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Mountain Girl Madness!

I signed myself and my friend Emma up for the 5km Limelight Colour Run on this Saturday. It’s gonna be very colourful and for a very good cause too, in aid of Cancer Research UK.

the Emma n me

Only thing is… I didn’t really think it through. I’m not sure I can still run 5km!! Why am I so flippin’ impulsive! I am going on the premise that I used to do athletics and run in long distance and cross country races for my county. Impressive you may be thinking, yes, maybe… but I was also 16 years old!!

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I walk everywhere, including up some pretty decent mountains. I also love going out on my bike exploring. I do my best to go to the gym and go swimming but being outdoors really is much more my bag! Today I agreed to meet aforementioned friend and her daughter at the gym to go swimming, whilst Emma went for a run. I got there early and decided to see if this 5km thing was a goer… turns out I may just be able to do it. I managed 3km on the running machine, without stopping and without passing out, before they arrived! So feeling pretty pleased with myself, it has to be said!

bikes at the tay bridge

Anyway… the real reason I am writing this post is not about my exercising habits or fitness levels (or lack of). The real reason that I am writing about this is that Saturday’s run will be Emma’s warm up run for a half marathon she will be taking part in, in just 17 days time now.

This half marathon is called the The KR Steel Half Marathon. “It is a challenging, off road, hilly 13.1 miles starting and finishing in the beautiful grounds of the Raemoir House Hotel. The opening 3 miles will test your strength with a quick ascent to the highest point of the route, but the reward is in the views, and the long descent back to the finish line. You will also enjoy incredible views of a hidden valley, not visible from any of the roads surrounding the Hill of Fare. Mile 9 is particularly fun where the terrain is extremely challenging.” Check out The Fare Challenge for more info.

Sounded a bit gnarly to me when she was describing it to me over a cheeky little bottle of wine. I said things like ‘wow, are you sure, that’s a long way’ and ‘well ok then, if you think you can’ and we continued to chat about it. Then Emma showed me the course online. I nearly spat out my wine! I have the tendancy to have a bit of a potty mouth on me once the wine has been cracked (shocking I know 😉 ) and I shall spare you my exact words… but they did go along the lines of ‘holy **** are you mental! That would be a ***** to even walk! You are aff your heid!, etc etc!”

You see most marathons are held for folks to skip themselves around a wee city or two, usually on fairly flat, easy terrain, sometimes chucking a a little hill or so, but not a big flippin’ off road, gnarly mountain! AND Emma, well she likes to have a run every now and then when the notion takes her, but she’s not a fitness fiend in any way. She can sometimes be persuaded to come for a hill walk with me but is not usually the one to be suggesting it. So this announcement took me somewhat by surprise it did!

I should, however point out that Emma is also THE most determined person I know. Once she puts her mind to something there is very little that will sway her, trust me, I’ve known her a very long time…. it’s true! So she has been in training for this madness for several months now, often to be seen running along Riverside, often along to Broughty Ferry and even has been spotted photo bombing people’s wedding photographs!

Proud doesn’t even come close to describing how I feel about my friend and I just know that she is going to nail this… sail through!

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Emma is doing all this as both a personal challenge and also to raise money for The Archie Foundation and I shall let her tell you why:

“I have been attending the Aberdeen Children’s hospital for the past 8 years with my son.  While we were last in Aberdeen for an appointment (last week) we were chatting about how great The Archie Foundation has been.  They have made very difficult experiences less frightening and daunting.  They provide an amazing support to children and families in the north of Scotland.  We live in Dundee, however my son’s specialist is in Aberdeen so we have been up there quite a lot over the years.  My son will eventually move onto adult services so it feels like a good time to do more than one off donations and do some fundraising/awareness raising.”

“I haven’t run very far before and my son tried not to laugh when I suggested I do a run, but it seems like a good idea anyway.  I am starting to push my fundraising page now partly as a motivation to get past the boredom I feel when I start running.  Waiting around in hospital for tests or procedures is boring and scary.  It feels like time stands still and there are only so many times you can make ‘eye spy’ fun.  The Archie Foundation adds fun and a lot of caring. “

I very much appreciate you considering to give a pound or two towards this fundraising attempt.  I have already started taking photos to document my ‘progess’ so I can give you a good laugh at the end!  You can find my ongoing ramblings leading up to the race on my blog.”
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Please head over to her blog for more of her updates and also over to her Justgiving Page. I have just donated my pennies (shh don’t tell her that I am only just getting around to doing it #badfriend)! She’s sitting at 91% of her £200 target already… let’s see if we can get it to 100% or even more shall we! ^_^
Good luck Emma! I just know you will nail this! xxx

 

 

 

 

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62 days

I am so proud of my friend… I just know she will nail this marathon because when she sets her mind to something, there really is no stopping her! Proud also that she is doing all of this to raise money for charity too! ^_^

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I felt like I was in a running slump for the past few weeks from a combination of being very busy and then even busier, however I think I can say that I am moving past that.  I am used to experiencing creative blocks where my brain simply won’t co-ordinate itself to find a direction and stick with it but this time I have been physically struggling to decide on routes and not being able to get out to run when the feeling strikes me.  Regardless though, I have persevered and avoided being too harsh on myself when I haven’t managed to reach my weekly mileage goal.

During this past week I ran a total of 15 miles which makes me think that I should have been writing down a weekly total so that I could see how far I could have traveled since I signed up for a half…

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Nature vs Manmade and Graffiti

I went exploring and found all of this amazing grafitti. Here are some of the photos I took! I hope you enjoy them as much as I did taking them ^_^

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I went exploring not so long ago and whilst hiding from the brutal rain and wind, on the east coast of Scotland, found this hidden treasure. Some may find graffiti an eyesore (and yes, sometimes it is) but done well and in the right setting, graffiti, I think can be very powerful, beautiful and wonderful.

Here are some of the photos I took that day. I hope that you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed taking them!

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Also… I am curious. Just where are these tiny little robots? I looked everywhere! 😉

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China’s Floating Mountains

China’s floating mountains are just breathtaking!

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Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, China, is gifted with a diverse landscape. In Zhangjiajie, there are not only lofty mountains and steep hills but also low valleys and vast plains. The director James Cameron was deeply attracted by the breathtaking natural beauties in Zhangjiajie that some of the images taken in Zhangjiajie were used in the spectacular sci-fi film Avatar to feature the floating “Mt. Hallelujah” in the world of “Pandora”.

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The Kelpies and The Selkies Exhibition & Online Shop

Some of my artwork is currently part of an exhibition in Stirling, Scotland. The opening was last night and our online shop and exhibition is now open too! I am loving being a part of this.. such a quirky theme ^_^

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The Kelpies and The Selkies Exhibition is now open in the Yoga Tree, Stirling Arcade, Stirling in Scotland.

It is open daily from 10 – 5. I was at the opening night last night, which was just lovely. The work looks amazing all together.

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I have three pieces on display (also available to purchase) and a small selection of my WhimSicAL LusH Mugs too!

Our online shop is now live too. So if you can’t make it to Stirling, please do pop over to the shop for a look.

~EXHIBITION SHOP~

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All The Fun Of The Fair

Recently I had a trip to the funfair. It was brilliant and I came away feeling really inspired to do some new pieces ^_^

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I left the funfair feeling very inspired. I loved the colours, the energy and the shapes. I think there may be some new illustrations coming from these photos..

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Summer Children's Festival

Come along to our summer festival 23rd, 24th and 25th July!

@ Diaosu Limited, 209 Hilltown, Dundee.

10am for drop in craft time (free)

1-3pm for our summer parties!
Party games, activities and rather fabulous party bags! (£6 per child)

3-4:30pm for music, puppets and fun skills!

Spaces limited so please get in touch to book a space on enquiry@diaosu.org.uk

At what point does derelict become attractive?

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At what point does abandoned, derelict and falling apart become appealing, eye catching and almost attractive?

This shop front has slowly been falling apart over the last few years and I kept meaning to take a photo of it.. Because I really quite like its abandoned, once loved, once useful look! Don’t ask me why.. I don’t quite know.. I just like it I guess!

Plus I have a bit of a fascination with derelict buildings and really love when they get to time stage that nature starts to take over…