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Category Archives: Diary Entry

Olympic Cynicism Obliterated

I have always loved the Olympics – since LA, with Coe V Ovett, Carl Lewis, Ed Moses, Fatima, Daley and Zola Budd.   I was really cynical and un-excited by the thought of London 2012. I don’t know why.  I half heartedly attempted to buy tickets but gave up pretty quickly. I arranged a holiday during them so I could be out of the country.  Even the Torch Relay didn’t start a twinkle of interest.  (I sat at home working on the day that the torch came jogging through Newbury, being held aloft by Clare Balding and others).

Then, at the end of July, I was in southern France in a remote rural gite watching the opening ceremony on a tiny, wonky tv screen and the twinkle started twinkling.  Wow. Even twitter was impressed.  I started to perk up a bit. But not enough to watch much in the first few days.

Then I watched this amazing semi-final in women’s Judo, while coming in from the pool to grab some fromage et pain.  Gemma Gibbons’ shock semi-final win. I jumped about a foot in the air at this very moment. Her ‘I Love You Mum’ still gets me every time it’s since been replayed on montages.

 And at this very moment I experienced full-on Olympic love again. 

I was already on the edge, I was pleased to be proved wrong in my miserable cynicism of how it would all be run. Delighted in fact.

From then on in, the BBC coverage (even in France with an ex-pat TV licence, a TV and an iPad) was immense,  I was addicted. We watched ‘Super Saturday’ in a hotel bar in Amiens, France and screamed the place down. Amazed at the gold rush that us Brits had not witnessed in our lifetimes.

I’ve loved Claire Balding, the gamesmakers, finding new stars and stars of the future and for Rio 2016.  Even Matt ‘Mundane’ Baker’s ecstatic commentary of the Men’s Gymnastics final made me giddy.  I adored Tom Daley’s reaction to his bronze, that’s a true sportsman in the making.

Greg Rutherford’s long jump and his amazement at his new-found star billing.  Wiggo-mania – just wow. Dressage?! Who’d have thought I’d get tingles down my spine from that?

Sir Steve Redgrave being the official ‘Hugger’ of the games…. the Velodrome bursting with decibels and medals, and of course,  interview of the games, Chad Le Close’s dad with Queen Clare Balding – just beautiful.

Andy Murray, winning, and at Wimbledon! Those amazing Brownlee brothers in triathlon… obviously Mo and his Mo-Bot, Jessica Ennis, Nicola Adams….  I could go on….

And I continue to be overwhelmed by the Paralympics.  I have no words to describe the respect and awe I have when watching these athletes of the highest standards – their comradery, the competitiveness, humour, joy and disappointments – all what sport should teach us about in life. Hat’s off to the amazing Ludwig Guttmann, creator of the Paralympics.  I wonder if he ever imagined it would climb to this wonderful spectacle.

The swimming amazes me, one-legged High Jump, blind Long Jump, Oscar, David Weir, table tennis, the women’s 4 x 100 relay team bronze!  and wow, Jonny Peacock! I never want it to end…


I am going to be more sad when this ends than I ever thought possible.



Family, Easter and Nostalgia

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With my children at their father’s, my OH away in Italy working, I am having a peaceful and quiet Easter weekend.

I love my own company.  My younger DD wonders what I am going to do with my time, but I love the space and quiet, probably a bi-product of being an ‘only child’.

I’ve caught up with the chores, laundry and other mundane things, but even this is less stressful when not negotiating around arguing teens and organising my OH 😉

Today I went on a nostalgia walk with my mum and dad, around Iffley and Oxford, where my dad grew up. We went to the church in which he was christened, a beautiful Norman church in the village of Iffley

He was chuffed to get inside.  The church was warm, you could smell candles had been burned this morning at the Easter service, the place was beautiful and had the feeling of warmth and community.

The font was there, here he stands by it, some 66 years after he was christened here, 70 years ago my grandparents were married here and much earlier my maternal grandparents too. It was lovely.

We walked by the boathouses, where the University team trains, where he had got into trouble for ‘bombing’ the rowers from bridges, and where he had learned to swim, running home to tell his dad “Dad! I can swim half-way across the river!” My grampy asked him why he had not swum the whole way across, to which he replied “Oh, I can only do half-way and back, all the way across is too far…”

There was the lane where he had taught my mum to ride his Lambretta, where she and him had crashed into bars as she ‘couldn’t turn corners’.  And the bushes where the Americans would take their girls for a ‘roll in the hay’ whilst out rowing, and in which my dad and his pals would seek out lost money and zippo lighters.

We ended up for lunch in a pub back in Iffley Village,  after walking through Christ Church meadow, along the Iffley Road, past the running track where Bannister had run the 4 minute mile.

Past the church where my aunt had been married, and my dad had bashed his car on an uneven manhole cover, and at which my mum had been described as ‘the gorgeous girl in red’ by his cousin, Mum proudly added ‘That was ‘the red  Chanel'” with a proud, smug grin.

We also passed his old school, and countless houses where ‘Bobby Smith’ ‘Jonny Norman’ et al had lived in those years ago….

The pub in Iffley village served us a wonderful roast dinner, and scrumptious puddings.  And then we came home.  I loved today.

So then I accepted a diet challenge…

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Anyone who knows me, knows I cannot stick at diets.  My previous two attempts have resulted in a 7lb loss and then me getting disillusioned and then drunk.

I crashed onto the bathroom scales on Monday morning, and was shocked to see I was the heaviest I had been (excluding pregnancy) ever (give or take 5lbs).  I had also been feeling (and looking) bloated, chosing clothes was a nightmare as everything doesn’t quite fit properly and looks different on as its stretched around a lardier physique.

So, seizing  the opportunity of feeling disgusted with myself, I re-joined Weightwatchers online and set off on another diet.  I also saw a nifty challenge called ‘Loose 2st by Christmas’.   Never one to normally engage in any ‘target’ motivators, this one hit the mark,  I would have a deadline and something to achieve.  I joined this challenge a bit after their beginning, but the aim was 2lb per week, which would put me on track for a 1.5 stone loss by 19th December! Imagine that! My target loss and looking like a foxy minx with the mince pies and mulled wine!

So I’m doing it, and I pray to Rosemary Connolly that I stick to it this time.  I am on day three and I already feel really good, less bloated and the WW plan is easy to track online and the ProPoints thingy they do means you can have a treat on a weekly basis.  A glass of wine is only 2 points (I think a G&T with slimline is only 1!) but I am definitely not drinking in the week and am toying with the idea of 11 weeks off the booze until Christmas as well….

I know! I’ve changed!

I wish me every success in my endeavour to become less of a woman 😉

Bad things about bad backs

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Well its now been over two weeks since I innocently bent over to pick up a towel, getting out of the shower, and felt the disastrous ‘ping’ in my lower back. Within 20 minutes I was in full spasm and unable to do much but crawl to try to dress myself.  I was due to be at work, but after an agonising 50 minutes of getting myself dressed I realised that this was one of those ‘bad episodes’ and hard-core pain-killers and anti-inflams were going to be the most I would be able to manage.

My OH was out of the country, girls on holiday with their father, parents zooming around Scotland on their Goldwing and I had a 12 stone dog trying to comfort me by trying to lay on me, as my crawling around was most fun to him.

Called Lady P, assured her that I was in fact dressed and not crawling around naked, so she agreed to come see me.  By this time I had over-reacted on the Naproxen and Tramadol dosage (well, it had taken half an hour to get them and to stand up so I made th most of it.) and by the time she arrived, I was ‘drunk on prescriptive drugs’.

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A long long week

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A long long week

Last week was my birthday. Yey! 39! That’s about as exciting as it got.

I did have a nice birthday, thank you. But I have had one of those weeks that have felt like a month.

My 14yr old DD had a Spanish exchange boy come and stay from last Friday night (midnight!) until today.  He is a lovely boy, my affection for him grew when he presented me with a lovely bottle of vino tinto from his Grandfather’s winery and a huge bottle of lovely looking olive oil from his town. (It did wain a bit this morning when he walked dog crap through the house though, I’m not a ‘morning person’ and I was running late, and I had to take this in my stride. Hats off to me.)

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Will I have a summer this year?

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Will I have a summer this year?

Over Easter I went to Spain for a two-week holiday.  The weather here in the UK was wonderful, in Spain it was rain and clouds for 10 days out of the 15 I was there.

I did have a lot of opportunity to visit places and do things I don’t normally do when I go to Spain (as I’m usually there in the summer holidays and its boiling) but what made the weather 10 times worse was seeing the news reports of the baking ‘summer’ that the UK was experiencing at the same time! Sickening!

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Valentines In·dif·fer·ence

No, it’s not going to be another Anti-Valentine Vigilante blog post.

The kind of which, rubishes the way other people go googly for it in a big way. I read those and have a chortle, but I also don’t mind if people DO valentines. Horses for courses.

I am just indifferent, unconcerned and apathetic about the 14th February.

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