Pic of the weekend (weekday)

Well it feels like the weekend because it’s in between Christmas and New Year and no-one here is at work this week. I am adding several pictures here for you to enjoy! These were taken on 28th December 2016 on Wotton Hill in Gloucestershire, looking south.

Sunset silhouette
Sunset silhouette
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‘Looking for our house’
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Enjoying the winter sunshine

 

Tiffin treat – perfect for parkrun milestone celebrations!

Tiffin recipe
Tiffin

 

This is a recipe for Tiffin – or chocolate fridge cake, I found the recipe on BBC Food website, and with todays announcement that BBC Food is going be axed, I thought I had better get it written down quickly!

This is an extremely easy recipe and it needs no baking, so could be a good one to make with children. I will keep it in mind for 2 or 3 years time when my grandson is old enough!

The ingredients are all highly fattening though and I’m afraid due to the biscuits, it is not gluten free either, however the recipe is very adaptable and some of the ingredients can be changed to suit taste.

 

 

 

Ingredients

250g/8oz digestive biscuits (or use half & half digestive/rich tea)
150g/5oz milk chocolate
150g/5oz dark chocolate
100g/3½oz unsalted butter
150g/5oz golden syrup
100g/3½oz dried apricots, chopped (optional)
75g/2½oz raisins (I usually use more raisins and no apricots)
I have made these with added Smarties – nice for bit of colour

Method

Use cling film to line a 20cm (8in) shallow, square-shaped tin. Leave extra cling film hanging over the sides. Put a sheet of greaseproof over the clingfilm to stop the mixture getting stuck to it.
Bash the biscuits into pieces using a rolling pin. (Put them in a plastic bag first so they don’t go everywhere!)
Melt chocolate, butter and golden syrup in a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally.
Remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the broken biscuits, apricots (optional), raisins and pecans (optional).
Spoon the mixture into the tin. Level the surface by pressing it down with a potato masher.
Leave to cool, then put the chocolate mixture in the fridge for 1-2 hours to set.
Turn out the cake and peel off the cling film. Cut the cake into 12 squares and enjoy! (Cut into smaller pieces if this is for one-bite treats)

Recipe Tips
Marshmallows, Smarties, honeycomb and meringues all work well as alternative fillings – just chop them into small chunks and mix in with the melted chocolate mixture. In fact any kind of confectionery should work fine!

I tripled (I think) the recipe and made 120 squares for the 100th parkrun at Chipping Sodbury.
I doubled the recipe on the two occasions that I made them for the staffroom cake sale at son #3’s school. He is raising money for his World Challenge Expedition in 2017.

 

Tiffin for staff room cake sale
Tiffin for staff room cake sale

 

 

 

 

Pic of the Weekend | A hearty breakfast

 

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Well I was going to use a picture of a puddle for my ‘Pic of the Weekend’ to indicate how wet it has been here for the past 6 weeks or so. However, I thought that would be a bit negative so here’s a pic of the hearty breakfast I had after completing my first parkrun on Saturday:-) Thanks to Bill’s in Bristol (this was the second course, having already devoured a huge bowl of Bill’s porridge)

Advent running – attempting a run streak

Until last Tuesday I had never heard of advent running. I read an article on my twitter feed about someone taking part in 2014 and as I had already done a run that morning (1st Dec) I was eligible to join in. I have always wanted to try a run streak but have only managed 2 or 3 days at the most before thinking that my body needed a rest or finding another excuse!!

Advent running is the brainchild of James Poole and Claudia Schroegel and it was ‘officially’ launched in 2014 – it initially meant running every day for 25 days during Advent and for at least 30 minutes (this year the ‘rules’ have changed and any 30 mins of exercise will count – though it’s not a competition, just a challenge).
To have the support and encouragement of others and social media groups compelled me to make the decision that I was going to do it. That wasn’t an easy decision, and I knew – that unless I got injured or ill then I would follow it through to the end – I don’t like to give up once I’ve started something.
Now I’ve said it – so I’m going to have to do it.

So here I am on day 6 having successfully completed six consecutive runs. I usually run three times a week and I always run in the mornings – on my days off or at the weekend. However fitting in 4 more runs means I have to run after work – in the dark. This is something that I haven’t really done before. I have plenty of bright gear to wear and I have found runs that are mostly covered by street lighting. The weather this week hasn’t been too great so I have been running in rain and wind, but hey – its only half an hour and hopefully I will reap the rewards by losing a couple of pounds (I’ve lost one this week) and getting super fit before Christmas. The hubby has joined me on a couple of my runs – having him there as a pacemaker makes me run a bit faster but it also means I have to to run further to make it up to the 30 minutes minimum requirement!!

My only worry is will my body hold out? I have various niggles and twinges at the best of times so running for 25 days consecutively does concern me a little. Today, I do have slightly aching legs and my 4-miler this morning was slower than usual. But I think I’m up for another run tomorrow afternoon. I have to make sure I stretch well and use the foam roller at various intervals throughout the day and hopefully i’ll get to book in for a sports massage next week sometime. That will be amazing.
I will check back soon and let you know how its all been going.

Are you doing the #adventrunning challenge, #runforsprouts #25in25? How are you getting on – do you have aching legs yet? If you’ve done it before do you know if my legs will start to feel better soon?  Any advice? I would love to hear from you.

http://www.adventrunning.com

Bristol + Bath Marathon

On Sunday it was the first ever Bristol + Bath Marathon. We’d had that extra hour in bed (sorry to anyone with small children!) but still had to leave home at 7.30am. This was Dave’s 5th marathon and his training had been brilliant (as usual) so he had no worries. Just a little apprehension about the course which looked pretty hilly on paper! No problems getting to the start near Queen’s Square in Bristol. The weather was pretty chilly at 5°C but the forecast was for a sunny day so starting in shorts was ok as it was going to warm up (easy for me to say – I had on 4 layers and a hat). Families and runners were milling about awaiting the start and there was a nice calm atmosphere.

I had already decided that I would watch the start of the race and then drive across to Bath to see the finish. I said my goodbyes, relieved Dave of his last layer of warm clothing and made my way to the one mile mark where I met son#2 who had managed to drag himself from his bed to support dad. We clapped through all 6,500 runners and encouraged them with the knowledge that there were only 25.2 miles to go.

At the one mile mark - Bristol to Bath Marathon

 

This is a very interesting marathon – apparently the only one in the UK to take in two cities. We could’ve watched the runners come past again just a little further up the road, but that would’ve meant waiting around for an hour or so and I wanted to pop across to Bath to see the leaders cross the finish line. Avoiding all the closed roads (I went via the M4,A46) I parked up at Lansdown Park and Ride and took the £2.60 return option into Bath city centre. It was nice that I didn’t have to rush so I could take in a few of the sights. Stewards and volunteers for the marathon were still preparing the road closures and getting set for the race to pass through. I settled myself at the final stretch – a fabulous setting just down the road from the Royal Crescent, and waited for first wave to arrive. 

The finish line - Bristol to Bath Marathon

 

The crowd were a nice mix of family and friends of runners and Bath locals who had just come out to get involved and have a cheer or wave a flag. The sun was shining and it really was quite pleasant. I imagine the scenario would not have been the same had the weather from Saturday (pouring rain) had continued into Sunday.

The winner of the race arrived at 2 hours 31 minutes – that is amazing – and he didn’t even look like he had worked very hard – a natural runner obviously! My hands started to ache from clapping but I always try to clap as much as possible – these runners have earned a good round of applause. I was tracking Dave on Find Friends so I knew when he would be appearing onto the finishing stretch. He managed the race in 3 hours 49 mins and 10 secs – pretty brilliant if you ask me. After some recovery stretching and a quick hamstring massage  courtesy of the missus we made our way back to the bus stop, continuing to clap and encourage the continuous flow of runners (or by this time for many, hobblers and limpers) on our way. Dave’s opinion was that the race was well organised and a good event (especially with the sun shining) but the course had quite a number of really brutal hills – which would not have been nice for any first timers, even fairly steep ascents in the last few hundred metres (now that’s really cruel) and this would put him off doing it in the future unless the organisers modified the route slightly. 

The park and ride bus back up to Lansdown seemed to take forever to come but on the plus side the driver was obviously in a celebratory mood as he did not charge the runners that were getting on – a nice gesture to recognise the effort and dedication of those who had run the 26.2 miles.

Post race coffee break!

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