Category Archives: who am I?

Off on my jollies

This week I went up to Edinburgh with my good friend Kirsty. We had initially planned to go to Amsterdam this week, I even got my passport in March, my first one as well. However last week, Kirsty received a letter saying the ferry hadn’t been booked but they could offer Bruges or a refund. Kirsty tried Bruges and that was fully booked. So the option was Edinburgh or a refund, so we opted for Edinburgh. I’m so glad we did.

We had a long bus trip on the Tuesday, which didn’t seem to be as long as the trip back, but that might be due to how tired I felt.  Lots of fresh air and walking can do that to you.

I learned so much while away. I realised how I can’t relax enough. My brain always working overtime. What I did love was just watching the scenery go by on the way up. We have such a beautiful country. From miles and miles of fields and hills to various architecture in our cities. Some are a bit weird and some stand tall and proud.

Two of my favourite things were finding the cafe where J.K. Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter book and the Frankenstein pub. Both truly amazing places.  The Elephant House had so much to offer. It just felt magical to me. Including the toilet walls being covered in messages from Harry potter fans. truly amazing. Sorry for any spoilers.

The Frankenstein pub had some amazing decor. A great place for a wedding reception and the food was just beautiful. We had a chicken and sweetcorn chowder each, although I had sweet potato fries with mine, Kirsty had just chips. I would highly recommend this pub.

The rest of the day was spent exploring Edinburgh after we had a bus tour on the way in, and we wanted to explore the streets ourselves. Who knows how many miles we actually covered as both our phones died before we got back to the hotel.

I also learned that I don’t have a clue when it comes to budgeting for a holiday, but we live and learn as they say. So onto the next holiday. There’s so much to explore, so much to see and do I just need to make a list and sort a budget out.

So feel free to comment below and let me know where I should jet off to. Next year so far has Wales and London on the list.

Thank you for reading




I love my Parkrun family.

So after a week of not running I decided that today would be when I did my 10th Parkrun. I thought about leaving it but then I wondered when I would get time free again and I just decided to do it. Not feeling great yesterday or this morning I wasn’t aiming for time. However, after setting off a bit to quick trying to catch a friend, I slowed down and kept telling myself although my pace felt slow I was doing ok.


On the second lap I caught up with Anne who was running with two young  lads (as under 11’s need an adult) and one was lagging behind, and the other was trying to shoot off. So I yelled that I would run with him while she ran off. I asked him if he was ok and he said he needed to walk. So we did, and then he shot off with me having to up my speed. this happened on and off a couple of times. On the last part I said to him how about a sprint finish, he replied ‘no I need to walk’. Next minute he sprinted off with me trying my best to keep up and only just getting to the finish line in time. It was an amazing feeling. Best bit was I didn’t know what to do with my barcodes and just handed both over.


After Park run we all head down to the cafe for a catch-up, coffee and sometimes cake. A small group of us do token sorting. We sit around sorting them into piles awaiting to be put back on the string for next week. Even the kids get involved. Today they seemed a little restless, so I offered to take them outside to burn some energy off. I ended up playing tig and hide and seek for a good hour. by the time I finished I felt like I had done another Park run. It was awesome.

It’s 3 years now since I was introduced to this lot and I’m so pleased. I just wish I had more Saturday morning’s off to catch up with them. Park run is an amazing thing to. It brings so many people together, different ages, sizes and abilities and it’s such a beautiful sight to see. I feel so blessed to be a part of it. And now a year on after my first one at Roundhay, I’ve completed my 10th at Woodhouse Moor, and I couldn’t have asked for a better run. sometimes you just have to get out there and do it.

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Community Spirit in the park

Yesterday I volunteered at Cross Flatts Park Parkrun. I knew from the beginning of the week the shift before wouldn’t be a fun one and I was right. The lack of sleep proved this as I couldn’t sleep until 3 and I was back up at 6am.

Parkrun (see here for your local one ) is a free event held in various parks across the country. You can walk it, jog it or run it. It’s run solely by volunteers every week. From  pre-set up, marshelling on corners, to giving out tokens so people can get their times. It’s such a brilliant idea and people of all ages and fitness meet every Saturday morning for a 9am start to complete a 5k race.

Yesterday, a lady came to Parkrun to tell us about the events going on on a Sunday and asking if anyone would like to help. Today was about a folk band and next week it’s a dog show. I put myself forward for both. Today, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but to see the park come alive in such a way was an amazing thing to see. People giving up their time to create an event for people to go to on a Sunday afternoon. There was craft events for the children and face painting. Book and bric-a-brac sales. The group also provided homemade cake and supplied tea and coffee for as little as a £1 each.

I helped set up the chairs and tables then I spent most of the afternoon helping in the kitchen, by washing up and then collecting pots and plates. I also got chance to listen to the folk band. It was so beautiful and uplifting.

Today’s music was Alistair Russell & Chris Parkinson Folk Band. Two amazing gentleman playing some beautiful music. Sadly I can’t upload the videos but if you follow this link to Spotify you can hear some of their music.

As with yesterday the talk did go to the fact that not enough people volunteer. Not enough people give up their time for events like these or park runs but somehow they’re always pulled off and everyone has a great time. I throughly enjoyed today and it made me realise how much I enjoy helping people. And that my next goal is to find something, whether it is work or my own time. I need to find something that enables me to get the feeling I’ve had over the weekend. I just don’t know how.

But I do know is that if you do have the time, even an hour to spare just go volunteer. It’s a great experience and you get to meet some amazing people. And in nearly all of my experinces there is always cake!

Find out more of what is going on at Cross Flatts Park here

Also here at South Leeds Life

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Happy, Happy Father’s Day

If ever there’s a time you need inspiration just read this. Also get to your local parkrun and get involved

Rob Webster

I woke up this morning to gifts of home made lemon meringue cake from my daughter and a “King Dad” Toblerone from my son George. It’s Father’s Day in the UK – a day to be proud of your kids and I am very proud of both of mine.

When George was born with Down Syndrome, we had a lot of questions and concerns. The first few days and weeks of his life were a blur – living in the Leeds General Infirmary, watching him shrink every day as he struggled with a heart condition. Surgery at 6 weeks was essential.

scan0015I have a number of standout memories from that time: tube feeds every three hours, with an endless cycle of breast pumps, feeding, cleaning equipment and holding him tight as the milk slowly dribbled through the naso-gastric tube;  the sheer love and care of the NHS staff and Leeds Mencap…

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Happy anniversary

Hello from me to you

Lessons learnt today

*I need more weekends off to take part more in parkruns, to achieve a goal each week, to eat cake, drink coffee and chat with some amazing people

*that no matter how old you are..10, 36,40,or even 90 you still have self doubts. I met a guy today who is 90 next week and is worried he doesn’t do enough exercise as he’s not as able as he used to be, and there’s me worrying about a 5k at 36

*That I have some amazing people in my life and that they never give up on me. Especially  today at parkrun. I would never have dream’t I’d do a 5k in 34 mins and 48 secs. Not the way I’ve been feeling.

*that what you feed in to your body is really important for the energies and thinking that comes out. I got meat from the butchers…

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‘Hips High’

I was going to write this after my second club run with the Hyde Park Harriers on Tuesday and I don’t know why I didn’t. I had an amazing day. During the day I learnt that I need to listen more to the advice I give to others and use it on myself. Like on Saturday at Parkrun when it was raining and I encouraged someone to do the route when they were unsure. They did it, and although she blamed me she was pleased she did it. Fingers crossed she goes back.

So in group 1, which I love. We went for a run down the canal. Leeds has so many hidden gems. With other groups promising a visit to the farm and seeing pigs, we saw a couple fo swans with their baby, a builder drinking tea, loads of lily pads and some fantastic scenery. We covered 3.7 miles and I returned with a smile on my face. I loved being a part of something that shows everyone’s ability, regardless of age and size. It’s bloody fantastic.

One of the tips the leader Liz, kept shouting was keep your hips high, now this sounded strange to me. But apparently some famous runners use it and it also helps to stretch you out and breathe better. I think that’s what it does. Well today I used it on my run and on the uphill bits is does actually make a difference, I managed to control my breathing more and I got further up the hill before stopping.


In less then 3 weeks it’s my first race of the year. I realsie I might not get a faster time as I hoped, but I’m beginning to realise I can travel the distance, I just need to go steady on the first 5k as that seems to be the toughest for me at the moemnt. Today I have managed 8km as I needed to drop off keys for work. Tomorrow I am volunteering at Cross Flatts Park Park run with the intention afterwards to go for a long run before work. It gives me a chance to wake up and also see some incredible people do their own thing.

So really this is a little thank you to some amazing people and a big HURRAH to me for getting out there. Running is my thing. I just keep forgetting that it does me a world of good what ever the distance.

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Miles Managed

So last week was not a good week for running. Well I didn’t get out until the end of the week. I had chickened out of a parkrun at the beginning of the week thinking I wasn’t going to run at all then on Thursday and Friday managed to freedom parkruns.

On Saturday I enjoyed volunteering, it brought a smile back to my face. Then after a catch up in the cafe and token sorting. I also heard some wise words form an old friend and some inspiration from two parkrunners who have been completing marathons.

The main one is that whilst at running don’t see walking as a failure. Power walk when need to as its your body asking for a rest/breather and you may find you can go further. So on Sunday I thought I would try go for another 5k and rather than stop and walk home, I thought I would try to do a circuit or two of the park, and hey presto a 10k was completed in an hour and 14 minutes.

There are little things that are keeping me going whilst in the park, like seeing the gentleman with his Alsatian dog Angel. She is absolutely beautiful and I first saw her on the day I got me cross flatts parkrun PB and ever since then I am so pleased to spot her I seem to feel lighter when running.

I was reminded of the fact that running makes me feel good and also that I have done 10k’s in an hour and that’s when it hit me that I wanted that back again. Of course the voice in my head said I was a lot older and heavier but I have decided to ignore that.

Regardless of what happens in 4 weeks when my first 10k comes up I am going to give it my best. I will be out everyday running when I can and I will do my 10th parkrun in a decent time. It just has to be done. Plus there’s a new pair of running trainers if I complete maybe two.

What I forgot to mention is, as you can see from the photos, I’ve finally dug the medals out and decided not to hide them anymore. After seeing a post on Facebook about a homemade medal hanger I decided to create one of my own. The guy used his old race numbers and I just thought I couldn’t bring myself to do that as one day I want to frame them, so I googled a couple and then thought as I’m a massive Harry Potter Fan lets see if there is anything. And lo and behold there is a Hogwarts virtual race online. Plus some other people have created a similar thing to what I had seen on Facebook and I decided to give it ago.

On Sunday I went to B&Q to find the offcuts section and came across a piece of skirting board. Cost me £1.80. I used a tester pot from wilkos which I’d been using on the walls, a dozen teabags and some permanent markers. It took a couple of attempts as I didn’t like the writing and voila. A masterpiece. It may just need some holes drilling in it so I can hang it more securely. So instead of £25 for a medal hanger its cost me about £4 and I’ve had fun making it.

So thank you to the guy on FB for the inspiration, I absolutely love my medal hanger.

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The memories. Can’t believe how far I’ve come

Hello from me to you

I learned this week what it is like to be fully in charge of a business. I say fully, there are some decisions I can’t make and yes I have been in charge before where there’s no hierarchy due to holidays, but this time felt new to me, I mean I have anxiety over whether a book from the library is overdue, the door is locked, or the oven is still on.

Luckily we had a delivery early on in the week, due to bank holiday Monday everything was delayed, all for one day. However things became very busy during the week, very unusual for a half term holiday, and in the end I had to make some big decisions, which now have proven to have paid off.

How I kept my cool this week I don’t know. I’ve had to ensure the machines are in working order, that my…

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Attention Potterheads: There’s a New Harry Potter Shop That Needs to be on Your Bucketlist RN!

The Nerdy Reporter

Accio passport!

york-harry-potter-shop-shambles-shelves-780x520 Photograph courtesy of: YorkMix

Admit it, as muggles, all of us at some point have wondered what it would be like to visit the cobblestone alleys in the wizarding world of Harry Potter. Walking past the bustling crowd in the narrow, winding streets of Diagonal Alley to buy some quills or Floo powder or to pick up the new pet owl before leaving for Hogwarts.

Fret not, The Shop That Must Not be Named is here to let you fulfill that dream now.

york-harry-potter-shop-shambles-exterior-780x520 Photograph courtesy of: YorkMix

The one-stop-shop for Harry Potter fans opened on 9th May this year in The Shambles, York, a city in  northeast England.

Owned by one Adam Rodway, the store sells everything from wands, Harry Potter uniforms and broomsticks to sorting hats, jewelry, mugs and notebooks.

What’s more, the shop’s official merchandise also includes a life-size sword of Godric Gryffindor!


The Shambles is…

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Loving Life

This week has been a roller coaster of a ride. Emotions, anxiety, the joys of being an adult, the weather and the lack of money, have all played a part in how I have felt this week.

As in any work environment there’s that quiet period. For me it was always in the beginning of the year. Now it appears to be summer and hours are getting cut back. Now for me this would have caused big issues in the past, but in the last six months I’ve learnt a few things. Time is valuable, and I’m useless with money. Nothing new on the second one. So recently I’ve been able to do some really good things. Like join a run via a run club, I didn’t get lost, survived it and went home with a smile on my face. Just wish I could have told myself all the anxiety that built up over the day was a complete waste of time, same thing happened the next day for different reasons. By Thursday when I went for a run on the morning, things had snowballed and that was it, I just couldn’t run and I was scared. It took most fo the day and the distraction of work to feel normal again.

However my breathing hasn’t been right since. So when I got an email requesting volunteers at my home park run, I decided this was the best way to make me feel better. the thought of running with my breathing not quite right, scared me. And of course I made the right decision. I got to meet some fabulous people. In the set-up I got to talk to my lovely friend Sam, then while awaiting the start of the race I absorbed the area I was stood in, the beautiful sunshine and then there’s the moment everyone has set off and that is a sight to see.

I was helping being funnel manager. I had an amazing time, I high-fived a friend as he went round, I got so giddy every time he came round, I just hope I didn’t hurt his hand.

It’s amazing seeing people walk/run, sprint the park run. The effort put in is amazing. Same is said about the volunteers. Everyone should try this once in a while, you get to be part of something big, learn something new and get to chat to some amazing people.

Afterwards with the clean-up it’s always coffee in the cafe. I offered to get started the token sorting and it’s funny how it just brings people together. I sat there when we had finished and apart from the worry of dropping them or getting them in the wrong order I was so proud to have spent the day with some amazing people (I say this every time and it’s always true).

Then with the tokens sorted, I went to do some food shopping, followed by trying to sort the garden in between rain showers/storms and then a chance to sort the house. My friends dropped their carpet cleaner off and I’ve already cleaned half the living room. The TV and it’s stand are right next to the sofa, which I put back in its original place and wondered why I moved it in the first place. Oh well.

So from a week of anxiety attacks, unexpected surprises, grabbing opportunities where I can, I realise if the opportunity arises to do something different or the chance to meet up with loved ones, is to grab that chance and relish every moment. Although my chest feels like I’ve been punched several times, the rest of me is calm and relaxed if not a little hot because of the weather.

So in a way I am happy, I a, grateful for what has happened this week, it has taught me a lot, most of all the support I have. I am one lucky lady.

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