NaNoWriMo – No it isn’t some new Mork & Mindy spin off.

This month I have participated in NaNoWriMo.  No, it isn’t some new Mork & Mindy spin off, it is an annual novel writing project that brings together professional and amateur writers from all over the world to write 50,000 words during the month of November.  You can find out more about it here

The month is not quite over but I doubt I will get any further writing done in this time.  I didn’t make the 50,000 words, I didn’t even come close.  I did write 11,435 words and am rather pleased with myself for doing so.   Before NaNoWriMo I had an idea.  Now I feel like my novel is a tangible thing.  It is real.  It exists.  I now owe it to the characters I have created to finish it.  I can’t leave them all hanging in limbo.  I need to tell their story.

My goal is to have my full first draft completed by December next year.  I have already sent the draft to someone whose opinion I value and have been given the “thumbs up”.  That quite frankly made my heart skip a beat and I may or may not have possibly peed a little in my pants with excitement.

During this month of NaNoWriMo, I have learnt that I am a “Panster”.  I know that sounds like some kind of sleazy guy hanging out at a nightclub, but no, it is someone who writes without a well thought out plan.  It is someone who doesn’t spend many weeks beforehand fully developing their characters before they start telling their story.   A Panster sits down and writes, letting the story develop and take on a life of its own.

The little amount of planning I did do consisted of writing a list of the names of main characters, working out the beginning and working out the end.  I also had a vague idea of the personalities of each of my main characters, but not too much else.  Then I started writing.  As I wrote I had to give them all life and personality.  I had to build their family around them.    It was easier than I thought.  I was surprised.   I enjoyed writing and letting them take me on their journey rather than me creating them.  I liked the way they knew which way to go.  It was like they had their own journey already mapped out and I was merely the conduit to get them onto the page.

I surprised myself with how much I enjoyed writing once I got into the zone.  I have discovered I’m not someone who can just sit down and bash out a few hundred words in a spare ½ hour.  I really do need to get in the zone and write for blocks of a couple of hours at a time.  Given that I’m a Gemini, this could be why I also display some “non Pansterish” behaviour.

I am far from finished, in fact I’m probably not even half way through creating my characters, but I know that each one of them is already there, patiently waiting for me to let them out, one by one.

I hope that one day you all get to meet these people who I am going to be spending a lot of time with over the next 12 months.  I can’t wait to share them.


Posted in Writing | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

I’m not here

Because I’m posting over at here at The Secret Life of Bees.   While you are there check out some of Sass’ posts.  She is most excellent. 🙂

Thank you Sass for having me.  You are my first ever guest post opportunity 🙂

Posted in Motivation, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Old, Sad, Forgotten … Why?

“I am so lonely at night.  I have no one to talk to from the time I get home at 3.30 pm until I go out again the next day at 10.00 am.  The dark makes me sad.”

“My dog is my only company and he’s getting old and his hips are very sore.  I might have to have him put down.  I am scared of being without him.  I will be totally alone then.”

“No one comes to visit me.  My daughter only calls me if she wants money.”

“I haven’t spoken to anyone for three days.”

These are real words spoken by real elderly people I have spoken to in the past week. They make me cry.  They make me scared to get old.

It seems the older a person becomes the less visible they are.  They are no longer deemed important once their bodies and minds start to fail and it appears they no longer have anything to offer the mainstream world.

I know I am generalising because I do know many people who love and cherish their older relatives and take extremely good care of them, however I do know that too many people don’t.

I spend a lot of time with elderly people due to the care I provide for my Mother in Law each week and regular visits with her 70 year old brother and cousin.  The more time I spend with them the more I realise that, whilst their bodies are frail and their minds are failing them, inside is still a human being who hasn’t forgotten what it is like to love, laugh and cry.  Sadly many of them have more cause to cry than they have to love and laugh.

I fear as a society we tend to write off old people as “past their use by date”.   Would you ask the opinion of a 75 year old woman on a social issue pertinent to something going on today?  Whilst they are often thought of as “old fashioned” what we tend to forget is they have seen the world change more than any other generation of people who have ever lived. Think about what Australia was like in the 1930’s and 1940’s and think about it now.  Wow. How valuable are their stories and perspectives?  Incredibly important I think.

Sadly, we treat their views as “what would they know, things are different now, old people are always whining about the good old days”.  We discard them along with all the other things we throw away when they are no longer “in vogue”. Once upon a time we made our stuff last a lifetime.  We looked after our belongings, we treasured them.  Everything could be mended and fixed, many times over.  We didn’t throw things away.  If something broke it might be fashioned into something else, or it was kept in the shed “just in case”.   Nothing was discarded.

In previous times our elderly were also better taken care of.  Families seemed to have more time to spend with their parents and grandparents.  Family outings included all generations.  In many cases up to three generations lived in the same home.   The elderly were called upon to impart advice, provide assistance with rearing of children, help with cooking and mending. They were included.   They had a purpose.  They weren’t discarded.

A conversation with an elderly person is something special.  They know about things we couldn’t even imagine.  They lived in a time that we would struggle to survive in now (although many of us do yearn for simpler times).  Many of them had very tough upbringings.  Often kids worked from age ten.  They supported their family.  They didn’t get a part time job so they could save to go on an overseas holiday or buy a car or just party with mates.  No, they worked part time and sometimes full time and gave the money they earned to their father or mother and it was used to buy groceries or pay bills.  That’s just how things were.  They still had dreams and hopes like we all do.  Success meant falling in love, working hard and owning a home, having a family and to be happy.  Sure they measured success differently, but sometimes when I look at the world today, I think perhaps they were a bit more on the money than we are.

To hear them tell of meeting the love of their life and to see their tired pale eyes suddenly sparkle again for a moment is beautiful.  To feel the sadness of the loss they still feel when love left them is heart wrenching.  Things were different, love was different, yet it still had the ability to make them soar with happiness and crash with despair – just like it does today. Love 100 years ago, 50 years ago, 20 years ago, 5 years ago still comes with the exact same feelings.

When was the last time you sat down and talked to an elderly person?   Not chit chat about the weather and their latest ailments, but really asked them important questions about their life.  Of course they will want to tell you about their arthritis and sore back and ingrown toenails, that’s what they do, but underneath that is world of stories that will make you laugh and make you cry.  You just have to take the time to ask and listen.   Once they start it is hard to stop them – they literally go back on the journey with you – it truly makes their day and it will make yours too.

So next time you see your granny or grandpa or the old lady next door, sit down with them and really talk to them.  You will be surprised how long it’s been since someone really wanted to talk to them about them and their life and what matters to them.

Also, do you have any elderly people in your street?  Do you know them?  Do you know their names?  Do they have regular visits from family and friends?  Do you not have any idea?  So many elderly people live alone without regular visits from family and friends. Most often the only person they see each day is the Meals on Wheels volunteer.  Next time you see an elderly person, smile and say hello.  Help them if they are struggling.  You could be the only person they have spoken to all day.  You will most likely make their day.

Christmas is coming up, quite often the loneliest time of the year for many of our elderly. Is there something you can do to make one elderly person’s Christmas a little bit sweeter?

Posted in Family, Volunteering | Tagged , , , , | 43 Comments

I Don’t think I’m a Fail Whale

My apologies to the loyal blog readers I have here.  I have been rather uninspired of late and my poor blog and readers have been sadly neglected.   I will endeavour to put an end to the neglect.

Unfortunately my first post back is not what I had in mind.  I am going to have a bit of a rant, but in the nicest possible way.  I’m not a person who likes to incite agitation in people nor do I want to start any confrontation, but something made me really sad last night and I want the chance to give my point of view.

On Sunday night I signed up for Shutdown Communication.  Basically you make a donation and take a day out from social networking to show your support for Autism.  Now I am going to be honest here and say I didn’t read what the premise of the shutdown was all about.  I knew the cause was Autism and I figured not communicating was a correlation with autism.  I didn’t really delve into it.  I didn’t need to.  I donated my money to a great cause and took a day out from twitter to write some reports.   For me it was as simple as that.

Does this attitude make me a bad person?  Am a any less the person I was on Sunday morning?  Does the fact that I came back online after 23 hours offline mean I don’t care about autism or that I’m not committed to the cause?  I certainly didn’t think so, or that was how I felt until I came back to Twitter.

I signed on and saw a tweet about rather than shutting down we should talk about Autism and I thought this made sense so I RT’d it.  I then thought I’d catch up on the day and see what I might have missed out on.  This was a mistake.  Reading some of the tweets made me feel like I was a really bad person.  I felt like I was being disrespectful to all those with autism and all those who have a child with autism.  All because I made a donation and stayed off Twitter.  I went to bed last night with a heavy heart and in some ways beating myself up a bit about it.  I’m like that.  I started to wonder if perhaps I am not a good person and as kind and generous as perhaps I think I am.

This morning I woke up feeling annoyed.  I was annoyed that I let myself go to sleep feeling so down on myself and annoyed that so much judgement was being made on, what I think was, a very clever fundraiser.  I can honestly say that I probably wouldn’t have donated any money to autism this year because it is not something I am constantly exposed to.  The fact this campaign drew me and many others in is fantastic.   Does this mean I’m not a charitable person?  Maybe to those who don’t know me and to those who are heavily involved in Autism charities I could appear to be.  I’m not.

Here’s why.

Whilst autism does not affect me or my family directly, I do have a really close friend who it affects.  My best friend of 43 years, who lives in another state, has an autistic little boy.  She goes through so much with him and her life is definitely more difficult than mine.  While I am not actively involved in any Autism charities, I will donate or go to a lunch if it appears on my radar.  She is amazing, her little boy is amazing and all the mums and autistic children out there are amazing.

I have a mother in law with Alzheimers.  This dreadful disease impacts heavily on our family.  Her life is a living hell.  We all take turns in caring for her – it impacts us all.  I’m quite sure none of us have donated to any Alzheimer causes.  If someone called us or turned up on the doorstep or if Twitter had a fundraiser I would most definitely donate/particpate.   Am I a bad person because I don’t actively seek out this cause that directly affects my family?

I have many friends with breast cancer. One beautiful girl with 2 boys the same age as mine is not going to survive.  She is dying.  I donate a lot to breast cancer because they are highly visible and whenever I am asked I donate.   Does this mean I place more importance on this charity rather than Alzheimers or Autism?

I am heavily involved in homeless causes.  I volunteer 3 full days per year for Homeless Connect.  I  volunteer my time regularly to MC functions hosted by the Lady Mayoress for Brisbane’s Youth in Need.  I don’t personally have any relatives or friends who are homeless, but these people move me.  They are often the forgotten ones.  I give up a lot of my time and am generous in my cash donations to these causes.   Many homeless charities are not on anyone’s radar and badly need funds.  I am passionate about these charities.  Not everyone is.  Does this mean I think you are not a good person or have your priorities wrong because you don’t do as much as I do here?

I was sexually abused as a young child.  There are many causes out there to help raise awareness and much needed funds to provide help and support.  I donate whenever I can to different charities that come up on my radar.  I don’t actively seek out these charities.   Does this make me a hypocrite?  Should my past experiences make me a champion for all child abuse causes?

My youngest son was heavily into drugs for 12 months.  We are still walking this tightrope. I don’t volunteer or donate to Drug Arm, however if I was asked to buy a ticket or donate I would.  Does this make me a bad person because I don’t commit more to this charity?

Every year Mike and I, or sometimes just Mike, volunteer to take school boys out for the Red Shield Appeal door knock.  This is half a day of our time.  At Christmas we deliver Salvation Army Christmas presents and hampers to families doing it tough.  Another half day out of our time.  Do I think people who don’t do this are not as charitable as I am?

I donate money regularly to RSPCA, Project 18, Children’s Oncology Unit, Surf Lifesaving, Boystown, Royal Children’s Hospital and any others that come up on my radar.  If you can’t afford to donate money do I think you care any less than I do?

My answer to all those questions is an emphatic NO.  We all do what we can, when we can. I can’t always afford to donate, this year has been particularly tough for us financially so my donations are not as much as usual.  Doesn’t mean I don’t understand the great work all these charities do.  Doesn’t mean I don’t care about the people who benefit from my donations.

What I am trying to say is that all charitable causes are magnificent.  They raise much needed finances to help support people who are generally doing it tough.  Whether that be through illness, abuse, drugs or homelessness.  How they raise this money and awareness I don’t believe should be the subject of heated and at times hateful discussion.  Shouldn’t the discussion be about how great it is that the cause has some exposure and they are raising some much needed funds?   Charities are constantly looking for ways to draw people in, get people involved.  Does it really matter that the shutdown doesn’t fully sit with how Autism affects people?   It got people talking, writing lovely posts and donating money.  I personally don’t see the problem with that.   To draw an analogy, how does “shave for a cure” help people with Leukaemia?  It has been a highly successful campaign that encourages people to shave their heads in support for people with Leukaemia.  Could this be seen as mocking those who are undergoing such horrendous treatments?  Shaving our head is quite meaningless – we aren’t enduring the pain and suffering these people are.  In a way we are making fun of something they don’t choose to do?  Well that is how it could look if you care to analyse it so deeply.   But we don’t, why would we.  It’s all about raising funds and awareness.  Just the same as yesterday’s shutdown.

Let’s just say FANTASTIC WORK to anyone who has the passion, time and know how to start a campaign that raises awareness and brings in funds.   That is what it is all about. Nothing more, nothing less.

I haven’t written this for anyone to attack me, or to tell me how fantastic I am because I help out.  I have written it because life is short and rather than judging people for something like this, can’t we all just accept that we all do things differently, have different views and have different reasons to support them, but essentially we are all good hearted and kind of spirit?   Well that’s what I would like to believe anyway.

Posted in Uncategorized | 38 Comments

C25K Week 3 Run 2 – in Darwin

I thought going away for work would throw a spanner in the works with my C25K running program, but it wasn’t quite as bad as I thought.  I was able to get away from work early and do a run along the waterfront and wharf precinct of Darwin.

Darwin Waterfront Precinct – Photo Credit

I started out feeling great, the location was spectacular and the walk was really pleasant, then the first run rolled around … those 90 seconds running nearly killed me!  I admit that this was probably because I hadn’t run since last Friday.  I took the 90 second walk to recover before the 3 minute run.  OMG I had to fight with everything inside me to keep running. The humidity was oppressive and my legs were burning, as this was my first run on bitumen.  All runs have either been on a grass running track or a treadmill.   I managed to run the 2 sets of 90 seconds and the 2 sets of 3 minutes, but it was hard, damn hard!

During the 5 minute cool down walk it really made me think about how different terrains and climates can impact on fitness levels.  Not being a seasoned runner I hadn’t given this much thought before.

Running on a treadmill seems to be the easiest option.  Usually a controlled climate, no temperature fluctuations from one run to the next and the ability to control inclines manually.  Running on a flat grass running track is harder than the treadmill mainly due to the varying temperatures.  I find if the air is a little cooler the run is more comfortable, yet when humidity & heat are high I struggle.  Most difficult is road/street running.  So much less control, particularly with terrain.  I think road running is going to give me the better work out, however it may be the least kind on my knees.

The week before I left for Darwin I decided I was going to do all my runs at the gym – I have now changed my mind.  Whilst the treadmill is the best option for my knees, it is also the easiest option.  It’s time I ramped this exercise and healthy eating gig up and actually take it seriously and stop taking the easy way out.  That old saying, “if you keep doing the same things you will keep getting the same results” is just so true.  Therefore I have decided that I will mix my running venues up a little ensuring that at least one run per week is a road run.

Tomorrow I will be running and hoping to do a road run.  If the wind hasn’t died down, I may head to the gym, because let’s face it, a run is a run and a run on the treadmill sure beats not going at all.  Am I taking the easy way out?  Maybe.  I’m still working on it. Really I am.

Before I finish, I have to say a huge CONGRATULATIONS to the lovely Shelley at My Shoebox Life who has successfully finished her C25K program.  Shelly was/is my inspiration to starting this journey to fitness again.  Shelley has been amazing and I am going to miss her running posts.

Posted in C25K, Healthy Living, Motivation | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

C25K Week 3 Run 1 – Finally … and smug!

Week 3 consists of 5 minutes walking, 90 seconds running, 90 seconds walking, 3 minutes running, 3 minutes walking, 90 seconds running, 90 seconds walking 3 minutes running, 5 minutes walking.  Let me tell you those 3 minutes of running (without a break) have scared me silly.

My apologies for taking so long to get another post up.  I could say I’ve been busy and yada yada yada, but I would be lying.  Truth is I have kind of been a bit slack with the running.

It all started on Sunday when I really just couldn’t be bothered, the day wore on and it was nagging in the back of my mind, but I just didn’t have the motivation to do it.  I also think I was a bit scared of the fact that I was going to have to run for 3 minutes straight, you know, without a break!  Running 90 seconds has been a killer – this will be twice as long as I’ve run so far – without a break!  I was sure Robert Ullrey had made a mistake on his podcast, but it appeared not.   To cut a long story short – I didn’t go.  I felt like I’d let myself down, my blog readers, my Twitter friends – I felt very slack.

Monday came, no run.  Tuesday, no run.  Wednesday, no run … until 7.00 pm when I decided I would go to the gym and get my run done.  I had to do it, it was making me feel all churned up inside.   I decided I could do the 3 minutes of running, that’s 3 minutes running straight without a break, and was pumped.  I got to the gym turned on my iPod and realised I only had Weeks 1 and 2 downloaded.  Nothing else to do but do week 2 again. It was relatively comfortable because I’d psyched myself up for a longer run.  I also put the incline up to 1 for some added adventure!

This morning I decided to run early as I have a busy day ahead.  I dropped my son to work and stopped at the gym.  I am running at the gym due to dreadful weather here in Brisbane.  I have decided that I won’t be using weather as an excuse – ever.   Also there is a gym bonus – facilities are very handy and clean!

I am happy to report that I made the run and still felt like I could have done another set of 90 seconds and 3 minutes.  I did have the incline set at zero today – just in case.  On Sunday I will try this run on incline 1 – soon I’ll be an extreme runner!

So, now I am sitting at my desk, showered, exercised and organised for my day.  I feel so smug.  And good.

I’m loving that so many of my readers are also doing the C25K and love hearing how you are going.  If you are blogging about it too, leave me your link so I can visit your blog and encourage you the way you are encouraging me.   Thanks everyone, without my blog and Twitter I know I’d be slacking off permanently now.

Posted in C25K, Healthy Living, Motivation | Tagged , , , , , , | 11 Comments

C25K Runs 5 & 6

Late this afternoon I completed run 6. This means on Sunday I start a new week. I don’t know how far I will be running because I don’t like to look until the day, that way I can’t stress out about it. I’m thinking it will be 2 minute runs. Currently doing 90 seconds and, can I just say, I never knew 90 seconds to take such a long time to pass!!

I don’t really like this running business much, but I definitely do love the feeling after I’m finished. I find that the whole way through the 30 minutes I am fighting a mental war with myself. It goes a bit like this:

“My legs hurt, I might just walk today.”

“No I have to run, I can’t come back and blog that I quit.”

“This run is killing me, I don’t think I can do 5 more of these. I’ll stop half way.”

“Ok I’ve done 2 runs, next one is half way, I think I can make it.”

“Oh my calves are burning and I think I’m getting a stomach ache. I don’t think I can keep going. Hurry up and say walk again, please.”

“I think I can go another run, my stomach doesn’t hurt any more.”

“OMG when is he going to say walk again, my legs are going to fall off. Why am I doing this to myself? It’s too hard.”

“Ok, I’ve only got two more runs to go, this is great. I can make it. Woo hoo.”

“Why do my calves burn so much? Does this happen to others people? Maybe it is because I am so old? How am I going to run for 30 minutes? It will never happen. For Christ sake tell me to stop running, I need to walk NOW.”

“Yes, almost there, I’ve go one more run to do. I can do it. I’ll walk this way so when I start running it will be all downhill which will make it a bit easier. My legs are dying.”

“Crap, that 2 minute walk went too fast, my legs are not wanting to move. I’m glad it’s dark because I’m shuffling along like Cliff Young and I don’t want anyone to see me. Oh crap, where is the dog? It’s dark and can’t see him. I’ll have to keep running and find him when I’m done. Far out this hurts, please say stop, I am dying here.”

“Thank goodness I am finished. Woo hoo I did it. I’m becoming a runner. Where the hell is the dog? Sammy where are you?? Let’s go home. Come on, I can’t walk any further to find you. There you are, come on get up, I can’t carry you to the car, my legs can barely carry me!”

At least the last two runs have been toilet free. I seem to have worked out a routine (for now).

Will there ever be a time I don’t wage this mental war with myself or is this, like the toilet stuff, just a part of the running process?

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So, who’s your Crush?

Let’s talk about “girl crushes”.   Not the kind of crush a boy has on a girl or one a girl who likes girls has on a girl, but a good old fashioned admiration of someone who you wish could be your best friend.  Your “girl crush”.

The definition of “girl crush” in the Urban Dictionary is:

“Feelings of admiration and adoration which a girl has for another girl, without wanting to shag said girl.  A nonsexual attraction, usually based on veneration at some level.”

I think this sums it up pretty well for me.  I have a few celebrity girl crushes, some which I’ve had for years and some which are new.

Yesterday I saw some gorgeous photos of our Kylie (actually I’m going to creepily call her “my” Kylie) at the Milan Fashion Week which the lovely @sassisam posted on her blog here. Isn’t she gorgeous?  She is my quintessential “girl crush”.   She seems to get more beautiful as she gets older.

One of my other long time girl crushes is Jennifer Aniston, however as time goes on my crush on her is waning.  I also have a girl crush on our very own Kerri-Anne Kennerley. Don’t judge me sisters.  I think she’s just lovely and she’s still working it and owning it and I love that.

Some of the most popular girl crushes are:

Angelina Jolie

Jennifer Aniston

Jessica Alba

Michelle Obama

Kate Winslett

January Jones

Taylor Swift

All this thinking about “girl crushes” also got me wondering whether or not men have “man crushes”?  I’ve never heard a man say “I love him, he’s amazing” or “I have such a man crush on him”.   Not in blokey, heterosexual circles anyway.   The blokey heterosexual man would no more say that than wear a man pearl, unless of course he lives in Broome where man pearls are all the go, I believe.

Now whilst your average man doesn’t openly admit to having a “man crush” I am guessing that some or most men do indeed have secret “man crushes”.   You can tell when your man has a “man crush” because he is likely to start acting like his crush or dressing in a similar way.

Bear Grylls The Adventurer Bloke’s Man Crush

Type of man: A real blokey bloke who is keen on adventure, bit of a hunter, loves a knife (any weapon really), enjoys getting down and dirty and not afraid of blood or a dead animal carcass.     Bear is everything this man would want to be.

Signs: If your man starts coming home with dirt over his face, blood around his mouth or he starts picking up the cat and trying to bite a chunk out of her side, he could very well have a crush on Bear.

Jamie Oliver The Chef Bloke’s Man Crush

Type of Man: A professional, possibly an accountant or a lawyer, who fancies himself as a bit of gourmet in the kitchen.  He likes to make a bit of a mess while he cooks and doesn’t measure any ingredients.  Although he likes cooking, he doesn’t really like “women’s work” and therefore won’t clean up his mess.  He also loves to drink and swear with his mates.

Signs:  If your man starts talking with a bit of a lisp, takes an unnatural interest in the kids lunch boxes as well as their friends’ lunch boxes or starts calling your children Poppy Honey and Petal Blossom he could be having a “man crush” on Jamie.

Don Draper (aka Jon Hamm) – The “Would be Player’s” Man Crush

Type of Man: Fancies himself a little (ok a lot),  is very careful with his appearance and likes to make an effort, rarely gets dirty (unless sweating it up in a workout at the gym) and is likely to work in advertising, real estate or property development.

Signs:  If he buys a Fedora and insists on wearing it to work, takes up smoking and starts staring at you with his head to the side and eyes half closed and a tiny smirk on his face I’d say he’s got the “man crush” on Don.

Hugh Jackman – The all round Aussie Good Guy’s Man Crush

Type of man: Good looking, loves sport, sexy mover (likes to dance), up beat, funny, everyone’s mate, great dad and mostly a nice husband.  The kind of guy every girl wants her husband to be like.

Signs: He starts growing long sideburns and sticky taping blades to his fingers, ok … maybe that’s a bit on the extreme side – but it would be funny.  He keeps breaking out into dance moves whenever he hears music or drinks Iced Tea.  Ok a bit OTT?  Truth is I have nothing here.   But if your man starts doing any of those things or belting out a bit of “Boy From Oz” at random moments, he could have a man crush on Hugh.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

And finally …

Mark Webber Formula One Driver – The Rev Head’s Man Crush

Type of Man: Loves cars, loves Bathurst, loves Formula 1, loves the smell of petrol, loves cleaning his car, drools over cars as he’s driving along, hyperventilates if he sees a Lamborghini or a Ferrari and will often (almost always) put his car before his woman.

Signs: Refer to paragraph above and add an unhealthy love of Red Bull, helmets and leather racing gear and I’d say your man is loving his “man crush” Mark.

Do you think your man has a “man crush”?  If so, who?

Do you have a “girl crush”?  Who is it?

Photo Credits where possible:

Man Pearl Picture from
Bear Grylls Picture from Discovery Channel

Posted in Friendship | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

C25K Run 4 – Completed

I will preface this post with a Poo warning. If you do not like poo discussions it would be best to move along, there is nothing to see here.

This afternoon I moved onto my 2nd week of the C25K Running Program. Week 2 consists of a 5 minute warm up walk then 6 x 90 second runs with 2 minute walks in between and finishing up with a 5 minute walk to cool down.

I started off well and managed the first 90 seconds better than I thought. Unfortunately as I was doing the 2 minute walk I had a pain in my stomach. That all too familiar uncomfortable feeling that you don’t really want to get whilst out running. I pushed on for another 2 runs and decided that if I didn’t do something I was going to “do” something!

Across the road from the school I run at, there is a park with a public facility. Gross I know, however the alternative was grosser. I grabbed the dog and hoisted his rather large arse over the fence then mine followed and we ran to the “facility”.

Let me set the scene – a metal toilet bowl, no seat, thankfully loads of paper, no lock on door and a dog. Fortunately or unfortunately I have no choice but to use it. In the past when I have had to use such “facilities” I don’t put anything on the floor and I hate touching anything. This is the first time I’ve taken the dog with me. I’m trying to not touch things, however I have had to put his lead on the floor and I start stressing out about that. Meanwhile he decides to lie on the floor, stretched out as far as he can and then he gets up and drags his lead all over the rest of the floor and lies down again. Disgusting. All the while I’m watching the door, which is so far away that I can’t put my foot on it, whilst squatting and not touching anything, to stop someone opening it. Thankfully no one did.  I had to pick up the dog lead which I washed under the cold tap with no soap – euwww.

You can all safely assume the dog has not had any cuddles tonight and his lead is soaking in Pine O Clean.  He is booked in for a bath tomorrow.

I resumed running and finished off my run feeling rather good. As I was walking back home I remembered why I have never liked running much. It is because of the whole toilet thing, whenever I run I need to go to the toilet – it’s better than Metamucil. I can’t run early in the morning because if I haven’t done my morning routine, I get caught out. If I run after a meal same deal. Today I ran at 4.45 pm – far enough away from any meal to matter, my morning routine had been completed and yet still it happened.

I know this isn’t a great subject, but does this happen to everyone? I’ve always thought there is something wrong with me because of this, but on my last post Lucy and Shelley did mention this can be an issue for them too. It made me feel somewhat better, which is why I thought I’d blog about it tonite.

So, what I’d really like to know is how do you deal with the problem and does it ever go away or do I always need to make sure I run near a “facility”?

Posted in C25K, Healthy Living, Motivation | Tagged , , , , , | 17 Comments

C25K Run 3 Done & Dusted

Today I really struggled to get the motivation to actually go for my run. As one does these days, I reached out to Twitter and the motivation was sent my way, in spades. My lovely Tweets cheering me on, giving me enough inspiration and motivation to get up and go.

I made it again – the whole 8 x 60 second runs. Woo hoo! I started out well. The first 2 runs were good, but by the third run I remembered that I forgot to go to the bathroom before I left home. This made the 3rd, 4th & 5th run a bit stressful. By the 6th run I’d lost count and still thought I was on the 5th run, so spent the next run wondering what run I was up to. The great news is I had actually run more than I thought so what I thought was going to be my second last run was actually my last. That was a bonus.

Doggy came with me, but was still limping a little from the last run. Clearly he is a little bit soft and needs to harden up. He is lying under my desk exhausted. I think the C25K is going to be harder on him than me!!

I’m not loving running yet – not even liking it – maybe next week I will feel differently. I am however, loving the afterglow of exercise. Such a nice feeling as those endorphins wind their way through my body. Even if I never really enjoy the run, I had forgotten how nice it feels afterwards. It has been far too long.

Next run Sunday.

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