‘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.

Thank you for reading




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.

Thank you for reading






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.

Thank you for reading


Me, myself and the vitamin D deficiency

Hello from me to you

Last week I enquired with the doctors to whether I needed another blood test or just ask for a repeat prescription as my current course is running out. I started back in December after finding out I lacked Vitamin D (lack of sunlight) because I kept forgetting things.  I was tested for several things, none of which I was aware of at the time. I just thought it was stress and the pill or antidepressants weren’t working anymore.  I was prescribed a vitamin D and calcium supplement to take for 3 months, when I returned I had another blood test and was put on a 6 month course.

I found out by accident, I don’t know if I was mean’t to know, that my score was 37 and had risen to 48 but should be 74. since then I found out it was 30, not 37. I’ve probably already said…

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Week Two – A complete change of plan

My Marathon Story

So, just two weeks into my training for the marathon, and I’ve gone for a change of plan.

Nothing drastic, I haven’t suddenly decided to go fell running or do random interval training or anything like that.

My original plan was to simply hammer out 4km runs for a few weeks to get my hideous levels of fitness back up to something approaching half power. But I’m an impatient man, and I’m pretty stubborn too.

So I got bored of doing little 4km runs and have pushed on a little bit over the past few days, stretching out into just over 6km. Still hardly any distance at all I grant you, but when you get used to hobbling through 4km, a 6km jog seems a tough ask.

To make things worse, as well as getting impatient with my distances, I was also unable to run on Thursday, Friday or Saturday…

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I finally got to say I do!

What a fantastic few days. After hardly any sleep saturday night, I managed an hour nap yesterday afternoon, followed by a 11 hour solid sleep. Now I feel human again.

During that sleep, I had an amazing dream. Since being a small girl growing up in a small town up north, I’ve always dreamt about finding a husband. I saw my life as a happily married woman with 3 kids, preferably boys, an Alsatian, a large house and garden and a wonderful husband. Then at school, it was just got through the exams, gain a career, a husband and a house and car. These days it feels more about survival, making sure the money comes in that I can afford the rent and spend time with friends, sorry family. My friends are my family to in such a big way.

Recently the name Matthew keeps popping up, part of me isn’t keen on this name and feel the need to push it away. I’m not sure why I have this feeling. It’s the same with Christopher. That has a big part of my life to. The dream was fantastic. It had everything I always wanted, food, family, and me becoming someone’s wife. The weird thing is I never saw his face, he was a shadow, apart from his hand, he held my hand. So, like in most weddings the men all gave their speeches, then as planned I stand up to give a speech about my family. My family include not only my blood relatives, but my amazing friends, five ladies especially and we give out presents to each one. The dream then ended with me looking at a stack of cup cakes ready to demolish the tower. What this means I don’t know but part of me think it’s a way of saying thank you to all the loved ones who made this last few days amazing.  I feel so loved.

Thank you for reading



Just looked at the interpretaion. How spooky:

Wedding Cake
To see or cut wedding cake in your dream symbolizes harmony and domestic bliss. You are enjoying life and have a bright, happy future ahead of you

To dream of a marriage signifies commitment, harmony or transitions. You are undergoing an important developmental phase in your life. The dream may also represent the unification of formerly separate or opposite aspects of yourself. In particular, it is the union of masculine or feminine aspects of yourself. Consider the qualities and characteristics of the person that you are marrying. These are the qualities that you need to look at incorporating within yourself.

Psychological Meaning: A wedding is a union of opposites. To dream of a wedding is most likely to represent the coming together of the opposite aspects of your personality. For example, the couple may represent the fundamental creative forces of life: male and female, matter and spirit, conscious and unconscious, rationality and imagination. This union of diverse forces in your psyche suggests that you will achieve inner wholeness.

What does Matthew mean?

From the Hebrew name Matityahu, meaning “Gift from God.” Matthew was one of Jesus’s apostles and author of the first Gospel in the New Testament. The name has been popular since the 1960s.

Perhaps there is some meaning in it after all.


Home is where the heart is


Home is where the heart is.

something that you say which means that your true home is with the person or in the place that you love most
What a month May is becoming. Lots of positive changes. Today I had planned a ‘me’ day. Yes I’m as shocked as you are. But with this job, I’m doing various shifts and sometimes I don’t know whether I’m coming or going. I’ll have a set of set shifts only for them to change. Last week I clocked up 50 hours.
I’m the girl who can’t say no.
Last week at Parkrun, my local, I got an aamzing time of 35 minutes. I was so proud. It has a killer hill.  This week I was going to do it again. Friday was my day off and I spent it with my good friend Kirsty and we ended up exploring an area of Leeds which has some amazing sites and bored cows. For my ‘me’ day it was to be on Sunday. I was going to go into town and see my friends do the Leeds Half Marathon and while they were out doing the course I would be sat in the pub eating a full english and reading a book.  Well what did happen was that yesterday I got to spend time at woodhouse moor, where parkrun began for me, and I ran it and I loved it. I got a call in the cafe asking for me to starter later which I agreed, as I could stay longer with friends and within seconds of that call, my results came through. I GOT A PB! I was so chuffeed and still am chuffed.
Today was just about being out of the house and in town and absorbing the atmosphere. I ended up with 2 hours sleep and found myself walking into town at 7am with the thought of a full english on my mind.
With breakfast done a friend had sent a messsage, so I grabbed my coffee to go (that sounds american) and went to meet him. I had a feeling I wouldn’t see my other friends, but I was there soaking up the atmosphere.
So by 9:30am I was ready in my spot to shout as all the runners went past, but of course with every race I’ve attended there was a 10 minute delay. But it was amazing. I looved every minute of it.
So off I went to look at some running gear, grabbed a coffee and headed back to the finish. By 10.30 I was in postion on the finish straight ready to cheer. What happened to me sitting still this morning?? Anyway All of a sudden a few runners came in and then that’s when everyone started cheering. Behind me were some people from Newcastle who got excited as I grew up in Spennymoor. Amazing how a big race event can bring people form all over.
As for the weather, it was gradually getting hotter and like in the London Marathon there were some poor sould who started to fail at the end. One poor chap collapsed on the floor and was attended to. What anoyyed the rest of us was an old lady asking the paremdic to move out the way so she could see. I don’t think she mean’t harm but it was such a worrying moment for the guy.
So after seeing a few of my friends come in, anxiety kicked in and I thought I had missed my friend. I felt like I failed her. I hadn’t, if I had missed her I would have still been there for her. However I didn’t. All of a sudden the red shirt came around the corner and I yelled her name at the top of my voice.
I am so proud of what my friends have achieved over the last few days. It’s an amazing thing.

I  got a PB!!!!!

I’m proud of myself to. I got a pb at parkrun yesterday.  I have been hit and miss with training but I have also changed my diet which is a massive help.  My doctor has also noticed my efforts resulting in weight loss and the gradual inprovbement of my vitamin D levels. Only 3 months to go and I should be above the normal levels. Fingers crossed.
So if like me you have 3 races this year, and you have it in your head that you must run every single step, STOP. Listen to your body. I got some great advice yesterday. You are not a failure if you go for a run and you walk some of it. You are giving your body a chance to recover. Oh and its ok to waste a day on the sofa doing nothing, it really is. So I need to stop beating myself up and get out there, or if I feel crap, lay on the sofa and watch tv or do something. Because everything is going to be ok. Because I’m home.
Lately, I’ve been, I’ve been losing sleep
Dreaming about the things that we could be
But baby, I’ve been, I’ve been praying hard,
Said, no more counting dollars
We’ll be counting stars, yeah we’ll be counting stars
Raising Money in July for PDSA. This is my new favourite top.
My Personal Best! look at that. A few things happpened yesterday.
  • I got to start later at work
  • Stay and chat to some lovely people
  • I gained a PB!
  • I ran 5km!!!
  • I got some good advice.
  • Someone came up to me and told them the words on the back of my shirt got them to carry on. (see above) and said thank you to me.
  • Another lady said she loved my tattoo and saw it while I was running.
  • I felt I found my place. Here in Leeds. I belong here.


I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath
Scared to rock the boat and make a mess
So I sat quietly, agreed politely
I guess that I forgot I had a choice
I let you push me past the breaking point
I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything
And I wonder if you noticed how many times I said PB.
Thank you for reading

Why the hell not……

It’s 4 weeks until my first 10k of the year and yesterday was my first 5k parkrun in months. I didn’t realise I left it that long to do one. Life has been hectic. Take yesterday for example. I did the parkrun in the morning followed by initially of 7 hours to then 11 hour shift as I ended up doing over time. So most of the day on my feet. I was lucky enough to get a lift home. But unfortunately I ended up with only 4 hours sleep due to some numpty on the street being locked out and constantly knocking.

Anyway. Another 6 hour shift today. Sunday is a pain for buses but I managed to catch them. It was so boring today as few customers after 2pm. I ended up getting really fidgety and ended up finding myself emptying bins, cleaning chairs and tables and then the walls. That’s when I realised something was up. I normally get this feeling when I’ve been amongst friends and family. Sudden realisation I’m going to be on my own and everything is quite. A sense of dread. So on the bus home I decided to go for a run. I recently purchased a set of bluetooth earphones and thought I’d try them out and see if I could get Spotify to work. And work it did.

My friend Kirsty got me into Pirate Metal a few months ago. When I hurt my knee in 2013 when I hurt my knee, a physio said if you are running you need something with a beat, something like a bit of heavy metal. Well in recent years I’ve been on off using mp3 players. and this last year nearly not at all. But tonight I felt the need for music and a run. I had no idea what to do with myself. So as a result I just ran 4km straight. I could have gone further but I hit a hill and my legs were hurting. The main thing is my head was clear and I felt happy, or like a cloud had lifted. It maybe a short term fix, but at least tomorrow I can try have a lie in and know I just nearly ran a 10k in a weekend. GO me!

Thank you for reading