Much of a muchness

Things that make you go 'hmm'…

Category Archives: fitness

Busy old weekend

Well, it’s been a fun weekend. Milo continues to delight – even when he is being very naughty. He refuses to walk on a lead. As soon as you attach the lead to his collar, he sits down and refuses to budge. We had a breakthrough of sorts yesterday. Some friends dropped in and we decided that the three of us ought to be able to persuade one small dog to go ‘walkies’. This was the result…

walkies1

Milo got about 100 yards from the house walking nicely on his lead, the excitement of us all setting out together overcoming his hesitation. A car passed us and he sat down and refused to move an inch so this is how he continued the walk. I see we are going to have to join puppy school.

I’ve had a very productive weekend. I sorted out my workroom which had become a bit of a disaster area of late. I now have a creative space upstairs for my books and a desk for computer based activities in the kitchen. If I work upstairs, Milo sits at the bottom of the stairs, crying. If I let him come up with me, we have a potential ‘puppy pee/poo’ disaster as although he can climb upstairs , he cannot climb down, so if I become engrossed in what I am doing, I pay for it. So it’s easier to stay in the kitchen with the pooch so he can take himself off into the garden when nature calls.

I also managed to set up my Mac in the kitchen to talk to the printer on the top floor and worked out a very complicated double sided, right way up, back to back, A4 on A3 paper, nightmare of a printer problem. (don’t ask!)  I’m still trying to track down some A3 sized inkjet printer paper which is double sided, about 200gsm (or thereabouts) but which isn’t brilliant white. I want off white or cream even and despite hours faffing about on the internet, I can’t seem to track any down. Any thoughts anyone?

I would be feeling quite pleased with myself had I not made the mistake of weighing myself this morning. Bummer. Literally. So the downside to a promising weekend is that I’m back on a diet. And spending my days working in the kitchen is a real test of my shaky will power. I get on much better when I am two floors away from the kitchen, because then I either forget about snacking altogether or at least running up and down two flights of stairs goes someway to mitigate the damage…

wii_humiliation

I daren’t turn on my Wii Fit, it will shout at me…

On the real life sporting front, Andy Murray won the Qatar Open, easily beating Andy Roddick and Manchester United beat Chelsea 3 – 0 which thrilled me no end.

To finish, here are two more things which have entertained me this weekend. First was from my friend Claire, who rightly pointed out how clever this is. In her words

‘This guy traveled all over the world with his recording equipment, recording street musicians playing the same song, and then meshed it into one fantastic and inspiring tune.  Just the feat of getting everyone to play it in the same key, in tune and in the same tempo is mind blowing.  Very nice job.
Music is, indeed, universal.’

and the second was from my friend Sharon. It’s a bit like popping bubble wrap and equally as addictive. Just click on this link, then just run your mouse over the bears. You’ll see what I mean.

So that’s it,  my new week’s resolutions are – train Milo, lose weight, get fit – no problem…

Have a fun week.

Hey! from LA!

Here I am in Venice, California, the sun is shining (as it has done for my entire stay) and I am having a ball. I have played tennis, eaten great food, been given incredible hospitality by some generous friends, been on a bike ride along the beach from Marina del Rey to Santa Monica, listened to wonderful live music, shopped, played with adorable children, hosted a party, watched tennis (Yay! for Andy Murray!) and seen a great movie (which incidentally also introduced me to my newest crush – of whom more later!) It’s surprising how energized and well, happy, I am, just being in the sunshine. It’s no wonder people are generally so friendly and sociable – how can you be anything else when the weather is so cheerful!

The film I went to see with my friend, Claire, was Woody Allen’s new film ‘Vicky Cristina Barcelona’ starring Scarlett Johannson, Rebecca Hall, Penelope Cruz and my new crush, Javier Bardem.

Having only ever seen him in ‘No Country for Old Men’ where he played a murderous psychopath with a very strange haircut, I was unprepared for the sex-on-a-stick, all round gorgeousness that is Javier Bardem. I am in love. If George Clooney doesn’t hurry up and come and find me while I am still in LA, I may just have to switch my allegiance…

Claire, who you may remember I have mentioned before in this blog, has written a very funny book called ‘Plus One – A Year in the Life of a Hollywood Nobody’ (she also has a great blog) and the exciting news is that it is being made into a movie as we speak! Called ‘The Making of Plus One’ (check it out in the Internet Movie Data Base here) it is a movie about the making of the movie of the book (still with me?) and the brilliant news is that Claire and her sister Julia Fordham, get to make a cameo appearance in the movie, playing themselves. They are flying out to the South of France to film their bit next month.

Gosh! I actually know a movie star! Two even! That’s even better than meeting (well, gazing across the room at) the great Harry Shearer (of Spinal Tap and Simpsons fame), Victoria Tennant (who starred in one of my favourite movies ‘LA Story’ with her ex-husband, Steve Martin. And, Kim, incidentally, she is your favourite ballet dancer, Irina Baranova’s daughter!) and meeting Robert Shaw’s daughter and Tess Harper, who played Tommy Lee Jones’ wife in ‘No Country for Old Men’. It just occurs to me that means she has met Javier Bardem. I have sat next to someone who knows Javier Bardem!! Here she is with luscious Javier at the end on the right.

Star struck? Moi? Well, this is LA…

PS Just been reminded by Claire that on my first night in LA, we were in Hal’s restaurant in Venice and John Voigt and his son (Angelina Jolie’s brother) were at the next table to us. And I didn’t pick up on it – until everyone mentioned it on the way home. My biggest star spot and I missed it. Well, I was jet lagged…

I’m off – again!

I am exhausted, a wreck, wrung out, I am drained. I have just finished watching the Wimbledon Men’s Final complete with rain breaks, several complete turnaround of fortunes, complaints from Texas about the organisation and weather (you know who you are) and finally a stunning victory by Rafael Nadal after an awesome and tightly contested match. A classic, classic match. I was torn as to who I wanted to win, I like them both so much but there was a wonderful winner in Rafael Nadal. Spain is on a roll this year…

And very gracious in defeat, he so nearly won – and he will be back, my hero, Roger Federer.

I must also mention, a young lady who won the Wimbledon Girls’ Singles title, Laura Robson – A BRIT!! Who would have thought. 14 years old and already carrying the hopes of an entire nation….poor thing!

So Wimbledon is over – what shall I do? Make some books maybe? I am dying to get back to doing something creative – at least until the Olympics start…. However, my #2 son graduates from university this week so we are off to Leeds for a few days. Before I go, I thought that I would post a few bits and pieces I have come across while roaming around the internet. This first, is a cool music video. Those of you who are Mac users will recognise the OS X desktop and marvel at how they did this…

I am desperate to see the movie WALL.E which doesn’t come out in the UK until 18th July but here is the trailer I found on Youtube.

and this is a preview of the Pixar short which precedes the film

and finally for the mathematically inclined, some pie charts…

This one is a depiction of things Rick Astley wouldn’t do…

Bye for now. I am off to be the proudest mum in the country. Expect much boasting and fab photos when I get back…

Storm clouds over Dorset….

I try not to use this blog too often as a personal forum for all my pet peeves, personal traumas and disasters however, every once in a while something happens and I just have to explode! Back in April, I thought I was being very clever and bought some garden furniture from an eBay shop. It was a very good price (but still quite expensive -£600 or so). I still haven’t received the furniture.

Here we are at the beginning of July and my garden is still bare. I am furious. Particularly as the company that sold it to me (Land of Sofas based in Poole – be warned!) are now no longer registered as an eBay seller and do not communicate with me at all, and all their contact details are no longer available on eBay.

I managed to track them down and have contacted them several times. The girl I spoke to (Gemma) is always very short with me and seemed irritated I am bothering her. She has given me several dates for delivery, which have passed with no apologies or explanations, so I opened a dispute with PayPal and they are investigating the situation but as time goes by and our very short summer whizzes past, I am still furniture-less. My lovely big sons keep offering to go round and sort her out, as Poole isn’t too far from where I live (she signed off with her home address when she initially contacted me after the sale) but I am resisting their offer and attempting to do things through proper channels but if all else fails, I may go round there myself (with sons and a couple of their taller, even more scary friends) to discuss my refund!

The annoying thing is that the seller does appear to have lots of positive feedback but on closer investigation, most of it is for selling some sports drink bottles. All the feedback for the garden furniture they have sold in the past, says how long they had to wait for delivery and a lot of those people demanded refunds. The lesson from all this is to read the feedback properly. Don’t just look at the high positive feedback score and assume all is well. That’s the end of the lesson, I’ll keep you posted with any developments.

Anyway, rant over. A nice thing this week, has been reading the new ‘Top 101 Artists’ Blogs’ list over at Kim’s blog. Kim very deservedly (especially since her blog redesign) is at number 1, Emila’s lovely blog is at number 2 and guess who is number 3? Yes, moi! It’s such a phenomenal amount of work to update this list every month (particularly given the vagaries of Technorati) so I do recommend you head over there to check out some great art blogs. Kim was also sweet enough to pass on to me one of the many awards she has received recently – the Friendly Blogger award – well I try to be! Thanks Kim!

I’m going to pass this on to a couple of new commentators here at ‘Much of a muchness’ , 70’s teen and Daddy Papersurfer. If you read their blogs you will see why I enjoy reading them so much. And they are indeed, very friendly bloggers :-)

As I write this, there are gale force winds and rain sodden grey skies above, but does this stop #2 son from lighting the barbecue and cooking the ribs he so lovingly prepared last night? Indeed it does not. He is outside wearing shorts, a jacket and a woolly hat, cooking our lunch before we settle down to watch the tennis at Wimbledon (ladies final – the Williams sisters – should be a good one).

After the tennis, #2 son is going out (to play golf would you believe!) and I am settling in to watch Doctor Who – series finale, cliffhanger ending last week, Martha, Rose, Donna, Daleks, Davros  and all the Torchwood team, especially lovely John Barrowman aka Captain Jack – I can barely wait – 5 hours 20 minutes to go……

I was supposed to be going to a picnic at Mapperton listening to Cuban Salsa music tonight but that is looking like a non-starter so more TV it is….and then tomorrow, the Men’s Final, Roger Federer versus Rafael Nadal, the dream final! Woo hoo!

Couch potato? Moi?

I’m off!

I’m so excited I am ready early for once and raring to go! Wimbledon awaits. The weather forcast is OK(ish) so I am hoping to see Roger Federer play someone I’ve never heard of (Gicquel anyone?) Cue gratuitous Roger shot….and not even playing tennis :-)

The next match up should be amazing – two Amazonian women players, Amelie Mauresmo against Serena Williams.

What a slugfest that should be. I just hope that Serena doesn’t have to wear her very strange tennis macintosh thing. No rain please!

I’m taking my camera, so even though our seats are so high up we may get nosebleeds, I will take some shots of my day to share the atmosphere with you. I am off to Glastonbury on Saturday so next post won’t be until Monday. #2 son went on ahead to Glastonbury yesterday and it has just started to rain. Why am I not surprised…..