Monthly Archives: April 2015

How I Celebrated My 40th Birthday (Monday & Tuesday)

(If you missed the first two posts you can read them here: 1. Saturday, 2. Sunday )

This was turning out to be a series of delights that really made my heart sing, spending time with my best friend Wigs.

Monday & Tuesday

Blue GingerOn Monday I’m really pleased to see Wigs when he gets back from work. He has a few urgent tasks to complete which he promises will be done by 7:30pm (and they are). Then we walk hand in hand to our local Thai restaurant for their vegan night and have a delicious meal with bubbly conversation that makes me smile.

906013_1004901292875860_351341079028471102_oOn Tuesday the actual day of my birthday, I’m given instructions  to open the big cardboard box that has been waiting patiently in the hallway for the last few days. It turns out to be exactly what I wanted and I also get a flyboarding session to be enjoyed later on!

Wigs leaves work a little early and the weather is spectacular. He wants to know what I’d like to do for the afternoon and evening. I say that I’d be ecstatic if we went for a long walk to the city centre park taking photos along the way. He suggests alternatives, like another motorbike ride instead.  Walking doesn’t make sense to him –  it’s slow and there’s no adrenalin. But I love it like a puppy would, taking in colours, sights, smells, touching leaves and flowers as I go. I jump up and down on the spot with hopeful eyes. He wants to make my birthday special and agrees to go walking and even finds an extra long adventurous route so we can enjoy the park and woods all the more.

11180367_1004568466242476_841815629_oWe stroll out of the park, stop for a glass of wine in a beer garden and at the end of the day pass by our favourite curry house for dinner before we make it home, kick the shoes off our tired feet and sleep soundly ready for a new day.

Final Weekend, Saturday

Read about the last weekend of celebrations starting with Final Weekend, Saturday.

How I Celebrated My 40th Birthday (Sunday)

(If you missed Saturday, you can read it here)

Sunday

After such an amazing day on Saturday, what could I do on Sunday? It was a bit overcast in the morning, so maybe some indoor activities?

Rock Climbing

11153375_1003217343044255_1729485758_oI gear up excitedly for climbing. I cut my nails back just short of my skin – no talons on these grippers! It’s cold, I put my woolly hat and jumper on and jog on the spot.

The instructors give us a warm welcome and we limber up on a 4+, a couple of 5’s and 5+’s. Then we get bolder and go for a 6a. We’re out of practice and it feels tough. I get stuck half way. I have to heave my foot up so my knee is up around my ear and stand up on it with nothing else to grab onto until I’m upright. My body is trembling. With all my weight over my big toe, I roar like Wolverine and use every muscle in my leg to push up and grab a hold above my head. I grin and Wigs shouts “Well done Babe!”.

One more 6a to finish. Wigs picks a wall that’s leaning back into the room. Ouch! It’s going to be a full body work out. He works his way up, decoding the route, taking breaks on the way. Then it’s my turn. After seeing how hard it was I’m not planning on hanging around. The holds give me enough grip to swing from left to right like a chimpanzee so I keep swinging and lunging and don’t stop ’til I get to the top. I feel exhilarated and we have a good belly laugh at my monkey style.

Smoothie

Mango, Kale, Banana & Cinnamon SmoothierWe drive to the pool for another swim, only to be turned away – it’s closed for the Swimathon event – darn it! Back home, I make a Mango, Kale, Banana and Cinnamon smoothie to keep us going. We watch the end of ‘Rover’ and my body starts to shut down making me cold and sleepy. I don’t want to cut my birthday weekend short, so I have a 45 minute nap to recharge. I wake up flustered and my head is spinning but I’m determined to fit a bit more in, so I glug a pint of cold water and jump into my motorbiking kit.

Motorbiking

11158138_1003399013026088_1271180706_nI put fresh air in my tyres, rev the dust of the engine and boom I’m ready to rock! Wigs explains the route and I set off as lead. It’s pure bliss from the moment I take the first right hander. The bike tips in and floats around like I’ve never been out the saddle. I remind myself to keep my hips and shoulders relaxed, dropping my shoulder into the turns and the ride just flows. We get to the country lanes and only one or two cars are around. I blast past them so I can take the straights and bends as fast as I like. The wind rushes through my helmet with the smell of freshly cut grass. I lean into corners and accelerate through, feeling free like an eagle soaring above the hedgerows. We stop at some lights and Wigs pulls up next to me and asks if I want to carry on or head back. I’m about to scrunch my face up to show he must be insane – head back? Then I remember that he’s not a mind reader, even though according to Rom’ Com’s he’s meant to be. So I smile like a cheshire cat and shout through my helmet “CARRY ON!”

 A Film

It’s 6pm and there’s only 45 minutes before “John Wick” starts. We wrench our gear off, throw pasta into pans, hurl water over it, dive into the shower, change clothes yet again, cram food into our mouths and drive like Furious 7 to Cineworld, making it just in time for the start.

Afterwards I’m completely and utterly shattered and also thoroughly contented and fulfilled. It was my favourite kind of weekend and what’s more it was my 40th birthday weekend. When can I do it again?

Monday & Tuesday

Read how the celebrations continued on Monday & Tuesday

How I Celebrated My 40th Birthday (Saturday)

My 40th birthday celebrations were on Saturday and Sunday! What did I do? A trip to New York? A holiday in the Maldives? A huge surprise party with long lost friends…? No, I didn’t do any of those things. I just wanted a weekend of doing all the things I really love, with Wigs. We’d planned to go to the coast, but there was no surf. So this is how it went…

Saturday

I wake up to glorious sunshine and it shines all day, the birds are singing – how lovely!

Swimming

Swim Hat & GogglesWe start off with a swim at my local pool.  I normally swim 9 stokes per breath. Today I’m on 11, sometimes 13 so my body must be relaxed. I get a delicious memory of paddling on my board in the sea, knowing that each stroke in the pool makes me stronger for catching waves. I focus on powering through and love the sensation of gliding through the water. I’m feeling good and pop under the rope into the fast lane. Wigs swims behind me and then overtakes me. I see a mass of chest and belly loom up to my left. I’m already on the rope and have no where to go. I huff and go back into the medium lane. I’m miffed for a few minutes but we both have a good giggle about it later. I feel lively.

Juicing

We stop by the Co-Op for some veggies and I make us each a pint of apple, IMG_3042pineapple, kale and lime juice. It’s sweet with a real lime zing and picks me right up! Who needs Rowntrees Sours? The sky is clear and blue and I  want to be outdoors so I ask Wigs for a skateboard lesson. This could end in tears.

Skateboarding

Lava Flo Skate GearWe drive round the corner to a skate friendly park with a skate bowl. No one is around, the path is smooth tarmac and there’s soft grass to land on. After a few false starts, I brave some longer runs. My braking skills need practice. I’m meant to be balancing gracefully,  gently scuffing my sole on the path, like a brake pad. I slam my foot onto the tarmac and it bounces back up (which doesn’t help to slow me down) – I go for the ‘run-out’ instead, my skateboard safely stopping on the grass as I sprint past it. It works well until I start going faster – my legs don’t seem to support me so well then. I’m running but the ground is getting closer like I’m drunk and made of lead. It’s scary and hilarious at the same time.  My biggest run has me falling on my bum as I don’t have the skills to stop and Wigs tries to catch-me but can’t. That’s why I wore knee pads, elbow pads, a helmet and gloves. Wigs chuckles as he doesn’t need any of that, but I don’t take myself too seriously and I’m not worried about looking cool.

Cycling

Lava Flo CyclingWe make some lunch, potter about the house together and let our tummies settle. Then we kit up ready for a road cycle. We follow our prep routine as follows: I scratch my head wondering how many layers to wear, if I’ll be too cold or too hot. Wigs beavers away, unlocking bikes, pumping tyres, filling water bottles, and being manly so all I have to do is cycle. It’s a lovely ride today on our 17 mile loop. Just a few miles out of town and we’re in the country side. The roads are quiet, people are taking strolls, walking dogs. I change through the gears to go as fast as I can down hill and go on to my drops. I hit 25mph whizzing along as fast as the cars. On the inside I’m squealing “woo hoooo!” On the outside I’m blowing my nose from the icy head-wind. The saddle is killing me today after just 10 minutes. After 30 it turns to agony and begins to feel like a sledge hammer on my sit bones. I refuse to be beaten and focus my mind on enjoying the down hills and speeding round bends. I make it home, limp indoors and immediately google “Ladies, Cycle Shorts, Pain”.

Eating Out

Loco LoungeMy body feels like jelly now. I nearly roll down the stairs on my way out (good job I was holding the hand rail!) We walk to our local cafe/bar to sit outside in the sun, but the chilly wind has picked up. So we opt for hearty plates indoors at Loco Lounge, sitting next to each other on an old leather sofa. A cheeky Ginger Bramble cocktail for me, a beer for Wigs and we share a risotto, veggie burger and chips between us. It barely touches the sides. Sainsbury’s is still open, and we buy some birthday pie – apple pie. It was the best birthday pie ever.

 A Film

We start watching ‘Rover’ to wind down. I’m completely pooped and fall asleep on Wigs’. He wakes me up to go upstairs and sleep in the bed. I was cosy and my body was in furnace mode, the point when you’ve heated up like a hot jacket potato and don’t want to be disturbed. I lollop upstairs like a grizzly bear awoken from hibernation and throw myself under the duvet.

I’m out for the count. It was a fantastic day. I can’t wait for more on Sunday…

Video

Here’s the video of my skateboard lesson:

Sunday

I’ll tell you all about Sunday in my next post!

Setting up Blogs & Separating my Interests

It’s been a full time job setting up my blogs so I can enjoy using them. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it but now I’m exhausted! It reminded me of the creative side of software development (the visuals and creating materials that others can interact with). It also reminded me of why I left it behind – all the technical pain, the settings, the customisation and the dreaded HTML!

The templates on wordpress have really impressed me. And it prompted me to update my own site Lava-Flo.com which I built via 1and1.co.uk I don’t think the 1and1 templates are as good and there’s no blog feature, but it’s a bit like an online house that I bought years ago and don’t want to sell, so I’ve redecorated it as best as I could!

I checked very carefully whether to put everything in one blog or separate my interests out. I don’t think there’s fixed answer. In the end my instinct told me to separate it out. One of the reasons is that on Facebook some ‘friends’ were saying “too many smoothies! not enough sport,” whilst others would only comment on photos, and others only wanted to see my thrill-seeking.

I do like the separation. I don’t feel like I need to censor or hide any aspect now. I can be colourful and vibrant in my own way, with each area and not worry that people are getting swamped. I’m especially happy to discover so many creative blogs on wordpress and so much interaction. How lovely! Why didn’t I do this before?