QECP parkrun, the Sweet Tooth Festival and the best ribs

Through Facebook I found out about an event that was RIGHT up my street. The Sweet Tooth Festival. I mean whaaaat.

On further investigation I found it was in Fareham, very local to me, and basically a load of stalls selling cakes, sweets, fudge and more. I was very keen to check this out!

But first, parkrun. I decided on Queen Elizabeth Country park parkrun as it was most local to Kyle as he very kindly offered to cheer me on. He’s still not running. He’s being far more patient and sensible than I would be as he wants everything to feel completely normal before he starts running again, which is obviously a good idea. It would be a shame to rush back into things and re-ignite the injury. But being the lovely guy he is, he offered to come with me to QECP.

We got there for 8.45am and walked the very short but STEEP distance to the start. I’ve run this parkrun once before but in the pouring rain so it was nice to have it in drier conditions. There weren’t a huge number of other runners – I don’t think there are usually because it’s quite out of the way from residential areas and it’s a tough one to regularly do. The run director delightfully informed us it sits at number 509 on the flat scale out of 519 parkruns!

Kyle would be able to cheer us on twice – after about a mile with the first loop and then at the finish. The first mile is a straight up slog and then a breakneck downhill, so quite varied!My legs were already burning within the first five minutes. I managed to take the lead out of the females quite soon but there were only 36 other females and 85 runners in total.I was actually quite surprised at how good my legs felt despite being asleep not very long ago and having run a marathon less than a week ago. I decided to just embrace it. The second mile is the worst. The hill you have to climb really does just go up, up, up. When you think you’re almost there, you turn a corner and see more to come. Definitely not a negative splitter!The run felt good but tough. The final mile has a great downhill section to really gain some speed and then some cheeky inclines and then a straight run to the end. I somehow managed to get myself 8th place which was very cool.
My time was 22:13 – I’m over the moon with that! It certainly helps to have someone cheering you of course.

After sorting ourselves out, Kyle and I headed to the Sweet Tooth Festival in Fareham.I’d describe myself as a small child in a sweet shop but realistically I was like Anna in a cake shop ūüėČ I was very excited. It was ¬£4 entry and then we were able to wander round the different stalls and TRY ALL THE TASTERS. CAKE TASTERS. I mean, this is LITERALLY heaven. I realise I’m over-using the caps here, but seriously. Amazing.There were so many different local cake bakers and sweet-related companies – it was so cool! Companies like The Gourmet Brownie Kitchen, The Game Bird Country Catering, The Rolling Scones…etc. etc.
As we hadn’t had any breakfast yet and were planning to head to Southampton for lunch we really tried to not go to mad on the tasters…but I did have my fair share of brownie chunks, cupcake bits, pieces of cookie and forks of cake slices. A decent breakfast I think! ūüėČ

I think I was mostly impressed by the amazing looking cakes. The Rolling Scones had so many fantastic and unique sounding cakes… a Rolo chocolate cake and a Caramac cake to name just two. And they looked incredible. The best part was there were taster slices that we could try. I mean WOW.There was even a competition to guess the weight of a cake – to WIN the cake. Kyle and I took ages trying to decide. We’ve both done weights in the gym quite a bit so we were trying to imagine what dumbbell it would equate to.
This was some serious business! In the end we went for 3.5kg. It was apparently around 1.9kg, so we were quite a bit out…wishful thinking eh!I could have spent a fortune at the festival. In the end I feel I was fairly restrained (for me!). I bought a blondie, a salted caramel brownie and a cookie.Kyle got a cookie, a Ferraro Rocher brownie and we both shared a rocky road slice. We saved them though because we were heading for lunch straight after. The temptation to eat them though was SO strong.It was a good thing that the traffic was horrendous getting into Southamtpon (because of the boat show) as it meant our stomachs could have a bit of time before our next onslaught of food. Because we’d enjoyed Red Dog Saloon so much the last time we went we decided to go there again. The last time we went Kyle had had these amazing deep fried ribs as a starter and we were both hankering after them again.

God they are SO good. To be honest I probably could have eaten an entire rack of them but they’re very salty and probably terribly bad for you… but they taste omg good.And for mains I went for chicken wings… I know, I’m so predictable. I went for quite a piggy 24. The options were 6, 12 or 24 and I knew 12 wouldn’t be quite enough.¬†I wasn’t sure how spicy the buffalo would be so I went for half buffalo and half BBQ. I should have just had buffalo though, they were SO good and not spicy at all. I didn’t have any sides as I knew I’d literally have a lot on my plate. Kyle had a beasty burger and epic fries with bacon, cheese and chicken bits on.I managed 19 wings before throwing the towel in. I didn’t want to push myself to discomfort – I had nothing to prove this time ūüėČ I eat for enjoyment after all. They were very tasty though and I ate all the buffalo ones.¬†We were far too full for pudding, and we also had our sweet treats back at home. I can definitely see her going back here a few times!

The next day I left my run until the afternoon so I could enjoy a lovely lie-in and chilled morning. It was such a nice change not to go running straight away when I woke up. I rarely ever have such lazy Sunday morning. And actually it worked perfectly because it was pouring it down with cold rain and howling a gale outside. It was a welcome relief to not go out first thing.When I did finally get out it was blue skies and only a little breezy. I had some grand ambitions of doing 15 miles but after running 10 miles on Thursday evening and being a week from the marathon I sensibly decided 12 would be quite enough. I know for me this high mileage so soon is a bit reckless so I need to be careful. Injuries are easily come by for me.Annoyingly my headphones ran out of battery four miles in but it was actually quite nice to have a “silent” run. I just relaxed and let my mind wander. Though I could definitely feel my legs getting tired towards the end. I was glad to stop. It was not one of those “I can run forever runs”! But a solid run nonetheless.

Do you ever do a long run without music or a podcast?

Do you enjoy food festivals? They’re one of my favourite things.

What brownie flavour would you go for?

I’ve moved house!

What a weekend. I’m shattered. It’s been a blur! I’ve finally moved in to my new little home. Moved in but not entirely sorted. Oh the boxes and the disorganised chaos…

So Thursday I had the day off of work and really started packing in earnest. I’d done a lot of packing and sorting beforehand but now it was literally ensuring everything was packed. I won’t lie, I hugely underestimated this process. I don’t have a huge amount of stuff as it’s just me (and Alfie) and I wasn’t taking any real furniture with me, but that still leaves a lot of stuff that I’d left because I was still using. This included¬†clothes, toiletries, shoes, handbags, kitchen stuff, food… and then cleaning the bathrooms, dusting, hoovering¬†and cleaning cupboards.IMG_6441

Where’s Alfie?

I felt very overwhelmed and under a lot of pressure to get it done as the next day I had to be out of the house by 12.¬†I rung my mum (who’s currently off of work for 8 weeks after having a back operation) and had a mini-meltdown. She felt guilty for not being able to help – which was ridiculous as she’s in a lot of discomfort at the moment and can’t drive or really do much and that’s hardly her fault so the last thing I wanted was for her to feel bad. But I just need to vent and stress before getting back to it.

I caved in the end and text my friend, Louise, asking her if she could spare some time the next day to help me. She’d offered her services a few weeks ago and I’d told her I’d be fine. Just a few boxes, easy peasy. Ha! How I’d completely underestimated things! Lou was awesome and said she could come in the morning and help. What a legend! She’s also far more practical and sensible in these sorts of areas. I’m from a different, less organised school of thought…

Friday morning I had to pick up a van at 8.30am and then get back home to start moving stuff out of the house. The hardest thing was the mattress, which Lou and I struggled to get into the van. And then found it took up a huge amount of space¬†in the van. At this point the estate agent’s from where I was buying from had rung and said I could not pick up the keys for the flat. I thought it’d be a good idea to go to the estate agent’s in the van, pick up the keys and then take the mattress to the flat and sort that first.

Good plan in theory… we arrived at the estate agents around 11. I ran in and said I was there to pick up the keys only to have the woman stare at me like I was crazy. She said that that was a printing shop and that the estate agents had¬†moved. So I had to ring them and find out where the hell they were:¬†central Southampton (about 20 mins away)!! I would have had a mental breakdown had Louise not calmed me down. In the end we decided to pack as much as we could in the van (playing Tetris with the mattress and boxes and then I would carry on packing and Lou¬†would go and pick the keys up for me.

We finished packing at 12.15. What an absolute grind!
IMG_6455I got to the flat and met Lou there with the keys and we unloaded a few things before she had to go. It was around 1pm and I needed to get the van back by 4.30pm (so leave at 4pm). My dad was supposed to be coming to help but he was stuck in a meeting at work. I tried to get on and get stuff unpacked but it was taking forever getting items out of the van and then up the two flights of stairs. It was slow and hard progress. I decided to call in another friend to see if he could spare even just 20 minutes.

I was so grateful when he, Mike, said he could spare an hour! When he got there we got a great system of him unloaded the van and putting stuff in the stairwell and me going up and down the stairs putting the stuff in the flat. It was like intervals, I swear to god. I was sweating, my heart was racing… it was exhausting! And not to mention the fact that I hadn’t eaten anything other than breakfast and two apples.

In under an hour though we got everything into the flat and the van was empty. Mike had to dash off to pick his daughter up but I was so grateful for his hard work and effort. I couldn’t have done it without him (or Louise!).

My dad arrived at 3pm and his task was to help me move an old sofa that had been left in the flat to the van so we could take it to the tip. I wasn’t going to kick up a fuss about it as I had a van and we could get rid of it quickly (I would have been in my rights to have done so though).

After dropping that off at the tip, I got a phonecall from my estate agents for the property I was selling saying that the buyer wasn’t happy I’d left the garden table and chairs. I had mistakenly thought I was leaving them¬†(I¬†had agreed to leave¬†a lot of other furniture).¬†So we then had to take the van and take that furniture¬†to the tip.

This was all very rushed as it was just after 4pm and I needed to get the van back. We arrived at the tip¬†literally¬† at one minute past 4 to find they were closed. WHAT. So we had to swing by my parent’s house to drop the furniture off there as there was nowhere else for it to go and I needed to get the van back ASAP.

My parent’s gardener was there at the time and offered to take it off our hands as she quite fancied the furniture. What a happy ending!! And I got the van back in time. *HUGE SIGH OF RELIEF*

By the time I stopped it was dinner time and I was now out of adrenaline and STARVING. Luckily I’d had the forethought to have made a¬†Hello Fresh¬†meal up in the week that I just had to microwave.IMG_6457

I ate it on a (Hello Fresh) box, surveying the madness.

I’ll leave it there as this ramble has gone on a fair bit. So I can fully confirm that moving house is bloody stressful. But if you’re looking for a good way to start intermittent fasting,¬†house moving really helps ūüėȬ†Though not when you then have a massive slice of white chocolate blondie¬†from your freezer stash at the end…

White chocolate blondie

Incidentally this is one of the cakes I got from Wales all those weeks ago. It was AMAZING. And all the better with my cake fork.

Have you ever moved house?

How do you cope under pressure?

Are you an organised or disorganised person?