Firewirks over Sydney Opera House

Firewirks over Sydney Opera House

Friday, 31 December 2010

End of 2010 Report

I think it's safe to say that Minty is a bit of a bully. She found a horse about the same size as her and could not resist making her feelings known - horses should not be that small!! Raaaaf, roof roof roof.....

It's been an interesting year, that much I can say for sure.

Seeing as this started out as a weight loss blog, I suppose I should start with the end of year report on that front. It's pretty good. I have managed to squeak in under 14 stone which is a few lbs less than last New Year and 12 or 13 lbs less than my heaviest weight this year. So, no spectacular loss but no gain either. That is good news.

I was a little worried about piling the lbs on at the last minute as I've had a nasty cough and cold so haven't been able to do any exercise and there has been a lot of eating and drinking opportunities. But I haven't gone crazy and have done what I can with walks and seem to have stayed stable for the last week or so.

On the personal side, as you'll know, I've left my marriage and started a new relationship. It's still surprising to me when I see that written so starkly. I was with D for a long long time and didn't really know how unhappy I had become throughout most of that time. So making the break, while it seemed obvious at the time, was a massive step. I don't regret leaving but I am sorry about how acrimonious it has been. I know I can't expect sweetness and light but, as one who has made a life and career out of shades of grey, I struggle with the black and white, all or nothing, love/hate approach D and his family have taken.

Maybe it'll change one day but I won't be counting on that.

On the upside, Rich and I are really happy together and seem to be well suited. (That sounds a tad Austen-esque....) I have spent a lot of time with his family over the holiday period which has been fun and we're slowly meeting each other's friends too. Oh, and most importantly, my doggie girls absolutely adore him.....sometimes I think they'd rather have him than me.....

My family are coming to realise that I'm happy although my dad is still not sure how to deal with all the upheaval. He's coming round though. My brother knew all along that there was something amiss so he is pleased for me and pushing like mad for us to visit them in Canada but it could be a while before we can get that organised. My sister is plotting a trip up north soon so hopefully we'll get Rich enveloped into the bosom of my family soon too (lucky chap eh??).

On the work front, I have managed to save my job and, in the process, came to realise how much I enjoy and value it. When the money I earned was only a small part of our income, I didn't value the job as much. D tended to put me down and make out that it was a nothing-y type of job and after a while I came to accept his estimation. But, when it was under threat and when I could see how much my colleagues valued their jobs and how much I needed it, I came to realise that it's NOT a nothing-y type job, it's important and varied and interesting. The pressure has given me a new lease of life professionally speaking so I'm looking forward to the challenges of next year.

What else am I looking forward to? A holiday or 2 with Richard; lots of golf; new management at Hillsborough so hopefully lots of good football (once they find a plumber to mend all the burst pipes in the ground and actually manage to play some game there!!); lots of exercise so I don't turn into a slug (which reminds me - I must get the Wiifit set up!!); getting the divorce sorted out (blegh!); and just lots of enjoying life and making sure that the things we promised we'd do get done and that we don't settle too quickly into humdrum, everyday life and keep the romance going. That's a lot to wish for I know but if you don't aim for the stars you'll never leave the ground.

I hope you all make lots of wishes too and that they nearly all come true.... Thanks for your support this year, it's been a wild ride for me but this place has been my refuge and my recharger. Big Kiss xxxxx

Monday, 27 December 2010

Christmas catch-up

Walking alone the edge there are several small springs which usually create a muddy mess to be negotiated. Not today - about 7 inches of solid blue/white ice...

Not pretty but useful. When out riding you can always follow the pylons home if you get lost...

Lovely frost rimmed holly leaves..

and ivy too...

the dogs love the frost and snow, it makes Minty especially bouncy!

Well I had a very traditional Christmas at my parents. Went over on Christmas Eve, leaving Richard behind.....and about to head into Sheffield for drinks with the lads so not particularly sad to see me leave.... We were joined by some family friends of many years long-standing so it was a pleasant evening.

My dad was fretting though as he had agreed to play the electric organ in the local pub for some carol singing. It had been sketchily arranged so he had no idea how many would turn up or how sucessful the evening would be. Also he hates playing the electric organ as he's a pianist so wittered about that too. I was instructed to sing loudly and keep him informed how it was going. It was a good job I was there as the landlord was very disorganised and pretty drunk. So I had to take over and help my pa out. But he did really well, played away and got loads of people singing away. Of all ages too, from lads and lasses in their 20's through gussied up rich Lincolnshire farmer types with their glamourous blonde wives to the regulars, It was really nice and we all sang heartily.

If there is a next year, we'll try and do more secular Christmas songs as well as the traditional carols. Whenever Dad was waiting to find out what carol was next he played snippets of whatever he could remember and the old favourites like White Christmas, Rudolph and Jingle Bells went down really well.

Christmas Day was beautiful. Bright blue sky with a heavy white frost. I took the dogs out for a walk with my camera (as you can see above) and really enjoyed that early morning peace.

Jose and I went to church which was nice. Very few children which was a shame for a family service but it was really warm and loving. It was the first time I've been in that church (where I got married) since I left D and I had wondered if it would be uncomfortable but I realised that the wedding service is still one of my fondest memories and, not only that, I have many other cherished memories of that church - being christened (embarassingly aged 10); attending with my mother, Godmother Aileen (who I loved and who sadly died when I was 16) and her daughter Elaine and trying to stop her making us crack up with her loud whispers; going to Midnight Mass with my sister and her daughters and singing the alto part with her while the girls showboated the descants. Lots of other memories there too so no reason to feel awkward about one big one.

Then cooking with the help of our guests, Jose and Helen (mother and daughter). It was surprising how well we 3 got on in the cooking stakes. A dutch woman in her 60s, her daughter and me, none of whom knew the kitchen well or how we like to prepare Christmas lunch. But it went very smoothly and was almost relaxing. Surprising considering I had knocked back 2 pints of Snecklifter bitter in the pub with my Dad and the male half of the family friends....!!

I left on Boxing Day to get back to the Valley and Richard. We went up to the pub in the village and braved the crowds for a band which always plays there on Boxing Day. I hardly ever see them as I'm usually either in Ireland or at the football but, as the Tranmere game had been cancelled for the weather, it was good to be able to get up and have a few. Like with the church, I wondered if it might be awkward going back to the pub but with Rich but almost everyone was friendly and welcoming again and even the ones who I thought might blank me were more forthcoming than I'd expected. The spirit of Christmas perhaps....

But the best bit was getting back home and spending the evening cuddling on the sofa watching rubbish telly and then staying up as late as we could manage (nearly 4am) to watch England stuff the Aussies in the Ashes!!!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

I was reflecting to myself last night as we drove back from late night Christmas shopping at Meadowhall (the giant out of town shopping centre in Sheffield which ALL locals refer to ALL the time as MeadowHELL). On what you ask? Well, I was just thinking how very different my life is now to how it was this time last year. I suppose everyone pauses a little to reflect at this time of year - the shortest day, Christmas and the changing of the year all seem to demand some marking. Most years though my "marking" musings are about relatively small differences - weight changes usually feature highly; births and, sadly, deaths; a different house or job; a TV show or 2 (tee hee).

This year I have turned my life upside down and yet it feels "right" now. It feels as though I'm now doing what I wanted to be doing before but couldn't quite achieve.

Take Christmas shopping for example. For the last however many years, this has been a task which I have carried out mostly by myself. A combination of D working away and D not being interested meant that it increasingly came to be "my job" to buy not only for all of my family but also for his and to wrap and post or deliver them. Nothing unusual there I suspect. Although, thinking about it, last year we did make a very pleasant trip to the Christmas market in Manchester.

This year though Rich and I have been shopping together twice. Once to Sheffield on Sunday afternoon and then again last night to Meadowhell. I'm not saying that Rich exactly skipped into town with massive grin on his face at the prospect or anything but we shared the task and enjoyed picking out presents for each other's families together. None of this "you do this shop, I do that one and we'll meet here in an hour" stuff .... we walked round together, chatted about options, rang up various family members to check things and seek inspiration and made our selections, together.

And it was just right. I know I sound soppy and sentimental but this sort of thing is what I now know I wanted all along; a nice bloke to hold my hand and carry some of the bags when we go shopping. So, my presents may not be as lavish as they were last year but they are most happily purchased.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Christmas is a'comin'

Yes, startling news eh? Surely someone should have warned me??

I have done some but not all the usual Christmassy tasks this year. It has been refreshing seeing what subtle changes are wrought by a dramatic change in one's circumstances. Family traditions are different for a start. Social gatherings too. The house to be decorated is smaller, the views altered and the person I'm sharing it all with different too. I'm rejoicing in the changes for the most part but struggling with some aspects of this season.

Work is a nightmare at the moment. There is just so much to do and so little help in doing it. The people around me are pretty grumpy and demoralised after months of jobcuts and restructurings. Frankly, I cannot wait for Thursday to come so I can get out of here and enjoy the break. Hopefully we will be a cheerier although much smaller band in January.

The weather is beautiful and festive and encourages much in the way of crisp walks with dogs and snuggling in front of fires and old films but it also makes life that little bit harder. Walking down the hill in the ice is perilous. Praying that the car will start in minus 15 degrees. Scraping ice endlessly. Wondering whether I will be able to get to my parents for Christmas Eve. And exercise has all but stopped....try as I might, I could not make myself go swimming yesterday in minus 9 degrees.... I tried, I really tried but my hair would freeze and I only had time for a brief swim anyway as I had a meeting in the afternoon. Also, Rich's car was in the garage so I had to leave early to get to it and get home....sigh.. Sometimes life is very complicated.

But enough of this moaning. This post was not meant to be grumpy and "complicated" this post was meant to be about the nice things associated with Christmas.

Lots of contact with one's nearest and dearest. I have been speaking to my family much more than I usually do - not that I avoid them or anything but everyone is busy and days and weeks can pass.... So it has been nice having long chatty calls. Not only that but we spent an evening with Rich's brother and his wife and his other brother and his girlfriend on Friday so spending time with Rich's family too. We went to the Panto in Sheffield last night with some friends of Rich. It was a real laugh, heart-warming, full of happy kids laughing at the same jokes that I used to laugh at and sheffield was very pretty all decorated for the season (Christmas, Hannukah and Eid...). It really cheered us up after 2 nasty days at work. We would both probably rather have gone dancing but friends are friends and I'm glad we went in the end....

Then there's the beauty of it all. The crisp snow and hard frost. Your breath hanging in the air and the sound of snow crunching underfoot. Christmas lights as you drive through villages. Poinsettia plants (I love them although they always die on me...). A pretty Christmas tree and lots of candles in our front room. (Although Rich was not impressed by my colour scheme of "traditional" green, red and a died in the wool Sheffield Wednesday household, we should, apparently, have a blue and white tree - but I don't like them so nerr....) Singing carols and Christmas shopping.

The food. I have made mince pies and a Christmas cake and we've munched through a bought Stollen. The cake has not yet been cut, having only been iced over the weekend but it looks great. The second batch of mince pies was a disaster as I cheated and used bought pastry and failed to check the pastry so made them with puff pastry!! Very tasty but very messy!!

The telly - I loved the Strictly final this year and was so chuffed that the best dancer won (IMO anyway). I always love Sports Personality of the Year (although missed half of it for the quiz last night - well done AP McCoy!! I've enjoyed acquainting myself with some traditional Christmas films that I've somehow never seen before - It's A Wonderful Life, The Wizard of Oz etc There's usually loads of good football on over the Christmas period although the snow may put a kibosh on that this year.

The live footie - we have trips to Tranmere on Boxing Day, at home against Yeovil on 28th December and away to Huddersfield on 3 January!! Loads of Sheffield Wednesday to feast on....hopefully they have got their defeats out of the way with a woeful 5-1 against Exeter on Saturday and we can get back to the winning ways we started on Milan's first game in charge (6-2 against Bristol Rovers in case the score escaped you....!!)

Time off from work....'nuff said.

There, I've cheered myself up. Hope you find plenty of things to cheer you up too.

Friday, 17 December 2010

What do you want for Christmas?

Last year I don't know what I wanted for Christmas. Probably some toy. In the end I got a selection of "stuff" from my family and D's and D bought me a very expensive state of the art long lens for my digital SLR camera. It was a thoughtful present based on our holiday to Botswana where I'd taken some great shots but who knows what I could have taken with an even bigger lens.

This year will be different. Rich and I will not be spending Christmas together which is a source of sadness to both of us and we have agreed to put the money we would have spent on presents towards a holiday next year. It's very sensible but I must admit, now that Christmas approaches, to being a bit disappointed. I like the buying of gifts as well as the receiving and have thought of so many things I would have liked to have bought for him.

Still, maybe I can negotiate a small gift each...

But, what I was really getting at in the title was what do I REALLY want for Christmas? If I could wave a magic wand and make things right, what would I ask for?

  • I'd like to see D losing his bitterness and hatred and learning to be happy in himself. I truly hope he is happy already but now, whenever I see him, he is so engaged in making me unhappy that I can only assume that he is still bitter. So, I'd like to know that he is happy again.
  • I'd like my father to see how happy I am now and trust in that. He naturally worries about me and, while he's beginning to see it, think he needs a bit more time to accept it. I suppose the word "divorce" is troubling for a man of his generation in itself and carries inevitable connotations of upset and unhappiness which are not necessarily the case.
  • I'd like the happiness I've found with Richard to continue and deepen.
  • Oh, and World Peace....

What do you lot REALLY want for Christmas??

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Ups and downs...

Well, Day 1 of the big push is not looking like being a stellar sucess on the exercise front! Had to cancel training because I had too much to do before a meeting this morning which was shaping up to be a nightmare. Of course the meeting was delayed so I would have had time after all and turned out not to be a nightmare so I did not need to be over-prepared. Could have gone to training....

Can't go swimming at lunchtime as kit in the wrong place due to deep stress caused by 2 hour journey home last night and nearly being late for dancing.

Can't go to the gym this evening as have a haircut booked in and will not be able to get another appointment now before Christmas. And I look like a spaniel with big curly "ears" of hair which really need to be removed before Christmas. There's only so much hair you can sucessfully tuck behind your (real) ears....

So, lets look on the bright side shall we:

I weighed myself this morning and have not gained tooooo much. Am starting the big pre-Christmas push at 13.12.6 (yikes...) I had a sensible breakfast and have not had any of the cakes currently causing the snack table to groan only a few feet from my desk.

We made it to dancing last night despite my horrible journey home. I had thought I wouldn't enjoy it because of the stress of the journey but there was a sandwich waiting for me and Rich drove us back into Sheffield and by the time we got there I had de-stressed. We didn't have any new steps to learn (which might have taxed my pea-brain last night) just practised our new waltz step and did a bit more on the tango and quickstep. It's a shame, we used to love the quickstep but the new "lock step" sequence in the middle has made it a bit tricky and now it's back to being a struggle. Hopefully it'll click next week.

I now have time at lunchtime to do some essential chores and write some Christmas cards.

I can set up the Wii and WiiFit this evening or, more accurately, I can watch while Rich sets up the Wii (well, you don't keep a dog and bark do you?) and hopefully have a play later.

Yep, that just about sums up the positives and that's not too bad for a busy pre-Christmas week. Still got lots of presents to buy but should be able to get them polished off this weekend (snow willing). Hope you're all under control peeps.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Back to Swimming Ways...

Lest the complacency I was complaining about in my earlier post set in for another week, I determined to take action immediately. We went for a walk yesterday (Sunday) afternoon and I contrived to make sure that it was a long and hilly one. It was not a pretty day, being gloomy and muddy but the walk was very refreshing and the exercise welcome.

Then today, after the unexpected unpleasantness of a nasty comment to my last post, I decided that being derailed would only be what the nasty poster might want so I went swimming at lunchtime. It took some willpower to make myself go as it is chilly and drizzling here in Rotherham but, once I got there, I was rewarded with a great lunchtime swim. It's not often I can say that, especially not on a Monday. On Mondays the fast lane is cut down from a third of the width of the pool to a mere 6th to allow a learners class to take place.....Yes, I know I know, it is churlish of me to resent them but "why my lane?" I whine.... This means that it's much harder to overtake the slowcoaches who should not be in the fast lane in the first place and who will not let you pass at the end of each lap.....grrrrr....blood boiling now....

But today, all was sunshine and roses. There was only one other chap in the fast lane and he conveniently left after a few minutes leaving me to plow up and down for 1.25km of uninterrupted front crawl in splendid isolation. Heaven!

Foodwise, I did have a small slice of cake before swimming (I was hungry but didn't want to eat my lunch before swimming) but have been much more restrained and managed to stick to my sushi and yoghurt combo without any other extras.

I've also printed off my calendar for the month of December to take home and will be recording my weight each morning as I did sucessfully at the beginning of the year. I found it useful to be confronted with the inarguable truth each morning and not allow my chimp (remember her?) to rationalise away any small gains. If I had lost or STS (see, I'm getting it Peri!), I could record the weight in green pen. If I gained it had to go down in red. That way, I could see at a glance any disturbing trend upwards. I'm only intending to stick to this for a few weeks or a couple of months just to get me back to the bottom of my swing or a few lbs down even. My main aim is NOT to start 2011 with a gain, to be a stone lighter this year than last.

I can think about whether I want to make the effort to push on downwards later, this is damage limitation!!

I've also been reading some old posts and old material from my TV show days. Reading what Steve Peters tried to teach us about our chimp and what I found helpful back then. It was surprising how much had receded from my mind and how useful and inspiring it was to read it back. So, I'm going back to basics for a few weeks to see if I can get it to stick in my brain for a while longer.

PS. I bought the Wii and WiiFit in the end. Looking forward to getting it set up and having a play. Not sure what the dogs will make of us prancing round the living room, I foresee lots of barking and whining...!!

Sunday, 12 December 2010


I have been quite complacent recently about weight and exercise matters. Because I seem to have cracked the "staying the same" game, or STS as I believe it is referred to in WW circles, I have been settling down into a nice food-lined rut. Also because I'm just so happy at the moment. But I have had a minor reality check over the last few days. Although it is great that I don't seem to be struggling with the intractable knee-jerk weight gain and lack of control over food that I have lived with for so long, this does not mean that I'm the weight I'd ideally like to be or a particularly healthy weight come to think of it.
I'm currently hovering at the top end of 13 stone, just under 14 stone. This is NOT slim!! I am naturally quite a large woman and look slimmer than this weight might suggest at a relatively athletic 14/16 but still....

Now, I don't want to upset the applecart so to speak by started a "diet" but I do want to make sure that 2011 (pronounced Twenty Eleven by me these days.....but that is another story) is the year I lose some weight and say goodbye forever to the 13 stone tag at the very least. I'd like to weigh less than Richard for a start!!

What has led me to this sense of reality/dissatisfaction? Well, reading back through several months of my own blog posts for starters. I keep on harping on about how in control I feel but how I'd like to start moving downwards etc etc but here I am, in exactly the same place, no progress downwards having been commenced. In fact, at the upper end of my 4lb "swing" I'm actually 6lbs heavier than I was when I first left Diarmuid in the summer. Nearly half a stone....
Actions speak louder than words Lesley so you had better start taking action or your words will become more and more hollow sounding.

Also, I was leafing through Facebook recently and saw a set of photos of my (soon to be former) brother in law and his fiancee on holiday in the Carribean. They are young, attractive and obsessed with taking photos of each other and are very photogenic and in love which is lovely to see. They were in a beautiful white sand, turquoise beach, luxury hotel setting so the pictures looked great and she was wearing a sucession of brightly coloured bikinis, shorts and little tops, dresses etc and looked lovely in all of them. She has a nice figure but is not rake thin by any means and I've always admired her attitude to her weight, very sassy and in control and not at all apologetic for not being a stick.

It occurred to me that I could not put up pictures of myself in a swimming cossie or even shorts without some extreme styling (for styling read hiding...). I'm only 41 so should be able to do a bit better than that. I'd like to go on holiday to France next year with Richard, play golf, go to the beach, sight-seeing in shorts and look youthful and I had better start now.

Or at the very least, make sure that I do NOT put my traditional 10-14lbs on over Christmas and find myself back where I started 2010 at 14 stone 11. Kudos to me for losing that stone last spring but I don't want to be losing the same stone next spring....I want it to be new territory.

So, what am I going to do about this?? More exercise (it has slackened off since the snow hit, my bad). Less food. I have been dishing up the same portions to myself as to Rich and having desserts more often and more fattening sandwiches for lunch and snacks at work. Treats have crept back in to my repertoire. No no no, they are not necessary Lesley! Today I went back to my sushi/yoghurt combo for lunch and it was lovely and tasty and very satisfying. I do not need the extras I had been buying.

Has anyone got a Wii Fit? Are they any good for sustained but steady weight loss?? A friend in the Valley swears by hers and has lost loads. Her figure looks more like that of a 25 year old's than the 50 she is pushing!! There is one for sale on our internal message board so might give that a go..... Watch this space.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

It's a Wonderful Life

I really don't know what either of my 2 dogs do when they stick their heads deep into the snow and there some poor wee beastie trembling beneath their hot breath??

We're walking along a road would you idea when that'll be clear!

He's getting sick of being my model but co-operating, just...

Neither Rich nor I had seen the film "It's a Wonderful Life" 'til last Friday night! I thought I was the only person in the world who hadn't seen it and was resigned to never seeing it. But no! We spotted it on some crummy Christmas channel on Sky (digitally remastered into HD too...) and recorded it for some unspecified date.

Then on Friday evening after all chores were done and while I was cooking supper (comfort food lasagne in case you're interested) Rich wandered through and suggested that we stay in and watch the film.

I loved it! I had thought that it sounded very schmaltzy and a bit sickly and the clips I've seen on the various "50 Best films" compliations have made it look a bit miserable too. But it's not. It's brilliant, well-acted, timeless, loving, thought-provoking, schmaltzy, teary and just lovely. I particularly enjoyed the fact that the only tears I shed were at the happy bits (and I enjoyed the fact that Rich had wet eyes at that part too).

So, if you've not seen it, watch it. It's great, really.

Then on Saturday, after shopping, chores and a long, crispy, snowy, cold dog walk in the afternoon we decided to have another night in and watch Slumdog Millionaire. Yet another film which I (seemingly alone in the world) have never seen. The 2 films are not dissimilar actually, both slightly darker than you expect them to be, both about love, honour, integrity and real life and both ultimately uplifting in a very satisfying manner.

What was so great for me was not just watching a couple of films but the fact that we're perfectly happy staying in once in a while. I don't have to get dressed up and go out to a pub (often an empty one) EVERY weekend. That I'm with a man who enjoys my company whether in the house or outside of it. It may seem like a little thing to most people but it's huge to me.

Sunday night I went to yet another distant away pub quiz league fixture with my mates from the old pub. Richard looked at me as though I was a little mad for going out as the snow was still quite bad. We dithered for a while as to whether or not to go all the way to Winster (which is a remote, hilly village about 40 minutes away from here). In the end we decided that, sod it, we would go.

The roads weren't too bad and me and the rest of the team were very pleased that we went. We had a really good win; the pub we were playing in was cracking, really traditional, cosy, friendly and great beers and all in all it felt like the start of Christmas. As we left the pub at around 11pm, it was freezing (minus 10 or so) but the snow was crunchy, the village was beautiful. Our breath just hanging in the air looked lovely and the stars were stunning. A proper feelgood evening.

Monday night, however, Richard and I did leave the house. For dancing of course!! Having missed last Monday we were a bit nervous about whether they had learned loads of new steps and how much we might have missed. Luckily no new steps. This was not however, to mean that all would be well. Everyone else had spent last Monday practising the complicated new steps we had learned the previous week!! Which Rich and I could hardly remember!! It was a nightmare....all those new quickstep and tango moves were just dim wisps to us whereas everyone else was sailing round the floor!! Yikes. We won't be missing another week in a hurry!

This week though, we were very fortunate not to miss new waltz steps so now we have the Basic and the "Whisk and Chasse". We're getting very professional I tells ya! Or, maybe not.... but it's great and we love it. You just lose yourself in the concentration but once in a while you feel like you're really dancing and it seems effortless. W were having such a laugh doing the cha cha cha though that we started showing off and promptly lost our place. Idiots..couldn't stop laughing...

Friday, 3 December 2010

More snow days...

The road down through the village to the pub, sweet eh? And steep too...

Rich leaning on a snow drift

Me and Minty. I know the hat is deeply unflattering but it's warm and keeps my ears covered up so nerr...

It's been a mini snow-cation this week:
  • I worked from home Tuesday by arrangement.
  • There was not a cat's chance in hell of getting in on Wednesday so I did about half a day's work before abandoning that effort. Well, Richard was sent home from work and there were walks to be had, dogs to be cuddled and films to be watched.
  • Thursday was hardly any better. The car was totally covered and couldn't be moved until late afternoon and, even if I had been able to shift it, the trains weren't running anyway.
  • Today, I probably could have made it in. The occasional train was running but there were big delays - 60/90 minutes. Rotherham station was totally closed but I suppose I could have tried to drive (didn't fancy it over the hill in the ice...) or take the train to Meadowhall and try and get a taxi from there. But the effort seemed disproportionate to the reward. Richard's work texted yesterday and said it was going to be closed today and I have plenty of leave days left so I decided early to take another one and make the most of it!
So, what have I been up to?

I was very proud of myself yesterday. I re-arranged personal training from 7am to a more civilised 11am. You'd have to be insane to get up that early if you don't have to and schlep through the deep snow and ice for a mile and a half.... But I did schelp through the snow and ice for a mile and a half at 10.30am to get there and, as a "reward" he worked me exceedingly hard. Huw said I was one of the dedicated half dozen out of his clients who had not cancelled and who had made a proper effort to keep up with my routine.

(I hope you're picturing me now with chest puffed up with pride because that is how I felt....smug, virtuous, insufferable to be honest!! Tee hee...)

Once that was out of the way, we dug my car out and went to Hope a couple of miles down the road to do some essential chores. Then a proper snowed-in session in the local last night rounded off another lovely day.

Today, Rich had to go up to his flat so I stayed and made my Christmas cake. I know, I know, it should have been made weeks ago and be sitting in a cupboard being lovingly fed brandy but 3 weeks will jsut have to do. I'm now sitting blogging in a warm kitchen scented with the heavenly smell of baking fruit cake....mmmmmm....droooool.....

We've just been for a walk and while it wasn't as pretty as it had been first thing this morning when the sun was out, it was still beautiful. Some of those lanes are so deep in snow which has now frozen that I can't see them being passable for weeks. A few looked more like footpaths than roads. It is pretty epic up there.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010


As you can see, I have finally managed to upload some snowy photos. They're in 3 lots; the first are from the weekend when we had a picturesque dusting set off by glorious sunshine and an incomparable blue sky. The second lot are from yesterday when we had a proper downfall and the last 2 pics I took from my back door this morning when I stuck my nose out and snapped the "view".

Its been fun seeking out new routes for dog walking and admiring new views too. Hope you like them.

This is the view from the top of Bradwell looking back down the Valley with Win Hill on the left and Bamford Edge in the background.

This the point I turn back on my walk, the very edge of the village looking out towards Windmill and Tideswell with Shatton Edge to the left.

Its a very hilly area. There's no such thing as a flat walk round here!!

So, this is what it looked like yesterday in between snow showers.

I could see the dogs yesterday but suspect if we went out today, they would be invisible. This morning when I let them out for a pee, they hopped about 2 foot from the door, did their business then turned tail and came back in! In the minute they had been outside they were already covered in snow and looked like baby snowdogs!

This morning it was chucking it down. I was half-heartedly thinking about starting the 2 or 3 mile trek to the station and then heard a whisper on the radio that the trains weren't running. I checked the website (thank God I've got broadband finally!!) and discovered that the trains between Sheffield and Manchester are cancelled. I've not seen this much snow so quickly and certainly not so early in the year.
I emailed work and found out that only one person has made it in from my team and all of the bosses are snowed in so it's a genuine snow day!! I'm doing a bit of checking of emails etc but really it's a lovely day off. Will probably take it off and not bother claiming that I worked from home, just credit a couple of hours to my flexi pot.
Rich walked to work at 6.30am and got in bang on time (what a hero eh?) and was sent home with pay 2 hours later. It's looking like a day watching old films and hopefully heading out for a walk to the shops once (if!) it stops snowing later.
I am pretty well provisioned but don't have any spuds to go with the 2 lush looking steaks I have in the fridge and the delivery to the Co-op in the village didn't have any either....panic!! I'm also struggling for dog food - there is a pack of chicken wings in the freezer in Rich's flat but we can't get to them!! So the girls enjoyed scrambled eggs on toast with me for breakfast!!
They're now curled up so tight you couldn't squeeze a finger in to scratch their tummies
but, no doubt, once we hit the sofa, they will clamber up for a proper cuddle!
Actually, these are out of date - there is even more snow now as it's been coming down solidly for the last 3 hours! There are 2 foot long icicles on the guttering of the house opposite!!

Anyway, I'm off to the sofa now. Hope you're all safe and well and can enjoy your snow day in peace or, if you're in sunnier climes, that you're enjoying the tales of the UK's unusual weather.