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27 April 2012

Why unicorns?

source unknown - please let me know if this photo is yours


Last Friday I went to the cinema to see the Cabin in the Woods. Thanks to Film 2012 and the lovely Claudia Winkleman, I decided this would be a good use of my free cinema voucher.

I'm still not 100% sure what I made of it. Was it clever, original, stupid, hilarious? This film isn't your typical horror film. I think it's referred to as meta-horror, but I'm not very clued up on what that actually means. Basically, it doesn't take itself too seriously. It kinda takes the piss out of the stereotypical slasher, horror movies - and not on a Scary Movie level.

The basic plot is that 4 attractive students are going to a 'cabin in the woods' for a vacation. You quickly learn that the whole thing has been fixed up by some unknown operation and the entire vacation is being controlled by technicians in some industrial control centre. The same thing is happening in different countries across the world.

The technicians control everything - the mood of the students, their intelligence levels, the 'monsters' that come to get them.

I didn't find it scary. I don't get easily scared, but there are some rather creepy bits. Some parts are very funny. I love dry wit and there was plenty of that. I don't really know what to compare this movie to. Perhaps Shaun of the Dead - but slightly more serious. It's definitely original, as far as I'm concerned I've never seen anything like it.

You're probably wondering how on earth unicorns are involved. I couldn't possibly tell you, but it turns out, they ain't so nice after all.

My rating ~ 3.5/5 (extra half point purely for having Chris Hemsworth in it)


23 April 2012

30 before 30 #4 do a triathlon

Chilling out on the beach once we'd all finished

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you probably know what I got up to yesterday. I completed my very first triathlon. It was a super sprint - 250 m swim, 16 k bike ride and a 3 k run. And I didn't drown, forget my bike, cry or receive a helmet violation penalty. The helmet violation rule was keeping me awake at night, but it's pretty simple, don't take your bike off the rack until your helmet is done up. My personal rule was, don't TOUCH your bike until your helmet us done up.

I found the whole setting up stage of the triathlon quite stressful. Making sure my numbers were pinned to my shirt properly and stuck on my helmet and bike. Making sure all my 'transition' clothing was ready and good to go when I got out of the pool. Making sure I hadn't forgotten my socks.

I was number 7 in the line up, which meant I had the added pressure of pretty much everyone watching me start my swim. But after my 10 lengths of the pool, it was really nice to hear all my friends shouting 'go on Jenny' as I ran up the ramp and out of the water.

My transition was very unprofessional. I was wearing a tri suit, which in theory meant I should be able to just get out of the water, stick my tshirt and trainers on and off I go. Unfortunately it is a beautiful grey colour, which means when I bend over, the bum area is slightly see through - shorts were a must I'm afraid. I also realised why everyone had big towels with them. A long sleeved running top is not easy to get on when you are soaking wet. After having a little wrestle with the tshirt and ripping my numbers in the process I then progressed to my feet. There was a lot of talcing up of trainers going on during set up, turns out most people don't bother with socks. My friend had bought me some lovely pink lock laces to go with my pink shoes, so I could just slip my trainers on, but the night before I couldn't work out how to lace them up. I am officially useless. I was overtaken in transition by about 4 people I was that slow.

The bike ride was the longest part of the race and a few people overtook me, but not too many. I was riding Ben's fancy road bike which helped. The triathlon was held in Great Yarmouth, a sea side town on the east coast so I was expecting wind. It wasn't too bad in the end. The bike route was 3 laps of a road that ran along the sea front, it was pretty windy in one direction but then the wind helped you along on the return route.

Bike ride - done, dismount - done, bike back on rack - done, running out of transition - hopeless. My legs felt like someone elses. I was running like I imagine a grandma would run. My mental state was not good at this point, I began thinking 'is it really bad form to walk for a bit.' Luckily I battled through and kept going. My legs didn't feel normal at any point and I think my run time was awful, there was no sprint for the finish line, but I did cross it.

Four first time triathletes

Unfortunately, my timing chip wasn't working right, so I still don't know what time I did. I was wearing my heart rate monitor but I forgot to stop it when I crossed the finish line. I faffed around a bit, getting my bag and chatting to a fellow competitor, and then I remembered. It said 1 hr and 10 mins. So I know I did less than that. We shall see. I expect some pretty horrendous pictures to appear online soon, I may or may not share those with you!

2012 is the year I get fit and shape up. And in the process I am going to be doing it for a great cause. I'm going to keep shamelessly plugging my sponsorship page, I hope you don't mind, but I am raising money for Myeloma UK. My very good friend Eli's dad has Myeloma and I promised her I would raise as much money as I can for the charity.

I hope you all had a lovely weekend and if anyone ran the London Marathon yesterday, well done! Puts what I did to shame!


14 April 2012

The Ideal Bookshelf

I love it when you stumble across a wonderful website that you feel you must share with people.

Jane Mount paints people's ideal bookshelves: your favorite books, books that changed your life, books that made you who you are. At $250 dollars for up to 7 books, it's not the cheapest of art work, but boy do I want one.

Choosing just seven books would be my difficulty. I think Pride & Prejudice, To Kill a Mockingbird, Twilight, Fellowship of the Ring, The Book Thief, Wild Swans and Memoirs of a Geisha would make up my seven, but I'd have to save up some serious money to get the 10 or 15 book print!


12 April 2012

Run Jenny Run

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you may have realised that my evenings involve these rather snazzy pair of running shoes. 2012 is my year for actually achieving a few things, rather than just talking about them.

A week on Sunday I am doing my first triathlon. It's a super sprint, so not full distance, but it's a start. And you never know, if I enjoy it, perhaps I'll give an olympic distance triathlon a go!

On the 20th May I will be running the Great Manchester Run, which is 10k. But my main challenge will be the Tough Mudder I've entered the weekend before the 10k race (not sure how good an idea that was). A Tough Mudder is a 'hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie'. I think the course may involve running through live electrical wires and crawling through stinging nettles at some point. Slightly more hardcore than the Spartan Race I did last year. I am officially crazy.

But I will be doing it all for a good cause. I'll be running the 10k with my good friend Eli. Eli's Dad has Myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells found in your bone marrow. There is no cure, but treatment can help manage the symptoms and give a better quality of life. So I'm doing all these crazy events for Myeloma UK. And I really want to raise as much money for them as I can. They help support families like Eli's as well as helping with research.

I've been training for the last few weeks and have started to step it up on the running. I've been lifting weights and successfully managed my first push up yesterday. Haven't even attempted a pull up yet. Not holding out hope that I'll ever manage one of those. If I don't have to crawl the 10k then Eli and I will be entering the Norwich half marathon in November. I'll manage to tick a few things off my 30 before 30 and 101 things list in 2012 if I manage all of these!

If you would like to sponsor me then I've set up a fundraising page here. I'll love you forever if you do. Of course simply reading some of the information about myeloma and Myeloma UK will make me happy. It's a cancer that seems to go relatively unnoticed, but there's no cure and the more people who spread the message of Myeloma UK the better.


10 April 2012

A cactus in a tea cup

I've written a guest post for the lovely Erin on how to make this super cute cactus in a tea cup. I was determined to find a use for my vintage tea cups, other than storing them away in a cupboard!


4 April 2012

Multiple Paris

Thanks to Pugly Pixel I've had a very constructive evening creating double exposure photographs of Paris.


3 April 2012

Distance sucks

I'm having a bit of a rubbish week. I'm being a major grump. And I'm blaming distance. The distance from family, the distance from friends and the distance from Benjamin.

Ben was up at 4.30 this morning, heading to the airport for another offshore job. We're both fed up of spending so much time apart. I get used to having someone to cook for, someone to go to the cinema with and someone to cuddle at night and all too quickly I'm on my own again.

My Grandad's wife had a major health scare last week and has been in hospital. Because I live over 6 hours away from home, I can't visit.

A girl I was very good friends with at university got married at the weekend, I wasn't invited.

Distance sucks! If you let it, it can spoil friendships, relationships and life in general. I'm usually pretty good at making distance work and not let it get to me, but just for this week I'm going to have a little strop about it. I hope you don't mind.

I'm determined to cheer up by this weekend, promise!


1 April 2012

Just a minute in... April


I wish I'd found these fab instructions for making newspaper pots before I planted my seeds. Perhaps when I transfer my teeny tiny seedlings into bigger pots I can do this.

Reading... A Game of Thrones
Listening... She & Him: Volume 1
Watching... The Hunger Games and the Muppets
Buying... granny square blankets, pastel storage jars and geometric throws
Loving... the spring weather. I've planted loads of seeds and my peppers and tomatoes are starting to grow.
Wanting... summer jewellery and peach nail varnish.
Bloglovin... Hello Sandwich, Diversions and stipje
Remembering... the 23 degree heat and the petrol queuing madness.


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