Reflecting on my week #81

This last week I’ve decided to up my walking game in a bid to be a bit more active, and that’s meant the start of the #LongWalkHome for me over on my Instagram stories. With Greenwich Park on my doorstep and already part of my walking commute I figured that I’d be daft not to make more use of it. And so I have, my long walks home have included walking to parts of the park, like the Flower Garden, which I’ve not visited for quite a while. While I’m tracking my routes, speed and mileage out of curiosity and pure geekness, if anyone else clocks that I’m on a bit of a long winded route around the park, I’m convinced they’ll think I’m a little bonkers.

It’s not just in the park that I’ve ventured though, in an bid to make my 1.8mile route to and from work a little longer and more varied I’m taking different streets, quite often purposefully to take me out of my way a little. It’s paid off though as there’s plenty to see. I’m trying not to stop too often, but sometimes it would be rude not to, and take a snap or two. Like this one, it looks perfectly composed, and it is, but naturally so.

fallen cherry blossom

The fallen blossom in the background, the cluster of blossom falling onto the moss and the stone wall in the foreground. I’m not sure I could have placed these any more perfectly. Cherry blossom time in Greenwich Park is a pretty special, but busy time, so it’s nice to find something to photograph that not everyone has.

Sunday was London Marathon day, and for us that means quiet roads and usually I dub it ‘meet the neighbours day’ - this year though there were fewer of us, with even MOH off out early on a bike ride for the day. There were no less marathon runners though, and I thought the backdrop of the runners would provide the background I wanted for my #PissOffPhyllis badge - although if you saw on Instagram yesterday, you’ll have seen that a photo off the TV of someone running for Bowel cancer trumped this one.

london marathon 2019 and #pissoffphyllis

On Sunday evening I was part of something special, sending quite a large #LoveBomb to a fellow blogger who’s recently been diagnosed with Bowel cancer. Her reaction made me cry, but it was a reminder that bloggers are amazing. There’s more in my post from yesterday if you want to know more, or just go and check out the hashtag on any of your social channels.

Usually Marathon Day means a cooked breakfast, as it’s hard work watching 20,000 or so runners go past. But there’s not much fun in a lone cooked breakfast, especially when you’re trying to be good, so another tack was called for this year. The revised approach also gave me the perfect opportunity to use my new crockery.

breakfast detritus

Saturday I dragged MOH up to the garden centre. My plan was to get him to lug the seed compost that was on my list, and that happened, but somehow we made a few extra stops along the way and I returned home with a couple of tomato plants, a sage plant and some new solar lights which look interesting. There was soil compost too so that’s a bonus, although there’s been little seed planting as such so far, but with lighter evenings there’s a chance for some evening greenhouse pottering.

tomatoes and sage

It was so chilly though on Saturday that I didn’t brave the garden, in fact in the end we caved and the heating went on for a short while. C’mon weather, it’s April.

Telling Phyllis to Move On

Now I don’t often swear, and rarely swear on here but today I’m going to make an exception, so if you’re likely to be offended then please just skip this post. I hope you don’t though, because it’s about cancer which quite frankly is offensive and indiscriminate.

Sadly cancer isn’t a stranger in my family, or yours too I suspect. My parents have both had their own battle with the disease (which they both won) but unfortunately my FIL wasn’t so lucky and we lost him last summer. I’ve friends that have encountered cancer, with mixed success, and I’m sure you have too.

One of those is Emma from Island Living 365 who has recently been diagnosed with Bowel cancer and who is bravely sharing her cancer journey online. Despite her recent post entitled Running away from Bowel Cancer she’s doing far from that. Instead she’s planning to run - or as she would say - plod, in the Race for Life for Cancer Research UK in Jersey at the end of May. While she’s already smashed her fundraising target, it would be great if we could add to her total, if you’re able to, to help beat cancer for everyone sooner.

Emma has named her cancer Phyllis and her updates regularly include #PissOffPhyllis - today many of the blogging community are showing our support for Emma and encouraging Phyllis (and her friends) to move on, as they’re really not welcome. Anywhere. Any of them.

We’ve all got badges with the #PissOffPhyllis message (thanks Lucy and the BlogOn team!) and we’re wearing them proudly and hitting our blogs and social media to show Emma our support. If you’re able to share this post, or any of my social posts for this on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram then I’d really appreciate your help.

April is Bowel cancer Awareness month

So it’s only fitting that we’ve managed to get this arranged to sneak in to the end of this month, and appropriate that I include some information about Bowel cancer too:

  • Bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in the UK claiming more than 16,000 lives a year, that's over 44 people every day.

  • Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK, after breast, prostate and lung cancers.

  • Every 15 minutes in the UK someone is diagnosed with bowel cancer. That’s almost 42,000 people every year. Every 30 minutes someone dies from the disease in the UK. 

  • More than nine out of ten new cases (94%) are diagnosed in people over the age of 50, and nearly six out of ten cases (58%) are diagnosed in people aged 70 or over. But bowel cancer can affect any age. More than 2,500 people under 50 are diagnosed with bowel cancer in the UK every year.

  • 1 in 14 men and 1 in 19 women will be diagnosed with bowel cancer during their lifetime.

Bowel cancer is very treatable but the earlier it is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat. People whose cancer is diagnosed at an early stage have a much higher chance of successful treatment than those whose cancer has become more widespread. If you have any symptoms, don’t be embarrassed and don’t ignore them. Doctors are used to seeing lots of people with bowel problems.

The symptoms of Bowel cancer can include:

  • Bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo

  • A persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit 

  • Unexplained weight loss

  • Extreme tiredness for no obvious reason

  • A pain or lump in your tummy

So Phyllis, it’s time for you (and all your friends) to move on

You’re most definitely not welcome. In fact I’ve struggled to find anywhere where you are welcome.


If you would also like to support Emma beating cancer you can follow her updates on her blog, Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram. Or if you can spare a pound or two then a donation to her fundraising page for Cancer Research UK would be appreciated.  Thank you.


Putting the Ultimax gardening gloves to the test

* This item was gifted by Town & Country
It must be said I’m a fan of pink gardening gloves. My regular go to gardening gloves are pink, and are also by Town & Country. They’re reliable, but somehow I do seem to go through quite a few, and I’m not quite sure why. While I do always wear gloves while gardening, I don’t think I go through them due to some kind of extreme gardening, it just seems to be the way it goes.

I always revert to buying the same sort - or style? (do gardening gloves have style, now that’s a whole other question I’m sure!), because I know they fit. They don’t have overly long fingers which mean they’re useless, and of course they’re pink. I mentioned before I like a pink gardening glove or two. Actually two gloves are better than one…

So when Wilkinson Sword offered me a different type of (thankfully pink) gardening gloves, I was sceptical. But then again, they were pink and so I thought I could definitely give them a go. And last weekend I did.

Ulitmax gardening gloves by Town & Country

I needed to dig my way into the greenhouse, which had become another storage space for our winter garden. And while I wasn’t expecting it to be mucky, I know what I’m like, and so the gloves went on. The blurb on the label says that these Ultimax gloves have “an innovative design offering an extremely close fit for unequaled dexterity.”

A rather full greenhouse

The palm of the gloves do look very high tech - there’s textured pads for grip and extra protection. And while the photo below looks as if there’s holes in the fingertips of my first two fingers, there isn’t, that’s the texture pads. You can see it more clearly on the thumb in the photo below.

ultimax - padded but still flexible

The gloves did fit well, the velcro fastening at the wrist kept them on, and I was able to pick things up that perhaps I wouldn’t have in my other pink gloves. I’m not sure I’d be able to sow tiny seeds in these gloves, but then again I’m not sure I’d want to. Even me, who’s someone not keen on having mucky hands, thinks that sometimes you have to feel the soil, and sowing seeds is one of those times.


Thankfully there was nothing nasty or slimy lurking in my greenhouse and it wasn’t long before I’d cleared a space and found a new home for the things I’d moved. Something - a squirrel perhaps - had been in the greenhouse as pots had been disturbed and overturned, but whatever it was seems to have moved on.

The only downside for me with these gloves is the labels (see the photo above). They’re quite large, and while I’m glad this size label isn’t on the inside as that would most likely be uncomfortable, I’m not sure what value these labels add. They stand out literally and visually and I suspect I’ll be cutting them off as I found them distracting - but then again I’m not much of a label lover, and regularly cut them out of clothes too, so it could just be me, but if they were half the size then I think they’d be less intrusive.

Much clearer

I’ve still some more to do in here - including sowing some seeds and rearrange the benches so there’s more space to move in here, and hopefully incorporate some more growing space too. But these new Ultimax pink gloves are a keeper, and on their first outing had quite a workout.

A good day's gardening

Overall, it’s a thumbs up from me.

* While this item was gifted by Town & Country, I was under no obligation to share it here on my blog.