I’m a f***in idiot…..

I can seriously say that this is the dumbest thing I have ever done and I’ve done some really dumb things in my lifetime. Mr C wanted to go camping in our van Hannah, reluctantly I agreed. “It will be great” he said “we will have so much fun, it’s going to be a glorious weekend.”

It lashed it down and we spent most of our time sat under this gazebo. Even Eric wasn’t impressed.This ine

So what else do you do when you’re camping and it’s lashing down with rain. If you’re Canadian,  you’d likely put on a waterproof and go hiking but no, Mr C had done a great job getting me to agree to go camping in the first place, there was absolutely no way I was going hiking in the rain when I had no where to dry off and  chill afterwards. In hindsight, we should have done exactly that though, maybe then, we wouldn’t have been so fuckin dumb……..

We were probably about half way through the box of wine (oh, don’t judge, it was lashing down, what else were we supposed to do) when Mr C first bought up the subject. It was a strategic move, he knows that after a few glasses of wine my inner Beyonce comes out of hibernation stretching her “we can do anything positive bullshit attitude.” The conversation went something like this:

Mr C: “babes we should do a racing the planet event”

Me: “what’s that?”

Mr C: “A race across the Atacama desert in Chile”

Doesn’t sound bad eh, in fact it sounds pretty awesome. We can go to Chile taste all the good wine and the food, maybe pop to Bolivia. We’ve never been to South America so we would be crossing off another continent (only one more to go after that (smug AF and don’t care)).

Me: “sounds fab babes let’s do it. Can you refill my glass.”

Mr C: “of course babes just completing our registration.”

And that was how I managed to get myself signed up for a 250 km multi-day ultra marathon through a fuckin desert. We leave next week with the race starting the following Saturday. Am I prepared? I get asked this all the time and no, I am shitting myself! This really is the dumbest thing I have ever agreed to do. Much dumber than starting a riot in the desert or strategically throwing up after day drinking tripple, tripple Baileys to keep up with the lads (remember that Pale & Interesting, when they wouldn’t let us leave camp until we paid our tab down the pub on adventure training?? Still think they were out of order for increasing the price of our drinks because it was after 5 pm).

Anyways, so yeah we’re are taking part in a Racing the Planet event at the end of September. Here’s a video of stage 1 of the race.

The good thing is, that I am doing this with Mr C, who has made me do lots of dumb things that I never would have done if it wasn’t for him. Such as, scuba diving in the terrifying ocean (my massive fear) becoming a certified Rescue Diver, reaching the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro (he dragged up the last part after I almost fell apart at the false summit) and snowboarding (well that was actually a fuckin disaster that saw me throw a  full on tantrum on a mountain) but you see where I’m going with this. I know it’s going to mad hard but how boring would it be if we were just going to an all inclusive to chill for a week in Hawaii (I am so booking our vacations next year).

So my lovely friends, as this is going to be mad hard will you please be so kind as to make a donation to one of our chosen charities. We have chosen two charities, one Canadian and one British. The Canadian one is the BC SPCA we wanted to support this charity because they support animals with their tag line being ‘speaking for animals’. As you all know Eric is our boy and we absolutely love him to pieces. Dogs are awesome, they teach us so much and give us their unconditional love and loyalty, yet some cretins treat them so badly, taking them into their homes welcoming them into the family only to discard them when it no longer suits. I have read numerous stories about dogs being found abandoned, waiting in the same place for days for their owners to come back. Fortunately, there are charities out there that give these dogs another chance at the life they deserve, such as the BC SPCA, who welcome any donations in order to keep this work up.

Click here to donate.

Eric
Thanks for your donation. Love Eric x

Our British charity is Veterans Aid. They are an amazing charity who assist veterans in crisis, regardless of time served. The reason we chose these guys is because simply, they provide assistance to Veterans who are in crisis with much of their work focused on providing homeless Veterans with shelter.

It’s hard to describe the camaraderie you experience when in the military, for me, I can honestly say that joining the Army saved me from a life that doesn’t bare thinking about. I remember the first day I put on my uniform and stood with my fellow recruits on the parade square. I looked like what we would call a ‘bag of shit,’ my uniform was not ironed very well, my boots did not shine and my feeble attempt of putting my crazy hair into a nice tidy bun under a hair net was pathetic. My Corporal shouted/screamed at me in a Welsh accent that I indeed did look like a “bag of shit” and proceeded to take the piss out of my accent, nicknaming me Shanahana ding dong. Despite all this, as I stood there listening to other recruits being told similar, this feeling went through me. It’s hard to describe but it was physical, it felt safe, like belonging, like I had finally found my home.

The first friend I made shared the same room as me, I think there was 8 bunks but can’t remember. We became friends after she plucked my eyebrows for the first time ever and I accidentally dropped a bottle of her perfume (I was devastated, I’d never had perfume before and saw it as a massive luxury). You’d think we wouldn’t become friends but we became the best of friends, which got me through basic training, the many jail visits and the first half of my military career!

Being in the military was like having a massive family, the years I spent in, saw me form my chosen family of  amazing supportive people. Even those that I am no longer in touch with played a part in who I am today and for that I will be forever grateful. Not everyone who leaves the military have the support needed to transition into a ‘civvy’ and without that support it is so tough. Veterans can find themselves struggling and in need of help, that’s where Veterans Aid comes in. In 2018, Veterans Aid homed 154 people, they need funds in order to continue the work they do.

Click here to donate

Me
Thanks for your donation. Love Shanahana Ding Dong

You will be able to follow us some how on this crazy race, I will post details once I know how that works.

Many thanks for any donations and have a fab weekend.

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Half-Marathon Etiquette

I ran in a half marathon race on Sunday (yeah yeah go me right, I am fuckin awesome). Like some of the other idiots there, I did zero training (It wasn’t just me right?!), which became evident after the 10 km point. So though I cannot give out any training advice or tips (except to say that, yes you should defo do some sort of training) I can sure let you know about race etiquette (which may or may not just be my opinion) so pin ya ears back.

When you sign up for a race they will ask you what time you intend to finish it in. This isn’t to pin you down and say you have to run the race in that time. They do this to split runners down into different start groups. If you are in a faster corral, especially if you’re running with Sue, Karen, Annie, Wanda and Pauline in squad form (also really irritating), you can get in the way of faster runners.  Tips on choosing the right corral.

If you have to slow down or stop, use your arms as signals and get to the side. It is perfectly fine to stop.  I guarantee the only person judging you for stopping is yourself. Unless you’re that twat who abruptly stops in the middle of the race path, don’t be that person. Imagine it, Kim is running behind you at her 100%, she is in her element and feeling fuckin awesome; you stop abruptly and boom, poor Kim is out of the race and yes, now everyone is judging you.

When there is shade, get in it. Yes, it’s lovely the sun is shining and it’s the perfect opportunity to work on ya tan. No it’s not knobhead. It’s the perfect opportunity for sun stroke and heat exhaustion.  Save the tanning for afterwards when you can chill on a patio, being that smug fucker telling all and sundry that you just ran a half-marathon.

Whenever water, electrolytes or snacks are offered, take them. You don’t want to be that dumb fuck who turns their noses up at electrolytes in the form of sports drinks, only to get severe calf cramps at the 19 mile point on a full marathon (yes I’ve completed one of those too.  See told you I was fuckin awesome. Okay I am dumb occasionally but who isn’t) and have to be dragged to the side by some old dude and walk the rest of the way.

Don’t throw water cups at the volunteers. I know what you’re thinking, as if you need to be told to not throw water cups at the volunteers. I saw it, with my very own eyes this Sunday when I ran a half-marathon (I am fuckin awesome), some c**t so obsessed with himself didn’t look to see where he was throwing his cup and it hit a volunteer and water went all over her.  Don’t be that person.

Thank the volunteers. Mr C and I have volunteered for one race, the Hypothermic Half which is held in various cities; we were at the one in Edmonton, Alberta. Besides the fuckers taking the piss because we pronounce water properly (we’re English knobhead, we made the language up) all the runners were so lovely thanking us for volunteering.  I made sure to thank all (okay a lot of) the volunteers on Sunday when I was running the half-marathon (I am fuckin awesome). I even thanked the Scientology lot who had set up a table. To be fair, they had the best, much needed snacks, bless them………………….

If you see a person with their hand held out for a high five or holding a sign saying “power up here.” Don’t be a miserable twat, give the weirdos their high fives and hit their signs. They could be taking part in the only way they can. At least they’re there cheering you on, when any normal person would be in bed at such a god awful (sorry) time on a Sunday morning.  Don’t be a judgey twat.

Don’t judge your fellow runners and assume you can run faster than them because you’re smaller or younger. I used to do this all time, look at a person and think I could easily beat them. It really doesn’t work like that.  It doesn’t matter if someone is older, bigger or wearing a banana suit, don’t compare yourself to others, everyone is running their own race.

Don’t judge yourself, another tough one. We set our goals and tear ourselves apart if we don’t reach them. Guess what, if you don’t run as fast as you wanted to or ran as far as you wanted to, you can train and do it again. That’s the best thing about running, if you keep at it you will for sure see improvement.

So they’re all my tips on race etiquette, hopefully it was a useful read!!!

 

 

 

 

Might get a boob job……

I went to hip hop dance class last night, I’m trying to diversify my dance skills for when Bèy reaches out and asks me to star in one of her videos (I’m visualizing the fuck out of this, so it will happen soon. All you doubters can fuck right off with ya eye rolls). I must say, I reckon pretty soon I will be ready for the big time. Must remember that it’s all about patterns and that music is a road map. That’s what our instructor said and that little fella can move so I’m going to pay attention to him.

He also said that we should not act like it’s school and not to talk to people we don’t know but get to know each other and high five each other (I did eye roll then, what is it with the fuckin high fiving, you just said we’re not in high school mate). I think me asking some random bird in the changing rooms for a hair tie shows that I am happy to make friends with my fellow dancers (okay potential dancers but you should have heard our stomps, we sounded proper fierce).

If anyone is interested the classes take place at Harbour Dance Centre which is conveniently right next to a bar with a patio.

I was so unprepared that morning that I’d almost forgotten dance class, it was one of those mornings that even Eric couldn’t get me out of bed until the very last safe moment. Yep, I was hungover AF (don’t judge it was Wednesday the day before and we all know what that means). Mr C and I have been doing alright at not drinking through the week (excuse me whilst I polish my halo) so figured I should celebrate my achievement.

Okay so onto the boob thing. Back to dance class, a bird was there and she obviously had fake boobs and she was owning them. Whichever way she moved those things went right with her. Now I’m not judging (you know me, I’m no judgey bitch) on the contrary, I think it was fab that she was owning the awesomeness of her fake boobs. They obviously filled her with confidence as she proper sassed her movements up. This bird was very happy with her reflection. I on the other hand avoided the mirror (unless I knew I was dancing fabulously) and when I did get a glimpse I chastised myself for my terrible posture. My arms looked good though (I’ve been working out).

As I get older (ugh that sounds shit eh but how else do you say it. As I grow, as I mature……..they all sound shit so let’s not try and jazz it up), I do find myself looking in the mirror at those crinkly soft lines that have appeared around my eyes and wonder if a Botox injection is on the cards. Or if me boobs could do with a lift or boost or whatever you call it.  Or if I should get the hairs on me chin zapped before it turns into a full on beard and Mr C and I are fighting over the last blade!!

At the same time, as I spend this last year in my thirties, I can truly say that I am the happiest I have ever been. Life is fuckin awesome and I’m not saying that to put a positive spin on getting older, saggy boobs (okay not yet but inevitably), wrinkles or chin hair. I’m not even saying it to be an irritating positive bitch (haters gonna hate). Life just is awesome. So I’m not going to sweat the small stuff and when I turn forty I will not sink myself into a drunken stupor mourning for my youth. Okay, I will sink into a drunken stupor and I might actually mourn for my youth but I will be having fun!

In other news, he did it Mr C has talked me into signing up for racing the planet desert race . We are going to the Atacama desert in 2019 and are going to cover 250 kms in 7 days. It’s fuckin stupid I know but if you’re going to have a mid life crisis, might as well make it a challenging one!

We are moving……….again!!

So despite us getting a pre-approval, the bank decided to fuck us off for a mortgage because Mr C is a contractor and well, I don’t have a job!! We find ourselves having the opposite problem of most people; we have a deposit but not enough pay slips! That’s okay though, there are lots of changes happening in the Real Estate world here in Vancouver. It will be interesting to see what affect these changes have on house prices and you never know, maybe this time next year we will be able to buy a 2 bedroom rather than a 1 bedroom apartment!

We have found a great place to rent for a year, which we are moving into next weekend, it has a massive patio and I am so excited to start having people around again. Think we will do a BBQ for the house warming, hopefully the neighbours are v chill!!

In other news one of my good friends ate enough Beets (Beetroot for any Brits. I know, weird eh, it took me a while to drop the root part) last week to turn her pee red. Yes, these are the type of conversations I have with my friends. You don’t have to be crazy to be one of my friends but it sure does help!

So as well as packing, and applying for jobs next week, I will also be experimenting to see how much Beetroot I have to eat to turn my pee colour.  Such a busy week ahead of me, I best make sure I get plenty of chill time in today. Sunday roast, walk to Granville with me boys then pub later for a couple of glasses of ‘Mystery’ wine with some random birds I met on Facebook who I plan on forming a running group with.  I haven’t ran in a while, lets hope me legs still work when they actually want to meet up for a run!!

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See I am a runner, I have all the kit and everything!!

 

 

 

This year I will mostly be mastering Pad Thai!

Well hello 2018 how excited are we all that you’re here! So just like a lot of people I’m all about “new year new me” and I’m pretty excited. 2017 was pretty awesome starting with a work promotion, a fun road trip in the middle and ending with us moving to the fabulous Vancouver.

So my new years resolution or 2018 goals for those who “don’t believe in new years resolutions” (insert eye roll) are:

#1 Master Pad Thai – the first time I ever went to a Thai restaurant was when I first met Mr C, and I got a right shitty on because you couldn’t get plain noodles Chow Mein style (these had become part of my staple diet, well actually I had them for dinner most nights with a big grease oozing spring roll). If you can imagine a scally (proper chav) sounding scouse-ish giving it pure attitude saying “whadya mean you don’t have chow mein” that was me. You can only imagine how Mr C felt though this wasn’t as bad as the time he took me to a seafood restaurant and my dinner came out with the head still intact but I digress.

After visiting Thailand and falling in love with this stunning country including the food Pad Thai became one of my fave things to eat. When I move to a new city I am always on a mission to seek out the best Pad Thai or even something that resembles the authentic version (you know not those Westernized ones covered in sauce).  When I lived in Edmonton my lovely work colleagues and I would visit Sawaddee in Sherwood Park at least once a week. The Pad Thai was so good that we always made sure we ordered the dinner size portion and not the lunch special portion. The service here was also excellent, they didn’t eye roll once when my work wife asked for extra peanuts every single time! I haven’t found my fave Pad Thai here in Vancouver yet so if anyone has any recommendations let me know.

I did have a first attempt on New years Eve at Pad Thai, I got the recipe from Nagi at Recipe Tin eats (side note Mr C thought he was hilarious when he said her name sounded like mine, he literally could not stop laughing at his own joke #dontbeatwatnath). This recipe was so yummy except we used the wrong noodles; Noodles are noodles right, no they are not you pair of tits. We ended up with a big pile of mush but even better Mr C did not shell the Prawns properly. Chewing on Prawn shell is not pleasant.

We did do a cooking class when we were in Thailand maybe I should just dig out the recipe book!

Cooking class Thailand
Enjoying the fab Thai food we cooked at Pum’s cooking school on Phi Phi Island

#2 Run a marathon – I have signed up for the Vancouver marathon in May and keep telling myself I have ages before I have to start training! This weekend I will be purchasing a lovely new running jacket and runners, it is sad I know but these things will help me to get out and started. I AM NOT MATERIALISTIC!!

#3 Visit Peru – Complete the Inca trail – Bore off with ya all inclusive holidays, why would anybody want to lounge around a pool being bought drinks all day. Sounds awful eh! We would much rather go exploring and risk becoming home to some random flesh eating bug and see the wondrous Machu Picchu.

#4 Drink less – Boooo I know boring right but Mr C and I have agreed zero drops of booze during the week. It will be interesting to see how much money we save!

I think that is enough to keep me busy.  I do also intend on getting a job in the next few weeks, I guess that should be a priority!

In other news, I have signed up for a fun looking dance workshop with RSVP 33 which a friend told me about. I just know once I’m there they will be so impressed when my inner Beyonce comes out and give me a job. That’s it, I will become an instructor woop woop. I just hope that my inner Beyonce can dance as well sober as she thinks she does when she is drunk!!

You Don’t have to be Big to be Strong

Well I did it, I dragged myself out of bed this morning and went for a run, granted this was after Mr C went on a recce to check weather conditions and in all honesty, I did have a cuppa in bed before going!

It was a lovely run, with the sun shining down and the snow covered mountains giving me gentle encouragement. I did take a bit longer to take pics, not selfies (not without me face on) but pics of the beautiful city I live in where the sea meets the glorious mountains.

Run views

After saying hi to Ellsie and taking in the views, feeling smug AF that I live here, I stopped using it as an excuse and continued with my run.

Then I saw it, the scene that made me instantly smile and say “gohead girl” (in my head of course mustn’t forget I’m British). This small dog ran past me carrying a massive tree branch (don’t judge she had four legs, I only have two). This dog and her owner were having so much fun throwing and retrieving this oversized branch. The determination and strength this small dog showed that you don’t have to be big to be strong.

 

This made me think about Toff (real name Georgia Toffolo) who is in the show ‘Made in Chelsea’ (British reality show following posh people) and currently kicking arse in ‘I’m a Celebrity’ (another British reality show, following celebs sat in a camp in a jungle). This bird is small and posh AF, she has all the makings to be this years celebrity who mercifully gets punished by the delightful British public by being picked to do all of the challenges. But no, she is strong and not afraid to do anything, which she proved when she lay in a box 20 metres in the air with twenty Pythons slithering all over her. She did let her guard down once by swearing at the snakes but followed this by apologising for being rude!

This bird proves that you don’t have to be big to be strong; strength comes to us in all forms and coupled with determination can help smash the toughest of challenges.

In other news, the Carter family tree has been chosen and yes we carried it from the tree lot just like they do in the movies!!

Tree

A Cuppa in Bed

I didn’t run today, I just didn’t feel like it. Mr C got up first and asked if I wanted a brew which was a lovely idea so that’s exactly what I did. As I was drinking my tea in the warm confines of my duvet with Eric snuggling me (Eric is our dog), I did contemplate getting up and running but that’s as far as I got. Don’t be judgey, I’m sure even Paula Radcliffe would forgo a run to chill with a cup of tea in bed!

What I did do this morning is go to the library, I haven’t been to a library to check out a book since I was a small child and then I spent half my time trying to convince the Librarians to give me an adult card.  The Librarian I spoke to this morning didn’t appear to be in the best of moods when she said I could use the self serve check out and had to ask where they are. “Right behind you” she told me in a deadpan voice. She didn’t even grin when I replied “sorry first time in a library.” The book I got was ‘the life-changing magic of tidying up’ by Marie Kondo. I hate tidying and cleaning, I fully expect this book to turn me into a domestic goddess!

Anyways, it’s 1st December which means tree day woop woop, I am so excited it’s ridiculous. We are buying our tree from a family run tree lot just a few blocks away and even the thought of carrying it home like you see people doing in the movies is making me break out grinning.

In other news Mr C has been offered a Project Management role and been accepted to study for his MBA. I fear that he is going to be very busy and I’m going to lose my only member of staff, wtf!