A cold Whiteley parkrun

I was meant to go to Brighton this week but sadly my lovely friend wasn’t very well so we decided to give it a miss. It’s a shame but I’m seeing her the weekend after and I want her to get better so it was for the best. That left me with a strangely free Saturday – one I hadn’t had in a while!

I considered joining some running friends to Alice Holt for a bit of an adventure but ultimately decided I’d quite like a bit of a lie-in and a run to Whiteley parkrun when a bunch of my Hedgie run club friends would be whom I hadn’t seen in a while. It was only 4.5 miles to Whiteley and I wouldn’t have to leave until 8am so that was great. The lie-in until 7.30am was much needed as well as I went to the cinema on Friday night and didn’t get back until gone 11pm! A very late night for me (#grandmastatus). I went to see Battle of the Sexes which was brilliant. And ate about 600g of pick ‘n’ mix… whoops.IMG_0978But anyway, back to parkrun. So I was out of the door (amazingly for me on time) at 8am and into the cold wintery morning. I was very much glad I’d put my running gloves on (my handy eGloves which I can use my iPhone with) and a long-sleeve top. I was wearing shorts but my legs are, in general, never too cold (well, let’s see how that continues anyway). The sun was shining and it was very frosty. The route was a lovely one that went past lots of fields and along country lanes, so a photo stop was a must!IMG_0979The day before I’d planned out the route and about 60% I was fine with as I knew the way, but then the rest required looking at road names and not getting lost… I had a piece of paper with a few directions written down. I thought I was doing fine as I got to the right road names but clearly it’s never that simple for me as I felt like I was going further and further from the direction I needed to be going. As it was now 8.30am and I was still about 1.5 miles away I decided to stop and check my phone. Yes that’s right, I was going the wrong way. So I turned around, kept my phone out and headed in the RIGHT direction.

I arrived, happily, not to long after and saw my Hedgie friends assembling (Transformer-style) in the car park. It was lovely to see them all, but they were all very cold. I was nicely warmed-up due to my run but as we hung about hearing the briefing (which included a lovely Hedge End Running Club shout-out) I was soon shivering like everyone else.IMG_0982My friend Mark was there and he’s super duper fast and he, very nicely, decided to run with me. I knew in my head I wasn’t going to run as fast as I had the previous week. I wasn’t feeling in the right frame of mine and I’m not a huge fan of the Whiteley course. Despite it being very flat, it’s very windy and there are a couple of sharp turns and it just doesn’t feel like you can get a good amount of speed consistently going. But anyway, excuses aside, we started running and Mark was chatting away to me. I could chat back at the start but wondered how long I’d be able to maintain the conversation as we started at 7min/miles.

It’s a funny thing as you begin to get more fit, speeds that a few months ago were really tough and barely maintainable were now my “fast but not that fast” speed. It works the same with endurance. At the start of a marathon training cycle, running 4.6 miles to parkrun and then doing parkrun can be quite a feat, but after weeks of solid long runs it now feels like nothing (can I stress how much I love where I am right now with my running and how I know it won’t last forever and it might all disappear in the blink of an eye. I know this all too well).

That said, it was hard to go much faster that morning. My answers to Mark during our conversation became shorter and eventually left to just bursts of random words through gasps. He was breezing along nicely beside me chatting easily about races and things like that (this being his easy pace considering his PB is sub 18 minutes). It made me remember those times I’d had conversations with people I’d been pacing and they said “Just talk to me and don’t expect a reply”… Oh how the tables had turned.

Whiteley is three laps and as we got fully into the second lap I tried to push a bit harder because “it’s only three miles” (a statement reserved for only certain times during the training cycle). There was a precarious moment during the start of the third lap where I couldn’t quite get the turning right and almost careened into a lady. I apologised and carried on, she didn’t seem to bothered thankfully! As we head to the end, Mark went on ahead and I clung onto his heels as best as I could. Then LITERALLY right at the end where the Finish sign points straight on and he decides to veer off left directly in front of me to where the old finish area used to be, almost taking me out in the process. Luckily neither of us tripped up but it was a bit hairy for a moment. It was somewhat amusing after the event and actually as we stood cheering other runners in something not uncommon! It was clear it was confusing.

IMG_0988Awkward selfies for the win

My time was 21:13, a solid fast time for me lately! Considering I was feeling it at the beginning I’m really pleased with that, and first lady. Whiteley parkrun splitsHappy days.Then, after a brief catch-up with my running friends, my dad picked me up (yes, a fantastic perk of living at home).IMG_0993I got ready quickly as we were heading to Chichester for some Christmas shopping – a tradition we tend to do every year. Chichester is just so lovely at Christmas with their decorations and lights. First port of call was brunch though! None of us had had breakfast so we were all ready for something tasty. We headed to The Fat Fig, where I’ve been before and is just so lovely.IMG_0998My dad and me ordered the large English breakfast and my mum had the more reasonably sized poached eggs on toast with bacon. My dad did make the statement that he’d never imagined one of his daughters would be capable of eating the same large fry-up as him. He was proud, ha!IMG_1001I appreciated the separation of the beans from the rest of the meal (I hate bean contamination) but I was sad there was no black pudding. I also don’t like hash browns so they got left behind, but everything else was hoovered up.IMG_1003And then we were off for a spot of shopping!IMG_1008We tend to go to Chichester every year before Christmas as a family, a tradition I really enjoy. I know it’s only November but I do love how Christmassy everything was. And especially free Christmas snacks in shops!IMG_1005Mulled wine and mince pies! Lovely. I believe this was White Stuff (one of my mum’s favourite shops).

And we obviously had to go into Montezuma, the amazing chocolate shop. We were delighted to be offered a free sample as well. Hotel Chocolat however did not give out free samples (which is surprising as they normally do) so we were a bit disappointed 😉IMG_1013It was very cold walking about but nice that it was sunny rather than raining. And then we headed home, glad to be back in the warm car.

That evening I had a solid dinner and watched Bad Moms with my mum (free on Amazon). We wanted to see Bad Mom’s Christmas bit thought we should probably see the first one beforehand. It was alright – a good mum and daughter film, but honestly Mila Kunis looks FAR too perfect all the time to be playing a so-called busy and stressed out mum. It did annoy me a little…even when she was hung-over she looked amazing!

Then I was off to bed ready to get up the next day for a long, long run at the On The Whistle Festive Frolic event.

How was your weekend?

Are you feeling Christmassy yet?

Do you have any Christmas traditions for where you go shopping?

Chichester parkrun, brunch and long running

Saturday morning was another morning of parkrun tourism, followed by a catch-up brunch and cake with my lovely university friend Charlotte and her husband Paddy.

They live in Brighton and I live in Fareham (between Portsmouth and Southampton) so Chichester is sort of half-way point. I had a TV I no longer needed and they were in need of one so I offered to sell it to them. But then I felt mean selling it to them as they’re my friends, so I suggested they just buy me brunch instead (food is always a winner in my book). As we were meeting in Chichester on the Saturday I figured it would be a great time to do Chichester parkrun, which I’ve never done. No it doesn’t count towards my Alphabet Challenge as I’ve already done so many “C”‘s (Cardiff, Conwy and Chelmsford) but it was one sort of within the area that I needed to tick-off.

I headed down at about 8am and as it would take about 30-40 minutes I made up a nice hot coffee to take with me, as I knew there would be toilets there. The parkrun begins very close to the Northgate car park that I was very familiar with, having been to Chichester a number of times. My mum always says that those public toilets are the nicest public toilets she’s ever been too. So I wasn’t concerned.I arrived in more than enough time and paid for parking and headed to the loos. On the sign it said they’d be open from 7am…but they weren’t. I jogged over to the starting area of parkrun and asked one of the volunteers if they knew of another toilet. They said it was odd the other ones weren’t open. I jogged back to check again as I really did need to go. It was very cold so it was a nice warm-up anyway. But no they were still locked.Hmmm. I jogged around and tried to find somewhere else but to no avail. Eventually I jogged off round the corner and found a secluded, albeit not entirely hidden-away bush. A man was jogging towards me and I mentioned I was about to have a cheeky wee and he kindly headed the other way. So I quickly crouched down, as you do as a female, and in my panic to wee as quickly as possible without being spotted didn’t realise (until too late) that I put half my bum straight into stinging nettles. GAH. Luckily it was only one cheeky (I daren’t even imagine other possibilities, *shudders*) but damn it was uncomfortable.
Anyway, I was glad to have gone anyway. Then I listened to the newbie briefing. It was VERY cold but I’d done a bit of a warm-up so it wasn’t so bad…until I had to de-layer. Then we lined-up and we were off. It had a very odd start running across a field and then after about 200-300m turning completely around on ourselves to go round a post and back the other way. Bizarre. Then we did a sort of zigzag course up this field before heading down a tarmac path to do it all again. It was an odd course in this respect, and mostly on grass so it was quite slippy. Especially as there were so many points to turn and go a different direction. I’m not sure I’d like this to be my home one it must be said. There were only 220 people so it felt quite small and un-busy which was nice. The leader of the pack was a young female who really was right out front. I think she did it in just over 19 minutes so not crazy fast but still way ahead of anyone else.My legs felt very tired as I’d run nine miles the day before so I wasn’t going for any great speed. I also don’t think it would have been a great one for speed due to the zigzags and the slippiness, but the downhill bit along the tarmac was great to stretch the legs. And to head to the finish on! On lap two though there were a bunch of runners who were running and they headed straight on instead of turning left to do another lap and this confused me a lot as I wondered if I was going the wrong way, but turns out they weren’t doing parkrun at all (which always baffles me as surely you’d just join in if you were in the area running at that time?).
I finished in 23.08 which I was happy with as it felt fairly easy and I wasn’t out of breath at all at the end. As soon as I’d finished I got a message from my friend saying they were five minutes away. What perfect timing! I jogged back to my car and saw them arrive. I quickly put some trousers on as it was so cold and we walked into Chichester proper to find some brunch. I’d done a bit of research beforehand to find the perfect spot. Though Bill’s is always a good shout and they do do nice breakfasts I’d found a place called The Fat Fig, which looked really different and tasty.We all ordered the Turkish fry-up which was delicious! Feta, halloumi, eggs, Turkish sausage, a filo pastry thing full of feta, olives and toast. So good.It was nice to have something a little different. The Fat Fig was a lovely place – lots of pastries and cakes as well.After food we headed for a little mosey about round Chichester (such a lovely place to wander round). Obviously we went into Hotel Chocolat of course, my favourite chocolate place. And then we decided breakfast pudding was in order. We evaluated all the cake options and decided on a cafe which used to be The Swallow Bakery but now is something else, though it didn’t have a name over the door (or maybe it;s the same but just getting a re-vamped sign? I don’t know…). I had a raspberry cake which was delicious and looked amazing in the middle.I also shared a Halloween cake pop with Charlotte (because I’m greedy remember). They each had a cupcake – I can’t remember what but they said it was like a fruit crumble inside! Delicious.

And then we eventually parted ways. My brunch very much lasted me until dinner that evening – I was stuffed!

The next morning (after a gloriously long sleep due to the extra hour) I headed to Hedge End (where I used to live) to meet my friend, Mike, to do part of a long run with him. He’s not training for anything in particular anymore so really didn’t want to do a long run so I was going to run with him and the continue on my own for the rest of my long run. I definitely needed someone to run part the way with though as I’ve been feeling so demotivated in my long runs lately. I much prefer to be running with others right now, weirdly enough.

The run was tough though. I could really feel the miles from the previous two days so I was glad we kept the pace to a conversational one (around 9 minute miles). Mike wasn’t feeling it much either. It’s tough when you don’t have a marathon within the next month to get really motivated!I did seven miles with Mike and then headed off to do three on my own. Let me tell you, those three miles really felt like a slog. I listened to a podcast and just felt exhausted. I was glad to get back to my car and head home. There was no way I could have run a mile more! I’ve definitely run too much this week (five times! I normally only run four times). I felt so drained.After re-fuelling on breakfast and a hot coffee my parents and I headed out for a lovely hour long walk along the Farlington Marshes in Portsmouth (which is near where the Portsmouth Coastal Marathon goes). It was cold but lovely and sunny.

At the start of the walk they have a board where people can write in chalk what birds have been spotted that day. I mean, I know nothing about birds so hadn’t a clue but it was interesting nonetheless (I jokingly said to my parents that I should have written “duck” on there…probably wouldn’t have gone down well! Bird watching is serious business).We did see a lot of birds (bird watchers) but nothing that I could have identified.Then we headed to Emsworth for a lovely coffee and a cake. It was a fabulous way to end a walk! I still felt very drained and wondered if I was coming down with something – or at least fighting something off. My mum has been ill for a week now with a cold so I wonder if it’s that… but anyway, a good weekend regardless!

Do you know different birds?

How do you stay motivated with long runs when you don’t have a race close on the horizon?

Have you ever been to Chichester?

Things I’m loving in November

November, November…how is it November?? It has to be my least favourite month in the entire year, but it does mean we’re inching closer to Christmas and I love Christmas so at least that’s a silver living. I thought I’d share a few things I’ve been loving recently.

New leggings: OK I officially have far too many leggings. It’s a real addiction. It’s leaking out into everyday life – I wear them all the time. I’m pretty sure I could wear them to work as well as my office are pretty chilled but I’m trying really hard not to. Otherwise I’ll never be out of them! But anyway, I did buy another pair at the weekend. Hear me out. I don’t usually wear full length leggings and I don’t have any grey pairs sooo…ivy-park-leggingsThese leggings are from Top Shop from the Ivy Park range. Yep, I was fully sceptical at first as well. Top Shop? Beyoncé? Sportswear? Don’t be daft. But I tried them on and was really surprised. They’re made from a lovely, thick and stretchy material that hugs and “holds everything in”. I did several squats in the changing room to test them out (does anyone do this…?) and they didn’t slip down or go see-through (a big leggings no-no in my book!). For £40 they are expensive but the quality of the cut and material is there so I thought they were worth it.

iPhone battery: I love my iPhone but it frustrates me that it runs out of battery so easily. When I go on a day-trip somewhere I’ve invariably had to take a charger with me and hope to end up in a Starbucks somewhere where I can plug my phone in. It’s ridiculous. So I bit the bullet and bought a battery caseimg_6033I got this from Amazon for about £38. It’s a cheaper alternative to some of the other battery packs out there (including the ridiculously priced Apple one) and had great reviews. It does make my iPhone more bulky and heavy but I personally think it’s worth it as I now don’t need to worry about my battery running out and can go back to charging overnight. There’s a button on the back you click and it activates the battery and charges your phone up (the battery provides 130% more battery).

Pimped up porridge: I went back to porridge. I couldn’t stay away. I was having scrambled eggs and as delicious as it was each morning…I just missed my warm, stodgy oats. My problem with porridge was that it was just very high in carbs but without a lot of protein, and after going to the gym I like to have a balance of carbs and protein. So I’ve been adding some protein powder to my porridge to boost it up.img_6307Yes it does look like prison gruel…but it tastes really nice. I’m not a big fan of adding lots of toppings and extras to my porridge and normally wouldn’t like any sweetness but it’s not crazy sweet. I only add about 15g so it’s not overwhelming (and adds about 11g protein).

New book: I’m listening to a new audio book called Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking Susan Cain.quite-susan-cainI actually heard about this book through a TED talk from the same woman and it peaked my interest. I consider myself an introvert so I was keen to read the book. Being an introvert doesn’t mean you’tr anti-social or incapable of social interactions. For me it means liking to spend a bit more time alone and not being fully comfortable in social situations of which I’m not used to. I find them overwhelming. After a day with my friends or in big groups, I prefer nothing more than going home and spending time on my own to “recharge” (and why I struggled quite a bit when I went to the bootcamp in Spain).

It seems that the ideal is to be an extrovert, and being an introvert is often seen as a disadvantage, but the book shows how introverts are powerful in their own ways and how they shouldn’t be overlooked. I’m half-way through and finding it quite comforting and reassuring. It provides me with a lot of answers about the way I am in certain situations and why I feel certain ways.

Good food: On Saturday I went to Chichester with my parents. It’s kind of an annual thing to do around Christmas time as Chichester is so festive and such a pretty town. There are some nice shops that aren’t just your regular high-street ones too.

We booked a table at Bills which, though is a chain, is a really nice chain. I didn’t realise there was one in Chichester and my parent’s had never been to one before so it seemed ideal.

For starters my dad and me shared a meze board, which had hummus, tzatziki, red pepper dip, olives, flat bread, chicken skewers, calamari and falafels. It was delicious.img_6314It also wasn’t huge as some platters can be. For main I almost went for a Caesar salad but decided to go for something different for once. I had the lemon paprika chicken with some long stem broccoli on the side.img_6317It was DELICIOUS. I honestly can’t sing this enough praises. It had honey roasted root vegetables and cranberries and was just divine. And very filling. Originally I’d intended on having a pudding (I spotted a brownie with my name on it) but I sensibly decided not to. The meal had filled me up perfectly and anything more would be greedy and unnecessary and would probably spoil the satisfaction I was feeling. Who even am I?? I’m trying to not be so gluttonous when I eat out…let’s see how long that lasts 😉

And finally…beautiful crisp winter mornings: There have been some beautiful sunrises in the morning when I walk Alfie. img_6255I’m very lucky to live so close to a pretty park and where Alfie can run off his lead while I enjoy the scenery. Yes it’s been very cold, but it’s worth it.

Have you tried anything new lately?

What kind of phone do you have?

What books have you read lately?

Things lately

Things are plodding along quite nicely round here. Though I’d hate to look back at my life and think of it as a “plod”. Rather that though than a sprint I suppose!

I guess you could call this an ‘odds and ends’ post of stuff that’s been happening lately:

  • Ben making carrot cake

This is big, big news people. For so long Ben has been promising to bake for me. But these promises have never materialised to actual calorific-dense baked goods (despite me buying him ingredients and everything). I’m the one who cooks, he’s the one that apparently bakes.

Last week he had the week off as he was starting a new job so he had no excuse. Being a typical man, he left it to mid-afternoon Friday to begin his task. I got regular text updates as to the progress of the cake…

Carrot cake process Apart from a minor zest grating related injury (and a lovely photo of it sent my way – in case I wasn’t fully aware of the sheer hard work he was putting in), it all seemed to be going swimmingly.

That is until I got a bit of an urgent phone call: “Anna, I forgot to add the carrot in before I put it in the oven. What do I do??”.

He even sent me a selfie to adequately express how he felt.

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Luckily he was able to get the cakes (there were two) out of the oven asap and stir in the hastily grated carrot (no further grating related injuries here thank goodness). Whew. Rectified. But amusing nonetheless 😉

Ben's carrot cake Ta da! How good do they look? As the loaf tin was a little small for the batter, he made a mini round cake as well…with a better cake to icing ratio if you ask me 😉 It tasted divine and it was all I could do to not consume the entire two cakes in one sitting. And yes, there was carrot in it 😉

  • New mattress

Ben’s above selfie could also adequately describe the feelings we felt when our lovely new mattress was delivered the other day.

IMG_7181“Pants” would be one word to describe this situation. There are others I could use. Thankfully we can swap it (and pay the extra) for the correct mattress size. Not sure how we got this so wrong really…I don’t know how we both survive in this big wide world pretending to be adults.

  • Trips to London

Getting up at stupid o’clock to get the train to London for a meeting is no fun. Especially when it means eating my porridge in the car while my dad drives us to the station.

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Lots of things in my life change and new habits form, but eating porridge for breakfast will never change.

And I’m sorry all you lovely Londoners but I detest going there. It’s stressful, busy, crowded…and dirty. Yes I realise most cities (and places in general) are dirty. But I freak out.

IMG_7042 Essential requirement for me!

And just randomly, a mini escalator. For all those lonely people who have no friends to stand with…

IMG_7044 Room for one only

Or people who are so so busy they need to use the mini escalator to hurry up them quickly, by-passing the more normal sized busier escalator (I found this out as I was dallying around taking photos of said escalator while a man tried to hurry past…).

  • Birthday trip to Chichester 

IMG_7190On Sunday Ben and me went out to Chichester to go shopping for a belated birthday trip. Rant alert: I got a little bit angry in one of my favourite shops (Oasis) when I realised they didn’t stock my size is anything I liked (bar one dress). It’s not an obscure size either – a normal size eight. The lady in the shop just shrugged and went “yeah I know” and after a long pause “look online”. Gargh!! I like trying stuff on and I’m there willing to buy stuff NOW. I understand that they can’t stock masses of every size but they had about three size 20s in everything. Your loss, Oasis, was FatFace and New Looks’ gain.

We stopped at one of my favourite restaurants for lunch as well: Trents.

Trents Chichester birthday meal

We had a sharing platter (hummus, sundried tomato dip, beetroot dip, stuffed peppers) to start, followed by a Caesar salad for me (of course) and a club sandwich and curly fries for Ben, followed by crème Brule for Ben and chocolate brownie for me.

I had run 10 miles in the morning and I was FAMISHED. Sadly my salad didn’t quite cut it. I enjoyed it but it wasn’t one of the best I’ve tried (no croutons and no anchovies). Ben was struggling so I helped him out with eating some of his sandwich filling (bacon and chicken) and his fries. Win.

26th birthday meal That pudding. Oh wow. It could have done with vanilla ice cream to balance it rather than hazelnut ice cream but it was pretty damn amazing. Afterwards I was like “pft, that was easy. Three courses done and dusted.” After leaving the restaurant for a shopping continuation the fullness hit me like a ton of bricks (literally in my stomach). I couldn’t bare to even look at people eating or drinking. I couldn’t eat anything else for the rest of the day and required an hour long nap when I got home. Whew. Pretty good day I’d say!

  • Alfie

Kids (and adults) all over the globe are obsessed with Frozen.

IMG_6619 Apparently so is our dog, Alfie. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is what he does all day when we’re at work. He just wants to build a snowman…

Do you prefer online shopping or going into the actual shop? I like to try things on because invariably things that I think will look nice look awful. And it’s the whole faff of sending stuff back that really annoys me with online shopping. But it annoys me when a shop is seriously under-stocked in my size for pretty much everything.

Ever ordered a large purchase that turns out to be very wrong?

What’s your worst baking disaster? I could write a book for mine so it was nice that Ben, ‘Mr Baking Pro’ got something wrong 😉

Bank Holiday Weekend – Part 1

Hello lovely people! How good does a long weekend feel? And with such lovely sunny weather! Ben and me have been really enjoying the weather and have been fairly busy these past few days.

Saturday morning we both naturally woke up early. So nice to have the sun gently wake you up. We did a couple of chores and then headed out to our local Parkrun in the lovely Victoria Country Park.

This time I did not make the mistake of having breakfast beforehand!! I was quite nervous due to last time. When we got there we found out we were doing the ‘harder’ course which was three laps and had an incline in it. To be honest I wasn’t too bothered as I didn’t know what to expect as I haven’t done a proper 5k in ages. And there was a pacing event on as well so there were lots of volunteers pacing different times which was cool.

On the first lap I managed to get slapped in the face with a stinging nettle as I turned round a corner. I thought “ha, well I won’t make that mistake on the next lap!” But by the second lap I’d forgotten it and got slapped again. And you wouldn’t believe that it happened on the third as well… I clearly have the memory of a goldfish.

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I was enormously pleased with this! It’s funny because I saw the ‘Sub 22 minute’ pacer on the second lap round and thought well I’ll just stick with him as I was happy with getting 22 minutes! But as we carried on running I felt myself have enough energy to get past him and carry on a bit faster.

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And I came first girl! It also felt great to be cheered on by the volunteers and then to cheer on everyone else as I waited for Ben to finish (not that he was that much further behind me!)

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He got 25.07, a new PB Smile

So we felt pretty good after that. We went home, had some much needed breakfast as by this point it was after 10am.

After showering and chores we were off to Chichester to have lunch with my family for my mum’s birthday. Between my dad, my sister and me we had decided to surprise my mum by not telling her that Rachel (my sis), Nick (brother-in-law), Ben and me would be there. She just thought it was her and my dad. So we zoomed to Chichester to get to the restaurant before her and waited there for her to arrive. We got her a glass of Prosecco as well ready and waiting.

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We were sat in a window seat so I was worried she’d see us but when she walked past but she was completely oblivious. My dad did a discrete nod and then they headed inside. Honestly, her face was a picture. She was so surprised and over-the-moon it was just lovely.

Mum's bday

And the food was divine, as always. This restaurant is a big favourite of our family (it’s called Trents).

For starters Ben and me had our usual thing…

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A ‘dipping board’ with olives, basil pesto, hummus, pittas and crudités.

And for main I had a chicken Caesar salad.

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Really chunky croutons, anchovies and chicken. Yum. The dressing was so good as well.

Then we moseyed about and looked in some shops. We went into one of my favourite sweet shops (Ye Olde Sweet Shop):

Sweet shop

Look at that huge Sherbet Fountain (do you remember those?? I hate liquorice but I used to love dunking the liquorice stick into the sherbet and licking it off).

We also went to another of my favourite Chichester food-places: The Swallow Bakery.

Swallow Bakery

Wow word: AMAZING. Honestly I spent a good 10 minutes perusing what I wanted….marshmallow cupcakes, carrot cupcakes, rainbow cupcakes…and all these other cakes, brownies and flapjacks as well.

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I’m not sure if that’s clear enough to see, but you can have a cupcake MILKSHAKE. A cupcake blended in a milkshake. Disappointed smile And they had gluten-free option cupcakes too which I thought was great.

Ben and me went for strawberry meringues and red velvet cupcakes. Then we parted ways with the family and went home. Such a lovely day out!

After dinner, we ate the meringues. We just couldn’t not. I mean seriously, it was a push waiting that long to tuck into these bad boys (we didn’t share; we had one each).

Merringue

Sugar-induced coma occurred promptly after this. But it was so worth it. We still have the cupcakes (I’m not sure how we haven’t eaten them yet, but seriously they well be gone by the end of today).

We were shattered and so had another early night as we had yet another 10k the next day (yes, I know. We are official obsessed. You don’t want to know how many we’ve signed up to. Our bank account is not pleased with us).

Right, I will stop there as this is becoming a bit lengthy. Hope you’re having a great Monday off (if you have indeed got it off)!

What’s your favourite way to spend time with your family? Going for a meal is definitely one of my favourites. Or coffee and a cake with my mum. Can’t beat that mum-daughter time.

Are you doing any Parkruns? Or races in general? We’re completely hooked on both. I love the adrenaline and feeling of accomplishment of a race. It definitely beats solo runs! Also Parkruns are a great way to measure improvement/progress every week.

Cupcakes, brownies, cake…what’s your favourite baked sweet treat? Mine is cake. A big slab of cake. But I do love cupcakes. And brownies. And cookies. Oh and scones obviously Winking smile