Bowery Mural

Commonwealth Games Fever

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

The Commonwealth Games are nearly upon us. After several games let downs I managed to get a ticket to the track cycling for Friday afternoon's session. I'm hoping (and praying) that Sir Bradley Wiggins will be competing in the individual pursuit which is taking place in the session I got a ticket for! woohoo.

I made my way to Glasgow on Sunday for my usual Sunday cinema trip and to pick up my ticket. Upon reaching George Square I joined the queue at the ticket office (a portakabin with 3 windows). After about twenty minutes I realised I hadn't moved at all, the line hadn't budged up, and you could see people were starting to get a bit restless. On average they were taking at least fifteen minutes to serve someone. Plus there wasn't a separate window set up for collections only. That would've been useful I thought. When I was nearly there, at the start of the queue, there was a guy about 3 people in front of me who was experiencing a problem with his tickets he'd booked online. I hoped there wouldn't be a problem with mine. After just under an hour of waiting it was finally my turn. I said I was here to collect a ticket. The guy asked for my postcode, name and for some ID. Within five minutes I had in my hand a booklet with my ticket enclosed inside. I cannot wait. Friday 25 July, Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, track cycling. Will be great!!

After ticket collection I went into the Glasgow 2014 superstore. Which is basically a giant marquee tent with all manner of games related t-shirts, towels, Clyde miniatures, key rings, pens, bags and umbrellas. I bought a tea towel and a pair of striped laces that also helps Unicef. Can't grumble at that really.
Cool Glasgow 2014 pictograms

I love these stripes on the ground in George Square

From there I headed along to the merchant city to search out the Irn Bru pop up. Found it! You can't really miss it. Three giant Irn Bru colours containers with merchandise and a mini exhibition inside. Profits from sales goes towards the Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice. I bought myself a pair of Irn Bru branded pj bottoms (but I'll wear them about the house as my comfies). Cool.

new pj's

Since I had my new boots on I weighed up whether or not I should try to find the Jim Lambie pathway that opened on Saturday. I decided to go for it.

from where I stood - new Balenciaga boots have cut my heels up!

I headed further along the London Road and there it was, Barrowland Park with a pathway made up of coloured strips of material with band names and dates in them. They represent all of the bands and artists that have played at the Barrowlands over the years. I love all things colourful and multi coloured and this really appealed to me. The area it is in is nice as there is grass on different levels that i'm sure people will sit on and enjoy the sunshine (when we get it!). I sat for a little while and put some plasters on my sore feet - those new boots! After that I headed back into the city centre and to the cinema.

my ticket!

I can't wait for the games to begin now. It seems like months that it's been building up. I can't wait to see Sir Brad - hopefully! And I can't wait for our country to shine.



Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Sometimes you just need a little encouragement.

I'm on holiday from work for two weeks (whoop!) and I have an empty. Since I'm not going away during this holiday I have a few things planned to keep me occupied. As always I have some fitness classes and gym time pencilled in when it will be a bit less quieter than it is in the evening. 

I booked a spin class with an instructor I haven't had before although I've heard she's great, and a little bit tough. Just what i like. So this morning i had my breakfast, did some yoga stretching for an hour, had a shower and headed off to this spin class. It was on at 1.15pm just after another class by Ross (my Friday evening instructor) and I felt like I was cheating on him with the new class. Weird. 

Anyway, this new class was with Louise (or LouMac) as most people know her. She does early morning spin classes too as well as metafit and insanity outside of The Peak in local villages. There was about ten of us in the class and we started at a little after 1.15pm. The music was loud, the instructions were clear and we were soon pounding our way up three imaginary hill climbs. I like to think of it like those ones on show in recent days on the Tour De France coverage.

Halfway through the class I had a quick check of the little display screen and noticed that I was pushing much more 'power' in a higher gear and that my calories used was higher than in other classes at this point. Result. 

The second to last track was to be the biggest one yet. Push a higher gear, cadence a little higher too and for quite a few more minutes than before. All throughout the class Louise was giving instructions about gears and cadence and then she got off the bike and came around. I was pounding out at 79-81 speed in my highest gear. I thought my quads were going to explode and my lungs burst and just at that moment she walked past and gave my hand a squeeze as if to say "you're doing great". That was me. A lump in my throat and my breath nearly gone with emotion but I didn't give up, in fact it spurred me on and I coughed that breathlessness away. What a really lovely thing to do, I thought. 

We had one track left. Another hill then a quick speedy round 'downhill'. We breezed through it and it was soon time for the cool down. 

She was really encouraging and after we had stretched and cleaned the bikes I was putting my trainers back on and she gave me another "well done, you were going really well there". "thanks" I replied with a cheesy grin on my face.

Those little things make all the difference in a class. In fact those little things make a difference, full stop. I was completely stuffed by the end but you know what? I will try to get into one of her class again. Because sometimes all you need is that little bit of encouragement.


The Grenson Rose Brogue

Wednesday, 9 July 2014


Let's talk about shoes, and how I love them. And then let's talk about these amazing Grenson Rose brogues. Aren't they just lovely?

I have been craving a decent pair of brogue shoes for years. A couple of years back I bought a black pair from Office and wore them to work pretty much every day. They weren't a patch on these white calf leather lovelies though.

No, for these are by Grenson. They fit me great, although admittedly doing the first wear not the mean streets of New York city was a slightly bad move. There I was. I'd walked all the way from West 38th Street in Midtown, all the way to the Highline. Then right all the way down the Highline from Midtown to the West Village where I eventually stopped for lunch in a fancy restaurant. did you get that? All the way. From there I walked to the 9/11 memorial and on to Wall Street. By the time I got there I knew there was blood. In my feet, that is. Luckily I always have some plasters in my bag and once they were applied my feet were fine. That was my mistake though. I should've broke them in gently. They are proper quality leather after all and so there was bound to be some blister action.

They started off with a smooth leather "Goodyear welted" sole but after all that walking about the soles have worn a little bit. You can always send them back to Grenson to be repaired with a new sole and welting. I'll be doing that if they wear down too much, although I'm not that hard wearing on shoes so hopefully won't be needing that service for a year or so. 

The thing I love about these shoes are that they can be dressed up or down. I wear them with jeans, skirts and smart trousers. The white are just so versatile and summery!

They aren't cheap by any means but shoes are something I've always invested money in.  Ever since i bought my first pair of Adidas Kick trainers for my tenth birthday, shoes have been my thang! Plus I know they'll stand the test of time and the class brogue design is always timeless.