The Hanging Gardens of Walkerville

I haven’t been in the most chipper of moods lately. To be honest, I’ve been feeling quite cynical and disillusioned. But the cloud is lifting – it always does – and there have been been a few rays of sunshine this week. The biggest was a little bit of CSI work I got involved with, through the company I work for.

We have this campaign on the go at the moment about “sustainable growth” and how we are all about building better futures and making positive change. There’s been much publicity internally and externally about the various CSI initiatives we are involved in.

The growth thing began with a tiny little box placed on each of our desks with a plant kit inside. After staring at it for a few days, I finally delegated the planting of the seeds to Claire. We were overjoyed when our little Swiss Chard finally sprouted a teensy Swiss Chardling! Now if only I could remember to water the damn thing!

Plants are so not my thing… I could probably find a way to kill a plastic plant if I tried!

Last week we were invited to watch Bongani Bingwa, of Carte Blanche fame, interview one of our CSI partners. We were also invited to participate in a mystery CSI project during the course of this week. I, being the corporate good sport I am, stuck my hand in the air for the mystery project.

The person that Bongani interviewed was an amazingly inspirational woman named Nonhlanhla Joye and her story is just incredible. And while what she does is seriously clever, it involves gardening. Did I mention that gardening is not my thing?

So guess what the mystery project was?  Gardening, obvs! We were building Mama Joye’s raised food gardens in various underprivileged areas around Jozi.

Yay… I guess.

So off I went to Walkerville with a bunch of colleagues who I barely knew, brimming with fake enthusiasm and trying to ignore the fact that I’m now too fat for my purple volunteer t-shirt ignore the sniffly cold I’d developed overnight.

Well nothing like a bit of charity work put things in perspective, right? Right!

The garden-making was pretty cool. The concept really is very clever:

All we really had to do was hang recycled, soil filled bags on the wooden frames and then plant seedlings in each. I hardly even got a dirty hand.

We finished by giving each newly planted seedling a drink of water to bed it down properly. For that part, we had assistance from some little kids from a local care centre. These kids have very recently tragically lost a fellow learner in a road accident and they are going through a very sad time. The sadness was almost palpable.

But whilst they were sad, they were also incredibly sweet and earnest and enthusiastic and they were the highlight of my day! For a while I forgot all my un-chipper nonsense.

We showed them what to do and each child dutifully filled their beakers with water and took turns at watering each bag. Ok, so some seedlings got more water than others – but all is fair in love and gardening. One of the guys who was busy building the frames assured me that once they make the holes in the bags for drainage, the lettuce would be just fine.

I really needed this afternoon of simple innocence to gain some perspective. And I’m almost convinced that I could manage an Umgibe veggie garden in my backyard… almost.

Check out Mama Joye’s website here.

And speaking of websites… I have exciting news about my blog changes. I’m one step closer to the big reveal. Watch this space 😉

Inspiration Everywhere!

On a very good day, I spend about 90 minutes in traffic on my commute to and from work. That’s an hour and a half of my waking hours staring at cars in front of me and dodging taxis. Last year, I made a conscious decision to be more discerning about what to do with my ears during that time. I’ve always preferred talk radio to music radio. And as much as I enjoy music, I am not much of a music listener in my car. My commute changed, very much for the better, when I started listening to online radio, podcasts and audiobooks.

In terms of online radio – it’s mostly cliffcentral.com. I can’t lie – I’ve been a fan of Gareth Cliff since his early days on 702. He is the same age as me and I was fascinated back then by how he, as a 21 year old, could hold his own, be so smart, confident and erudite on a prime time show on a popular radio station. I guess you could say I have a crush on his brain. I was super excited to pick up Gareth and his team online. His show is clever and funny, irreverent and sometime totally politically incorrect and so much fun to listens to. I reckon that an evening at a pub with the people on his the team would just be the best evening!

I don’t get to hear the whole show in the morning so I listen live while I am driving to work and often pick up on third hour of the show as a podcast on my afternoon drive home.In the third hour of the show, Gareth mostly does interviews. This week has been particularly cool, with both Monday and Tuesday’s interviews being fascinating!

Monday’s interview was with a guy named Matthew Kanniah who has been picked up by the legends of Top Gear – Clarkson, Hammond and May for their DriveTribe project. I enjoyed the chat with Matthew but more than anything, I was struck by his go-for-it attitude. He is a 25 year old petrol-head blogger and he got picked up by the ex-Top Gear dudes as a result of his tweeting and following the DriveTribe producers and then having the guts to share his work with them. Now that I’ve checked out his work on Instagram, I have followed him and I am super keen to see where he goes! I guess the point is just to put yourself out there. You never know where or who might see you and like what you do!

The next awesome interview I listened to was with Robby Kojetin. Another supercool chat with great banter between Gareth and his guest. I’ve never come across Robby before but wow, what a story! He’s an adventurer and is on his way to climbing all of the seven summits. The really, really amazing part is that he spent over a year in a wheelchair after a really silly and horrible accident. He was so down and out after the accident that he literally counted out the Synap Forte’s to off himself! The only reason he didn’t was because he didn’t have the magic number of pills – the number he was sure would do a thorough job. Even more thought provoking and inspirational than picking himself up from rock bottom and literally summiting Everest, was his talking about about bucket lists. Making a list of things you want to do and then actually doing them. This post sums up the idea beautifully! Please click on the link – you won’t be sorry. I think it’s time I started writing my bucket list down. I really want to read Robby’s book now. From listening to him on the radio, it sounds like he would write a pretty good story!

The final “Aha” moment (yes – I just Oprah’ed) that I’m going to write about was a short little podcast that I picked up while I was driving home last night from my stats class. Rich Mulholland is a really rad speaker that I follow. I’ve heard him live – he spoke at the induction training that I attended when I joined Hollard. He is a regular visitor to Gareth’s show. I think I have a crush on his brain too. I love super intelligent people (that’s also why I adore my hubby!) Anyway, Rich was talking about “curiousity boxes” – the idea that instead of thinking out the box, you think outside your own box. How being curious makes you a more interesting person. Taking time to learn about something you know nothing about.

You know how you start watching a TED talk about something completely random and unrelated to your life and before you know it, you’re drawn completely in and you’re kinda sad when it’s over and you want to tell everybody to watch? That. (Or is that just me?)

This little piece really resonated with me and reminded me to download some more podcasts and audiobooks. Apple and Audible have amazing selections. And maybe I need to be more random in my podcast selection and open more curiosity boxes?

Three very cool lightbulb switching talks and it’s only Wednesday. Imagine what I would be like at SXSW or Design Indaba or a TED conference (which, btw, is definitely on my bucket list!)FullSizeRender

Back to School Sanity-Savers

Geez – this back to school stuff is expensive! This year particularly , what with the teen entering high school and needing an entire new uniform!

By uniform, I’m not talking white shirt, grey pants and black shoes. I haven’t even done that shopping yet! I’m talking blazer, a straw basher (umm – what century are we in again?), PT kit, house shirt, rugby shirt, rugby boots, tracksuit… the list is literally endless!

And then there has to be new bags and pencil cases for both. We teased the tween and told her that she could just inherit her brother’s bag if hers wasn’t good enough. He could have a new one, because new school and all *evil laugh*!

Seriously though, after a year of hard use, they both need new bags! And then there was the task of convincing the tween that the pretty sparkly satchels that you can buy at “Typo” and “Claire’s” are not appropriate for lugging around a pile of exercise books, text books, stationery and three week old sandwiches and banana skins. I wish I were kidding about the bananas but the tween’s main complaint was that her backpack smelled of banana. I’m sure that it is at this juncture that my mom or aunt will remind me of the time they discovered a couple of moulding peanut butter sarmies in my school bag when I was about 9 – all neatly flattened in-between those cardboardy compartments that all uncool school bags had.

Anyways – back to the shopping. I’ve been doing this back to school thing for a fair number of years and these are some of my top tips for the back to school drill:

  • We have a super awesome little stationery shop in our local mall that make up stationery packs according to individual requirements. I simply emailed them the lists that I got from the school for each grade and within the day I had a quote and by the end of the week the packs were ready and waiting to be picked up and paid for. And price wise, they’re really competitive. I did a spot check on one or two of the more expensive items like the scientific calculator and they were really well priced. So, so, so much easier than fighting your way through Makro or Game or CNA and hunting on hands and knees for a specific 745 page right margined, half quad and half feint A25 work book.
  • We always buy new stationery as per the lists provided each year so that the kids start the year off with some excitement about all things shiny and new. I speak from experience as I can’t get motivated to get going with my own studying with yucky old stationery. I go through all the old stuff and save what is usable for the home work desks. I sharpen all the pencils and test the khokis and highlighters and throw out the broken and almost finished. Spare scissors, glues, sharpeners, compasses and protractors are kept aside for those last minute “mom, I’ve lost …” requests, five seconds before we are due to leave the house.
  • And sticking with glue (see what I did there?) I also buy a couple of extras because they ALWAYS run out! I also always buy a pad of coloured poster paper to keep aside – for those last ditch attempts at projects.
  • If you don’t fancy keeping last year’s used pens and pencils etc – spare a thought for the needy kids who don’t get awesome new goodies!
  • I strip the clean paper out of last year’s partially used exercise books and keep it in one of those clear plastic storage boxes from Westpack. Scrap paper is always useful for random things shopping lists and visits from littlies wanting to draw. That’s about as far as my recycling of school stuff goes. I tried once to melt down a gazillion wax crayons into one big one – but that was a waste of time and energy. Thank goodness my kidlets are past the wax crayon stage!
  • If you do have to buy paper text books and particularly if you plan to pass them down to younger siblings – take your time to cover them with sticky backed plastic. It makes such a difference to keeping them in a decent state so that the younger sibling doesn’t cringe with embarrassment when their turn comes to using the books.
  • And on the note of hand-me-down books, I’ve now dedicated a bookshelf for text books and set works and dictionaries etc. Saves us having to fork out extra ronts when sibling 2 needs a book that you’re 110% certain sibling 1 had and can’t find anywhere until months after it is needed.
  • Get the kids involved in getting all this back-to-school stuff ready. Seriously. If they can write their names legibly, they can help with the labelling! I’d also like to take this moment to thank the stationery gods for slip on plastic book covers!
  • takealot.com has an awesome selection of school bags at good prices. Let’s just hope ours arrive in time for school next week. I left the ordering till today, but online shopping really is the bomb.com

What are your tips and tricks for back to school? And tell me I’m not alone with the mouldy sandwiches, please!

Love,

Hil

P.S. My little local stationery shop has branches in Randpark Ridge and Morning Glen. Find them on http://www.capmor.co.za/ – they didn’t ask for a punt – I just think they’re super cool!

From the other side

I woke up a little stiff this morning, after yesterday’s Adrienne Hersch/Randburg Harriers race. And I didn’t even run. I was there though. My shoulders were a little achy from holding out water sachets for all the runners!

Our Run/Walk for Life branch looked after the 8km water point so a bunch of us crazies woke up early, long before dawn cracked and  a sparrow farted, donned our RWFL shirts to go set up our 10 water tables.

To the non runner, you may wonder why we would get up so early, on Mother’s Day Sunday, in the chilly weather, to hand out water sachets and cups of coke.

Because it’s fun!

We made bacon rolls on a skottel braai and drank coffee from flasks. We worked together. We chatted to neighbours and felt like part of a community. We laughed and joked. We cheered for the thousands of runners as they ran past. Runners who included family, friends and colleagues as well as some of SA’s top runners. We got to see Caroline Wostman speed by, as she tapers before Comrades in three weeks as well as Rene Kalmer, who won the race.

I got to give my hubby a sweaty hug mid-race – he ran the 21k with his brother, Jonathan. And massive kudos to Jonathan who ran and finished the 21 k in a great time, despite having not run further than a 10k training run in months. It was fabulous seeing the two brothers running together.

The kids were with us and loved every minute, hanging out with their mates, cheering the runners on, handing out drinks and stomping on the left over water sachets at the end. Without a doubt, most runners would much rather grab the water from the little ones! I loved my niece’s squeals of excitement every time she “sold” a water to a runner.

Without wanting to sound too precious about this whole running thing, I think that it is really important, if I am to be part of a community, to give back a bit. It’s fun as well as valuable to experience the water tables from the other side. To witness and be a small part of the hard work that goes into organising these events. It gives me so much appreciation  and reminds me that a smile and a joke with the workers and the marshals makes the whole experience more special for all!

And finally, a note on the event organiser, Graham Block. This man is such a hero in our running circles. He organises amazing weekend long runs from Virgin Active Randburg, with refreshments, each and every weekend! He also organises weekday shorter runs from the Boskruin Shopping Centre. He has a heart of gold and never fails to inspire us with his kindness, dedication, humour and warm laugh. Thank you Graham!

So with that, I will leave you with a few photos from the morning!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Anti-Diet Project

It’s Sunday, the 1st of May. I’ve spent the last few days contemplating how I would restart my diet food plan for life today. Debating whether it was viable to start today, considering it’s a Sunday and a long weekend and all. It would have been so much better if this first day of a new month fell on a working Monday…everyone knows it’s better to start a diet way of eating on a Monday. But August (when the 1st of the month does actually fall on a Monday and that’s three months away, by which time I may have put on another ten kilograms by eating last suppers before the diet healthy way of life begins. images

I wish I could say I was just trying to be funny in that first paragraph, but that really is how my head works. I plan to start my diet eating well almost each week and sometimes I succeed for a few hours or days and sometimes I succeed for a few weeks and even months. Sometimes the will is strong and sometimes it is non-existent. Sometimes I try to make the changes holistic and I journal, support group etc etc. Sometimes I toy with the idea of a quick fix, a crash diet kick start. Even though I have learned my lesson and gotten the XL t-shirt from those supposed miracle cures, I still catch myself looking twice at an advert, or pricking up my ears when I hear a conversation about how great Mary looks after trying *insert wonder obesity cure here*.

Okay, so back to my pondering about the best way and day to start my diet way of life. It may sound a bit hippy trippy (my friends know know that I am a bit of a wannabe hippy anyway) but I’m a bit of a believer in the universe sending me messages. This week, as I searched through my Kindle app (which I haven’t touched in a while) for something new to read, I came across a book that I had bought and never read called “Intuitive Eating”. I found an unread novel too, but this book caught my attention and I kept thinking about it… that maybe I should actually try reading it. This morning, I read the prologue and a bit of the first chapter. And then I decided to do some internet research… and came across the anti-diet project  and got to reading some of the many blog posts and I suddenly feel inspired, and a little, no actually a lot, terrified.

The basic idea is re-teaching yourself the very basic, and what should be obvious, skill of eating instinctively. Eating what your body craves, when it craves it, and as much, or as little as it craves. It sounds pretty straight forward, but when you have spent over half your life dieting, it really isn’t. It’s a complete paradigm shift – away from the legal/illegal foods, the cheats, the points, the good carbs and bad carbs, the good fats and bad fats.It’s not about losing weight. That is probably the most terrifying aspect of all. I want to be thin. There! I said it. Yes, I want to be healthy and wise, but I also really want to be THIN. And this is not about being thin. It’s about being at peace with yourself, your body and your mind. And that… that is just so appealing!

I have no idea whether this new idea will bed down, take shape, grow and no promises about whether I will ever even post about this again, because it is a mere seed of a plan at this stage, but I am going to hit “Publish” on this post, and go to bed and read a bit more of the book. And for tomorrow, there will be no diet, no legal or illegal food. Somehow, I feel a little more peaceful knowing that.

If you have any thoughts on this, I would absolutely love to hear them.

 

 

A Lousy Little Tale 

img_0676*Beware… This post might make you itch!*

We are almost at the end of the first term of school and I’m about to tell you a tale about something that happened very early in the first weeks of this school year. It’s taken me this long to write about it because I really needed to put some distance between me and the traumatic event. And I’m not exaggerating- it was that traumatic!

So there I was, early one school morning, brushing my daughter’s hair, when she remarked that her head was itchy. Truth be told, she had mentioned it before and I hadn’t really thought much about it – I just assumed that she hadn’t rinsed her her properly after washing. She’s a big girl now and I mostly leave her to do her own ablutions and just check in on what’s happening behind the ears now and then. She also generally ties her hair up herself and it’s only when she wants to do something special, that I get involved. Well this was one @ those days. She mentioned the itchiness and I parted her mass of long brown hair and took a closer look. And there it was… Although I had never seen one before, it was unmistakable. A creepy crawly creature, about the size of a sesame seed, hanging out in my daughter’s hair. She had lice.

My heart sank and I wanted to cry. I didn’t because I didn’t want to freak her out, but I just knew, from the mother grapevine, what a nightmare lice are to get rid off. I told her to not to bother with getting dressed, it was going to be a stay at home day for her. I also suggested, in the kindest possible way, that she stay off the furniture. I left a request for my domestic helper to wash all the linen, on super hot, and tumble dry what couldn’t be washed. I needed to be at work that day, but I don’t think I was terribly productive – I think I spent most of the day googling “how to nuke lice without harming the head on which they’re feeding”. There is an astonishing amount of information on this, let me tell you. From how-to instructions to home remedies like coca-cola, coconut oil and straightening irons.

Besides googling, I had to make the phone call to the school to confess my shameful failing as a parent. I know, I know, it’s a seriously common problem amongst kids, and absolutely no reflection on us, but it just felt so embarrassing! The school secretary was awesome. She’d clearly handled calls like this before and was sympathetic and light and made me feel a little less like a leper.

That afternoon, I drove home via Dischem and stood staring at the medicated hair care range for ages. What to pick? The hippy tea tree stuff or the one with the cartoon louse being bonked on the head with a hammer? And then which product from the range to choose? The dip or the spray? Is the shampoo necessary too?  I chose a couple of products and went home to wage warfare on my daughters head. We sprayed, we combed, we shampooed and we combed. It took hours. And we did it all again a few days later. And in between, I nitpicked, daily, whenever I had access to her head. My daughter has a lot of hair, and picking the nits out felt like an impossible task. Just when I thought I had them all, I found more. And just when I thought we had the situation under control, I found a few live creatures again. Rinse, repeat.

It’s been a few weeks since the great lice infestation of 2016 and I believe we are well and truly clear of the buggers now. I still check her hair every few days, but all she seems to have now is a dry scalp from all the products! I think the checking becomes a bit of of an OCD thing actually.

My top tips for getting rid of lice:

  • Regardless of the product/old wives remedy you choose, the lice comb is your best friend. The best way to get rid of these things is by applying conditioner to wet hair and combing the hair a few strands at a time.
  • You really do need to catch every single nit – and they really stick to the hair. As I combed, I would search for the nits and slide them down the strand of hair. They need to be removed manually, they do not comb out.
  • Be religious about checking. This will not be a once off treatment.
  • Time your big bed linen wash with the treatment – no point in doing a few hours of a lice treatment and going to bed in a lice infested bed.
  • If your child has siblings, cousins, friends that they hang out with all the time, check the other kids out too. Chances are they are also infested and there’s no point waging warfare on your child’s head when they’re just going to pick them up again from their BFF. Check your own hair too.
  • If your budget allows, apparently the best way to go is with a lice clinic, but these treatments are pricey. Although once you’ve done a couple of treatments with the off-the-shelf products, you will have racked up quite a Dischem bill.

Finally a big shout out to my Claire! She was a total trooper throughout the whole ordeal. She rarely complained and sat through the hours of combing with grace and humour.

Choosing a highschool…or letting a highschool choose us!

I thought I’d don the Mom-Blog hat for once instead of the Running-Blog sneakers and post about the big parenting thing happening for us right now…

Ewan is less than a year away from high school and I can hardly believe we are at this point in our lives! When we were choosing primary schools all those years ago, high school seemed like a very distant concern and yet I remember him starting pre-primary in 2008 like it was yesterday. We chose a lovely private school, close to home that had a Cambridge curriculum and a warm, family like feeling when we visited. 10406834_10153853475396565_1838176642647242060_n

Its been a bit of a different thing though choosing a high school. Now the end of his school career is vaguely in sight and we need to seriously consider the future. How do we end his school career in the best way to equip him for university? For adulthood?

At the moment, our options seem to be as either a highly rated private co-ed high school, in our neighbourhood or top public JHB boys school, close to our offices.

If you’re being nice, call me analytical, but honestly I am a great over-thinker. I’ve been talking to Ewan, other parents and teachers, made pro and con lists in my head and on paper, visualised possible outcomes and then thought some more. And seem to I change my mind on a daily basis about what the right choice might be.

Things sure are different to when I was a kid, I just went to the school I was zoned for. And when that didn’t seem to be the best option, my folks told the school that I wanted to attend that we were planning to move into their area, and off I went.

Nowadays, if you want to go the local public school that you’re zoned for, you stand in insane queues, overnight, to apply to get your child in. If you want to go the private school route, or get into a top public school, you get called for interviews, write exams, present CV’s. You wait for acknowledgement and juggle your options.

And then you do it all again when your next child has to make the big leap from primary school to high.

What was your criteria for choosing schools?

The good, the bad and the downright bizarre of our Public Health System

I have an awesome domestic helper named Virginia (we call her VG for short) who lives with us and is a very important part of our cozy little household. Virginia and her family hail from Rustenburg. A couple of weeks ago, Virginia’s sister, Elizabeth, an energetic, bright and healthy woman, started feeling terribly ill. She went to the local public health clinic in Rustenburg for treatment and was given Panado.

She didn’t feel any better (obvs) and after a few days, she decided to come to stay with VG and try a a clinic in Johannesburg for treatment. The clinic here diagnosed her with depression and advised that she could see one of the state psychiatrists in a couple of months. Depression! Truly – I don’t believe this woman has ever been depressed in her life.

Three days later, on a lazy Sunday morning, VG phoned me from her room, sounding frantic! She asked me to hurry downstairs, which I did. When I saw her, she was in a state. She asked me to take them to the Helen Joseph hospital. Her sister was not doing well at all. I told VG to bring her to the car. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone as sick standing upright. And she wasn’t really standing upright, at that. She was physically supported by her sister and a friend. I suddenly started feeling nervous. This was a very sick woman. I drove as quickly as I could to Helen Joseph and once there, found her a wheel chair. If left VG, Elizabeth and friend there with a wish to the universe that she would receive quick and appropriate treatment. VG arrived home much later that night confirming that she was admitted and undergoing tests. The tests confirmed that she was actually in renal failure and she spent the next three weeks undergoing dialysis.

It has been a couple of weeks since she was discharged. She looks a thousand times better but she is still undergoing dialysis on an out-patient basis. She will need dialysis treatment until such time as she miraculously regains renal function or a donor kidney is found. I’ve  had a call from the Helen Joseph Renal Unit, confirming that at some point in the near future, they would be delivering a monthly supply of home dialysis kits . They have also come to do a home inspection to confirm that her current residence is suitable for home treatment – clean, running water etc.

We have all been really impressed with the treatment she has received at in the last few weeks at Helen Joseph. We always hear such horror stories about our state hospitals, but in this case, they have been amazing! What I don’t get is how the public health clinics could so irresponsibly prescribe Panado or diagnose depression in a patient whose life was in danger from renal failure?

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Our (tog) bag of tricks

Yesterday morning I got back from a long run with a couple of friends from our club, tossed my stuff on the dining room table, and went straight into the kitchen for food and coffee and then upstairs to soak my tired legs and feet in a hot bath. Two things to note here:

  1. Our big square 8 seater dining room table is a dumping ground for EVERYTHING in our house. Keys, wallets, handbags, homework assignments, dirty dishes that didn’t make it as far as the kitchen, running paraphernalia, a sport kit bag, unopened post (seriously, who sends mail anymore?) One day, when I am big, I am going to be super organised. For now… if you can’t find it, check on the dining room table first!
  2. I love our double storey house except for after a run. I actually had to momentarily pause and psyche myself for the stairs after my run! Knees, feet and ankles… ouch!

When I hobbled back downstairs to face the day, I caught sight of the mess I’d left on the table…

Running mess 1

The route map, cap, water bottle and jacket were all dumped, unceremoniously, on the table as I went in search of food and caffeine! Just outside the frame of this picture, is the tog bag that Nick and I keep packed for our sessions at RWFL and any races we participate in. In the tog bag is the following:

Running mess 2

From the back, and left to right:

  • My Nike visor… I love this cap because it’s soft, light, keeps hair, sun and rain out of my face and washes in the washing machine beautifully.
  • Mutual & Federal branded tog bag – yay for corporate gifts!
  • Handy triangular shaped water bottle – perfect for gripping while you run. Just don’t use cold water from the fridge when you head out for a midwinter morning run… you WILL freeze your fingers off!
  • Beanie… this was actually a remnant from our Knysna run. We bought cheapy beanies which we figured we would donate during the run. I landed up wearing my buff on my head and donating that instead.
  • Buff… I do love the versatility of these little scraps of fabric
  • Moov – because my muscles and joints need all the help they can get!
  • Pen – for completing the info on race numbers
  • Reflective arm band – for running in the dark – which happens a lot in winter!
  • Reflective Staff bib for RWFL sessions – Nick and I are “road leaders” at our branch, thus the “staff” thing
  • Boost energy gel – I have never used, or even tasted an energy gel – these were samples given in a goodie bag at one of the races and I’ve always just kept it in the bag – just-in-case. Nick uses the gels, but favours GU gel.
  • Waist pouch with cash – My waist pouch is one of the most important items in my kit. I use it for carrying my phone, tissues, lip ice, cash… can’t be out on the road without it!
  • Loobit – because things chafe. ‘Nuff said!
  • GU Brew electrolyte tablets – I sometimes use this for long runs. This particular one is low in sugar, which is ideal for my low carb eating plan. It tastes pretty nasty though!
  • Head lamp – same as the reflective arm band – although a pain in the ass to wear when running so it stays in the bag most of the time. I should really take it out the bag.
  • Clip on light – these were cute little goodies given out at the end of one of the races we did. I particularly like it because it clips onto shoes or shirt or my waist pouch and is not uncomfortable to wear, like the aforementioned headlamp is.
  • Gloves – cheap and nasty – but a life saver in winter!
  • Lip-ice – must apply before I run. And I love this particular tube because it doesn’t make my lips feel icky. But it’s a non branded tube I picked up at a corporate gig I attended, so I probably won’t be able to replace, lol!
  • Sunglasses – I never wear these when actually running because they just steam up… I should probably just take them out.

Not in this photo but often lying around:

  • Some very handy little sample sachets of wet wipes… because, you know.
  • Tissues, because noses run.
  • My Tom Tom running watch.

Whoever said all you need to run is a good pair of shoes lied!!!

Do you have a similar bag lying around? What is in yours?

A meme to get started again…

Yes, In Hil’s Head has been sadly neglected following my attempt at a blog post each day for a month earlier this year. Which is not to say that nothing has been going on In Hil’s Head – just that Hil couldn’t be arsed to write about it!

So in the spirit of getting things going again… a meme I found over at Jenty’s blog…

Right now, I am perfecting my work avoidance technique.

I’m currently obsessed with loom knitting, low carb eating and yoga
 
Cannot live without my husband and kids.
 
I’m reading Fifty Shades of Grey – lousy writing but everyone is doing it…
I’m listening to The Black Keys

Favourite place in Joburg is Parkhurst

Favourite place in SA is Knysna
Favourite place in the world is London
I’ve lived in Jozi and Witbank
Next up on my bucket list is to write a bucket list
 
The last thing I crossed of my bucket list the heading “Bucket List”
 
I realized I was an adult when I started doing monthly grocery shopping
 
I realized I’d never be an adult when my mom gave Marie Biscuits and milk after I had my wisdom teeth out
 
In the movie of my life, I want to be played by Anne Hathaway
 
Best invention since the wheel: My iPhoneand iPad
 
A house is not a home without the trail of mess my kids leave behind as they get home from school
 
This week I’m crushing on Adam LevineNeed I say more?
 
I’m currently working on the courage to plan yet another birthday party (Claire turns 7 in two weeks!)
 
I’m really proud of my art
 
You’d be amazed if I showed you my handbag and what it holds
I cannot survive winter without lip balm, my electric blanket and my gas heater
Zambuk
 
My signature dish is Butter Chicken and Chocolate Brownies
 
Guilty pleasure is Pick ‘n Pay Honeydew’s Bar One doughnuts
 
When no-one’s looking, I check my phone for a Facebook update
 
In my next life I want to be naturally skinny
 
Every morning, I lie in bed for too long and swear that the next morning I will get out of bed earlier
 
I believe that happiness is created.
I’ve really got to work on my doula business and art skills
 
Best advice I was ever given was to listen to your intuition
 
Now it’s your turn…
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