Sunday, 10 November 2013

We Did It

A couple of weeks ago myself, Marie and Rebecca did it.  We completed the Twilight Race for Life in Chelmsford and boy did it feel good.

We had been doing some training on the run up to the event but were not as prepared as we had hoped to have been, but that said, we were going for it.  We were going to attempt to run as much of the course as we could.  I kept telling myself that what we were putting ourselves through was absolutely nothing in comparison to the suffering that cancer patients experience.  We knew you can walk these courses but we've done that before and with all of us being pretty un-fit and not at all sporty or energetic when it comes to sports, we wanted a challenge.

Race night came around, I was feeling nervous but really excited, I just wanted to get started.  There I was with my poster attached to my back and I was ready to kick cancer right in the butt and show it what I really thought.  It took my Grandad from me and that is one thing I can never forgive.  It has affected pretty much every individual in some way or another, it was pay back time.

The atmosphere on the night was amazing, so much better than any day time event I have been too.  parts of the course were lit by fairly lights twisted round bridges or tree's lit up by coloured spot lights and the rest of the course was lit up by us.  Everyone made an effort, even some of the spectators.  People were adorned with fairy light (battery operated of course) glow sticks, glittery wigs, face paints, luminous coloured tutu's and leg warmers it really was fantastic. 

Running round the course the stewards were all waving glow sticks and giving words of encouragement.  there was a children's choir singing and giving people that push that they needed.  At another point there was a local dance group of disabled teenagers waving pom-poms and shouting words of encouragement.  The local radio station dropped by too with a car pumping out tunes.  And do you know what it all helped.  it all made a difference to the night and it kept pushing us to run. 

OK, so we didn't run the whole entire 5k but we ran the majority of it, occasionally stopping to catch our breath and muster up some more energy to go again. 

I'm so pleased with how we did, we managed to finish in just over 40 minutes.  I had hoped to do it quicker but we finished, that is the main thing and do you know what is even better.  we set ourselves a target of £350 to raise and how much have we raised so far?...........................................................

(fortunately we didn't need the ambulance in the background there!)

£537.00.  that is 153% of our target, and donations are still coming in.  We are blown away by this amount, I never imagined we would raise as much as this and want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who has supported us and donated to this worthwhile cause.  I know my Grandad would have been proud and that means the world to me.

It's not too late to sponsor us, even if you can only spare a pound, it all adds up and makes a difference to the research that can be done to find treatments and cures to this awful disease.  You can find us on Just Giving here.  Thank you.

Love Gem x x x x

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Hensington Palace

I had planned to post this piece a long time ago, shortly after my last post but it seems time has run away with me once again.

I had mentioned in my last post about a new arrival, a new addition to our family, it has been keeping me rather busy, not that I mind of course.  Back at the end of August we picked up 4 ex-battery hens.  I honestly didn't think it were possible to become attached and fall in love with chickens, but it really is.  They are my little babies.

So let me introduce to you, the girls.  Gladys,

Margaret (with her back to the camera, she is the only one I don't have a photo of on her own),


and Ginger.

We had chosen names before we had even collected them, I thought it would be difficult to decide which chicken should have what name but it was surprisingly easy and they have stuck too.  It's funny how their personalities somewhat reflect those of who they have been named after :)

It didn't take long for them to settle in.  They have all seemed pretty happy from day one.  I was expecting them to be in real bad condition especially when researching some of the conditions that battery hens are kept in (it really is awful) but they had the majority of their feathers, a few bald patches but nothing extreme.

We had a few teething problems with one of the girls, Gladys (my favourite, if you can't tell already with all the photo's of her).  The others just wouldn't accept her and would constantly try attacking her, not just a little peck but actually latching onto her and not letting go.  Thankfully that has stopped now and they are all getting on fine and dandy.

I feel like I'm really living the country life now and I am loving every single second of it. 

Love Gem x x x x

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

A General Round-up

The past few months have been a bit of a whirlwind.  There seems to be so much that has gone on and so little that I have blogged about.  So asides from my trip to Edinburgh, training for the Race for Life, pottery painting with some IG ladies, college and the other things I have blogged about recently, what else have I been up to?  Well here is a little round-up.

A fancy dress party to celebrate some friends birthdays, a 30th and 40th.

Fishing.  OK so I didn't actually fish myself, I just sat and read my book, but in my opinion I was there fishing hehee.

Picking flowers from a cutting patch that has been grown especially down the road to us.

A visit to Greensted Church.  the oldest wooden church in the world.

A day out with my aunt.  Gorgeous cream tea at Papermill Lock,
Followed by a boat trip and then a walk along the prom in Maldon.

A day spent with my niece after she stayed with us the night.  I took her for her first cream tea, again at Paper Mill Lock.

Then we got lost in a maze.

I'm sure there is more I am forgetting about but this generally covers most of what I've been up to.  Now you can see what I mean when I say it's been a whirlwind.  Looking back it has been a great summer.  A chance to cross off some bits from my summer list, Discover someplace new and go fishing.  Just a couple more to go and another list will be complete.

I'll be back soon with some news on a new arrival hehee exciting stuff :)

Love Gem x x x x

Sunday, 25 August 2013

A Trip To Edinburgh

For my birthday last month James booked up for the two of us to go to Edinburgh for a couple of nights.  Neither of us had been before, so it was nice to explore, I always enjoy discovering new places.

There was so much to see and do, and I'm pretty sure there is plenty more to discover besides from what we did.  I had done a bit of research before we got there and decided on a few must do's for the trip so armed with this we set off on the first evening and headed for The Royal Mile.  The first stop was the Camera Obscura & World of Illusions museum.  The view from the top was pretty spectacular and it was great to look through the camera obscura too.  We had great fun checking out the rest of the museum and testing out the various different illusions, I felt like a kid again :) it was brilliant.

The following day we headed over to the castle and spent the morning wandering around the grounds. 

Afterwards we checked out some tartan weaving (one of my favourite parts of the trip)  it is amazing seeing how it is all put together, the machinery they use is incredible.

The afternoon was spent wandering around the Botanical gardens.  As I'm sure you are quite aware already, I love flowers and gardens so this was a great way to finish off the day for me.

We would have liked to have walked up to Arthur's Seat while we were there but we ran out of time.  Still it's an excuse to go back if ever we needed an excuse.  we have also said about visiting the Highlands so we could always incorporate the two in our next visit.

If you've not visited Edinburgh before I would highly recommend it.  There is a lot of walking and it is not the flattest place I have ever come across but there is some beautiful scenery to be seen and some great places to be discovered, I'm sure you wouldn't be disappointed.

~ Gem x    

Monday, 19 August 2013

Cancer Research's Race For Life

Yep I've done it, I've signed up to take part in this year's Race for Life in Chelmsford, only I thought I'd go for something a little different and a little fun so will be going prepared with fairy lights and glow sticks after signing up to the Twilight Race for Life, all in aid of raising as much money as I possibly can for the brilliant charity that is Cancer Research.

I have signed up as a group with my best friend Marie & my brother's girlfriend Rebecca, we have named ourselves the Crafty Cake Cadets.  We are all a little bit creative, a little mischievous at times, oh and the cake bit, well we love a bit lot of cake.

Anyone that knows me will know that I don't exercise, I may go for the odd walk across the fields every now and then but it is not very far and not very often, I just don't do exercise.  We have all promised ourselves we are running this course, all of it!

We are taking this seriously.  We have set up an Instagram account (you can follow us @craftycakecadets) to keep up with our progress, and updates will be coming through a lot more regularly now that the event is getting ever closer.  Myself and Marie have been out for a few runs already, each time increasing the distance that we are running.  OK, so we are not quite at the 3 miles yet (I don't even think we are at 1) but we are getting closer and come the 24th October (race night) we will be ready and we WILL run the whole course.

You can visit us at our Just Giving page here, take note we even set up a photo shoot to get the photos for our page, you see, taking this very seriously.  Any donations you can give, no matter how small, will be greatly appreciated.  It is going to a great cause and the more money we can raise the more worthwhile all this running will be.

Thanks for reading and for any support you can spare.

Love Gem x x x x

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Getting My Craft On

My yarn bombing antics are not the only creative outbursts I have had recently.  I've been sewing, I've been stitching I've been painting and sticking.  There has been quite a bit of craftiness going on under my roof.

First up I finally made some bunting to go on the basket of my bike.  After making some for a friend back in January I eventually got round to making some for myself.  Now all I need to do is actually ride the thing.  It has sat in the garage for 2 years, note to self I must make more of an effort to use it.

I've also been crafting for our new home (not so new now after 6 months, where did that go?!)  After seeing some patterns that I liked in some of my Cross-Stitcher magazines I finally settled for one to be displayed in a gorgeous hoop I'd picked up from a local charity shop, to hang in our living room.

And the painting, well this bedside cabinet was bought from a furniture charity shop, it was a bit chipped and lacking something.  After a quick sand down, a lick of paint and a piece of wallpaper to brighten it up, I was really pleased with the finished piece, it makes such a difference to our guest bedroom and really finishes it off nicely.

There are a few other craft projects I'm working on at the moment but they will have to wait until after Christmas before being revealed as they gifts for friends and relatives.  I'm starting early this year in a bid to get tit all done in time. 

Love Gem x x x