Thursday, 22 May 2014

Chester Half Marathon 2014

"I SPY with my little eye, something beginning with TOBH.."
That would have been a good one, wouldn't it!?

We had S for shirt, shorts, slowpeople, SWEAT!
 T for trainers, teeshirt, tiredpeople, TARMAC!
and before we knew it


Not only did we catch him up, WE PASSED HIM and we never saw him again!

It was the hottest day of the year so far and a lot of people struggled, judging by the amount of bodies stretching out by the roadside or dousing themselves with water.

But we weren't IN IT TO WIN IT.
I just wanted to finish... WITH DRAKE and WITH BOTH ANKLES.

The support was immense, and I was so excited by all the cheers on that final uphill bend at the top of Garden Lane that I nearly fell into Sinead's arms...

but then I heard Drake shouting "MUM!!!!! DAD'S OVER THERE!"


So I promptly did a few starjumps for the photo, as you DO when you have just run 13.4 miles...
(I kept running up and down a side lane while Drakester had a wee)

...and then we had to attempt a sprint finish after all that messing about high fiving people all the way round.


GO ME!!! Look out Paula Radcliffe... :)


GO US! Look at us go!


I can't believe she beat me! How did THAT happen?


We had truly, crazy. deliriously happy faces at the finish.....


...with enough energy left to lift our arms...



A proud girlfriend...

...with her very proud boyfriend.

(And sweets! Thankyou!)

Bridge did it too! in just over 2 hours.

I was 12th in my age group! ha!

We were amazing (there was a sign up telling us we were)

2 hours 9 minutes!

and now I have to recover!

#1 photos thanks to Nigel Fish
#2 photos thanks to Laura Hennie

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Edna's 94th birthday potato

Edna was 94 in April (94!!) so as a birthday treat I took her to Hickory's hahaha. Do 94 year olds even GO in Hickory's? What do you BUY a 94 year old? I told her she was the trendiest pensioner in there. I'm not sure that the waitress believed me when I asked for a table but MY face must have been a picture when she offered us a bar stool (did she really think Edna could hoist her bottom up on to one of those??)

We needed the parking space though so we ordered a cheesybeantayro each and a pot of tea.
This meant we could leave the car there while we sat by the Groves and we had an icecream. 
I can highly recommend the stem ginger flavour.


To me, Corsica would be a beach stop. A dip in the sea and some decent sand. 
So a skyblue sky THIS skyblue was just perfect.

The daily exercise was a stroll around the market which sold "meat" which was more white than brown (eek) and then a stomp along the prom round to the palm trees...

...and back again, studying the astroturf and local school security on the way round.

Nelson shone on his column.

I temporarily lost the Husb but knew exactly where to find him, we were in "France" remember, they make a good pain au raisin as we well know. Turn my back for 2 minutes and he's darted into the boulangerie.

It was the best pain au raisin EVER. :)

What followed next was quite hooty but my Husb likes excitement so why go to the bit of sand next to the cruise ship and get maximum rays when you can sit on a bus in the sun and go to a different beach..
but the lady in 
Tourist Information looked horrified that we were considering going to Tahiti Beach which was right by the airport and WHAT DO YOU WANT TO GO THERE FOR so we took the Number 5 bus for 1 Euro each to Palm Beach on her recommendation which consisted of travelling about half a mile in half an hour in the most RIDICULOUS traffic jam EVER so we got off and yes you've guessed it walked all the way back to the bit of sand next to the cruise ship just like all the other passengers of Ventura judging by the amount of P+O towels on the sand and the noticeable LACK of locals AND IT WAS FANTASTIC!


And a warm sea!! Yippee!


We managed to avoid the Great British Sailaway that evening (sorry Rich) as we had a perfect spot on deck in the sun (we've been to plenty of sailaways to be fair.)

Flying home over the ALPS was spectacular but we still don't like flying.

It was a great week. 
2 culture days, Venice and Rome.
2 beachy days, Corfu and Corsica.
1 climb-a-mountain day, Montenegro.
Great ship, good food, superb entertainment and  a constant supply of laughs with this Husb. 
The ginger biscuits were delicious too.

Monday, 19 May 2014


Our day in Rome was magnificent. They say "Rome wasn't built in a day."  We had to agree as we spent the day "basilica-hopping" from one jaw-droppingly beautiful basilica to another. Docking at Civitavecchia meant an early breakfast-in-bedder and a train journey into Rome. The train was absolutely JAM-PACKED (Barcelona type of packed) full of school parties and just when the aisles were full of standing students... ANOTHER crowd got on. Crazy full. But we soon arrived at TERMINI station in  Rome and a quick walk down the VIA CAVOUR brought us to ... (we very nearly missed it)...


the largest Catholic Marian Church in Rome.

Oh my word. HOW impressive was this!?
Awesome ceilings worth wrecking your neck over...

pillars, pillars and more pillars,





glorious stained glass,

even the in-betweeny arches were superb.

There is a lovely statue of Pope Pius 1X kneeling before the ancient remains of  Christ's crib.

What a beautiful church.

Even innocent looking churches down side streets like the 
Santa Maria Regina dei Monti...

looked like THIS inside...

Absolutely beautiful and just a minor little basilica.

Back out in the sunshine we walked past the old Roman Forum

on our way to the famous Government building often known as the Wedding Cake...

...when we saw this!!! Musee d'Orsay ON TOUR!!!!
WE couldn't NOT go in!
So we had an absolute bonus of Monet, Manet, Seurat, Pissarro, Degas
which was totally unexpected.

View from the Wedding Cake, but not from up the extortionately priced lift ...

We could easily have walked straight past this next basilica but we saw people coming out of a door so we naturally went to see what it was. Oh my goodnessssss. Fabulous Fabulous Fabulous.

Ornate ceilings, pillars, domes, you KNOW the score...
but THIS basilica had 3D work too...

...and the entire floor was made up of tomb stones.

But there was so much more to see so off we went again... past the Bank of Venice...

down a short-cut side street where once again we emergency-stopped to peep inside ordinary-looking basilica number 4 which was as jaw-droppingly beautiful as all the others. Rome. It's just amazing.

Santa Ignazio di Loyola

The Pantheon was so so crazy busy but is so so stunning,
the ceiling dome being the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world.

It makes a good photo when the sun shines.
It had also rained in through the hole leaving a puddle on the floor.

It was so busy.

So back to the station via  Trevi fountain.

There were people everywhere....

but no one was tossing a coin into the water like this. What was the matter with them all?

Who actually IS this opera singer?????

We had just enough time to mess about Usain Boltlike on the Spanish Steps before...

...oh you know what Husb is like.... 

why walk when you can try out the Rome Metro? HOW EXCITING!
And that got us back to Termini Station and a fast train back to Civitavecchia...and it was only 5pm.

What a Brilliant Brilliant Day. 
It had obviously gone to our heads at how much we'd done in a day in Rome that we waltzed straight into the buffet for cake (piggyhollies) and were waltzed straight back out again for being unsuitably dressed. 
That'll serve us right.

So as well as being a tremendous week so far, we had in summary also

*lost my plane boarding card
*broken my sunglasses
*lost a 50 euro note
*ate all the cabin biscuits
*planked on a wobbly big blue ball on a wobbly big blue sea
*spilt tea on the white sheets having breakfast in bed
*saved Husb's life when he fell on top of me falling off the pavement in Rome
*got chucked out of the buffet for being too scruffy 

Wonderful stuff.

And another Dressy-Uppy night tonight to end a great day.