Although I don’t often make resolutions, this year I have written down a list of the things I’d like to achieve this year, to give me a bit of focus and remind me to do the things! So, in no particular order, I will:

  • Run (well jog/walk) 500km in total for the year – including doing 10 park runs over the year with Jay
  • Swim 100km in total for the year
  • Get down to a size 10 by continuing to go to Weight Watchers
  • Visit my sister in Australia
  • Pay off 1 credit card and 1 overdraft
  • Take part in Friday Photos flickr challenge
  • Move
  • Declutter once and for all
  • Cook something new at least once a fortnight
  • Own Boo (the Aygo) outright.

Whilst running and swimming with help getting into size 10 clothes, not all of the others are quite so compatible. Paying off the rest of my car, going on holiday to Australia and moving don’t really go well with paying off some of my debt, so not all of those will be achievable…I’ve just got to remember to prioritise! I think it’s unlikely that we’ll move house any time soon, and decluttering is something I’m useless at, but so long as I end the year having made a start on achieving those I’ll be happy!

So now I’ve put these things out there, I had better get on and do them…


It’s May on Tuesday?!

Looking at the calendar with the realisation that the fifth month of the year is upon us on Tuesday scared me a little – I have no idea how 2012 is zooming past so quickly but it is! I haven’t blogged much at all this year on here which is a shame but other stuff has got in the way! I do want to share some things I’ve been up to, originally I intended to proper blogs on them all but here’s the round-up…

This year I have started e-mentoring a couple of students through a project called Bright Links run by Brightside, an educational charity. Those two websites have some fantastic resources covering careers, student life, education, all sorts. I’ve found it quite nerve-wracking being a mentor, I don’t want to say the wrong thing but at the same time I don’t want to say too little, it’s hard finding the right balance. Hopefully the students find it useful and get something out of the project. Please feel free to share in the comments any mentoring resources you have come across that I might find useful!

In March I took part in two other STEM events; I acted as a career networker at The Big Bang Fair and battled it out in I’m an Engineer Get Me Out Of Here. Both were fabulous experiences; I really enjoyed getting to speak to students, hopefully giving them an insight into engineering and answering their questions.I was lucky to have enough time to get to have a look around the Big Bang Fair, it’s such a great event I’d recommend it to any family for a day out, there is something for everyone. I managed to come second in I’m an Engineer, which involved live chats with students and answering other questions they’d submitted through the site. I blogged about it for the engineering blog I’m involved in – developingengineers.com.

The main reason I’ve been so quiet is work has been crazy hectic, and when it hasn’t been I have been ill. All exercise plans have gone out the window and I haven’t been able to marshal as work was more than I could manage for a month! I might have mentioned before I suffer from ulcerative colitis and had a bad flare up just before easter. Thankfully only one afternoon was spent hooked up to an IV at the JR hospital whilst blood tests and an ultrasound were done. The result was steroids and the promise of more tests to try to determine if actually I suffer from crohn’s disease, which seems to essentially be the same illness, just attacking a slightly different part of me. The afternoon in the hospital came at the end of a week where my families lives could have been turned upside down but thankfully we got away with it – my sister’s boyfriend was knocked off his bike by a car and only saved by his helmet, my Grandma suffered a heart attack (both have since recovered) and my sister was offered a dream PhD in Sydney, Australia! And I thought all the drama was kept to Jay’s family!

Whilst I’m here I can’t not mention the Cotswolds Wildlife Park – we visited earlier this year for the first time & what a place! I’d love a season’s pass and go every weekend, there must always be something to see. I’ll leave you with my favourite photo – Jay and a lemur in the Madagascar enclosure.

Madagascar Walk Through Exhibit at Cotswolds Wildlife Park

Poll: Do you eat the skin of a kiwi fruit?

I haven’t had kiwi fruit for ages so when they were on offer last week I got a punnet. This has led to a discussion between myself & Jay – do you eat the skin or not?

Eating the skin seems disgusting to me, it’s all hairy and prickly. To Jay that’s all part of it, although he admitted to not eating the bottom of the core of an apple because its furry – the boy makes no sense!

So readers, do you eat the skin or not on a kiwi?

Looking back at 2011

So 2011..wow that went quick!

Overall it was a great year; I finally got to see Take That in concert; Jay & I got back together and he moved in with me & my housemate in July; we went to the Canadian GP and New York to celebrate his graduation; I went to the British GP qualifying and my sister graduated from Plymouth uni, so we had a family holiday in Devon and Cornwall whilst we were all in the same place of the country.

My sister, Mum & me

The year ended on a high when I was asked to stay on at work permanently and Kimi Raikkonen signed to be our driver next season!

Not so good was my attempt at my resolutions in 2011. Unfortunately it was the resolutions left over from 2010 that I did the worst at – losing weight and paying off debt. I did end the year healthier and lighter than I started, but not by a great deal. I also ended the year in a better place financially but I haven’t made a dent in my debt yet. I’m working on it though!

What was successful was the photo a day challenge. I documented my year in photos – not always good quality or interesting subjects, but nevertheless I took a photo almost every day. I missed a few days here and there, but on the whole I’m pretty impressed that I carried the challenge on all year.

#2011PAD Monday 13th June - JFK Airport

One of my favourite 2011 PAD photos - because I still can't believe I took it!

I also started marshalling and had a brilliant time at a variety of events.

So onto 2012.

A couple of weeks in and I’m still motivated, exercising and trying to make sensible food choices.

I’ve signed up for some STEM ambassador events so hopefully I can spend some time giving advice to young people interested in engineering as a career. Unfortunately this has taken some of my free weekends away from marshalling so I’m not sure how many times I’m going to get to Silverstone this year, but I should have time for a few events at least.

I can’t wait for Kimi to be back racing in F1, I really hope it’s a good year for him and the newly renamed Lotus F1 Team.

I’m hoping to go to Festival of Speed at Goodwood in June and Silverstone for the British GP in July. Jay is determined to get to North Carolina for a holiday in the shutdown in August, but that might be a bit too much!

Happy New Year!

A little late I know, but I wanted to share the sentiment anyway!

After a manic month of blogging in November I had thought the momentum would carry me through December. How wrong was I?! Here we are in mid January and I am just about recovered enough to consider writing some new posts.

This year I am just making one New Years Resolution: to be fit and healthy by the end of 2012.

This has been one of my resolutions for the past few years and I did make some inroads last year losing about 5kg but that is nowhere near getting into size 10 clothing like I intended! I did the #petrovtoheidfelddiet but after going on holiday in June I didn’t regain my motivation and had a few weeks of exercise and healthy eating here and there, but not a continued effort.

I’ll revisit 2011’s resolutions in another post, but I am determined to make this one a success this year! This last weekend I’ve hit the streets by starting an app ‘Ease into 5k’ to get out running, after two walky/jogs running seems a long way off, but I am enjoying it and one day I will actually be fast and fit enough to be a runner. With my coilitis under control this week I’ve been trying to get some exercise every day for half an hour. I’ve been trying to vary exercise by swimming, doing Zumba on the wii and working out to another app ‘Nike Training Club’, so there really isn’t an excuse not to do something!

As well as the exercise I am eating healthier, more fruit, smaller portions and generally making better choices.

I know millions more will make the same resolution so good luck to everyone sharing a similar journey 🙂


Back in July I wrote about my plans for the near future, the first being getting a permanent job by 2013.

Well great news, today I was offered a permanent job, starting in January, a whole year ahead of schedule 😀

Woohoooo 😀

…Next! Learning. That would be going a whole lot better if I hadn’t have forgotten about a Matlab seminar I was supposed to go to last week!

Sorry but I need a rant…

Probably every day we all see something on the roads that annoys us, or shouldn’t be done. I often drive behind people who annoy me, doing silly things like driving without lights in the recent fog and occasionally a dangerous driver who overtakes just before a blind corner.

Bad driving infuriates me, so often my facebook status update or tweet will contain a few choice words. Quite often I’ll do what I can to make a point at the time – for example earlier this week a driver pulled in behind parked cars when there was still two lanes worth of space along side of them. So I stopped behind the car but without pulling over. It’s quite petty really, but I made my point!

And the drivers in the outside lane of roundabouts that cut across the inside lane with you in it – well the horn on my Aygo can make a lot of noise if you push it hard enough!

But this morning was one of the most annoying bits of dangerous driving I have ever seen, and even swearing a lot didn’t make me feel any better.

My journey to work on a morning is a straightforward one, but at the moment a new roundabout is being built and the temporary traffic lights cause unpredictable traffic, so I’ve found its easier to go a more scenic route. Half of the road is a single lane track with passing points. There is a bridge over a motorway where the road goes to two lanes.

I was on the single lane bit of road, a lady in a 4 by 4 was on the bit of road with two lanes, just after coming over the bridge. I slowed down to give her more time to stop…but she didn’t bother. She just carried on towards me, and into the single track. I thought she was going to move onto the grass verge..but again she didn’t bother. She didn’t move her car an inch. I love my little car and didn’t fancy an accident so couldn’t compete in her game of chicken and had to pull over onto the grass verge to get out of her way.

On what planet is that a safe way to drive? I’m sure I saw a child in the passenger seat, why on earth would someone drive so dangerously with their most precious cargo? It was a big 4 by 4 so I can imagine you would feel very safe and pretty invincible driving it, but still I would hope all common sense wouldn’t leave the driver!

What can be done in these situations? Is that the kind of driving that can be reported for being dangerous? Assuming that the whole incident is longer than a few seconds and you are able to get any details. Or just hope that the driver made a simple mistake and wasn’t aware that the road narrowed down quite so much so quickly (even if all it takes is to have your eyes open)?