Life this week

    This week, life is good;

    And a bit of a naughty family gathering;

     Today’s workout: 60 minute walk through playing fields in the Sunshine.


    The Longest Crawl – Book Review

    Disclaimer: I read a lot. I read almost as much as I breathe. I read everything, and I enjoy almost everything I read. At the moment I am going through a London-phase, a Fantasy/Supernatural Phase and a devour every book in sight phase. This book I picked up on a whim, and loved it – it has kept me going through most of the rainy days we have had the last month or so.

    “According to G. K. Chesteron, the act of getting to and from a pub is central to an understanding of the British life and landscape. With around 60,000 to choose from, he may have had a point.”

    Ian Marchant decided to set off with his mate Perry Venus and document his month-long British pub crawl from the two fartherest apart pubs he could find. Witty, informative and thirst-inducing, this is the authors journey both personal and researched, reflecting an integral part of British Life – the Pub. When I came to England, I was amazed by the role the pub plays in British life, straight out from work, you gather in the pub to moan, cry and laugh at life. A man’s local is his paradise.

    This is a long, slow burning read, perfect for rainy Sunday afternoons (accompanied by a beverage if desired – highly recommended). I loved the sheer enjoyment and whimsy of the author as he meets up with his many friends along the way, but also explores the fantastic history and processes of various pubs, monasteries, breweries and stills around the British countryside. I ran a pub for the first year I was here in England, and witnessed first hand the close relationship that can develop in a friendly local – I met my husband working behind the bar, and one of my (other) favourite regulars even brought in his fiancee to meet me!

    I’ve now bookmarked about a dozen places to check out for ourselves. Road trip here we come! It’s not a great commuting read (in printed format) as it’s a little large, so this baby lived mostly at home. I’ve not yet succumbed to an e-reader as I’m a little dubious.


    The Longest Crawl Ian Marchant


    Definately a must-read, great as a travel read, a rainy day read and a slow-burner read, you feel like you are accompanying the author. Marchant is beautifully, chummily written author, and I am going to be on the look out for further works.

    (Please note any links to Amazon are through my Amazon Associates account, which means I make a little money (less than 5%) from any purchases made after clicking through these links with no added cost to your purchase. This helps support my book addiction, so if you are interested in buying the book, please click through the top link)


    The Olympics – Diving!

    Intially, we were wary about the Olympics coming to the London; the cost, the hassle, winning hardly any medals….


    But as time inched closer, a hubbub began about the Oympics. Signposts went up, flags were hung down Oxford Street, PR campaigns began, and a buzz began. We decided that we’d like to at least sample the atmosphere, and registered for tickets (about the time the 3rd round of balloting began). As for sports, as neither of us are hugely sporty, we were pretty easygoing as to what we would see, but after chatting about it, we decided we’d like to see the Olympic Park (after our disasterous attempt earlier) and hubby would like to experience the Swimming or the Diving. Hearing that more tickets were being released gradually, I kept an eye out, and managed to snag a couple of cheapie tickets to the Men’s 3m Springboard Preliminaries. The session was even an evening one, so no disruption or time off – bonus!

    So after work last night, off we trotted. What a place.

    C’mon GB!!!


    The Aquatics Centre:


    Zahar Hadid’s beautifully undulating roof inside the aquatics centre… though it did block the viewing for anyone watching the high-diving 10m board. Fail.


    Not seats for the height-wary, but armed with binoculars and the kindly provided big screens with updates and slow motion re-takes, we probably had better seats than the judges. Oh, and I was armed with my love, my ‘baby’ Camera – a EXR550. LOOK at that ZOOM!


    The Muscles on these lads are incredible. 

    The athletes are incredible. The sheer elegance of the twists and turns they force their bodies into so sharply is amazing. The atmosphere, which is really what we went for, was something else. The roar of the crowd as their divers lined up for their dives was simply electric, then utter silence – not a cough not a sniffle, then the excited applause was awe inspiring. Especially when the GB boys took the platform.




     Once we saw the Diving, we wandered around the Stratford end of the Park:


    Oh, hello.


    All too soon we were homeward bound, exhilarated and exhausted.


    Cat Longjump

    Critters. Fur babies. They call them many names, but at the heart of it, pets are essentially your children, especially couples who havent got real children or whose kids have flown the coop. We have a wee pussie cat. She is from the mean streets of London, and experienced it all, abuse as a kitten resulting in a crooked tail, a pregnancy in her teens and a drinking habit. No wait, she doesnt have a drinking habit but prefers drinking her water out of brimming pint glasses (or ponds, yeech). I wonder who and where she picked that up from, or maybe the pint is such an ingrained English thing, there was no way to escape it!?

    She is pretty cute, despite being fairly brown coloured, a mackrel Tabby – the absoloute standard colouring for cats, but we love her in spite of this, or may be because of it!

    She is now fixed, living the life of Riley, with her double (human-sized) bed (that she occasionally allows visitors to borrow a side of, but only on the understanding that it’s hers whenever she wants it back, and no, the brown fur on the pillows certainly isn’t hers, and if you don’t like it, you shouldn’t leave them there for just anyone to happen to lay on.)

    Even puss is getting into the Olympic spirit, getting up to all sorts of gymnastics in the night since the flame was lit, culminating last night in the long jump. You know, to cover the distance from me to hubby sleeping. Any mere mortal would stroll it, but not our beast, giving it her 110% in true English Football hooligan fashion. All I saw was her shadow and felt her push with those mightily sprung back legs, before with the strength of a kangaroo she bounded onto hubbys chest, all of about 2 feet away. Well played puss, well played. Except it was more like the high jump. Her excuse for the poor performance will no doubt be something along the lines of ‘It was only the preliminaries, I’m conserving my energy for the finals’


    It’s a Cat’s Life.

    Uh oh…

    Today’s Workout: Rest day, interrupted by a bout of cat gymnastics…


    A tribe of Olympic Kiwis

    After a lovely Friday, we decided to nip up to Kiwi House near Kings Cross, the ‘base’ for Kiwis to celebrate during the Olympics.

    The queue was immense (which should have been no surprise to us, considering it was a Friday after work, and New Zealand had won 3 Gold medals that day(!!!), but the wait was definately worth it. 









    This evening’s menu:



    Ps. fact of the day – several Kiwis is called a Tribe of Kiwi’s apparently!