Monday, 25 July 2016

Pokemon Go comes to RHS Wisley

I know. I could hardly believe it either.  But it's true.  Pokemon Go has come to Wisley (2 gyms and lots of Pokestops).

The girls and I went for a lovely walk around Wisley gardens today. They have a space theme happening and although the girls picked up their 'Captain's Log' books, they decided to take a different route around the gardens so we didn't actually do that this time.  Next time we'll go look for the clues. 



S, me, teen and N
There is also a nice sculpture trail featuring lots of birds.  Some were stunning and I'd love them in my garden...if I had a spare few thousand pounds!

I did love this but sadly was just short of the £24,000 it costs. Must have left my loose change at home.

We stopped by the Glasshouse Cafe for an ice cream which was gorgeous.  They now have a 'Mr Whippy' style ice cream offering but it's so much thicker and richer than you'd get in an ice cream van. Delish!  It was then that teen and I decided to just glance and see if Pokemon had invaded Wisley.  We were shocked to find it had! There were 2 red gyms there (at the time of writing this) and numerous Pokestops around the place.  In fact, you could top up your items quite nicely as you walked around.  Good for me as I'd run out of Pokeballs due to a game glitch (68 one day, 8 the next, used 2 and ended up with 0 - go figure. Glad I never was daft enough to buy them!).

Huge pinecone (area fenced off in case one fell on your head!)

Ice cream time



The weather was nice today for walking around.  Not too hot (although there is always shade at Wisley) and a nice breeze.  Not too busy for the start of school holidays either.  We'll be back next week.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Star Trek Beyond

Hubby and I went on a 'date night' today to see Star Trek Beyond in 3D. I've not seen a 3D film at the cinema before so was really looking forward to it.  Surprised that cinema itself was almost empty considering the film had only been released yesterday (admittedly without J.J. Abrams at the helm).  "I like the beat and shouting".

Image Source
Great action scenes but a wee bit slow on the planet for my liking.  I'm much fonder of them boldly going, than boldly running around on terra firma.  The final action scenes were also really good. There were some real laugh out loud moments that the audience (of about 20) really enjoyed (had everyone else gone to the 2D screening?) and I, personally, loved the fact they wore the old uniforms at the end.

I was surprised to hear that Idris Elba was the best baddie there has been in a Star Trek film.  Not in my opinion...not even close!  

Unfortunately for nights out with hubby, this will be the first and last 3D film we'll see together as unfortunately the whole thing gave him a headache (I thought he had fallen asleep at one point as his head was down towards his chest, but the poor man was just suffering).

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Getting fitter with my Fitbit

Today I walked just over 3 miles. Gradually my mileage is increasing which is great. My calf muscles do burn a lot when I start though.  I'm assuming this is a good thing.  I like to start my day with a good few thousand steps on my Fitbit.

The other great thing the Fitbit does for me is monitor my resting heart-rate.  I had some issues with high blood pressure and my pulse being around 160/90.  Not good.  Exercise was suggested by my doctor as a good way to reduce that.  However, being a PhD student means that I am rather tied to my desk and used to dislike 'wasting time' going for a walk.  Having the Fitbit has stopped that mood.  I've seen my resting heart-rate steadily decline from a shocking 82bpm when I first got my Fitbit, to now being around 76bpm. Bearing in mind I've only had the Fitbit a few weeks, that's a serious improvement and takes me out of the danger zone.  I'm looking forward to seeing it go down even further.

I do like to get to my 10,000 steps every day and also hit my floor climbing and mileage targets.  I've even found I'm marching on the spot in front of the TV if I've not hit my step target for the day (although this is now becoming quite rare).

I'm sure that as well as getting me healthier, having my Fitbit also means that I will shift the last bit of weight I want to lose to hit my goal at Slimming World. That's got to be a great thing.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Pokemon Go

Ok, so I'm a tad over my teens but even I couldn't resist looking at what Pokemon Go was all about.  I added the app at work yesterday as the UK version was released, and away I went.  My first Pokemon popped up right at my desk - in university!  Wow!  I'm not an accomplished catcher so it took me about 6 Pokeballs to get it, but got it I did.

It seems there are quite a few Pokestops at Royal Holloway.  I spotted one by the Boiler House and picked up some Pokeballs outside the Computer Centre on my way back to the car park. It is graduation week at university, and quite a few of us noticed that the graduates were also wandering around with their phones on picking up Pokemon.  

Today I went out for a walk (my usual Fitbit meander) and picked up 8 Pokemon on my way.  Near where I live we have a Gym right beside the lake and The Royal Oak pub in Knaphill is another Pokestop.  Awesome.  One even popped up by my filing cabinet!

Only problem I had?  Nearly getting run over by a guy on a bike cycling round the lake, staring at his phone - not where he was going. Glad one of us noticed!

Gotta catch 'em all!

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Planting in the garden...and a tiger...

...and a giraffe.  I know. The things you can buy at a garden centre now is amazing *grin*. My trolley was a little fuller than I expected.

I popped down to Longacres this weekend to collect some new plants to scatter around the garden.  We've had to cut down a shrub we lovingly referred to as 'the bumblebee bush' as it died. No idea why but one half died off about 5 years ago and now, suddenly, the other side has.  I've wound a passion flower around the large 'trunk' that it left and that's now taken off big time (much to do with the constant sun and rain we're experiencing I suspect).

I also cleared away a little area near our drive which basically was full of 'hedge' type shrubs. I've planted a selection of flowers here to grow and fill the space.  I then realised I had some more of the watering system parts left and set that up here as well.  I love these self-watering gardens!

I bought this gorgeous hanging basket from Longacres as well.  It didn't seem worth the effort of making one up when I got this for £9.99.  The flowers look lovely (and yes, it's also attached to my watering system).

The pots are blooming well also so we're getting some real colour in the front garden, as well as the back now too.  I just wish we had some sunshine to sit out there.  Come on summer - hurry up!

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Ever dated a Narcissist?

I have.  May I just say he was probably more of a sociopath - or as I like to refer to him - 'the prat'.  Gladly it was only for a few months of my life when I was somewhat younger.  Funnily enough I stumbled across this article on Facebook today and have to say it made for a jolly good read (and now, a jolly good laugh).  I remember many conversations like this:

Me: "I said I would probably not make that."
He: "You said possibly, not probably.  They are two different things."

If you've ever met one of these people, have a read.  A book I recommend is Emotional Vampires by Albert Bernstein. It's caught the eye of lots of friends on my bookshelf and nearly every, single one of them knows one of these people.  I'm pretty sure you'll know at least one of them too!

Friday, 8 July 2016

Veg for dinner

We picked the veg from the veg bed last week.  Nice little crop.  Unfortunately, we have adventurous slugs and snails that suddenly seemed spurred on to climb the veg bed, and nearly everything was eaten over a few days of not going in the garden due to the rain/sun/rain/wind/sun/rain that we were having.  Next year all my plants will be surrounded by the 'ring of blue death'!

Regardless of losing more than we grew, the girls were delighted with our first crop.  They particularly loved the fat carrots (can't remember their proper name but 'fat carrot' is a good one).  We've still got the tomato plants growing with the tiniest little tomatoes on them at the moment.  One chilli plant was eaten away completely, but the other is still there but...well, it's just not grown at all.  Go figure.

There is intense excitement about the potato (yes, I only planted the one) so we'll leave that a bit longer.  I'm off to Longacres on Sunday so I'm planning to pick up some more growing veg or fruits to plant in the veg bed...and a bloody huge tub of slug/snail pellets too!

Monday, 4 July 2016

Let's do the Time Warp again

Myself, teen and a friend headed off to Woking on Saturday afternoon to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show.  It was huge fun (as always). We weren't dressed up (feather boas for us older ones and teen in a lab coat and glasses).  Lots of people turned up in some amazing costumes and the front row were clearly dedicated Horror followers as one chap was shouting out all the 'in-between' lines and giving us (and the narrator) quite a laugh.

Teen and I ready to sing

Teen met these 'ladies' at Nandos
I was surprised to see some young children in the audience as with the language used and the sexual content, I would have said it was definitely for the older theatre goer.  The cast were fantastic and the encore of Time Warp and Sweet Transexual were brilliant.  Roll on next time as we'll be in full costume then.

Friday, 1 July 2016


I've heard a lot about FitBit but I was a little sceptical that wearing a little watch type thing that monitored my steps would actually encourage me to do any more.  However, having hit a hiatus in my weight loss with Slimming World (I can't lose that last damn 13lb), it occurred to me that this may be due to not exercising enough (the joys of being a PhD student - chained to the desk!).  I thought about this for about...well, 10 minutes or so, and then decided to get myself a FitBit and join the craze.  

My first dilemma was which one to buy?  It seemed logical to me that if I'm wearing it a lot, having a watch feature would be a huge benefit.  I also liked the idea of a heart-rate monitor (especially as my heart-rate had been a bit high, along with my blood pressure a few months ago).  Another feature that caught my eye was a sleep monitor.  I always feel like it takes me ages to get to sleep so it would be interesting to see how much I do fidget (and not just take hubby's word for it!).  The logical choice then was the Charge HR.  I decided to purchase my FitBit from Amazon as I am a student and get money off my purchases.  See, proper student mentality - why pay full price when you can pay less?!  I also would get it the next day (yep, Amazon Prime Student too!).  I chose a lovely purple one.  May as well have a bit of colour right?

It arrived the next day whilst I was at work. I couldn't wait to get home and try it out.  I went for a small strap (FitBit kindly provide a cut out paper version to check your wrist size on their website) and it was a perfect fit.  What do I think of it?  I love it!  Do you know what...I did some Zumba the first night to try it out. It recognised aerobic exercise and recorded it for me.  How clever is that?  I've also tried to fool it by sitting in a chair pretending I'm walking to see if it would pick it up - nope, it's not that easily fooled (although a friend told me that a drummer friend of hers has one and it keeps telling him he's done his 10,000 steps for one drumming session).  

Has it inspired me?  Yes.  I am the woman who doesn't own a pair of trainers (well, a pair I bought for £5 from eBay (yes including P&P) just for my Airkix flight but wouldn't be seen dead in again) and yesterday I went to a sports shop (good grief!) and bought myself some pink Nike trainers.  I know. You're wondering why pink aren't you?  Student remember....they were in the sale *grin*.  Hey, they almost match my FitBit...almost.   I haven't worn them yet as I was at work today but I intend to over the weekend.  

I'm spurred on to walk around the lounge if I've not done my 10,000 steps a day but it was only the day I got the FitBit (so far) that I didn't manage that.  I've also joined up with friends for weekend challenges and just seeing what we're all doing.  Clever stuff this.  I download my stats onto my mobile phone once a day.  It's very illuminating I can tell you.  So, FitBit, you've done your job and inspired me.  My husband is now thinking about buying one as well.