No trainers needed – Ithaca edition

I’m back from a week (mostly) in the sun.   Time away from the laptop with family and Himself on the tiny Greek island that I love was fantabulous.  Despite having been there quite a few times, I got to see things I hadn’t before, courtesy of my trainers and a few pep talks with myself first thing that I was ‘just going for a walk to take a few photos…in my trainers’.  So like that other post, take a run around Ithaca with me (no trainers needed):

My trainers breathing in the sea air:

Sunrise from Frikes:

In an empty house, smelling of donkey, and a trunk containing two jumpers.  Obviously:

The goats didn’t get it:

(A different) Dawn from Stavros

This was in the middle of nowhere.  Literally.  I was lost on a path with no people, no houses, just olive trees.  And this chair:

Because doors in Greece are so much more attractive than anywhere else:

The view to ‘our’ beach.  The teeny tiny black dots half way along the sand are Sister 2, her partner and Little Wisp, out for a morning stroll :o)  To start any run, I had to go up.  And up.  And up…

A slightly more dramatic drop from the road than I’m used to:

Proof I really did go:

See previous comment about doors :o)

Thank you to Mum and Dad for making this holiday possible, to Sister 1 and 2, for being you, to Little Wisp for the cuddles (and actually not being sick on me the whole week!) and to Sister 1’s partner and my Himself for surviving a whole week with our family, bringing a bit of calm when needed and coping admirably with conversations that resulted in the ‘Did I just cross a line there?’ question…. You’re all shiny stars :o)


Posted in exercise, family, fitness, Good for you, holiday, Pog Life, Pog Pictures, running, travelling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bring the party food! (A guest post by Norman)

My Pog and himself have just informed me they are leaving me once again for ‘a bit of sun’.  I got in the suitcase but they said I wouldn’t like it. I am unimpressed.

So I propose instead we have a party! You bring the tuna, I will supply the fresh mouse intestine. Maybe we can take a look at the blog and see if my Pog posts any pictures of this sun thing. Oh yay….


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No trainers needed

My words seem a bit small in the shadow of yesterday’s post, so I’m just going to tell you a little secret then show you some photos:

The secret?  I don’t always like running that much.  I LOVE the feeling of finishing a run, but frankly, if it wasn’t for the fact that it means I get to eat more cake, I’m not sure I’d do it quite so much.  Sometimes dragging myself out of bed rather than snuggling up for another hour is just a bit too much.  So I’ve started playing Pretend with myself.  I pretend that I’m not going for a run, I’m just off to do a bit of early morning exploring so I don’t get lost in town next time my Sisters come to visit.  (In my trainers.)  Or I’m just going to do a teeny bit of window shopping to get some ideas of where to take a look at next time I go into town.  (In my trainers.)  Or I’m going to take a few photos to capture a bit more of Beachville.  (In my trainers.)

So that’s what I did this morning.  I ran a new route, worked out a bit more of how the back roads fit together, noticed some shops I’d not seen before and took some photos.  So here are they are.  Take a run around Beachville with me (no trainers needed):

Still quite early:

Too early for that:

I love these random graffiti bits that add colour, often where you least expect it (this is on a residential street):

The dome-y thing (my definition) The bobbly thing (Himself’s term):

I ran the other way for only the second time! (I usually turn right at the pier):

How?  How did they find sooo many old machines? There were three windows like this:

And I’m not very up with ‘It’ as just the thought scares me, but he seems to have appeared only since people have started talking about it recently…:

That’s it…until the next time I need a reason to run :o)


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Your opportunity to provide a smile

I started writing a huge long post tonight, but it’s not needed.  What is needed is to tell you that:

  1. I have the two strongest sisters ever created.  While Sister 2 was in hospital with Little Wisp, Sister 1 was mostly downstairs with her husband.  If you want to see what ‘strong’ looks like, take a look at their faces in the photo.
  2. Sometimes you don’t know how hard someone is fighting to give you that smile.  Be kind, always.
  3. My post was going to tell you a story I’ve not mentioned here yet, but it’s still not my story to tell.  Please read the words of Sister 1 below, and if you have even just a pound to donate, please do.  I know she will gain strength from the support.  (And not just that:  Kings hospital has been key in the lives of two people in my family.  If they can build this amazing unit, it means should something like this happen to you or someone you love, they could be the people benefiting.  And as our family have proved in the last four months, anything can happen to anyone, at any age).  And if you don’t have a spare pound right now, maybe look up the Little Princess Trust and see if donating your hair is something you can do?  Or donate to Kings when you do have a spare pound.

Over to Sister 1:

On the 5th May my man was diagnosed with a brain tumour (grade3). He was taken to Kings and operated on the 10th May to remove the tumour, unfortunately things took a turn and he had a massive bleed, this resulted in an evacuation of a haematoma (with a small part of his brain being removed-leaving the effects of a stroke), he was induced into a coma but on the 11th May had to endure more surgery-a bifrontal decompressive craiectomy (removal of the middle section of his skull), he remained in an induced coma for 3 more days. He spent 11 days in critical care before going to the High Dependancy Unit for 10 days, then eventually onto a ward.
On the 28th June he had his titanium Cranioplasty put in (new skull part) and despite a minor set back, recovered well.
He came home on the 7th July where his package for 6 weeks radiotherapy and chemotherapy started to be set up.
Unfortunately on the 30th July he was admitted to Kings with an infection, on the 1st August his titanium plate was removed, the infection cleaned out, and he was put on a 6 week course of IV antibiotics (eventually reduced to 4). Dan is now home…without his plate as they feel starting treatment is more important. This will start within the next month.
SOOOOOO….I am cutting off my hair again (was only done a year ago!) but it’s going to have to go short short 😬. The hair will of course be donated to the Little Princess Trust for children with cancer, which allows them to have free wigs from the donations. But I want to raise money for Kings…they have saved Dans life and been the most AMAZING people we have had the pleasure to meet. Every single member of staff has been beyond incredible, so I want to give something back.
I honestly can’t explain what this hospital means to us all now. They are currently building a £1.6 million pound 66 bed Critical Care Unit and I would love to be able to donate £1,000 towards it ❤️PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE CAN YOU HELP ME ❤️ by sponsoring whatever you can ❤️

Her Just Giving link is here.

Now to both of you:  You are both amazing.  Could you please now focus on keeping your respective family members OUT of Kings hospital, please?!  :o)


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Meeting the neighbours

I’ve always found it a bit tricky to meet new people.  I’ve often thought that it would be easier if I had children as there are more opportunities and an obvious common ground.  In fact, since moving to Beachville, I’ve spoken to more people at playgrounds and the like when I have been looking after Little Pea than any other time (helpful tip:  ‘Oh, he’s not mine’ tends to scare people as a response to a question about ‘your son’ unless you follow up very quickly to confirm that you do know his Mum and she does know you have possession of her little person).

It seems though, that I have overlooked a certain furballs ability to help me meet people.  Last Friday I was hanging the washing out and two ladies walking past leant over the fence to say hi.  It turns out that Maureen and Margaret are residents in the sheltered accommodation half way up the road.  They also introduced me to Buddy – Maureen’s dog.  Then they paused and asked ‘We’ve been wondering…’ (And it turns out that the ‘we’ is most of the residents of the flats) ‘…do you have a black cat?  Quite large?  No collar?’

I confirmed that would be my furball Norman, and that I had seen him walking up to the flats a few times.  Then I panicked ‘Has he does anything bad?’  Other than his hiding of most of a mouse under the back door mat, we’ve not had any gifts lately and I suddenly wondered if it was because he was spreading his gift giving love around these residents.  It turned out that no, he’d not done anything bad – he was just well known up there as he visits quite often…

Clearly word got round that I am the hooman attached to the furball with no manners as while I stretched against the front fence after a run on Saturday morning, I met Pat (two legs) and Millie (four legs) who wanted to confirm what Margaret and Maureen had reported: that Norman was indeed my cat.

So without having to borrow any small children, I’ve met three neighbours and their associated animals in the last few days.  I also have an invite to join them when they hold their Macmillan coffee morning, which I plan on doing.  Just without Norman….although it sounds like there’s a good chance he’ll already be there…  :o)


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Pie judgement

I admit it:  I got a bit cocky.

Having eaten mostly toast for the last 10 years or so, I’ve discovered that I actually enjoy cooking when someone else is eating with me (and when they are not very fussy at all, so always manage a convincing job of appreciating my efforts).  So although I still revert to toast on the evenings when it’s just me and Norman, I can now be found throwing together the likes of chicken biryani, pork and lemongrass meatballs and Mexican chilli with a cheeky apple salsa when it’s me and Himself eating together.  I know, right?  Who would have thought it.

I got a bit too confident though.  At the weekend my Mum and Dad offered me and Himself some fresh rhubarb.  It turns out that Himself is partial to a rhubarb pie, so I thought I throw one together when I finished work on Tuesday.  I didn’t think through the fact that Mum taught me to make pastry and to make a quiche, but I had no idea how to put a lid on a pie and make it look pie like and avoid a soggy bottom (I couldn’t let Mary B down – she has played a big role in the creation of this chef Pog persona).

So basically I made the bottom bit, baked it blind, popped the rhubarb in and then….had a bit of a strop because I didn’t have enough pastry to cover the top properly, it kept breaking anyway and it was almost 8pm so I wasn’t about to make more pastry – I just wanted to get the bloody thing cooked.

And that’s how I ended up with this mess:

BUT….it was really rather tasty, proving that you shouldn’t judge a pie by it’s pastry :o)

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Not my average bank holiday

This weekend was lovely and sunny.  I don’t think I’ve ever said that after a UK bank holiday before; I’m not sure anyone has…

Himself and I made the most of it.  We went to the pub for good food and we went to visit another city.  The pub punctuated almost a marathon on our bikes (25 miles.  If I had still been able to sit on my saddle I’d have rounded it up to a full marathon) and the other city was so we could get up at 5.30am on Bank Holiday Monday to run a half marathon (me – woo hoo!) and full marathon (him – his 10th!).  The run was a very, very relaxed ‘cakeathon’ and now I mostly want to run this way (although it was a VERY hilly trail run, so a lot harder than what I usually do).  The people there share the view that it’s about completing, not competition, so there is much walking, chatting and eating of cake / fudge / jelly babies between laps.

Bike sun:

Running sun:

Never the less, last night we were broken.  Luckily, we’d done a trip to my parents on the way home for a shower and cuddles with little people, which I think helped delay some of the pain.  Although I am a little concerned about how much Little Wisp made eyes at Himself…

Little Pea just made scary eyes at me:

When we finally did get home though, we opened our running goody bags.  When Himself did the London marathon the ‘goodies’ were things like coconut water, chocolate orange milk that wasn’t chocolate, orange or milk (go figure) and protein balls.  The contents of our goody bags yesterday?



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