Blogs have been a bit thin on the ground this week and for that I apologise. The ‘getting more sleep’ thing didn’t work out at all and rather than setting time aside for myself I’ve been busier than ever. I only just have time to hang out with Pea and write a quick post before I really must get my head down to prepare for work tonight.

My main problem is that everything is taking much longer than it should these days. I trained this morning, in the woods where the temperature is much more agreeable, and I still melted. It felt like the air was made of soup!

We did a short route, but the heat just saps the energy out of me. I’m really not complaining though – I’ll take this over the cold any day of the week. I think it’s just that since I’m so new to running I’ve never run in these conditions before, so with every change of the season there’s a new challenge to face. It sure keeps things interesting though.

Last week as well the training sessions have been less intense because, let’s face it, staying out of hospital is the number one priority!

There’s been a lot more fast walking where I’ve just run out of steam, and that’s OK, because it’s still better than doing nothing. The thing that IS bothering me is that the heat has made me swell up like a balloon and I put on 9 lbs (yes, NINE POUNDS) of fluid overnight which doesn’t seem to be showing signs of going anywhere for the time being.

It’s disheartening, but I’ve been eating well so there’s no way on earth that’s 9 lbs of fat. I just need to keep my head until it’s gone and not freak out.

Speaking of training, I need to stop referring to my trainer as ‘my trainer’ because even though we aren’t a couple he certainly is more than that now. Friend doesn’t quite cut it either, because we’re just so close (we do seem to spend every spare minute together!) so I shall henceforth refer to him as ‘Mr. S’. It might get a bit confusing, but I’ll see how it goes.

Anyway, the last week with Mr. S has been great. After training we’ve been sitting in his garden, which backs directly on to some woods. He doesn’t even have a fence at the bottom which I think is just lovely, so it’s even easier for the wildlife to come and go as it pleases. He gets loads of incredibly tame foxes so I’ll have to get a good photo when I remember to take my camera.

We’ve also been watching a series called Detectorists, which somehow managed to completely pass me by until now. It’s on Netflix and it’s absolutely wonderful. It’s sweet, charming and a little odd, and I’m totally in love with it from everything from the camera angles to the theme song, which ‘gives me all the feels’ every time I hear it. I’ve now bought the song and have listened to it quite possibly thousands of times already. Well, I may have exaggerated a bit but it’s certainly been a lot.

Check it out below:

Another benefit from having to decrease the intensity of training is the opportunity for more photos. Just look how glorious it’s been. Everything seems right with the world when it looks like that.

On Sunday I decided to have a rest day and spend some time with my sister. Sister times are always great – I really don’t know what I’d do without her. She lives a 20 minute car journey away but I just didn’t want to be in a car on that particular day so I walked 20 minutes to the train station, took a ten minute train journey, then walked another 40 minutes the other side to her house.

I’ve certainly been treating myself lately (perhaps a little too much) but after I tried my friend’s Apple Airpods I knew I just had to have them. They. Are. Amazing.

So I was walking with a spring in my step blaring out my music and I must tell you – the sound quality is incredible. I had the sun on my face, a breeze blowing through my hair and everything was a damn near perfect as anything ever gets.

After a quick stop at Starbucks for a cold brew we headed to the park to feed the swans. Of course we know that swans have bloody strong beaks, but we’ll do anything to get ‘the shot’. I have little cuts on my fingers but I don’t even care!




Now I just have to hang things out at work for another two weeks then I’m off on holiday, spending four days in the Peak District (everyone please cross their fingers for reasonable weather) followed by a night at a posh spa hotel in Sheffield. I simply CANNOT WAIT.

I must be cracking on now, so as ever, thank you so much for reading!

Hayley x

Out of Exile

I am ashamed to say that I didn’t make it to work the other night. In fact I have not been to work (or barely moved if I’m honest) at all since Wednesday night. You see I have been struck down with the dreaded lurgy! On Friday I had an evening nap to prepare me for work but when I woke up I couldn’t walk in a straight line, so I thought it’d be best for the general public and my colleagues alike that I stay home. Then on Saturday morning I woke up with a red, itchy rash all over my back and arms. By lunchtime it had spread to my tummy and I felt absolutely rotten, prompting my dearest mother to exile me to my room as she was convinced I had scarlet fever. To be fair it is doing the rounds in our area.

This morning I woke up still feeling utterly dreadful but even if it wasn’t a two-week wait for me to see a doctor at my local surgery I feel guilty for going with a potentially contagious bug and infecting the poor (already ill) people in the waiting room. But if it was scarlet fever and I went back to work, which I’d obviously have to do eventually, I’d infect people there too. So after some consideration I decided to trial Push Doctor, which is where you get to speak to a real life doctor via the magic of a video call. I had to wait 6 minutes for a doctor to become available, then within 10 minutes and for £7 (an introductory price) I had the diagnosis of an allergic reaction coupled with an entirely coincidental cold. So on Tuesday (the next day I’m due in work) I’m safe to go back. It was a good feeling that I didn’t unnecessarily take up an NHS appointment or waste the doctor’s time, so perhaps someone who really needs it won’t have to wait two weeks for their appointment. For minor things I think it’s a great idea and I’ll definitely be using them again. Normally a 10 minute consultation is £20 but I think that’s reasonable. Even when I’ve had a more serious problem I don’t ever remember taking more than 10 minutes in a doctor’s appointment. There was the time I waited hours for my appointment only to find the doctor had forgotten about me and gone home, but that’s something else entirely…

Weirdly, I’d really like to be back at work as I’m missing my routine terribly. My appetite has been all over the shop with me mostly not wanting to eat a huge amount then an hour later wanting to eat everything in sight. I have managed to stay on plan, but exercise has gone completely out of the window. I tried to get a decent amount of steps in this morning but after 3,000 I was completely wiped out! I’ll still do some more later though because my Fitbit tells me my calorie burn this week is virtually non-existent and I’m worried about how that will (or won’t) affect the scales. I need to get moving again no matter what!

For the last two days I’ve been spending my time watching numerous episodes of How to Lose Weight Well, where ordinary people trial some of the mental diets that are on offer these days. I’ve watched every episode aired so far and on not one occasion have they featured a diet that works as well or fits into ordinary life as easily as Food Optimising does. There was not one single instance where I thought ‘hmm, I’d like to give that a go one day’ which reaffirmed to me that I’ve chosen the absolute best healthy eating plan for me. It did make me sad to see people on a restrictive plan for four months who only lost a couple of pounds. It just doesn’t have to be that way! I really hope they feature Slimming World in the next series and that the person trialling it makes a proper attempt at it. They featured one woman (as an extreme case) who was paying £350 a pop to eat NOTHING for 10 days while nutrients were pumped into her stomach (she carried the pump around in a backpack the whole time) via a nasal tube. I think she was on her sixth session and she’d only lost 2 stone, and she was doing it again in order to lose the last 7 lbs. How awful and how wrong that it’s completely legal for people to offer such a thing.

Over the last couple of days I’ve noticed that the weather has been a lot milder which is good for me as I HATE being cold, and that the quality of the light is a lot better. I really love that kind of muted winter-coming-into-spring light that’s just so much nicer than ordinary winter grey. If my brother was reading this he’d roll his eyes, tut and say ‘photographers’. But anyway, I was itching to get outside to look for and photograph signs of spring but thought better of it, so as usual I looked to Pea (my little parrotlet) for inspiration. She was the first to let me know that spring is on the way as she’s started to molt like there’s no tomorrow. There is a direct link between her growing new feathers and the increase in daylight hours, but until they’ve grown through properly she’s looking like a right little scruff pot. That doesn’t stop her posing for the camera though!



Tomorrow I don’t care if I feel better or not, I’m going to get out of the house and do something, because I’m going quietly insane trapped in here. As much as I love hanging out with Pea she’s not much of a conversationalist!

Until next time,

Hayley x