Thursday, 20 June 2013

Ring out Solstice bells!

Happy middle-of-2013, everyone!

It's not very summery here in the UK, is it?  We've had a couple of very warm days this week down here in the South, but I had the heating on only last week.  I read a rather depressing news report a couple of days ago that says the crappy summers and freezing winters we're currently suffering are due to several things, including the Atlantic getting warmer and changes in the Sun's ultraviolet output, the upshot of which is that we're likely to continue having this weather for possibly as long as a decade.  *sigh*.  There's no use complaining about it because there's bugger-all we can do about it, except make sure we're wearing the right kind of clothes for the conditions.

But a few warm days in July and August would be most welcome, Weather Gods.

So, how have things been with you since I last darkened this little corner of the internet?  I'm doing pretty well, thanks for asking.

I've been doing quite a fair bit of running lately, actually.  See, way back in January I set myself the goal this year to run a total of 250 miles.  If you recall, last year I achieved the 100 mile goal I set myself, in fact, got there with a couple of days to spare before the end of 2012, so I decided to push myself a bit harder this year and go for 250.  Then promptly spent a great deal of February and March doing no running at all because of problems with my feet, very nasty colds/flu, and terrible, snowy weather!

I've really had to go for it to make up the shortfall.  Well, *drumroll* I can announce that on Monday this week I passed the 100 mile mark!  That's a whole 6 months quicker than I did it last year!  Weirdly, my speed has barely improved over the entire 2+ years I've now been running, but I'm going much further - I completed my first 10-mile outing recently, although I won't be doing that distance as a matter of course; it took me far too long and nearly crippled me!  But I'm trying to get out 3 times a week and so far I've done 4.3 miles on Monday and 4.5 miles yesterday.  Not sure how far I'll go tomorrow, depends on a lot of things - how much energy I think I've got, what the weather's like, that sort of thing.  There is a great deal of walking involved with my so-called 'running' but at least I'm getting out there and exercising.

Which, combined with the 5:2 Fast Diet, is paying off, weight-wise.  I'm currently 12lbs lighter than I was in February and having to give serious consideration to buying some new, smaller sized knickers as my current ones keep slipping down!  Also new bras need looking at - hooray!

The Lovely Husband is doing the running and fasting as well, and he's benefited enormously.  It turns out that he's a far more natural runner than I, and is now running almost twice as fast as I do, and going for much further distances.  He's enjoying it too, which helps.  He ran his first half-marathon distance the other week, and this past weekend saw him cover 15 miles in one go!  He's also shed almost 40lbs in weight since mid-March which is, frankly, a bit quick really but he was carrying a fair bit of timber and something needed to be done.

So that's the health side of things.  As for the art, I seem to be having a bit of a hiatus at the moment.  I've not painted anything (outside of art class) since the Jewel Beetle of the last post.  It'll come back, of that I'm sure.  I'm just having a bit of a break for the moment.

However, I have submitted three paintings to the annual student learners' summer exhibition at the centre where I have my art classes.  Three of my flower paintings have gone in:

Salvia in meadow, acrylic painting, finished 20.3.13

White Star Flower
White star flower painting finished! 29 March 2013

Pink Cosmos
Purple flower painting finished

I've framed them in white box frames and have put the price at £50 each, which I don't think is unreasonable.  The exhibition runs from 25 June to 5 July and is at the Harvey Gallery, Sydenham Road, Guildford.  If you happen to find yourself in the vicinity, pop along and have a look!  The private view for participants is on Wednesday 26 June and I'm hoping to go along, so will take some photos if I do to share with you all.

And TLH and I are hoping to visit this year's Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in a couple of weekends' time, so watch this space for ninja photo action!!

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