My 30th birthday and one to remember!

Rewind four months ago, to early January. I was sending save the dates to friends and family because this year, my birthday fell on Easter Sunday and I was turning 30. At first I’d planned not to have a party, but instead a few close friends and family over for tea and cake, but the more I thought about it, the more ideas filtered into my head and I started to get excited.

I’d booked a hotel room, secured a band, found a baker to make my cake and ordered invitations to send out. Then within weeks a pandemic had hit the world and events were being cancelled left, right and centre. I held on, very tightly, to the fact I could still hold my party but within a few days, things had escalated and it was when my friend Cortney told me she was cancelling her flights to the U.K., that it really hit hard. Gutted, to say the least, I had a strop, cried hard and shouted. This virus was ruining events for everyone but that aside, it was also killing people in its path and was not a force to be reckoned with.

As weeks turned into months, we all came accustomed to our new way of life. Everyday felt like the movie Groundhog Day, and no, I don’t suggest you watch it! And, with the Easter weekend fast approaching, I was going to make it my mission to not let it be like any other weekend. Running up to my birthday, flowers, gifts and lots of post started arriving and I was actually feeling quite excited about celebrating.

On Sunday morning I woke up and the sun was shining. With the rest of the household, including the dog, still fast asleep, I snuck out for a short run. It was so beautiful and warm out, wearing shorts (finally) and feeling the sun on my skin was so lovely. I returned home, showered and put on my favourite dress. I was determined to make this day different to any other day, and just wearing a dress made me feel so much better. I came down to find the kitchen table decorated with balloons, presents, cards, coffee and breakfast cooking. We took it slow, I opened my cards and the presents followed.

Throughout the day, the love I received was overwhelming. Alongside the cards, flowers (SO many flowers!!) and presents family and friends had sent, the messages, comments on my social media, texts and Facetime made it so special. So thank you so much to everyone for all your love!

The rest of the day was spent in the warm, sunny garden. We had tea and cake, that my friend had very kindly made me, and boy was it good! I have to admit it did NOT last more than a few days. We Facetimed my uncle, then my aunt before my dad and I took some cake to my Grandma’s house. She lives only a short 5 minute drive away, and she needed some other essential items, which we dropped off too. Don’t worry, we stood the 2 metres apart, after dropping everything on her doorstep, knocking on her door, and standing back. She lives alone and I think is starting to find everything really quite hard. Seeing others in person is a lot different to seeing them on the screen or hearing them on the phone, and I think she really enjoyed a chat and seeing us on our short visit.

Home and sat with a gin and tonic, I took this moment to think and reflect on my day. No it was no where close to what I had planned it to be, but it was wonderful. I was with two of my very favourite people, I had cake, Mungo, and was showered with love. I felt special and if you ask me, that’s exactly what you should feel on your birthday!

A massive thank you to everyone, again, for all the presents, love, messages and birthday wishes. I am truly lucky to have every single one of you in my life. I can’t wait for this lockdown to end, so I can see friends and celebrate through plans that have been made, and for next April to come, when I will be celebrating my 30+1 birthday with a bang!

Much love to you all!

Emma xx

Brilliant video made by my cousin and aunt!

1 month of being furloughed and lockdown life

A friend, who always comments on my blog posts (because, truthfully, I never thought anyone even read them), recently made a suggestion to me about what I should post about. I really like it when anyone gives me ideas, as I do find it hard to find things to write about. So please do comment or let me know what you’d like me to post about!

 

I can’t quite believe it’s been a month since Boris Johnson announced lockdown. Like many of you, I wasn’t surprised. Other countries at this point had already called their lockdown and set stringent rules for the public to follow. Listening to him make the announcement was…mixed. My heart was in my throat, I felt nervous, anxious and worried but also relieved – it was the right decision. The seriousness of this situation had finally hit home. Hard.
A few moments later, I got a call from my boss. He told me, nicely, that I shouldn’t come back into work and agreed to touch base once they had figured out the next step and discuss then. Going to bed feeling exhausted, and life as we knew it, was about to change.

The next day I woke up feeling all out of sorts. It was a beautiful sunny day, so I decided to take myself for a run to get out for some fresh air. We were now only allowed to exercise outside, once a day.
Later on I had a call from my boss, explaining that the only option they had was to put me on furlough (temporary leave). I’d seen this word floating around a few days prior to lockdown but didn’t look into it. It means that I will be paid 80% of my salary, from my boss, who is then reimbursed by the government. I was happy, sort of, with they had proposed by couldn’t help but feel helpless already. I knew that this plan was the best for everyone but as my bosses were still able and expected to work, from home, I felt like I wasn’t pulling my weight in the whole situation. Many friends, and my parents reassured me that I was doing my part in all of this – staying home, protecting the NHS and saving lives. Hard to accept and do, and to this day, it still is.

So now the real challenge began…keeping myself in a routine and occupied.
I decided my days/weeks would be based around my usual exercise classes/activities, runs and very quickly I got myself into a loose routine. I am so thankful to my PT, pilates teacher and friends, who have kept their classes and PT going over zoom. I started looking into ways of helping the local community, by baking and cooking meals, and to help my anxiety and worries, I limited the amount of news I watch and read.
I can’t imagine being on my own through all of this and my heart goes out to everyone who is finding it hard at the moment. I want you all to know that my DM, messages, are always open if you need someone to chat to. Please don’t hesitate to get in contact.

As days turned into weeks, albeit slowly, I do feel like I have settled into this new way of life. Yes some days are harder than others, but I’m learning to take each day as it comes and deal with the different emotions each one brings. Alongside classes I’ve been reading, watching some TV, started Gilmore Girls again, Facetime friends and family, baking and cooking for the staff at local hospitals, helping mum sew bags and scrubs and popping out to get essentials for both us and Granny. I’ve really enjoyed these little things, as it makes me feel like I am helping and doing my part in all of this.

With many more weeks of lockdown to endure, I plan to keep the same tasks and routine in place and my aim is to finish another book.

I wanted to thank everyone for their support, love, kind words, funny quotes but most importantly to the NHS staff, service men and women, staff at the supermarkets, and anyone else going out daily to work. You are all amazing, you’re keeping this country going and I can’t thank you enough.

Take care everyone. Stay strong, positive, remember to smile and embrace the little things that mean so much at the moment. This will pass and will come out the other side.

All my love,

Emma

Happenings March 2020

A little later than I had intended to post this blog, but anyway, here it is! A post I always enjoy doing and, as always, inspired by Heidi.

DOING: Sat at the kitchen table with the backdoor wide open and the sun streaming in.

HEARING: The birds chattering outside and the dog crunching at a pre walk treat.

DRINKING: Water and a very strong coffee. I’m so glad I bought a double bag of beans from a local cafe in town the other week!

BUYING: Local produce, from small businesses. Be it in the form of a veggie box, meat from the local butcher (which we’ve always done) coffee beans or bread. Some of our favourite restaurants and cafes have also been offering a ‘fill your freezer’ menu, so we’ve purchased a few meals from them to have.

EATING AND COOKING: Lots of fresh vegetables and fruits. Making do with what we can get, when we can get it. Ocado hasn’t been the most reliable source to get food from, but we’ve been enjoying making meals with what we have to hand – in fact I actually love this challenge. Don’t get me wrong, following a recipe, but also enjoy experimenting and putting different flavours together.

WANTING: Life to go back to normal, for everyone. So badly.

LOOKING: Forward to running with friends, drinking coffee in a coffee shop and watching the world go by but mostly hugging everyone!!!

DECIDING: What to do on my birthday….this year it falls on Easter Sunday. I feel like I want to do a challenge of 30 things…any ideas more than welcome!

ENJOYING: This beautiful, warm and sunny weather. It’s making being at home, and not working, a lot easier. I can play in the garden with Mungo and sit in the sun and read my book. I’m also enjoying just moving slowly, especially in the mornings.

WATCHING: A few films on Disney+, ‘The Nest’ on BBC 1 (which I HIGHLY recommend to everyone!) and ‘The Morning Show’ a recommendation from Anna!

READING: ‘The Giver of Stars’ By JoJo Moyes. My mum was reading it, as I was half way though ‘Cilka’s Journey’ at the time. A book I highly recommend alongside ‘The Tattooist of Auschwitz’ (both written by Heather Morris.

WEARING: Gym leggings, fluffy socks and my favourite high school sweatshirt! All about the comfy clothes at the moment and I honestly can’t tell you the last time I wore “proper” clothes…maybe a goal for my birthday on Sunday!!

PLANNING: Tomorrow….I’d love to say I was planning things for next week or next month or the summer, but right now I feel like we are living day by day, and at a push, week by week.

PLAYING: Staying sane….and occupied! I’ve written a list of jobs I want to get done and they will all be ticked off by the time this is all over!

CRAVING: Seeing friends and family/social interaction! I am very lucky that I still live with my parents, so I’m not alone, but boy do I miss seeing familiar faces! Sorry zoom and Facetime, you’re great, but just not cutting it!

LOVING: The huge amount of people who have clubbed together to get fabric to people to help make scrubs for the NHS staff. Along with companies etc who are donating gloves, masks etc. The sense of community and coming together to help each other out, at this hard time, is overwhelming and such a warming feeling. Well done everyone, and a massive thank you to NHS staff! 💙

SAVOURING: This period of time where, those who are able, can slow down and be at home. Safe and with loved ones, be it our boyfriend, husband, children and pets.  To those of you at home alone, I hope you are doing well and just know that you are in my thoughts everyday, as I can imagine this can’t be easy.

FEELING: Loved. Safe. Lucky. Thankful. For everything in my life.

To everyone who is reading this. Stay safe, stay well, stay positive and strong. Sending lots of love and positive vibes your way and remember –

“This, too, shall pass” William Shakespeare.

Much love,

Emma xx

London Marathon Postponed

As you’ve all probably heard, the London marathon, along with many others, have been postponed. To say I’m gutted, annoyed, sad is an understatement, but I know it’s the right thing. I’m sorry to everyone who has trained so hard, for it all to be put on hold.

So what happens now? Well, I plan to continue with my training. I’ve not worked this hard, put a large amount of time in and woken up at 4.30am to run before work, to let it all go to waste. I have one back up marathon – Newport Marathon in Wales – however I feel, that too, will be postponed. If that is the case, my plan is to run 26.2 miles on the day of the London Marathon around where I live. I know a few friends who plan to join me for parts and my parents will be out along the “course” to cheer me on.

The world is a funny and unknown place at the moment. I don’t like it and I hope this virus dies and buggers off soon…wishful thinking, I know!!

So, be prepared for more running spam on both my instagram and blog, because I’m not stopping until the final run is done!

Stay well everyone, wash your hands often and well, and check on elderly and loved ones!

Emma xx

Brooks Run Happy Team – class of 2020

At the beginning of the year I was chosen to be part of the Brooks Run Happy Team and couldn’t have been more excited! An absolute privilege and honour to be part of an amazing team to represent a brand I love and continue to inspire people to run.

We weren’t told much on our “invitation” except that we would be meeting in Hammersmith for an afternoon of learning, meeting the team and lots of fun! I jumped on the train mid morning on Friday, coffee in hand, having planned to meet a few of the team at Paddington. We travelled together to the venue and welcomed with open arms to this –

Goodies awaiting us, alongside a bag of kit!

With many hellos said, we all sat down to be told what to expect for the afternoon ahead. We introduced ourselves by playing a quiz game and then the “classes” began. We were mixed up into three groups and rotated our way round the three “classes” which consisted of Photography, Technology and History.

Learning all about that perfect shot!
Technology lesson!
Taking us back to where it all began!
Between “classes” we got to have a bit of fun….here I am with Jez (he runs every race in a Stormtrooper outfit – legend!)
And Dan, our very own running banana!!!

With a bit of learning done and some things to take away and put into practice, it was time to run in the new Hyperion Tempo, that we had kindly been gifted!!! We were split into two teams, we ran first and the other team did a yoga class.

Let’s go!
So lovely spending the day with this lady 🙂
An amazing bunch of people!

Back from the run, it was our turn to be treated to a easy, stretchy yoga class. An experience, to say the least, for some of the members of the team!!! Runners back, pizza delivered and eaten, we were then told more about the Brooks partnership with Parkrun – which I’m afraid you’ll have to wait a little bit long for some more information!!

Soon our day was over and it was time to head home. With a massive smile on my face and some very tired legs, I made my way to the train feeling very content and happy. I’d had the best day. It was so lovely to meet everyone and I can’t express how kind, welcoming, friendly and hugely inspiring every single person is. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year holds with them!

The most beautiful sunset in Hammersmith!

Hope you have all had a wonderful weekend!

Emma xx