Bowery Mural

Been Busy

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Wow, it's been ages since I've posted here. Sorry!

There are only a few reasons why. Mostly because life has taken over and I've started having much needed early nights so by the time work is over and the gym has been ticked off my daily list. It's dinner and then pretty much bed time. Phew. But I'm going to try to really put the time in and get this blog up and running again.

So, what's been happening? Well, as sure as night turns to day it's only four and a bit weeks until Christmas. Where has 2014 gone?! I mean, wow, it's flown by. It's been quite a year. I finally started Christmas shopping last weekend. Got the nephews some stuff. Then I picked up loads of stuff from the Boots 3 for 2 shelves and then promptly put them all back when I decided they weren't what I wanted to buy. I was thinking, there's too much choice in there. Does anyone else get that feeling in Boots?

View from the gym at 7.30am

The Gym... has pretty much been my life for the past month or so. I've upped my fitness game and am there 7 days a week. My exercise classes change everyday but this week i even started running again (and we all know how much i am so not a runner!). I've not gone crazy though, 10-15 minutes on the treadmill, some weights, some rolling and stretching... It all adds up. Classes are mostly metafit; Shockfit circuits and strength training; and spin classes. Almost two weeks ago I got this heart rate monitor device called a MyZone that they sell in the gym. I mostly got it because I was curious to see how hard i am working and how many calories are being burnt off with each bead of sweat that drips off my pink face. I was surprised. In a good way! I seem to be working pretty hard. I mean I kinda knew that anyway, I can't really give anything more by the end of a workout, but the heart rate thing appears to be saying I work in the 'red zone' pretty regularly during a workout. (The red zone being 90-100% of your max HR). A few people have said it's not working properly - cheeky things(!), but after a week it's settled down and I think it's bang on. How dare they say I'm not working that hard. I know I am. The good thing about this Myzone belt is that you can set challenges up with groups of friends or other people at the gym, you can push each other on and get motivated. I'm currently 3rd in our little Christmas challenge. I plan on being at least 2nd (the guy in 1st place is wearing his all day every day i think!). We'll see how i get on in the next few weeks.

Work has been really busy and really crazy just now. There's loads going on and my workload is doubling. I seem to be at too many meetings for my liking plus I've got a full days' training next week that couldn't have come at a worse time. On the upside I got a new computer last week and it's great. Quite fast and I can still listen to my music during the day. Being busy is good but sometimes it's a bit overwhelming. I'm learning just to take a few moments out to have a cup of tea a put things into perspective. There's only so many hours in the working day and there's only so much one person can do. My mantra.

Anyway, they are by no means excuses but just some of the reasons this blog has taken a little back seat for a few weeks.

I'll be back...

Angela x

Going for a run

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Lovely day in Stirling, Stirling Castle

No, not a run as in a run around the park, or a run on a treadmill (however I did actually run on a treadmill for the first time in about two years his week)... Sideswerve! No, this is a run in the car.

Lately I've been feeling that my Saturday's have been waste days. Wasted in the sense that i haven't really done much on a Saturday for a while.

My Saturday's tend to go something like, wake, breakfast, drop the sister and nephews at football training, Insanity class at the gym, brunch at home, then... nothing much. There's the usual housework, food shopping etc but nothing of note. Then before you know it it's 6pm, time for dinner, Strictly and (let's be honest here) XFactor. Saturday? More like Saturdaze.

So, I thought to myself. I'll go for a run. So I did the first part of my Saturday routine, then shortly after lunch time, and a detour to my aunt's to find out he latest family mini crisis, I set off in the car in fairly decent weather and headed North.

First through Stirling and past the back end of Stirling Castle. What a great view. Then out towards Doune and Callendar then up through Crianlarich and I gave up at Tyndrum. The plan was to head to Glencoe with my camera and take a few wonderful shots to show you all here. The weather wasn't playing ball though and yes, at 3pm when I pulled into the Real Food Cafe at Tyndrum I knew I wasn't going any further.

It was windy and wet and pretty much no views to be had through some very low cloud so i grabbed a cup of tea and a slice of millionaire's shortbread, which by the way you'd need to be a millionaire to eat at £2.45 a slice! Kidding, but still a bit steap for a pretty underwhelming bit of chocolate shortbread. I sat there and ate half the cake and then set off back down the road. Which was a slow ass journey because lo and behold, just five miles into that journey, just past Crianlarich, I was stuck behind a police jeep escorting a huge ass aid load lorry with a crane on the back of it. ALL. THE. WAY. TO STIRLING. An hour and a half along wet winding roads behind this lorry. And because there were hills surrounding me the radio kept cutting out.

But the scenery was magnificent. Russet would be the colour I'd describe Scotland just now. Rusty coloured blankets covering the hillsides. Faded green trees lining the roads. And to set it all off a grey mist hanging in the air. Pretty perfect.

Don't you just love going for long drives? Where do you go?

Angela x

NYC: Central Park and Jeff Koons at the Whitney Museum

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Back to my travels after a brief interlude...

Monday saw me wander through central park after a breakfast on the rooftop of the Refinery hotel with this AMAZING view. BOOM!!

I headed out into central park via a detour to 5th Avenue and back to the hotel to get a new camera battery. Fail. Hopping on and off the subway it didn't take me that long and I was soon into the relatively quiet city oasis that is Central Park. It was wonderfully calm apart from a few runners and cyclists and the odd street performer.

It was near lunchtime by the time I reached the Boathouse Restaurant and so I grabbed a burger and fries at their takeout bar at to the rear of the main building. It was okay. Not that great if i'm honest. Live and learn. Once I had refuelled I walked to the Bethesda Fountain area and then onto the Alice in Wonderland statue. All the while wandering, I kept thinking how can it be so quiet in the middle of this vibrant city? The trees were a welcome noise dampener as well as much need shade from the daytime sun. Although there were grey clouds in the air too. I hoped it wasn't going to be another tropical downpour since I was without a jacket!

I made my way onto Park Avenue and into the Whitney Museum. There was a small queue that only took about 10 minutes for me to reach the entrance. Once inside I FaceTimed home to update the folks on my days adventuring. Floor by floor I took in all that Jeff Koons has to offer through the decades. From the silver whacky decanters to the wonderful giant balloon dog on a higher floor. One of my favourite things was the giant bundle of coloured plasticine. I mean it wasn't really plasticine but it looked just like it (except it was about 10 feet tall). Then there was a giant helium like balloon on the wall. So real looking but made from highly polished metal. I had fun taking some selfies in which you can hardly see me. Then there were those where you could - in the giant coloured animal head shaped mirrors. So cool.
Jeff Koons split rocker head at the Rockefeller centre

Th Whitney Museum


plasticine - playdoh?

The museum was busy and I thoroughly enjoyed my few hours spent there. Bonuses being the Andy Warhol originals. Wowsers.

Andy Worhol

After that I headed back to hotel to freshen up and have a bite to eat. Then I headed out into the muggy New York evening for some gift shopping. The NBA shop for the boys, the Bose shop for me. The Hershey's chocolate shop for others. Times Square was lively as usual but it didn't stop me hanging around to soak it all in, on my last night.

Back at the hotel I was knackered and was sprawled out on the bed when - wah wah wah - the fire alarm went off. I wasn't sure what it was at first but soon realised. I grabbed by bag and phone and headed down the fire escape at the back. The strange thing was there was only me and another family from a room on our floor - either this hotel was empty just now or we were the only ones taking notice of the fire alarm. The fire escape took us out the back of the hotel, so we walked around the front where the doormen were in no panic and indeed let us into the lobby. A few minutes later the siren of the FDNY could be heard and in strolled 4 firemen in full uniform. It was like Chicago Fire, except in New York haha. A few guests were milling around in the lobby so we sat down. The security man made an announcement to say it was a false alarm but a few firemen went up in the lifts just to be sure. The others stayed in the lobby and were trying to reset the random alarm that kept going off. About 20 minutes past and everything was fine. We were allowed back to our rooms and the FDNY went on their way - not without some guests taking pictures though.

Back in my room it was now 11pm and I still had some packing to do. I did as much as I could and settled into bed watching the latest episode of The Leftovers. All in all, another brilliant day in New York city.

Angela x