Four Fact Fun: Satisfying the my Nosy Nature

I hope you all had a great weekend. Mine consisted of fighting a cold, and rueing the gorgeous sunny weather we had here, while I wasn’t well enough to run. But I balanced all that out with lots of coffee and brownies: it turns out rueing is hungry work.


For today’s post, I saw this little quiz on Shut Up and Run, who in turn saw it on Hungry Runner Girl, and wanted to join in with the cool kids.  I definitely have a nosy streak, and love reading these about other people so I thought some of you might be as nosy as me….


Four names that people call me other than my real name:

  1. Buts. Because now I am a Butler.
  2. Norbit
  3. Nell
  4. Cherry


Four jobs I’ve had:

  1. Barista at Starbucks. For about a million years. And in multiple countries.
  2. Cinema Steward
  3. Secretary
  4. Graduate Recruitment Manager


Four movies I’ve watched more than once:

  1. The Sound of Music
  2. The Terminator
  3. My Girl
  4. Apollo 13


Four books I’d recommend:

  1. The House of Mirth
  2. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
  3. The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared
  4. Moranthology


Four places I’ve lived:

  1. Melbourne
  2. Sydney
  3. London
  4. Devon


Four places I’ve visited:

  1. Serbia
  2. Peru
  3. Tokyo
  4. Hong Kong


Four things I prefer not to eat:

  • Onion
  • Anything vegetarian
  • Haribo
  • A bad hamburger, the ones you can taste in your mouth for three days afterwards. You know the ones.


Four of my favourite foods:

  • Chocolate
  • Curry
  • Sushi
  • Pancakes


Four TV shows I watch:

  • 30 Rock
  • The Fall
  • It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
  • Luther


Four things I’m looking forward to this year:

  • Going to Miami with work (hooo-raaahhhh!!!)
  • Running a half marathon
  • Moving to Loughborough – BOOM! That’s new! Although I am really sad to leave Durham.
  • Seeing A View from the Bridge


Four things I’m always saying:

  • Dude, that’s awesome! (sometimes I confuse myself with a California Skater kid)
  • Do we have any chocolate?
  • No, I took the bins out last time.
  • Shall we get a coffee?


So. Not much running today. Plans went awry and runs didn’t happen, but thanks to little  quizs like this, we can all still have some fun.


I’ll hit you all up with some more relevant posts later this week! And also – please feel free to tell me four facts about yourself in the comments. I’m nosy, I tell you.


Ellie B

Holiday Friday Faves

Hey everyone. It turns out that there’s a lull between when the sun goes down at 5.30 and when we eat dinner at 8.30. This is where I get my best holiday running, blogging and pre-dinner drinking done (just in case you were wondering why I’m doing blogging on holiday. There’s a LULL, guys. We either watch badly dubbed movies, or do this. And I quite like doing this!). By the way – there are more shabby places to be blogging:


It’s the perfect place to get my people-watching done too.

Anyway, it’s Friday! And the perfect time to share how a short, ginger girl spends her days without the stresses of work and the grey skies of England. So here is what I have been:


  • Reading: In descending order of enjoyment, we have The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair (funny, gripping, creative and really entertaining), All My Puny Sorrows (unique, sad, honest and an interesting study on love), The Aftermath (ok, a light read, but really not amazing), How to be a Girl (starting tomorrow and SO EXCITED about it too).


  • Running in: My new Asics Gel Elevations! A few months ago I entered the Neon Run, which is in October, with a few friends. And along with that was an entry to win some shoes – which I did! I’ll do a review once I’ve broken them in properly, but they have been a dream during this trip.


  • Watching: Emma Watson launching thew new #HeforShe campaign at the UN last weekend, and basically articulating everything that I want to but can’t because, basically, I’m not as fabulous as her. Please watch this video… I love how it’s inclusive and encourages everyone to talk rather than blame. So good.
  • Running: 12.5 miles/20kms so far. I hope to round that out to an even 18 miles by the time we leave.


  • Eating: Chocolate. If Paris was the land where you can eat ice cream with every meal, then Tunisia (specifically this hotel) is the land where you can eat chocolate with every meal. And I’ve done myself proud, hence the target of 18 miles…


  • Listening to: The Hamish and Andy podcast. Gotta love a bit of H&A!! They help me keep up to date with the important news of Australia, like what’s going on in The Bachelor and the first fleet of the People’s Island.
  • Learning: That factor 3o sunscreen will give you a sun tan still, and protect you from sun burn. It’s not a lie. My step-mother has been telling me this for 12 years, and I finally believe her. That’s quite a life lesson learned, believe me.

Slip Slop Slap


And that’s how you holiday like Ellie B! SB’s holiday has consisted of less chocolate, more weights, more movies, fewer books, more swimming and more sun.


Also – MOST EXCITING OF ALL – the Sydney Swans are in the Grand Final on Saturday! So, for any English readers, the Swans are the best team in the Aussie Rules Football league. I want to write that they’ll do us all proud tomorrow, but I’m weirdly superstitious about stuff like this. AFL is a fast-paced game, with high scores,high skill and high appeal. And if you’re still not convinced, perhaps this will help:


Uh, yeah. Biceps much??

Uh, yeah. Biceps much??

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and thanks for reading this holiday-drivel!


Ellie B

Friday Favourites – Totes Emosh


This week I’ve had a sensory overload, and I’m 1000% sure that I’m not being over-dramatic. All of a sudden, everything that I see/read/listen to is amazing. ‘Totes amaze’ if you’re below 27. Or wishing you were below 27. I must admit there’s nothing to do with running on this list, but I really want to share what I’m loving this week. And what good is a blog if you can’t push your own thoughts and ideas forward? 😉


So, without further ado:


  • Coldplay Ghost Stories. Apart from having the prettiest album cover ever, this is very different to their other albums. Although there are only 9 tracks, each one has such lovely lyrics that I’m grateful there’s no ‘filler’. It’s kind of Coldplay-meets-Cafe del Mar if you can imagine. My personal favourites are tracks 5 and 7.

Ghost Stories

  • Empire Falls. It took me a little while to get into this book, but I cannot put it down now. Set in a former industrial town, it’s all about fate and choices. I want to give so many of the characters a big hug. Don’t be put off by my sentimentality – it’s not chick lit, and is definitely worth a read.

photo 3-2

  • Romantic Works by Keaton Henson. Keaton Henson is not a happy artist! But this album is an instrumental delight. So…. if you’re feeling pensive, contemplative, and in need of some cello/piano love then go nuts. I’ve had him on repeat since Tuesday. If you’re not in that place, then I highly recommend Katy Perry, who is always a contender for my list, but this week she doesn’t match my mood. 😉

photo 2

  • Katy Perry. Because she is awesome, and I feel bad for recommending her as a second best. When she performed at Radio 1’s One Big Weekend, she just replaced Kylie as the Pop-Star-I-Wanna-Be: that treasured title that I’m sure all female pop-stars want to hold. But where does that leave Beyonce?? 
I tell ya. It's me with dark hair.

I tell ya. It’s me with dark hair.


  • Henrik Ibsen. Oh yes, people, I went there. There’s a Nineteenth Century playwright on my list. Blame Oslo. I read ‘A Doll’s House’ for school when I was 17, and out of everything I’ve read, I don’t think there’s not been a character I think of more frequently than poor old Nora. I have a friend who may read this and smirk – I did not feel so sympathetic at 17. But now that I’m older and wiser, I can a) appreciate how revolutionary the play was, and b) sympathise with the choice that she made. And being in Oslo, where Ibsen lived, I couldn’t help but mark the occasion.
photo 4-2

Selfies with Katy and Henrik

So there you have it. Slightly different to other weeks – I’ve been a bit emosh recently, and these things have helped me process. Deal. Whatever pop-psychology has been necessary. And an honorary mention for the list is the beautiful city of Oslo, where I’ve been for work all week. I can’t get over how gorgeous it is. It’s not the most vibrant or happening of places, but there’s definitely something about it … maybe it’s their penchant for putting statues of random people everywhere. So here are some more pics:

 photo 2-3 photo 3-3 photo 4-3 photo 1-3


Have a wonderful weekend everyone. And if you in the mood to have a Very Serious Conversation about literature, the arts and the meaning of life, give me a call. It seems that’s where I’m at this Friday. 30 Rock jokes one day, culture the next. And somewhere in between…. maybe some running?!?!?!


Ellie B



Frivolous Friday Five

Good afternoon!! I hope that things are looking good where you are. Here in the UK, things are looking fiiiiine.


Since it’s  a Friday afternoon, and I’m in a really good mood, I wanted to write about stuff. Just stuff that’s happened this week, or things I’ve enjoyed recently. So, without further ado, here are my five Friday faves:


  • Summer is here! Well, for this weekend, anyway. And in this country, you have to grab it while it’s here and bask in all it’s short-lived glory. This is what I’m wearing today:

photo (61)

Yes, SHORTS! And not even ironically. And this is where I’m writing my post today:

photo (59)

Yes, OUTSIDE! I don’t think this Friday fave requires any further explanation.


  • Epsom Salts. On the recommendation of my step-mother, I have been soaking my feet in an epsom bath every second day. And, gosh darnit, if it hasn’t just gone and fixed my feet? I don’t know why I never tried this before, but Epsom Salt baths and I are now the bestest of friends. No picture for this one: nausea seems a bit unfair for all you lovely readers on such a nice day.


  • Hard hats.

photo (60)

This week I’ve had family to stay: my dad & step-mum from Sydney, and my brother from Bristol. We went to one of those living museums where the year was 1902. And what should you know about when it comes to the history of the North-East of England? Mining. The museum had a mine you could go down, where there was only 4’6″ standing room. Most miners in this area worked in a mine that was only 2′ tall: incredible. And they only bathed once a week.


  •   This picture contains two of my favourites: Don Draper, and the iPhone. Never before has it been so obvious that Don Draper is the coolest of the cool if he had an iPhone in 1969.

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 14.25.12

  • This book is a great read if you’re looking for something which is gripping, accessible and not-taxing:

husbands secret

I read it on the plane from the U.S. and it was perfect. Plus it’s set on the North Shore of Sydney, so there’s an added nostalgia for me. But seriously: it’s a fun read.

And I’m heading back inside. I’ve sneezed three times while writing this post. It would be such a cruel twist of fate for me to get a cold a) the week before my race and b) on the warmest weekend of the year. Tomorrow is my last ‘long’ run at 14 miles – it’s so strange that 8 weeks ago, 14 miles was the furthest I’ve ran and now it’s something that can be done between dance teaching and supermarket shopping.


Happy Friday everyone!! Enjoy your ice creams!!


Ellie B

Happy Weekend


What is everyone doing this weekend? I am listening to Frankie and going to relax. It’s been a busy few weeks so looking forward to having no obligations this weekend.

I was all set to write a lovely post about my return to running (insert dramatic music here) but have been told I need to wrap this up quickly. So in lieu of running here are some fun links and I’ll come back tomorrow to fill you all in.

Middle Class Problems – a nice update to the first world problems. This was one of my faves J



Is anyone else SUPER EXCITED about the new Wes Anderson movie? Or just this nerd? I was reading an article that started with “As far as Wes Anderson films go, The Grand Budapest Hotel is the Wessiest film that ever Wessed”…..awesome!! It’s not here until April and I am counting down the days.

I bought this book recently on the recommendation of a pal Jason.



It’s a “3-week healthy lifestyle plan to help change your life” and it’s really good so far. I have made a few dishes and everything has been lovely and the exercises are great. Focuses on strength training which you can do at home which I like. The squats are killing me on my runs – my legs are weak! The have a recipe for zucchini (courgette) pasta which we tried on Thursday. Franman is always deeply suspicious of these types of foods but he inhaled it! I bought a spirualiser recently on the recommendation of the BJB and finally used it. so quick and easy, will definitely be using it again.



We blanched them for 30 seconds but you can eat them raw as well. We just dressed them with sesame oil but like pasta, they can take on any flavour. Super nice and recommended. I can add this to the cauliflower fried “rice” and cauliflower mash that Franman approved.


Have you seen Spirit of the Marathon? Well the second one was just released on DVD and I received it on Thursday. I immediately texted Franman to say our evening was sorted which he was super pumped about. 😉


It’s good but I think I prefer the first one. This may also be as there were lots of subtitles – it focuses on the Rome Marathon. Combined with the running, Franman was a little less than focused on it. So I might watch it again to be sure.

Ellie – watch the first one before your race, it’s pretty moving when you are tapering and your head is messed. Don’t worry about that now, we’ll discuss later. 😉


We bought a headboard recently but if I hadn’t I would be making this one. It’s an Ikea Hack which I love! Actually that’s complete BS – I like reading about Ikea Hacks.



I’ll have to get this for Fran. He is ‘flirting with paleo’ at the moment. Which so far appears to be eat lots of bacon




And finally, this is a NYC based website but there is great info on nutrition and training. They do a weekly Refrigerator Look Book which I love to read. More from an aspirational than inspirational but fun all the same.

Have a good one. J