Hot Right Now…

Hello.  First an apology.  I’m so sorry this round-up is, well, more than a little late, but I went out for a little walk you see… Then I had a visit from my family and as well as being a little bit busy with the day job, I’m afraid time has just sped past.  Anyway, I’m sorry if you feel like I may have abandoned you recently – I didn’t mean to, and I have missed you.  Oh, but I’ve so much to tell you…

Last time we met, I was rambling on about my life changing weekend with Life Coach Matthew Hussey.   Just so you know, I still feel the same way about that weekend.  I know I waxed lyrical at the time, and you all thought I’d joined some kind of love cult, and I’ll repeat, I haven’t, but I’m still feeling the massive benefits of the things I learnt, and am trying to keep up with the positive changes.  Of course, if you didn’t read the rather long-winded and very enthusiastic post about the weekend to which I refer – head over here when you’ve got 10mins or so to spare, where the bit about Matthew is about half way down.

Anyway, after that amazing weekend, I went to visit my very favourite hair genius, the wonderful Mathew Soobroy at Charles Worthington, who, I finally allowed to cut my hair even shorter than he ever thought I’d agree to, and to give it a few highlights.  Mathew has been cutting my hair for years, and I mean years, and it took him about 5 of those to persuade me to chop off my long locks and go to a shoulder length bob, so you can imagine his delight and surprise, even shock, when I told him he could do what he wanted, that I wasn’t going to look, and to just surprise me!   Mathew was soooo happy about doing something other than the usual trim and dark brown cut and colour, he sang and whooped around the floor!  If I’d have known it would make him that happy, I would have let him do it sooner!  And I have to say, I rather like the caramel lights he’s given me…  hmm, I may go blond yet!

A few nights later, still with a buzz from the weekend and with my new fancy haircut, I met up with Lady Emma for a few cocktails.  Now, in the past I would have usually waited outside a bar or pub until whomever it was I was meeting turned up, but not any more.  This time, I went in, found a place at the bar, took in the cocktail menu, smiled sweetly at the rather handsome bartender and ordered myself a glass of fizz while I waited.  I enjoyed people watching while I sipped away merrily, and then when Lady Emma arrived we drank a whole lot more, caught up on huge amounts of gossip, and had a thoroughly lovely catch up.

The following weekend I finally managed to meet up with Debs who was house sitting for a friend in Wimbledon, so I hopped on a tube and a train and met her for lunch.  We hadn’t seen each other since my birthday, so as you can probably imagine, we had rather a lot to catch up on.  Lunch turned into drinks, drinks turned into dinner, and eventually 11hrs later we finally bid our goodbyes and I wobbled home – Ha, a wobble from Wimbledon!  No?  Oh, OK…

You’ll also remember from the last time we met, I was in training for The MoonWalk.  So between work, and socialising, there was lots of walking going on.  Walking to work.  Walking home from work.  Walking at the weekends.  Walking in the rain.  Walking in the pouring rain.  Walking in the torrential rain.  Walking, walking, walking.  And then more walking.  Strangely I actually began to enjoy it… and even (OCD Alert) started keeping a detailed log of how, where, when, and how quickly I was doing it.  I know, so sad…

Battersea… in the rain

Building on the walking, I felt it was also time to do a bit more fitness training and to find myself a new Personal Trainer.  As you know, I hate gyms.  It always too easy not to go, and if I do, I’m never really sure what I’m supposed to be doing when I get there and even then, I really don’t push myself.  So having a personal trainer, although an expensive luxury, is absolutely the best option for me.

I put a shout out on Twitter to see if any of my Twitter friends could suggest someone to chat to.  Ideally not anyone that was linked to a gym, that would be prepared to come to my end of town, and that would do so happily very early in the morning as that really is the only time I can guarantee I’m around.  I had a few suggestions of people to call, and a couple of offers of some very personal training – not the kind I was really after (!) – as well as a couple of messages from companies that felt they could help.  I followed up a couple of the most suitable options, but one stood out.  I was offered a complimentary session at my house, at a time of my choosing, to see whether they would possibly be the right fit for me.  So I said yes.  And when I say early morning, I mean silly early morning.  6.30am early!

An appointment was made and bang on time, Roger Frampton of Re-Model-Me arrived.   We chatted for a while, about what I’d done before, what I was looking to achieve,  and about the way Roger trains his clients, before he put me through my paces.  Now, I am not a morning person, really not a morning person at all, but boy did he wake me up!  Lunges, squats, small hand-weight lifts, sit ups – lots of simple but bloomin’ hard moves, all made to get me fitter, practised there in my front room.  Sweating and puffing, I signed Roger up on the spot – committing to two sessions per week at 6.30am!   Why?  Well apart from being a very successful high-fashion model who obviously has to look after his own body, he’s also trained some of the best bodies in the business, so if he can do it for them, he can have a go with me…

At the time of writing, Roger has been training me for a little over two months and I’ve really begun to notice a different in my body, and the scales have noticed a difference in my weight.  There’s still a lot of blobby, but it’s getting less and less…  Oh, and Roger is hilarious, and makes every sessions a real pleasure – even if I am screaming that I hate him when he’s making me do 10 more reps of some muscle ripping lungey-squaty-knee-bendy-jumpy thing…  If you want to be Re-Modeled, give Roger a call.

As part of my continuing personal makeover (well that’s what its beginning to sound like…)  I also wanted to tell you about So Fabulous, a fabulous little beauty salon I’ve been frequenting since Christmas where I’ve been having my nails done using the Bio Sculpture system.  Owned by Garry and Eleni, it’s really a little piece of Islington heaven where you can go and relax, have a chat and a giggle, and be pampered from top to toe.  The whole team is wonderfully friendly, really making you feel very welcome, and what’s more, they really do offer you personal advice regarding your beauty needs.  None of this “one treatment fits all” attitude here!  If they think something might be wrong for you, they’ll tell you so, and explain why, rather than just taking your money but ultimately leaving you feeling unhappy with any treatments.  The kind of honest dedication and professionalism given to their clients is so refreshing, and very much appreciated, which is why there are a lot of us going back again and again.  If you want the best, longest lasting nails in town, head on over. There’s lot of other fabulous treatments on offer to, so do make time to book in a visit.

Yet another makeover taking place has been that of my garden.  When I bought my house just over four years ago it was fairly obvious that the previous owners weren’t terribly green fingered, and despite my best efforts to make the garden look reasonable, a lot of work was going to be needed.  So, I called in the professionals.  Darren Ward of Wild Roots Landscaping came to my rescue and after an initial consultation where I told of him of my vision, of how I’d like to use my garden, and exactly which spot I’d earmarked for my chair and a beer in the summer sun, Darren set to work.  He totally understood my need for low maintenance, but for the area to still to be in keeping with the surrounding properties and ‘family friendly’ (well, one can hope!)  I only had one rule for him – no straight lines.  Through the rain and yet more rain, he followed my brief to the letter.  I took a photo each day to follow the amazing changes.  From weedy to wonderful in 20 days!  Thanks Darren.

The end of the month saw me sadly wave goodbye to my friend Shaheen.  After several years of her and her husband living in different continents due to work, she has finally moved away to join him in Malaysia.  We of course celebrated and commiserated with our usual Chinese – same place, same food, same laughter (well, it wouldn’t be dinner with Shaheen otherwise) but as we walked towards our bus and tube stops and said our goodbyes we both had lumps in our throats.  I know we’ve got email and Skype, but it won’t be the same.  However, now I’ve obviously got the perfect excuse to go to Malaysia for a holiday!  Bon Voyage and see you soon S.  xx

After that sadness, I had an evening of pure joy when I joined Deborah for a night at the theatre, taking in the very jolly Top Hat at the Aldwych Theater.  I’m a sucker when it comes to a bit of tap dancing, so mixed with a delightful Ginger Rogers and Fred Astair movie recreated for the stage, and a few classic songs thrown in for good measure, I was in heaven.  So was the elderly gentleman sat next to me, who knew every word and happily sang along throughout… Delightful!

What else?  Oh yeah, I went for a bit of a walk one night….

Yep, the MoonWalk finally came around.  After just over four months of training, walking over 250 miles (not all at once!), getting soaked to the skin several times, and finding wonderful walks near home that I never knew existed, the night was upon us.  I headed off to the big Pink Tent in Hyde Park around 9pm, of course in my decorated bra, and met up with an old mate, Rachel, who was also doing the walk on her own.  The theme for the year was “Rockin’ Around The World”, so there were 15,000 Globes, Musical References and amazing costumes to see.  Everyone had made a massive effort!

My musical globes!

We’d already worked out that I probably walked a bit faster than her, so we agreed to start together but part ways when I needed to speed up, or she needed to slow down.  After being entertainment and dancing around the tent for a while eagerly awaiting our start time, the first of four massive groups set off around 10.30pm.  We were in the third group to go – the Green Team – and at 11.48pm Rachel and I crossed the start line…

All dressed up… and ready to go!

The first few miles were a bit slow – it’s amazing how much time it takes for 400 people to cross the road when you’ve all got to wait for the green man… but slowly along the north side of the Thames we got into our stride.  Crossing over London Bridge in a sea of pink is something to behold… and overtaking Anthea Turner just before mile ten was a proud moment, especially as she’d been in the first group to start walking and they’d set off over an hour before us!  Another proud moment was when a few Soldiers and later some Firemen gave me a big shout out and a few ‘high fives’…  Seems writing your name on your right boob gets you noticed!

Just after The London Eye, Rachel and I said our goodbyes as I was still happily pounding the pavement, but she was feeling a little worn continuing at my speed.  So, headphones in, off I plodded.

At mile 13.1, in the middle of Battersea Park, I had a quick pit stop for a potty break and a banana (not at the same time!), then just kept on putting one foot in front of the other.  I could see others were starting to suffer and by mile 16, several people were really having problems as blisters were shredding, and muscles aching.  Thankfully I was very lucky, and didn’t have any problems with my feet or legs, so turned up the music and carried on.  As the sun came up around 5am, I felt a sense of real wonder as the light slowly started to shine through the Houses of Parliament – London is such a great place but at the moment, it had never been more beautiful.  There was still a way to go, but there was no longer any doubt in my mind that I’d do it.  I had hoped that with the right conditions, I’d try to complete the Marathon in around 7hrs, so putting on a bit of a spurt, I pushed myself a little bit more.

MoonWalk Route

Coming back into Hyde Park, the place it all started, was both joyful and cruel – we’d still got another couple of miles to go, despite being almost spitting distance from the big pink tents – as they made us walk around the Serpentine to finish the final few moments of the 26.2miles.  At exactly 6.48am I crossed the finish line, precisely 7hrs after starting, and there, every walker was all presented with our Finishers Medal.  Truly an amazing experience!  And not a single blister!!

My Finishers Medal

I am so happy and proud to say that I’ve done the MoonWalk.  It’s something I’ve thought about doing for a few years, and as I mentioned in Learning To Fly doing it now was absolutely the right time.  I’ve dedicated the funds I’ve raised in memory of my Aunt Freda, who although sadly no longer with us, would be so chuffed to find out that with your amazing generosity, I’ve managed to raise over £1000 with GiftAid for Walk The Walk and Breast Cancer Awareness.  If you want to help push that total up just a little bit more, you can still donate, as my fundraising page will remain open for a while longer. Thank you!

After a few days back at work, but evenings spent relaxing with no walking, my family came into town for a visit from Sunny California.  And they brought the sunshine with them (but sadly took it back with them when they left…)  As usual I had so much fun, with the girls making camp in my dining room, all of us visiting the Science Museum, once again flying my kite on Dunstable Downs, playing in the park, drinking and chatting into the early hours, and eating lots of food…  It’s such a shame we don’t live closer, but it won’t be too long until I see them again.

Work ramped up to the status of ‘really super busy’ as we worked 18 days in a row heading into the Studio to record a new series of “All Star Mr & Mrs” for ITV1 with the lovely Mr Phillip Schofield.  It’ll be on your telly-boxes soonish (early Autumn we think) so do watch out for it.  We had some amazing guests, and some absolutely hilarious moment.  It’s a shame we can’t show the whole of the recording from the studio, but then you’d have to sit through a two-hour show…  There really were so many funny moments – which I’m not allowed to spoil for you just yet – but when the transmission dates and times are confirmed, I’ll let you know…  Please do tune it…

Just testing the Paddle Game on “All Star Mr & Mrs”

At the end of the month, my friend Dan Trelfer had ‘The Biggest Launch Party for an Independently-Released E-Book in History’™ for his new novel “The Flathunter”.  It was fab party, and he very kindly bought us a drink to celebrate all of his hard work and toil.  The book is a really great read, so if you’ve got any kind of electronic reading device thingy, here’s how you can buy it.  It’s got a 5 Star rating on Amazon so is really worth the £2.46…

How To Buy

If you own a Kindle…
Simply purchase The Flathunter.

If you do not own a Kindle, but you want to buy one so you can read The Flathunter
Simply purchase a Kindle here.

If you do not own a Kindle, but you do own an iPad…
Download this free app and then purchase The Flathunter.

If you do not own a Kindle, but you do own an Android tablet…
Download this free app and then purchase The Flathunter.

If you do not own a Kindle, but you do own an iPhone or iPod touch tablet…
Download this free app and then purchase The Flathunter.

If you do not own a Kindle, but you do own an Android phone…
Download this free app and then purchase The Flathunter.

If you do not own a Kindle, but you do own a Mac…
Download this free app and then purchase The Flathunter.

If you do not own a Kindle, but you do own a PC…
Download this free app and then purchase The Flathunter.

If you do not own a Kindle because you own a Kobo, Nook or Sony e-Reader…
You will have to wait three months because The Flathunter is exclusive to Amazon for this period.

You won’t have to wait so long for something else very exciting though, as last month I was asked by the very lovely people at Zaggora to review their new Viva HotPants.  Not only that, they have very kindly offered to give away another three pairs to you, my lucky readers.

Zaggora Viva HotPants

Now you’ve probably read quite a bit about this new brand of active wear taking the fitness scene by storm.  They’ve been in all the papers and magazines, and even on the odd London Cab.  But do they work?  Well, after a bit of delay due to work, my 2 Week Challenge starts on Monday.  I’m going to be taking weights and measurements at the start and at the finish of the two weeks, and will report back then about just how much weight / inches I’ve lost.   According to the information, HotPants help weight loss at a magnitude around 4 times greater than standard exercise garments during 30 mins of exercise…  Bring it on!

To be in with a chance of winning a pair for yourself, you need to answer the following question:-

When was Zaggora founded by Dessi Bell (month and year) after she struggled to find an effective way to look and feel good whilst working out?

Simply fill in your contact details and enter your answer below (month and year) where three applicants with the correct answer will be picked at random at 8pm UK time on Tuesday 31st July, and your details passed onto Zaggora.  They’ll then be in touch directly regarding your prize.  Winners will also be announced here in August’s round-up.  (Sorry – UK applicants only)

Phew!  I think that brings us fairly up to date…  Right now, I’m off to work out a work out plan… let the challenge begin!

‘Till the next time…

xoxo

This month’s soundtrack: Hot Right Now – DJFresh ft. Rita Ora

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~ by BlobbyJogger on 9 July, 2012.

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