My forties are coming to a rapid end in a few short hours. The end of an era indeed.

It’s been my best decade to date with life-changing decisions to relocate, get married, buy property, get a Welsh Terrier (good grief!) and get and keep my job (to date).

There have been challenges along the way of course, not everything I’ve wished for has materialised and it’s becoming less fun to look in the mirror but it’s been a great ten years where I’ve felt empowered in my life and while I never envisaged being fifty (who ever thought beyond thirty?) here I almost am.

My goals for the next decade are a bit more low key,… be mortgage-free (haha, a fantasy as long as we have Cashworth Mansions,) be healthy and fit (more achievable) and go on some adventures with Big T and Agnes, preferably in a camper van.

And so here we are, about to board a budget Hungarian airline to Reykjavik on September 11th. The adventures start now!

Partly cloudy with showers

I have been researching public showers in London and my research, if I’m ever homeless or insane enough to live without a bathroom again, is paying off.

Today I discovered there are showers and changing rooms across from our flat in Paddington Recreation Ground. For the bargain price of £2.75, one can gain access to the changing room and have a hot shower. It was clean, a little old, the tap was a button which needed to be pushed every few minutes but otherwise, it was a good option.

Apparently there are also showers at Paddington station, cost £5. Seems a bit pricey in comparison.

Today I have my first cold, well, cough in about a year. Amazingly this is the first time I’ve been ill at Cashworth Mansions. It’s like my body knew it couldn’t shut down because there was nowhere to spend a day feeling rotten.

Today I spent most of the day on the sofa feeling rotten so it was nice to have a room to feel rotten in. I did fancy a warm bath which resulted in me having a shower in the park, not quite the same thing so tomorrow I’m heading off to Ironmonger Row day spa for a scrub up and I’m hoping to steam my cough out before we set off to Iceland on Wednesday.

But before that, we have the return of the intrepid two, arriving by train tomorrow evening…


Sledge hammers at the ready

After eight extremely long months, no kitchen, mounting costs, a lot of frustration and a lot of passive aggressive emails, finally, FINALLY, we received the go-ahead.

We are approved to knock down the smallest wall to make the biggest (well, bigger) kitchen. It had better be worth it after all this!

Get out the sledge hammer, I’m getting started!

Swimming with the fishes

Growing up I wasn’t a strong swimmer. I didn’t like putting my face in the water and couldn’t open my eyes.

Moving to Australia I discovered that everyone could swim like a fish and so I avoided swimming at school for years as I was completely intimidated (allergic to chlorine, sir)

When I was about twenty I had some adult swimming lessons and discovered goggles. I could see, I could dive, I was apparently a natural backstroker but I still wasn’t a strong swimmer.

Ironically I learned to scuba dive and snorkel and spent many years on top of the water rowing and sailing. Everything except swimming!

And so to this morning where I went for my first swim at the Swiss Cottage Leisure Centre. A handy ten minutes away by bike.

Over the past few years my swimming has improved but my swim fitness hasn’t been great. A couple of lengths was my lot.

This summer I’ve been swimming in circles in France (the pool being three strokes long with a good push off) and swimming round the boat in Turkey. With the added bonus of a shower, I wanted to keep swimming in London but it’s been hard to find a pool I liked.

And so for the first time I really enjoyed swimming in London. The pool was clean (no plasters yay) it wasn’t too long (25m) and it wasn’t too busy. I didn’t bother counting laps but swam for about half an hour and felt like I could finally swim.

As I’m now embarking on my new fitness regime for the winter with yoga and swimming, I’ll be jumper-ready before I know it!