Job app number 2…

Second job of 2018 has now been applied for! I’ve decided on my job application criteria… as I enjoy my current job, it pays me enough money to travel fairly often and it gives me an excellent work / life balance I will only apply for and consider exceptional opportunities.

This job is pretty exceptional and as ‘Director of Digital and Technology’ would be a substantial promotion. The closing date was today so fingers crossed and lets wait and see…




Week 37 walking update

Barton Hills (12 miles on Sunday)

Running total (to week 36): 1,459

Miles walked in week 37: 53

Total walked so far in 2018: 1,512

Good effort this week! 53 miles is an average of 7.5 miles walked each day ūüôā¬† As a little snapshot, this was my mileage for this week:

  • Monday = zero (quite unusually these days for me not to walk anywhere)
  • Tuesday = 11 (walking to and from work and the stations and using the treadmill and cross trainer in the gym)
  • Wednesday = 11 (same exercise as Tuesday)
  • Thursday = 13 (same as Tuesday and Wednesday but I had an extra walk into our local town and back this evening)
  • Friday = 4 (walk to retail park and back)
  • Saturday = 2 (walk into town and back)
  • Sunday = 12 (walking with local walking club)




Hello Eastbourne!

Eastbourne Pier

Eastbourne is situated along the south coast of England and was the recent end point of my 13 mile Seven Sisters trek! A ‘Victorian landmark’ the Pier is one of Eastbourne’s famous sights and I had a quick wander to the end and back while we waited for the bus to take us to Seaford to begin our trek back to Eastbourne.

Eastbourne seemed a typical British seaside town complete with amusements, fish and chip shops and… stripy beach huts!

The walk took around 5 hours in total and we arrived in Eastbourne at 7 pm, just in time for dinner in a local pub and a couple of drinks ūüôā

I certainly have Eastbourne in mind for future adventures… this is the end of the South Downs Way, a 100 mile trail which begins in Winchester. Definitely something I would love to do at some point…

I admit that I slightly tweaked this challenge… originally it was to visit a new city in the UK however I’m not sure I’ll get to a new city this year so decided to settle on a new town instead… the good thing about a personal blog is you can make up the ‘rules’ and chop and change as you go along…





Preparing for a sober October…



Or that is the plan!

I often have difficulty in sleeping which is usually worse after a few glasses of wine. (Probably an age thing… ) Also, having had several recent trips away and lots of excuses for a few drinks I’m starting to get concerned that maybe I am exceeding my safe drinking limits?

According to drink aware, to stay within healthy limits, an individual is supposed to consume no more than 6 glasses of wine or 14 measures of spirits a week!

A quick estimation of my alcohol consumption last week reveals:

  • Monday: 1 glass of red wine
  • Tuesday: 2 glasses of red wine
  • Wednesday: (In Liverpool on work trip) 2 glasses of red wine
  • Thursday: (Liverpool) 2 x Margarita cocktails and 2 x Baileys = 8 spirits
  • Friday: (Liverpool) 1 glass of white wine
  • Saturday: 2 glasses of rose wine
  • Sunday: 2 glasses of white wine

Oh dear… this equates to 10 glasses of wine and 8 measures of spirits. And¬†I mostly don’t have any days without having any alcohol…

I am determined to look after my health and give myself the best chance for a healthy ‘next 50 years’ and drinking too much alcohol isn’t going to help…

So, on the basis I can’t really see myself getting my fortune told this year I’ve swapped this challenge out and have set myself a new ‘Sober October’ challenge. Although this is also a ‘Health’ category, this is going to be potentially a bit tough so I’ve put this in the ‘Challenge’ category.

A little bit of a tweak however…¬† I’m just going to do this for 4 weeks rather than the whole month… so will start on Monday 1st October and end at midnight on Sunday 28th October.

The term ‘Sober October’ comes from the MacMillan¬†cancer fund raising site. I’m happy to give a generic donation related to money I’ll potentially save during October but I’m not keen on sponsorship… in fact I’m against the idea of asking people for sponsor money. It can put them in an awkward position and it feels like a form emotional blackmail i.e. people can feel guilty if they don’t actually want to sponsor you or give their hard earned cash to charity. And I haven’t signed up as I’m concerned about getting bombarded with emails…




Gym update

Work gym

A short update to confirm I am still doing 2 – 3 gym sessions each week! So far this year I have been to the gym on every single day that I’ve been in the London office. As I work from home a couple of random days a week, have the odd flexi day and occasionally work away from London I never do more than 3 days in the office.

The gym is often quiet and there is usually no more than 4 or 5 people using it at the same time. We have TV screens with subtitles which helps to relieve the boredom of 25 minutes on a cross trainer or tread mill!

My routine is still fairly similar:

  • 25 minutes on the cross trainer
  • 10 minutes of weights (focussing on arms and shoulders)
  • 25 minutes on the treadmill

I haven’t done as much on the rowing machine lately as these are not located near the TV’s… so they are boring…

And I am still burning off around 450 calories each time.

This morning there was nobody in the gym at the end of my session so I took the opportunity to take the above photo!



De-clutter update

The last major clutter clearance I had was back at the end of March however with a busy and active summer schedule and gorgeous sunny weather, this hasn’t been a priority for a while.

I’m still keen to further reduce my stuff and with my daughter Zoe moving back last weekend it was time to get back on the de-cluttering case! For the last 5 years, my husband Chris and I had used her room as a spare room meaning we had to find a new home for items we had kept in there.

Feeling motivated I had a full day yesterday as follows:

  • I got rid of more clothes (I definitely can’t put on weight now as the last of my size 12’s have all gone and everything is now a size 8 or 10).
  • I cleared my bedside cabinet of all receipts and bits of paper and shredded anything containing personal data (some receipts dated back to over 12 months ago…)

This was followed by a trip to the tidy tip and the charity shop to drop off unwanted items accordingly… most of them had belonged to Zoe…

So a successful day although still more to do between now and the end of December!




Weeks 35 and 36 walking update

Seven Sisters hike

Running total (to week 34): 1,371

Miles walked in week 35: 51

Total walked so far in 2018: 1,422

13 of the 51 miles I walked during this week were completed by hiking the Seven Sisters coast path where I was fortunate to have amazing weather for this. I also boosted this weeks’ mileage up by doing 20 miles on the Wednesday! I walked to and from work; walked around Central London (rather than taking the tube for meetings); did 5 miles in the gym and another 6 during the evening with one of my local walking clubs!


View from the top of the Bridgewater Monument

Running total (to week 35): 1,422

Miles walked in week 36: 37

Total walked so far in 2018: 1,459

Not quite as many miles as usual this week mainly due to going away to Liverpool with work for 3 days (although on both days I got up early and did 4 – 5 miles each day before breakfast) and also being busy with lots going on at home! I did manage to fit in a 9 mile trek with another walking club today, around the scenic Ashridge Estate which is a National Trust which is part of the Chiltern Hills in Hertfordshire.





Hiking the Seven Sisters

Seven Sisters coast

Challenge number 19 now complete! I was inspired to do this when my friend Jas first mentioned it over a year ago. I was lucky to have experienced perfect weather conditions, unlike the torrential rain from last weekend’s camping trip in the Peak District!

The Seven Sisters are the 7 chalk cliffs you can see in the picture below. The total distance was 13 miles and despite hiking up and down the 7 peaks it wasn’t too difficult. I’ll shortly produce a blog post on my travel blog where full details can be found!




September weigh-in

Weight today… 8 st 5 lb! Oh dear…

For the first time this year, my weight has increased…

I think this happened during last weekend, August Bank Holiday where I was camping in the Peak District. Despite 2 mountain hikes this also involved a 4 day binge of alcohol, crisps and snacks, curries, cakes, cream teas and ‘taking my finger off the diet pulse…’

So it seems the moment I stop tracking my calories my weight creeps upwards…

Thankfully I haven’t lost my focus and I am still in the mindset of taking care of my weight and fitness levels and aim to be back at 8 st 3 lb in October!



August book reviews(s)

Book number 14

Book read: The Little Princess by Casey Watson

One of the most powerful and emotional books I’ve ever read was ‘One Child’ by Torey Haden which I read sometime around 2004. The contents of that book were horrifying and humbling and caused me to take a different approach to life and really appreciate my own upbringing.

This short book was also sickening and also described the abuse of a 6 year old girl. The girl had been removed from her own evil parents and was taken in to spend Christmas with a foster family. While only a short story I feel full of admiration and respect for families such as Casey’s who consistently give generosity and kindness in such tragic circumstances.


Book number 15

Book read: Thunder and Sunshine: Around the World by bike Part 2 by Alastair Humphreys

Wow… another superb book which I read quickly as I found it difficult to put down! Having travelled pretty much the length of South America in 2016 I could closely relate to many of the places Alastair visited on his epic adventure from the tip of South America or ‘El Fin Del Mundo’ (the end of the World) to the top of Alaska.

OK… so Alastair cycled and I took the soft luxury option travelling by plane, bus and cruise liner however I was able to visualise many South American places as well as LA, Seattle and Alaska.

The book continued with Alastair’s incredible cycle journey through Siberia… in the winter and then through Asia and back into Europe inspiring me to do something more adventurous and push a few more boundaries… I’m not yet sure what…

Alastair had some awesome quotes in his book too, particularly towards the end as he reflected on his fantastic journey:

Page 341: How mad we are to neglect our body, the very machine that carries all our thoughts, emotions, ambitions, dreams, fears and our life itself. And yet we still expect to live smoothly, healthily and happily to a ripe old age.”¬†So very true and something I am very conscious of… especially now that I am 50…

Page 339:¬†I decided to see some of the world and to escape from England and the conveyor belt of my life”¬†most people probably do live on a conveyor belt of a life and conform to a similar pattern without even questioning they could be doing something different…