Adventures in Wonderland: My Week #1
As the Bank Holiday weekend is drawing to a close, I’m writing this blog post on the roof terrace hoping to catch a few final rays before the sun dips down below the rooftops. This week has been really busy but I’m so happy that I managed to complete a few tasks I’ve been putting off, as well as find time to treat myself as well. I wanted to share a few highlights of my recent week of adventures in wonderland…
Getting my best parkrun time – EVER!
Driven by my impending pre-wedding half marathon (a must-have for any good wedding ‘to-do’ list, obvs) in St Albans in about a month’s time, I decided it might be a good idea to actually follow a training plan. Of the five runs it recommends each week, parkrun in Finsbury Park has got to be my favourite. This week I was feeling somewhat delicate as a result of a celebratory start to the bank holiday weekend with friends the night before, so I wasn’t expecting a great performance. My only goal was to run all the way up the steep hill on the second lap of the park. I’ve decided to embrace the view that success is largely based on mindset and if you think you are going to fail you most likely will – so I willed myself up the hill, legs burning, and I did it! I absolutely love the support you get doing parkrun - from the other runners, volunteers and people just out and about in the park – it is absolutely appreciated and keeps me going when I feel my legs aching and my lungs gasping. And amazingly I got my best time! Its still over the 30 minute mark but now much closer – so I’m going to keep pushing over the next couple of weeks until it is!
Taking a dip in Parliament Hill Lido
Taking advantage of the baking bank holiday temperatures, I successfully nagged the fiancé to come with me to Parliament Hill Lido. I don’t know what it is about lidos - I’m not a particularly good swimmer and don’t lust after swimming in regular pools – but as soon as the sun is out I want to be in an outdoor pool! We were in luck as this was the first day of their summer opening hours and there was swimming all day, instead of ending at noon as it does in ‘winter’. Entrance to the lido was actually surprisingly costly for an unheated outdoor pool (£14 total for the two of us) and the facilities were fairly basic. But who cares? I was at a beautiful lido with a shimmery metal floor that was going to give fab photos. Jumping straight in has got to be the only way to get into the water – if you tried to get in slowly you would chicken out before you got your knees wet. It was absolutely freezing! The fiancé (I think shamed by me) jumped in but got out again pretty sharpish whereas I did quite a few lengths for about 20 minutes before admitting defeat. Maybe I’ll try again when the weather has been warmer for a little longer and the water has had time to heat up…
Ice cream in the park
After our little dip, we went for a short stroll around Hampstead Health / Parliament Hill. Seeking out an ice cream van I bought a rather indulgent waffle cone with a flake – yummy. This is one of the best things about being an adult – seeing an ice cream van and buying an ice cream, none of this having to nag your parents to buy you one! The park was so busy with families, couples and friends all enjoying the Saturday sun and we sat and joined them for a while. To make a token effort to burn off the extra calories, we walked up Parliament Hill and admired the view over London before getting the Overground home.
Tidying the house
This probably sounds like the most boring thing in the world but I feel such enormous satisfaction for doing it. For months there have been jobs that I’ve been meaning to do but constantly putting off – either through lack of will or time. One of those was to sort through the giant mound of toiletries that I acquired over the past few years (because I love a bargain). When I joked that I could open a small branch of Boots with all of my stuff my fiancé frowned and mumbled ‘more like a medium sized one…’ To help, I’ve reorganised so that I will use things more efficiently (how have I got 7 deodorants???), promised that I will use my ‘fancy’ creams more regularly and stop storing them up for special occasions, and consigned some that I will never use to the local foodbank. Interesting fact – foodbanks actually want your unopened toiletries, and they are just as important as cans of food in many circumstances. If you are thinking about having a toiletries clear out, check out the Trussell Trust for the non-food items they need.
With only 7 weeks to go until the big day, I’m starting to get excited but also nervous about the enormity of work that still needs to be done. I’m going to write a separate blog series about things to do on the countdown to the big day, but needless to say I initially ticked loads off the enormous list, but it quickly grew again adding all the stuff I’d forgotten first time round. What will I do with all of my free time once I’m married!?
Cheese and wine tasking at Leadenhall Market
During the week we were invited to a night of cheese and wine tasting at the aptly named Cheese at Leadenhall, as part of fundraising activities by our old university. I always love these alumni get-togethers as they are a great opportunity to catch up with old friends, reminisce about life at uni, as well as trying new things. Cheese at Leadenhall offers a great tasting experience pairing a variety of cheeses with wines from around the world. My favourite was the Vacherousse – a French cow’s milk cheese - tasted with Hugel, a Pinot Blanc from Alcace in France. I’m not anywhere near an aficionado in either wine or cheese but this is a lovely relaxed atmosphere to be able to try and be educated in both. Although the six rather generous glasses of wine did make me feel slightly delicate the next morning… (and certainly didn’t help the wedding diet!)
I hope you enjoyed reading about my adventures in wonderland this week, and that everyone had a great Bank Holiday weekend!