Monday 30 December 2019

Run Mummy Run Challenge 2019 the results #RMRChallenge #FitB4Fifty

Way back in January I made my RMR challenge pledge with Run Mummy Run so it is time to see how I have done on my 3 pledges:

1) Run all 10 Cumbrian parkruns

This one started off so well with the New Year's Day Double at Barrow and Millom. I then combined my son's cross country with Penrith and visiting a relative in hospital with Ford (Ulverston). So i was looking good in January with 4/10 of complete.

I then had a couple of trips back to my home parkrun at Fell Foot. There was then a break due to other commitments and races and it wasn't until my son had a race at Threkeld that I managed to run Keswick parkrun.

It wasn't until the school holidays that I made it to Carlisle parkrun by combining it with our drive to Scotland. We then sneaked a cheeky Scottish parkrun in on our way home at Victoria park, Glasgow. My 9th different parkrun was not in Cumbria either as I ran at Dinton Pastures outside Reading whilst visiting friends.

My next Cumbrian parkrun (8/10) was Whinlatter in September, one of the hardest in the UK, which was stunning but tough. This left me with the two that are the hardest to get to due to the geography of Cumbria. I have decided that these have to wait for warmer weather and we can camp over the night before.

So to make up for it I ran 3 other parkruns which are either closer or near where we were visiting over the last 2 weeks: Tring, Morecambe Prom and Lancaster! That gave me a total of 13 different parkruns this year. In fact the only one on this image I didn't do this year us Lanhydrock:

2) Complete the Lakeland Trails 10 km series: Cartmel, Hawkshead, Helvellyn and Ullswater

Thursday 21 November 2019

AD: Rescued from Landfill: Basecamp 70 Bucket Bag


When I asked to check out some recycled outdoor bags made by a local company, Rescued from Landfill, I immediately said yes! As regular readers know we spend a lot of time outdoors getting mucky and wet and this was a perfect item for us.

I was sent a Basecamp 70 Bucket Bag which arrived beautifully wrapped:

Rescued from Landfill Basecamp 70 Bucket Bag

It was very impressive how big the bag actually was when I fully opened it out:

Rescued from Landfill Basecamp 70 Bucket Bag

  • Draw string top
  • Key holder clip inside
  • 70 litres capacity
  • Strong hanging loop
  • 450mm high (excluding handles) 450mm diameter

The bag is 98% recycled materials which includes seatbelts that are rescued from scrapyards like this:

Saturday 9 November 2019

Reasons to be Cheerful: Bonfire, Birthday and Mud! #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart 

I seem to be moving the linky to Saturday evening and not Saturday mornings! I'm all rushed out during the day with sporting activities... Here is what made me smile this week:

1) Bonfire Fun

My daughter and I enjoyed a Jacob's Join and bonfire party with friends out at Selside. Nice to be sociable and have a few fireworks at a low key event:

2) Forest School

I got to spend Thursday out at Footprints which is a forest school on a National Trust property in Windermere. We enjoyed communing with nature, lighting fires and learning how to whittle.

3) Birthday Boy

Sunday 3 November 2019

Reasons to be Cheerful: Running into November #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart 

A day late for reasons to be cheerful as we were rather busy yesterday! But its November and I'm back hosting - apologies that we had a mini break in October... Here is what made me smile this week:

1) Walking to work

On some of the beautiful autumn days we have had its been wonderful walking to work over the River Kent:

River Kent

2) Fabulous photos

One of the great things about the Lakeland Trails is being photographed by awesome professional photographers! I even managed to look like I was enjoying myself:

3) Doggy Fun

Monday 28 October 2019

#RMRChallenge Lakeland Trails Dirty Double 2019

More than 10 months after I signed up for the Lakeland Trails Dirty Double, as part of my RMR Challenge, it was finally race weekend! The forecast was dire for Saturday and we set off up towards the Kirkstone Pass with no views due to the clouds. Luckily when we reached Glenridding it was dry and just a bit grey:

Lakeland Trails Dirty Double

Day 1: Helvellyn 5k/10k

We registered for our respective races (10k for me 5k for him) and then just had to try to keep warm until our starts:

Lakeland Trails Dirty Double

My race set off at 11 AM and I tried to make sure I didn't get carried away by the fast start as we headed out through Glenridding. We passed the 5k turning point and headed up towards Helvellyn and the Youth Hostel:

Thursday 24 October 2019

West Midlands Safari Park

Whilst we were away with Single with Kids the group booked to go to West Midlands Safari Park. By booking online a day before we saved quite a bit of money. With it not being half term in Worcestershire we were pleasantly surprised that the park was all set up for its Spooky Halloween spectacular with lots of scarecrows:

West Midlands Safari Park scarecrow
The first living creature we encountered was a penguin. It's amazing how long boys aged 9-12 spent watching it swimming around the pool:

West Midlands Safari Park penguin

Most of us then visited the rather smelly bats! It did make us duck when they swooped down low over our heads in the dark... The boys were all fascinated by the reptiles too:

Wednesday 16 October 2019

Manchester Half Marathon #McrHalf

I was up far too early on Sunday morning (5AM!) to get to Manchester in plenty of time for the half marathon. However I was boosted by knowing that I was running for YoungMinds. It was still dark when we had walked to the start area near Old Trafford:

Manchester half marathon

With my family, I joined plenty of other runners in the local Costa for one last drink before the race. At this point my race nerves kicked in so I headed to my start pen way ahead of time! This gave me a chance to chat to other runners and even share a mutual birthday hug with another participant, We were all well covered up due to the classic Manchester weather:

Manchester half marathon

Manchester half marathon

The event started in waves, so being in Pen F we had over half an hour to wait before it was our turn to set off round the streets of Manchester. The first few kilometres were a loop towards the city centre and then back again to the start area - and my first glimpse of my family. Despite doing my best to go off too fast I soon realised I was far too close to the 2:15 pacer and managed to ease off a bit as we headed down the A56 towards Sale:

Tuesday 8 October 2019

Love Barrow 10k Race

So as the final push for my Manchester half training I took part in the inaugural Love Barrow 10k road race. Before our race there was a mental health mile for all ages an abilities:

Love Barrow mental health mile

Then it was time for those of us mad enough to run 10k to warm up and line up at the start. Some guys from Barrow Amateur Boxing Club decided we needed a team selfie before we ran out through the shopping centre and out towards the park:

Love Barrow 10k

We then undertook a zig zag course with plenty of undulations through the park:

Saturday 5 October 2019

Reasons to be Cheerful: Sharing the happiness via YouTube #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart 

It's Saturday so its Reasons to be Cheerful. Amongst other things making me cheerful this week is the fact my cold is almost gone - nothing quite like a snotty nose to make you miserable! Otherwise there are some other things that have made me smile this week:

1) Making others happy

The final video from last weekend finally went up and I managed to get some great photos from it which show how much other people appreciate my filming:

Just so glad the final race footage is some of my best yet:

2) Walking to work

Being able to walk to and from work is one of the benefits of having a contract at a local school. Its not always as beautiful and sunny as this but I love it:

3) Being Creative

Another good thing about my current role is that I can have fun and get creative! We have been studying Earth and Space and made a model of our solar system using polystyrene balls that we painted to match the planets:

Friday 4 October 2019

YoungMinds fighting for young people's mental health

I have decided that I need to let a charity benefit from my bonkers birthday idea of running the Manchester Half Marathon. I asked my children who I should support and my daughter immediately suggested YoungMinds:

As a family we know from personal experience what an impact mental health issues can have on young people and their families. We also know that the NHS does not have enough funding for its Child Adolescent Mental Health Services which means young people do not receive the help and support they need to get through tough times.

There I have set up a Just Giving page for the half marathon in aid of YoungMinds. My daughter and I also created birthday fundraisers on Facebook (her birthday is the day after mine!) and so far have raised £79 for the charity. 

Thursday 3 October 2019

CGP Study Guides

Affiliate Links

As a parent and tutor I am finding the CGP Study Guides invaluable. I am constantly adding to my collection as they provide clear and concise information which is readily understandable for students. The English language one provides practice questions too:

Students can easily use the workbooks to complete tests and consolidate their skills:

For Literature there are poetry study books which include the full texts with analysis:

Sunday 29 September 2019

Reasons to be Cheerful: Carnival and Cross Country #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart 

Life has just been so ram jammed that I am only just posting so sorry! Things may be changing over this linky so please watch this space... Meanwhile, despite still being full of cold, these are the things making me cheerful this week:

1) Kendal Torchlight Carnival
It was time for our annual Torchlight Carnival. We had a parade through our streets with lights, music and amazing costumes:

If you want to see more checkout the video:

2) Proud Mum

My daughter was taking part in the parade with her art group Space2Create. She had an amazing time escorting a model of Moby Dick and collecting money: 

3) Filming Cross Country

Saturday 21 September 2019

Reasons to be Cheerful: Glorious Cumbria #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart 

We had an impromptu camping trip on Friday night, had to make most of the weather, so I am once again posting in the evening. There has been plenty to make me smile this week:

1) A good training run

It was such a relief to get out and run my required 9 mile run on Sunday and enjoy virtually all of it! Not only that but a decent time bearing in mind it was rather hilly. Made for a big smile at the end of it:

It's just as well things are going well as its getting so close to race day that my number turned up this week:

2) Skiddaw

The impromptu camping trip meant that my view last night looked like this:


I really want to get up this mountain before this time next year!

3) Quality Time

Monday 16 September 2019

Great Westmorland Trail Race 2019

This weekend I had the pleasure of filming at the annual Great Westmorland Trail Race, sponsored by Sean Robinson. For the first time there was a Canicross event. There were 20 runners who had either 1 or 2 dogs. These dogs were of all shapes and sizes as well as a range of abilities. It made for an exciting race:

For some runners it seemed like a very serious event:

Great Westmorland Trail Canicross

There was also lots of friendly rivalry:

Saturday 14 September 2019

Reasons to be Cheerful: Mud, mud, glorious mud #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart 

Oops been so busy out filming that I haven't had a chance to post the host post this week! So very quickly here are some of the things that have made me smile this week:

1) Proud Mum

My son ran for his club in a road relay for the first time. He helped them move up 3 positions to finish in 11th place out of 37 teams. The video of his race is here.

2) Mud!

We had a lot of muddy fun at the County Show:

3) Arty Farty

Thursday 12 September 2019

Westmorland County Show 2019

I was lucky to be able to go to school today as a member of staff on a school trip. So lucky to get to go on a school day, but of course not able to enjoy it as much being responsible for children! It took us nearly an hour to get there in a coach due to the usual show congestion so once we got there we were raring to go...

First up we went in the Country Pursuits tent. My colleague beat a strategic retreat leaving me to be volunteered to hold this rather gorgeous owl:


The boys then voted to see the sheep so we headed through the mud to the sheep pens. An amazing variety of sheep breeds and good to get up close to some of them:

sheep at the Westmorland County Show

Then we wandered past the cattle tent before stopping to watch the carriage driving:

Saturday 7 September 2019

Reasons to be cheerful: Back to School #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart 

It's September which means back to school for many of us and the hosting of Reasons to be Cheerful comes back to me from Michelle! So glad that so many familiar faces are joining in and I look forward to reading and sharing your posts. I've just come back from an 8.5 mile run and the happy endorphins are flowing so here are just a few of the things that have made me smile this week:

1) House sorting

It is still a work in progress but lots of things have got better. I swapped a chest of drawers with a book case in my bedroom so my bed feels less enclosed. My dad fixed the Algot shelving in the cupboard of doom so I can be much more organised. We had a patch of damp in the lounge and this has now been fixed and patched up. Just have to decorate once all the works in the lounge have been done: 

plastered wall

2) Walking to work

I have missed my daily commute across the River Kent. It lifts the spirits taking in the water and sky:

View of River Kent from Romney Bridge, Kendal, Cumbria

3) Into Year 8

My son went back to school and he is now in Year 8. He had to stand one step down for the annual in front of the door photo as he has grown so much this year:

Tuesday 3 September 2019

#FitB4Fifty End of Summer Update


I have just realised that I haven't done an update on my Fit before 50 campaign since June when I started the Mediterranean diet! Since the school holidays started at the end of July my diet went back to being a lot less healthy and I've been away quite a bit so my weight crept back up so I am trying to get back on the healthier eating again with school starting back tomorrow.

I will be dusting off the Blood Sugar Diet book (affiliate link) again  I've already lost some of the holiday gain so hope that getting more veg and fish in my diet again like this will help:

Manchester Half Training 

Before going to Wales for a fortnight I had managed to increase my long run to 7.5 miles:

Monday 2 September 2019

Reasons to be Cheerful: End of Summer #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart 

I am joining in a bit late again this week with Michelle for her last hosting of the linky as its now September (so I need to be more organised to host!). The end of the summer holidays and preparing to go back to school is whizzing by really fast but I have plenty of reasons to be cheerful:

1) Parkrun milestone

I was very pleased to be able to capture the moment one of the Fell Foot parkrun stalwarts Conrad completed his 200th parkrun. Despite being in his 80s he is there almost every week and often tail walks. Well done Conrad and here's to the next 200:

Fell Foot parkrun milestone

2) Fun Night

My daughter's support group had its annual BBQ and we both had a brilliant evening. Lots of fun and games and she helped a new member to feel very welcome. I nearly got banned from Pictionary for being too quick to get it right (it did help that I was sober as driving!):


3) A-pen-dectomy

My printer hadn't been working since the great room reshuffle and I was beginning to think I would have to fork out for a new one! Luckily with my dad's help I managed to get the printer apart and then discovered that a biro had wedged in the feed mechanism. As my dad said I had to perform an a-pen-dectomy with the tweezers to get the pen out:

Wednesday 28 August 2019

Can you help my YouTube channel?

I have really enjoyed developing and improving my YouTube channel over the last 2 years. It has enabled me to make new friends and have an excuse to spend hours filming in beautiful locations! However, YouTube brought in some new rules just as my channel started to take off and I am no longer able to make any money for all the hard work it takes to edit the films.

So this is what I need from my loyal viewers:

  1. Please subscribe and get other folks to subscribe too - I need 747 more subscribers to hit the threshold!
  2. Keep watching and sharing the videos - the number of hours watched is another threshold that I need to achieve...
  3. If you enjoy what I do then please consider a small donation to help me cover my petrol costs and equipment. I will give you a shout out on my next film.
  4. Sponsor me - if you run a business then I can include your logo/web site in one of my videos and in the description.
  5. Buy a high quality still from the videos - for £2 I can offer you a still of your favourite moment in a recent race.

The next race I will be filming is the Great Westmorland Trail on September 7th. Here is a taste of last year's races:

So say hi if you see me as you run past and chuck a few pennies in my camera bag ;-)

Monday 26 August 2019

Grasmere Sports 2019

Far too early on a hot and sunny Bank Holiday Sunday my son and I rocked up to Grasmere for this year's Grasmere Sports:

Grasmere Sports 2019

For the third year running I was responsible for registering the fell running which is a perfect job for me as I know plenty of the runners!

Grasmere Sports 2019 fell race registration

Due to the high temperatures my son spent quite a bit of time with me in the registration zone but he also went out to compete in the long leap:

Saturday 24 August 2019

Reasons to be Cheerful: Single with Kids in Pembroke #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart 

We are just back from nearly 2 weeks of wonderful fun in Pembrokeshire with Single With Kids in time for plenty of reasons to be cheerful with Michelle! I will let the pictures do the talking. These are just some of the reasons that I ended up smiling so broadly:

Tenby castle beach

1) Stunning beaches

Broad Haven South beach

2) Dragon!