Saturday, July 27, 2019

New vest

I've lost count of the many iterations of my charity vest I've had but I like this one more than the last 'cos it's less orange (not good with my hair colour!). A couple of re-designs ago I commented that we needed a 'technical' fabric and the length should be longer for us ladies and the last one was near perfect, except of course for the dreaded orange.

My only wish would be to make the purple more prominent but I suspect they deliberately moved away from that as it harks back to when I first started supporting them and they were the Alzheimer's Research Trust, a small charity with big ideas.

Here it is, straight out of the packet:

I love these 2 little tags which are a nice touch, especially for new supporters as it makes them feel important, which of course they!

Yay, recycling at its best

Friday, July 26, 2019

Introducing Shelley

It was so hard to say goodbye to our beautiful Tilly cat that we didn't feel ready for a new fur friend straight away, even though the house felt very empty. I got all maudlin and remembered all the lovely animals who'd shared our lives but have passed away since we moved here - 3 horses, 3 cats and 3 rabbits. Then all of a sudden we both agreed it was time to start looking for another cat and so I searched all the local animal rescue centres.

We've always tried to help the older cats who often get overlooked in favour of the cute kittens and our local RSPCA rehoming centre had plenty so we headed off to have a look. Our first impression of the centre was WOW, what an amazing set-up they have there. Lovely spacious cages on 2 levels with hidey holes, soft toys, access to both outdoor and indoor spaces. Everywhere was so clean and the staff were lovely too.

We spent ages going from cage to cage - I could have taken them all home! Finally we settled on 3 possibles and went away to think about them all. The one who kept coming to mind was Shelby, as she'd been named by the staff. We've now renamed her Shelley as we thought Shelby sounded rather masculine.

This poor little sweetheart had a horrible experience. A couple drove for 70 miles in their car and when they reached their destination one of them noticed a tail hanging down one of the wheels. The tail belonged to poor Shelley who must have stowed away somewhere in the engine cavity. They took her to their nearest RSPCA centre who took great care of her before she was transferred to our local centre for re-homing.

She had terrible burns on her hips but apart from that she was OK physically. They think she's about 12 months old but hadn't been spayed or microchipped so was most likely a stray. From the way she behaves now she's with us I'm sure they were correct in that assumption - more on that later.

We had a home visit from a lovely lady who is a volunteer with them and she gave us the OK so we just had to wait for her to have vaccinations, be spayed and for her wounds to heal a bit more as there were huge scabs on the damaged areas.

Then it was time to bring her home which was very exciting. They always recommend keeping them in one area for a while before introducing them to the rest of the house which was easy as the cats have always had the run of the utility room where there's lots to explore and plenty of room for a scratching post, beds (both open and an enclosed one in which to hide if scared). She settled in so well that after a few days it became apparent that she wanted to explore so we gave her the run of the lounge, music room and kitchen which we could easily close off. 

She was given a little knitted square that was in her basket to bring home with her so she had something familiar. Apparently they have a volunteer who knits them so I know where I'll be donating any oddments of leftover yarn from now on plus I'll knit some mini blankets myself.

I have taken loads of photos so I'll just let them show how she's settled. One things' for sure, she's a hunter as when she spots a fly/spider/moth she's right on it which confirms the theory that she was a stray!

The banana is stuffed with catnip and squeaker mouse still has a bit of squeak left but her favourite is squish square which she throws in the air herself and then runs around proudly with it in her mouth!

I want to go in there please!

The plant before the fly incident - no plants on there until she's more calm and settled!

I made her a little woolly toy to play with using the remains of the yarn I used for my Hryggr jumper. It had a pompom on the end and then a mini skein halfway up the long ends which I used to dangle in front of her - she couldn't get enough of it!

She spent ages playing with it on her own and it's still her go-to toy in the cardboard box we've given her for her toys!

See the pine cone nearby? When we let her explore some more rooms she spent ages rummaging around in my craft room. We were sitting watching TV when she came trotting through the lounge carrying it and looking very pleased with herself!

How did she fit under there?

Spider hunt

Sorry for the photo-overload but she's just so sweet I couldn't help myself!

Plotting for 2020

Remember Kirsty with whom I ran last weekend and the week before? Well, we've been chatting, as you do, and she's trying to lose weight to get a pb at the Brighton marathon next year.  She wants to get under 5 hours. So, having said that I wouldn't do Brighton next year I found myself offering to pace her to get that longed-for pb as I thought that would more rewarding than just aiming for my own goal of going sub 4:30 which would be unlikely on that course.

Naturally we chatted about the 1066 debacle and we both agreed that we'd like another crack at it but that we would want to do it together with no-one else involved as that was what caused the problems.

It just so happened that Mike and I drove through Battle on our way out the other day and I pointed out where we would have come out onto the road and he said it was such a shame that we didn't make it there. I then heard myself saying, "yes and it feels as if I've got unfinished business with it". To my surprise he said that if I decide to do it then it should be with just Kirsty rather than in a group. Well, that sounded like a green light for go to me!!!

Let the planning begin.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

One week on

Who'd have thought that after 78 miles the previous weekend I'd want to complete another event 7 days later? Well, my legs felt fine and so I emailed Kirsty to see if she fancied another marathon and she did and so we found ourselves at another LWDA event over at Forest Row for the Andredsweald circuit which headed out into the beautiful Ashdown Forest, home of Winnie the Pooh!

There wasn't a GPX file for the route so we were following printed instructions which caused even the fastest runners to slow right down as it's virtually impossible to run and read such complicated text at once. We all started with the walkers at 8:30am as we knew it was going to be a slow one. It was a very varied terrain mostly with lovely views and we had a grand day out. I don't know the names of everything we passed so I'll have to let the photos do the talking:

Race Briefing (although it wasn't an actual race!)

Off we go.....the first part of it was familiar as I did their 'Sussex Loops' event last year and the start  followed a part of the 3rd loop

Poor Bryan valiantly put up with our company again and we were joined by another chum too, Sam

These are the ruins of Brambletye House which are now used a B&B apparently

Kirsty and Sam

I think there were 5 checkpoints en-route, 3 were manned but the other 2 you had to clip your own card using a clipper suspended from a tree branch!


Fans of Winnie the Pooh will recognise Mole End!

We saw several families armed with sticks making their way down to play Pooh Sticks

A proper 'forge' but it didn't look too deep

As always, it was slightly over marathon distance but nobody cared 'cos it was such a lovely day out with chums.

I've got a few weeks off marathoning now but I won't be shirking as I've started another wave of the Six Pack Revolution, but this time it's the Intensive version - eek! Here's a sneak peak at what I was up to the other day:

In my next update our sweet new rescue cat Shelley will be making an appearance. I'm also aware that I haven't shared photos from the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy or our visit to a sculpture exhibition #notenoughhoursintheday!