Celebrating World Gin Day!

Celebrating World Gin Day!

I  mentioned yesterday that @TheWelshWookie and I had been to one of our very favourite places on Saturday: Portavadie Marina.

We were looking for any excuse, really, to take a trip on the new hybrid ferry, MV Lochinvar 😉 What better excuse than to go for lunch – and celebrate World Gin Day – at Portavadie!

The weather was absolutely beautiful: it was gloriously sunny as we strolled down to the ferry terminal. We popped into a few shops on the way, buying  bottle of white grape & elderflower presse for adding to gin later on in the evening.

The first thing we noticed about the new ferry was how quiet she was! The engine, being a hybrid, merely purred, making for such a pleasant journey. The interior lounge has much more seating than before, and there are two observation areas with seating on the upper decks. Impressive!

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We arrived at Portavadie, and walked around to the marina. We saw that construction is now under way on the leisure complex: I can’t wait until the pool and its facilities are built!

As we entered the restaurant, we were greeted by Chris, who’s service is always fantastic. We took a seat on the sofas while we perused the lunch menu, and ordered a Botanist gin each. Oh, my. It’s definitely my absolute favourite gin of the moment: it’s from Islay, which is much more famous for its whisky. We had a chat with Ian, the General Manager, and it was so great to hear of the future plans for Portavadie: it’s exciting times ahead!


When we were ready we were seated for lunch. Most of the other guests had opted to sit outside, but I much prefer to eat indoors (I’m weird, I know). I had the smoked haddock with mustard potato salad and pancetta crisp; @TheWelshWookie had Tarbert scallops with black pudding and roasted potatoes. Both were -ma-zing!

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Of course, we also had dessert. I had a white chocolate mousse with mini toffee apples and raspberry sorbet; @TheWookie had pineapple crumble with coconut ice cream. Yum.

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After taking a stroll around the marina, having a look in the shop (of course), we had another G&T before heading home on the ferry.

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We had a fabulous day, as ever!

Did you celebrate World Gin Day on Saturday? Do you prefer to eat indoors or outdoors?

Foody Friday!

Foody Friday!


Happy Friday! My Friday is all about packing- again! I’m really excited, as we’re doing the Perth Kilt Run tomorrow! It’ll be great, as I won’t be running alone, for a change!

For those who aren’t sure what the Kilt Run is, it’s a world record attempt to have the most kilted runners in one run. The current record holders are Perth, Canada!

The only other activity I have planned for today is some light reading….

Today’s stats:

Run: No, it’s a yoga and stretch day for me.

Time: 30 mins yoga, 15 mins NTC Shawn Johnson Stretch Guide

Most relaxing yoga track: some Groove Armada

Well, to round off another week, I thought I’d let you have a sneak peek into some of my good (and bad) eating habits this week.

In Dublin, I had a few naughty treats:

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We had dinner on Saturday night in Hard Rock Cafe, which is becoming a bit of a pre-race ritual!

We had:

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And I had the biggest dessert I’ve ever seen!

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While, back at home, I’ve tried to be good:

But, as usual, the vino is just too tempting!

Today’s Life Lesson:

Which yummy treats have you had this week?

Village Jogging

Village Jogging


I had planned to head out for an early run to beat the heat, but I’m afraid that the sun and the heat beat me to it!

Today’s stats:

Run: 7 mile ‘long’ run: definitely tapering now!

Time: 1:10:57 Given the heat, that’s Ok with me.

Trainers: LunarGlides

Weather: Sunny, hot, humid

First running track of the day: Jimmy Somerville- this reminds me of a teacher I had at school, who loved him!

As it is the Tarbert Traditional Boat Festival, I thought that the village would be busy, but it was much busier than I expected, for 9.30am! As I ran along the harbour, past the pontoons, there were lots of walkers, people heading for breakfast, walking dogs, enjoying the early morning sun. There were also lots of people setting up their stalls for the festival later today: the whole area was a hive of activity!

As I headed off of the path, and up onto Garvel Road, I managed to take this picture, and when you see it you wouldn’t know that the village was busy:



As I headed back toward the harbour for the second time, I saw that the pontoons had filled up with lots more traditional boats than there were on Thursday night when I was last down by the harbour.

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Last week I asked, is there always something going on in Tarbert? Definitely yes! 😀

There are loads of activities planned for the day, including climbing the greasy pole. The prize for the highest climber is a bottle of whisky: I’m not even sure I could do it with it still laying flat!


By the time I reached home I understood for the first time ever what is meant by the phrase ‘sweat pouring off you’. It was! But I’ve showered, rehydrated, and refuelled on some Thai red curry:


I hope you all have a good run today, and a fab weekend!

Today’s life lesson: jogging in and out of walkers, saunterers and cyclists is not a good look, when you have no co-ordination 😉

What’s your favourite food to refuel with?

Foody Friday

Foody Friday


It’s a balmy 29 degrees in Tarbert, and according to the forecast, the West coast of Scotland is set to be the hottest place in the UK this weekend!

Today’s stats:

Run: Fortunately not, it’s too hot for me to run today! It’s a yoga and stretch day for me.

Time: 30 mins yoga, 15 mins NTC Shawn Johnson Stretch Guide

Most relaxing yoga track:  Teardrop by Massive Attack. Love.

Well, to round off another week, I thought I’d let you have a sneak peek into some of my good (and bad) eating habits this week.

In London, I had a few naughty treats:

Lemon something-or-other Krispy Kreme donut
Lemon something-or-other Krispy Kreme donut

We had dinner on Sunday night in a place in Campden called Ay Caramba!


We had:

Nachos with chorizo
Nachos with chorizo
A pineapple & a raspberry mojito
A pineapple & a raspberry mojito

We also came across a wee shop selling mahoosive watermelons- I wish I could have taken some back home with me!


On Monday, we had a spot of lunch at Union Jack’s in Covent Garden:


Braised brisket, oxtail, horseradish & watercress pizza
Braised brisket, oxtail, horseradish & watercress pizza

While, back at home, I’ve tried to be good:

Sweet chilli drizzled salmon and salad
Sweet chilli drizzled salmon and salad
Nachos with low fat cheese, quorn pepperoni and jalapenos
Nachos with low fat cheese, quorn pepperoni and jalapenos
Wholewheat tortilla pizza with quorn pepperoni, low fat cheese, red onion, peppers, chilli flakes and balsamic vinegar
Wholewheat tortilla pizza with quorn pepperoni, low fat cheese, red onion, peppers, chilli flakes and balsamic vinegar
wholewheat tortilla pizza with salady stuff
wholewheat tortilla pizza with salady stuff
Total Greek yoghurt with melon, pineapple, grapes, chia and flax
Total Greek yoghurt with melon, pineapple, grapes, chia and flax

But I haven’t always succeeded……

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Today’s Life Lesson: double-check your text before you accidentally send it to the wrong person….

Which yummy treats have you had this week?

Tarbert Seafood Festival Weekend: Part 2

Tarbert Seafood Festival Weekend: Part 2


Well, I’ve had a fantastic weekend at Tarbert Seafood Festival, along with family: it’s been really busy, really fun, and filled with eating, drinking, laughing and having a wonderful time!

The picture above shows just some of the fresh seafood caught and sold locally, in our wonderful fishing village: langoustines, spider crab, brown crab and lobster, just to name a few. We were also inundated with wonderful scallops, squat lobster, mackerel, velvet crabs and lots of other tasty treats.

The weather was simply fantastic- glorious sunshine and warm. The village was busy with both locals and tourists, milling around, browsing and shopping from many of the fantastic stalls, including crafts, home baking, fresh and cooked seafood, home decor, handmade toiletries and fun stalls like ‘splat the rat’ and ‘play your cards right’.

Would you like to see some of the fantastic stalls?

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You can see some of the other fantastic seafood we feasted on in my earlier post. Deee-lish! Fresh, straight from the loch!

There was a Seafood Queen accompanied by her Seafood Princesses:


And a wonderful parade, led by the Mid Argyll Pipe Band; with floats: this year’s theme was ‘the Wild West’ which was fantastic!

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There were wonderful cooking demonstrations, which were really interesting:


My brother started bidding for a box of fresh seafood in the auction, much to the horror of my sister-in-law: not because she didn’t want it, but because they weren’t heading home for another three days!

I had three favourite stalls this year: one was the Spingbank Whisky stall, where I sampled the Old Raj gin, which is flavoured with saffron. It was so delicious that I bought a bottle which will last me for about one night some time:


My next favourite stall was the Arbroath Smokies, which were absolutely delicious:


And then there was the ‘guess the number of midgies in a jar’ being run by Tarbert Academy Parent Association. How many would you guess are in the jar?


My guess was 167,600,000. Turns out that the answer was 148,000,000! And- I was closest! Woo hoo! I won!

Here’s my prize:


We finished off the evening with some ice cream sundaes from the cafe:


Sunday saw the arrival of more family, ans the day started early with a dip in the hot tub and a wee beer:


It was a scorcher!

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Doesn’t the village look great in the sunshine?

The main event for the Sunday is ‘Beer on the Pier’, with bands playing at the Fish Quay, and beer, soft drinks and ice cream for sale. We had a fantastic time, listening to The Democrats and a Steps tribute band 😉

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Of course, it was also the Final of Wimbledon, so we kept an eye on the score, and watched the final couple of games in the Islay Frigate. What an amazing result for Andy Murray!


Our evening was filled with fun, laughter, good food and good company: we watched the tennis highlights and then, at around 11.30pm we had a power cut! But we continued to celebrate by candlelight, which was fantastic!

Day three has been a little more subdued, but it has involved a lovely 6k walk to Shell Beach and back:

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Can you see the jellyfish in the first picture?

We’ve said goodbye to our visitors,  but before we did, we made sure that some of them signed up for the Perth Kilt Run 🙂

We’re now relaxing in the garden, after the busy weekend:


Normal running routine will resume tomorrow, albeit probably slower due to the short break and warm temperatures 🙂

Roll on next year’s festival- I can’t wait!

The Color Run UK- London, baby!

The Color Run UK- London, baby!

Guess what arrived in the post?


Woo Hoo! Bring on next Sunday!


Hot Hills and Hazelnut Pavlova

Hot Hills and Hazelnut Pavlova

Today, I met the DreamTeam for a spot of lunch, where we promised that we would not talk about work for a whole hour. We didn’t even last five minutes! Anyway, we had a lovely lunch at The George Hotel in Inveraray. It was busy, and as ever, the food was great. We all had dessert, as their selection is fantastic. Knowing that I would be heading out for a run after work, I still decided to have a Hazelnut Pavlova served with blackberry & cream ice cream. It was amazing! Want to see?


I knew that I’d need to head out for my hill run this evening, but being absolutely stuffed a little full after lunch, I was able to have a quick flick through my BodyFit magazine, which arrived in the post today:


When I felt that I couldn’t put it off any longer I could actually begin to run, I headed out for a hill session. Now, this is something I’ve been putting off for quite some time! I’m the first to admit that I like to run on the flat, and any incline is difficult for me. Anyway, having signed up for the TT10K in August, I thought I’d better try out a couple of the hills that I know are en-route.

I headed out along the harbour as usual, and along to Garvel road end, which is the start of the TT10K. I ran along Garvel Road, and turned onto the main road to face the first, and the smallest, of the hills I was tackling today:


Doesn’t look to bad, eh? It was actually ok, I wasn’t heaving and gulping in air when I got to the top. Immediately after this one, though, I crossed the road, and turned the corner onto the high road, to face the second hill. Don’t be deceived by the next picture- this is only the start of it, and the rest of the hill is over the brow of the one in the picture below:


Yeah, right, I hear you say. It can’t be that high? Well, just to show you how high it is, I took a pic of the harbour where I started, from the viewpoint at the top of the hill:


Pretty high, right? And gorgeous, of course. So lucky to live here.

Anyway, I managed the second hill OK too. I continued my jog back down the high road, and back along the front of the harbour, making my way to the hill that would take me up to Tarbert Castle and the Castle loop, which is a trail part of the run. This is the monster biggest of the three hills, and it snakes and winds its way up to the Castle. Here’s the first part:


Well, by this point, my large lunch was beginning to take its toll and my legs were a bit heavy, so I lumbered powered up as best as I could. I admit that I had to stop and walk for about a minute, then I continued to run to the top of the road and onto the trail.

I had planned to finish here, but as I am totally crazy it was such a lovely evening, I thought I’d just take on the Castle Loop too.  😮

This was tough going- much more hilly to run than I remembered from walking it in the past, but I’m glad I stumbled, walked and jogged my way around it. I stopped at a bench because I was knackered to take a picture, but it doesn’t really show much, I’m afraid, though it is really pretty:


I then headed home, to watch Andy Murray win! Woo Hoo!

Today’s stats:

Run: 3.5 mile hill run

Time: 40:25 (lots of walking!)

Trainers: Lunarfly GTX

Weather: sunny- yay!

Fave running track of the day: Gotta Get Thru This, Daniel Bedingfield. This track came on as soon as I reached the hill up to the castle!

Today’s life lesson: Don’t expect to have lunch with work folks, and avoid talking about work.

Also, don’t have a big dessert and expect to run as if you haven’t!

Have you ever regretted doing anything before going for a run?