Indoor Surfing

Have I told you I’m terrified of water? I can’t stand being out of my depth or anything that splashes my face. I’m not sure if it comes from my mum who is also terrified of water or whether it is because I have constantly had it drilled into me by ENT consultants, not to get my ears wet. Possibly a bit of both.

Little Lady went on a surfing course back last year and absolutely loved it. I have watched other people do it loads of time too but I have never been able to pluck up the courage to actually go for it.

Then I finally did!

Without the water it looks like a big bouncy trampoline. It’s a bit more intimidating with the water flowing though.

Little Lady is pretty much an expert now in my eyes and she couldn’t wait to go back to have another go with me. To be honest, I surprised myself and actually enjoyed it! It was fab. Very tiring and stressful for me, but fab.

I was a bit nervous at first especially when you essentially throw yourself off the top but I did it and with each turn I became more confident. I was exhausted by the end and had bruised thighs from the pressure of the water. But Hubby managed to get this really great photo of Little Lady and myself high-five-ing.

Have you ever been indoor surfing or maybe this kind of surfing outdoors? Like on a cruise ship?

Mara-mania

Well I may have done something very silly. I *may* have signed up for a marathon! What was I thinking? To be honest I’m not entirely sure.

I’ve always said I would never sign up for a marathon due to the time commitment to train. I have entered the VLM ballot a few times but the chances of getting in are slim so I never worry about that too much.

Back last year when I did the Severn Bridge half the organisers announced that they were planning a full marathon for this year that took place over both bridges. Well that was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down. To run over both Severn Bridges? It’s a dream come true (yes I know, I lead a very boring life!) However, due to the fact that the new bridge goes back into public ownership this year and the confusion surrounding that, it has not come into fruition.

Surprisingly I was really disappointed. I was actually shocked at how disappointed I was that I wasn’t going to run a marathon this year. I thought I would be pleased, dodging a bullet so to speak. But no, I was actually disappointed. So I started looking at other marathons. I finally settled on the Race for Life marathon in Lee Valley London, mainly because of the 8hour cut off. I feel that the 6hour cut off of most marathons would be putting too much pressure on myself.

Payday came and I signed up. I’m currently swinging from “woohoo!” To “what have I done?” I have 6 months to train. Six months to double my longest distance of 13.1miles. And do it comfortably. I am running with a friend so I have every confidence that we will chat our way around the course so it won’t be a flat out run.

I am currently on the look out for a good, flexible training plan that will fit around my (ahem, my kiddies’) busy life. If you’ve got any suggestions then please let me know. I need all the help I can get.

Silverstone Half Marathon

I’m back running half marathons again. I haven’t run longer than 10k since before Christmas but I was so relaxed about this race you’d think I’d been training for months lol!

I was a massive F1 fan growing up. My weekend plans revolved around the TV coverage of the Grand Prix even if that meant getting up at 3am, so I couldn’t wait to run the actual, real life track at Silverstone.

Everyone told me that this was a boring race with nothing to see or keep you going but I didn’t care! I just wanted to be on that track.


My mum came with me on a road trip and I decided that I would run to enjoy this one. It’s a flat, fast track so ideal for a PB but I was going for the experience not the time so I really wanted to enjoy it.


Standing on the start line I met one of my running club so we started off together. She started to struggle after the first mile with her ankle and told me to run on. I felt so guilty. I’ve never left anyone behind before but she insisted and I actually felt in a really good place so I did.


Due to the nature of the course, spectators were few and far between but the marshalls more than made up for the lack of encouragement. They were friendly, smiley and very loud! There was also a DJ that you could hear every so often as you came near to a speaker/sound system.


The course itself was amazing for me. I ran the starting grid, the pit lanes, I ticked off the corners that I could name, I ran the service road. It was amazing. The only weird thing for me was that it was so disorientating. Everything looks the same (tarmac and grass), and there are no landmarks to orientate yourself. There was a marker at each mile, don’t get me wrong but I literally could have been going round in a figure of eight and not known any different. You’ll see why when you look at the route plotted on my Strava.


I hit a wall just after mile 10. I had rang my mum to let her know I was nearly done and then I just felt like I had so far to go. My own fault for not training I know, but I was doing so well time-wise and I had been feeling so good that it took me by surprise. Mile 11-12 was the worse part. That mile felt approx 5 miles long. I really didn’t think I could finish. But I knew my mum was going to be at the finish waiting for me so I struggled on.





I crossed the line and burst into tears!!! Haven’t done that in a while lol! It was a combination of the final struggle plus the overwhelming excitement to be at Silverstone. And I actually managed a really good time! I knocked 2mins and 7 seconds off my PB! It does make me wonder how much I would have knocked off if I had *actually* trained for it though!!


Ah well! There’s always next time. Right?

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Photo An Hour

I actually managed to catch the Photo An Hour hashtag on instagram early enough to take part this time. 

Last Saturday, Little Lady was competing in the district Eisteddfod. The Eisteddfod is a major thing for Welsh language schools and she has been rehearsing for months. She was competing in both the singing solo and the choir. 

So in case you are nosey…. I mean interested, like me, here’s how my Saturday looked:

5.30am. Eating breakfast in my dressing gown. We’ve got a long day ahead and the early start is not helping!


6.30am. Washing my hair


7.30am. We’ve arrived and have found seats. Although we do actually end up moving to the other side of the room for a better view. 


9am  I’m so glad I’ve brought some crochet with me as we have only been going an hour and are behind schedule already! Sigh!


10am. Little Lady is about to compete. So proud of her just for getting up there. 


11am. We are still on the prelims! So behind now. 


12noon. Time for a cuppa. This flask is fab. The tea is still hot over 5 hours later. 


1pm. Feeling grateful for plenty of supplies. 


2.30pm. The threat of missing the rugby is helping push through the programme πŸ˜‰


3.30pm Closing the competition with the National Anthem. Sing it 🎢Gwlad Gwlad🎢


Missed a few by driving home and having tea. Tea was McDonalds to celebrate Little Lady getting through to the county stages in two weeks time. 

5pm. A nice, well deserved cuppa. Those plastic chairs were so uncomfortable. 


6pm. Finishing my book. I loved this book as a child and was overjoyed to see it on the BBC The Big Read list. I’ve read 3 from the list already this year which is amazing for me. I probably didn’t read 3 books in the whole of last year!


7.30pm Kids are in bed. I’m in my pj’s and hubby and I settled down with a bit of Project Runway on Netflix. 

The rest of the evening looked very similar so I didn’t take any more photos.

Hope you enjoyed the look into my Saturday. How was yours?

Two for One

Before Christmas I was swamped with orders through my crafty Facebook page. It was nice as it’s the busiest I’ve been for quite a few years but it was also nice to have a break from that and do some personal sewing for a change. 

D nearly gave me a heart attack on Christmas Eve when he told a family member that the only thing he wanted for Christmas was a Pokemon cushion. He has been obsessed for a while but until that moment had made no indication that he wanted a Pokemon cushion! I tried to soften the blow slightly by saying that Santa was really busy and we couldn’t always have everything that we wanted blah blah blah. I also told him that if Santa didn’t bring him his cushion (knowing full well that he wasn’t going to!!) I would make him one instead. 

Christmas morning came and surprise surprise no cushion. He was easily distracted by an internet search for Pokemon fabric. He chose what he wanted and I ordered it. 

Once the fabric came he asked if it was made Every. Single. Day. I eventually found time and made it for him. 


He was pretty pleased. πŸ˜€ 

I had actually ordered more fabric than I needed as I wasn’t sure if he was suddenly going to decide he needed two (he loves cushions!) but he was pretty happy with the one. So while he was at school I made a shirt out of what was left. 


My first wearable make of the year and it was a big hit. He changed straight out of his uniform and paired it with a pair of shorts. He actually had really good style. Although slightly out of season with all this rain we’ve been having lately. I made an Age 6 size wise so it should definitely last him through the summer and hopefully into next year too. 

Although to make it fair I now owe Little Lady something handmade lol!

Disneyland Take 2

Two years ago we took the kids to Disneyland Paris. You can read about our trip here. Almost as soon as we were on our way home the kids decided that they wanted to go again. As much as I was pleased that they had obviously enjoyed themselves, it had taken a year of me working 2 jobs to pay for it! So we started a saving pot. The kids did their part by putting in any money they found on the floor (D loves finding money on the floor!) and hubby and I added money as and when we had any spare. We also set up a savings account through our online banking as unfortunately money found on the floor (or “road-kill” as it is sometimes known) wasn’t going to pay for the trip. 


We booked to go away in January again even though we knew it was going to be cold. We ended up going a week earlier than the equivalent time two years ago and it made a big difference. There were a lot of French families there which made me assume that maybe the French schools hadn’t quite gone back to school yet. This made a difference to queuing times. Last time we basically walked onto all the rides with little or no queuing. This time we were queuing from 10-60minutes depending on the ride. I know that in the grand scheme of queue times it isn’t much but when temperatures are close to freezing then it makes a lot of difference. 


We flew this time instead of taking the ferry and I was really surprised by how easy this was. We had transfers to the hotel and it really was very straightforward. Although be warned it takes longer than you think to get through the airport on the way home. By chance we caught an earlier transfer bus to the airport (3hours before our flight) and only made it to the gate 30minutes before the plane was about to leave. 


We stayed at the hotel Chayenne this time and to be honest I didn’t find it as good as the Santa Fe where we stayed last time. This one was a Wild West theme and although D thought it was great I wasn’t particularly impressed. 


Our room had two double beds and they were so uncomfortable I hardly slept. I was so tired by the end of the week I could have cried. This really took the enjoyment out of the holiday for me. I really was pleased to get home to sleep in my own bed. Little Lady was also really looking forward to sleeping in bunk beds again but was obviously disappointed. 


Again we saved money by taking our own food into the park for lunch and we planned tea time carefully making sure that we didn’t overspend our budget. We did have treats though including the most delicious waffle I’ve ever had and a doughnut the size of Little Lady’s head! There’s not much point to scrimping so much that you take the fun out of the holiday. 


The kids have already asked if we can go again and they are very keen to start another savings pot asap. D has asked if we can go to Legoland first and then Disneyland next year. I’m pretty sure we can find some deals for Legoland to go this summer but it may be another two years before we can afford Disneyland again. A friend suggested September as the queues are still short but it’s warmer. It would be nice to go when it’s not as cold. Pictures where I don’t look like a Michelin man would be good too. You can see how cold it is by the icicles in the picture below. This was in the afternoon too when the sun had been on them all day. 


Have you been to Disneyland Paris? When did you go? How did you find it?

Snow Angel

Number 17 on my original Day Zero List was to make a snow angel. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t on my side and it didn’t snow for the whole 1001 days. I was gutted. I really thought we’d have at least a little bit of snow but nope! Nothing! 

On the 2nd January I was invited to walk Pen-y-Fan with the Run Wales ladies and guess what? It was snowing. A lot! 


Oh yeah. We walked up in the dark as the plan was to watch the sun rise. However visibility was so bad that we couldn’t even see the sun at the supposed time. 

But swings and roundabouts and all that. The snow was so thick I got to try a snow angel. I say “try” as it was so thick and compacted that my whole body weight barely made a dent in it so you can hardly see the angel 😦 


But the pictures do show that I had a good go at it. 

I did transfer “make a snow angel” to my new list (number 16) so I can cross that off now. Hurray! I can also cross off number 67 “Walk Pen-y-Fan” 

Two done on the second day. I doubt I’ll keep that momentum up though lol! 

Do you have snow where you are normally? 

Bye bye 2016

We are fast approaching the end of the year. It’s been a pretty shocking one in relation to high profile deaths, Brexit, US elections but for us here at alifetimeofdiy it hasn’t been a bad one. The good times have thankfully outnumbered the bad. 

I’ve struggled a lot with my anxiety towards the later part of the year but I feel I am coming out the other side now and am feeling almost excited to be starting a new year in a few days. 

I have a lot of plans for next year. We have started decorating the front room, we’ve bought a new sofa and Little Lady’s room is getting a shuffle around after we were gifted a cabin bed for her. 

My Day Zero List finishes on New Year’s Eve. I don’t feel I’ve achieved much over the last 1001 days even though I have managed to tick off over half of the items on there. I still have a few days left so I’ll do a round up possibly on New Year’s Day. 

I’ve started a new list to be started on the 6th April too. Hopefully I’ve set more realistic goals. 

I have recently been asked to blog about my running over at Run Wales so I will possibly not be blogging so much about my running here. I am planning to increase my crafty posts. Start showing some of my makes again. We’ve also got a lot of DIY planned for next year so keep a look out for those posts. 

I do hope you’ve all had a lovely Christmas and a relaxing week so far. 

How was 2016 for you?

London Baby

Little Lady and I used to do everything together. Until she started school full time then it felt like we hardly spent time just the two of us. It was made worse (in a good way, obviously) that D came along just as she was going full time. I still had D to do things with, more so as he got older, but I missed the time with my girl.

We have made time over the years to do things together “just us girls” but they have been snatched afternoons, hours here and there. This holiday I decided to do something special just the two of us and so I booked us a Travelodge and the Megabus and took my girl to London. She had expressed interest in going last summer but we didn’t manage to go, so you can imagine how excited she was.

It’s fair to say she missed her brother while we were away. She talked about him constantly, wondering what the boys were doing, where they had been, asking me to take pictures of cranes to show him when we got back lol! But we had a fantastic time. It was so lovely spending time with her. I spent time with my little girl but also saw the little lady she is growing up to be. It was bittersweet, knowing that even though I am losing that little girl, she is growing into a fantastic big girl. Someone I am so proud to know.

We originally went with the idea of following the BFG Dream Jar trail after seeing the one in Cardiff but we were so disappointed by it that we gave it up and did some touristy things instead. Little Lady made a list of the things she would like to see and we tried to do as many as we could.

We stopped at the palace

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Visited Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament

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We walked along the Thames

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Walked across Tower Bridge

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We also rode the London Eye, which turned out to be the best part of Little Lady’s trip.


She also enjoyed all the travelling on the Underground and the ride there and back on the Megabus as it was a double decker πŸ˜€

We had such a fantastic time. I’m so glad we took the time to do it and I really want to do it again. Maybe we’ll go back next year.

Have you ever been to London? What was your favourite part?

Pen Y Fan

Pen Y Fan is the highest peak in South Wales and according to Wikipedia the highest British peak south of Cadair Idris in Snowdonia.  Not only that, it is also No 88 on my Day Zero List πŸ˜‰ I’ve wanted to climb it for a while but I’ve never got around to it. So when one of my running club posted that he was thinking of running up Pen y Fan I over eagerly said I’d join him 😳

The day before I was so nervous about going. There would be 5 of us altogether and all of them faster than me. I thought about pulling out but I knew how disappointed I would be if I did. So I decided instead of putting too much pressure on myself to make it to the top as fast as the others, I would set myself a different challenge. If I let them run off, make the top and start coming back down then, as they passed me, I would turn around and follow them to the bottom. My challenge was to see how far up I could get before I had to turn around. 

On the day I dressed warmly but as it was pretty sunny out already I had hopes of stripping layers off. That was until the snow started to come down on the drive there!! There was a lot of nervous laughter in the car at this point. What on earth were we doing??? Then the guys started talking about going up one route and down another. That spoilt my plan. So I mentioned my challenge. I was going to keep it a secret so they didn’t think that I was wimping out by not making it to the top. As soon as I mentioned my plan G said that there was no way he was letting me come all this way and not make it to the top. They would wait for me! I can’t tell you how much this meant to me. πŸ’•

We parked up and could see the snow on the mountain 

 I’m starting to wonder what I’ve let my self into!!

We crossed the bridge and off we went. Wow! It was so much harder than I thought! My legs were screaming from both the cold and the exertion and I could barely catch my breath due to the wind. I struggled on run/walking as best as I could. I was so in awe of the others who just kept ploughing on. 

The higher we got, the less views we had as the fog was hiding the beautiful surroundings. 


We passed a few walkers and they took pride in telling us we were mad! Lol! Says them who were up earlier than us to start out πŸ˜‰

It got colder and colder and I did feel sorry for the guys who started out in shorts! Mrs C kept telling me “it’s just over the next ridge” except it wasn’t πŸ˜‚ but she kept saying it. As much as I took the mick out of her for being so wrong all the time, she did an excellent job of keeping my spirits up when I could easily have said “stuff it, I’m going back down”


It was very hard going and I could easily have stopped but between Mrs C and the little part of me that would have been gutted not to reach the top, I kept going. Then finally I could see the top. A walking group laughed as I ran past them shouting “yeeeeeeeesssssssss!!!!!!!!!!” 


It was an absolutely fantastic experience and probably the craziest thing I have ever done. I would love to do it again. Although maybe not in as much snow.