Monday Motivation

Monday Motivation

How on earth did we reach the middle of February already? 2019, please slow down!

I’ve had a good week again, staying on track up to the weekend. Here’s a quick rundown of my activity for last week:

Monday: walk. I had a meeting in Glasgow and so I knew that I wasn’t going to make it to class. Instead, I was sure to get enough steps in for the day.

Tuesday: a triple activity day which made up for the day before – Alison and I had another lunchtime trail run. It was sunny and mild, and I made progress, running slightly farther up the hill than before.

In the evening I enjoyed Sculpt- I upped my resistance bands for every exercise and Jacqui upped some of the reps, so it was a real challenge. After, we had Trigger Point Pilates, working into shoulders in particular.

Wednesday: back to Jog Scotland- and we did lamp post sprints this week. 10 mins warm up jog, 10 mins sprints, 10 mins cool down. Loved it!

Thursday: it was Valentine’s Day but we still had class to go to! Jacqui ran a special PiYo Candlelight Flow class which was beautiful. And she had a rose for each of us to take home at the end, it was lovely! 🌹

Friday: It was an early start and a full on day in Edinburgh to see Les Miserables. I kept my eating on track but didn’t do much by way of exercise.

Saturday: we spent the day in Edinburgh, and while there we walked. A lot. One example – We walked through Prince St Gardens, then up the zig-zagging hill to Edinburgh Castle, then we walked the length of the Royal Mile to Holyrood Palace. And lots more besides!

Sunday: rest. Travelling home and getting organised for the week was my priority.

I was this pic on Reece Witherspoon’s Instagram during the week, and I really need to share it as today’s motivation:

Have a wonderful week!

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Monday Motivation

Monday Motivation

How has your week been? Have you kept your health and wellbeing goals on track? I’m pleased to say that I have. It’s been an all-round great week.

Monday: my week started well with a busy day at work. I had arranged for a lunchtime trail run with Alison and Morag, and I found myself running late. Instead of cancelling altogether I headed out 10 minutes after them and eventually caught them up by skipping out the loop around Kilmory Loch. My week started off with a rainbow: I also did two classes on Monday night: I’m making progress at Core Conditioning and I felt stronger in the plank moves. I know I still have a ways to go but when I think back to the first class only four weeks ago it’s made a huge difference! After that we had Veraflow, which was a nice way to finish off my busy day. Tuesday: Another double class, which was a shock to the system after the past two Tuesdays being cancelled due to the weather. Sculpt was fab- hard going at times, but I do really enjoy this. Next up was Trigger Point Pilates and my body really needed it!

Wednesday: again, after two weeks off due to the weather, Jog Scotland was back. Our improvers group started with a 10 minute warm up, followed by a 10 minute ‘weave’ run – it was a variation on a line run where we weaved in and out of each other as well as running from back to front. We then had a 10 minute cool down.

Thursday: we had PiYo which really is my favourite class. I was feeling quite tired, though, particularly during the first half of the class but I had a second wind towards the end of class.

Friday: rest. I listened to my body and skipped my planned run as I was feeling pretty tired at the end of the week. Perfect timing since Storm Erik made an appearance!

Saturday: I had a Fèis Committee meeting in the morning, then I headed out for a run in the afternoon. I am determined not to do too much, too soon and so I was aiming to do between 5 and 6 miles. Instead of running around the harbour, I headed out to the West Loch and before I could talk myself out of it I decided to run up the steep hill to Carrick cemetery. And I did it, without stopping! Hurrah! I was feeling really good, probably benefiting from the rest day…. and I ran 10k! That’s my first 10k since June last year so I’m delighted. The skies were beautiful which no doubt helped to keep me distracted!

Sunday: I reckoned I could do with some active recovery after a week of classes and especially after Saturday’s run so we went for an hour’s walk around Tarbert Harbour. Yes, we were caught in a hail shower, but I ended my week of activities the same way it began- with another beautiful rainbow!

This coming week is going to be a bit of a challenge: I have a long day in Glasgow tomorrow, a trip to Mull on Thursday and a weekend away to Edinburgh at the end of the week. I’ll be fitting it what activity I can, when I can.

Here’s your motivation for this week, which reflects the gorgeous sights I’ve been treated to this week:

Monday Motivation

Monday Motivation

After another fab week, our January reset has drawn to a close, but Jacqui has kicked off another month of accountability so I’m looking for even more consistency in February.

Here’s my summary of last week:

Monday – Core Conditioning and Veraflow. While core conditioning is hard work I did feel some improvement on previous weeks, perhaps I’m building some strength! My side plank dips form still needs work but I felt that I was getting there!

Tuesday: the snow made an unwelcome return, so unfortunately Sculpt and Trigger Point Pilates was cancelled. I walked instead, making sure I got in over 12,500 steps.

Wednesday: again, Jog Scotland was rightly cancelled due to the conditions underfoot but it didn’t stop some of us heading out anyway. Running in snow is hard work!

Thursday: a snowy, icy lunchtime run. Alison and I headed out into the trails at lunch, and she showed me the way up to the viewpoint, which now has no view due to there trees being in the way! It was cold, but great to be outdoors. I’ve been feeling much more productive in the afternoon after a run!

Friday: I had a day off, so I headed out in the morning to get a slightly longer run in. Again, it was cold at -3, and some of the roads were really icy but I thoroughly enjoyed my run. I thought I was slow but the hill work is paying off as my pace was much quicker than I expected it to be!

Saturday: we had Clarsach Class in the morning then headed off to Glasgow to the Fun Lovin Criminals gig. It was brilliant! Plenty of walking all day.

Sunday: lots of walking yet again but nothing meaningful to speak of. Shopping and yet more shopping!

Today has started well, so here’s to another positive week. I’m really enjoying mixing up my running training and feeling the benefits of trails and hills. I’m going to keep my running mojo for as long as I can!

Have a great week!

Race Report: The Great North Run 2015

Race Report: The Great North Run 2015

Date: 13th September 2015

Profile: Flat

Terrain: Road

Weather: Warm and sunny

Website: greatrun.org

Positives: excellent organisation, first class support, seems like the whole of Newcastle, Gateshead and South Shields get behind the event

Negatives: I hate to complain about sunshine, but it was unanticipated, and I could have done without it!

As with many runners, the Great North Run has been on my bucket list for years. I had secured a lace last year, but had to defer after I picked up an injury. So, I felt more than ready and a bit overwhelmed as the date for this race came around. To add to all of that, the news that Mo Farah was running just made it even more special.

The lead up to the event was great, with frequent emails from the Great Run team and numerous social media posts about the event really meant I was looking forward to it, and very excited. @TheWelshWookie and I had booked the ‘coach, sleep and run’ package from Glasgow, via Nirvana Europe, and we didn’t quite know what to expect. We knew that our accommodation would be in Newcastle University halls of residence, which were very near the start line, and we were open to just seeing how the weekend turned out. It was excellent, and I can’t recommend the Nirvana Europe package highly enough.

We arrived at Buchanan Bus Station on Saturday morning, and spotted our bus right away:  

 We were first at the bus stance, but before long, a few other runners arrived. There were 10 of us on the bus, and it was a great crowd of friendly, supportive runners – as I’m sure you’d expect. Due to the low numbers, the coach had been subbed for a minibus (albeit a nice, comfy one), and our driver, Frank introduced himself. He’d been drafted in at short notice, and – to be honest – didn’t have much of a clue about where he was going. But, being a friendly bunch, mobiles were used as sat navs, to get us to where we were going.

Anyway, we made it to Newcastle, and to our digs, which were at Castle Leazes. We were warmly welcomed, and headed to the check in area where we were given our room keys and a goody bag:  

  That was a lovely wee surprise! There were plenty of staff on hand to continue with the welcome, and to make sure we found our rooms ok. The rooms were basic, as you’d expect, but ideal, with a bed, sink, desk, shelves, etc. There was plenty of tea and coffee available in the communal kitchen area, which was welcome.  

 In the evening, @TheWelshWookie and I headed out into the city, to find our bearings. We easily found the start line, and snapped a picture of what would be the start muster in only a few hours:  

 We then wandered through the city centre, and down to see the iconic landmarks at the quayside, such as the millennium bridge, and the Sage building:  

 We noticed that there was someone on the roof of the Sage building. Imagine our surprise when we got home and watched back the coverage to discover that it was none other than fellow runner and thoroughly good bloke, Professor Brian Cox, recording the opening scenes for the TV coverage! 😀   

  After a quick bite to eat, we took a lovely stroll up past St James’ Park, and back to the halls of residence for an early night. 

 As ever, I had my race gear ready to go the night before: 

 We were up at a decent time, and had arranged to get our bags back to the mini bus at 8am, so that Frank could get the bus out before the roads were closed, and we arranged to all meet back at the South Shields pick up point by 3pm or 3.30pm for departure. We then went to the refectory for breakfast. There was a brilliant spread: while we stuck to our usual breakfast of fruit and yoghurt, there was plenty of porridge and bananas being consumed, as well as some folks enjoying a full cooked breakfast 😮

Wee were grateful for the Newcastle Uni goody bags, as we could use these for some snacks and a change of clothes at the finish line. The forecast was for grey, cloudy skies and cool temperatures, so I thought we’d need something warm to change into. It had been very chilly when we put our bags onto the mini bus. Little did we know that this was going to change!

But, as we had decided to take bags, we had to get these onto the baggage buses by 10.10am. So, at around 9.50am, we strolled up to the start area, which had been totally transformed from the evening before. We easily found the right buses, and stashed our bags. I remembered to take a photo in case I couldn’t remember where the bags were:  

  And then we made our way into the starting pen. As we did so, the sun broke through the clouds, and the heat began to build. There were plenty of large screens by each pen, which was fantastic: it really kept you entertained as you waited. I also did my first ever Periscope broadcast, and having watched it back, I definitely need to give more thought to what I’m doing in future. It was fun 🙂

    
  Anyway, we watched the start of the ladies’ race and the ‘wheels of steel’ wheelchair race, and eventually it as time for the start of the men’s and mass participation race. I was great to watch Mo Farah et al actually start, knowing we’d be passing through the start soon! Then, the Red Arrows were overhead, and looked fantastic: 

 Well, when I say soon, it took our wave over half an hour to get to the start line! As we walked towards the start, there was a real mixture of excitement and a touch of angst as I realised that the sun was staying out, and I had no sun cream on. Ooops!

The support right from the beginning was amazing. As we ran through the tunnels and underpasses of the first mile or two, there was a lot of supportive ‘Oggie, oggie, oggies’ which was amazing! I had such a huge smile on my face!

The support as we ran over the Tyne Bridge was unbelievable – the streets were full, and nowhere on the course was unsupported. As we got to mile three, we had an impromptu pit stop so the ‘TheWelshWookie’ could use the facilities. And then, at mile four, it was my turn to stop. But, I stopped at the St. John’s Ambulance tent, in search of some sun cream. Fortunately, they carry sachets of Factor 30, God bless them!

Once I was suitably smothered in cream, we could get back to the run, and into our rhythm. After two early stops, and a crowded field, as well as a hot, hot day, we decided to just take the run easy, and make the most of it – savour the atmosphere. And that’s what we did.

We waved as we passed charity buses, we sang along as we passed the many music points, including joining in with ‘Sex on Fire’ and ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’ amongst other tunes. We high fived many, many kids who lined the route. It was awesome!

We were blown away by the support. And the food! Wow! I have never seen so many people with so much food for runners. Yes, there were tons of jelly babies and jelly beans. But there were also people handing out ice lollies and ice poles, polo mints, fresh lemonade, a young guy even offered us a can of Strongbow! 😉

Our favourite was the lady offering fresh sausage rolls, telling us that they were lovely – she sounded just like Sarah Millican! 😉 It was just awesome!

I won’t say that this race flew by – it didn’t. Miles 6 – 9 did, but there were a couple of tough points, too, particularly the hill at mile 11. It wasn’t as bad as I had expected, but it was tough. Just then, the Red Arrows were back overhead, and their aerial display really kept us entertained.

Then, there was the downhill stretch towards the sea, which was tough on the joint at that stage, and we found ourselves running the final mile along the water front. The support was outstanding.
We could hear music behind us, getting closer, and as it did so, it changed to ‘Uptown Funk’. Just what we needed for the final stretch! So, there we were, belting it out as we ran along the front, when we realised that the music was from a runner pushing another participant in a wheelchair. Wowee! And, yes, they did overtake us!

Then we were at the finish, and we crossed the line, in true Mobot style. Wow. I have goosebumps thinking about it now 🙂

There was a short walk from the finish to the medal collection, where @TheWelshWookie and I had to split up, as we were funnelled through the finish by t-shirt size. I collected my medal, give to me by a young guy with a hearty ‘well done’, which he must have said hundreds or thousands of times already.

We met back up again, and then walked to the baggage buses to retrieve our gear. There was a huge changing area, which was great, as I could get into some comfy clothes for the bus journey home. We then made our way to the bus, to find that only two guys had gotten there before us! So, we had time to chill out, have some snacks, and enjoy the sun, before boarding the bus back to Glasgow.

Here’s a map of the race: 

  Our stats: 2:39:01 my slowest HM to date, but that didn’t matter in the slightest

The Medal: 

 Goody Bag: Lucozade, water, crisps, cereal bar, samples and leaflets: 

 T-shirt: A pretty cool finisher’s medal. Excuse the wild hair – I’d taken off my visor, and the wind picked up just as I was having my pic taken! 😮  

  
I had left my Nike SportWatch in my room (which the staff kindly returned to me), so I used my Nike App to record the run. I’m not sure what happened, as it recorded the run as almost 15 miles!

I can understand why people rate the GNR so highly. I really is the King of Half Marathons. If you ever get the chance to run it, take that opportunity! And if you have run it, what were your thoughts about it? I’d love to hear them.

A Woodland Walk

A Woodland Walk

After a stormy Saturday which resulted in the cancellation of our paddle boarding session – for fear that we’d be blown out to sea – we woke up this morning to glorious sunshine, and had to make the most of it with a wee walk on the woodland trails just above Tarbert Castle. We loved it!

The training plan called for a ‘3 mile brisk walk’ which became a 4.35 mile trail walk instead. It was windy, which blew away the cobwebs. but was largely warm, sunny with just a couple of spots of rain courtesy of some rain showers.

Here’s the elevation – you can see where we kept stopping to take photos!  

 And, here are some of the gorgeous views:  

        



  
   Hope you’re enjoying your weekend! 😀

Gallus Glasgow

Gallus Glasgow

Well, Glasgow was indeed pure Gallus over the past fortnight.

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Our Commonwealth Games experience began on Friday, 25th July when we arrived in a sunny, scorching hot Glasgow for the live ‘Friday Night is Music Night’ broadcast from the City Halls. We were thoroughly entertained by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, John Owen Jones and Gloria Onitiri. Boy, could that girl sing!

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We were also lucky to see several British sports stars including Dame Kelly Holmes, Matt Pinsent, Rodger Black, Colin Jackson and Steve Cram. Wowsers!

We then enjoyed a Saturday night wander around the Merchant City, before heading to George Square to take some photos at the Giant G:

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I even got to ‘high-5’ Clyde:

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And to hug him, of course!

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Saturday morning was an early start, and we caught the train back into Glasgow, and headed to the SECC for the Judo. The security was very slick and efficient. and we were inside the venue in plenty of time.

Our seats were fantastic: very close to the action, and I found the contests surprisingly easy to follow. Although we only saw preliminary rounds, through QF, SF and repêchage, there was plenty of success for the home nations teams, and we saw many well deserved wins.

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When the event ended, we stopped off at the Crowne Plaza hotel for a lil’ drink. And, we were surrounded by BBC execs: Clare Balding and her team were sitting at the next table prepping their show for later in the evening 🙂

We then walked along to Glasgow Green, to experience the Commonwealth Games Festival and we had arranged to meet Simon, Pamela and Matthew, Joe, Stacey and RJ, and Angie and Ryan, and his nephew Kieran. The queues for security were quite long, but when we were inside, there were lots of activities and fun for the kids – including the big kids!

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We had a few little drinks there, and when the rain made an appearance we retreated to a nearby pub.

@The WelshWookie and I had dinner reservations for Brown’s, which was wonderful. I had lobster linguine, while @TheWookie had steak. Yummy.

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Sunday morning was a little damp, but we headed into the city once again to see the marathon. Not long after we arrived in George Square, the male marathoners past us. Those guys are fast! We then met up with the wonderful Allison aka The Running Princess and her husband Steve which was fab! We watched the female marathon runners pass by, and Allison gave me the MP3 player with her running tracks on it, as part of the Great Music Swap. Stay tuned for a later post on this! 😛

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@TheWelshWookie and I walked back down towards Merchant City, and had a look around the Irn Bru ‘pop up’ museum, before stopping to cheer on the marathon runners as they made their second of three laps around the city. We then headed to Glasgow Green, and were lucky to find a spot around 100 metres from the finish line, where we could cheer the runners.

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The atmosphere was fantastic! Yes, it was a little wet and showery, but everyone was in good spirits. And when Michael  Shelley from Australia rounded the corner an realised he was at the finish line, his joy was palpable!

We then spent the rest of last week working, but glued to the Games all week.

And, on Friday at lunchtime, we headed through once again to Glasgow, for this weekend’s shenanigans!

We met up with Angie and Ryan in George Square, before catching the shuttle bus to Hampden for the athletics. And what a ball we had!

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Our seats were fantastic: right behind the flag poles, at the start of the race track. It was also just where the pole vaulters were performing.

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We had a wonderful evening, and the events seemed to fly by, including the men’s 10,000 metres, the ladies 800 metres, with Lynsey Sharp bagging a silver medal for Scotland! We also watched the pole vault final, triple jump, ladies high jump final, discus and javelin. And we also saw the heats for the 4×400 relays and, of course the 4×100 relays too!

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We were very lucky to be seated just where the anchors would start their run, which meant we could see plenty of two of the biggest sprint stars in the world: Shelly-Anne Fraser-Pryce and, what’s the name of that fast guy again? The entertaining one? Ummmmm.

Oh, that’s right.

Bolt. Usain Bolt.

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Despite all of the controversy during the week, he received a fntsatic reception from the crowds and he did not disappoint with his explosive running. Wowee.

You can see him in action here:  

The evening ended with the women’s 100m hurdles, which was also very impressive. We then headed back to the queue for the shuttle bus before stopping off for a night cap on our way home.

Saturday morning and we found ourselves heading back into the city for two events. It was pretty wet and damp, so we had some breakfast at the station before we caught the train to the SECC and joined the queue for the para-powerlifting event.

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As we queued the rain started, and the brollies went up. The tickets said gates would open at  12.30, but that came and went and we were still waiting in the pouring rain. Turns out there was apparently a misprint on the tickets, and they weren’t ready to let us in! Needless to say I was soaking wet, and not impressed.

Finally, we were allowed in, and both security and the Clydesiders did their best to get us into the dry of the Clyde Auditorium (a.k.a. the Armadillo) quickly. We found our seats easily, and settled with a beer to enjoy the event. The athletes were really impressive: how they have overcome various levels of disability to lift and achieve so much was inspiring. We also saw a new world record, when Ali Jawad from Team England broke his own world record not once but twice! I reckon that was one of my highlights of the games.

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When the event finished, the rain was still pouring, and so we headed back to the Crowne Plaza again, knowing we could have something to eat and wouldn’t have to go back through security once again.

The gates for the Boxing were due to open at 6.30pm in the newly built SSE Hydro, and so as I paid the bill, I saw that we’d been given a 20% VIP discount! 😀 The staff must have thought we worked for the BBC or something, as most of those there appeared to do so.

Anyway, we left the hotel at around 6.45pm, and found that the doors had not yet been opened, and for the second time in one day we found ourselves queueing in the rain. Finally, we got in, and we were in the circle, overlooking the boxing ring.

In fact, we were sitting next to the VIP area, and throughout the evening, lots of the referees and officials were coming to stand just in front of us to have their photos taken above the ring, as it was the perfect spot for that!

We saw the finals of the women’s middleweight, and the men’s middleweight, light heavyweight, heavyweight and super heavyweight. The atmosphere was simply amazing! The star of the evening was Saint-Pierre, from Mauritius, who was very entertaining. But, the audience were shocked when the bout – and the gold medal – were awarded to the New Zealander he was fighting!

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By the time the boxing drew to a close and the medal ceremonies were complete, the rain had cleared and we walked to the train station, stopping for a night cap before catching the train back to Dumbarton.

Our final taste of the Commonwealth Games excitement was brief, on Sunday. It wasn’t just wet, it was torrential. We had to head into the city to run an errand, and we were lucky enough to watch the men’s road race from the dry within the Apple Store on Buchanan Street.

When we got home, we settled down to enjoy the closing ceremony, and to reflect on all of our fun over the past couple of weeks.

Glasgow did itself proud: the people made the games: the friendliness, the hospitality and the support was brilliant. The Host City volunteers were a credit to Glasgow, and the Clydesider volunteers (including my sister and my mum) really made the games very special, and made everyone feel very important.

I’d like to share my wee voice of congratulations, and thanks to everyone involved in some way to making the Commonwealth Games such a wonderful success. Puredeadbrilliant!

A Break from the Games, Back to the Village

A Break from the Games, Back to the Village

I thought you might appreciate a little break from my posts about the Commonwealth Games. While I’m watching the gymnastics, including another gold for Team Scotland, I thought I’d share a local Tarbert festival, which I missed this year.

While @TheWelshWookie and I were sunning ourselves in Tenerife, my family were at our house, enjoying Tarbert Seafood Festival! I enjoyed last year’s festival so much that I split my review into two posts, which you can read here and also here.

They had fabulous weather, and they told me that there were even more stalls than there were last year. They enjoyed sampling the seafood delights:

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Enjoyed a little beer:
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and basked in glorious sunshine.
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Stacey was a winner this year: she won a fishcake! No, not a fishcake, but a Fish Cake! Nom nom nom.
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And on the Sunday, they enjoyed the music at Beer on the Pier. They took the boys over to the outdoor gym, and were able to enjoy the music from the other side of the harbour. Smart thinking, guys!
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There is no way we’ll be missing the festival in 2015 😀

GLASGOW 2014: Highs and Lows

GLASGOW 2014: Highs and Lows

Did you manage to watch any of the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony?

What did you think?

I LOVED it! It was very self-depreciating, tongue in cheek, and just shows that we don’t always take ourselves too seriously 🙂

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I loved the dancing Tunnock’s teacakes! I’d love one that size!

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More importantly, I thought the UNICEF appeal was a fantastic idea, I wonder if that will now set a trend?

There seemed to be a lot of debate on Facebook and Twitter: lots of people loved it, others hated it, I thought it was great fun! Except Susan Boyle singing Mull of Kintyre (and unfortunately fogetting the words). I could have done without that!

I also loved Sir Chris Hoy saving the day, by opening up the Queen’s Baton.

And the Scotland team uniform is growing on me. A little. Except the socks. Yuk!

So, for me, the Opening has been a high. Lots of fun.

Now for the low: Mo Farah has pulled out. Boo! 😦 He hasn’t recovered sufficiently from illness, so I have no doubt he’s done the right thing. I guess it just reminds me that pulling out of a race can be a sign of strength, not weakness. He’s talked before about wanting to add a Commonwealth Gold to his collection, and I’m sure he’ll be disappointed.

Oh, well, I’ll still see Usain Bolt ‘flash’ past! 🙂

The Vikings Were Here!

The Vikings Were Here!

The week before we went to Tenerife was a very special one in Tarbert.
For months, villagers had been working on building a proper Viking longoat. It was made by hand, using traditional techniques. And, it was ready to celebrate the inaugural Tarbert Viking Festival, and the traditional boat festival.
So, during the week leading up to the festival, the village was overrun with Vikings, who sailed the boat to ‘raid’ local villages. It seemed like lots of fun!

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We missed the main event on the Saturday, which was a reenactment of Magnus Barefoot’s historic claiming of Kintyre as part of his kingdom. In 1093, Magnus and his Viking hoard laid claim to all of Scotland’s islands. An island was described as any body of land that his boat could circumnavigate. When he arrived in Tarbert, he and his men carried the longboat from the East Loch to the harbour, thereby circumnavigating Kintyre. Hence, Kintyre is known as the Mainland Island 🙂
On the Friday, the Vikings made a victorious return to Tarbert from their marauding and we celebrated with a big barbeque, music and a ceilidh.
The weather was great, and it was lovely to see the village busy.

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The music was provided by villagers, and was brilliant. There were folk groups:

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And choirs:

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A barber shop group:

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And even this guy did a few songs…… do you recognise him?

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We had a famous attendee: Rory McCann, who plays The Hound, Sandor Clegane in Game of Thrones. To be honest, he didn’t seem very pleased to have been spotted. I asked if he’d allow me to have a photo taken with him, and he said ‘no’, and walked off 😦 Good casting, maybe?
Anyway, we had a lovely evening, and it set us up very well for our holiday!

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Have you ever been refused a photo or autograph before?

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!

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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?