Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Workout Wednesday out my my junior coach

As per usual in the holidays I find it hard to fit in exercise around the children. This week I made the most of only having one child at home to actually get out and run. My daughter elected to come on her scooter to accompany me:


As were about to set off it started to drizzle so she grabbed a rain coat but I was happy to just get wet, made a change from over heating! My daughter took on the role of coach and her offerings initially included:

  • a baby could run faster than you
  • you are sooooo slow

After I pointed out that such comments were counter productive she switched to a much more helpful mock commentary style. She did her best BBC impression of covering the Commonwealth Games and adding uplifting remarks. This was much more effective and I managed a non-stop run of 5.3 km which was way better than my Race for Life the weekend before!



It may not have been a record breaking run but I wasn't too much slower on each measured segment:



Now I just need to work out when to get in another run. I have to say that I did get a major workout doing Go Ape yesterday..

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

#CountryKids Go Ape at Grizedale

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Sometimes I can be quite lucky in competitions and winning a couple of tickets for Go Ape via their Facebook page was definitely a good one! Today my daughter and I took advantage of her little brother's absence to use them at Grizedale as we had't tried the full sized course there. We have been on the Junior one on its opening day and had our birthday treat on the Whinlatter course. 

The Grizedale course is the highest in the UK (good job I didn't remember that before agreeing to go there!). Being the main summer season I booked the night before which was just as well as it was completely full by the time we arrived in the afternoon. Once we had completed the safety talk and test run we were let loose on the course itself. So it was up the first rope ladder and onto the challenges:


What is great is that each section is different so there is something new to try and conquer. Every one was graded Easy, Difficult or Extreme. Interestingly my daughter and I found each one different and when I struggled she was OK and vice versa! For example she wasn't happy on the barrel tunnel:


My only problem on there was trying to get out at the end! Turned out I was facing wrong way and had to somehow get my legs in front of my body in a small space (glad no-one videoed it!). Unlike October my daughter was much taller than the minimum so she found it easier to reach everything:



Some of the ascents were incredibly high and seemed to go on forever...


Being a busy day we had a long wait on a few sections which a) gave a chance to recover b) gave us more time to get worried about what was to come! I was pretty scared on a few sections especially when I ended up with my feet higher than my head on the bosun's chair... 

The last Tarzan swing was going to be too much for me (I am not good climbing up cargo nets) but luckily the staff member on duty kept my daughter by her side whilst I got myself round to where my daughter would finish up. Of course I then had to return the way I had come on some scary bits.. I was quite relieved to be on the home straight:


We then got to do our Monkey Selfies:




video to follow once my phone talks to my laptop.. there is some on Instagram

Monday, 28 July 2014

#CountryKids Pick your own fruit

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

With little brother waved off at the station big sis and I headed to the nearby PYO fruit farm nearby:


She was soon happily collecting raspberries from the rows of bushes:


I don't think she remembered the last time we did this as it was when she was tiny. She seemed very pleased with herself for quite quickly half filling her tub:

Friday, 25 July 2014

Review: Cirque du Hilarious, Blackpool Central Pier

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We were given complimentary tickets to see Cirque du Hilarious in Blackpool. I had heard great things about their show from people that had seen it at Butlins so I was looking forward to it. There was no mistaking the venue when we met two of the lovely dancers outside the theatre:


I had met up with a fellow blogger Nickie from Typecast and the children in our party grabbed a table right up next to the stage and the grown ups sat behind:


#CountryKids a day on the Blackpool beach and promenade

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

One thing we have all missed after moving from Hastings to Kendal 4 years ago is the sea. So it was great to head to the most famous seaside resort in the North West - Blackpool. Its just over an hour away from us which isn't far for a day trip. I obtained parking tips from Twitter (on street near the airport), packed our swimming kit and off we went. It's all so well signposted even without a navigator.

As advised we took a tram as we were almost at the far end of the promenade. It was a reasonable £4.50 for the 3 of us to go all the way to Central Pier. This was my children's first tram ride and it was a nice way to arrive. The children's priority was the beach so we set up base on the steps next to the pier:

Blackpool Tower

As it was mid week the beach was pretty quiet even though it was boiling hot! The tide was on the ebb so there was plenty of sand:

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Reasons to be Cheerful: School's Out for Summer! #R2BC


Thanks everyone for joining in last week as always I loved reading all the posts. Hopefully everyone is enjoying the weather even if it is a way too hot! Here are my reasons to be cheerful this week:

1) School's out for summer

The children and I all finished the school term on Friday. So nice to have 6 weeks of no school runs and only alarms for special days out! I do have to go in for one day during the time but that's not much in the scheme of things. We have so much to look forward to.

2) Seeing family and friends

One of the great things about living in a tourist spot is that people tend to pass through and stop to say hello! So far this week an old friend from my young free and single days took us all out for lunch as he headed home from Keswick.


Tuesday, 22 July 2014

#CountryKids at National Trust Allan Bank in Grasmere

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

We hadn't been to the Allan Bank at Grasmere since the week it opened to the pubic in 2012. So when an acquaintance wanted to meet somewhere child friendly near Langdale I immediately suggested it as a rendezvous. Several members of my family decided to copy us too so that we had 3 generations visiting the place. 

After finding a car park space at the right end of the village we walked up the lane to the property as there is only limited disabled parking on site. My children couldn't resist climbing the rock formation to the side of the drive:



It was interesting to see how much had changed in the last 2 and a bit years! As it was gutted by fire in 2011 it has been a slow job to restore any of the rooms:


fire damaged door panels

Monday, 21 July 2014

Race for Life Lancaster 2014


Sunday was overcast but hot as my son and I headed to Lancaster University for our race for life. We knew we were in the right place with the sea of pink! It was a long walk from the car parking but we knew we were on the right track:


It was only when we turned the last corner we realised how popular this event was:


It was a buzzing atmosphere as we gathered for the warm up and the Cancer Slam dance:

Saturday, 19 July 2014

#CountryKids Nature walk on the River Kent

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

As the heavy rains decided not to show up this lunch time I took a chance and walked (scooted) my children into town to have lunch with a visiting friend. We took the slightly longer but way more scenic route along the banks of the River Kent. My daughter on her scooter was most often a distant dot than with us:


My son hadn't been too keen on the walk but by the time we got to the river he had cheered up a bit. He told our friend what he might see in the water: goosander, swans, ducks and otters! I used the convenient nature boards to engage him and get him interested in his whereabouts:


These boards are at various locations along the river and explain the fauna and flora on that particular stretch. We had seen bubbles and ripples in the water so hoped that we could find out which fish had caused them:


After lunch we strolled back along the river and enjoyed seeing the swans. One was drifting asleep on the water whilst the other was having a good look around:


My son said the swan looked like a giraffe with its long neck. This sparked a discussion about how many vertebrae giraffes and humans have and we have to check to see a) if it is the same and b) how many it is!

To see my daughter scooting across the bridge I put a video on Instagram.


Friday, 18 July 2014

Race for Life 2014

On Sunday I am running the Race for Life in Lancaster. This year for the first time I am doing it with my little boy - I only realised whilst taking part last year that younger boys (under 13) can take part. He was miffed when his big sister was allowed to run with me at Preston last year and I had told him he wasn't allowed. When I did my second event at Heaton Park he came to cheer me on but he wasn't really up to running the distance last year (nor was I!!).


So this year we have done a little bit of training - not that he is keen on non competitive running. He has also done the Grasmere Gallop with me although he hit a wall at 4km and struggled to keep going. The course is apparently partially hilly (not surprising when the university is on a hill), this should be a lot easier than the gallop which had a long ascent.

Of course this is all about raising money to fight cancer and my son is doing it for his Nanny that he never met. She died of cancer just before I married and so my children only know her through stories and photographs.

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Thursday, 17 July 2014

Reasons to be Cheerful: The End is Nigh! #R2BC


I don't mean the end of the world but the end of term! Here in Cumbria Friday afternoon sees us breaking up for the holidays and I can't wait. No wonder it hasn't taken much to make me happy this week:

1) Tea in the park

Last Friday it was so hot I treated us all to fish and chips in the park it really was bliss to chill out in the sun at the end of a busy week:


Hoping we get more days like this in the holidays!

2) Family Bike Ride

It had been too long since we went out cycling so I took the offer of another adult willing to come with us to get us all out on our bikes. The second half of the bike ride had me smiling once my son got his confidence back:



3) Staveley Carnival

This is such an amazing event for the whole family. I've written a long post about it already but here is a taster:


Shame we have to wait 2 years for the next one!

4) Operation House

It's nice to feel at the end of the week that progress has been made in sorting the house out a bit. There are little areas that look so much better to me though its still very much a work in progress to be be completed over the summer. I even cajoled the children into starting to tidy their rooms and I am managing to slowly increase the number of chores they each do. Not a smooth ride but hopefully it will be worth it in the end..

5) Positive body image


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Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Workout Wednesday: back out running

It's been such a busy time I hadn't been able to run since the Herdwick 10km so it was a relief to hit the tarmac on Monday. I did my lovely cross country run from Staveley to Kendal and enjoyed just being out for a run and not on a training programme! The river was very low at Barley Weir as I started my warm up walk:



The back lane was very inviting and one day I will go for a run all the way down it to Bowston..



There was no pressure on me and I didn't push myself too hard.  I went off at a good enough pace and managed to run up my old nemesis hill though I did let myself take a short recovery walk at the top. By the time I got to Burneside I had done the route in my 3rd fastest time to day - go me. It was nice to get to the stile on the field and know that I had got to the end of the run:



It was a pretty reasonable distance after a break:





And the race results are finally in and I was 131st with 18 people after me including several younger runners!

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

A healthier summer

With the school holidays starting on Friday its time to knuckle down and try and get the whole family's diets a lot healthier! This half term we seem to have done a lot of rushing around and we have all eaten far too much rubbish. I need to get us all to eat a more balanced and nutritional diet without dieting. Also if I am going to be a student in September we need to all enjoy simple and inexpensive home cooked meals. 

My son is the fussiest eater of the two and is reluctant to eat his food groups mixed together. This has made it hard to serve up stews and casseroles. So one challenge is to try and get him to branch out more and be adventurous. Not an easy one as he is pretty stubborn and would rather go hungry than eat something he doesn't like! Hopefully as he gets older this will peter out...

My daughter will eat a wider variety of foods but will suddenly announce one day that she no longer eats something she used to love. The most recent one of these is chicken! I think if she had her way she would eat bolognaise, lasagne and cheesy pasta in rotation... 

I would love for them to eat more vegetables than they have been doing. In the summer salads are so quick and easy but only one child eats cucumber and no other salad vegetables are liked. For myself I rustled up a 3 colour salad today but my children would never eat it: