Sunday, 19 July 2015

There's no greater competition than yourself

I did it. I did a half marathon. This was originally on The List with a question mark as I really didn't know if it would be achievable. But it was, and I did it.

It took a few long runs in preparation, and a training plan which Tim drew up which worked with his shifts. I did think, on a number of occasions, while out on the longer runs, that it had been a mistake to sign up. But I got through the training runs and just about the day itself.
My friend Hayley (above), who, as I type, is currently cycling around Bolton on IronManUK, ran too but as part of her training for IronMan. She had offered words of wisdom throughout the training and build up, including running 11 miles instead of 10 as my final long run - just so my head knew that on the day it was only 2 miles "home". She stayed to cheer me over the finish line.

I ran it all, (I did not come here to walk!) but a bit slower than I'd hoped, but it was rather warm on the day - with no wind at all! Maybe I've now got the bug. Shall I do another one, to aim to complete at the pace of my training runs? Shall I do more 10k runs in the hope that I will one day get under an hour?

As I heard someone say once, "There's no greater competition than yourself".

Saturday, 4 July 2015


A couple of months ago we had an amazing seasonal lunch at the wonderful Northcote. I had given Tim a gift voucher for his birthday so we went along to spend it.

This was our third visit, having previously experienced a gourmet night bed and breakfast and also another seasonal lunch. We actually got engaged at Northcote.

The beauty about the seasonal lunches on offer is that you get to experience the superb cooking of the local quality ingredients, but at a more accessible price for most people. The menu is different to the evening menu, but is no way limited, and the knowledgeable staff can answer any question if you have any concerns or queries about the menu.

Since our last visit the restaurant and bar have been refurbished to a very high standard. We had canapes in the bar area as we looked over the menu.

The meal we chose was superb and highlights for me were the new season broccoli starter and the milk crisps which came with desert.  We had a refreshing cocktail and coffee outside which came with the famous mini Eccles cakes which you also get at the River Valley Inns. We also watched one of the chefs take a tour group - possibly from the cookery school around the gardens. We understand that the gardens are recognised by the Soil Association as one of the best organic restaurant gardens as we were able to speak with the gardener on one of our previous trips.

And so, this is now officially ticked off The List. I have another restaurant on the list to visit, but that will take a little bit more organisation because of its locality to us. I do think that if you are thinking of going to a Michelin starred (or similar) establishment but feel it is beyond your reach, take a look at what is available at lunch times. The prices may be more accessible, and it could help wishing become reality regarding some of the best restaurants around.