Hump Day Update, and Other Musings…

Welcome to hump day – the weekend is in sight! For me this is one of the best nights to go running as it energises me for Thursday and Friday (luckily my running club is on Wednesdays too). Tonight I’m going to do some track work which will hopefully see me wanting to puke by the end, and needing to remind myself that actually, this is fun.



In case you didn’t know, and thought I was being mildly crass.


So far, the splits/running division seems to be working well. I am recovering quicker after my runs, and I’m sure that has something to do with the deep stretching I’m doing on non-running days. Unfortunately for my splits, my hamstrings are still pretty tight, so it’ll be hard work to make this end-of-year target that I’ve just remembered about worked towards for two years.


On Monday night I led a 7k/4.3 mile run with my Tempest Runners. Leading a run is very different to being a participant (‘well, duh’ I can hear you all say). For example, you can’t dash across the road when you see a gap because, as your group tends to follow rather than run alongside, the gap will have closed by the time they get there (this hasn’t happened to us, FYI). And you do need to make sure everyone is being challenged and having fun. When we first started this running group in October, we were doing 1 minute run, 1 minute walks for 20 minutes. Now, we’re doing 5-7kms each time – sometimes with walking, sometimes without – such a great improvement! It just goes to show what you can do in a short period if you keep at it.


I have noticed an endearing quality about UK Christmas: throughout November, people here like to say that it’s too early for Christmas. Then on 1st December, they forget that only the day before they were starring in their own version of ‘A Christmas Carol’. The lights go up , the songs are on, the tinsel is out …. and so are the Christmas jumpers. It’s much more festive  here than Australia, and I don’t know if it’s just me, but does anyone else feel like Christmas is on steroids this year?


So, for a while I thought I had cracked the baking thing. I was making successful desserts all over the place in Summer – heck, I even made fresh banana bread for my buddies when they stayed last month. But last night I added another nemesis to my list: the Gingerbread man.


I have a wonderful fantasy that I’ll make gingerbread men for our neighbours, to go with their Christmas cards, and everyone will think ‘wow, we love those guys, we don’t even mind that their bin overflows and they are crap gardeners’.


Using Julie Goodwin’s recipe, which I followed to the letter, I did a test run last night. This is what happened:


Tragic aren’t they. And these were the successful ones. They tasted good, even if they lacked… finesse.

Julie, how did this happen?! The dough was too dry, so I added milk, and then the dough was too wet and I couldn’t cut the little guys successfully. Those two were the only ones I could get onto the baking tray  without  looking like extras in some kind of Gingerbreadman-Zombie horror film. You’re right, Gingerbread man, I can’t catch you. It looks like my neighbourly fantasy will remain just a fantasy, and we may actually have to tidy our garden.


Does anyone have any tips on what consistency Gingerbread dough should be? Please?