Charity, Cycling, Health, Lifestyle, Nightrider, Uncategorized

Today I was supposed to…

…go out on my bike!

I really need to as I am taking part in Nightrider London in June and I haven’t been out on my bike since I completed it last June! I keep meaning to I really do, I’ve even written it in my diary on the days I know I’ll have time to do it and to date I have not been out on my bike on any of these so called scheduled days. That’s 8 times I’ve not been out in the past 6 weeks but so far bad weather (I am most definitely a fairweather cyclist!) and something better (sitting here on my laptop among other things!) has got in the way. I now have less than 4 weeks to get fit enough to cycle 60k (a little under 40 miles), oops.

Am I worried? Not really! Worryingly I think I should be more worried! However I have done the 100k ( a little over 62 miles!) Nightrider course the past 2 years so I figure if I can do that then the 60k should be easy peasy lemon squeezy!!! How can I say this with such quiet confidence? Because last year I went out ‘training’ on my bike the grand total of 3 times and the furthest I did was 27.72k, yes on the night the 100k of Nightrider nearly killed me and if it hadn’t been for my hubby doing it with me I might have given up. Actually, I wouldn’t have given up because I’m a stubborn old cow who doesn’t like to be beaten, but hubby being there definitely helped get me passed the finish line before the deadline. He by the way is one of those annoying people who is sickening fit no matter how little exercise he does!!!

Nightrider 2014

The Pact for Autism team at Nightrider 2014

I’m the one in the middle and my hubby is the one on the far right.

Two years ago when I did Nightrider for the first time I did it on my own but I ‘trained’ 7 times in the 8 weeks leading up to it and managed 60k the week beforehand.  On the night I’m not saying it was easy, I had done no hill training and London is anything but flat especially in the northern and southern suburbs where a lot of Nightrider takes place, but I managed it reasonably well allbeit walking up many of the hills! Plus I felt sick after the first 20k (that’s when I realised that the Lucozade Sport I was drinking was a bad idea!), was freezing in the early hours of the morning after the second 20k and then my arse was beyond uncomfortable for the last 20k.

Nightrider 2013

Me after Nightrider 2013 with my medal and bacon roll!

But it was the best feeling in the world, I don’t consider myself to be ‘sporty’, yes I go to the gym a few times a week because I have to in order to not look like a Teletubby! But, as you’ve probably gathered by now, most of the time I’ll use any old excuse to get out of doing anything above and beyond that. I love the idea of doing stuff…I love the idea of running the London Marathon and every year watching it inspires me but in reality I hate running and the most I can manage is a pathetic 5k. Last year I ran the City of London Mile and I joke that it was harder than Nightrider (but I’m not really joking, I’d rather cycle 100k than run a mile plus I would look and feel better at the end of it too!)

So this year they’ve introduced the shorter 60k route and my friend Sarah said she’d do it with me if we did the 60k and not the 100k, as if I was going to say no to that! My eldest daughter has also just registered and we three are doing it to raise money for my friend’s charity Pact for Autism. Now the thing I am worried about is that my daughter is an athlete and the sports co-ordinater at a girls school who runs for the fun of it every day on top of everything else she does with the girls and Sarah (a teacher in her 50’s) runs 10k’s and despite hardly ever cycling (other than a spin class every week) has already done 60k in training! So I really do need to get on my bike asap so that I’m not holding them back!!! I’ll let you know how the training goes once I get started and of course how the Nightrider night goes.

I hate asking people for sponsorship but this charity is dear to my heart so if anyone would like to sponsor me, no matter how small the amount I would be truly grateful, you can do so here and many many thanks to anyone who does.

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Cake decorating, Etsy, Lifestyle, Uncategorized, Work

My Etsy Adventure

My Etsy Shop

I am a beauty therapist and nail technician by trade, which I love but recently I’ve had a few issues with allergies and eczema and I’m sure it’s the exposure to all the chemicals I use that are causing them. Also while I have my regular clients and business is generally steady at the end of the day I’m just not earning that much and it’s quite a struggle at times to make ends meet so I was in need of something in addition to that I could work alongside it. I am qualified in nothing else and I like being self-employed, it has it’s ups (it’s very flexible, I choose when I work and can have days off when I want) and downs (no holiday pay, no sick pay, no pension). My regular clients know they have to book well inadvance at certain times of the year, e.g Christmas, holidays, summer etc, and so I have to be very organised with my diary and my family and I have learnt I need at least 3 months notice for any event I will need time off for so I can book it out in my diary! This is good and bad in equal measures, it means I know what I’m doing and can plan accordingly which means I’m very organised now but this makes time fly and also I rarely get to do anything spur-of-the-moment.

So anyway I recently opened an Etsy shop! For anyone that doesn’t know Etsy is an online store made up of individual shops for people to sell stuff they make! I had been thinking about it for a while, ditherer that I am, and I spent an age contemplating what I could make in order to have a constant supply of stock in the shop. Then I realised you can also sell the tools that are used by crafters to make their stuff, it was a Hallelujah moment!

Being a cake decorator that was the obvious avenue to go down.  I know from experience it can be a long and expensive business hunting down the tools and equipment needed for cake decorating. I found a supplier whose prices allow me to make a modest profit, another Hallelujah moment, and so off I went. The hardest part for me is finding the time to add things to my shop, I’m not great when it comes to technical stuff and, in my daughter’s words, ”watching me type is painful” so it takes me a while to do each individual item but I am getting quicker!

And, guess what? I’ve actually sold some stuff! Now I know it’s not going to make me rich but it’s a start, small steps and all that! If you fancy having a look the link is at the top of this post 🙂

Lifestyle, Lists, Uncategorized

Lists are taking over my life!

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I love lists! I have always been a list-maker, a writer-down of all things important and for that matter not so important!

Recently I’ve got to the point where I have to write everything down because if I don’t I forget it. Bloody menopause-brain is far worse than baby-brain ever was, or maybe I just can’t remember how bad baby-brain actually was because my menopausal brain has turned to mush!!! Arghhh, it’s so frustrating and so time-consuming. While technology is on the one hand wonderful it is at the same time a nightmare (for me anyway) because I don’t trust it 100% and so I nearly always have 2 sets of every list I write just in case the technology has a hissy-fit and doesn’t work so I usually have a paper back-up!

I have always written a shopping list, it used to be on paper but then I would forget to take said piece of paper with me, so now my shopping list or rather lists (I have one for each shop I go to!) are a permanent feature on my phone (and only on my phone God help me!) and I am constantly adding to it as things run low but somehow I still manage to run out of things occasionally. Take Easter weekend I ran out of loo roll for goodness sake, I knew I needed it but for some reason hadn’t written it on my list and so hadn’t remembered to get it when at the shop! Thankfully my eldest daughter popped into Tesco on her way here just before they closed and got me some.

I always write present lists at Christmas and birthdays, not an ‘I would like’ list but a ‘what I have bought for everyone else’ list. I have done this for years after losing track of what I had bought and where I had hidden it, so many years ago when my children were small I started the Christmas/ birthday list ritual. I learnt the hard way that when you have 4 kids, 13 nieces and nephews and all their accompanying adults it pays to write down what you buy and for whom as you buy it and then I tick them off as I wrap. I no longer buy for all the nieces and nephews and just give a ‘family’ present which is usually a Christmas cake that I have made and decorated myself but now as well as my own 4 adults kids I also have 3 adult step-kids and all their adult partners, as well as 4 step-grandchildren and our parents/grandparents so a list is still essential. In addition to this I also have a list of family birthdays plus my diary and calendar and still I am atrociously bad at remembering to buy and/or send birthday cards on time!  I also keep a permanent list on my phone for gift ideas which is very useful when someone mentions something months before their birthday/Christmas because if I didn’t make note of it I would never remember it when it came to buying them a gift!

I have work-related lists as in lists to do with my job which, as I am self-employed, are very important to me. I have a list of all my beauty clients with their address, phone number and treatments which is broken down into 3 different lists, the first is current clients, the second is clients who last had a treatment between 1 and 2 years ago and the final list is of clients I haven’t seen in over 2 years. These lists are in my phone contact files and also on paper because of the aforementioned trust issues I have with technology! I have also recently opened an Etsy shop and have a note-book with an ever-expanding selection of lists; I have lists for stock including when and where I bought it and how much each item cost, then another list of the items added to Etsy with the date they were added and how much for and a final section of items sold with date and client details. Now I know as I buy and sell over the interweb all this information is there for me saved on-line in my accounts on different websites and in emails but I’m sorry I just have to have it on paper as well for my peace of mind! I also have another work(ish) related notebook with an ever-growing lists of the cakes I make and decorate for family and friends, I make little to no profit from this and it is more of a hobby than anything, I do it because I enjoy it but I still make lists; type of cake, ingredients, decoration etc.

Another important list is of all my direct debit/bill payment dates which is in the back of my diary to ensure I always have enough money in my account to prevent going overdrawn!

A list I write regularly is a to-do list. Or, I should say, lists in the plural! I have a house list which is divided into room-by-room lists, plus a garden list and a shed list! These lists are very flexible, things on these lists may be done quickly, the majority however may not get done for some time, if at all, ha ha. And so I put no time limit to these lists, I put the things I need (and am most likely) to do at the top but unfortunately things further down the list often fall by the wayside and get forgotten unless my priorities change and they somehow make it to the top of the list.  At the moment I have a spring-cleaning list on the go but spring may be well and truly over before I have a chance to get started on it! Here is a good spring-cleaning list I found on Pinterest. I love Pinterest it’s great for list inspiration and of course is really just another form of lists! Here is my spring-cleaning to-do list, as you can see I’ve only managed to cross off 2 things so far, I’m hoping to have it completed before I go on holiday in June!

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Talking of holidays, I always write a list when packing for a holiday or even a weekend away, this will include every item of clothing, shoes, jewellery, toiletries and medication that I am taking plus the essential things like passport, money, Kindle etc. Here is a good packing checklist I found on Pinterest.

I have an ever-growing wish list on Amazon as long as my arm, actually it’s probably longer than my arm as it currently has 115 items on it! As well as the list of many, as yet, unread books already on my Kindle that I’m making my way through but also adding to all the time.

Lastly there is my bucket-list of things to do and places to visit before I kick the aforementioned bucket! This I am sure will never be completed unless we win the lottery ha ha! There are too many things on this list to mention here and so I think I will leave that for a future post but if you are after bucket-list inspiration Pinterest is a great place to start.

Thanks for taking the time to read about my list obsession I hope you enjoyed it 🙂