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:

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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).

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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…

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  • 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.

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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

Training in Tunisia

 

Well, Tunisia is a friendly place. It started immediately, when the security guard at the airport wouldn’t give me my passport unless I said I’d be Facebook friends with him. He must have known I’ve been feeling a little lonely, so it was very kind of him. Not! Hahaha – I am not lonely, and my passport is in my maiden name, airport guard!! Good luck!

We are on holiday here for a week, and then our month of jet-setting comes to an end. Out of all the places I’ve ever visited, this is where I feel most uneasy when on my own. We’ve gone out a a few times, and whenever SB isn’t with me, all kinds of people start conversations with me. Generally they’re men, and generally their conversation skills are limited to ‘English? Deutsch? Russki?’ I mean, I’m flattered, but on the whole I like a little more variation in a conversation.

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Having said that, I have gone out running. It may sound stupid based on what I’ve just written – but I’m sure their familiarity is just a consequence of what happens when our culture meets theirs, and that they don’t mean any harm. Any unease is my issue as this isn’t usual behaviour where I live, but that’s not to say their intentions aren’t anything more than curiosity. So I wasn’t going to let that stop me train, readers, no siree Bob!

 

But let’s not be stupid about it. There are a few precautions I took, which are worth doing whenever you’re running in a new place:

  • I checked with the hotel that it was ok to run, and that it was ok to run in my usual running gear (vest top rather than covered arms for example)
  • I took some ID with me
  • I checked the route and made sure it was all main roads
  • I told SB where I was going, and what time I’d be back
  • I did take my music, but had it on a low volume
  • I didn’t really make eye contact with many people, but did pay attention to who I saw
  • I chose an out-and-back route for simplicity so it was harder to get lost, and so people are more likely to remember me if they saw me twice and anything did happen (morbid thought!)

 

I went on a four mile run towards the town centre and back, and I was the only runner I saw. As soon as you leave the hotel, you realise how poor Tunisia actually is: you can’t escape the rubbish on the streets, the cracked pavements, unfinished buildings and the complete-but-tired buildings.

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The number of men I saw outweighed the number of women by about 2:1. However I did see groups of women cleaning up the streets. They had those claws on sticks which my Nana has to grab things – as well as pinching our arms when she’s feeling mischievous – and the streets were lined with little piles of rubbish they had collected. I imagine it’s their job, but it warmed my heart a little to see the streets being tended for like that even if they are being paid to do it.

 

Ok, these are piles of leaves rather than rubbish. But you see what I mean.

Ok, these are piles of leaves rather than rubbish. But you see what I mean.

Running in Tunisia reminded me of Sydney, climate-wise: it was very humid and the sun was very strong. Call me crazy, but I actually really enjoyed it. My muscles warmed up very quickly, and I was able to keep an average 8:30 mile pace.

 

Of course, it could have felt good simply because, for the last four days, all I have done is read books, drink cocktails and eat.

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Don’t you try to tell me that’s an unacceptable amount of Nutella to have with your pancakes. I don’t want to hear it.

If anyone is looking for a good read, I definitely recommend ‘The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair’ by Joel Dicker. It’s a really well-written mystery, and I devoured the 600 pages in two days. It’s soooooo good!

 

Anyway, hope you’re all having a good week.

 

Ellie B