Thursday, July 18, 2013

Week 9 beckons...

I can hardly believe it but I am nearly at week 9 of Couch to 5k!!! My last week 8 run is tomorrow, and then week 9 beckons after the weekend.

I remember week 1 - I think I pretty much nearly gave up after the first minute's run, and now I can run for 28 minutes! Not fast...but I can keep going for 28 minutes. My body does seem to give up when I get the 5-minute call and the last 5 minutes are hard, but I can do it!

I have taken a possibly foolhardy step though of signing up for something to keep my motivation going after I finish the 9 weeks - a half-marathon in October. I'm not planning to be able to run all the way round, but I'm hoping that between now and then I can extend my half-hour running to an hour running and possibly try to get 10k in that hour. Which will mean I have to start running faster as well!

But I'm staying positive - now just need to find another good running plan to help me extend my run...

Friday, July 12, 2013

William Henry Shadbolt

I have been to a family funeral today - that of my cousin's son, William Shadbolt. William was only 17, but he was born with severe mental and physical disabilities and it is a testament to his parents' and sister's devotion to him that he defied medical opinion again and again and lived such a long life.

It is incredibly sad to consider the loss of such a young life (and I still haven't been able to look at the photos on the order of service for very long yet!), but the service was a wonderful tribute to an amazing young man who clearly touched the lives of many, many people. The church was packed tight with people who had come to pay their respects and full of vibrant colours - no black!

William's parents and sister all said a few words in the service, and I think it gave everyone a glimpse of what life was like with William and, despite their love for him, how hard it has been. And also how fulfilling and inspiring. I have nothing but admiration for them all, and for William himself, for his enjoyment of trees and classical music and that strength that just kept him going until he needed a final rest.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Tyger, Tyger

The theme for Zachary's school concert this year is 'Animals,' and his class are singing 'If I could talk with the animals...' We also have to provide costumes and Zachary is to be ...a tiger! He's making a mask at school so just had to sort out stripey yellow and black. Fortunately I already had a spare yellow t-shirt which I'd ordered from eBay for the Bee Day (and hadn't arrived in time) and I set about trying to turn it into something which looked like a tiger and not a bee!

Add some old tights as a tail and a bit of yellow fake fur (which I now have a large pile of!)

Blueberry Bumbles

This is another recipe from Miranda's lovely Biscuit book. These are regular biscuits with dried blueberries, orange zest and white chocolate chips in - quite nice, although you can't really taste the blueberries and the orange pretty much overpowers the biscuit. I probably put too much in! Straightforward to make and the bonus is that the dough gets rolled into logs which can either be chilled and cooked straightaway, or you can freeze the logs for emergency biscuits any time!

The next recipe in the book was sweetie biscuits, which look like regular cookies with Smarties on the top, so I'm leaving that one. The next recipe is chocolate biscuits with Rolos on top which Leigh tried and were lovely! That means the next batch to try will be...jammy dodgers!! Hurrah!!!

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Chewy date and coconut bars

This is a gorgeous recipe which Leigh obtained from a day long cookery course at the cookery school in Aldeburgh. There was a period when we used to make it pretty frequently, but it hasn't been made for a while and I thought it was about time it saw the light of day again!!!

115g butter
1 large tbsp golden syrup
1 egg, beaten
140g chopped dates
170g demerara sugar
85g dessicated coconut
115g self-raising flour

- Preheat oven 160C/325F/Gas 3
- Melt the butter and syrup together
- Allow it to cool for 5 minutes and then beat in the egg
- Mix all the dry ingredients together, then add the egg mixture and stir well
- Tip into an 8in square tin and press down
- Bake for approximately 20 minutes
- Allow to cool and slice into bars