Sunday, 1 June 2014


 Today I feel pretty awesome. I worked hard and this is my reward.

I mean, I've been working hard in the garden and this is what I've managed to achieve from the wild woodland I had a few weeks ago.

Seedlings in an improvised cold frame, made from a broken brick barbecue
The barbecue grill protects newly planted seedlings in this old Belfast sink from the cats. The slate round the lavender is also an anti-cat device. Bloody cats.

Hazel sticks up-cycled from an old house decoration make a wigwam for beans and a frame for netting from Poundland to protect strawberry plants. A free CD from a newspaper with some Toni Braxton and other mushy stuff on it makes a bird-startler. Hopefully netting over the newly planted courgettes will deter the cats.

Yes, the lawn is mostly dirt and weeds, but at least it's tidy. Just got to keep on top of attack from cats, slugs and the neighbour's rather bouncy German Shepherd.

This weekend, we went to London for the British leg of the ITU World Triathlon Championships. We budgeted for this, so we could relax. That budget was tested a bit in some rather nice bars a friend introduced us to, but hey, an excellent time was had by all.

And here's for the treats money could but didn't buy...

Okay, we had grandstand seats this time, but anyone can go to Hyde park to see the triathlon. It's free!
See the swimming...

the cycling...

the running!

And here's the girls on their bikes - awesome stuff!

My new hero is the USA's Gwen Jorgensen, who powered ahead of her nearest rivals with a very convincing win. Here she is completing the run, with absolutely no one else in sight. British contender Jodie Stimpson was in the lead for the whole series until this point, but that honour is Jorgensen's now too.

 Both races were great to watch, but the women's race had that awesome win by Gwen Jorgensen... no one else could touch her! Of course we were rooting for Lucy Hall, Jodie Stimpson, Vicky Holland and Helen Jenkins. It was such an exciting race.

For the men's race, it was fantastic to see both the Brownlee brothers racing, and Alistair was in the lead until the final kilometre. Unfortunately, he couldn't keep up the pace and the Brownlees finished with Alistair 4th and Jonathan 5th. Winner was Spanish triathlete, Mario Mola. After the race we were lucky to meet him and he signed free t-shirts for us. AWESOME!!!!!
He's lovely!

 We also liked these giant triathlete sculpture in Hyde Park. We didn't spot a cycling one, but there probably was one...

Mind, I am a bit annoyed that some newspapers have only written about the men's race. What's that about, The Guardian? Triathlon fans don't make that distinction between genders - I mean, for longer distances, both men and women set out together, and though the men usually finish first, when Chrissie Wellington was competing, she only got beaten by one bloke at Alpe D'huez. One!

Watch how awesome Jorgensen's win was here.

 Other fabulous stuff this week that was/is free:
  • Doughnuts. We've twice been given doughnuts at work as a bit of a morale boost. Oh my the raspberry-iced Krispy Kreme one was lush!
  • The Betrayal: I listened to the abridged version of Helen Dunmore's novel set in Stalinist Russia. It's available for over a year on demand. Follow the link to listen yourself.
  • Romance and Adventure: Comedian Josie Long has put her show online for free, and it's really good. Follow the link to watch for yourself. OH and I watched and enjoyed this in the week with a cheeky glass of wine.
  • Heavy Entertainment: OH and I are off to see Nick Helm's Heavy Entertainment series being recorded next week and we're really looking forward to it. The pilot show is still available on BBC iplayer on demand, so you can see what we're in for. We think he's awesome. You're welcome!
  • Free e-book: OH bought a bar of chocolate last week which had a code for a free e-book I've chosen Sharp Objects, the debut novel by Gillian Flynn. Looking forward to reading it.  I've not missed out on the chocolate, as I've ended up with a free Mars voucher from a winning wrapper, too.

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