Saturday, 5 September 2015

Run - running in Greece

It's hard to believe, sitting here on a grey day in a hoodie and trousers, that 10 days ago I was running on this beach under this blue sky.

This is the first time ever that I've managed to run consistently on holiday. Luckily there were a couple of easy(-ish) short running routes from or villa so I managed a run most mornings - sometimes it was only a couple of miles, occasionally it was 4 or 5 miles, but most importantly I did it.  It made me feel fit and energized on holiday, and it's making me feel brilliant now I'm back home as every run I've done so far since getting back has been really enjoyable.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Craft - completion! THE blanket

Finally! I did manage to get outside and take a picture of the massive blanket I worked on for around a year - but then I didn't get around to writing the blog till now. So here - just 2 months after completion - is THE blanket.

There's nothing to provide scale in this picture, but each stripe is made up of 4 rows of granny clusters, and it covers a single bed generously.  It's made out of Stylecraft Special DK (14 colours, I think) and is a combination of daisy granny squares (based on Zooty Owl's pattern) and the Attic24 Granny Stripe, with a border of my own devising.  It's big, bold and snuggly, and will hopefully be able to give my eldest hugs when I can't, once she's a few hundred miles away at university.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Run - grey and cloudy

It's been a while. No real reasons - a bit of a loss of blogging desire, a touch of extra-busy work and home life, a dash of an amazing 2 week holiday (that already feels so long ago despite only returning at the weekend).

But I think I'd like to try and get back to creating a snapshot - literal and metaphorical - of my running, crafting, cooking or reading day. I will also play catch up and add some scenes from my holiday and other stuff I've been up to over the last couple of months - I think my blog works for me if it's a place to store odd memories and thoughts, and there are things from the last few months I'd like to remember.

First up, this is roughly the halfway point on my run yesterday. After 2 weeks of sunny seaside runs in Greece it was a bit of a shock to run through mud and puddles down to the sea, under a cloudy grey sky. But my (very short) hilly hot holiday runs must have had a beneficial effect as I actually had a great run - my legs felt light, it was lovely and cool and the grey sea still made my heart sing.  There will be (many) pictures from my holiday runs in the next few days, but for the moment I'm happy to be back running here.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Cook - lemonade on a sunny day

I've never attempted to make homemade lemonade before and my youngest has been urging us to have a go for a while, so we took a bag of lemons and turned them into this:

It's another Nigella Lawson recipe from Nigella Express (Cloudy Lemonade for a Sunny Day). The recipe's not on her website but it's very simple and involves blending up roughly chopped lemons with sugar and fizzy water. It was lovely and refreshing, although I might do it slightly differently next time (using the blender instead of food processor and blending with a sugar and water syrup first, then adding fizzy water later). Or I may not make any changes at all, as the whole litre that we made this time disappeared very quickly!

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Run - summer running

I haven't managed to take any running photos recently, although I've stepped back up to 4 runs a week over the last couple of weeks - I think the lack of photos is because I'm mainly running with friends at the moment, and I'm a bit shy about whipping my phone out to take a snap. But I did manage to take a quick photo on our morning long run yesterday - it really was glorious.

I know I bang on about how much I love running in the countryside - but, oh, I do love running through fields like these. And through woods, and along river paths, and past amazingly grand houses and historical churches - it really makes me feel connected to the landscape. Summer is in full swing now and we're spending a lot of time running along narrow paths through crops up to our waists - such a change from a few weeks ago.  And it won't be long before the crops are harvested and the fields ploughed up, but I'm not sad about the coming of autumn as it means new landscapes to look at, new smells and sounds to take in. Yes, I really do love running in the countryside. 

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Read - Juliet, Naked (#11/52)

I think my rather Pollyanna-ish take on this book is that sometimes it's quite rewarding to come across a book I don't enjoy, to remind me that I still have critical faculties.  After loving the last few books I've read (including Funny Girl, also by Nick Hornby) , Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby was a bit of a let down. The story is about obsessive fandom, reclusive rock stars and mid-life angst, but I didn't feel sympathetic to any of the characters and I found the plot in turn clich├ęd and implausible. I don't mind fantastic stories or wild twists and turns in a plot (not that there were many of these in this book), but overall it has to feel true to the characters and circumstances, and this book didn't really work for me in that way; the motivations and psychology of the main characters didn't feel real enough to me, and it felt too contrived in places.  Sorry if anyone's read it and loved it - I'd really like to hear any opposing views!

To be honest, I chose this as light relief between book club books, as it was on the 'borrow me' shelf in the staff room at work, so it will be going back there next week! And, on the upside, it's been very enjoyable to read a few 'real' (ie not 'e') books recently - my Kindle's been having a welcome rest.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Craft - trackwork

The athletics track is a new addition to my list of unusual locations for a spot of crochet. It was my (long overdue) turn to take my middle son and his friends to athletics on Tuesday, so I managed to pass a pleasant hour in the evening sun crocheting, drinking tea and chatting to another mum while lots of athletics action happened on the track (10 x 300m reps. apparently).

This picture shows the border just being finished - I think there were two and a half rounds to go at this stage.  The good news is that I finished the whole thing last night - ends and all - just in time to meet Deadline B (well, about 2 hours late, but the recipient didn't mind). I will do a proper post showing the whole blanket when I've manged to take pictures, but the weather today isn't lending itself to blanket photoshoots.  And now I just need to decide which craft project to start next ....