I am not a Number... May 14 2013

No, this isn't a blog about "The Prisoner" and prisoner "Number Six" but if you add my entry number up, it comes to six!  Hence the title, clever eh?  No?  Oh okay, I'll move swiftly on... Over the weekend, my friend Emma and I went to Hastings where Emma’s Uncle Paul and Auntie Carol live to do a 5 mile charity run along the seafront.  To be honest,  I thought I was going to struggle as I hadn't really prepared for it because I had forgotten all about it… until 2 weeks ago!

And up until a week ago, Emma and I found out that her Uncle Paul was one of the sponsors so no pressure there then!

As we waited near the back for the race to start, it made me nervous seeing people looking professional and polished in their running attire, swinging their legs back and forth loosening their muscles with a pair of £200 running trainers on the end of each leg.

New trainers everyone??

"Linda, it's ALL for show." said Auntie Carol trying to make me feel a bit better.  "What, you mean all the gear but no idea?" I queried.  "Yes, pay no attention, you'll be fine." she said reassuringly.  "Just run at your own pace and enjoy it." said Uncle Paul who has run the London Marathon six, yes SIX times!!!  As I said, no pressure, walking any of this was not going to be an option!

Although the wind was pushing us back and hindering that day, the sea air seemed to help with my breathing giving me more oxygen than normal but it did nothing for the dreaded stitch I keep getting when I run.  "Just relax!" shouted a lady spectator at us. "That's all very well for her to say that when she's not doing the running!" a fellow lady runner said as she saddled up beside me.  She had a point, it is easy to say something like that when you're not battling against the elements over a 5 mile stretch and with a stitch (irritation of the diaphragm I'm told).  Anyway, I managed to run through the pain, how I don't know but I completed the 5 miles in 51 minutes and 11 seconds with which I was pleased considering the stopwatch started as soon as the gun went off and we were near the back and I got a stitch.  Did I mention I got a stitch??  Emma came in just before me at 50 minutes 46 seconds.  The fastest time was 28 minutes and 11 seconds, a whole 23 minutes quicker than me!  Well at least I didn't come last...

Both happy with our times and feeling good about ourselves, we guzzled a cup or two of water while admiring our shiny medals and Emma’s Uncle Paul rewarded us with an ice-cream each (you're never too old for an ice-cream) before heading back for a shower and a spot of lunch of roast chicken, chips, homemade coleslaw and a rocket salad mixed with grapes and tangerine, yum, it was delicious!

Me and a Banksy getting totally windswept on Hastings seafront

PS  A titbit for anyone who gets a stitch while out running... Put your hands on your head and keep on running.  You might look a bit of an idiot doing it but apparently it works.  Thank you Emma's Uncle Paul for telling me that...

Oh I do love to be beside the seaside! April 24 2013

After my ordeal from the weekend before doing the 5k obstacle run in Devon, I had marked in my diary the Bournemouth Vintage Fair for the following weekend.  I was still feeling pretty poorly and yes, you may laugh about how feeble I was being but I really was not well, I can only describe the pain as if flu were in my bones.  I think I may have even had slight hyperthermia from that day in Devon and still hadn't fully recovered because I just felt rough all week.

My friend Sarah and I set off in the morning down the M3 to be by the seaside for the day.  The fair itself was in the Pavillion which was built in the 1920s and had the splendour of Art Deco architecture and décor.  It is set just a little off the beachfront and was already very busy by the time we got there.

The Ballroom was where it was all happening and it was heaving with stalls selling their vintage wears.  Despite feeling poorly, I could hardly contain my excitement, there was just so much to see and I wanted to see it all there and then!  Sarah had to reel me in a bit and said, "We need to do this in an orderly fashion or we may miss out on seeing certain stalls and you don't want that."  "Er, yes..."  I replied, "You're right..." And she was.  Sarah's sensible, I’m not so sensible and we started to do the rounds!

As music from yesteryear blared out through the speakers, we mooched around at the vintage bags from the 1950s, we tried on sunglasses from the 1960s, we “oohed” and “ahhed” at the pretty vintage glass perfume bottles, we stared at the fur stoles from the 1940s and of course we made a beeline for the vintage brooches!

I had saved my pennies especially for the day and I managed to pick up three lovely brooches.

After a lovely afternoon, we had seen all that had to be seen and so we headed for the beachfront to blow the cobwebs away and by golly, did it blow!  The wind was so strong it could have swept you off the pier into the sea never to be seen again!  At that point, we decided to head off the Harry Ramsdens for a well deserved dinner of Fish and Chips.  Well, Scampi for me as I don’t do battered Cod!