Wednesday, 29 August 2012

paralympics London 2012

Tomorrow, Pip and I are off to our very first sporting event. The Paralympics Equestrian. I was desperate to be involved by attending London 2012 but despite our very best efforts, tickets eluded us. Until, one lucky evening a few weeks ago when I managed to buy some tickets for tomorrow. I went to the Olympic Park at Stratford to collect the tickets last week, queuing in a very British queue for about 20 minutes. And so, we are going. Our bag is packed, our route selected and my Paralympic supporters scarf is ready to go.

(photo of Lee Pearson, Team GB's most decorated Paralympian rider via The Guardian credit Mn Chan/Getty Images)

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

a second supper

Tonight, we got home from a weekend away and despite having had supper before we left M's parents, we were so hungry after the train journey and getting the baby to go back to sleep (I think she thought it was morning) that we cooked and ate a whole pizza between us.

It was my father in law's 65th birthday so the whole family gathered to celebrate with him including his two grandchildren. We all got together and gave him a beautiful knife and some cookery books. Pip was teething for most of the weekend as well as recovering from her latest injections so kept waking up grizzling but it was lovely to spend time with the family.

And now, back to London for an exciting week of Paralympics, the start of the rugby season and a trip to see one of my favourite ladies in Brighton.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

More inspiration

After spending a few minutes (hours) on Pinterest this evening, ostensibly looking for pictures of the haircut that I am going to have next week, it will come as a surprise to no one that I got distracted by stripes and they are still one of my favourite looks. Despite reading that they are over and only worn by mummys in Salcombe.

I also seem to have pinned this top twice in as many minutes. Anyone know if Lauren Moffatt can be bought in the UK?

Photo via Lauren Moffat

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Yurting at Botelet

Awaking to the sound of light rain on canvas, a kettle boiling and the water being poured into a metal teapot, staying toasty and snug under a goose feather duvet with the baby sleeping peacefully in a bear suit, whilst my husband passes me a cup of tea in a cornishware mug, has to be among my favourite things.

We had a wonderful stay at Botelet in the first week of August. It was peaceful and for the first time, just the three of us. Staying in a yurt is our compromise between camping and cottages; all the beauty and outdoors of camping but with the luxuries of a cottage.

I don't think I can recommend the yurts at Botelet more highly. This is the second time we have stayed there, the first being on our honeymoon in 2009. This time, as we had Pip with us (you can take a baby if the baby is not walking) we opted to stay in the Lower Yurt which is much nearer the farm and feels a little less isolated. It also had a couple of plug sockets which meant we could plug in out phones to charge and the monitor to ensure that we knew the temperature to keep Pip warm at night.

Clever positioning of the yurt door though, and the yurt itself being in the corner of a meadow looking over a field of cows means that you cannot see the farm from inside the yurt. There is simply a glorious Cornish view, which can be partly seen in the photos above.

The yurt is equipped with a log burner and as much wood as you can possibly need stacked underneath to keep it dry. It is lovely and cosy inside even for the baby. We cooked some wonderful meals, eating on deck chairs looking out towards the cows, listening to the Olympics on the radio. One night we had steak, another a simple tomato and broccoli pasta. M cooked what tasted like restaurant quality food using only the top of the wood burner and the one gas ring, helped by local produce.

One night was a full moon and the only night where the wind dropped completely. I don't know whether it was the full moon or just the sound carrying but we stood outside the door of the yurt, just listening, to owls, sheep baaing, the cows chewing their cud (and one in the field behind letting out the occasional bellow, which woke us up a couple of times later that night too). The moonlight illuminated the fields beautifully and it felt a really special moment.

Top 5 photos by Botelet; remaining photos by me

This is not a sponsored post of any kind, We booked and paid for our holiday.

Monday, 20 August 2012


I am rather in love with this outfit and it's all Kirsty's fault. If she hadn't posted about Atlantic-Pacific I would thankfully be none the wiser and would never have looked up the blog and added it to my google reader. Most of the time her posts are of no interest to me, but there is something about this outfit which combines a lot of my *loves*. Stripes. Leopard print. Brown leather belts. And with that gorgeous fluff of feathers, I actually really like the outfit.

Not sure that it will fit into my daily life of being vomited upon quite at present, but I will keep it in mind.

photo from Atlantic-Pacific

Friday, 17 August 2012

Just a minute ... in July

I'm a little late with this post (plus ca change) but never mind.

This month I have been...

Reading... Two whole novels. After reading one each day for the first two days of the holiday I decided that I'd better stop otherwise I'd never spend any time with M. I read One Day by David Nicholl which I really enjoyed whilst I read it but afterwards I didn't feel it stood the test of time. I certainly haven't thought about it again since and I've had to work hard to even remember what really happened. At the time though, I couldn't put it down. I also read Prue Leith's novel A Serving of Scandal which I found in a pile of books destined for the charity shop whilst visiting my parents. It was what reviewers in the daily mail would call a 'romp of a read' meaning that it was easy but ultimately unsatisfying rather than full of sex, but it kept me entertained for an afternoon on the beach. It was nice that the food element was accurate and I did enjoy it whilst I was reading it but it was nothing special.  

Watching... Not much really. A few pre-Olympic documentaries. The Opening Ceremony. July was a little light on decent viewing if my memory serves correctly.

Listening... The Olympics on the radio in our yurt. Classic drum and bass to get the baby to settle down in the car. Old CDs (Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd, The White Stripes and so on). A real motley collection left over from the days when we lay around for hours on end smoking and listening to music. Or driving round New Zealand. 

Buying... Trying not to buy anything. Failing of course. Minimoo Danish organic cotton trousers for Pip. 

Loving... Wine. Seeing friends. Yurting.

Wanting... Time. Sleep. 

Just a minute - an occasional series of posts inspired by Talking to Unicorns (who was inspired by Daydream Lily). Just a Minute was started by August Street back in 2007.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Triathlon training


Last October, M and I went to support my parents competing in a local triathlon. 400m swimming in a local school swimming pool followed by a 15km cycle ride and then a 5km run. We were impressed that they both completed it and decided to enter as a team. Being a fairly casual affair (in some cases, even the run was being completed by 2 family members) we figured that once the baby came along, M could do the swimming and cycling part and I would do the running part, handing over the baby like a relay baton.

But last week, inspired by the Olympics (who wasn't) I decided I needed a challenge. Something to achieve of my own. My own milestone which wasn't baby related. I would enter as an individual. 

I thought, as this event is rather casual, that the distances were quite short. A cursory amount of research has suggested though that the cycling might be a little short (it is dictated here by the suitable lap length of twice round a course) it isn't far off a normal amateur triathlon. 

So, as with all challenges, shopping is the first step. I have obtained a swimsuit which is suitable for actual swimming rather than say lying around on the beach (harder than you'd think; in the end I got it from Sweaty Betty) and I have dug out actual running kit from the depths of my wardrobe. And by actual running kit I mean even proper left and right footed socks, back from the days when I completed a 5km round Hyde Park and then a 10km Run London round Battersea Park in the same summer. I'm considering whether new trainers would be advised (mine are a little tight now my feet seem to have grown during pregnancy and they must be about 8 years old). I also need a bike. (A minor challenge which I am working on).

As for the actual, you know, training side of the preparation, well, I've downloaded a running app for my phone and looked up a basic 8 week training programme. On Sunday we took the baby for her first swim and I began the swimming 'training'. If you can call it that. I did two lengths whilst M held a whining baby who wanted some food. Next time I will do some laps whilst M swims with the baby and vice versa. Tonight we donned our running kit and took the baby in the pram for a 3.5km run/walk round the local woods and parkland.

This morning I was so sad that the Olympics were over. This evening, as we ran I could feel a tiny glimpse of that feeling of freedom that sport when you are fit gives you and I wanted it back. I used to be hugely fit, spending hours a week playing lacrosse, netball, ballet and 3 sessions of gymnastics training per week. One winter, when I was about 11, I remember competing in a school cross country competition. Of coming in the top three or four places and being given a letter, inviting me to join the area athletics club. I didn't take it up, choosing gymnastics instead. This past weekend, I thought about that letter, wondering what might have been had I chosen athletics not gymnastics. But gymnastics offered something exciting, exhilarating. It wasn't just running laps (or hurdles, or high jump, although I later competed in those events for my school). It was running and dancing and power and precision and a testing of my daring. Now, at 30, I can derive pleasure from only running. Back then, running was the 800m warm up we did before every gymnastics session; sprinting was the vault run up, the mere preparation for the main event. These days, I have lost my nerve. My days of flips and somersaults relegated to memories, the local newspaper clippings that my mother keeps in her filing cabinet and a basketful of medals in the loft. Running however, I can still do. I can't fall off running; it doesn't require nerves of steel and I don't need to master it time and time again. All I need to do is do it. 

Photo by Steve Takes Pictures via Flickr 

Wednesday, 8 August 2012


We got back from Cornwall on Sunday and I'm in the process of sorting photos and so on. In the meantime, a funny story of how small the world is to share with you.

We visited Polruan which is a beautiful little working fishing village on the opposite side of the estuary to Fowey. We had a cup of tea in a little shop and then were wondering back through the village to the Headland Garden when we paused in the lane to attend to the baby. As we stood there, I admired the view, took a photo and then noticed the house we were stood in front of was called Goddards.

"how funny" I thought. That reminds me of Joanna Goddard (who writes A Cup of Jo) "maybe I should take a photo and send it to her. I'm sure she'd be tickled that a house in Cornwall is named after her". I took a quick photo and then we carried walking.
My brain however, started whirring. I'm sure Joanna had written about holidaying at her British grandmother's in Cornwall. When we got back to the car later, I had a look online, and realised I had in fact just taken a photo of Joanna's grannie's house.