A very apt movie for someone who’s not even trying to train for a marathon, just a 10k race and failing miserably (runs last week whilst on holiday, 1.69km and 2.5km, eek). Very funny (although it takes a while to warm up), Simon Pegg as usual can do no wrong. He plays an unfit security guard about to lose the love of his life to a rich ahem jerk who likes running. So Pegg takes up running, deciding to train for a marathon in 3 weeks. With a heroic ending, definitely one to watch, particularly (but not exclusively) if you like running.
My latest reading for my work-in-progress was Christopher Hibbert’s Charles I: A Life of Religion, War and Treason and it’s been a fantastic help colouring in the period. Reading more like a novel itself, it tells the story of Charles’ life from his birth and parents to his death.
I particularly enjoyed the chapters on Charles’ youth and on life in court, but appreciated less the heavy detail on the military manoeuvres during the Civil War but I suspect each person coming to this book is probably looking for a particular aspect of the period and hence this book would suit a lot of people.
First of all a fairly recent fashion purchase that proved very useful this past week, the Marks and Spencer Perfect Boyfriend Cardigan, long line, grey marl, not bulky but not too thin either.
I brought it last week, thinking ahead to autumn but I thought when packing for my ‘holiday’ this week that I’ll take it ‘just in case’ and I ended up wearing it all week.
I say ‘holiday’ as it’s a holiday in that when I’m together with my friends and they’re talking about the holidays they’re going on and they say “Oh you’re going to your dad’s again?”, in a nice way of course, but they know that’s what counts as a holiday for us since living on a single salary means no ‘proper’ holidays. We’re ‘lucky’ in that my dad lives in North Wales, lucky in that it’s obviously a beautiful tourist destination, not so lucky in that it takes ages to get there and these days eats all our budget up on petrol costs. It also pretty much always rains and is always cold, even when you go in August or maybe we’re just unlucky. Another problem with the distance (it takes 5 – 6 hours to get there by car) is that Boy Lacer hates being in the car, when he was a little bit younger than he is now he’d just scream for pretty much the entire journey, now he just looks completely miserable (which is in a way worse) and very occasionally throws up (no where near as much throwing up as Girl Lacer did before we routinely started to dose her up with travel sickness medicine). So once we get there we don’t particularly want to inflict more car journeys on him, plus we’ve been going there so many years we’ve pretty much done everything. So a combination of finances and unhappy two year olds means we don’t now actually do much when we get there, plus the weather doesn’t normally help .
We did actually have a new ‘in car entertainment weapon’ in our salvo against rebellious pre-schoolers this time, My Charlie and Lola Completely Best Story Collection on CD, containing five of their better known stories and oh we listened to this CD to death, ooh probably at least thirty times from start to finish. The first time I listened to it properly (I’m a secret grown up Charlie and Lola fan) but after that I let it just wash over me, with just the occasional Lola-ism pricking into my consciousness. The kids loved it, it even cheered Boy Lacer up at bit and by the end of our trip Girl Lacer was reciting great tracts of it and even Boy Lacer was joining in with a few of their choicer phrases.
So Monday was just travelling up. Tuesday was recovering from the travelling up; my dad has an amazing house, so much more bigger than ours (not hard) and he’s actually just started the process of building an extension. It’s an old Victorian house with a large, lovely garden (my dad’s a keen gardener), photos from the garden (including his very free range chickens) are on my photoblog here, here, here, here, here and here. So Tuesday (in between the rain) the kids played out in the garden, my dad has a large playhouse in the garden (left over from the previous occupants), so there were plenty of teddy bear tea parties.
Wednesday was our one and only big trip out and (and I can see a pattern developing here, we always go on some sort of railway when we’re up in North Wales) it was the Ffestiniog Railway. We went with my dad from Blaenau to Porthmadog and then back again, stopping off at Tan-y-Bwich cafe (nice playground but service a bit slow). The car journey itself to get to Blaenau was worth it, at least for me looking out at the scenery and for Mr. Lacer as a ‘good drive’, I like Snowdonia (the National Park in North Wales as well as the mountain), whatever the weather (yep it was cold, grey and wet again, I think this is standard weather for Wales in August), the mountains are so dramatic. Obviously not so interesting to two small children. The scenery from the train was fantastic, a narrow gauge steam train, its track literally clinging on the side of mountains, through thick forests and darker than night tunnels (which unfortunately scared the hell out of Boy Lacer). There’s lots of photos over on my photoblog from the train trip;
Thursday was recovering from Wednesday (ooh Boy Lacer didn’t half meltdown when we got back to dad’s on Wednesday night). Girl Lacer spent Thursday recreating the Innocent Village Fete we went to last Saturday with her soft toys, pillows and duvets, including drawing rather accurate recreations of the maps, complete with the appropriate symbols they used, cartographer in training obviously at the moment.
Friday was coming home, so cue more Charlie and Lola followed by the whole family flocking to their various computers in a state of internet starvation (no internet, heck no phone signal at my dad’s). A trip to our local corner shop made me appreciate it all a new, it may be smaller than my dad’s local supermarket yet the four things I went into my dad’s local supermarket for; parmesan, risotto rice, crunchy nut cornflakes and a copy of Red and they didn’t have, but were all in my local corner shop here (yes I know it’s because I live in London and I shouldn’t compare it to North Wales, but come on crunchy nut cornflakes?). And much as I moan about my kitchen here, it’s actually better equipped than my dad’s much larger kitchen (purely because I’m a cook and he isn’t). However my dad’s house shows me something to look forward to in my ‘old age’, I may live in a cluttered flat now but the clutter is all the here and now, there’s not that much from the past, as we as a little family do not have that much ‘past’, whereas my dad’s place is so full of memories (even though he moved into the house when me and my sister were adults) it’s lovely, pictures from travels, my mum’s artwork and embroidery, pieces of furniture that had history, books I remember looking at the cover of wondering what it was about before I could even read, old toys. I look forward to helping create my little family’s memories.
So now Mr. Lacer has another week left of holiday, so we’re having a staycation. Although the term staycation (having a holiday at home) seems to have only hit the vocabulary this year with the credit crunch, we’ve been having staycations for years, why wouldn’t we? Money aside or lack of it, we live in London, a fantastic location, what millions, come on holiday to each year, so I can’t think of a better place. So, we’ll be off to Hamleys, just me and Girl Lacer, to spend her saved up pocket money, the museums, Princess Diana’s Memorial Playground, either Oxford (wet weather option) or the beach (warm weather option), Hampton Court or Richmond Park, depending on what my sister decides and possibly the Tutankhamen exhibition before it closes.