Monday Motivation

So, is anyone suffering from Christmas fatigue yet? No? Good! Me neither! :P

All of my Christmas cards have been posted, gifts all wrapped and packed, the house fully decorated – even down to the Christmas bedding (washed with Winter Spice scented fabric softener, no less)! I’m thoroughly enjoying it!

We’ve has the first winter ice, which is always a danger when you’re as bambi-esque as I am at the best of times, with no sense of balance. Fortunately, it’s melted again for now, and we’re back to rain.

At this time of year, though, it can be easy to become caught up in the commercialism and spend, spend, spend – and to try to keep up with the excesses of the season with parties and events. But, despite my love for the season, I still try to remember that some things are much more important; and that spending quality time with loved ones is the best way to celebrate. This Maya Angelou quote can be interpreted in many ways, but it resonates in this context for me at the moment:

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Have a wonderful week- and don’t get too caught up in everything.

Monday Motivation

Hello!
I’ve had a very festive weekend at the Children’s Classics Christmas concert, a lovely meal out and some fantastic family time.
And, equally as good, I have a week’s holiday! Woop woop!
Today has been a busy day of wrapping and finalising all of my Christmas gifts.
Have any of you been Santa Dashing this weekend? I’d love to have taken part. Maybe next year :)
Here’s a little motivation while I get back to Christmas movies…

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Which film tonight, then?

I Moustache You a Question

A little bit of mid-week fun today as I link up with Allison, the Running Princess who invited me to join in and share a little bit about myself.

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Four names other people call me other than my real name

Only four? Ok then….

  1. When I’m in trouble, I’m called by my proper first name, which is Jayne Frances. My grandma, gran and occasionally my parents call me by my proper name too. The last time I used it myself was on my wedding day :)
  2. My friends from childhood, my siblings and other family call me Jaynie. It’s also what I call myself, and what I think of as ‘me’.
  3. For some reason, I’ve always been Jayne at work. No idea why, I just am!
  4. Of course, my alter ego is TartanJogger :)

Four jobs I’ve had

I’ve only ever worked for four different companies – I’m pretty loyal.

  1. While at Uni I worked part time for Homebase, the DIY store. After graduating, I did their management training programme and was later a DIY Manager. Want to know how to plumb in a washing machine or wire a light fitting? I’m your girl :)
  2. I was a Branch Manager for Phones4U for a very short period of time. While I could sell, sell, sell no problem, it wasn’t the kind of company I wanted to work for, I didn’t share its ethics (or lack of them).
  3. I worked for Barnardo’s, which I loved: I had a great team of staff, and many fabulous volunteers. I often miss it, it was also lots of fun!
  4. Now, I work for a local authority, and really enjoy my job – though it’s very demanding and can be stressful. I get to drive around the most gorgeous part of the country – with a coastline longer than France – and I have hundreds of fantastic staff. I couldn’t do it without the Dream Team ;)

Four movies I’ve watched more than once

  1. Dead Poets Society. I love this Robin Williams classic. It was released when I was at the same age as the characters, and I was also in love with poetry and literature. Oh, Captain, my Captain.
  2. Terminator 2. I remember being blown away by the special effects when this was released. I went on the T2 ride at Universal Studios not longer after it opened, and my sister thought it was real……. yes, really. She did………
  3. Harry Potter. What’s not to love. I’m including all eight films here. There’s nothing better than a HP marathon!
  4. The Polar Express. This was a difficult one – I could have picked any Christmas movie, as I watch them every year: Elf, Miracle on 34th Street, Santa Claus: the Movie, The Snowman, etc. I also love the TV Channel Christmas 24! But the Polar Express contains a really important message, which I love. And I can still hear the bell ringing.

Four books I recommend

Where do I start? I’m a bookworm, so this is tough!

  1. The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald. To me, it’s perfection. Decadence, tragedy, shallowness, depth, the American Dream – this book led me to study 20th Century American Literature at Uni. I re-read it often, and love its symbolism
  2. The House on Pooh Corner by AA Milne. Not only a childhood favourite – it contains so many nuggets of wisdom throughout. I even have a version in Latin!
  3. A Christmas Carol  by Charles Dickens. Marley was dead, to begin with. The greatest opening line, IMHO. I love Dicken’s imagery, descriptions and his cliffhanger episodic writing. Remarkable.
  4. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. I love her writing – and all of her books are wonderful. This one, though, is my favourite, for its tension and setting.

I can’t believe I haven’t even touched upon distopic fiction, horror novels or sci fi/fantasy fiction! :o

Four places I’ve lived

  1. My first home was a flat, in Dumbarton. They’ve just demolished these, which I’ve found quite upsetting! I have great memories from living there.
  2. My parents live in the house we then moved to, which was close to the flat – I clearly remember the day we moved in, when I was seven.
  3. My first flat, in Dumbarton East, was a tiny, one bedroom tenement, which I loved.
  4. My current home, in Tarbert, which has an open door to family and friends. We’ve been here for seven years now – how time flies!

Four places I’ve been

  1. Toronto, Canada. I’ve been twice, and I love it. @TheWelshWookie has never been, but we’re planning a visit for my ‘big birthday’ next year.
  2. Tenerife, Canary Islands. It’s where I met @TheWelshWookie, and we visit often. It’s a magical island.
  3. Madrid, Spain. I was blown away by how wonderful this city was – I’d love to visit here more often.
  4. Paris, France. I’ve been twice – both visits included a trip to DLP!

Four places I’d rather be right now

  1. Florida, specifically Disney World. I’ve been in December before, and I loved it.
  2. Capri, Italy. It’s a gorgeous, chic island and very relaxed.
  3. Tenerife. Nuff said.
  4. Portavadie. It’s only a short ferry journey away – but it’s a hidden piece of paradise.

Four of my favourite foods

  1. Brussel Sprouts. Roasted with some balsamic vinegar, or with some bacon and chopped nuts. Oh, my. Delish.
  2. Steak. You can’t beat one of Auntie Jayne’s fillets, cooked rare.
  3. Scallops. A little piece of heaven. Any seafood r fish is, really. Add some caviar and I’m there!
  4. Pizza. Life’s too short to not eat pizza!

Four things I don’t eat

  1. Tomatoes. I’d love to love ‘em, but I just don’t.
  2. Porridge. Even the smell of it makes me feel nauseous.
  3. Bananas. Yes,, I’m a runner, and I can’t stand bananas. Even the smell of the skin in the bin is awful!
  4. Kidneys. The worst thing is eating a steak pie, and realising that it’s a steak and kidney pie….. :(

Four tv shows I watch

  1. The Blacklist. It’s one of many dramas I love. James Spader is awesome. I love it.
  2. Game of Thrones. Peter Dinklage is absolutely wonderful in GoT. What a brilliant actor.
  3. The Newsroom. It’s another fantastic drama, with brilliant acting. I’m really sad that it’s in its final series, but I’m also glad it’s ending while brilliant.
  4. Pointless. It’s a bit of a guilty pleasure! We sky+ it every day and watch it in the evening!

Four things I’m looking forward to this year

Taking this to mean 2015 (after all, there’s not much of 2014 left):

  1. It’s a BIG birthday year for me in 2015, so I’m hoping that I’ll be having an epic year, with some wonderful challenges, so my birthday trip to Canada is definitely top of my list.
  2. I’m hoping to conquer a marathon, since I had to pull out this year.
  3. I’m also looking forward to family fun as usual – the Viking festival and the seafood festival will no doubt be highlights.
  4. I’m looking forward to building my fitness levels back to where they were a year ago – and shifting the 20lbs I’ve gained since we got married! :o

Four things I always say

  1. “Good Stuff” very annoying, no doubt!
  2. “Dream Team” referring to my colleagues at work – I’m not being condescending – I’m just being honest.
  3. I drive @TheWelshWookie nuts because I use “bring” and “take” interchangeably. He hates that!
  4. My nephews probably want to run a mile every time I ask for “kisses” when leaving, or if they’re heading to bed. I really have turned into the embarrassing old auntie!

What would your responses be? I’m going to tag Kyla, Scott, Unsporty and anyone else who’d like to join in.

Monday Motivation

This is supposed to be a running blog, and- well- I’m really conscious that I’ve neglected the running part recently. Oops!
I must try better- it’ll be another New Year’s resolution for me to break keep ;)
Are any of you wonderfully good runners or bloggers (or run-bloggers) planning an advent streak? Running streak, that is- not the other kind :P
I haven’t formally signed up for any, but I’m going to lace up my dusty trainers and do something each day. I’m choked with a cold (some excuse, huh?) so I’ll make a start on the treadmill tonight.
Go me!
Anyone care to join me?
It’s also AIDS Awareness Day, so I’ve been sporting my awareness pin in support of this important cause. It’s frustrating to think that 20+ years on from the AIDS awareness campaigns I remember that so many younger people are unaware of the risks that HIV and other STDs pose. One in four people diagnosed with HIV is under the age of 24. Get educating!

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Here’s my thought for this week:

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Have a wonderful week- let me know what you are up to!

I’m Banning Banter!

Originally posted on Mike Stuchbery:

I’m banning banter in my classroom.

Alright, alright! You can stop now! Stop throwing things! Sit down!

Look, lest you accuse me of lacking a sense of humour, let me establish my credentials: I was the kid in high school who called his school newspaper SYPHILIS, just so’s he could shout ‘Have you got Syphilis?‘ in the corridors. As a teacher, I like to think I continue to carry on as I begun, with impromptu games of Binball* and almost constant verbal sparring regarding my being an Aussie.

I’m no stranger to jokes. I adore ‘em. However, I loathe banter.

Great-BanterBanter is one of the things I’ve had a real time adjusting to in Britain, alongside insane rental costs and the tendency to deep-fry everything.

Banter, once a term that was used to signify ‘light-hearted joking, a gentle ribbing of a friend’, now seems to be a catch-all…

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Monday Motivation

Happy Monday Evening to you! Thanks for stopping by :)

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This weekend, @TheWelshWookie and I spent time at Portavadie Marina, one of our favourite places. Lucky us! We treated ourselves to lunch and a couple of cocktails, and had a lovely, relaxing time. We also had a sneak peek at the leisure facility – and it’s really coming along! Roll on next summer so that I can test out the pools, the gym and the treadmill ;)

Here’s a little something for your new week ahead:

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Have a good week!