Popsy Virtual Run

In October I am planning to run my very first marathon! 😱 I’m not entirely certain what possessed me to sign up for a 26.2mile run but I did. So as I am going to run that far anyway, for fun (?), then I might as well try to raise some money for a worthy cause while I’m at it.

Popsy is a local charity that arranges outings and holidays for partially sighted and disabled children. They do have some amazing holidays but to accommodate all the different needs they hire a jumbulance .

It may not be cheap but it does allow children who are unable to access any other kind of public transport – buses, trains, planes – to experience a holiday. I’m hoping that by pushing myself out of my comfort zone for 26.2miles, I can raise some money to allow a child to go on holiday with Popsy to Disneyland.

To do this, I am hosting a virtual run. The cost of this run will be £10 and you will earn this medal…..

neon-1

So how does the virtual run work?

  • Sign up using the button below
  • Complete 26minutes of activity any way you chose- walking, running, wheeling etc
  • Send me proof – pictures of you doing the run, fitness watch read outs, Strava upload etc
  • Wait for your medal to arrive in the post

It’s as easy as that!

If you are signing up for a child who may want to be presented with their medal at the completion of their run then please let me know and I will send the medal out before your run.

The medals will be sent out 2nd class to keep costs down as all the profits from this race will go to Popsy.

To enter you can email me at mehubbyandkidsblog[at]gmail[dot]com replacing the [at] and the [dot] with the relevant symbols. 

Caerphilly Castle

Living in Wales definitely has its advantages. There are so many places to visit and things to see. Caerphilly Castle is just one of many castles we have and it’s the 2nd largest castle in Britain.


The kids and I popped in to see the dragons and spent a good part of the day wandering around the castle grounds and picnicking on the grass inside the castle walls. 

The kids loved climbing the spiral staircases to the top of the castle and looking out the arrow holes (I’m sure they have technical names!)

Inside the castle there were many sculptures and objects to look at. The kids particularly liked this head sculpture. 

The castle has elaborate water defences which make up a very picturesque moat. 

Dragons

We are pretty lucky having a huge castle like this practically on our doorstep. 


Recently we had visitors of the dragon kind who took up residence in the castle. 

Dewi has been to the castle before (march 2016)


but this time he brought his girlfriend Dwynwen 

and they later had babies. 


We were lucky enough to visit the eggs in the nest but unfortunately missed seeing the actual dragon babies before they left for other castles. I am hoping they will make a return so that we can see them. 

The kids and I had a fab time wandering around the castle which was extremely busy, possibly due to the presence of the dragons. 

Have you seen them on their travels?

My jumper coat

As many of you are aware, last year I spent a year buying no new clothes. I did pretty well and have only bought footwear since (a pair of boots for me and shoes for the kids). 

The weather here has been changeable recently and so I needed something that was lighter than a coat but thicker than a cardigan. 

I have been following The Woolly Pedlar on twitter for a while now and I love her creations. Not just because they are a great way to use textile waste but they are really unusual and I just love them. 

At the time that I messaged her she didn’t have anything in my size in the colours that I wanted but I was happy to wait. 

Then I got a sneak peak


(Picture courtesy of The Woolly Pedlar)

Then another one a short time later


(Picture courtesy of The Woolly Pedlar)

I really loved getting updates throughout the making process and couldn’t contain my excitement when the final photo came through. 


(Picture courtesy of The Woolly Pedlar)

It was finished! I fell in love with it instantly. 

I’ve been wearing my jumper coat for a few weeks now and get compliments everywhere. It really is the most amazing piece of clothing I have ever bought. Even if Hubby finds it funny to comment “how can you say you’re cold? You’ve got 20 jumpers on!” 

Chadderton Hall parkrun

I love parkrun. I don’t get to go very often as Hubby works a lot of weekends but I love it when I can actually make it. 

Recently we had to go up to Manchester to visit family and while idly browsing the Internet in the hotel I realised there was a parkrun less than a mile away. I was so excited! 

After clearing it with a Hubby I set off to Chadderton Hall parkrun the next morning. I ran down the road and soon found the park. I found some volunteers and followed them on their way back to the start. 

As people started to arrive I realised that this wasn’t going to be as busy as what I’m used to. There must have been 56 runners at most. I’m used to between 200-700 depending on which parkrun I go to. 

The new runners’ briefing advised that this is not a fast course and you can add at least 2 mins to your usual 5k time due to the tight turns. It was a 4 lap course and at one point it runs round a rose garden. 


It was a beautiful setting though. 

The river:


The bridge:


Even the park itself:


I finished 45th. The highest finish I’ve ever had lol!! It was hard though and it did add time to my usual 5k time. It’s not one that I would rush to do again as I’m not a fan of lapped courses, but it was a friendly course with friendly marshalls. 

Definitely worth trying if you are in the area. 

http://www.parkrun.org.uk/chaddertonhall/

Sofa-so good

There’s actually been a bit of DIY going on here at alifetimeofdiy. I know! Shocker right? The front room which we use as our main room was one of the first ones decorated when we moved in 7 years ago and to be fair it was starting to look shabby.

The floor was replaced a little while ago and is still in good condition so we kept that as it was but the rest of the room needed painting and decorating. 

We also decided it was time to change our beloved settees. We’d had the one since we bought our first house together 14years ago and the other we bought second hand 6 years ago so they have both had good lives. We donated the one back to charity but the other one wasn’t in good enough condition for them so that was disposed of by the council after a few unsuccessful listings on freecycle. 

We bought our new settee in the sale (is there ever not a settee sale going on?) and we love it. It looked massive when it arrived though. It came in two parts and the first half was supposed to be the shorter end. That looked big enough! 


Then they brought in the second half! 


Wow! It seemed to take up most of the space. 

Although it may be because the rest of the room looked like this:

Thankfully it didn’t look like this for long. The room needed to be emptied so that we could finish redecorating. 

We’ve lived with the new settee for about 6 weeks now and we love it. The kids enjoy lounging on it and it’s really comfortable. We are really pleased with it even if it means our savings took a big hit. 

Stay tuned for the big “reveal” post. Please try not to get too excited lol! 

Easter Half Term

The kids have had two weeks off school to celebrate Easter and we’ve done a fair bit. The weather has been pretty kind and it’s coincided with both my birthday and a friend’s wedding. 

We’ve been out and about, we’ve celebrated Easter, my birthday, and a wedding. We’ve baked (those ice creams are really cake!) and I’ve done a bit of sewing.

We even went to the seaside for a couple of nights. 


How was your Easter holidays?

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?

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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Space groupies

Last weekend I went to visit my sister who lives in Bristol. We are very close and see each other a lot but I very rarely travel the hour to Bristol by myself. 

Friday was different though. We had tickets to see Space. I loved Space and listened to them a lot while doing my GCSE’s. Wow I feel old! Lol! We’ve been to see them a lot recently and they have been regular visitors to the Fleece in Bristol.  

We met up with another friend and went for tea. I was really fancying a chicken burger but I have to admit I was one of “those” people who ask for odd things when ordering as I have given up bread for Lent. I still ordered the burger but asked for it without the bun! I almost cringed asking for it as I hate to deviate from the menu. 

Thankfully the waiter didn’t even bat an eyelid and took the order with no issue. I had the chicken burger (minus the bun) with sweet potato fries. The chips were lush! I would definitely have sweet potato chips again. They are now a new favourite with me. 


After tea we walked down to the venue. The first support act seemed quite young and I felt tried a bit too hard to be rock-y. The second band, although the did covers, were fantastic. I really enjoyed them. 

We were lucky enough to be right at the front of the stage and had a really good view. Unfortunately I’m no band photographer and my photos are quite dark. 


They played quite a few songs from their new album but a lot of old favourites too. Another fantastic, energetic show from the boys from Liverpool. 

We had such a good night and it was lovely spending quality time with my sister too. Can’t wait to make a date to see Space next time they are at the Fleece now 🙂