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

Rock Climbing and Gorge Walking. Just Your Average Team Bonding.


Last week we had a regional meeting with all our UK employees. Like EVERYONE’s regional meetings, it included workshops, a big old slap-up dinner, and then some team building activities. The evening activities included a magician who completely blew my mind, and a photo booth where I spent many a few hours:

Screen Shot 2014-10-26 at 19.18.06

I am sporting some lovely gold-star sunnies, and my buddy wears that glitter cowboy hat just right, don’t you think?

But I have to say, our UK manager outdid himself with our team building activities. Last Thursday, our entire UK operations had a day of…. rock climbing and gorge walking!


I have never done either: I’ve done indoor rock climbing before, where you have chalk and nice plastic pieces to hold, where the worst that will happen is your nails will split from all the over-chalking. I’ve never done it outside, where there are no plastic pieces to hold, and where splitting nails is only one of many concerns.


Outdoor rock climbing is a different beast, and concerns that day included ‘my colleagues are responsible for my support ropes, and they’re all rather hungover’, and ‘if I make a wrong move here, I’m going to fall to the ground. Which is made of rock’.


So. We split up into two groups, and I was in rock climbing first. As you’d expect, the weather in Wales in late October was drizzly and grey, but that didn’t dampen our moods! We were ecstatic to be outside on a Thursday – a Thursday for crying out loud! – and we weren’t going to let a little rain get in the way of climbing up a mountain amidst a torrent of annoying humorous banter.

photo 1-23

As a child, climbing trees was my all-time favourite, and I was looking forward to this. But as I reached the half way point, I looked down and felt very nervous: if I slipped, and if my colleagues stuffed up and dropped the rope, there was nothing for me to grab onto quickly to save myself. I’m not scared of heights, but that was a little disconcerting.


However, my team didn’t let me down, and I soon reached the top and back in no time. Actually, it seems I was quite the speedy climber, and when we later held races, I am proud to say that I won mine. That might have been because some of my colleagues amused themselves by twerking on the rock face, because it was the perfect angle for such frivolities.

We also did abseiling, where we literally walked off the side of a cliff, and down. That wasn’t as much fun as the rock climbing, because for me the fun has always been trying to get as high as you can as fast as you can.

photo 3-16

Here is our instructor Will, who was much bemused at the amount of singing that went on in our group.

After lunch, it was our turn to go gorge walking. During lunch, everyone who had done gorge walking first wore a dazed expression, and said things like ‘yeah, no, it was fun, but…. it was cold….it was very cold….’. When we started, I understood what they meant: you are literally walking up a river, climbing over rocks, walking through waterfalls, and jumping off cliffs into freezing cold water.


Sadly, my camera didn't come on the gorge walk. So these pics are from the website.

Sadly, my camera didn’t come on the gorge walk. So these pics are from the website.

More than once, when I stepped from the rocks into the water (which was sometimes above my head), I felt like Rose in Titanic when she gets that axe to free Jack. I summoned her strength and determination, and made it through with dignity, although every time we had to jump from a cliff into the water, I couldn’t help but give an almighty shriek.

I looked just as glamorous as this during my gorge walk. I think my Edwardian dress did the trick.

I looked just as glamorous as this during my gorge walk. I think my Edwardian dress did the trick.

It. Was. Amazing. That was my favourite activity of the day – it was slippery, cold, challenging and exhilarating. And the scenery was gorgeous. The water was crystal clear, and the water alternated from being a river to being rapids with rocks, or waterfalls down mini-cliffs (I mean, they weren’t 18-feet or anything). All the while, we were framed by black, slender, spidery tree trunks and golden Autumn leaves.


The next day, more than a few of us had sore muscles: it turns out rock climbing and gorge walking is a great workout for your adductors and core! That evening, after our group disbanded as the conference was over, I went back to my hotel room and had a Pizza Express takeaway pizza. And I ate the lot.


Ellie B

Have a fabulous weekend


What are you up to this weekend? Franman and I are getting closer and closer to settling on our house – can’t believe it. We found the house back in April and it feels like it will never happen. But we’re at the buying fridges and sofas stage so getting there!

I started this book last night  – Angriest Trainer – It had great reviews online but for me it’s only ok.


It’s too hot for scarves and gloves in Perth, even in winter! But if I lived back in Ireland I would be getting these!

C Wonder



How fabulous are these cake servers? I think they would make a lovely “Secret Santa” gift for a baking loving pal.

Tart servers

I ordered some Christmas cards yesterday. I really wanted to do an ironic Christmas jumper photo card but Franman was having none of it. This was as personalised as I was allowed. If you want to get something similar I used – so many options and if you wait they always have a promo on.



Oh, on another note, have you seen this story doing the rounds? Are we still allowed kill animals for fun?


Lately, I am obsessed with the idea of monogramming. I know it’s super naff and I blame American home ware websites. But sue me, I love it! If anyone is stuck for a present for me for Christmas this would do……


Cocktail Napkins


I’ve been trying to find some cool vintage photographs for the new house and came across these rare photos of famous people.


If you have no plans this weekend, go and see this movie. I cannot stress how good it was! Broke my heart as it’s one of James Galdolfini’s last movies. But also made me laugh. It’s just great.


I love love love Christmas tunes. I’ve been caught listening to the Pandora Christmas station in work too many times. But I’ll be the first to admit they can grate after a while. I found this (free or pay what you like) digital download of three Christmas albums and have been loving them. There are 3 albums and hopefully a fourth new one this year. you can download them here


have a lovely weekend!

Gill xx



Well, Perth seemed to skip Spring and jump right through to Summer! We are sweltering here at work! Thank heavens Perth is on the coast – lots of beach time. I run at 6am tomorrow and it will be 23C (77F) – in retrospect training for the marathon is easier in the winter here!


So what’s catching my eye this Friday? Keeping me from clearing my desk? Planning for this sunny weekend! Oh, before I begin. Did you see this article about runners in the Wall Street Journal? It’s so silly it makes me think it was written purely for publicity. There are a lot of rebuttals already – what do you think?


I bought this playsuit (can a 33 year old wear a ‘playsuit’?) for a bbq tomorrow. And cannot wait to wear it! Would you do wedges or flats?




We are having my colleagues and their kids over for a bbq / pool party on Sunday and  I’m in charge of salads. This is what I am thinking so far…..any other ideas?


Pea, Mint & Avocado salad – Nigella Lawson

Roasted pumpkin and quinoa salad –

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Sandwiches

And it wouldn’t be a party without Rachel Allen cake

If I was allowed I’d get this flatware from West Elm for the bbq…….



New York Magazine recently ran a story about gadget sickness, or how a phone can drive you nuts. What do you think? Would you leave your phone off all weekend? I am terrible for checking my phone and ipad. I definitely need a detox and want to start turning it off on Saturdays.


Have good one J

Monday Musings

Not having a long run and training at the weekend is weird; I don’t know what to do with myself! Have so much free time to mess about and see people. And not fall asleep at 8pm on a Saturday evening. It’s quite nice!

Here are my favourite picks from what I read this weekend.


How cool is this resume! I work for a large social media company and deal with the Talent side of our company so love stuff like this!!! Interactive Resume


You should follow this blog;  It’s written by Paul Shankman who consults with large companies and brands, is a well known speaker – TED talks etc – and a pretty cool guy.  This article gives you a feel for how he writes – get up early!!!   Some great ideas and lessons to be learnt from his blog both professionally and personally.


I love Granola, mainly as it’s sweet and you are allowed have it for breakfast. But I can never make it as good as I buy; I think that’s because I try to make it healthy. This article solves my never ending battle to get clumps: How to get clumps in your granola using egg white!  Who would have thunk it! Apparently some people don’t like clumps….WTF people! You may as well just eat oat flakes. FYI Food 52 is an awesome resource for recipes.



Source: Food 52


I am going to a wedding in a few weeks and we were told we need to wear wedges as it’s on grass! Horray for wedges. J Hard to find a dressy pair though – they all look very clumpy. My dress is red and I wasn’t sure what colour to go for.

What do you think of the following? Yes / No?


Interesting video clip from an interview with Martha Stewart and how bloggers aren’t experts. I imagine many lifestyle bloggers worship at the feet of Martha Stewart so would be keen to see their reaction. What do you think? Is there a lot of copying in blogs? I follow a few running blogs and often read the same stories around the same time.




Are you dressing up for Halloween? Celebrity Halloween Costumes. Also, Paris Hilton went as Miley………ah the irony!



The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders – an SNL skit about a Wes Anderson Horror Movie. Very funny….or do you have to be a Wes Anderson fan to enjoy?