Sunday, 28 August 2016

New mattress

Don't they say you need a new mattress every 8 years or something? I honestly can't remember when we got ours but what I know is this - it's bloody uncomfortable!  In fact, it's got so bad that a solid nights' sleep in it means you have chronic backache in the morning.  Hubby prefers the sofa. I prefer the floor. That tells you what it's like.  So, why then has it taken so long for us to get a new one? I can't answer that other than, as parents, we tend to come bottom of the list for things that are needed. I know, it's not exactly a fortune for a new mattress (well, it is if you see some of them) but it's been one of those 'let's buy it next month' things for about...err...4 years I guess.  

Another comfy night?

Today, aching neck and back and finding hubby on the sofa again was the last straw.  Dreams advert appeared on TV and I headed to the laptop to pick up a new mattress. It arrives Thursday. Hooray! We've done it. 

One thing that surprised me was this. I've paid £39 to have the old mattress removed.  Fair enough. But to have my mattress delivered to anywhere but my front door is another £39.  Surely, if the delivery men are coming into my house to pick up my old mattress from - surprise, surprise - the bedroom, they could carry the new one up? I won't be bringing my old mattress down on my own to the front door for them to take.  What an odd thing to ask for more money for.  So, when they arrive, they can either leave the new mattress at the front door, go upstairs and get the old one, then squeeze past the new one to get out, or they can take the new one up with them.  I wonder what they will do?

Friday, 26 August 2016

Cycling and The Jungle Book

My 7 year old encouraged me to go out cycling with her today.  Her little sis was at a friends for a play date so the two of us went out.  We've just bought her a new (2nd hand) bike and she loves it.  It's a great size with 17" wheels and has a kind of BMX feel to it. She thinks it's the bees-knees.  So she and I (with my gel saddle cover as my poor bottom still feels the pain of every bump) headed off. Just a few laps of our local lake and football pitches. We even stopped for an ice cream.  She's a smashing little rider and good company.  Shame we can't encourage her little sis to ride a  bit more - she's definitely a scooter girl.

In the evening we three girls curled up together to watch the new Jungle Book film. Wow!  It was amazing. How did they do that?  Look at the markings on the animals.  The girls wondered if they trained the panther and the wolves.  It almost had me questioning it!  If you've not seen it, it's worth a watch.  Not the ending you know from the original one and a bit scary in places for little ones.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Bugs and Herbs

Popped down to Longacres today as I wanted a few different herbs for the garden.  The veg table is doing well with the tomatoes and cucumbers but there's plenty of space so a few weeks ago I planted my basil out there instead of having it on the windowsill in the kitchen. It's flowering and doing really well so I decided to get some more herbs.  There was a great selection at Longacres and, better still, they were 5 for £10 - result!


The girls also wanted some more bug features for the garden.  Their bug barn is doing well, although I think the birds have stolen all the straw for their nests!  I must put more in and a bit of mesh over the front next time I think.  There was a lovely variety of bug houses available so I decided to get two in the end - a Butterfly and Moth Habitat Feeder and a Beehive.  We have quite a few butterflies and bees around in our garden so it will be nice if some of them make a home with us. 


When I got home with them, the girls were absolutely over the moon.  Shame it was raining but we decided to put them up in the afternoon regardless.  The girls went off ferreting around in the waste food bin looking for some over-ripe fruit.  They found a very squashed melon and picked a strawberry off our plant that the slugs had got to.  We then made up some sugar water and N filled the little pots up with it.  I also bought a Buddleia.  May as well encourage the butterflies and bees right?  We decided to hang it on the fence above the potted buddleia, with a piece of buddleia flower inside it as the instructions suggest.  The girls then filled the small black pots with some wildflower seeds (probably the wrong time of year to plant them but they wanted something in there).  I can always buy a few little plants or some more herbs to put there if needed.


Finally, we have feeders up for the birds and I've always wanted a bird bath but the big ones are quite pricey (and it's where to put it in the garden).  I spotted a miniature hanging birdbath and so picked that up as well.  I was going to hang that from the tree that overhangs our garden...then I remembered that hubby has cut all such branches down. Oops!  So, on the fence instead. Hope the birds like it there.

The girls enjoyed planting the herbs in the veg table and some grobags we have. Hopefully I'll have some lovely fresh herbs for some time now.  I love cooking 'from scratch' (and it's better for my diet too) so it's good to have fresh herbs rather than running back and forth to the supermarket every time I need something.  

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

An eyeful on eBay!

...and I was only looking for some sports tops and shorts/leggings!  I have been going out every day now for a 3 or 4 mile walk to help improve my fitness. I'm loving it but I've decided I need to look the part.  Currently I'm walking around in FitFlops, M&S shorts and a Boden top.  Very athletic I'm sure you will agree *grin*  So I've decided now that I am fit enough to look like I'm keeping fit (follow that?) that I need some proper sports wear.  I had a look at Debenhams (not much there), Amazon (Mmmm....), JB Sports (how much?) and finally eBay.  There I struck gold for what I was looking for.

She's never lifting 60kg!
There was one side to searching eBay that didn't occur on other sites though.  I began to wonder, particularly during the 'shorts' search, what these ladies were really selling!  I mean really?  One of them is even laying in bed so hardly much of an advert for 'sports shorts' is it!  She's clearly bought them 6 sizes too small as well!

Oi! You've bought the wrong size again.
I recall a similar sight when looking for some bras (see this blog piece).  Do you think women actually buy these?  I've never seen anyone down a gym looking like that.  Have you?

Monday, 15 August 2016

West Wittering Beach

We decided to hit the seaside today and headed off to West Wittering.  We arrived at 10.30am and were already being directed to the overflow car park.  Talk about busy.  Parked up and found a spot on the beach near the sea and set up 'camp'.  Girls and hubby went straight off for a paddle/swim and I sat and relaxed.  Glad we had our little windbreak/shelter tent as it was a bit breezy but also allowed the girls somewhere to change in privacy.

At midday I went and got some food.  Wow! Talk about expensive - 3 small chips and 1 cod and chips was £19.50.  Captive audience.  Turns out I could have gotten away with cod and chips as the girls hardly touched theirs.  

Sat on the beach until 2pm and then headed off back to the car to drop our stuff off before getting an ice cream as our final beach treat.  Parking was atrocious!  Someone had cleverly put a cone behind our car to stop total morons other drivers parking behind us, when there were cars parked in front and no way out.  Unfortunately for some other drivers, the cones didn't arrive in time.  Three cars next to us had cars in front and behind, literally bumper to bumper!  Do people leave their brains behind on sunny days?

Drove back home via Midhurst, Petworth and Chiddingfold, stopping at The Crown in Chiddingfold for a nice, relaxing drink.  A good day.  Sand really does get everywhere though!

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Countdown to submission

I'm in the last month or so of doing my research.  I'm working through my thesis at the moment to ensure the literature review is up to date, no spelling or grammatical errors have shown up, and all sections link well.  It's not an easy job I have to tell you.

My little ol' thesis printed double sided

As much as I have loved doing the research, I've got to the stage that no-one much mentions. It's the "I just want it over with and out of my sight" stage.  This is not something that is much discussed when you turn up at university, all excited about the project your are about to embark on.  Understandable I suppose. I also never found out much about the 'hitting the wall' stage. This happened to me last year when for a period of about 6 weeks. I honestly couldn't focus on my thesis at all. Everything I had written looked so poor when I read it that I really thought I wasn't capable of finishing it off.  I'm pleased to say that period passed and suddenly I was back on it. My supervisor was brilliant in encouraging me to just 'relax' during that stage and not try to write.  A complete break was his suggestion and he was so right.

So, I'm counting down the time until I officially submit my thesis.  In the meantime I have a conference to attend and a paper to revise.  Who said this was going to be a quiet time!

Friday, 5 August 2016

Getting fitter

I'm pleased to say I'm definitely getting fitter since having my FitBit. It's really inspired me and I get annoyed when I don't do my daily step amount - which has happened a couple of times due to being totally engrossed in my research!

I'm trying to walk 3 miles per day.  This is my time to relax and listen to some music (or catch some Pokemon).  My resting heart rate has come down so much since I started doing this.  I'm definitely feeling the benefits, and as I use MapMyWalk to record my exercise, my times have also decreased...well, until I get to the Pokestops and start catching Pokemon of course *grin*

As a side throught - all that advertising by the Government to get us all fit and what does it for a a bunch of youngsters (and old-sters) in one fell stroke? Pokemon Go!  Priceless.