Tag Archives: lee on the solent

September Roundup

September seems to have been and gone in a flash and as a result I don’t feel like I’ve done much but never the less. Here is my September roundup!

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Firstly in September I won a competition! I’ve never won anything before in my life so I was pretty amazed when I won this gorgeous palette on a giveaway over at Sophie’s Blog

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One evening after work we decided to go to JoJo Gelato in Fareham. I had this scrummy Nutella and Cookie supreme crepe. It was so good, especially after a hard day at work.

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We also visited the Waitrose Farm Shop. Here is the post about our visit.

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In Lee-on-the-Solent there was a super low tide on 18th September. I’m still discovering new things about living by the sea and this was one of them. The photo doesn’t do it justice but the sea really was a lot further out than usual.

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At the end of September we went to Wales for 4 nights. I’ve never visited Wales before so it was nice to explore somewhere new. There’s a more detailed post to follow.

In September I did 8 blog posts which I think might be a record for me! If you missed any, they’re linked below:

Smart ForFour

August Roundup

Learning to drive with AA Driving School

I Am Team GB

The Waitrose Farm – Leckford Estate

Fantastic Mr Fox

Disney X Cath Kidston – Winnie The Pooh

Gelish by Nail Harmony Review

Now we’re in to October which is my favourite time of year!

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Fantastic Mr Fox

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In our garden we frequently have foxes. I say frequently, I’m pretty convinced they live in my garden. I think there’s 2-3 and I see at least one every day.

When we moved here we saw our first Fox in April 2015. There seemed to be just one. In the winter this increased to two foxes then back to one.

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In the Spring of 2016 we started seeing 2-3. I’m sure now that the 2-3 are a Mother and her 2 cubs.

The British Wildlife Centre says “The mating season is December to February …four or five cubs are born in the Spring and the female fox stays with them….They remain with their mother until Autumn” This all ties in with what we’ve been seeing in our garden.

Some people don’t like foxes and try to deter them from entering their garden but I love them. They’re such a delight to watch through the window. But aren’t they dangerous? That’s what the press would have us believe but the first fox we had was confident. If it saw us it’d simply look at us then lie back down and go back to sleep! We once had the door open in the summer and it wandered over. We quickly closed the door so we’ll never know if it’d actually come in to the house but I doubt it as sometimes when we go out in to the garden you can’t see it’s there as it’s asleep in the bushes but you’ll hear it quickly scrabble away if you venture off the patio and on to the grass.

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Lots of people ask me if we feed the foxes and the truth is we don’t. We give them as much peace as we can. If they’re in the garden we leave them be. The only thing we have started doing is, when we cut the grass, we’ll leave a pile of cuttings for them to have a snooze on. They love a grass bed!

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It can be tricky to get good pictures of them sometimes. The adult seems far more relaxed around people, the younger cubs though are skittish and incredibly mischievous. They’ll chase the butterflies in the garden and also pinch the squeaky toys from next doors dog meaning we have to go out and throw them back!

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The pictures don’t always turn out well as I take them through the window you get reflection like the one above but this is one of the better shots of the cubs. They’re not as confident as the adults and often run when they see me with a camera.

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They seem to have a routine of coming in to the garden around 5am and sleeping on and off through the day. Sometimes they’ll have a little get together and play or wash each other or disappear early but usually they’re here until 5pm when they disappear off in to the night to begin their hunting.

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Five facts about Foxes courtesy of Peta

  • Foxes are part of the dog family. The female is a Vixen and the male is a Dog Fox
  • Foxes live just about everywhere – countryside, cities, forests, mountains, grasslands and Lee on Solent!
  • Fox hunting with dogs is illegal however it isn’t illegal to hunt and kill foxes by other means (It makes me so sad to think someone would want to kill them)
  • Foxes eat just about anything – berries, worms, spiders and small animals such as mice and birds. I live close to the High Street and I’m sure this will be a food source for them.
  • A foxes home is called a den. I’ve seen the mother fox making calls towards my shed so I think there den may be under my shed.

I hope you enjoyed this post. It’s a bit different to what I usually post but I do love these little guys so decided to share them with you all.

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I Am Team GB

As tomorrow is parkrun day I thought I’d tell you about a few Saturdays ago at Lee on Solent parkrun.

Saturday 27th August was #IAmTeamGB day. Team GB, ITV, The National Lottery and parkrun were joining forces to create the Nation’s Biggest Sports Day and we embraced this with open arms at Lee on the Solent parkrun.

I was Run Directing on 27th August and we had a lot going on. We had balloons and bunting on the start line and finish funnel, we had t-shirts to wear and stickers to give out. People were encouraged to wear red white and blue to celebrate the achievements of Team GB which they did and they also brought flags to wave. We really got in to the spirit of things. We also had pacers to help people achieve a new PB ranging from 19-34 minutes. We were also given selfie signs for people to take pictures with and upload them to social media, tagging them #IAmTeamGB

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Rob was our 19 minute pacer. Photo courtesy of @lotsparkrun on Instagram

There was a lot to fit in to the Runner’s Brief. I needed to tell people the usual rules as well as letting them know what today was all about, who the pacers were and what the signs were for as well as giving our own social media a plug so our runners knew where to find us. I tried to make it amusing to keep people listening and judging by the amount of compliments I got afterwards I think I achieved this.

The run was great and we had a whopping 364 runners in attendance. This is our 7th highest turn out since we began in July 2015. I received compliments on my briefing, people said how much they had enjoyed the run and lots of people took great selfies and group photographs with the selfie signs. It was a brilliant day all round.

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Maggie, Fiona and Dee were kept busy barcode scanning. Photo courtesy of @lotsparkrun on Instagram.

 

I also got to meet Roger who I have chatted to on Twitter and I also follow his blog IRunOffRoad It was great to meet him and finally put a face to the name. Be sure to check out his blog if you’re local or in to running.

And finally Louise posted this selfie of us all in the finish funnel. I love this picture as it includes some of my favourite parkrun family members.

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On Saturday 27th August we were all officially members of Team GB and it felt great! parkrun really is for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you want to walk it or if you want to run it as fast as you can. Go and join your local parkrun and I promise you won’t regret it. Not a runner? Then why not volunteer? It’s a great way to meet people and help your community.

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August Roundup

I know this post is a little late. Really?! It’s the 12th September already!! Time sure is flying and I’m glad September is here. I love the Autumn. It’s my favourite season and not just because this is when Starbucks start serving their Pumpkin Spiced Latte again! However apparently this week is going to be a heat wave so maybe it’s not Autumn just yet!

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So here’s my August in pictures

Top Left & Middle Left: Now that I’ve passed my driving test I gave motorway driving a go and drove to Sheffield. I felt like a tourist in my own city and took pictures of pretty buildings and architecture. In the top picture is Millennium Square that has the car park that is affectionately known as the cheese grater! The middle left is Millennium Square again facing the Winter Gardens.

Bottom Left: A new rule was introduced at work where you can no longer wear nail varnish but gel nail varnish is ok. As I like my nails to look pretty it was time to decide. Do I spend lots in the salon or buy the kit and do my own gel nails? I decided to buy the kit and did my own gel nails. The first attempt came out pretty good. I was really pleased.

Middle Bottom: My lovely car. I picked her up on 5th August. There are other posts about her on here though so I won’t go on.

Bottom Right: Just another lovely beach shot taken from parkrun. So lucky to have this view on my doorstep.

Large picture: I was Run Director on the #IAmTeamGB day. There’s a blog post coming up on Friday about the run so be sure to check it out when it goes live at 8am!

 

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July Roundup

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July has been and gone in a flash! This Roundup is very parkrun focussed! Starting with the top left and centre picture is the cake and card I received for volunteering at parkrun 50 times! When people run it 50 times it’s something of an achievement. I wasn’t sure volunteering counted as much but it turns out it sure did as my friends gave me these wonderful gifts.

The top right picture is when my nails were looking good. This must have taken 10 coats to get a good solid coverage but they looked beautiful once done. The colour is Alaska and it’s part of the Rimmel 60 second shine collection.

The middle left picture was taken at the graduation ceremony at work. The purple cap and gown ties in nicely with the purple in the parkrun pictures! At the graduation it was time to say goodbye to our little ones going off to school in September. I had to split myself in two this day as it was the graduation ceremony and party in the afternoon and on the same day it was my local parkrun’s 1st Birthday so there was the run in the morning and the picnic in  the afternoon. I decided to attend the graduation ceremony in the morning and the picnic in the afternoon.

As you can see from the remaining two pictures, the 1st Birthday was commemorated with cake and cupcakes! It was so lovely to get so many of us together and I even received a certificate for the most tasks performed at parkrun!

The end of July has certainly seen the weather perk up. Summer is finally here.

Before you leave and we head in to August why not check out my July blog posts?

Volunteering at parkrun 50 times

Disney X Cath Kidston

Moving 250 miles

Gel Nail Polish Review

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Volunteering at parkrun 50 times

headerOn 11th July 2015 I began volunteering at my local parkrun, Lee on the Solent parkrun. I’ve not looked back since. I’ve only missed a couple of opportunities to volunteer due to holidays and needing to make an emergency trip home. Since then I’ve volunteered on special occasions such as Boxing Day and New Year and have loved every minute. The community of friends I now have thanks to parkrun is immense and I love each and every one of them.

On 16th July 2016 I was the Run Director for my 50th time volunteering. The week leading up to my Run Directing didn’t run smoothly. I had two late nights at work, went out with friends and as a result didn’t actually start getting things ready until Thursday evening! Ssshh! Don’t tell our Event Director! To be fair I was pretty stressed this week and it wasn’t until Friday evening that I thought about it being my 50th time. I wished I’d done something to commemorate the experience like bought a 50 banner or badge like people do for the runs but it was too late.

Saturday morning started as normal, I was Run Director, I’d checked in and deployed all the marshals, including sending someone right to the far end of the course at 8.50 as the marshal for that spot hadn’t arrived! Thankfully she made it just before the runners did! Anyway I had just climbed up the ladder to begin the runners brief when I was stopped. Immediately I thought something had gone wrong, someone was having some sort of emergency but no, it was our lovely Event Director telling the crowd of 287 runners that today was my 50th anniversary! I got a huge round of applause and was presented with a cake made by Maggie.

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Isn’t she clever? I wish you got a 50 tshirt for volunteering but sadly you don’t so I’ll just have to keep make do with my 25 tshirt.

I was also given a beautiful handmade card by Fiona

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I literally felt so lucky and blessed. I’ve made such good friends here and this just shows!  I was speechless and so overwhelmed! It really put me off my runners brief!! Haha

Volunteering for the 50th time was my third time being Run Director and as always I loved it. Being Run Director is such an important role but thankfully there were no incidents this week!

So, have you ever thought about volunteering at your local parkrun? Or even running it? Check out where your local one is on parkrun’s website and sign up!

Have you enjoyed this parkrun post? Here are links to my other posts!

parkrun – More than meets the eye

Becoming a parkrun Run Director

Parkrun Volunteer

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June Roundup

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Image courtesy of @puffyfreckle02 @ we heart it

 

June has seen some beautiful weather but also some crazy weather with horrendous rain, thunderstorms and flooding!

June has seen my garden continue to bloom. I love looking out there and seeing what’s new. It feels like each day something new opens up at the moment.

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I popped over to Portsmouth on the Gosport ferry and took this picture of the Spinnaker Tower. From what I can gather the locals have mixed feelings about the Tower. One day I’d love to go up to the viewing platform at the top. The pictures I’ve seen show the view from up there is immense.

I received my employee of the month voucher to spend at West Quay and bought these beauties. I love them.

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We took a drive up to Portsdown Hill in Portsmouth and I took this picture. I wish I’d taken my digital camera up there but still thought this snap on my iPhone showed the amazing view quite well. This overlooks both Portsmouth and Gosport.

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I snapped this picture of Gary the Event Director of our local parkrun doing the Run Director brief. Next week marks a year since it started and I’m so proud to be a part of it. It’s become a big part of my life and the people there have too. A year ago I only knew work colleagues down here and now I know many more thanks to parkrun. It’s the anniversary run on 2nd July and I’m gutted I have to miss it due to a work commitment. I’ll hopefully make it to the picnic afterwards though and hopefully I won’t miss too much.

So that’s my June in pictures. What was your favourite part of June? Do you have anything special planned for July?

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parkrun – More than meets the eye

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For most people parkrun is an hour out of their Saturday, maybe a couple of hours if you go for a post run coffee or team it with a longer training run. When you’re a Run Director its a little more than that. This isn’t a martyr post, but more a behind-the-scenes look at how your weekly 5k becomes possible.

After the results have been processed what happens next? Well here’s what happened to make parkrun number 49 possible at Lee on Solent.

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First of all the bibs were checked over to make sure they were ok and then they were sent for a spin in the washing machine and put in to the airing cupboard to dry.

Midweek it was time to begin charging! I charged up the laptop used to process the results. I made sure there were no updates needed and that everything to access the parkrun servers was in full working order. It was! I charged two of the three barcode scanners and cleared last weeks scans from them. As these take a couple of hours to charge and there is only one cable I charged the remaining one Friday evening. I also got new copies of the paperwork ready for the funnel manager and the manual entry. I also added a new piece of paper in to the new runners brief folder to write down tourists on (of which there was just one, from Birkenhead!) and then ensured everyone had a pen to use!

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On Friday night I also reset the stopwatches and cleared off last weeks markers in them. Friday night I also double checked the tokens that had been sorted in to numerical order by our token sorters the week before. They were all there bar one which was replaced with a spare before the ran began. Everything was then packed back in to the box ready to go for the morning – bibs, scanners, stop watches, tokens and cones. It was then checked and double checked!

Finally it was time to print off the list of volunteers. I didn’t compile the list, that was taken care of by our wonderful volunteer co-ordinator. I then checked which of the volunteers had done their role before and who would require training in the morning. Only a couple needed training this week as we have a healthy quota of volunteers who thankfully come back time after time. I then added details of what each marshal needed at their post and then triple checked the box!

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parkrun number 49 at Lee on Solent saw 309 runners and walkers complete the 5km course along the beautiful seafront thankfully without a hitch. As run director I did the run briefing and sent the runners on their way. As they passed us again I cheered people on, reminded runners to keep right now and asked one person to shorten their dog lead, which they did. As the runners began to return it was now turn to help with the finish funnel. The funnel manager did a stella job ensuring the timekeepers and finish tokens were all in sync, that people kept in order and kept moving through they funnel. As the tail runner returned in a time of 45:57 it was time to pack everything up and off to the café to upload the results, add in the manual entries and whizz it all off to the parkrun servers before handing everything over to next weeks run director.

So there you have it, after starting your weekend off right with a parkrun, that’s what happens from a run directors perspective. Ever thought about becoming a volunteer at parkrun? Then check out the parkrun website here to find your local course or read about how I became a parkrun volunteer here. If you’ve already volunteered and are thinking about becoming a run director then read about how I did it here and finally if you want a little peek at parkrun or Lee on Solent then this video sums it up perfectly.

Video courtesy of Mike

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March Roundup

As we’re coming to the end of March it definitely feels like Spring is in the air now and I think this months pictures reflect this. All of these photographs are taken from my Instagram feel free to give me a cheeky follow! Now on to the roundup!

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  1. I won employee of the month for February and the prize is a £100 Debenhams voucher. One of the things I treated myself to was a new OPI. This one is called Princesses Rule and is so pretty, pink and girly! I love it.
  2. This month I have become obsessed with having fresh flowers in the house. This is the Spring Bouquet by Tesco. I still have these a week later and they’re looking as perfect as when I bought them.
  3. Someone complained that my Instagram is all beaches, nails and sunsets. I won’t apologise for living in a very photogenic location.
  4. We went to London this month but unfortunately I was too ill to enjoy it fully. A lovely Costa Coffee helped cheer me up whilst we were there though!
  5. More fresh flowers, this time from the local florist. I love tulips, they’re one of my favourite flowers.
  6. I’ve been doing lots of reading up on how to make a good blog, one tip was to have a recent photograph of yourself and so here you have it. I used a snapchat filter to make my skin look better! Not got me on snapchat yet? I’m @bigmugoftea on there too.
  7. Daffodils are a sure sign of Spring and I think they look fantastic in my Kilner jars. I’m currently obsessed with Kilner!
  8. Just another beach shot. It’s been so warm lately I’ve spent a lot of time down there.

April brings with it even better weather (hopefully) and lighter evenings!

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Parkrun Volunteer

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On 11th July I began volunteering at Lee on the Solent parkrun.On 20th February 2016 I had volunteered 30 times! I began volunteering as a way of getting to know people in my new local community and now I couldn’t be without it. I marked the occasion by writing the run report and thought I’d include it here too.

Exactly a year ago I moved 250 miles to Lee on Solent, where I didn’t know anyone bar my husband. A few months passed by and I now only know work colleagues, but heard a whisper about a new parkrun starting right on my doorstep in Lee. So, in July, I found myself marshalling in an attempt to do something in my new community. Now at parkrun #35, I have given my time on 30 separate occasions. You might remember me cheering you on at the playground, my favourite marshalling spot? Somewhere where simply cheering people on turned in to friendly waves of hello, as we all turned up week after week. I’ve since moved on to take on other roles within parkrun and tend to be based around the finish funnel, where I have gotten to know runners, organisers and fellow volunteers. What a lovely, welcoming and friendly bunch you all are, especially Fiona who baked a cake to celebrate my 30th time volunteering and her 25th. Thank you, I was touched by your kindness.

So moving on to this morning’s run, everyone talks about the weather at Lee, the wind comes as standard, but thankfully this morning it wasn’t accompanied by rain. Lee is probably one of the only parkruns where there are very few runners at 8.50 and by 8.55 approximately 250 get out of their cars at once and descend on the start line. As Pippa, our Run Director, sent the runners on their way to Browndown, I watched the hi-vis crowd snake their way along the path. I was one of the barcode scanners this week and, as people start to filter through the finish, I ask them how it was? Popular answers are “That’s some wind!” “I’m knackered now”, and “I’m so hungover!”

There were an epic 50 PB’s today!! Well done to all of you, despite the wind, fatigue and hangovers you accomplished something major today! And to the 31 people who ran parkrun for the very first time at our beloved Lee, I hope you learn to love it as much as I have over the past 30 weeks!

Parkrun is great and best of all it’s free and they’re all over the country. If you fancy having a go at walking, jogging or running 5km in your local area check out  the parkrun website and see where your local one is. You’ll not regret it.

 

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