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Today I finally got of my arse and did my very first day of C25K. I  have had it on my phone for a little while but did not get organised enough to bring trainers to work etc.

Basically it is 30 mins a week for 8 weeks.  In week one you warm up for 5 minutes by walking, then run/jog for 60 seconds, then walk for 90 seconds.  This alternates for 20 minutes and you cool down for the final five. By week 8 I believe you are running for most of the 20 minutes, which is fine.

I originally was going to start of in Nottingham centre and follow the bus route home until the programme ended, then take a bus the rest of the way.  My mistake was to vastly underestimate how crowded the pavements are, so had to do it the other way round by getting the bus in town and getting of early and walking home.  I got off at Sherwood Shops 2.9km from home and started.  The programme finished 17 seconds after I walked through my front door.

To say it was challenging would be very true indeed.  Some of my friends have done it already so if you are one of them you will recognise the lady saying 'start running'.  Well just under half way through I started running (well more of a slow jog come rhythmic stagger) but could not last the whole minute so went back to walking until I could jog a few more sessions. BUT I KEPT GOING!

General things I learned were -

  • I need to get a backpack.  It is impossible to get good form with a handbag on one shoulder and a carrier bag with work boots in the other hand.

  • Better forward planning of work clothes would help.  I need to look smart for work and won't have time to change so I need to find my smart jersey work trousers which look smart but can be run in, then look at the top half of my body to make sure what I wear lets my skin breath and is not too bulky (and I can wear my sports bra under it). I have three pairs of these trousers but can only currently find one of them.  Need to look harder!

  • Getting proper trainers was a very good idea.  My feet are happy and there was no shock up the shins.

  • Need to plan wardrobe so am wearing flat shoes for work, not bulky boots so they can fit nicely in my bag at the end of the day.

  • The free version of the app (which I have) does not like me playing music with it, it crashed my phone.  May need to upgrade to the 'pro' version or just get used to the quiet between the timing chimes.

  • The programmers are missing a trick with the voice.  just as you get celebrity voices doing Sat Nav's how motivated would you be if you had Brian Blessed in your ear?

I am, despite the less than perfect things about today, very happy with myself because I did not stop.  Can I keep it up for the whole programme?  Well I have a Stargate event in 9 weeks time so that is one motivation.  I will also be doing two fun runs in June so I can see how much good that may have done me.

However the biggest motivation is sleeping in his room right now.  William is three and a half now and full of life and mischief.  On our days together it can be hard to find the energy to run about with him.  He loves it when I chase him.  I love chasing him but find it extremely difficult sometimes.   I want to be able to chase him around the field for as long as he can laugh.  Also, he is less of a monkey when he's had a run about and I need to be able to match him!

So... day two of week one will be Thursday.  Lets see how I do then eh?
Yes, it is.

Unlike many of my friends I have not resolved to do more this year, but actually to do less, in the hope I get more done.

My main resolution is to not take on anything new, until I have cleared all the jobs and projects that need to be done first.

I have a habit of saying 'yes' because, apparently, I like to help.  It is proving quite difficult already but I feel it is for the best.  Believe it or not I still have the pieces cut out for a tie I promised Steve OVER 20 YEARS AGO! I kid you not.  I can see them now, hanging up with the instructions and pattern.  There is a whole box of incomplete waspies, and many things to do in the house.  As for other people I have a coat to finish for one person, and a quote to send to another and if they want to go ahead with it, he will be the other.  Other than that?  Sorry but no, have things I need to do.  There is a velvet cloak that needs new peacock feathers, and lots of jewellery to be made.

2013 has shown me in no uncertain terms that I have my limits.  I love being Secretary to Stargate LRP, but on top of the job, a 90 minute commute then a very lively 3 year old I found it hard to cope with everything and my health started to suffer.  When I realised I could not do the job to the standard I used to do it, I knew I had to resign.  Even now, as my nails grow out they peel and flake at the slightest thing.  Odd the things you notice eh?  As soon as I resigned my appetite returned to normal and my gums stopped bleeding.  Odd how the body is isnt' it?.

The first big challenge of the year 2014 was actually over a year in the making.  The first weekend in January I ran my last Stargate LRP for the foreseeable future.  To be honest I only agreed to do it so certain IC wedding could happen and they eloped anyway!  I could have backed out then, but, again, I did not want to let folks down so went ahead with 'The Seeds of Time'. The odd thing about events is the players don't see what you wrote, so if things go horribly wrong, or half the stuff you prepared is not used, or they go left instead of right, often they don't know. They may have a brilliant time but you can think you ran a shit event because of what didn't go right.  I am waiting for the player feedback to come in but it will be interested in seeing if the players mention aspects of the event I am unhappy with, the stuff I know did not go as well as hoped (for example I feel that Saturday daytime needed more plot stuff to happen, despite writing what we thought was enough, things either did not take off, or got diverted). I am quite happy about the Saturday night though, especially when I heard players were still talking until dawn. On one hand technology let us down quite badly, with smokeyb's laptop dying at a crucial moment, but it saved us with the site having WiFi. Sunday morning felt quite disjointed for me, with bits of plot going on about the place, but no big definite ending.  I guess that is because the last two events I did were full weekend events, which are done differently.

So this year, as far as SG LRP is concerned I will play when I can afford to do so, crew one event and THAT IS IT!  I have also worked out that this Christmas event will be the first I have played for four years!  So to say I am looking forward to it is an understatement and a half... I just need to keep Cosmo (my new character, Dr Chase/Kincaid has been retired) alive until then.

Closing the MISI Shop.

I have decided to close my MISI shop as I don't have time to look after it, and it wasn't selling anything on it's own. Therefore, all my pouches have gone on EBAY today. I have put on the price I want, taking advantage of the free listing and avoiding the 20p 'buy it now' fee. I very much doubt I will do these designs again. I do have enough blanks for another 19 pouches, but will be focusing on more complex designs so if you like one here, best get it.

Busy and life is going on.

See that, top left?  It's my new logo.  I did it yesterday on photoshop while watching tutorials on You Tube and trying to work out the help files.  I am very happy with it.  A bigger version is below -

Not bad for a day's work, I am happy. Especially as this is by a complete beginner.

William is wriggling around and doing well.  I go back to work in September (boo) but part of my is looking forward to that although I shall miss having Radio 4 on tap.

I have two orders now too.  One is for a single badge, the other for a gents Regency costume for an LRP.  A big and a small.  I am happy with that.  Will try and update more often, Will permitting.


Ooh, shiny.

Yes, still here and working on updating stuff, starting with this theme, I quite like it.

Still here...

I am still alive and well, but, well, busy.  I do come on LJ frequently but don't have time to post, so please don't think I have forgotten you.  Will update soon, I promise.
As promised, I have scanned the next set of patterns and put them on an album.  If you are not on my facebook, here is the album with the details.

Goodies are here.

Have fun.

New Year's Resolution.

We have a list of things that need doing. Selling little house, sorting out Elsa etc. I don't count these as resolutions as I am not choosing to take them on, they are things that have to be done.

So, considering how different my life is going to be this year, what shall I do? 

I have always believed that New Years Resolutions should be positive, and leave you better for it.

So, this year I have resolved to improve my skills in........cooking.

Every month, I will try something brand new I have never cooked before.

This is simple, achievable and inexpensive as we eat the results. And I don't mean variants of things I already know (ie, vanilla muffin, then chocolate muffin, then apple muffin etc).  It has to be a new technique I am either totally unfamiliar with, or it's been so long I've totally forgotten how to do it.

I came up with this resolution when I inherited my mum's cookery books and realised I had NEVER made a meringue before.  

Today I made my first ever white sauce, a Bechemel sauce as the base for a pasta bake.  I hadn't realised how cheap the ingredients were compared to stuff in the jar.  My first attempt was okay I would say, there were some fine, soft lumps in there but as I was using the sauce for a bake, the final 20 minutes in the oven would even them out, which they did.  Steve loved it, said it was delicious. Will definitely be doing that again, especially as I want to get it right, without the lumps, before I move to the next new skill.

There is an added challenge in considering my main 'victim' is diabetic with high blood pressure.  Today rather than using butter, I used Benecol spread, which you can cook with.  The fat content is the same, but the saturated fat content is alot lower and Steve has to watch the old cholestorol.   Happily, for my sweeter efforts, Broz has offered to take over on guinea pig duties, and I may, if the recipe is for something bigger than for two (a cake for example) then I may cook it before an event and ask him to take it down for me, for others to share and try. This works for me as some of the things I want to learn to do, ie meringue, is not good for Steve, but I don't have to eat my efforts alone.

So January was - white sauces.

Not sure what February will bring, will decide at the time.

Wish me luck.

So, long time no update so here goes...

Well, to start, Steve and I are well.

However, to what has passed.  Last Thursday,  Steve and I went to our first joint ante-natal class, the first of three.  The midwife was very funny and down to earth and put many of my worries to rest.  They don't like you lying on your back anymore now, and have access to birthing stools and all sorts of funky gubbins to help gravity do it's thing.  Also, if you need to be continuously monitored the belts they use mean you can still be mobile, which is a great weight off my mind.   The thing is the midwife has one of those cloth bodied baby dolls and I immediately remembered Dawn French's psychotic midwife from the gloriously dark 'Psychoville' last year.  I have come to terms with the fact that they don't want me to go overdue very long due to my age.  Apparently the rate of sudden stillbirth doubles after 40 so even though induction is an intervention, if it brings Munchkin safely into the world then I don't mind as much.  Attending the class meant I could not go to London with other historical corsetry fanatics so may well buy myself this book instead.

On Friday, it was my 41st Birthday and Steve bought me a lovely breakfast of scrambled egg, toast, tea and Thorntons.  You can't say better than that really.  Steve bought me a cook book which I love.  Nigella is surprisingly practical in her writing.  Each recipe has a section on how long you can prepare it before hand, dealing with leftovers and freezing so it can go that little bit further. The recipes suit a wide range of budgets too, which I appreciate.   Of course, this means I now need a stick blender, a food processor and tabletop mixer but that's by the by.... The book is huge and hardback so doubles as a blunt weapon, which is nice. 

We had planned on going out to celebrate but I felt too tired so we stayed in with a take away instead.  I realised that munchkin was nicking my iron reserves (by iron levels were revealed as low at the last blood test) and I've been taking iron tablets this weekend and feel much better.

This weekend I have started going through my fabric collection to take out the stuff that no longer inspires me.  The trouble with this is when you find stuff you forgot you even had, and get inspired all over again.  So less is on the 'no' pile than hoped, but I may have a second trawl through.  This is going to take some time...  Sewing projects to be done before Munckin's arrival include new lounge curtains (got the fabric ages ago) as the ones we have a too short.  Munckin will, of course require their own Christmas stocking to hang over the cot on Christmas Eve so I will need to sort that out too.  Yes, we have a chimney so Santa will be fine.

So, final week at work awaits.  As of 5pm on Friday the 22nd of October I will be on Maternity leave.  A lovely but scary thought.

However, even though I won't be larping for a good while, I am still planning the return kit for Cosmo and Livvie so panic not.  I will be back at some point.  It's also nice to not be involved in any current IC love triangles going on for a change (shhhhhh) and causing no angst whatsoever.

Anyhow, time to put the kettle on.  Will have more time to muse this time next week...
Hubby thought he would give me a challenge today -

This book.

What can I say?  It's bloody (pardon the pun) awesome! 

Tanya, the cakes that Florian may like are shown in this article, second set down, the white ghostly ones. They are topped in a soft meringue around a marshmallow.

I did note though that there is a bit of specialist kit involved here which I had not heard of and is hardly what you would find in the Asda baking aisle, but Lily is nice, she gives stockists for both the UK, and US so whoever buys the book isn't left stranded if they want to take it to that level.  The cakes also seem to vary in complexity.  Some will definitely take time and practice

The irony is that Steve can't have them, bless him, but he knew I would love it so bought it for me anyway. 

My personal favorites are the ones with the pink 'brains' frosting, and the 'Bleeding Hearts' ones that made me think of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom when I saw them.  Seriously, you can make phys rep hearts out of cake (dripping in cherry sauce blood) and then eat them after the scenario!

The prettiest and most sophisticated ones though are definitely these, which I fell for right away.  What isn't there for a Goth to love?

Just don't ask how many calories are in them...

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