Friday 29 April 2016

#FitnessFriday Don't panic its less than a month until the Brathay Half Marathon!

Before I write about this week I realised that I had blogged that I was going to run the Langdale 10k but I never said how I did! I somehow managed probably my quickest 5 k of the year on the outward leg and then hadn't left enough in the tank for the return (though somehow it was my 3rd fastest time back up Chapel Stile). The lack of training showed and the warm weather didn't help but I finished with a smile and not in last place:

The following day we did the Kendal Colour Dash as a family and had a whale of time. My run wasn't anything special as I was taking pictures and still recovering from the day before:

So now we are back on this week proper and I feel like I have finally got some decent running in! On Tuesday I repeated my short route from the week before and it was 3 minutes quicker than the previous one:

Thursday 28 April 2016

Reasons to be Cheerful: Proud Mum #R2BC

Reasons to be Cheerful

Still having laptop issues but I can still just about blog! Last week of me hosting and then I am handing over to the lady that started it all for May. So glad Michelle is back in the Reasons to be Cheerful family. Here are my other reasons this week:

1) Proud Mum

My daughter had her first secondary school parents' evening this week. Not sure who was more nervous her or me! Turns out the majority of her teachers think she is a great asset to their lessons and miss her input when she is not there. I knew she was doing well academically but its great to hear such lovely things said about her. 

2) Operation Garden

I've already blogged about the things we have been doing in the garden. On Timehop a picture popped up showing the state of the garden on the day I got the keys. It made me smile to see how far we have come:

3) Six Years on Blipfoto

I celebrated my 6th anniversary on the daily photo site Blipfoto this week. I have taken 2,192 daily photos since I started and I have no plans to stop just yet:

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Reasons to be Cheerful 

Saturday 23 April 2016

Improving the Garden - latest updates

With the horrible weather in the late summer and autumn all the work on improving our garden ground to a halt…. Over the last few weeks my mum has been around doing some much needed gardening and other little projects have started to make a difference too.

The only original flower bed plus the extra section that was dug out last year are starting to look like a proper bit of garden again:

She had discovered a hidden patio under the weeds and now the slabs have been removed it has had some spare plants put in from her garden:

So with my mum working so hard we had to carry on with some of the projects we had started last year. My daughter had upcycled some garden chairs we were given just using some tester pots of wood paint:

As there was a little bit over she had decided to start painting the shed door but had run out of paint..

Thursday 21 April 2016

Reasons to be Cheerful: Spring has sprung? #R2BC

Reasons to be Cheerful

I am having major laptop problems and can't currently access my photos properly - eek! Despite that I have many reasons to be cheerful this week:

1) Blast from the past

Whilst sorting through a box in my room I came across this rather glamorous shot of me from when I was in my mid-20s:

Nice to remember I once looked like this!!

2) Sunny days

The weather has been stunning here so far this week and I spent a morning gardening with a class in this meadow:

3) Walking to work

I am lucky that my current position lets me walk to and from home every day. Crossing the River Kent is lovely:

4) Family fund raising

On Sunday the children and I ran up and around Kendal Castle in aid of St John's Hospice. So much fun and hopefully we raised a lot of money too (lots more pics on Flickr):

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Reasons to be Cheerful 

Friday 15 April 2016

Review: Original Spirograph

Sponsored Post

When I was offered a chance to review am Original Spirograph set I jumped at the chance having loved our original one in the 1970s! Its a toy that has stood the test of time and I wanted my children to have a go like I did. The set we were sent was a deluxe set which looked a lot different from the old red box our old one came in:

What is great is that the set included everything you need to get designing:

The instruction book was very clear (my daughter eventually read it after a couple of fails!). The special putty helps to keep the wheels in place whilst you design to prevent slippage like we had on this page:

#FitnessFriday Last minute training

Well with a 10 k race tomorrow (Great Langdale Road Race) I have been panicking a bit about my lack of training! So I upped my game this week as the holidays came to an end. We started with a very muddy parkrun at Fell Foot on Saturday:

Still well off my course PB with a fairly pathetic run but better than nothing:

Once home again I walked into Kendal with my children to do some shopping and we clocked up 8km of walking in the sunshine:

Thursday 14 April 2016

Reasons to be Cheerful: Sunny Sundays and other things #R2BC

Reasons to be Cheerful

You can tell I am back at work as the post is a few hours late again! So pleased how many people joined in last week. Hopefully I visited you all and you could see what was making other folks happy too. Here are my reasons this week:

1) Sunny Sunday

It was such a glorious last day of the Easter holidays in Kendal. We walked the 2 miles to church and then meandered back with many stop offs including a bite to eat in the Brewery beer garden:

2) Winning things

Its been a little while since I won anything so it was lovely to receive my prize of a new waterproof and shockproof iPhone case (ideal for Cumbrian weather!). The wonderful Kate on Thin Ice with tech21 had run the competition:

3) Spring

The weather may have turned wet and grey but its not stopping the signs of spring bursting out all over. I love seeing the cherry blossom suddenly bursting out everywhere:

4) Treasure trove

I was sorting through a bag of assorted cutlery that came from my grandparents. I do wonder how many generations of the family have handled some of the pieces? Amongst the pieces were these three coronation spoons from 1937 when George VIth was crowned:

5) Encounters of the canine kind

My son's running group is back on the Helm in its official home territory. We were up there last night and I encountered these two gorgeous spaniels:

6) Shiny things

I have recently been converted to using Enjo products by a local friend who has become a consultant for them. After he demonstrated the power of microfibres on cleaning my kitchen I bought a starter kitchen pack. Now I have just use cold water and a microfibre sponge to get my sink this shiny: 

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Reasons to be Cheerful 

Wednesday 13 April 2016

#CountryKids Cruising on Windermere #CumbriaIsOpen

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

I was very lucky recently to win a prize during a weekend celebrating Cumbria and giving a much needed PR boost to our flooded county. Our prize was a Freedom of the Lake family pass with Windermere Cruises, we hadn't been on the steamers since 2013 so it was a big treat.. We were unable to use them on the original weekend as my daughter was in hospital so they kindly gave us a pass for any day this year. This meant we were able to use them during our Easter holidays.

The trip did not start in a promising fashion as when we got to Bowness the boats were not sailing due to the fog on the lake:

Steamer Teal Windermere Cumbria

We decided to wait and hope that we would get our day out! There was time to see whether the children would have been underwater in the last two floods. Looks like my daughter would have had her head clear but her little brother would have been in deep water (hence the sad face!): 

Windermere Cumbria

In the end we didn't have to wait as long as we feared and were on board the Teal and ready to go:

Thursday 7 April 2016

Reasons to be Cheerful - don't Thursdays come round quick! #R2BC

Reasons to be Cheerful

Oh my its Thursday and being on holiday I lost track. So please join in and link up and I will write my reasons later... Meanwhile here is my smile to prove I am cheerful:

OK normal service is now being resumed but I am leaving the above as folks seem to like my smile!

Here are the reasons I am smiling this week, apart from having lots of lovely folks link up already:

1) Friends

The one big down side of moving to Cumbria was leaving my best friends all back in Bucks and Berks. This weekend was one of our big get togethers and I drove down to near Reading to stay with one friend and meet up with the others. The friend we stayed with had acquired guinea pigs since our last visit so it was a delight to have lots of furry snuggles as well as catching up:

2) Photos

This week I have been making the most of some free time and printing off photos to go up on the walls. Its such a shame that I take so many photographs and hardly ever put them up... I also framed some school photos and started a family gallery up the stairs. Nice to be reminded of happy times, beautiful places and my wonderful family:

Tuesday 5 April 2016

#CountryKids at Wray Castle and Claife Viewing Station

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Whilst doing our Easter trails last week we also had time to appreciate some of the rest of the things on offer at the National Trust properties we visited. The first of these was Wray Castle which is my son's favourite National Trust property. They do well at providing things for all ages so I could I appreciate this photo frame that allows for shots of Windermere:

Inside the castle there are always old favourites plus new things to find. The bark rubbing didn't appeal to my son but would have entertained other children:

The castle has links with Beatrix Potter who stayed there with her family, this means that there are plenty of excuses to link up with her characters:

Friday 1 April 2016

#FitnessFriday Back out running

A combination of working full time and an everlasting cold means that I have't been running much - not panicking about the half marathon!! So I was very pleased to get back to Fell Foot Parkrun last Saturday which was on the original meadow route. With a still snotty nose I was well off my PB but glad to be under 34 minutes:

Let's hope I am a bit faster tomorrow all though the course is going to be a bit boggy after rain tonight! Following the parkrun I took my son on 3 trails with National Trust and clocked up a lot of walking: