Really real running

A while back I was told I was a real runner as I’d managed to acquire my first blister.  I was then called something else entirely when I put a plaster on the blister, ran again and got a blister from the plaster, which even by my standards is impressive…

Anyway, now I am apparently a real, real runner as this weekend I managed to get lost.  Now my geographical skills have never been great – I did once drive from Somerset to Cornwall (bottom left of the UK) when I was actually aiming for Kent (bottom right), but it’s quite a lot more scary when you are in a woods, have no idea which way is the right way and there is nobody else around.

It wasn’t that surprising really though…

First, I got slightly discombobulated when I found an open fireplace in the woods.  It seemed to be missing a little something.  Like the house it went in:


And frankly, when you are following a map that’s on your parent’s kitchen table, these don’t help at all:


I mean, which one is a girl supposed to pick (for the record, it turns out changing your mind and following a variety isn’t a great plan).

Especially when you get all the way up these:


Only to realise that that is definitely the wrong way and have to come back down.  Only to end up at the top of them via a very steep hill about 2 km away.

But to give you an idea of how lost I got, my route should have taken me to somewhere near the church spire the red arrow is pointing at, via the line of trees to its left.  When I took this picture, I was already three fields in from the woods that I didn’t think I’d ever find my way out of…


What’s really annoying though, is how close I was to being right.  The red squiggly line is me.  The white road is where I should have come out….and would have if I hadn’t doubled back on myself at what looks like it must have been spitting distance from the road,  Grrrr.


Oh well, now I am a really real runner. And I know where to get an open fireplace, should Pog Towers 2 need it.  Assuming I can ever find it again… :o)

Posted in Bumpkinsville, exercise, fitness, Good for you, Pog Life, running | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Pog Berry!

I did it! I bloody did it! I cooked a two course meal for seven and everyone has survived. (So far. I could be counting chickens as we only finished about an hour and a half ago, but I’ll take what I can get).

So I give you chicken tagine:


And treacle and peacan tart:


And here is a terrible picture of some of the recipients. The unhappy face she could be down to the terror they felt that there wasnt an alternative on offer:


I did every little bit on my own (apart from the zesting and squeezing of an orange which Dad did and some wise words from Mum around the fact that I needed to turn the hob on and had to cook the rice). The rest of the time it was just me and Mary Berry…

Maybe my toast days are behind me. Or maybe I am counting those chickens again :o)

Posted in Cooking, food | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

no power, no brain power

‘While I think you’re incredibly creative, you certainly can’t make this kind of stuff up!’

That was the start of an email from my boss this afternoon in response to my email informing her and a whole heap of colleagues that although I was very defiantly working on the things they were waiting for, I wasn’t online due to the fact that we were three hours into a power cut.  A power cut that, at the point of my email had resulted in notification from the company in the shape of a text that things were not fixed as they had said they would be.  In fact things were so bad that the company will be sending out generators…which would arrive at around 6pm.

I did seven hours of work, but obviously in this day and age there is only so much you can do without the internet and at 3pm I ran out of things to do.  So I decided to sit by my parents’ log burner to file emails, having had a glass of wine that went straight to my head (well, we couldn’t boil the kettle so hot drinks were out and wine seemed a little more appropriate than water in the situation).

I therefore blame it on the alcohol that I had a few moments of daftness.  Dad suggested dragging a chair in front of the fire and I thought it would be rather nice to have a massage using the electric thingy that is attached to the chair while I sat there.  I got a bit confused with the plug.  Then the buttons.  I just could not get it to work.  Dad had a look.  Perhaps I’d broken it when I moved the chair? (it is a very old massage thingy, but it was working yesterday).  I got a bit panicky…Dad has a very bad back and uses the massage thing most days.  We traced the wire.  We changed the socket it was plugged into.  Then I remembered…we had a power cut.  A-hem.

So I did not have a massage by the wood burner.  And I did not having another glass of wine.  Not until I’ve posted this and done a few more hours work to catch up, anyway.

It’s been a slightly discombobulating week.  That and the wine are my excuses, and I am sticking to them!  :o)


Posted in family, Pog Life, work | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Good bye Pog Towers. Hello….


It’s finally happened. Pog Towers is no longer mine and Norman and I are staying at my parents until I buy Pog Towers 2.  It’s been a funny few days. Norman has spent most of it under my bed, but was very brave last night:


I thought I would make the most of being here and learn to cook a little more than toast, and have lessons from the master that is MummyW.  Last night’s was casserole and dumplings. I was mostly only allowed to chop the vegetables though, as apparently you ‘shouldn’t run before you can walk’. I did want to point out that I have now been walking for a rather long time and running was exactly what I need in the cooking department, but who am I to argue with the MummyW? Next time I am allowed to use the instructions I wrote down and do more under supervision, apparently. Tonight’s lesson is lasagne.  I was allowed to walk a bit faster tonight and actually got to do some cooking which was most exciting but will be a disaster if it doesn’t taste good… :o)


Casserole and dumplings

There have been some slightly surreal moments. Like when I discovered that there is a morning tea towel and an evening tea towel, and using the morning one in the evening seems to make Dad a bit twitchy. I was moved to ‘putting away’ duties.

There was the moment I realised my parents really were going to stand at the back door for half an hour and watch for a mouse that arrives in their garden every evening to feed under the bird feeders. There were many cries of ‘there he is!’ as mousy ran back and forth:


And then there was the fact that we sat watching tv for an hour even as it froze every minute or so for about 10 seconds. They told me it was bad reception due to the weather. I pointed out it was dry and still. But it could be the cars going past. Sometimes they did that to the signal… I fiddled with the wires and for the first time in quite a few months they had perfect reception….

This morning I went for my first run here. ‘Here’ is even more country Bumpkinsville-ish than where I lived, and it was lovely:


I made some new friends:


I spotted a house giving away donkey manure (small and large quantities).

And in honour of my furball, I ran down Norman Street, Great Norman Street and Little Norman street (yes, really).  And found a farm that he might rather like:


If he ever comes out from under the bed, maybe I will take him. Or maybe we’ve done enough travelling for a while. Just a short while though….we’re loooking forward to Pog Towers 2. Until then, I will work on becoming Pog Berry :o)

Posted in Bumpkinsville, cats, Cooking, family, Pog Life, running, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A litter tray shaped oops

On Sunday I leave Pog Towers for good – the house is (finally) nearly sold.

Unfortunately, for a number of reasons, I’ve chosen to break the chain, so I wont be moving into my new house just yet.  Hopefully that’s only a couple of months away, but in the meantime, Norman and I will be moving in with my parents.  For the record, I will be paying rent – not a lot, but I’m not completely freeloading here.  Although I think I should probably be paying twice the market rate as I have a feeling that their kindness is about to be repaid with a level of chaos they haven’t experienced for a while…

In preparation for the move, I bought Norman a cat litter box.  I got him a fancy one with a door and a roof as I thought he might feel a bit shy about doing his business inside.  I should have learned about buying these things on line when I bought what turned out to be the worlds tallest scratching post (it comes up to my bra strap, and I’m not short).  The litter box arrived this week.  The good news is that the friend I have who was talking about buying a baby bath for her arrival in a few months no longer needs to.  This will do the job nicely.  Until the child is about five.  It turns out that the thing I bought is recommended for Maine Coon cats. (You know: One of the largest breed of domestic cats that average around three foot long).  I have NO idea where this thing is going to go – it’s already going to be a little snug in Mum and Dad’s house…

Of course, Norman wont go anywhere near the thing unless I put treats right by the door.  I can understand – it must look like some sort of wormhole that’s opened up in the lounge and there is a strong possibility that vicious creatures are waiting to pounce at the far end…

Still, there is an upside: if things don’t work out living with Mum and Dad, I can always move into the litter tray.  It’s practically big enough….  :o)

As close as we've managed so far...

As close as we’ve managed so far…

'I prefer this one'

‘I prefer this one’


Posted in Bumpkinsville, cats, family, Pog Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

No Heimlich maneuver needed

People who know me tend to agree that I am really, really good at one thing:  Panicking.

I’ve not managed to prove the point very often, but there is a small occasional exception:  When something actually worth panicking about happens.  In those situations I can keep my head (and just have a delayed panic when it’s all over).  Like that time I saw a crash between a bus and a car and was the only one who stopped to give the unconscious car driver and his hysterical wife first aid.  I was fine until the emergency services turned up, then had a bit of a panic and caused a panic for a nearby fire fighter as I went to light a cigarette while surrounded by spilled petrol….

Yesterday another exception happened.  I eat a lot of mint imperials (but I don’t smoke anymore, so it’s kind of ok, isn’t it?).  Somehow while on a teleconference I managed to inhale one of the mints; it bypassed my entire mouth and lodged itself at the back of my throat.  I actually said ‘uh-oh’ in my head.  And then my thought processes did that thing where they went really fast:

  • The Miserable Man who sits next to me hasn’t spoken to me since he realised I wasn’t someone with the powers to provide him a name plate-thingy for his desk.  I really didn’t want to have to find out if he knew the Heimlich maneuver – I’d owe him way more than a name plate-thingy if we crossed that line.
  • The people I actually like on the floor were all too far away to ask for help.
  • But the mint wasn’t in my windpipe – it was stuck just before that point.
  • I thought of breathing and yoga…
  • …and I took a deep breath in through my nose and below out through….well, I’m not entirely sure, but I think it was a yoga breathy thing though.  And it worked! – the mint flew out my mouth and across my keyboard.  Miserable Man at the next desk didn’t look impressed.

I was though.  I think I should name this mint freeing maneuver.  Perhaps something catchy like ‘The Pog Mint Freeing Maneuver’.  It’s a shame there aren’t any vowels there to create an acronym, but I guess you can’t have everything.  And not having to experience the Heimlich maneuver is a pretty good thing to have.

But yes, for the record, about 5 seconds after this, I went all hot and shaky and panicky.  But I did prove that I can keep my head when I really need to :o)


Posted in Pog Life, work, yoga | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Packing observations

I started packing properly on Friday. So far I have learned:

It doesn’t matter how much you have taken to charity shops or the tip in the last few months, you can still have way more shit than any one person can justify.

A cat doesn’t need to get in a box to take ownership of it:


A Little Pea can be suitably entertained for around three hours with a box and a sheet of bubble wrap (‘I’m not coming out <pop>. I’m <pop> staying in here <pop> forever’):


I may have been one sheet of bubble wrap down, but it meant that yesterday Sister 1 and I were able to pack quite a lot unhindered by a three year old ball of energy.

I bought something called Feliway to try to help relax Norman. Packing one bag stresses him out….I was a bit worried that filling Pog Towers with boxes might induce some sort of anxiety attack.  It’s hard to know if it worked, but he did seem quite chilled out last night and had more untidy legs than usual:


And he did forget to cat a bit:


Although that is not so unusual…

I’ve also learned that a combination of Norman, Little Pea, Sisters and running keeps you sane (ish).  Yesterday was very muddy but that combined with the views kept my mind off boxes for a while:


So before I start again for today, I’m going to do a quick lollop around Bumpkinsville. I won’t have many more runs around here….until I move back to Pog Towers 2 :o)

Posted in Bumpkinsville, cats, exercise, family, fitness, Good for you, Pog Life, running | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments