Friday, November 28, 2014

Wide broad on a big bike

IIt's s the end of November Clanettes. Lochie turned 8 last Tuesday and he had a little cinema and pizza outing with two of his friends. He had a pizza themed cake and was generally a very happy fresh new 8 year old.

I left Cycleworld yesterday. After nearly three months I had had enough time to figure out that being the only girl isn't what I'm looking for in a job. They have been great and I have learnt so much. During my final shift I was cheeky enough to ask for a last favour and they gave me great discount on a mountain bike I have been coveting. It's actually a hard tail (front suspension, no back suspension, hence it having a 'hard tail') and a 29er to boot (29 inch wheels, aka massive). 

I was feeling massively inspired anyway, the guys at Cycleworld are mountain bikers, rather than road bikers and so I have watched a lot of amazing footage of downhill races that I just 'had' to watch (aka they put on and made me watch). But when I got my new beauty home, I realised just how inspiring she was... Is..!

Look at her stem cap! 
I'm a little bit in love with Trek as a brand. Amy, my road bike is a Trek too, and during my time at Cycleworld I had to do a number of Trek online tasks and their motto is 'ride the fastest wheel that fits' - a 29er being the biggest wheel you can get. (Yes yes cycle buffs, I know, I know, it's a general rule of thumb!)

So this morning I was super keen to get out on Xena ( yes, I have really named her Xena) and find some mud! There are two extraordinary things to that last sentence... The terms 'keen' and 'mud'.. In the same sentence!
I'm quite a nervous rider at the best of times, and I'm not quite sure where I got the nerve from this morning, but I took myself off to the woods and cycled a fair way a long a small track and then turned around and retraced my steps. I wasn't very fast and I didn't go very far, but I enjoyed myself. I was thrilled at the bike and myself and I haven't felt like that for quite some time.

Riding a big broad bike with rugged wheels is so massively different to teetering on a road bike and I was a little giddy at my confidence. I hate going on unmade roads on Amy, but Xena just powered through the mud and track and kept on going. Brilliant.

I am about to embark on a new chapter at Marks and Spencer's as a Christmas temp and my hours will mean that I have an hour on a Tuesday and Thursday morning to myself.. Maybe to push myself a little further on my 29er. Who knows.

Sunday, November 16, 2014


Hi there. Shocked eh? I know, I'm back and I'm a bit shocked too. So much to say, so much to catch up on.

Lets just say that this blog post here and this one too have made me think about blogging again, about reconnecting and coming out of my cave to find the wi-fi.

Today I pledge to dust myself off, get back on my bike and make a change.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

All change

I think I might have mentioned that my sister had a baby!! I went and met Yvie yesterday, she is a total cutie. I'm so proud of my sister.
Massive thanks to Vikki for taking my kidlets to their first day of school, you're a total life saver VF. Love you xxx
I worked my penultimate shift at Kiddicare today.. So sad to see how little is left of the store! I have LOVED working there, and I'm still a little in denial that's all over.. But it really is, the store closes on Monday and the band of merry (wo)men will all move into new jobs.
I cleaned out my locker today
And helped dismantle signage.. 

I had my first shift at Cycleworld this week. Going forward, I'm going to do school hours on a Tuesday and Thursday, and all day Saturday. I'm the only girl and I was a smidge nervous, so I decided to cycle there (show then I do own a bike and know how to ride it!) that was a big deal too actually, getting on my bike was a bit of a milestone. The journey only took me all of 6 minutes. Result!
I had a great day! They were all really nice to me, I figured out the till and built two bicycles all in my first 5 hours!
I had such a great time that the day flew past and as I swaggered out the door, with them all saying a cheery goodbye... I fell off my bike on the forecourt. CRINGE! Fortunately  nothing but my pride was damaged. 

When I'm anxious and not on the ball, the first thing to suffer is my diet and exercise. 
I've gained 24lbs this summer. I'm finally (f i n a l l y) motivated to sort it. I may be the only girl in the shop, but I do not to want be the fat girl too.
So I'm all over planning my food, using myfitnesspal (username anamcarra) and I will blog about food shortly.

Paul has a new job too! He has been with his current employer for 10yrs, so it was not a light decision. He has gone solo, becoming the director of 'Christie Solutions' and starts a new contract at the end of the month.. I'm so excited for him and the new challenges he is looking forward too.

Thanks for reading Clanettes x x

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


My amazing sister had her baby yesterday! Yvie Belle Swanborough was born at 9.24am, weighing 08lbs 01oz. Congratulations to Emily, Daniel and Leif on your new arrival! I'm an Aunty again!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Moving on

Ah Clanettes. What a time lapse eh. I last posted from Scotland, and now I write from the Isle of Wight. A holiday sandwich!

To say I've had a time of it in the last 6 weeks, is to understate it, but I'm feeling a little more in control now. 

The Kiddicare store where I work is closing and I am being made redundant. I had major anxiety about it. The job is more than a job, it was my life support, my aim post surgery last year, it was my crutch during quiet days, it was my purpose and my colleagues are my friends. The thought of it not being there frightened me. I totally panicked. But I'm excited to say that I have found a new job, in a bicycle shop no less. They are giving me my own perfect hours and they are as excited to finally have a woman on the team as I am excited to be dealing with bikes and cycle mad people. This lady knows bike mad men!

I've been back to the hospital and had confirmation that my back isn't (wasn't) right. I'm not crazy!! Ok, I am, but you totes know what I mean. One of my screws was too close to a nerve, and I've since had an injection into the nerve. It has taken a while to settle, but it is so much better.

There are lots of life updates on the children and on Paul. So much to talk about.

I'm back peeps, don't worry x x x

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Christie wedding

I love a good wedding. I love the fresh faced innocence of true love getting married. There was something extra special about yesterday's Christie wedding, I totes welled up at the vows the resonate as Paul and I celebrate our 10 year anniversary. I felt all smooshy and emotional. 
To Mr and Mrs Rory and Kaye Christie, congratulations on your marriage!! We loved sharing your day, here's to happily ever after xxx

Saturday, June 28, 2014


We are in Scotland for a week!! Paul's cousin is getting married (today!) and all of the Christies have returned to Troon, in Ayr (where Paul and most of his cousins were born). 
The drive took the best part of 8 hours, and we decided to leave at 2.30am to get the most out of no traffic and potential kidlet sleepage.. I was the only one who slept!
The journey was sponsored by Harry Potter and The BFG audio books, and the sound track to 'Frozen' and the musical 'The lion king'. 
We arrived at Paul's uncle's house, said hello to most of the family before going
to check in at our caravan on a haven park.

After the wedding and all the family engagements this weekend, we've got a week of relaxed activates planned. Paul is excited to take the children round the area he remembers from his childhood. Bliss.

Friday, June 27, 2014

New arrival

Welcome to the world Dylan Cai Rhys-Davies!! Your mummy did an amazing job!! So proud of you Elle xxxx

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Thank you

Dear Paul

Thank you for taking over this year, for being strong enough for both us and taking the rough with the smooth, with the rough. 

I know you don't get it, but you are always trying to see beyond my 'block' and look to the positive. You have made the process of being distant from life possible and supported my hesitant return.

How you look after the children on 'Daddy days' fills me with love and pride and joy. They adore the projects you take on with them, the trips out and the treats.

Love you so much, thank you for the last ten years, here's to the next xxxxxx

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Bournemouth baby

Vikki and I took ourselves off for a girly weekend in Bournemouth, we booked a lovely hotel a stones throw from the beach and hopped on a train.. After we had been with Lucy and treat ourselves to some new ink!

The ink I had before

The proposed new ink

The finished (so sore SORE  S O R E!) product

Our weekend went a little like this

Once we arrived in Bournemouth and had checked in, we relaxed in the room for a while, had a little drink and then headed out for the evening.

We had a stroll on the beachside promenade and a ride on the funfair 

Finished up with a late Indian banquet

And then a massive fry up in the hotel the following morning.

A glorious weekend! Thank you for coming to the tattoo shop with us Lucy, thank you for taking me to Bournemouth Vikki xxxxx