Week In Review – The Corona Chronicles Part 64

This week began with a much-needed Monday holiday. The area I work in takes the first Monday in June (Victoria Day) as a holiday and for me it’s always the last “mile marker” before the final sprint to the summer holidays. I definitely feel much more tired than usual this year thanks to all the additional stresses of pandemic teaching and ensuring senior pupils achieved the qualifications they deserved. I’m sad that I won’t be able to do anything particularly exciting this summer (I would SO love to go away somewhere, but it’s not on the cards right now) but I very much need the rest. My running definitely feels slower and it’s tough to fit in evening workouts just now. Once school finishes I will be able to hit reset on that and get things back to how I like them. In the meantime, here’s how my week looked:

Monday – 3.5 miles + Hatha yoga via Zoom
Tuesday – 4.5 miles + home yoga
Wednesday – 4.5 miles + home yoga
Thursday – 4.5 miles + home yoga
Friday – 4 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Saturday – (not)parkrun sandwich
Sunday – 10 miles

The Monday holiday was EXACTLY what I needed for a bit of an energy top-up to see me through the last weeks of the school year. I made sure to take full advantage of the opportunity by sleeping a little later than on a work day, reading in bed with a cup of tea then heading out for my run (with new scavenger hunt list in tow, of course!). It felt so good to have a leisurely start to my day and I’m more than ready for this to be my life for a bit!

Post-run I got showered and changed then set off to walk into town. I last did this on the early May bank holiday when I was off work, but since the shops had not long opened I found it a bit busy. This time, I was off for a holiday not taken in the area where I live so I anticipated things being much quieter and I had a few things I wanted to get (plus I fancied having a quick look in a few shops while they were fairly empty). I was able to get everything I needed, then used my Vitality reward to pick up a free coffee for my walk back up the road again.

I was pretty hungry by this point so I got my lunch organised and headed out to enjoy it al fresco since it was another lovely day.

Since it was so nice, I spent the afternoon reading my book in the garden, and Steve brought me out a little treat of an ice cream cone. Yummy!

It was such a relaxing day, rounded off beautifully with my Hatha yoga class on Zoom.

But of course it was back to the usual routine on Tuesday. My run took in a loop around the bridges over the river and I was listening to the latest “together run” podcast from Tina Muir. Once again there was a point where we were encouraged to take a picture and once again I wasn’t in quite the position I would have liked, but took the picture anyway:

After work Steve and I took a walk to get some fresh air then I made sure to do some yoga while our dinner was in the oven. Being back in work after a day off is always a wrench, especially at this point in the school year, so I must make sure to take care of myself through the rest of the month.

The next couple of days felt quite hard as I’m just so tired now and found it difficult to get out of bed. I even had to shorten my Wednesday run a little so I wouldn’t be late for work! I had toyed with adding the distance back onto Thursday’s run (basically swapping around the distances) but I couldn’t get up any earlier then either. Oh well, rest is more important than miles right now.

By the Friday (a shorter run anyway) I was more than ready for my weekend. I began with a living room workout (how have we only managed to get ONE garden workout so far?) then a little yoga before relaxing in front of the tv. We began to watch the Jimmy McGovern drama Time starring Sean Bean and it was very good.

Unfortunately I did get word that evening that the SUP yoga session planned for the Saturday would need to be postponed because of the wind. It had been super windy all day and was only going to be worse, so for safety reasons we just couldn’t go ahead. Disappointing but safety has to come first.

That did, however, mean that I was under no pressure to get myself up and out on Saturday morning. That meant time to read in bed before heading out into the wind for my (not)parkrun. The wind was actually quite refreshing as it was clearly going to be an otherwise lovely day. So much so, that I spent the afternoon in the garden again finishing up my book.

This one was really good. Two authors who had experienced a short but intense relationship in their teens are brought together again for an equally intense few days exploring their past, their flaws, and the impact of history on their lives. It read as very “current” and was well worth reading as my June choice in my “reading the year” challenge.

Saturday was also World Gin Day so we made sure to mark the occasion with a little tipple in the evening.

It was still windy for my longer run on the Sunday, but as it turned out I was quite grateful for it since it was once again pretty warm. I made sure to have some sunscreen on since it’s so easy to forget how strong the sun is when it’s windy. It was actually a really nice run and I couldn’t help noticing the difference between my weekday and weekend runs right now. That end of year tiredness has me pretty sluggish through the week but much fresher at the weekend when I can head out a little later (and better rested). Roll on the holidays!

After our Sunday errands we spent the afternoon in the garden again. We treated ourselves to another ice cream cone then later on a refreshing hard seltzer we had come across while we were food shopping. The perfect “warm day in the garden” drink!

I finished my day with a nice bath so I could relax and watch the first episode of Loki. It looks like it’s going to be another enjoyable Marvel series. When I emerged, the kitties were clearly in the middle of an important meeting 😹

And that was it. At this point, just under two weeks to go until those much-anticipated school holidays.

How are you feeling just now?
Do you have a favourite drink/treat on warm days?

Week In Review – The Corona Chronicles Part 63

After my half marathon efforts on the Sunday, my legs felt just fine but my body was definitely telling me that it needed to take things easy to get some recovery – racing a half marathon on a hot day takes its toll! I was more than happy to listen and take this as a recovery week, and having a couple of inservice (inset) days at the end of the week also helped. Here’s now my week looked:

Monday – 5k + Hatha yoga via Zoom
Tuesday – 3.5 miles + garden workout + home yoga
Wednesday – 4 miles
Thursday – 4 miles + home yoga
Friday – 4 miles + home yoga
Saturday – 5 miles
Sunday – 8 miles

Monday is always a recovery run anyway, and this week that recovery was more in demand than usual! I was happy to take both the distance and the pace down a bit and used the new scavenger hunt list to give me something to focus on. My legs actually felt fine, but my body had nothing much to give. In the “before times” I would take a few days off after a half marathon effort, so making sure to take some active recovery as part of my streak is just as important. Ego firmly parked at the door and a few days of slow plodding.

Nothing much of note in the rest of the day, but I was more than ready for my evening yoga class with the yoga pets! It felt good to stretch out after tiring my body the day before.

I still felt the lingering weariness and need for an easy run on Tuesday morning, so once again kept the distance down a little and pace slow. I had a nice run taking me into town as I was on a mission to get some scavenger hunt items and knew the likely spots to find them.

At school we had a non-uniform day to mark the beginning of Pride month and the success of our equalities group towards the LBGT Scotland charter. The idea was to wear a colour of the rainbow and I was all ready with my Disney Pride pin as well.

Since the weather was still nice, I was FINALLY able to have my workout in the garden – yippee! It’s been such a long time since I’ve been able to use the TRX so it was a lovely change.

It was so nice that after dinner we actually went out for a walk before bed. It felt like last year when a walk was a fairly standard part of the day, but it was good to get some air before bed.

The Wednesday was Global Running Day and I wanted to make sure I did something to mark the occasion. Obviously I was going to run, but decided this was an ideal day for the latest Running 4 Real “together run” podcast as it made me feel like I had a whole community of people with me – just the thing for Global Running Day! Once again, we were directed to take a photo to share:

This was actually the last teaching day of the week as we had two extra inset days to focus on the Alternative Certification Model for senior qualifications this year. Basically a chance to complete our marking of recent assessments, moderate them in school then do some wider moderation across the local authority to ensure fair and robust marking. But first, a day of teaching pupils who had a long weekend ahead of them!

As it turned out, the day wasn’t too bad. When I arrived home Steve was out working with a client so I set to work prepping a pot of chilli for the slow cooker. By the time I was done Steve was home and it was time for dinner – unfortunately no time for yoga (unless I wanted to eat super late!). I was actually feeling pretty tired so opted to eat, relax for a bit then head to my bed.

I had a pleasant run on the Thursday morning, but my good mood was spoiled a bit by getting stuck in a tailback from roadworks on my way into school – thank goodness the first part of the day allowed me to organise my own time rather than work with others or be in a meeting! As a Faculty we were able to complete all of the tasks that needed us to be in the school building, allowing us the option to work from home on the Friday. Yippee!

Oh, and I spent the day in one of my DLP Spirit Jerseys and couldn’t resist “twinning” with my Minnie NuiMo when I got home!

I also arrived home to find that my finisher pack from the Edinburgh virtual half marathon had arrived (speedy!). Like last year, we were getting the same pack we would have done at the in-person version of the event: a box with the T-shirt, medal, and some bits and pieces such as a gel, hydration tabs, foil blanket, etc.

I have quite a collection of EMF T-shirts dating back to 2010 now!

It was a restful evening, all the happier in the knowledge that working from home on Friday meant no commute therefore I could have an extra hour of sleep before heading out for my run. Much needed by this point in the school year!

When they realised I wasn’t heading out to work, the kitties got a bit over-excited and couldn’t settle down for a nap (although I think they were a little disappointed there were no meetings to infiltrate!). It’s funny how they easily slip back into old habits, with Sooty immediately setting herself up beside my computer (but pretending to be watching the birds outside!):

And later getting ready to nap on my laptop case 😹

It was really nice to have a day at home and the tasks I had were well-suited to this type of day so it was really productive. It also meant that I felt like I had an earlier finish since the extent of my commute was walking down the stairs!

I rounded off my day by watching Raya and the Last Dragon which was no longer on Premier Access on Disney+ and available as part of my regular subscription. I won’t give any spoilers in case you haven’t seen it yet, but suffice to say I enjoyed it. The animation was beautiful and I LOVED the strong female leads.

Even better than a day of working from home was the fact that this was also the start of a long weekend. The area we work in takes a Monday holiday at the start of June and I always see this as the last “breather” before the final push into the last 3/4 weeks of term. The weather was set to be lovely again, so I was excited to spend some time outside in the fresh air and sunshine.

I was conscious of still feeling tired (that “end of school year” tired that only teachers really know!) and having made this a recovery week I continued to keep my distance down a little – a total of 5 miles for the day rather than 10k. I still made sure to record a (not)parkrun though!

After a quick bite to eat I was heading into town to get my hair done, then a far less glamorous excursion to get a replacement numberplate for my car since the old one had clearly got some water inside it which had corroded the lettering. It was time to get it sorted out!

But once home I was able to enjoy some time sitting in the garden to do my weekly Disney quiz, then my sister walked down to sit with me and have a catch up – it was quite exciting to spend some time with an adult who does not live in my house!

Steve and I then had a low-key evening of tv before I gratefully headed up to bed to try and stock up on some much-needed sleep!

The Sunday was also nice, so after a bit of reading in bed I headed off for 8 miles complete with hat and sunglasses since I think my head got a bit too much sun the week before when I ran my virtual half marathon! I was feeling much more like I had my own legs underneath me again, so while I had considered keeping the distance to 10k, I felt good to extend a little (without going mad and overdoing it).

We tried to be quite swift in taking care of our various Sunday tasks so that we could spend some time sitting in the garden – we even made sure to pick up some ice cream so we could enjoy a cone!

And I enjoyed the chance to finish up my book in the sunshine. This one was lovely: a year after losing his wife Arthur Pepper begins to sort through her things. The discovery of a charm bracelet he had never seen before leads him on an adventure which uncovers more about his wife’s past and jolts him out of the rut he had fallen into. Heart-warming and funny, it’s worth a read.

Eventually it was time to head inside to eat then I finished the week off with a bath. There was a live concert from the team behind The Shows Must Go On and I streamed that while I was in the bath – can’t beat some show tunes! Hopefully it won’t be too long until I can get back to seeing some live shows again.

And then off to bed with the glorious anticipation of a day off and no alarm. Bliss!

What’s your top tip for keeping cool when running on hot days?
What’s your favourite flavour of ice cream?

Week In Review – The Corona Chronicles Part 62

I don’t know about you, but I’m finding the weekends are getting just a tiny bit more interesting. After all these months of not having very much to do, it’s been refreshing (if a little tiring!) to have something planned, even if it is just a small thing. I had a great week of running – including a virtual race – so here’s the breakdown:

Monday – 3.5 miles + Hatha yoga via Zoom
Tuesday – 4.5 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Wednesday – 5 miles + home yoga
Thursday – 4.25 miles + home yoga
Friday – 4 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Saturday – (not)parkrun sandwich + SUP yoga
Sunday – 13.1 miles

On Monday morning it was POURING! I usually use my Monday morning recovery run to get started on finding the new list of items on the weekly scavenger hunt, but it was so miserable that I didn’t want to stop and take photos! Instead I focused on noting/thinking about where some items might be for later in the week, that way I could complete the run as swiftly as possible. I did stop for one picture as I ran by what is usually a gentle waterfall looking like this:

But on this day looked like this:

It was so wet that I left a towel and my dressing gown at the front door so that I could strip my soggy kit off as soon as I got in and stay warm while I grabbed a drink before getting in the shower. Yup, that bad!

My work day was fairly standard, but once home it was time for my yoga class via Zoom. The weekly check-in with all the “yoga pets” is a highlight of the week!

It was also time to start a new tv programme again, so once Steve and I were settled we watched the first episode of The Pact. Looks like there are going to be a lot of secrets to uncover!

Thankfully the weather was much better on Tuesday morning. I really enjoyed my run as not only was I doing some serious scavenger hunting, I was also listening to another of TIna Muir’s “together run” podcast episodes. I do really enjoy the sense of community these bring in what has been a very isolating time, and she has been including more and more to build on that, starting recently with including some strides in the run and in this one, taking a picture wherever we were at the point she said. I had really hoped to be by the river when she asked for the photo but I was still a couple of minutes up the road so ended up with a picture by the old city hall which is undergoing development work right now. I’m not a fan of this building (it’s been rather controversial around here for years) but the most important thing was taking part and adding my picture to the others to create that community feel.

After work I managed to arrive home at a decent time and Steve took me through a quick living room workout (this time last year I was definitely having workouts in the garden but it really hasn’t been nice enough for that yet). It was a combination of resistance band exercises for upper body and some press ups. I know I need to try and pick up my workouts again so as not to lose the strength I built whilst working from home. That said, I was pleased to finish and head off to do some yoga upstairs before dinner.

I laid my running kit out for the morning, but a quick check of the weather forecast later in the evening revealed a bit of a change and all of a sudden it looked like to might be wet on Wednesday morning. I left out a wet weather kit option, but as it turned out it was perfectly dry when my alarm went off.

Setting off down the hill my eye was caught by a movement in the land off to the right so I glanced over and saw a beautiful deer. They are often in that area but it’s been a while since I spotted one through the greenery, and this one stood for ages with its eyes meeting mine. I had my phone handy so was able to grab a picture, but otherwise stayed still and quiet, enjoying the early morning encounter with nature. It really put me in a good mood for my run.

I had a pretty productive day so treated myself to the luxury of leaving work by 5pm and arrived home to find that Steve was out meeting a client so I had about half an hour to get myself organised and keep on listening to the podcast I had on in the car. Of course when Steve arrived there was a lateral flow test to do, then a little yoga before dinner. It actually felt like quite a relaxing evening and I’m really starting to notice how light the evenings are – it is nearly June despite the weather looking like March!

Thursday morning turned out to be a little more eventful than I had anticipated. It all started fine as I got up and organised to run, with plans to join the most recent of Tina’s “together runs”. This time it included a workout of 5×1 minute pickups, which I intended to do as form drills. So far, so good.

I headed off into town, thinking to loop around the bridges and home again, and enjoying the 1 minute form drill efforts. Until disaster struck. Or, to be more precise, I somehow fell over my own feet like a clumsy clot!

Yes, I fell over. Again. Not that it’s something I make a habit of, but you may remember that day early last summer when I tripped on a kerb and went down like a sack of spuds, skinning my knee, taking a chunk out of the heel of my hand and wounding my pride. Nothing quite so dramatic this time, but as I was in a recovery phase of the drills (a JOG ffs!) I somehow managed to catch my foot and took a slow motion, but rather graceless, tumble to the tarmac. The heel of my opposite hand bore the brunt this time, with a graze that meant I had a stinging hand for the rest of my run (and me cursing my choice of a white top since the graze was bleeding – thankfully it was ok and I spared myself a laundry nightmare later). There was no other reason not to carry on, and I was almost 2 miles from home, so I made an adjustment to my planned route and started along a return path so I could get my wound washed out sooner rather than later. I’m absolutely fine, just irritated that I somehow contrived to fall again. Sometimes I am so clumsy!

My day picked up when I arrived at work and was treated to the school therapy dog joining my first period lesson again. She was much more settled this time and a little less of a novelty for the class who definitely found it a bit easier to focus, but I had to laugh at her choosing an otherwise silent classroom to start gnawing loudly on a chew toy haha!

Thankfully the rest of the day passed without incident and I made it safely home to a little yoga in the living room while Steve was on a client call, then I took the chance to relax with a couple of vlogs before dinner.

After taking a tumble on Thursday I definitely took more care on my Friday run. I went for a simple out-and-back and was pleased to be able to opt for a T-shirt for the second day in a row. Dare I hope for more summer-like weather?

And a little highlight from work was a cupcake from one of my seniors. It was delicious!

Arriving home from work I had time for a quick living room workout (resistance band) before a really relaxing yoga session. We then spent the evening watching the last couple of episodes of The Pact. I really enjoyed it – lots of twists and turns as more secrets were revealed.

Waking up on Saturday morning I knew I had another reasonably exciting weekend ahead of me. I began with a little reading in bed then headed out for my run, including a (not)parkrun sandwiched in the middle. From the weekly (not)parkrun results email which gets sent out I had noticed that this was going to be week 50 of (not)parkrun. It was also going to be my 50th (not)parkrun so for once in my life I was prepared and looked out my 50 milestone T-shirt to wear.

I kept the pace comfortable for this run as I was planning a bit more intensity for the following day, but it was a good leg stretch nonetheless.

Post-run there was time for a quick bite to eat then I got changed and headed off to the outdoor centre for a SUP yoga session. The weather by this point was warm and sunny so I was finally able to wear my shorty wetsuit (and felt pretty warm in it!). I could have stayed out on that paddleboard for hours soaking up the sunshine, but all too soon the session was over and it was time to head home.

Since the sun was still out I decided to get changed, put on some sunscreen and spend some time sitting in the garden. Our garden is a bit of a mess right now as we’re midway through a project to get it feeling like a nice space to be in, but I was still able to find myself a spot in the sunshine to relax. Steve was out, but when he arrived home we decided to have a nice cold beer in the sunshine – it really felt like summer! It was an intriguing beer since it was marketed as “carbon negative”. Wow!

When the sun disappeared I headed in and enjoyed a nice bath, then we settled down to watch something I was super excited about: the Friends reunion. I loved it! So good to see the cast back together again to reminisce and look back to some favourite episodes. In these days of on-demand tv it seems so strange now to remember the clifhanger endings to the seasons and having to wait months to find out what happened next. I’m always a little envious when pupils tell me that they are starting to watch Friends as they have all that great content ahead of them.

I was also able to open up my latest delivery from Disney which had arrived while I was enjoying the sunshine:

I made sure to get a good night’s sleep as on Sunday I had an actual event planned. Ok, it was a virtual event, but I was treating it pretty seriously and wanted to give myself the best chance to run well.

Earlier in the month I had decided to enter the virtual Edinburgh half marathon event, having taken part virtually last year as well (I logged my 2020 run in September). With that benchmark in place (I hadn’t really “raced” that one) I wanted to see if I could sustain a harder run and log a faster time over a similar route.

Of course I began by laying out my kit for that authentic race day experience:

And set off on my route. The sun was out and it was set to get pretty warm. Typical! I spent all that time wishing for warmer weather and it came along out of the blue right when a cooler day would have been ideal. I set off fairly swiftly and wasn’t sure if I would be able to sustain a brisk pace in the hot sun, so was really pleased when I was able to complete my run in under 2 hours. I was GASPING for a drink by the end, but I made it!

On a bit of a runner’s high, I suggested to Steve that we add an additional errand to our Sunday afternoon roster and after getting the food shopping we called in at the retail park to see about getting the garden furniture set we had been eyeing up. I was really conscious that garden stuff was getting pretty hard to come by and with the combination of nice weather and a bank holiday weekend in the UK, I didn’t want to leave it any longer. Fortunately, we were in luck. Although the set we wanted was gone, the one on display was still there and we were offered it at a discount. The condition was fine (and let’s face it, it’s going to mostly sit out in the elements) so we went for it. It will be perfectly fine for the time being and makes it much easier to grab a seat in the garden on a nice day.

To celebrate, we enjoyed a cold beer in the sunshine, accompanied by a sweet treat.

I then stayed in the sunshine to finish up my book. This one spanned the post-war years and followed the main character through Prague in the 1980s, Berlin in the 1990s and present day Paris, taking in the effects of the communist regime on people’s lives. It was a good read.

Eventually Steve told me that playtime was over and it was time to go in for my tea haha! We also wanted to watch the finale of the most recent series of This Is Us. I won’t spoil it, but if you’re a fan you won’t be surprised to know that it ended with a bit of a surprise to keep us hooked for the sixth and final series. I can’t wait to see how it unfolds!

And as ever, I finished my weekend with a relaxing bath. In real terms there aren’t too many teaching days left until we finish for the summer, but we’ve reached that point where it all feels a bit never-ending. Time to dig deep!

Did you watch the ‘Friends’ reunion?
Have you got any races (real or virtual) in your calendar?

Week In Review – The Corona Chronicles Part 61

What a week! It began as a fairly average week in this pandemic world, but by the end of the week there were a lot of exciting things going on to mix things up a bit. I had another solid week of running and yoga, but I’m noticing my workouts tailing off a bit again so I’ll need to look at fitting in at least one more in the week. Here’s how it looked:

Monday – 3.5 miles + Hatha yoga via Zoom
Tuesday – 4.5 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Wednesday – 5 miles + home yoga
Thursday – 4.5 miles + home yoga
Friday – 4 miles + home yoga
Saturday – (not)parkrun sandwich
Sunday – 10 miles

My sense of time is so weird right now. On the one hand the days seem to be whizzing by, yet at the same time they seem to be so slow. Either way, another Monday rolled around and I rolled out of bed to greet it with a gentle recovery run during which I sought out the first few items on my new scavenger hunt list. It’s bizarre what a strange joy I get from looking out for a particular plant/item of street furniture/type of car! It just goes to show how lockdowns and pandemic life has changed our perceptions of the world around us!

I worked quite late so only had enough time to get changed and set up for my evening yoga class when I arrived home. I’m glad I had this as I was needing something to make me stop and take a bit of time for myself. As ever, the kitties turned up as soon as they heard my teacher’s voice – it’s like part of the process now that when they here her (or Adriene) they come upstairs and settle down to supervise my session! 😹

There was also some good news as we finally got the announcement that Disneyland Paris is reopening! I might not be travelling any time soon, but it makes me happy to know that things are (hopefully) improving.

On Tuesday I made a plan to head into town for my run as I was certain I could pick out the remaining scavenger hunt items that way (I was right). As an accompaniment to my search, I listened to one of Tina Muir’s “Together Runs”. I was slightly behind her release schedule with these and hadn’t listened to any the week before with my easier approach to running post-vaccine. I really like this feeling that even though it’s a podcast – something I am used to – it feels like I’m running with a friend and am much more conscious that somewhere in the world somebody else might be listening at the exact same time, so it’s like we really are running together.

In the evening there was time for a quick upper body workout (definitely noticed the lack of recent workouts!) and yoga video before dinner, after which we finished up series one of Innocent (there are only 4 episodes so it’s quite a quick watch).

Having finished the scavenger hunt already, Wednesday was all about just getting out in the fresh air to wake up my mind and body. It was actually quite sunny, even at 6am, and I enjoyed the chance to wear a short-sleeved top and feel the cool air on my arms. As it turned out, this was the best part of the day as the weather was dreadful later on, with heavy rain everywhere. Apparently this is the first time since 1983 that the temperature failed to reach 20+C by this point in May. A rather dubious record and not what I want when I’m in the process of getting my garden ready for a summer at home!

When I arrived home in the evening I did my lateral flow test straight away, then Steve had a client call so I did my yoga video then settled down to watch a couple of short vlogs while I waited for him. An evening of tv (starting the new series of Innocent) was on the cards.

Thursday morning wasn’t quite so bright but I still had a really enjoyable run. I had another of Tina’s “together runs” and I really enjoyed it as we did a few strides together and took a more mindful approach to running. I’m really enjoying adding these into my runs each week so I hope they continue for a while.

Once I got to work, things moved quickly to put me in a great mood. Our school has a therapy dog (she just turned 1!) and for the very first time I had her in my classroom in her support role. The impact was really interesting as the class was really calm and keen to have an opportunity for puppy cuddles. The pup, meanwhile, was more interested in being the same as everyone else and sitting up at a desk haha!

Once you’ve had a dog as part of your lesson, the day has pretty much reached its peak and I think I was still in a good mood from it by the time I got home – I even managed to get away sharp to run some errands!

My Friday run was another pleasant one, then my working day once more got off to a great start when I arrived to a small gift from one of my colleagues.

Always nice to feel appreciated or be the recipient of a small act of kindness.

The rest of the day was good as I was able to start retuning key assessment results to my pupils and there was a lot of very positive progress. This helped my good mood to last.

When I arrived home I knew I had just a few pages of my book left that I hadn’t quite managed to squeeze into my lunch break, so after a quick walk with Steve I finished it up before heading off to do some yoga. If you haven’t yet read this book then I highly recommend it. The main character speaks with a unique voice and overall it’s an eye-opening story which drew my attention to the realities of human rights violations that still happen to this day, yet with a note of positivity. Definitely a memorable one.

We didn’t have any movie plans for the evening, so instead we watched the last episode of Innocent then caught up on a recent programme celebrating 50 years of the Mr Men and Little Misses. I LOVED these books as a child – my mum used to buy me a new book as my reward for good behaviour on supermarket trips (yes, I was more happy with a book than a sweet) and I remember also watching the tv programme and having audiobooks for the car. It was so nostalgic hearing the theme music again and I enjoyed the exploration of how the Mr Men came about. Fascinating!

Saturday was set to be a very exciting day as we were having an actual visitor! For us, indoor visits had been allowed since the beginning of the week and we had made plans to host family on both days at the weekend. We began on Saturday with Steve’s brother joining us to watch the cup final on tv. Our local team had already won the League Cup and now had the chance to pull off a cup double by adding the Scottish Cup to their silverware for the season. To put this in context, only one team outside of Rangers and Celtic had previously done this, and our team had no silverware to boast of prior to a historic Scottish Cup win a few years ago. To say there was a lot of excitement in the town would be an understatement! Throughout the week I had noticed banners, bunting and all sorts of messages of support everywhere I ran and people were excited to watch the match either at home or in the “official” pub of the team which had transformed their car park into a viewing area with a big screen and socially distanced tables (you could only get in if you booked).

On my Saturday morning run I saw more supportive messages, including on my favourite window lightbox:

And my sister sent me a picture of her display in one of the front windows:

We preferred to watch at home and Steve wanted to watch with his brother so we acted as hosts. Steve’s brother got some beers and Steve ordered pies direct from the football ground for that authentic fan experience.

This was the first time we’d had anyone in the house since the autumn, and Smokey valiantly tried to carry on with his normal Saturday afternoon of snoozing on my lap before realising this was not going to be the restful experience he was hoping for and retreated upstairs.

For those interested, the pies were excellent! I always think of football ground pies as being greasy and not the best quality, but these were quite fancy. We each had a steak & gravy pie and a steak & chorizo pie (chorizo definitely sounds fancy for a football pie!) and they were really good.

The real bonus, of course, was that we won! A real piece of history for the club and our area, but such a shame the fans couldn’t be there in person.

Lots of shouting from us meant that the kitties remained upstairs, but later on Smokey couldn’t resist exploring the box the pies came in 😹

He then followed me upstairs while I ran my bath. Here we are watching a vlog together while we waited – he looks very interested in happenings in Disneyland haha!

The rest of the day was pretty quiet. A good thing too since there was further excitement in store on Sunday with a visit from my parents (mum had been worried that the kitties might have forgotten her – as if!).

But first, a run. I decided on the loop that goes through the woodland park (I think this is my “summer loop”) and noticed this. I’m no expert, but I don’t think that’s meant to be there!

Unsurprisingly, the kitties had NOT forgotten mum, who had a lovely time fussing over them and feeding them treats. I’ve been able to talk to my parents throughout the lockdowns, but it was good to all sit down together in one place rather than stand in a driveway!

By the time they left it was time for our dinner then my Sunday night bath – I was needing a weekend to recover from my weekend!

Have you had any visitors since restrictions eased?
Do you take an interest in any sports outside of running?

Week In Review – The Corona Chronicles Part 60

This turned out to be a rather interesting week. I had my Covid vaccine and although aware that everyone was reacting in very different ways to it, I found it fascinating to observe the impact it had on me – and how quickly. Never fear, the streak stayed alive but I did make conscious adjustments to distance and effort to ensure I didn’t overdo things. In this post I’ll give ore of the details.

Monday – 3.5 miles + Hatha yoga via Zoom
Tuesday – 1 mile (am) + 5k (pm)
Wednesday – 4 miles + home yoga
Thursday – 4 miles + home yoga
Friday – 3.5 miles + home yoga
Saturday – (not) parkrun open sandwich + SUP yoga
Sunday – 8 miles

Monday began with me making a special effort to be up and moving sharp. I wanted to get out for my run (a new scavenger hunt to get started on!) and be in work slightly earlier since it was assessment day for our subject and I wanted to be on hand for any pupils who were looking for me. I also had a couple of classes to cover then was actually signing out at break time to head back to Perth and present myself at the vaccination centre for my vaccine. It was a super slick process and really easy. Big thanks to everyone involved.

Because of the timing, I had been advised not to go back into work for the afternoon in case I experienced side effects, so after some lunch (I felt ok after the vaccine but knew if I didn’t eat I would feel pretty ropey) I settled down to catch up on some work at home.

As it turned out, I was glad I had that time at home. As the afternoon wore on I felt more and more sleepy, then a little “spacey” for a while. By the time I was eating my dinner I definitely felt “off” with the sort of symptoms I get when I’m coming down with something – achy, my skin sensitive to touch and a bit shivery. A quick text chat with my mum and my sister revealed that this was also how they felt when they had the vaccine (we all got Astra Zeneca), so I took a couple of paracetamol, filled a hot water bottle and was in my bed at 8:30pm to sleep it off.

I had already decided to give myself a break on Tuesday morning and invoke my “exceptional circumstances” streak rule of just 1 mile to keep the streak alive. This could be super slow and not necessarily first thing, so I set my alarm for an hour later than normal. My plan was that if I still felt a bit off I had time to doze a little longer, but if I felt ok I would have time for a gentle mile before getting ready for work. And when that alarm went off I was basically woken from the deepest sleep of all time! I had slept for a solid 9 hours without moving or having any awareness of the cats cuddled in beside me. I felt brand new so got my kit on and headed out to run laps around the block to create my mile. My legs were a bit sluggish, but felt better as the time went on. I actually needed the fresh air to shake off the effects of sleeping so much, so I’m glad I did it and didn’t rule out heading out for another short run or walk later in the day if I still felt good.

My concern had been that I might not feel so good later in the day, but as it turned out I didn’t experience any other side effects, so decided I would have a short, easy-paced run when I got home from work. Apart from anything else, it was actually warm-ish compared to recent weather and I wanted to take advantage. Of course I wasn’t any earlier than usual, so I sneaked out for a slow 5k while Steve got the dinner in the oven.  It actually made me feel a bit more alert after a busy day, then I had an enjoyable evening watching an episode of The Innocent before heading to bed.

Also of note, my new passport arrived. I had been concerned by all the warnings about it taking up to 10 weeks now, but that was just 8 days from getting my photo taken to having my new passport delivered. Shame there’s no sign of me being able to use it yet!

Wednesday was a return to my usual alarm call. I still wanted to keep my distance down a little and definitely stick to an easy pace as although I was feeling absolutely 100%, my legs didn’t seem to be quite so sprightly. I was feeling a bit like there was no energy reaching my legs so, assuming it to be related to the vaccine, got the message and listened to my body. I know a run makes me feel better, so I opted to keep distance and effort down.

The worst of it was that my weather app suggested a chance of light rain while I was out, but at the time when I set off there was no sign of it. Stupidly, I took this as an indication that I didn’t need my hat or waterproof layer. Big mistake. After about a mile the light rain started, but by the time I was at the furthest point on my out-and-back route, it was POURING! In my humble opinion the rain was more than “light” and I arrived home pretty much soaked through. Good thing I was heading right for the shower!

Over lunch I finished up my latest book. This one was my May choice for a book with the month in the title. I have to say, I really didn’t like it. I can remember the tv show being on when I was around 12 but I don’t remember having any particular feelings about it. I did a bit of internet searching and it seems to have loads of positive reviews, but I really couldn’t take to the characters and some of it actually made me feel a bit uncomfortable. I was trying to keep in mind that it’s a product of its time, but some parts just didn’t sit well with me from the perspective of 2021. Rare for me to feel like that about a book, so I’m glad it was quite short.

Arriving home from work it was straight into the routine of a lateral flow test (we’ve got this down to an art now) followed by a yoga video, dinner and the penultimate episode of The Innocent.

When I woke up on Thursday morning I felt pretty good, but I still noticed that I didn’t have much “oomph” on my run. I kept to 4 miles at an easy pace and changed things up by heading off on a different loop, this time into town and back.

It was a super busy work week as we’re marking the assessments that will be the major contributor to grades for our senior pupils, so it’s actually really difficult to know if I was  feeling tired because of my body reacting to the vaccine or because I’m just tired from work! Either way, I made sure to take it easy where possible and give myself a break.

Of course that didn’t mean getting home any earlier, but when I arrived Steve was on a client call so I got changed, did my yoga video then settled down with a cup of tea while he finished up.

As a treat, Steve got us fish suppers for our dinner. One evening last year he had wanted to try a fish and chip place a few miles away but it was a night when they were actually closed so his plan was thwarted. For some reason it came back into his mind again this week and he made the suggestion again. He had to place the order earlier on and say when he would arrive (so the food would be made fresh), so after his call he headed off to collect our order while I relaxed with some vlogs.

We ate our food (it was delicious) whilst watching the final episode of The Innocent. We both really enjoyed the series, but if you’re thinking of watching it you should know there are some violent scenes and some adult content/themes, so if that’s an issue for you then this might not be your thing. For us it’s once again time to decide on our next box set. Happy to take suggestions!

Having felt quite tired on Thursday I opted to go to bed right after we finished watching it and was asleep pretty quickly. I must have slept quite deeply as it was a struggle to open my eyes on Friday morning but once I got out in the fresh air I started to perk up.

I decided once again to go for a shorter, easier-paced run while my body felt tired. The bonus being that I didn’t get quite so damp in the fine drizzle that was in the air while I was out!

By the time the working week was done I was mentally exhausted! I managed to leave a little earlier than on other days this week and when I got home I joined Steve for a short walk to get some air and revive me. After that it was time for some yoga before settling into the first evening of the weekend. I had spotted that The Woman in the Window had been added to Netflix and since I’ve read the book I thought it might be worth a watch. I actually couldn’t remember precisely how it all unfolded, but it all came flooding back as I watched. A decent movie.

I tried not to spend too long reading in my bed on Saturday morning as I wanted to fit in a run and some food before heading to another SUP yoga session. I had hoped I might feel refreshed since that is often the pattern at the weekend, but I was still noticing fatigue as I ran (even at an easy pace) so went for a slightly different route that resulted in a 2 mile warm up then a further 5k to finish my (not)parkrun at my door.

There was time for something to eat then I got changed and headed to the outdoor centre. Still not shorty wetsuit weather, but at least it was a nicer day than the last time. Even better, a new pink board was pointed out to me with the comment, “that’s for you – it’s the Disney Princess board!” That sounded perfect for me so I made a bee-line for that one when we were able to get on the water!

There was some wind so there was a bit more movement on the water and I was conscious of the fatigue I had felt all week (ready to adapt if I needed to) but it was a great session and having been doubtful about standing on the board this time, I was happily on my feet for some sun salutations.

Post-session I made sure to take it easy for the rest of the day, including a bath where I enjoyed a Christmas movie (yes, in May!). I’m still listening to the Christmas movie podcast and this month the hosts picked a musical theme so I watched Christmas on the Square which was not only a musical, but the music was written by the force of nature that is Dolly Parton (who also featured in the film). I mean, who doesn’t like Dolly? The woman is amazing! Lots of fairly typical musical/Christmas tropes but a pleasant enough movie (and Dolly!).

I had a great sleep and when I woke up on Sunday morning I was feeling good. I took my time reading in bed then got changed for a run. I wasn’t sure how far I would go as I knew it would come down to how I felt when I started to run – any ongoing fatigue and I would keep it to no more than 10k, but even if I felt good I thought it sensible to keep the distance and effort down for another day. As it turned out I finally felt like I had my own body again so running felt good, but I capped the run at 8 miles to be sensible.

We had all the usual errands then our choice of new tv programme to start was Innocent on Britbox (not to be confused with The Innocent on Netflix which we just finished). I spotted a new series of this about to start but we hadn’t seen the first one so thought we would watch that first.

The rest of the day was an opportunity to catch up on one or two chores and find some time to relax before getting my things ready for a new school week. It was looking like another busy one!

If you’ve had the vaccine, what reaction(s) did you notice?
Do you enjoy a fish supper?

Answering Some Disney Parks Questions

Something a little different from me today. I regularly listen to several podcasts on The After Dark Podcast Network including Disney Parks & Beyond, Discover DLP, Mickey Waffles and Disney Dream Girls – got to get my Disney fix somehow in these strange times! Recently several shows on the network had episodes where the hosts discussed their answers to a list of 10 Disney parks questions. I really enjoyed hearing the different answers and discussions, so since listeners were encouraged to think about their own answers, I thought I would use the questions as the basis for a post.

  1. How many times have you visited “the parks” (any Disney parks)?
    For the purposes of this question, a visit was taken to be a trip which incorporated one of the Disney resorts (since counting up visits to individual parks could be pretty tricky!). I’ve been lucky enough to visit Walt Disney World in Florida, Disneyland in California and Disneyland Paris. I needed a little help from my photo albums, but I think my numbers look like this:
    WDW = 17 (1992-1995 with my family; 1999, 2003, 2004, 2006 with my ex; 2008 solo but joining my family once I arrived; 2010 for our honeymoon; 2012-19 with Steve, except 2015. We did visit Florida in 2015 but had a super relaxing trip where we did next to nothing other than hang out by the pool and run, so no park visits). And as a result, a lot of great memories of special moments and things that were only around for a short time/have since been removed:

    Our first visit caught the end of the 20th Anniversary celebrations. I remember watching a daytime spectacular called ‘Surprise in the Skies’ at Epcot.

    Mickey’s Starland became Mickey’s Toontown and is now simply part of the Fantasyland expansion

    River Country. Now abandoned (but perhaps destined to be a DVC resort).

    The millennium decor on Spaceship Earth

    The controversial ear hat at Disney MGM Studios (now Disney’s Hollywood Studios)

    I once made it to MNSSHP.

    The rotating castle display on the front of Cinderella Castle was there for the 50th anniversary of Disneyland and showed images of all the Disney castles.

    Getting to experience lots of new (to me) things when my sister was a CM.

    Duffy!

    Mickey and Minnie’s 90th birthday

    Disneyland = 1 (1996, before Disney’s California Adventure existed).

    DLP = 5 (2005 with my ex; 2018&2019 for RunDisney; 2019 with the school, 2020 with my sister).

    Ooft, that’s a lot of Disney park visits!

  2. First time you visited each of the parks?
    WDW 1992. This was supposed to be a “once in a lifetime” trip, one and done. But we had such a good time that no sooner were we back than my parents were booking again for the following year, and the rest is history. Eventually they bought property in the area, hence the frequency of trips.

    Disneyland 1996. I’m not sure what prompted the trip to California after several Florida trips, but I suspect a key driver was the fact that my mum has family out there and wanted to visit. She could remember her grandmother making the trip many many years ago and she wanted to see some of the places she had talked about. My memories of this trip are a little dim now, but I hope one day to visit again.

    DLP 2005. At this point in my life a trip to Florida just wasn’t a possibility, so instead a trip to DLP was on the cards. I remember it was July and the weather was super hot. I really enjoyed my visit but it was a good few years before I visited again as I was going to Florida so often.
  3. Last time you visited a Disney park?
    2020. An absolute miracle! I don’t think any of the podcast hosts had a 2020 visit in their discussion since the parks closed so early in the year and we have been unable to travel to the US for over a year now. Although a number of my Disney plans for 2020 were cancelled, my sister and I did have a long weekend at DLP booked in August which slipped nicely into a brief period of time when we could travel without having to quarantine, so I was able to get my Disney parks fix.
  4. Favourite resort you’ve stayed at, or if you haven’t stayed on property where would you like to stay?
    I’ve only stayed in some of the “budget” resorts. As a family we stayed in the All-Star Music resort at WDW for a few nights some time back in the 90s.

    And for my two RunDisney experiences at DLP we stayed at the Hotel Cheyenne and Hotel Santa Fe respectively.
    I also stayed at the Santa Fe on my very first visit in 2005, but this was before it was Cars-themed.

    I don’t remember much about the WDW resort other than the theming around it and we spent little time at our DLP resorts, so I don’t think I can really choose one of those. Instead, I’m going to tell you about some of the resorts I would like to stay at:
    At WDW I’d love to stay in one of the monorail resorts to have easy access to the Magic Kingdom and ever since my first trip I’ve been fascinated by the Contemporary Resort because of the monorail going right through the middle. I know it wouldn’t be everyone’s first choice and there are certainly “better” resorts, but one day I’d love to have the chance to stay there.
    It’s definitely a dream of mine to return to Disneyland one day – I mean, there’s a whole other theme park I’ve not visited – and while there are fewer hotels there, I think the Grand Californian looks AMAZING!
    Finally, although I’m leaning towards off-site hotels to make DLP trips accessible and budget-friendly, I’d love to stay at the Disneyland Hotel. I would have picked Sequoia Lodge, but I think it’s probably fairly similar to the Grand Californian, so I went with something different to mix things up. I’d never afford a park view room, but being right at the entrance would be a real advantage.
  5. Favourite ride at EACH PARK you’ve visited?
    Oh, this one is hard but at least I’m allowed to break it down to each individual park to make it a tiny bit easier!
    Magic Kingdom: I think I’m going to go for the Haunted Mansion. It’s one of my absolute favourites and I’ll never forgive myself if I don’t pick it somewhere on my list!

    Epcot: Here it’s a toss up between Frozen Ever After and Soarin’ Around the World but I think I’m going to pick Frozen. I love the themed queue line with Wandering Oaken, ride elements such as Sven with his tongue stuck to the ice and, of course, having a boat full of complete strangers all belting out Let it Go!

    Hollywood Studios: I’ve not yet had the opportunity to experience Smugglers Run, Rise of the Resistance or Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway and one of these will almost certainly be my favourite just as soon as I do. In the meantime, I’ll pick the Tower of Terror. It’s a ride that always gives me the fear whilst waiting in the queue, but as soon as I’m on there the adrenalin rush makes me want to go right back around again!

    Animal Kingdom: Flight of Passage. Hands down one of the best rides there is. I didn’t know what to expect given I’ve only seen Avatar once and didn’t know a great deal about it, but it’s an amazing experience not to be missed.

    Disneyland (California): I considered picking Pirates of the Caribbean here (I love Pirates and this is the OG version) but one of my strongest memories from our mid-90s Disneyland visit is my sister and I LOVING the Matterhorn Bobsleds. I know we rode several times and squealed with glee as we rode those sleds down the mountain. For that reason, and the fact it’s unique to this park, it’s going to be my pick here.

    Disneyland Park (Paris): It could easily have been Pirates of the Caribbean or Phantom Manor, but I think my pick here is Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. I love Big Thunder and the DLP version is by far the best.

    Walt Disney Studios: Not so many to choose from here so it absolutely has to be Ratatouille. A version of this is opening at Epcot later this year, but until now this one has been unique to DLP and is a fantastic ride.
  6. Last ride you actually rode at a Disney park?
    Phew, finally a reasonably easy one to work out. For our August 2020 Disneyland Paris trip my sister and I were on a mission to go on as many rides/attractions as we possibly could since there was limited park capacity. To keep track, I took a picture at each attraction so that it would be easier to remember later on. Looking back at those pictures the last ride I went on in DLP was Star Tours. I like Star Tours so I’m happy with that. Imagine if it had been something really silly like the Flying Carpets of Agrabah!
  7. Guilty pleasure snack?
    This question is rather open to interpretation. “Guilty pleasure” is a little different to “favourite” and rather suggests something that isn’t one of the more popular Disney snack foods. If I was picking my favourite then I’d probably opt for a Mickey pretzel (let’s face it, any food shaped like Mickey Mouse is automatically better!) but often when I buy a Mickey pretzel I also buy a pickle in a bag. As in, one of those ginormous dill pickles that’s about the circumference of a cucumber and fairly sizeable. They are individually packaged (which I’m less keen on because of all that packaging) and there’s always lots of pickle juice in the bag as well. They can normally be picked up at snack locations that have big ice chests with drink bottles and fruit buried in them. It’s not a Disney trip until I get one (and the salt is a good way to replace the salts lost in all the Florida sweating!), so this is my guilty pleasure.
  8. Favourite country at Epcot?
    Hmmm. This one I found hard to narrow down. Mexico is good for a frozen maragarita, the character meet & greet with Mexican Donald Duck and that amazing pyramid where it’s always twilight (and cool!) inside. Norway has the fantastic Akershus restaurant (the “taste of Norway” buffet is totally worth it), meet & greet with Anna and Elsa and, of course, the Frozen ride. And France is, well, France! Attractions there are expanding to include Ratatouille and further dining locations so I suspect the next time I visit Epcot the France pavilion will easily take my number one spot, but what about right now? I think on balance I’m going to go with Norway. I have so many wonderful memories from there and look forward to more in future.
  9. Favourite sit down restaurant at a park?
    We don’t often go for sit-down dining on park days as this kind of meal can take up quite a lot of time. I think for this I’m going to choose Bistrot Chez Remy at the Walt Disney Studios in Paris. My sister and I were able to get a booking there back in August (we had both been keen to visit after watching a vlog of the experience) and it was a really good meal. The theming in the restaurant is so detailed – I love that diners are “shrunk” to the size of a rat – and the food was delicious. I’d love to go again with Steve as I think he would really like it.
  10. Favourite character meet & greet
    I’ve had so many character meet & greets across the years, going right back to when they were a real free-for-all rather than an orderly queue, but one in particular springs to mind when I think about my answer to this question. When we went to Florida in 2019 we spent a few days visiting WDW thanks to a bargain ticket offer, and I bought Steve a pair of “ears” colloquially known as “duck butts”. Basically the rear end of Donald Duck, this particular headgear tended to attract attention, most memorably when we visited Mickey and Minnie in the Magic Kingdom. The celebrations for Mickey’s 90th birthday were continuing and we popped in to see them towards the end of the day when it was quiet. Steve’s “duck butts” led to much hilarity and we have so many pictures of all of us (including Mickey and Minnie) doubled up with laughter with all the larking about. It was such a good meet & greet as there was no rush to get through so the characters had time to create a really fun experience. For similar reasons, meeting Donald Duck in the Mexico pavilion at Epcot was also great fun, but this one was in the middle of the day so there was less time for the interaction.

So there you have it. I was definitely thinking about some of my answers as I listened to the various podcast discussions, and it was such fun to reminisce about my Disney park adventures. I know I’m really lucky to have had so many opportunities to visit the parks and hopefully it won’t be too long until I can go again.

Have you visited any Disney parks? I’d love to know your answers to these questions…

Week In Review – The Corona Chronicles Week 59

Everything felt a bit different this week since we began with a Monday holiday (woohoo!) and had an inset day on the Thursday so there were just 3 teaching days meaning the rhythm of the week felt a bit off. On the plus side, it was a bit more restful and allowed the space for slightly longer runs (even if workouts didn’t feature quite the same way):

Monday – 4 miles + home yoga
Tuesday – 4.5 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Wednesday – 5 miles + home yoga
Thursday – 5 miles + home yoga
Friday – 4miles + home yoga
Saturday – (not)parkrun sandwich
Sunday – 10 miles

Oh my, did I need a holiday Monday! It’s actually astounding how tiring the first few weeks of term were, and there’s much more to come as we work towards providing grades for our senior pupils in place of exams this year. With this in mind, I made sure to take advantage of the time to myself to get some rest but also take care of a few tasks which needed my attention.

The day began with the “cat alarm” followed by some reading in bed with a cup of tea. This also gave me time to have a good look at the scavenger hunt list for the week and when I headed out for my run I was able to take my time, run a teeny bit further than I normally do on a Monday and find the majority of the items. Very satisfying.

Once ready, I walked into town on a mission: to get a passport picture! My passport expired during lockdown and although you have the option to upload your own when renewing online, actually getting a picture that meets the requirements is really difficult so I decided just to wait until I could get to the camera shop to have a proper one taken. It’s a small shop so I had to wait outside while some other customers were served (a fairly steady stream of people in the same situation as me right now!) but getting the picture was easy enough. Whilst out, I also nipped around to Caffè Nero to use my Vitality voucher and get a hot drink for the walk back home.

When I arrived home I decided to complete my main task for the day by applying for my new passport, then took care of a few bits of personal admin before making my lunch. No sooner had I finished that, than Smokey decided he wanted to have a nap on my lap – good thing I had planned to finish up my book! This one was a really lovely read. Definitely uplifting.

A little later I nipped out again (by car this time as the weather had become truly awful) as I needed to go to the Post Office to get my old passport sent back – the passport office won’t process the new one until they have the old one back so I was keen to get things underway.

Sadly no Hatha yoga, so it was a Yoga with Adriene video then we got settled down for dinner and the Line of Duty finale. To be honest I was a little underwhelmed after a couple of fantastic weeks, and now I’m wondering if there’s going to be another series. It’s certainly been left in such a way that there can be.

But all good things must come to an end so after a lovely day off, it was back to the usual routine on Tuesday morning. The plus side was that I felt much more refreshed after that extra day to myself so it wasn’t quite so hard to get up and out the door for my run. I always listen to podcasts on my run (although I’m a bit behind on some of them right now) and for this run I picked something a little different. One of my favourites is Running For Real and for this bonus episode Tina had tried something new – a kind of “guided” run which took the form of her talking as if we were running together and her cueing listeners in to focus on particular things eg a scan through the body, an awareness of the senses, our feelings at various points of the run. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I really enjoyed it so I’m glad she has continued to produce these.

Tuesday was Star Wars Day (May the 4th be with you!) and I was ready with a Star Wars mask so couldn’t resist a quick picture with Baby Yoda before leaving for work. A few pupils commented on the mask and I was pleased to find that they knew why I had picked a Star Wars one for the day.

I arrived home to a Shop Disney delivery (I know…again! I can’t help myself and ordering Disney merch is cheering me up in all the madness).

Disney distractions aside, it was time for a quick workout. There was time for a set of press up/resistance band work then I completed a yoga video before dinner. We had time for a couple of episodes of Viewpoint then I watched one or two vlogs before bed.

I actually had to warm my bed up with a hot water bottle before getting into it (nothing worse than a chilly bed when the weather is cool) as the temperature was dropping again. I had spotted that Wednesday morning was set to feel below freezing (even though the actual temperature was predicted to be a tiny bit over) so I had gone so far as to leave out leggings for my run. In the end I was glad I did as it did feel pretty chilly when I headed out for my run (but at least the sky was clear and bright).

When I got back I spotted we had two little birds at our bird feeder. The feeder is quite a new addition to our garden (and I plan to add another so I can offer two different types of food) so it’s been a little quiet so far. I was really pleased to see that we had winged visitors!

I was sticking with my Star Wars theme for my mask choice since it was “Revenge of the Fifth” (😂). Never let it be said that I don’t embrace a theme!

But by far the most exciting part of Wednesday was the arrival of my blue envelope. In Scotland, this is how appointments for the Covid vaccine are being distributed. Rather than wait for an age range to open up then call to make our own appointments, we are being sent a letter with the details of when and where ours are. They can be changed if they are really inconvenient, but in the main you are encouraged to stick to the time you are given. We have a large vaccination centre here, so I knew that’s where I would have to go and more than likely by the time you read this I will have had my first dose of the vaccine. A huge step forwards!

I worked quite late as I had a study support session with some of my seniors, then when I arrived home it was time for the good old lateral flow test (still a bit yucky, but it’s amazing what you can get used to!) then Steve and I headed out for a short walk. It was nice to have some fresh air after a busy day, then I did a yoga video while Steve organised our dinner.

Thursday was our inset day and we were given the option to work from home if we preferred it. Although I had a faculty meeting, it was taking place on Teams and everything else I was doing that day was largely solo so I opted to work from home. The advantage of this was I could get up an hour later (no commute to fit in) and had time for a slightly longer run. Still chilly so still in leggings, but I was in a good mood ahead of a day at home.

Of course having me at home AGAIN, even if I was working, meant the kitties were pretty excited in the morning and Smokey made sure to make his appearance in our meeting (good thing my colleagues are used to it now and just laugh), while Sooty found an interesting new place to settle herself down:

I also found the pair of them being all cute by pressing together to supervise goings-on in the street 😹

When work was finished I had a couple of additional tasks to do. First up, my monthly antibody test for the Scottish study of Covid in education settings, then a walk to the polling station to vote in the Scottish Parliament elections (via the priority postbox to get my antibody sample on its way back to the lab). I know what to expect in terms of safety measures since we had a local election a while back, so I was happy to vote in person (with my own pencil!).

I had an early evening appointment so there was time for yoga but not a workout, then we settled down for dinner and some tv. We were needing something new, so started watching The Innocent on Netflix. It’s a Spanish adaptation of a Harlan Coben novel and is pretty gripping.

Friday was another run in leggings (come on weather, it’s May!) but back in school things felt fairly calm for once as the inset meant I had been able to clear the decks a bit ahead of the huge pile of marking coming up after the imminent period of assessments. It was nice not to feel like I had a million and one things to do, but this will be VERY short-lived!

I also made sure to debut another of my Star Wars masks since I was on a roll. This one is so cute!

I arrived home to find Steve getting ready to head out for a walk, so I got changed and joined him to get a bit of fresh air. We hadn’t given much thought to a Friday movie and all the ones we fancied were going to go on a bit too late for us, so we continued with The Innocent and after a couple of episodes I was feeling pretty sleepy so it was time for bed.

Saturday began with some reading in bed and I had a plan to finish up this one:

I’m lucky enough to be on the advance reading team when Anna McNuff releases new books. That means I get access to an ebook copy to read then review at the point when it goes on sale. I love Anna McNuff’s style – she’s so warm and entertaining – so I really enjoyed all these bite-size accounts of her adventures (and misadventures) which have not featured in her previous books. If you’ve enjoyed any of her others then I would definitely recommend this one.

Heading out a little later than weekdays meant that the temperature had crept up enough for my shorts and I enjoyed my run (the usual warm up/(not)parkrun/cool down). I even remembered to look out for a new message on the lightbox I discovered last week. It was a good one!

Conscious of how busy the next couple of weeks are going to be, I allowed the rest of the day to be super restful and spent most of it watching tv. We began over our post-run bacon roll with another episode of The Innocent, then Steve headed out to meet his brother so I did my weekly Disney quiz on YouTube (this one was filmed at Galaxy’s Edge and was fully Star Wars themed since it had been posted live on May the 4th) then watched the season 1 finale of Cobra Kai (so good!). As if that wasn’t enough, I started series 4 of The Crown and had time for THREE episodes before heading off for a bath. Later in the evening Steve and I watched another episode of The Innocent so it was definitely a tv-focused day!

On Sunday morning I got up to feed the kitties then read in bed for a while. I did, however, get myself moving a little sharper than usual as our local football team was playing in a cup semi-final and Steve wanted to be back from getting the food shopping in time to watch it. I still had time for 10 miles and was treated to quite interesting weather! When I set out it was sunny and fairly mild – mild enough for shorts and T-shirt – but halfway through it POURED and I got a bit of a soaking. The sun reappeared for a while, but as I finished up there were definitely some raindrops around again. One of those days!

You’ll be pleased to know that we managed to eat lunch, get the shopping done and put away as well as complete my lateral flow test in good time for Steve to watch the match. I kept an eye on the score whilst working on a few things on my laptop and watching some vlogs on my iPad to pass the time. And yes, I did have company!

As ever, I rounded off my day with a relaxing bath and got my things ready for the following day. It was set to be another slightly unusual day.

Have you had the vaccine yet?
Did you do anything for Star Wars Day?

Week In Review – The Corona Chronicles Part 58

This was the third (busy!) week of term and came ahead of a much-needed long weekend for the early May bank holiday. My running/workout/yoga routine was pretty much established, the only fly in the ointment being my inability to get home particularly sharp which then has an impact on how much time I have available in he evening. In the end, I managed to fit in a decent amount:

Monday – 3.5 miles + Hatha yoga via Zoom
Tuesday – 4.5 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Wednesday – 5 miles
Thursday – 4.5 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Friday – 4 miles + home yoga
Saturday – (not)parkrun sandwich
Sunday – 10 miles

Since the return of the scavenger hunt my Monday recovery run is very much focused on getting the hunt underway. I like this as it gives me a motivation to get up for the first early run of the week and something to focus on when I’m out and about. Then, at the other end of the day I had my yoga class via Zoom (best part of a Monday!) before Steve and I watched the penultimate episode of Line of Duty, the one which featured the all-time best line from Hastings (I think this one was peak Hastings!).

The Tuesday was a fairly standard day. I opted to run into town and around the bridges – I quite like this as one of my morning runs during the week – and stopped to take a photo looking the opposite way to what I normally do.

I also discovered some new crossings being trialled in town. Last year all the lights were automated to work around the complete cycle so that pedestrians didn’t have to touch the buttons (Covid) but as things began to open up this caused a lot of delays so they reverted to being push-button. Personally, I still don’t want to touch things when I’m out and about (Covid has made me hyper-aware of high touch surfaces) and while this is ok early in the mornings when there is little traffic, it can make crossing the road a bit trickier if I’m running later on. These new crossings are touchless, you just put your hand underneath them (like an automatic hand dryer I guess) to trigger the lights. Personally, I think that’s a great idea.

After work I somehow managed to get home in time for a workout and it was another of Steve’s exhausting arm sessions, this time a pyramid-style workout. Quick but tough, so it’s bound to be effective.

Wednesday felt super busy. I had my run as normal, during which I spotted this hilarious lightbox in a window:

For my readers unfamiliar with Scottish vernacular, “taps aff” = “tops off”, an indication of warm weather and the particular predilection to remove items of clothing (such as a T-shirt, or “top”) as soon as the sun makes an appearance (because here in Scotland, you have to make the most of it!).

I had loads to do at work then once home I had my lateral flow test to do followed by prepping a batch of chilli for the slow cooker. By the time all that was done there was no time for any yoga so we had dinner then watched an episode of The Syndicate to relax. I did, however, find a little time before bed to finish off my book. This was the fourth (and last) of this series to be available so far and I went straight into it from the third book so I was feeling pretty invested in the main characters.

Thursday made for another pleasant run and I even managed to fit in a workout when I got home from work. It was back to the resistance band/press up super sets so my arms felt pretty weary afterwards. The real highlight, though, was Steve had made a cake.

He had this idea of a kind of combined sponge/tiramisu cake (I think he made it up by combining recipes he already uses). The reason for cake? The kitties were about to have a birthday so it was their birthday cake, but for us since they can’t have cake. Any excuse!

By Friday I was actually feeling pretty tired so I was pleased to have a long weekend coming up. Of course my day began with a run (a simple out-and-back since I don’t have to think about what I’m doing then) and I was very grateful for my yoga session in the early evening. To ease us into the weekend I suggested a movie I’ve been planning to watch for AGES! If you haven’t seen it yet, I recommend it. It definitely gave me the marathon feels and some of it was filmed at the actual New York marathon a few years ago. Remember when big events like that were a thing?

Waking up on Saturday morning I knew I had an exciting day ahead. Not only the start of a long weekend, but I had an ACTUAL THING to do. But first, a little reading in bed followed by my usual warm up/(not)parkrun/cool down run. I was excited to see that the lightbox I had spotted earlier in the week had a new message – one for the Line of Duty fans!

I headed out a touch sharper than normal so I would have plenty of time to change, have some food and get back out the door again to head over to the outdoor centre for the first SUP yoga session of the year.

It was a bit chilly so I opted for Steve’s full length wetsuit (rather than my shorty one) and wore my water shoes, but I think I might now look into some neoprene gloves as my hands were really cold at the end of the session.

It was so nice to be back out on the water. I find it so relaxing to be on the board moving through yoga poses and last year I only had the opportunity to do this twice. The cleaning procedures at the centre make me feel comfortable and being outside certainly mitigates the risk of being around other people so overall it’s an experience I’m ok with under the present circumstances. Now to keep my fingers crossed that we get some lovely sunny days to enjoy being on the water (the blue sky in the below pic is a little misleading as it was just starting to rain when we finished and it felt chilly).

Saturday was also notable for being the day the kitties turned 3. They had some leftover turkey for their dinner (courtesy of my mum, who plans to give them gifts in person once restrictions ease further to allow for a visit) and I had bought them some new toys. Given my penchant for all things mermaid, I couldn’t resist the mermaid tail with the crinkly sounds and attached catnip toy. It went down pretty well with both of them investigating it straight away.

In the evening we enjoyed Steve’s home-made pizza (inspired by Pizza Boys, I asked for my topping to be slightly different this time and Steve followed an approach to the base he had seen in the programme. It was delicious!).

Sunday also began with some reading in bed before I set off for my long run. I had 10 miles in mind but not only was I fancying something a little different, I also had one final scavenger hunt item to track down so I had a loose notion of a route that would take in the harbour (I forgot how smelly it can be down there!) and wove my way home via a slightly different route. It was a really enjoyable run, not least because I knew I had one further day to myself to catch up on bits and pieces so felt no rush to get on with anything.

When we settled down in the afternoon for some tv, we opted to watch Viewpoint, a 5 part drama that had aired during the week. We were in two minds about it following a news story surrounding one of the lead actors as this had led to the tv channel deciding not to air the final episode, but instead make it available via their streaming service. As it turned out, I quite liked the programme but found it hard to see past my preconceptions of the actor involved. A real shame.

Meanwhile, Sooty entertained us by deciding that the mermaid tail would make an excellent bed!

A nice surprise came later in the afternoon with an unexpected Amazon delivery. I had joined another book exchange on Facebook and this was my gift arriving. The theme was “summer/beach reads” and I can’t wait to read these. I’ll probably save them until school finishes for the summer and hopefully will get to read them in the garden.

For one last surprise Steve made a delicious rhubarb crumble as mum had dropped off more rhubarb when she brought the turkey for the kitties.

All in all, a very pleasant day and I headed for my bath and on to bed in the knowledge that the following day could be fairly restful too.

Have restrictions eased enough for you to do something a little different?
Recommendations for a Friday night movie?

Week In Review – The Corona Chronicles Part 57

The second week of term and although still tiring, at least I was feeling a bit better adjusted to the shape of my day and pretty much back into my routine. Obviously I continued to run each day (still not letting that streak go!) and made time for yoga each evening, but I was also pleased to get a couple of workouts back in there too:

Monday – 3.5 miles + home yoga
Tuesday – 4.5 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Wednesday – 5 miles + home yoga
Thursday – 4.5 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Friday – 4 miles + home yoga
Saturday – (not)parkrun sandwich
Sunday – 10 miles

I don’t know about you, but I just don’t know where the weekends keep disappearing to! Just like that, another Monday came around. Although tough to get up early, I was treated to a beautiful sunrise as I set off on my run and I had good fun getting the latest scavenger hunt underway

I actually had quite a good day. There was a brief window of opportunity for me to get on top of one or two tasks so it felt productive, and by the tIme I was heading out it felt quite mild so I decided to take a quick walk with Steve before dinner. Sadly no yoga class this evening, but I did a Yoga with Adriene video instead so as not to miss out.

Our evening mainly consisted of watching Line of Duty (another huge cliffhanger!) then I read a bit of my book before bed.

For my Tuesday run I opted to head into town and around the bridges, this time taking in the view of the river from across a park.

After work I really tried to get home a bit sharper, but right now it’s far too easy to “just do this one more thing”. Still, I was conscious of not having any workouts the week before so I asked Steve if he could come up with something quick but effective (knowing full well I would come to regret it!). The result was an upper body workout designed to fatigue my arms with a resistance band exercise followed immediately by press ups. I headed off to do some yoga afterwards and had a hard time holding my arms out in Warrior 2 for very long!

We were in need of something new to watch so I capitalised on our recent viewing of the original Karate Kid movies with starting up Cobra Kai. My goodness! I was hooked from the start with so many callbacks to the movies. With the episodes being so short it would be really easy to binge them all really quickly, so I’m trying to limit myself to 2 per evening.

The temperatures dropped again overnight and it was back down around freezing when I got up for my Wednesday run. Fortunately I had checked the forecast the night before when I was laying out my kit so had left out leggings otherwise I might have been a bit chilly. As it turned out, I had quite a pleasant run as even though it was cold, sunrise is early now so it was clear and bright.

Another long day at work brought me home a bit later so it was a lateral flow test and then straight off to do some yoga while I waited to confirm the result (still negative, phew!). I was so glad to settle down for the evening with dinner, a couple more episodes of Cobra Kai and a bit more reading. As a treat, we had homemade dumpling since Steve had called around to his aunt to drop off a birthday card and been sent away with some. Yum!

Thursday morning was still chilly so it was leggings again for my run. It felt so strange to have such low temps, especially when even on my early runs it’s now daylight and later in the day it’s actually really mild. I’m really looking forward to those mornings which should hopefully be coming soon when the air feels fresh but you can feel that it’s going to be warm.

With my working day done (the work itself is NEVER done!) I had some errands on the way home. I needed petrol and since the petrol station I prefer is at the retail park I combined that with picking up a few bits and pieces I was needing, including some things for the kitties who are about to turn 3. When did they get so grown up?

Once in the door Steve asked if I wanted a workout and I agreed to a similar session to the Tuesday. My poor arms! Luckily for me my yoga session right after didn’t call for much from my arms so I didn’t notice the after effects in quite the same way.

Once again my evening consisted of a couple of episodes of Cobra Kai and a little reading before bed. I’m so tired in the evenings now that I’m back at work that I fall asleep very quickly once in bed so if I want to read more than a couple of pages it will need to be before bed!

Miraculously the temperature had risen just enough to no longer have a minus in the actual or feels like on the Friday morning, and that was enough for me to go right back to my shorts again. It being the end of the work week I was feeling tired so a simple out and back at an easy pace was perfect to wake me up and get me ready for the day.

That day was actually quite productive – and not just with work stuff! Since we can’t gather in our base to eat right now, I’ve been reading whilst I eat lunch in my classroom (my Kindle works best for this). I had been hoping to finish my book the night before and hadn’t quite made it, but my lunchtime reading was enough to get me there. I know I’ve mentioned this series before as I’m really enjoying it. They are set in St Andrews, not far from where I work, and so many references are familiar. This one even included a scene at parkrun!

When I arrived home (a good 20 minutes earlier than usual – it was Friday after all!) I took advantage of the lighter evenings so go for a quick walk with Steve and get a bit of fresh air. It was then time for a little yoga (with my faithful “yoga cat” by my side) before dinner.

I thought I should probably let Steve choose a movie and he opted for Page Eight. I’d never heard of it but it had a stellar cast and was quite entertaining. My only issue was the main character was played by BIll Nighy and I can never see him as anyone other than BIlly Mack from Love Actually haha!

By the end of the movie I was actually starting to fall asleep in my chair so we headed to bed quite early.

After a good sleep I began a restful Saturday with some reading in bed then got ready to run. Fortunately still shorts weather and actually I think we’re now reaching that tricky weather where a long sleeved top is ideal for the start of a run but a T-shirt is looking much more appealing by the end. I may have to revert to following the mantra, “be bold, start cold” to try and get it right!

Sadly another gap in the broadcast of This Is Us so I opted instead for an episode of Cobra Kai and was rewarded with another nostalgic trip down memory lane. My sister has said on a number of occasions that this show is the best revival ever and the more I watch the more I agree with her.

I also wanted to get a little work done as the next few weeks are going to be packed as we gather our assessment evidence as part of the approach to replace this year’s cancelled exams. Usually I try not to work at the weekend since I do so much during the week, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. But once done with the task I had set myself for the day, I was rewarded with my usual Saturday habits of a Disney quiz and a couple of episodes of The Crown before heading off for a bath. I even managed to fit in another episode of Cobra Kai between my bath and the start of Casualty so I was pleased about that.

However I still felt super tired (I don’t think I’m drinking enough thanks to always having my mask on and really need to make a more conscious effort to sip on my water during the work day) so went to bed quite sharp. I was enjoying my book (the next one in the series I had finished that morning) but fell asleep really quickly. Mind you, it was probably the best sleep I had all week and I woke up feeling refreshed when the “cat alarm” went off and I had to get up to sort out breakfast for the kitties. I then enjoyed some reading time with a cup of tea in bed – such a nice start to the day and the busier work gets the more I appreciate the time I can relax with a book.

I planned a fairly standard 10 mile run but with the sun out I think I made a similar kit error to the day before as it felt much warmer than the temperature suggested. Oh well, still good training for any warmer weather we get this summer.

Of course the rest of the day was standard Sunday fare: food shopping, lateral flow test, afternoon hot cross buns whilst watching a tv programme (we decided to start the latest series of The Syndicate), the rest of the work I had brought home and planned for my Sunday afternoon, then a chance to relax with a few vlogs before dinner – even the kitties enjoyed a bit of relaxation!

I finished up the day with a bath where I watched the final episode of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. The series was no WandaVision but I still enjoyed it and am really looking forward to Loki starting in a few weeks.

And with that, another week drew to a close with the promise of another busy week ahead.

How is your running going right now?
What have you been watching on tv?

Week In Review – The Corona Chronicles Part 56

Why do holidays always whip by so quickly compared to work days? Despite the luxury of two weeks off to relax and spend my days doing things I enjoy (although limited right now by Covid restrictions) it still felt like it had been but the blink of an eye and a new term was waiting. I knew the first week would be an adjustment back into the routine of work so I decided to go easy on myself and make this the cutback week in my running which I should have ideally taken the week before. I also knew that I would likely be at work fairly late each day so made sure to go easy on myself when it came to fitting in workouts. The week ended up looking like this:

Monday – 3.5 miles + home yoga
Tuesday – 4 miles + home yoga
Wednesday – 5 miles + home yoga
Thursday – 4.5 miles + home yoga
Friday – 4 miles + walk + home yoga
Saturday – (not)parkrun sandwich
Sunday – 8 miles

It’s always a shock when that alarm goes off for the first day of term, but I got myself up and out the door for my usual Monday recovery run and it was a cold one! The temperature had dropped again overnight to below freezing with an even lower “feels like” temperature so it was most definitely a day for leggings (and my hands were chilly even inside my thicker gloves!). I had managed to get the new scavenger hunt list before I headed out, so grabbed a couple of pictures for that while I was out.

The day itself was fine, just lots of things to get my head around for the days and weeks ahead. Of course I ended up working quite late then had to get some petrol on the way home, so I was pleased to find that the calendar for my yoga sessions this week features really relaxing wind-down/bedtime sessions. Just what I need as I adjust to being back in the work routine!

It was so nice to be able to sit down for a bit in the evening and Steve and I watched the latest episode of Line of Duty – things are really picking up!

I got to bed reasonably early but I think the second day of getting up earlier is always harder than the first. This wasn’t helped by the temperature still being really low (leggings again!). I must have been more tired than I realised and that weariness had settled in my legs making them feel like lead for the first 3 miles of my run. It was like there was just nothing in them and nothing would make them move any quicker. Somehow for the final mile things changed and I felt much better, but by that point I had already altered my route to cut the distance a little (listening to my body!) so stuck with my decision and headed in to get ready for the day.

It was another busy day with a meeting at the end (still via Teams rather than in person) and although I had hoped to be home in time to fit in a workout, it just didn’t happen as I got caught up in some tasks I wanted to finish up. I was tired so went straight off to get changed and do some yoga while Steve organised dinner, then we watched another episode of Intruder before I headed off for an early night. I must have fallen asleep quickly as I have no recollection of Steve coming to bed!

Thanks to a good sleep I felt much better on Wednesday morning so set off to get the last three items on my scavenger hunt. I knew where on (or close to) my planned route I would find them, and although cold it was a really pretty morning as the sun came up. One of my scavenger hunt items was a church spire and thanks to the light I ended up with this really pretty picture:

There’s no escaping busy days right now (and I think that will be the pattern for the whole term) so despite my best hopes I just couldn’t get home early enough to fit on a workout. In actual fact, the first thing to do when I got home was to take my lateral flow test (I’ve decided the best thing to do is just get it out the way when I come in) then once I had the (negative) result, I did a short but relaxing yoga video. This restful week of yoga videos really is coming at the perfect time for me.

In the evening we finished watching Intruder then I had time to read a little before bed.

Still chilly on Thursday morning and I have to say I was beginning to get a bit fed up of it – why was I having to scrape my windscreen in April? To liven things up I decided to head down to the river and around the bridges for my run. I was glad I made that choice as the water was flat calm and I got a really nice picture:

Steve arrived back from his run at the same time as me and “intercepted” my photo. All I could think of was the “Tiny Steve” reference from With Me Now (for those who know!).

The rest of the day was much as the rest of the week had been – busy! I had one of those days where a lot of classes were working in locations other than my classroom so there was lots of moving around the building and getting technology to cooperate. Of course I STILL didn’t get home in time for a workout, but for the first week of what will be an exceptionally busy term, that was ok while I got some kind of routine established. I did make sure to do some yoga then after dinner we watched the first episode of Too Close, a 3 part series shown at the beginning of the week.

Even better, Steve (who declared when we were getting our food shop that he wasn’t going to bake this week) had baked a cake. I asked what had prompted his change of heart and he said that since I was having such a long and busy week, he had decided that I deserved cake. I’m not going to argue with that logic!

By Friday morning I was finding it tough to get up early and was glad it was the last working day of the week. I considered an out-and-back route for my run but decided I wanted something different so headed towards the river. Rather than go over the bridge, I turned to run by the river and back via different streets.

After a pretty productive day I managed to leave work just a smidge earlier than I had been and when I arrived home Steve was just about to head out for a walk to get some fresh air. Although the mornings had been cold all week, it was actually pretty nice later on so I tagged along too. But heading out for a walk meant no workout again and when we got back the cats were needing fed then Steve got started on our dinner while I did some yoga.

I also took the chance to dive into my latest Disney delivery which had arrived while I was at work. I seem to have accidentally fallen into collecting the collectible keys they have been producing after getting a few as free gifts with previous orders, so had timed this order to coincide with the latest one being released. I finally succumbed to ordering a NuiMo after they released an outfit inspired by my favourite Disney princess. I also ordered a pile of face masks as they had a huuuuuge reduction and I thought it might be cool to have the full set for posterity. Besides, I’m not seeing the need for masks ending any time soon and with the need for a fresh one every single day for work, it’s good to have loads available. The face mask is fast becoming the fashion accessory I didn’t know I needed!

Neither of us had given any thought to a Friday night movie so we watched the remaining two episodes of Too Close and I had a little time to read before bed.

It was so nice to wake up without an alarm (well, I did have the kitties who will ALWAYS make sure someone wakes up to feed them!) on Saturday morning. Once the kitties were fed I settled down in bed with a cup of tea to read a chunk of my book until it was time to run. And hallelujah, going out a little later meant it was mild enough to get back into my shorts. You have no idea how happy this makes me!

Since I had made this my (delayed) cutback week I decided not to run particularly hard. I followed my usual route and division of my run into a warm up, faster (not)parkrun and cool down, but kept that middle section to a steady pace rather than really going for it. I thought this would be a good idea since I was in the process of re-adapting to early runs again so I wanted to give my body a break. And so, I simply enjoyed turning my legs over a bit quicker and being out in the sunshine.

My Saturday routine is fairly fixed now and this week was no different – This Is Us, Disney quiz, a couple of episodes of The Crown and then a bath. Still regularly watching Christmas movies in the bath so I have them fresh in my mind before listening to the Christmas Crackers podcast and this week was The Santa Clause 3. I’m actually not sure I have ever seen it before, but if I have then it was a loooong time ago!

When it came to Sunday, I started the day by finishing up my book. This one was actually written about 15 years ago and at the time nobody wanted to publish it as the backdrop of a global pandemic and the associated restrictions was seen as too far-fetched! Reading it now (it was published last year) it has an eerie familiarity and the backdrop seems perfectly plausible. So strange to consider how rapidly our point of view has shifted over the past year or so.

As it turned out, the kitties must also be interested in reading as I found one of my bookcases like this:

I can only assume they were highlighting the books they want to read next😹

For my run I opted to keep it to 8 miles so I was genuinely cutting back the mileage and I had a route in mind. I was also able to don not just one new piece of kit, but two! The other new pair of shoes I bought recently and a new pair of shorts which arrived right when the temperature plummeted and I had to switch to leggings!

Wearing new kit always means a good run!

After lunch, food shopping and my lateral flow test (I guess I need to just accept these as a routine part of my week now), we settled down to continue with a series we began the day before. On the recommendation of a friend, we were watching Pizza Boys, a 5 part series following a pair of Welsh pizza chefs taking a road trip to Italy to take part in a pizza-making competition. It was really good so if you like foodie travel-type programmes then I would recommend it.

There was a treat in store after dinner as my sister had dropped off some of mum’s first rhubarb of the season. The young rhubarb is nice and sweet, so Steve made a delicious crumble with it.

After which it was time for me to run my bath so I could relax with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier before heading to bed. I need to get my rest to make it through this term!

What do you do to change things up when your body needs rest?
Read any good books lately?