running playlist

I can't run without music. I hate it, I can hear my own breathing and it sounds like I'm dying, which makes me run slower and makes me want to stop. But when I've got good music, it helps me zone out of the running and into the music, meaning I keep going and giving me a little speed boost if I'm really getting into the song.

I'm amping up my training at the moment in preparation for the Edinburgh Kilomathon in March, so I've been rejigging the running playlist and I thought I'd share a few of my current favourites songs to run to here. Enjoy!

This is an oldie, but a goodie, and will get you through an entire mile more or less.

Always good to listen to Ellie on a run. She's a total babe, obviously, and has an impressive 10k time of 44 minutes.

This mix in general is brilliant for running, but there's a particular Bicep remix of Isaac Tichauer's Higher Level that kicks in between 13 and 20 minutes or so that I am absolutely obsessed with and I NEED IN MY LIFE. Can't find it anywhere online on its own, so I'm just listening to this mix on repeat for the time being. It really gives me a boost when it kicks in around my 3rd kilometre. The mix itself is cracking anyway, so it's hardly a chore.

What do you listen to when you're running, or working out? Any recommendations to add to my list?


meat free january

I could never do 'Dry January.'

 my in house bar

Slightly-drier-January, yes, probably, but abstain from drinking for a whole month? No, thank you. I am aware of the health benefits, and the bank balance benefits and the smugness inherent in a hangover free Sunday morning, but it's just not for me. For one, I love wine. Red wine specifically, but I don't discriminate. And I love gin. And beer. And whisky. And lately I've been developing a habit for a postprandial sherry too. 

For another, both Dimitri's and my mum's birthdays fall in January, and what is a birthday without a celebratory clink of glasses and some bubbles?

And one more thing, January is a tough enough month without giving up the joy of booze.

So no, dry January is not for me.

However, I do like the idea of kicking off the year in a slightly healthier fashion, so I wanted to give up something and I finally settled on meat. I figure, if I am replacing all my heavy, hearty, meaty dishes with those comprised largely of vegetables then that can only lead to a more sprightly, lighter self, right?

I am a big meat eater. I love steak, I have them rare, and I love ribs (full rack please), and burgers - I have a list of Edinburgh burger eatery recommendations as long as my arm - pulled pork is divine on top of anything, particularly my friend Joe's nachos, and haggis, oh my god, haggis is my weekend breakfast staple, and have you ever tried venison tartare? Or wagyu salami?

I just love meat. In all its forms. I am most definitely not one of those 'oh sometimes I eat chicken' types of people, so this will most definitely be a challenge.

A challenge which I failed on Day 1, when I absent-mindedly grazed on some chorizo whilst searching for answers in the fridge, as is my wont. But never mind, straight back on the vegetarian horse. * 

I already eat vegetarian meals with some regularity, and I am a big fan of the Honestly Healthy cookbooks, but the idea of totally abstaining from meat is a bit daunting. I'm foreseeing particular difficulty when, after a hard week's work, I'll just want to go out for a nice meaty meal and big bottle of red. I mean, how can a veggie risotto compete with a good old fillet steak?

However, I am going to give it a go - as will Dimitris, although for him, not through choice - and I'll report back at the end of the month. Maybe I'll have taken on a new vegetable fuelled lease for life, dropped a dress size and I'll never want to eat meat again. Who knows!

Wish me luck....

*Speaking of horse, it is probably the only kind of meat I have failed to enjoy. At a barbecue in France one summer, I was really keen to try some cheval, but just couldn't get the image of black beauty galloping across a field out of my head and had to abstain.


2015 in pictures

2015 was a great year, as they all tend to be on reflection. I've had others with more travel, more adventure, more ups and downs, but 2015 feels to me to have been the year in which I fully stepped into my 'adult' shoes. It's a terrifying thought, perhaps intensified by my recent birthday, but in 2015 I did lots of 'adulty' things - I bought a flat, I moved in with my boyfriend and I celebrated a year at work, all things which I would normally associate with proper grown ups, and not myself. A little more than three years ago I had plans for grape picking in the south of France for a month and not much more. But here I am, with a mortgage and pension and life insurance and a relationship that prompts people to ask about babies and marriage and other terrifyingly 'grown up' prospects. 

I mean, I'm even using eye cream and subscribed to The Economist.

It's scary how fast it can all happen, but at the same time, it's all absolutely wonderful and I'm ridiculously happy. Bring on 2016!