Sunday 30 December 2018

Looking back at 2018

At the start of the year I looked back at 2017 and wondered if I would achieve more in 2018... 

1) Family Fun

We have certainly had some fun this year including a prize winning holiday to France

And my daughter and I discovered the joys of wild swimming in the hot summer:

We also had 2 working holidays with Single with Kids making new friends and having lot of fun.

2) More Running

Saturday 29 December 2018

My Top Nine Videos on YouTube

fell running videos

This was the year my YouTube channel finally got some momentum thanks to my filming of fell running! It is such a shame the rules of making money changed just as it was taking off as I would have a steady little income from it... I need to boost my subscribers to match the views and then I can earn some pennies *blatant beg*

Meanwhile here are my top nine videos by views from the last 12 months:

1) 3 Peaks Fell Race on Pen Y Ghent

My son and I hiked part way up to film the brave souls setting out on this year's 3 Peaks Fell Race the marathon with mountains:

2) Grasmere Sports Senior Guides Race

I was working as a steward at this year's Grasmere Sports so missed my son's fell race. I did get out in time to film the Seniors with commentary by the legendary Pete Bland:

3) Anniversary Waltz and Teenager with Altitude descent from Cat Bells

My son again helped me to film the final descent of these races from side of Cat Bells. A stunning day to cheer on the runners as they headed for home:

Friday 28 December 2018

My top nine photos for 2018

It's that time of the year when we all get reflective. To help this all the social media channels show us our highlights. So I will start with my Top Nine photographs from Instagram:

So what is the story behind each of them? I will go in order from top to bottom...

1) Be More WitWoo

I joined hundreds of other women posting pictures in our swimsuits to remember the wonderful blogger Kate Sutton. She had shown us all not be afraid of being ourselves on social media. 

2) Super Vet

My daughter and I headed to the National Pet Show in Birmingham thanks to me winning tickets! She was so excited to meet one of her heroes Noel Fitzpatrick.

3) Cute Dog

I met this cute pup whilst out playing Pokemon Go. Just one of those lucky snaps that people loved!


I was so proud of my daughter when she agreed to appear on the regional news talking about how rubbish mental health services are for young people. Here she is with the TV crew.

5) Christmas Eve

Reading books all night on Christmas Eve seemed to hit a chord with lots of people!

6) Jewels

Another one of those lucky shots that people just loved.

7) Robin

I captured this handsome chap at the Old Dungeon Ghyll pub in the summer. Loved being that close to him.

8) Kendal Parish Church

Such a wonderful edifice that's great to see and share.

9) Transformation

I posted regular updates of how my body was changing through parkrun. These will be resurfacing over 2019 as I have another go at getting in shape!

Friday 30 November 2018

Reasons to be Cheerful: Hero Worship and Energetic Fun #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart 

I am a day late once again to join in with Michelle! Life is so hectic at this time of the year so we have decided that there will no official link up again now until January when I will be back hosting. Meanwhile here are my reasons to be cheerful this week:

1) Hero Worship

As a teenager I avidly watched our wonderful middle distance runners as they dominated the world of athletics. To actually meet one of my heroes whilst at the Liverpool Cross Country, put a huge smile on my face. (I did have to explain to my 12 year old why I was so excited!

Steve Cram

2) Energetic Fun

On Friday I went country dancing with my mum and the U3A. Boy can those retired folks show us young 'uns a thing or too! So much fun.

Then on Sunday my mum persuaded me to go for a short hike up Cunswick Scar. A lovely day for blowing out the cobwebs:

Cunswick Scar

3) Feeling Christmassy

We acquired a mini Christmas tree at Ikea on our way home from Liverpool. We haven't had a real tree for years even if its smaller than our fake tree:


Thursday 22 November 2018

Reasons to be cheerful: Proud Mum #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart 

I am so sorry I missed last week's linky. It is a very rare occurrence for me over the last 7 years as it is a post that has helped me so much. Its a good job Michelle is such a generous hostess! At least it was for positive reasons as I am just working more hours and we had a lot of things going on at the weekend. Any way I have so many reasons to be cheerful but here are just a few:

1) Proud Mum #1

My daughter is a big campaigner for mental health issues and tonight went live on national radio (Listen 1:41 in). To hear the reporter describe her as eloquent and brave makes me feel so proud:

2) Kindness

I am working in such a caring school at the moment. One of the staff knew a child I was working with needed a tea light for his craft wardrobe so she went and bought him some:

3) Celeb spotting

Whilst videoing the race on Saturday I got almost in touching distance with a sporting celebrity in the shape of Jonny Brownlee:

Monday 19 November 2018

Kendal Mountain Festival 2018

We have just had the 2018 Kendal Mountain Festival from Thursday to Sunday. My son went to the opening ceremony on the Thursday night and I had to collect him from Basecamp at the Brewery:

Then on Friday he had a school visit to the Leisure Centre for talks and films. In the evening we went to see a talk on film making from Salt Street Productions who had inspired me last year:

The talk included a demo with Eric Moor:

Friday 9 November 2018

Reasons to be Cheerful: Supervet, Proud Mum and Blackpool Illuminations #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart 

I am running late joining in with Michelle this week as I've just been so busy! So much to be cheerful for as its been my son's 12th birthday. So much else too so here are a few highlights:

1) School Bakeoff

Some amazing cakes at the school cake sale and bake off with a bonfire night theme:

Bonfire night cake

2) Super Vet

I had won tickets to the National Pet Show and took my daughter. She was delighted not only to meet lots of gorgeous animals but to hear and meet the Super Vet Professor Noel Fitzpatrick. I queued for an hour and half to get her book autographed:

Super Vet Professor Noel Fitzpatrick

3) Proud Mum

My son had his first Sportshall athletics competition as an under 13. He was competing against athletes a school year above him. So creditable to get a 5th, 7th and 10th against the whole of Lancashire:

Wednesday 7 November 2018

National Trust Mottisfont

After our petrol head day at Beaulieu  we opted for a lower key day with a hike and a National Trust property. (There is a video at the end of the post). We followed part of the Monarch's Way from our accommodation over to Mottisfont

The Monarch's Way

My mum and I enjoyed seeing the churches on the route but my son was not at all impressed:

Michelmersh Mottisfont

After a 3 mile walk we were very relieved to reach the estate:

National trust Mottisfont

It wouldn't be a National Trust property in the school holiday without some sort of trail. On this occasion it was scarecrows. My son had had enough of trails so we didn't join in:

National trust Mottisfont

I spotted that there was an adventure playground so after a bite to eat we headed over to find it. There were some lovely carved pieces of wood to show us where it was:

National trust Mottisfont

It was all made from wood and there were opportunities to balance, climb and jump:

National trust Mottisfont

For a rest we explored the rest of the gardens. The gardeners had cunningly set up leaf bins to encourage children to collect them up! We didn't manage to bag one of the child sized wheelbarrows but my son did his part:

National trust Mottisfont

Of course we had to look around the house as well. It is built on the old abbey and the cellar is part of the original buildings. The inside of the house is currently celebrating the life of sons of Maud Russell who lived in the house after 1934. There was also a chance to play the harpsichord and grand piano that they had played:

National trust Mottisfont

We had a final wander around the gardens including the Font that the house is named for, the rose garden (sadly we missed most of the roses) and a chance to do a Hobbit impression at the foot of a venerable oak tree:

National trust Mottisfont

All in all a good use of our membership. Here is a little video of the play area and music:

Tuesday 6 November 2018

Beaulieu Motor Museum

After a day exploring gardens we went for a change of pace with a trip to the Beaulieu Motor Museum. We booked tickets online the day before to knock a bit of the entry fee! My son and I had never been to the museum and my parents hadn't been for a few decades so it was a good place for a three generation visit. This post includes the YouTube video of our day.

We kicked off our day with a ride around on the Monorail. This was a great way to check out the layout of the grounds and also to learn some fascinating bits of information on the way round:

Beaulieu Motor Museum Monorail

Then we headed to the Top Gear section of the museum. Not only did we see excerpts from the shows but could get up close to some of the vehicles they actually used:

Top Gear Beaulieu Motor Museum

Another fun way to avoid walking around the grounds was to catch the vintage bus. We had a couple of rides up on the open top deck:

Thursday 1 November 2018

Reasons to be Cheerful: Back Home #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart 

I have handed the reins back over to Michelle for November so I know we are in safe hands! Thanks to everyone who joined in with me in October. As well as having had a lovely half term break (plenty of blogposts on their way!) these are my reasons to be cheerful this week:

1) Safely Home

We drove at dawn to Heathrow from our holiday accommodation to meet my daughter's return flight from USA. So happy to have her back in the UK.

2) Frosty Start

We started off the new half term with a cold snap which added a sparkle to the garden:

3) Halloween Pumpkins

Tuesday 30 October 2018

Hillier Gardens

On our first full day in Hampshire my mum chose the Hillier Gardens and Arboretum for our trip out. We were hoping that there would be plenty of colourful foliage like this:

Hillier Gardens and Arboretum autumn foliage

My son was relieved to find that the gardens were well geared up to entertain younger visitors with a Spooky Halloween trail:

Hillier Gardens and Arboretum Halloween

We got a trail and used the map on the back to follow the clues and to complete activities. The first of these was counting pumpkins in the Children's Education garden. Not the real ones like these but over 30 numbered plaques:

Monday 29 October 2018


After visiting Avebury we made our way to Stonehenge which I hadn't been to since I was a toddler (in the years before they stopped access into the circle itself; this was due to both vandalism and to protect the history). We passed Silbury Hill on the way but didn't climb to the top:

Silbury Hill

It was absolutely heaving and at this point I was very jealous that my parents were members as their queue was really quick and short! I also discovered that it would have been a good idea to pre book to reduce the waiting time... Luckily for me my parents brought me my lunch whilst I was waiting to keep me going... Then we had to wait for the shuttle bus to the stones (you can walk the just over a mile but a) I had paid £17.50 and wanted my moneys worth b)  after walking around Avebury some folks needed a sit down!). The bus drops you where the old A303 used to pass close by the circle:


As members for a free audio guide my son kindly lent me his one. There were numbers all the way around the enclosure and you just played whichever one was on the plaque. Lots of folks just went to the nearest point but I made sure we went right the way round:

Sunday 28 October 2018

Avebury Stone Circle

On our way to our holiday accommodation we realised that we were going to be very close to Avebury Stone Circle. So of course we had to make a stop on the way. My son had never been but for all the adults it was a return visit. We had all forgotten what size the stones were:

Avebury Stone Circle, World Heritage Site

The National Trust had a couple of exhibitions about the history of the stones and some hands on ways of showing how the stones may have been erected:

We didn't visit the manor house but we did try out the temporary cafe which is in use whilst they recover from last winter's big freeze:

Thursday 25 October 2018

Reasons to be cheerful October half term #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart 

I am currently enjoying a break in a spot with no wifi! So a brief host post for now so folks can join in!

Saturday 20 October 2018

Halloween at Brockhole Lake District Visitor Centre

Halloween at Brockhole Lake District Visitor Centre

We went to Brockhole today for a family lunch and enjoyed a taste of their Halloween experience. Its the first year they have gone to town like this and it was pretty amazing. We didn't buy tickets as we had a 3 year old with us but got a chance to see what we were missing out on:

Halloween at Brockhole Lake District Visitor Centre

Even if you didn't buy a ticket you could see the effort that had gone into the event from sculpture:

Friday 19 October 2018

#FitnessFriday with the FourFit Health Band #ad #review

I was sent a FourFit Health Band to test out. All opinions in this review are my own:

FourFit Health Bans Heart Rate and Blood Pressure monitor

I have got a couple of running watches but neither of them could monitor my heart rate and blood pressure. The instructions with the Band are pretty basic but I used the FAQ online to work out how to turn it on (you hold the button on the front down!).

The band links up to your smart phone with the Wear Fit app. So not only can you monitor various health related measures (heart rate, blood pressure, blood oxygen, fatigue, sleep and steps) but also have ongoing tracking and analysis:

I have to say that at times I have been freaked out by readings of high blood pressure! As I didn't check against a more traditional measurement device I don't know whether they are accurate are not... Good to be aware of the possibility that mine us too high though.

Thursday 18 October 2018

Reasons to be Cheerful The Birthday Edition #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart 

I've been lucky to be working virtually full time which is great for the bank balance but not so good for blogging! So a slightly later than usual Reasons to be Cheerful but the same simple rules apply:

  1. Link you your happy post
  2. Comment on some of the other blogs to share the love
  3. If you want to grab the code from below
  4. I will comment and share your posts!
Meanwhile here are my birthday reasons to be cheerful:

1) Birthday Princess

I can't quite believe I am now the mum of a 15 year old! She is still as beautiful as she was for her 5th birthday:

2) Birthday relaxation

As part of my shared birthday weekend away with my daughter I had time to chill by a real fire with a book and a glass of lovely red wine: