I’m starting this post on a rainy Bank Holiday weekend. Those words go together so well don’t they? Rainy Bank Holiday!
In May I continued discovering new places. I’ve heard of Old Portsmouth from a few people so we went over one evening to have a look round and explore. We went on the walls around the Square Tower and Round Tower. From the top you can see the ferries coming in to dock at Portsmouth. We were so close to this Brittany Ferry I could hear the announcements being made about how to disembark.
In May it was my Mum’s birthday so we took her for a surprise trip to Weymouth for a Birthday treat. We had lunch at the Red Lion pub who do really good seafood. We wandered around the Harbour and down to the Beach. It was a great day.
How cute is this fella? He was the only donkey left behind. Maybe he was glad of the break though?
As you may know from this post I completed my first parkrun. I’ve completed another one since and a practice run. It all came to a halt this week though as I’ve hurt my foot.
Also in May my lovely Winnie developed a problem! I was driving home from work and when I turned corners, the steering clunked. She got towed away to Smart of Portsmouth who fixed her up. Her steering rack had failed! I was pretty disappointed that this would happen in a car less than a year old!
I think that’s all for my May Roundup. I’ve done much better with blogging in May so why not read one of my other posts?
So I have some news, I’m involved in setting up a Junior parkrun! This is such an exciting time. Last time when I went to volunteer at Waterlooville Junior parkrun which is detailed in this post it was still in the “can we do this” stages. However, we now have funding from the council and it very much has been given the green light!
At the end of February we went over to Eastney Junior parkrun in Portsmouth where I volunteered as a barcode scanner for them. We introduced ourselves to their event director Denyse who was very friendly and helpful. She showed us some of the kit they use, including a rather nifty trolley to carry it all in.
My good friend Maggie, and her husband Paul are going to be the Event Directors of our new Junior parkrun and we’ve set about creating an amazing team. Two of our RD’s to be joined us at Eastney so they could see what the events were like too.
I present the new Junior parkrun team
The event was really good, and well organised. It was bigger than Waterlooville with 68 runners. The fastest boy finished in a rather impressive 08:19 and the fastest girl finished in 08:42. We were all amazed at how speedy the children were. The location was brilliant too. It was held in Bransbury Park in Portsmouth. There are some good facilities in the park and I imagine in the summer the children and parents spend some time in there after parkrun too.
If you want to check out Eastney Junior parkrun then they run every Sunday morning at 10am at Bransbury Park. There is a car park at the opposite end of the park (it’s not too long a walk from the start) or there is on street parking closer by.
Another month in 2017 over already. February seems to have gone by in a bit of a blur! So what did I get up to?
At the beginning of February I went with some friends to the new Watermark at West Quay shopping centre in Southampton. We went to Cosmo, which was my recommendation having already visited the restaurant in Sheffield. Thankfully it lived up to my expectations and we had some lovely food as well as a good catch up. When we got there they had decorated with red lanterns for Chinese New Year.
One Sunday afternoon we went for a drive out in to the New Forest and ended up in Lymington. We found the harbour and went for a walk around. It was lovely, and very quiet as it was so chilly. Afterwards we went to Milford on Sea which seems to be the closest point on the mainland that you can get to the Isle of Wight. The waves were huge so naturally I took a picture (which really doesn’t do the waves justice) but you can see the Isle of Wight in the background and also The Needles. One day I’ll get myself over to the Isle of Wight and explore!
Another Sunday afternoon we went for a drive out to Southsea. As we drove along from Southsea to Eastney we saw these beach huts and I had to get out and take a picture. They look a little dishevelled, like the Winter hasn’t treat them well. I’m sure they’ll look splendid in the Summer. I love the colours.
As you all know by now I love volunteering at parkrun. This week was a parkrun double for me. I volunteered at my usual Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun then on Sunday I headed over to Waterlooville Junior parkrun.
Waterlooville is only half an hour away from where I live so it wasn’t too far to travel. The parkrun is held in Jubilee Park (Milton Road entrance) in Waterlooville so if you’re in the area with a 4-14 year old on a Sunday then why not give them a visit?
The course was a 2 lap course with a small loop then in to the finish funnel. I went along with two friends and their son who initially weren’t going to volunteer but were going to watch and their son was going to run. When we arrived at 8.30 to register as a volunteer there was only Adam, the run director there. He was setting up the course but stopped to have a chat with us. He was really friendly and told us a few snippets of information about the course. They were low on volunteers this week so my friends were quickly roped in to help. One as a marshal and one as Tail Walker (although actually it was a tail run in the end). I was barcode scanning and a bit nervous as I was the only scanner. I’m used to scanning in over 400 runners with three scanners. Luckily it turned out on a very cold February morning only 39 children were to take part.
The junior parkrun is 2km instead of the 5km of a Saturday parkrun. Watching the children was brilliant, especially the two children that led the way. They were fast and pushed hard. It was nice to hear from one of the Mum’s that the first female across the line is part of an athletics club showing she takes her running pretty seriously.
The first male crossed the line in 08:17 and the first female was close behind with 08:25. The final runner crossed the line with a PB of 19:08. She told me friend she turned 4 in September and had taken part in 4 or 5 parkruns. She was just as inspiring as the first runners over the line. 4 years old and a parkrun advocate, brilliant!
As the junior parkrun is 2km, volunteering there really doesn’t take up too much of your time and is really rewarding as you know you’re helping the future generation reach a healthier lifestyle. Why not look up your nearest junior parkrun on the parkrun website and offer some of your time?
For some reason this post didn’t publish when it was meant to and I didn’t even notice! Bad blogger! So I know it’s late but I thought I’d put it out there since I went to the effort of writing it and collating the pictures so here’s my late review of 2016.
My first ever attempt at a French Manicure turned out surprisingly well.
The sunset at Lee on Solent.
These nails actually don’t look that good at all *blush* but it’s the best from February.
Sunset at Stokes Bay. No filter was needed for this photograph.
Best Blog Post:
February saw the launch of this blog. I’m choosing How I became a parkrun Volunteer as my best blog post. parkrun is something that means a lot to me so it’s a reflection of who I am.
I love how pink, sparkly and girly OPI’s Princesses Rule is
The Solent. I remember taking this photo. It was such a warm day for March.
At the end of April Giles, one of the founding members of parkrun and chairman of Gosport Road Runners passed away. People were asked to wear their club vests to the run. I’m not a member of a running club but parkrun is the club I belong to. I didn’t know Giles well at all, I only met him a couple of times but he was adored by many.
First ice cream of the year. April was so warm!
The Hello Kitty/OPI collaboration. This is Spoken From The Heart
Best Blog Post: I got a lot of good feedback on my post parkrun – More than meets the eye People just don’t get to see this side of parkrun and people told me this made them appreciate their parkrun teams even more.
New Look Pure Gel is the best home gel nail varnish I’ve found.
Spinnaker Tower taken from the Gosport Ferry
Best Blog Posts: In June I did my own Travel Guide for London,Scotland and Florida. I tried to include some of the none tourist sites so there were new things for people to try.
I reached my 50 milestone for volunteering at parkrun.
Best Blog Post:
This is the blog post that has the most views on my blog – It’s the information post of when the Disney X Cath Kidston collaboration was announced.
In August I learnt to do my own gel nails.
In August I passed my driving test and drove myself to my home town, Sheffield!
My October roundup is going to feel sparse. I feel like October passed me by in a blur and now here I find myself in November already!
October started whilst we were still in Wales but it was soon back to business and back to work. We had our Christmas meeting where we decide what sort of things we’ll be making with the children over the festive period. We had the meeting in Costa (yes!) and I had a scrummy Toffee Apple Hot Chocolate. If you’ve not tried this, its a must!
I was ill with a terrible cold and chest infection in October too, I still don’t feel completely over it if I’m honest but Costa is always guaranteed to cheer me up. It’s beginning to look like my October is sponsored by Costa!
I went shopping with a work friend in October in Portsmouth. We were looking for the Disney Primark hats for us both and another work colleague. Absolutely gutted to say we couldn’t find them (and still can’t) but it’s cute right?
Speaking of cute, we went for a coffee. We tried Starbucks but their coffee machines weren’t working (??) and then went to Costa which was absolutely rammed. I’m guessing because of Starbucks being a no go so we went to Debenhams coffee shop where we had cute Gingerbread Lattes with a little chocolate Gingerbread man in the top! So cute and a fraction of the price.
October ended with me going to the Great South Run with one of my volunteering friends from parkrun. So many of our parkrun runners were participating in the race so we went along to cheer them up and hand out jelly babies. I made this sign and posted it on social media so they knew where and how to spot us.
It was so much fun and we managed to spot so many of our parkrunners but it was difficult as there were so many runners. I’ve never been to a race like it but it was a fantastic atmosphere and I saw one of my favourite athletes Tirunesh Dibaba who won the women’s race. Afterwards I watched it back on TV and managed to spot myself taking this picture of her!
Not the greatest photo but you can see it’s her. Such an amazing athlete.
I think that’s it for my October roundup. Below are my other October posts, have a read if you missed them first time round.
I’ve seen a few bloggers do a coffee update, where I simply chat, like we would over coffee, so thought I’d give it a go.
The past two weeks have really made me appreciate the NHS. Two weeks ago I woke up at 4am with the most excruciating ear pain. At 5am I felt something weird occur in my ear. I can only liken it to wet paper ripping. Turns out it was my ear drum and was followed by a lot of fluid. I phoned 111 and had an appointment at the hospital for just a couple of hours later. I was prescribed antibiotics and ear drops but neither worked. I went to my GP who confirmed they’d not worked and took a swab but unfortunately wouldn’t give me anymore antibiotics until the results were back. The results came back 9 days after the original infection took hold and I was told it was all clear so more antibiotics weren’t needed. However by the end of the week I was back on the phone to 111 and being given another appointment as the excruciating pain returned with a vengeance. I guess the results can’t have been clear after all. I’m now on more antibiotics and thankfully feeling a whole lot better.
At the weekend it was my husband’s 40th Birthday. He’s not one for a lot of fuss so we simply ate out. I bought him a flying lesson from Virgin Experience Days. He was pretty pleased with it and will be taking the lesson at Bournemouth Airport. I’m looking forward to watching.
We went out to eat at Casa Brasil which is a Brazilian Rodizo restaurant at Port Solent. They bring various meats round on large skewers and it’s all you can eat. It was fabulous. On the Saturday we went to Relentless HQ, again at Port Solent which sells Seafood, Burgers and Steaks. I had the Crostini starter which was beautiful. For main course I had the The Ultimate Surf and Turf which was a 12oz fillet steak and a whole lobster. It was divine to say the least! We were seated right beside the pudding counter and they all looked so good but unfortunately because it’s Summer and they had the doors wide open there were numerous flys buzzing around and on them!
I’m now the proud owner of a car. I went and picked up my Smart ForFour last week. There’s a blog post to come on this. Just need to pass my driving test now!
Summer always means saying goodbye to the children at work as they venture out to join the world of school. It’s such a sad time saying goodbye and hoping they’ll settle well in to school. I received a lovely gift from one parent and her daughter. Personalised gifts are the best.
Sadly I’ve also lost my work bestie this week. She’s going to start a job in a school in September. We get along so well, I’m sad to see her go but excited that she has this new opportunity. We went to Hot Rock for her leaving do which is a Steak House with a twist. You cook the steak yourself on a hot volcanic rock. It was so much fun and really made for an experience as well as dining out. I had scallops for my starter and then the rib eye steak. It was divine and I cooked it exactly how I like it so it tasted wonderful.
June has seen some beautiful weather but also some crazy weather with horrendous rain, thunderstorms and flooding!
June has seen my garden continue to bloom. I love looking out there and seeing what’s new. It feels like each day something new opens up at the moment.
I popped over to Portsmouth on the Gosport ferry and took this picture of the Spinnaker Tower. From what I can gather the locals have mixed feelings about the Tower. One day I’d love to go up to the viewing platform at the top. The pictures I’ve seen show the view from up there is immense.
I received my employee of the month voucher to spend at West Quay and bought these beauties. I love them.
We took a drive up to Portsdown Hill in Portsmouth and I took this picture. I wish I’d taken my digital camera up there but still thought this snap on my iPhone showed the amazing view quite well. This overlooks both Portsmouth and Gosport.
I snapped this picture of Gary the Event Director of our local parkrun doing the Run Director brief. Next week marks a year since it started and I’m so proud to be a part of it. It’s become a big part of my life and the people there have too. A year ago I only knew work colleagues down here and now I know many more thanks to parkrun. It’s the anniversary run on 2nd July and I’m gutted I have to miss it due to a work commitment. I’ll hopefully make it to the picnic afterwards though and hopefully I won’t miss too much.
So that’s my June in pictures. What was your favourite part of June? Do you have anything special planned for July?
I’m a little late in posting this but here is my roundup of February in pictures. I can not believe it’s already March! It only seems two minutes since Christmas was here but now there’s a definite feel of Spring in the air and I’m so ready for warm evenings and new blooms.
February saw some great sunsets. This picture is taken at Stokes Bay, the next bay along from ours.
I got two new candles from a local shop with a 25% discount! I’ve never used Village Candle before. Review to follow!
In February we went to eat out a couple of times in Portsmouth which houses the Spinnaker Tower. I thought this angle was different to how you would usually see it.
There were some gorgeous days in February where we saw sunshine and blue skies. I enjoyed getting out and about!
I made a good effort with my nails in February, something which has fell by the way side so far in March. I must try harder!
Whilst walking along the beach I found a heart shaped stone. I pocketed it and brought it home to add to my little seaside display in the hall.
Despite February having some lovely days there was also strong winds and rain. When I took this photo I was trying to capture the waves crashing in. Usually the Solent is reasonably still.
One last sunset to finish off 😉
Here’s hoping March turns out to be just as pretty.