Throwback Thursday

I’m going to share something with you today, nothing too personal so no need to panic…

My name is Claire and I think I may be addicted to exercise.

There, I’ve said it out loud and made it a ‘thing’.  I’ve always been slim and have never had to worry about what I was eating or how much I was moving.  Last January though, I felt the need to get healthy and fit and started exercising twice a week when I could and also took up tennis (at my age!! – imagine!).

I was working particularly hard yesterday in class and was getting tired and started to flag a little *I was shattered and wanted to weep* when this track came on.  I found inner strength from goodness knows where and kicked those leg squats.  Doesn’t good music make such a difference?  The louder the better for me and if no-one minds me joining in every now & again, I’m all for that!

What gets you moving and motivated?

I train with the lovely Lisa here but other classes are available.

Too Cool For School?

Just be Cool – that’s a challenge eh?  Cool is a word that is bandied about, a lot, and sometimes it can be an elusive thing.

I asked my 2 children this morning who or what they thought was cool and the 4 year old, understandably, didn’t really know but the 8 year old came up with a really good definition.  She said that being cool was all about being yourself and not worrying about what other people thought.  She then went on to say that she didn’t think she was cool but she wanted to be thought of as pretty instead.

This got me thinking and I then asked a quick snapshot of my friends who they and their children thought was cool… The answers were really varied and actually quite lovely.  The adults sited mostly friends and siblings as the cool people but answers also included…

  • Prof Brian Cox
  • Prince
  • Serge Pizzorno
  • Dave Grohl
  • Annie Mac
  • Gwen Stafani

The kids on the other hand, ages ranging from 4-11, said friends first and foremost and then…

  • Katy Perry
  • Johnny English
  • Ricky Wilson
  • Wayne Rooney (twice)
  • Robin van Persie
  • Steven Gerrard
  • Beth Tweddle
  • King Arthur
  • Merlin
  • Brad Wiggins
  • Jonny Peacock
  • Ashima Shiraishi – check her out 

As for me, I think I’m in agreement with my eldest daughter and think that being cool should be effortless and all about doing your own thing and not being led by others. Having said that though, there is a line between cool and kooky which is good to be crossed but there’s a time and a place…

My cool list?  This was tough and in no particular order I give you…

  • Dave Lee
  • Jenny Jones
  • Lauren Laverne
  • Kurt Cobain
  • My Brother
  • My 4 year old
  • Zane Lowe
  • Jack White
  • Caitlin Moran

Simply because they seem to me to be completely genuine and just ooze effortlessness.  No-body likes a try-hard…

I need to say a big thank you to the people that helped me out on this one…

Jo, Lily, Freya, William, Kaeli, Georgia, Heidi, George, Edward, Jill, Natalie, Alexander, Annabelle, Annie, Tony, Tom & Dan

So, who would you consider cool?  I’d love to hear!

Project 52

I’m really fortunate to work from home but sometimes I feel that I never get away from it.  Add 2 children into the mix and it can all feel a little overwhelming occasionally.

I managed to steal a few moments to myself this week which is always lovely… Sometimes, all I need is a little sit down with a coffee, pancakes and a good magazine!

Simple Pleasures

Simple Pleasures

NME Awards Tour 2013

Well, the first gig of the year box was well and truly ticked on Saturday night.  Myself and the husband went up to Birmingham O2 to see Peace , Palma Violets , Miles Kane and Django Django.

As usual, I summised on the way up the motorway that we would be the oldest people there, and, as usual, we weren’t!  Of course there was a healthy representation of young hipsters with their hair and their skinny jeans, and oh, the scent of young males fresh from the mosh pit.  BUT, there was a just as healthy representation from the older gig-goer and I felt that I was at the younger end of that demographic *yay!*

Peace and Palma Violets are the fresh young, up and coming bands of 2013 and the energy levels were high.  Miles Kane did an excellent set and was probably the most popular of the evening.  The headliners were Django Django who we’d seen at Reading on a sunny Sunday lunchtime and the set they played then was a little on the safe side if you know what I mean.  On Saturday night however, they nailed it!  In a more intimate environment they had a more clubby vibe and I for one was transfixed.  For me, they were the best of the night.  which isn’t to take away from the other 3 acts at all.

One observation I made… the proper hipsters (or at least the 2 in front of me for the last set) seem too afraid to let go in case it messes with the hair.  One guy couldn’t move at all whilst his friend had a bit of a dance then spent a few minutes re-doing his hair.  I grew up in the grunge era, and those of you who know me can vouch that I’m not the most ‘high maintenance’ of girls, so this makes me chuckle.  Or, *gasp* am I getting old?  Don’t answer that please!

This is a bit of a giggle for all you hipsters or old people…you decide…

I will leave you with my favourite track from Palma Violets

Project 52

It’s been a wee while since I posted my pictures for my Project 52.  I have been dutifully taking them though and today you get to see the fruits of my labours.

Week 5

Week 5

I bought these daffodils and was waiting for them to blossom into life when I noticed these 3 in varying stages.

Week 6

Week 6

I’ve been trying out some new product shots for my work and trying to give myself a little more exposure on Pinterest and other sites like Instagram (ABCSTREET) *hangs head in shame at self-promotion*


Week 7

If you read my post the other day on Pancakes, you will have already seen this picture, but it pretty much sums up what I’ve been eating this week!

Throwback Thursday

Aah Valentine’s Day – hearts, flowers and general loving.  This actually makes me shudder slightly to even type about it.  Don’t get me wrong, I will have been married for 10 happy years in April, but having to make a huge gesture on a specific day just feels odd to me.  A surprise gift on a random drizzly wednesday in October means far more.  Sorry, but that’s how I feel about it.

Anyway, enough of the grumpiness *wonders if there is a version of Bah Humbug for Feb 14th..*

Here’s one for all you lovers out there…


I live in the pretty market town of Olney which is famed for the annual pancake race every Shrove Tuesday.

In the spirit of this, I bring you my recipe for pancakes.


Pancake Deconstructed

Now, I’m a little unorthodox in that I like a ‘fatter’ pancake – more like a drop scone than a traditional thin pancake.  *only because I find them easier – there, I’ve said it*

125g Flour – I use Spelt but Plain is fine

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons sugar

1 egg (Free-range of course) whisked

170ml milk

Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl.  Add the sugar and stir.  Add the egg and milk and whisk until lump free.

Pour into a non-stick pan brushed with a little butter.  Pour in some mixture and cook until bubbles appear on the surface then turn over and cook for another 30 seconds or so.

Smother with your topping of choice and scoff greedily.  My girls favour Nutella on theirs.  Me? I like a scattering of berries and a drizzle of maple syrup…

How do you prefer yours?