Rants and Raves #20

My passport has not yet arrived…

Edited to add: I was literally about to post this (I wrote it yesterday) when an update occurred! 

Basically I got to work, got a text from the passport people to say it would arrive “within a few days” and panicked. People at work suggested I rang them, which I did. The passport person informed me it would arrive today and that I might need to sign for it (though it’s unlikely) so I quickly left the office to come back home to work from home. I can’t begin to tell you how thankful I am to have such a lovely and caring place of work to allow me to do this. No arrival as of yet!

Rant turned into a rave: Before knowing the above, I’d decided to focus on the positives of the outcome of not going to Iceland if my passport didn’t arrive in time. I could do a half marathon that’s part of our club league on Sunday (Solent half marathon). I’ve done it before but a couple of years ago and it’s nice and scenic, quite small and I can just use it to “womble” round as my last long run before the marathon. I can also use the extra weekend to get more stuff sorted for the move. I can go to parkrun on Saturday. It won’t be all doom and gloom (though it will royally suck). BUT FINGER’S CROSSED!

Rave: Getting into the Boston marathon 2016!

Boston marathon 2016 acceptance email

The Boston marathon is a bucket list race for me. It’s part of the World Marathon Majors, of which I’ve already done Berlin. I was going to run London next year (I deferred my GFA place from last year) but when I got a Boston qualifier in the Liverpool marathon I suddenly thought I could apply and just go. Yes it’s an expensive race in itself (just over £150!) and then the flights and accommodation…it makes it a costly affair. But I thought “sod it”. I’m the master of my own destiny, as they say, and at this point in my life I need to make selfish decisions while I can. I qualified by over 11 minutes which meant I was almost guaranteed a place as I could enter in the second wave of registrations (it’s a stepped registration process with the faster runners getting places first). I night not qualify again, they might change their qualifying times, I might get injured (could still happen)…best to do it now! Anyway I’m hugely excited. My mum is likely to come with me and support which will be fantastic. We’ll probably make it into a 8-9 day holiday to make the most of being there as well.

Rant: Having limited furniture! I gave away my sofa to the British Heart Foundation (so handy, a great way to get rid of furniture still in good condition) and sold my dining table and chairs.

Moving house

Handy having a bean bag!

This has left me with nowhere to eat dinner or work. When I worked from home on Monday it became clear someone else had noticed a change and wasn’t too happy with just having a blanket to sit on (he doesn’t use his bed for some reason).

Moving house Alfie

And speaking of Alfie, I found this old photo of him:


What a mess! He looks ridiculous. I can’t believe we ever let his fur get so long and scruffy haha.

Rave: A last coffee with my mum in my house before I move (well, I think so anyway!).

Coffee with mum

My parents came back from their holiday in Antigua at the weekend and my mum popped over after work one evening to show off her tan to catch up. For some reason she didn’t want to sit on my bean bag and opted for the floor instead 😉 You can’t beat a coffee and a catch up with your mum.

Rant: I cleaned my oven and fridge. Neither were particularly awful but they were a pain. I can only hope my flat has a clean oven and fridge but I can’t be certain. I just think it’s polite to leave things nice. I’m such a clean freak I’ll probably get someone in to give the flat a deep clean anyway though (it won’t cost much as the place is tiny, I just hate the thought of using a bathroom someone else has used). With my current house it was great because it was a new build so everything was brand new. To be fair though the flat is fairly new and it can’t be as bad as the house we lived in during university…*shudders*.

Rave: One good thing about moving is that I won’t miss the cats on my road. SO MANY CATS. That said, I think I have a soft spot for the grumpy-looking one.

Grumpy cat

Rant: I dropped my favourite glass salad bowl on the floor (it’s probably more accurate to call it a mixing bowl, but I don’t bake and eat salads a lot more…). Sad times. A glass shard hit the top of my foot and caused a nasty gash. There ensued the race against time of trying to staunch the blood while keeping Alfie out of the way of the glass and trying to stop him licking my foot (gross, I know). Nothing serious but it bled a lot. And FYI, blister plasters do not work on cuts.

Rave: Though when Ben first got this ENORMOUS tub of protein powder I was aghast. But now I’m using protein powder (after my morning gym sessions and after my runs at work) it’s very handy he’s leaving it behind.

Protein powder

It’s not the greatest protein powder in the world for sure, but it’ll do for now! I still like my soya one though. It’s just like chocolate milk.

Rant: Running has been tough. I have to say though that I will take “tough” over niggly or injured any day. But I just feel tired, lethargic and demotivated. I still love running and enjoy it but it just feels so much harder. I know I’m close to burning out so I just need to get to the marathon (not long now) and then take a break. No more marathons this year! It just feels depressing to compare similar runs from before Liverpool (when my training was going so well) to now…

Matched runs Strava

(Follow me on Strava if you want!)

My usual 6 mile route was better than last week but still not as great as previously, and it feels it as well. But peaks and troughs happen and I’m just grateful to not be injured. So I’ll stop moaning.

What’s your next holiday?

Do you use protein powder? Do you have a favourite brand or type of protein (whey, hemp, soy, etc.)?

Would you ever spend a lot of money (relatively speaking) on a race?

Rants and Raves #17

I do enjoy writing my Rants and Raves post because I often have a collection of little thoughts or events that occur during the week that I want to share but don’t always cohesively fit into a good narrative. If you’re bore of the Rants and Raves though, please let me know!

Rant: I work in an office and it drives me mad when people come in ill. I’m not a particularly tolerant person it must be said – I don’t have a lot of patience and I know I need to work on it but this is surely not an unfair complaint. When people come in and spend the entire day coughing up their lungs (not just a little cough, a real lung-blasting one) within a rather enclosed space, well it takes a lot of mental willpower to not yell “GO HOME”. Work is not that important that you need to come when you’re really not well. It’s not good for them and it’s not great for us either!

Rave: Food parcels from the parents. It’s like being 18 again and my parents are sending me back on the train to Cardiff University with a bundle of food.

Food parcels

Ahh university. Those were the days that I was too cheap to buy magazines, chewing gum and quilted loo roll. Small luxuries I still cherish to this day. But back to the food. This time it was more that they were going to throw away this food if I didn’t take it because it would go off.

My parents, I’m sure they don’t mind me saying, are notorious for wasting food. They both have dinners at different times in the week because of when they finish work so what usually happens is my mum randomly buys a load of food from M&S despite my dad buying a load of food from the supermarket. Not all of it will get eaten. This is a rant in itself because I hate wasting food. They do have the best intentions and never set out to waste it, but often as not something will get left behind in the week. And I’m more than happy to take if off their hands.

So I received a half roast chicken, a Cumberland sausage and two slightly iffy looking salad boxes (once the soggy cucumbers where picked out it was fine. I’m not fussy when it comes to eating food past it’s best!).

From this I had a delicious BBQ sauce chicken stir-fry (yes, I know BBQ sauce is practically just sugar…that’s why it tastes so good).


I literally put the entire half a chicken in there and it was massive. I was fairly full!

I used the Cumberland sausage to do something similar but this time used balsamic vinegar and some herbs to flavour it and included some roasted butternut squash and chickpeas.


This was so good! Definitely need to repeat it. At the weekends at the moment I tend to be eating rather random meals as I’m slowly eating my way through the freezer ready for the move (still no date). This also means the hardship of eating all the cake in there too. *Sighs* it’s tough.

Rant: I’m an animal lover through and through but I will always prefer dogs to cats. Sorry but it’s true. I’m sure if I ever owned a cat I would feel differently (though from speaking to other cat owners, you never really “own a cat…). I own a dog though and I’m pretty sure he would not be happy knowing what was happening right outside his front door.


The absolute audacity of this cat. And when I (gently) shooed it along before opening the door, it sloped off slowly with an indignant air. When I later walked Alfie it was still within proximity to the door and Alfie attempted to do the Big Dog thing of barking at it but then, when the cat simply glowered back, Alfie quickly backed off into the road. *Sighs* My little hero.

Rave: Ahh watermelon. How I adore you.


Such a refreshing and tasty snack. And you can eat so much without filling up as it’s practically water! And it’s so good for you with it’s great anti-inflammatory and antioxidant support.

Rant: I wore a dress to work yesterday. Big mistake.


Bargain dress from H&M; cardigan from New Look; belt not sure

My bare legs were rather chilly. But I refuse to accept that summer is over. I realise I can’t stay in denial forever but it’s August.

And finally this really made me laugh:

Disney Princesses

Quite amusing! I relate most to Belle I think in terms of nerdiness and book-reading. And I did used to have a boyfriend at college that my friends weren’t keen on – though I wouldn’t have called him at beast!

What Disney character do you most relate to? I think we all knew a Jasmine at school!

What’s your favourite summer food?

Do your parents give you food parcels? One birthday when I was at university my parents surprised me with a hamper of goodies, like sweets, beauty products, chewing gum, magazines and food. It was one of the best presents I’ve had, so random but so useful and appreciated.