back training and Malta and the wedding seem ages away now! It’s so sad and I have to confess to hitting a small batch of honeymoon blues. Not in an overly clinché way in that I am moping and miserable thinking there is nothing left to life; rather life was so much more relaxing and warmer in Malta! It’s is so bitter here at the moment, it gets one down. I don’t have much time to write today so here is a link to our Malta pics. Enjoy!
Okay, so it has been a long time since my last blog I know, but I have a good excuse this time – in the time since my last one, Sam and I have got married and been to Malta on our honeymoon! It has been an excellent two weeks since my last post. I don’t have the energy to write about it all now, but I do feel the need to recount some of it here at some point soon. For now, I have include a pic to prove it happened!
So there has been some radio silence for the last week I know, but I have been so busy. I have just finished work today for two weeks for the wedding and I an relieved to be having a break. I have handed over all rowing responsibilities too which means I can focus on getting everything ready for Saturday. I think Friday will end up being a bit insane so I am going to have a relaxed day tomorrow! Erg time in a minute though – I am behind on training!
There is a couple sat next to me on train having a debate about who to invite when, where and how to their wedding ceremony and reception. It’s reassuring to know other people are having bigger planning issues than us! Less reassuring is the horrible smell emanating from the snack a girl is eating further down the train…