Thursday, July 26, 2007

Courgettes Dilema

I went looking for some cucumbers this evening on my way from the city where I do some voluntary work and found some courgettes instead which I bought as a substitute but now, I'm having second thoughts. They're not really like cucmbers - anyone with some receipes on what to do with courgettes? Or do I just pop them into my mouth like I would cucumbers? LOL!!

My doc said I had a sprained back but Ibuleve and Neurofen have sorted out the problem and I feel much, much better now. Thanks all for your kind thoughts.

You guys should warn Dr Wilson oh! I have barely started running and he is talking about running marathons - when I can barely run 20 minutes? Marathon!! hours and hours of running on end!!! Ha!! But I am interested and must admit running the marathon is a little bit intriguing for me. Its in April next year - if we can make the ballot that is and he wants us to run as a group. Anyone else interested? He says if anyone has cause to stop either from fatigue or exhaustion, he'll carry the person on his back for the rest of the race. LOL!! OK - I embellished that - he says we can walk the rest of the way if we get tired and I must say it sounds fun. We've got 9 months to start training for that. The problem with running is that once you start, stopping is almost impossible cos you'll always find an excuse to run some more. Anyone else wanna join the team? Pls get in touch with him:

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Tesco Race For Life

This is my 100th post at long, long last! Yeah!!! (Jumping up and down with glee.) LOL!!

Its all over at last - Tesco Race for life is completed. We (Me and my running partner - RP) got to Regents Park - the venue of the race in good time this time around. We met Buki and Vickii at the station where we excitedly gushed (well, at least I did) LOL!! over each other so much I forgot my name or even my RP's name too when we were introducing ourselves to each other. LOL!! After the introductions, all of us walked together to the park where we joined in the warm up activities which were going on, led by the organisers from the huge blue stage. It was fun getting into the hang of things. Warm up over, we all headed to the starting point where other runners were gathering also to await the start of the race.

When the gun went off, somehow, grappling with my mp3 so I could start the podcast to listen to while running, as well as my phone so that I could check our starting time when we crossed the starting point, my mp3 and headphones fell down and other runners helped me pick it up but not before I had bent down myself to rescue it quickly from under the feet of other runners when I felt that horrible pain in my waist again. Mp3 picked up from the ground and tucked away securely in its place, time noted, the race began.

It was fun and enjoyable. Me and my RP had agreed that we would run at a very moderate and if possible, slow pace to see if we could go the entire race without stopping rather than start fast and stop halfway through the race and start walking. We succeeded in doing that for the first 3km - Slow and Steady. I have read 2 other blogs where the bloggers had ran their first races all the way to the finish line without stopping and hoped to be able to do that in this race too. The guru's Buki and Vickii were running with us and were way, way ahead of us and we wanted to be able to tell them at the end of the race that we ran the entire race without stopping but alas, it wasnt to be. LOL!!

Just before the 4km mark, we couldnt bear it any more and stopped for a couple of seconds to catch our breath before we started running again. At least we had run 32 minutes without stopping which was a personal best for both of us too. We then started running again knowing that the end was in sight. At this point, the route seemed to curve and curve and curve. It was as if it was never ending but at last, we got to the 500m point and it was a sprint from there - not a very fast one but a semi sprint if I may say so and if there is anything like a semi sprint. LOL!!

Cos my eyes were closed when I got to the 500m point, and closed the rest of the race after that to block out the pain and the distance ahead, I didnt see the official clock or time which was placed strategically to the left as we crossed the finish line but just as I crossed the finish line, the unbelievable happened! My breakfast of brocolli and sprouts which I had eaten 3 hours previously (Yes, I am still on Atkins) LOL!! got upset and refused to stay put in my stomach and came spewing through my gullet, out of my mouth. I had to use my hanky to keep it in place until I could get one of the race marshalls to give me a sick bag to put the 'sick' and not disgrace myself. The problem was, how was I going to explain I needed a sick bag when my mouth was full already and I couldnt speak either? LOL!!

Luckily, Buki and Vickii who had finished the race way ahead of us and were waiting at the finish came to my aid and led me to the ambulance so I could get some aid but then I remembered I had a little paper bag in my waist pouch and got it out and was sick in it rather than spewing 'sick' all over the park like a little village girl. LOL!!

So, Race for Life was finished in 41 minutes. The time wasnt as good as my previous race but I'm glad I only stopped twice during the entire course of the race unlike my first race where I'm quite sure I must have stopped at least 8 - 10 times to rest, if not more. I didnt really get a lot of pictures of me in 'action' this time cos my personal photographer had called in sick. (smile)
But here's one of me with my medal after the race:

and another one of me after the race:

Here is another picture of me, Vickii & Buki - with our medals after our race.

More pictures from the race can be viewed HERE.

I havent got any more races lined up for the rest of July or in August either but I'm looking forward to my remaining races in September - the 5k Hydro Active Race and the 8k Windsor Race.
I'm off to read my new book - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows now. I couldnt wait and flipped through to the end as soon as I bought my copy and can reveal that Harry, Hermoine, and Ron are very much alive. LOL!!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Our Story.......

"Babes, Aunty XX says she wants to take me, you, our friend Y and his family out for dinner to say thank you to us (hubby and Y) for helping her out when she was moving her things to her new house."

My man said to me one evening when we were together. Hmmmn, I repiled. Thats nice. When? "Well, she says me and Y should look for a restaurant and then set a date when everyone is free and isnt working so we all can go out for the evening." He replied. Thats alright I figure. Me, I love freebies especialy when there's food involved so I was game. As long as she's willing to treat us, I said to myself, I dont mind at all.

That dinner date was postponed so many times. The excuse was often "We havent found a restaurant or we havent had the time to go looking for a nice and suitable restaurant". At long last, a suitable restaurant was found and booked and even though the date set was during the week, we were all excited. Well, I was thinking of all the food I would eat and praying it would be one of those 'Eat as much as you like' restaurants which I had discovered I had developed a liking for. We got dressed and went to Aunty XX's house to get her and her kids and then drove to the restaurant where we met Y, his wife and kids already waiting for us. Aunty XX was decked to the hilt - as usual. U cant try that lady oh - she's a real fashionista and was joking about how her wallet was filled to the brim and she was going to spend to the max and have a lovely time. It was a lovely gathering with loads of banter getting to know each other and stuff.

We got to the restaurant, ordered our meal - a three course meal which was so much when spread all over the table in front of us. Of course we didnt need any prodding and delved into the whole package with glee, chatting over the table, enjoying the extras we ordered, it was a treat on Aunty XX afterall. Y and his kids came with a camera and those with camera phones too whipped them out and we had fun taking pictues too and just having a nice time generally.

Then the 'guys' went out for a brief spell after we had finished our meal and the kids were having their deserts mainly ice cream, if i remember correctly - to smoke I think and when they came back, Hubby stood up, cleared his throat and said he had something to say. Everyone at the table started smiling, coughing and talking at the same time and that was when I realised what was about to happen. This wasnt some dinner by Aunty XX to thank him and his friend for helping her move, it was just a ruse to throw me off the scent. My man was about to propose. The joke was on me and I was the only one at the table who hadnt known what was actually planned for that evening. Everyone had seen the proposal coming except me!

At long last, they allowed him some breathing space and he spoke: "Honey, this is for you" thrusting a box into my palms. Everyone was cheering and making noise generally and I was smiling and blushing at the same time and I think they just generally assumed I would say yes. I thought of bursting thier bubble but was too surprised myself and whispered into into my man's ear. Thats not how you're suppose to propose, you're suppose to say "xxx" and gave him back the box with a command - start all over again. LOL!! The poor guy tried again but the excitement at the table was too much. Aunty XX was excited and talking, her teenage kids were excited and talking, Y was excited and talking and taking photographs, Y's wife and his teenage kids were excited and talking too, In the hula that went on, no one actually noticed that I hadnt said 'YES' yet. I think Aunty XX said that on my behalf in the excitement. LOL!! All eyes were on us and the restaurant staff brought over a bottle of Champagne and we all had a toast to the 'newly engaged couple'.

We tried the ring on my finger during one of the attempts to say the right words - too big but that could be sorted out. After our sumptious dinner and toast we all left for home where I finally gave my man his answer. A mighty YES. Although I did think about saying 'NO' at the restaurant just to burst the bubble of our 'spectators' a little bit. LOL!!

I'm telling this story cos its our wedding anniversary today. A year of conjugal bliss. There have good days and bad days, ups and downs but I cant complain. My man has been very good to me and I couldnt have wished or asked for a better husband. Happy Anniversary Babes. Here's to many, many more happy and blissful years ahead.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Minor Rambling......

There are times I sit at my PC and my tummy starts contracting as if I've been doing situps and press ups. And I know I had not done any in the previous hour. So why does my tummy contract the way it does at odd times?

We were celebrating over the weekend with some alcopops and I had downed a couple when I decided to be naughty and went to look for oga's trouble. I was dancing and singing in front of him when I took a step back and stepped on something. I looked down and was like "Oh No!" On the floor of the room were his glasses which he had placed on a pile of books and I had mistakenly stepped on them and the hands of the frame were bent. Trying to restore the handle back to its normal position from its twisted state resulted in it coming apart in my hands. I have single handedly spoilt my man's glasses and banished him to a life of having to make do with -1 of his reading glasses.

I saw Victor Ebuwa from Big Brother 5 on one of the high streets in North London during the week. I was rushing to get into the bank like 5 minutes before the doors close for the close of businesss for the day so I could pay some money into my account to cover a direct debit that was due the next day when I noticed someone cross the high street to walk just behind me. I looked up in the midst of my hurry and behold it was handsome victor and flashed a wide smile, said a bright hello and a wave and started debating with myself if I could spare a few minutes to ask him for a snap with him as proof of our meeting and still make it into the bank premises on time. My camera was in my handbag that day primed and ready. (Ok, I can almost hear you tutting and sshing, he's just a z-list celebrity and not even an A-list celebrity but a once a celebrity always a celebrity innit? There isnt anything like an ex-celebrity is there? I digress. LOL!!) On second thoughts, I decided not to ask him for any photographs. Its a very thin line between paying a £35 failed direct debit charge and not paying and I wasnt ready to risk it and continued my sprint to make it into the bank on time. He also seemed to be in a bit of a hurry himself. LOL!!

I'm in serious pain. Looking forward to my next race which is on saturday but I was in the kitchen last saturday afternoon and decided to do a little stretch while reaching out to get some utensil from the cupboard, felt a little discomfort in my waist and decided to stop stretching. Too late. I have been on pain since then. My waist - cant bend, squat, twist, do normal things without being in pain. Wondered if I have dislocated something. I pray every bone, joint or muscle snaps back into their proper places painlessly too very soon.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Sad News

We got some very, very sad news yesterday. Very, very sad and disturbing news. My husband's niece went to see her elder kids in boarding school over the weekend as it was visiting day and left the younger kids at home with her husband. He went to a programme in church later on in the evening that day with the intention of coming back later on and asked them to lock up when going to bed.

Apparently, there was a blackout or something but the kids were home alone aged, 11, 9 and 4. Their mum came back late from visiting their elder siblings but the younger ones had gone to bed and she couldnt gain access to their home. So she went to the nearest police station and spent the night there.

Early the next morning, a neighbour helped her climb over the fence surrounding their home to help her open the gate since the kids werent responding to her banging on the gate. Alas, the neighbour raised an alarm after he had climbed over the fence that there was smoke coming from the building.

Maybe the kids had left a candle smouldering while they went to sleep, no one really knows. But they were overcome by the smoke and all three died in their sleep - smoke inhalation and suffocation. 3 hale and hearty, vibrant and beautiful kids gone in one fell swoop in the twinkle of an eye. They've lost 3 kids at a go. Their mum is so inconsolable and devastated. The words: If only....., If only....., What if......, What if......, abounds. Yesterday she was a mother of five, now reduced to 2. Its so, so sad. May their souls rest in perfect peace. Amen.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Its been a while....

Its been a while since I've been shopping...

Its been a while since I've been to the movies....

Its been a while since I've been clubbing......

Its been a while since I've called on any aunties or uncles.....

Its been a while since I've called any aunties or uncles......

Its been a while since I've had a makeover......

Its been a while since I've had loads and loads of dough......

Its been a while since I've had threesomes....

Its been a while since I've really been me......

Whats happening to me!?!?!?!!? I need liberation!!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

One Year in Blogville

I still remember that day vividly as if it was yesterday - 4th July 2006. My beloved partner had decided on the spur of the moment that he was tired of bachelor hood and wanted to sign the dotted lines ASAP while I was still willing. (Got to pep my ego now) I swear I didnt goad or egg him into doing so. LOL!!

So I was sitting on the PC trying to google Virgin Nigeria and get the cheapest ticket back home so we could go and get a special licence to get married. I typed in google Nigeria and Aderemi's Post on Virgin Nigeria and their antics came up in the search. I was perpelexed why the virgin nigeria official website didnt come up but as fate would have it, his post was the 4th or 5th search and somehow was the first search I clicked on. I read through his post and was 'baptised' into the world of blogs and blogville. Had never heard of an online diary before. Search for cheap ticket abandoned, I sat down and went through his Bloglist and got lost in the the virtual world of blogs.

Started from his blog and moved to Adaure's Blog, Mona, Onada, Dilichi, Sugar is Sweet, Monef, Nneka, Buki, it was a very busy day for me and I just couldnt drag myself away from the PC. I swear I got lost online that day moving from one blog to the other, clicking on this link and that link and having no idea how to get back to the page I came from, reading both their archived posts as well as their current posts. I put all their links in my favourites list so I could come back to them and the rest they say is history.

Everyday, at least an hour was spent with my newly found friends, laughing with them, crying with them, sharing with them and eventually, I started my own blog Calabar Gal within days in which I wrote nonsensical things. I blush and cringe nowadays when I remember the stupid things I wrote then. Thankfully, there was a problem with the blog later on and all those posts got lost. It was difficult at first, whether to write in present tense, past tense, first person or reported speech or in narrative form etc. I remember Adaure was the very first to write a comment on my blog and then she had these wedding website links that kept me very busy indeed. Back home, I introduced the world of blogville to my family even though eventually, I had to confess I had one too and show them my own blog and swore them to secrecy that my identity would forever not be unveiled.

My blog had some viruses and for sometime I couldnt post on it. Which was good for me since most times, I couldnt think of what to write in it. Eventually, I started a new blog - Calabargal2 and its been smoother sailing since then. Some months later, Azuka helped me out and restored my settings and the original blog Calabar Gal came back to life but that has now been converted into my Food/Fitness Diary. Then again, while I was tweaking and playing with my template, the entire blog dissapeared and Buki was ever willing and not only offered to help but actually did help me restore my settings once again. I'm more careful these days. LOL!!

There were times I used to go through all the links on my bloglist daily and then go through London buki's blog list too (I made friends with almost everybody on her bloglist) but that is no more feasible these days. My friends are so many. Going through my own ever growing bloglist is no mean feat these days. LOL! Blogville has come a long way since then and its been a lovely journey. From the 'couch potatoe' I was last year, reading buki's fitness diaries inspired me to start my own fitness regime about 3 months ago and it is so nice to have you all to share tips and experiences with.

In a year, there have been a lot of births, deaths, bloggers have come and bloggers have jumped ship, some have gotten bored and have gone away but couldnt resist the lure and come back once again. Catfights and quarrels on several blogs ........... OK, lets not go there. LOL!! I'm not sure if I'll ever go away but there are times when writers block comes upon me but then I'll still keep trudging on.

Hubby has yabbed me several times that I write thousands of words on the internet and spend hours wandering from one blog to the other gathering info from blogs and wondered why I cant put the same effort I put into research in blogville into researching, writing and finishing my disertation for a course which I had paid thousands of pounds for. I asked myself that question too several times. LOL!!

I'm glad I found blogville and I have you lot too - too numerous to mention and still increasing daily. I have grown from the young lady I was last year in many ways and learnt a lot from your tears and laughter. Here's to you all and to many more years in blogville.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

My First Race

I was so excited about this race but made sure I went to bed early the night before the race quite unlike me. Didnt want to take any chances. Woke up about 5 am and lay in bed drifting in and out of bed until 6am when my alarm went off. We were finally ready to go and left home about 7.30 am. On the train ride, we (me, my official paparazzi - hubby and my running partner) met another lady who was wearing the race T-shirt and by the time the train got to the city, runners with their race numbers pinned to their Tshirts and tops were more common place. It was a race against time to get to the starting point as we got out of the underground about 8.25. If we could find it on time that is. We had no idea where it was and I had forgotten the race map at home.

We came out of Embankment Station and started heading towards Charing Cross Station. At Charring Cross, almost everyone we asked seemed to have entered only for the 10km race and knew only where the starting point for the 10km race which was a more popular race was. At long last, some police men pointed the way to Northumberland Avenue by Embankment to us and told us to hurry that the race had started about 3 minutes previously. Gracious!! According to my watch, it was just 8.33am! Well, me and the lady started racing down Northumberland Avenue, diet kick in hand trying to gulp it down for the extra bit of energy before the race. Alas when we got to the starting point, true, the race had already begun and the runners had left but we started our own race all the same at 8.37am.

I had to try to get into the tune of things due to the excitement of racing to the starting point but I soon found my own pace. The lady I met on the train was running with me but I soon asked her to leave me behind since it seemed her pace was a bit faster than mine. She was a more experience runner and had run a couple of 5km races and 10 km races as well and had just given birth and so this race was one she was running to get back into shape. I soon got to the first turning point and my mischievious mind was telling me to slip into the opposite lane and run with the other runners who were going past me on the other lane at that point but my sensible mind asked me to keep on going since there were still more runners behind me who had joined the race later than I did. LOL!!

Pretty soon, with a mixture of walking and running, I got past Waterloo and Hungeford Bridges and began heading towards Westminster Bridge. There was this lady ahead of me at that point who was walking and I asked her to run with me since I was also a slow runner and we ran together for sometime until she started walking again and I had no choice but to leave her behind. Then two ladies ran past me at a very slow pace and I used them to pace myself and just made sure I kept behind them. (smile) Pretty soon, I was back to walking and they left me behind. (smile)

I started running again, got to Westminster bridge, then walked a little bit more. Halfway through the bridge, I started running again and that was when I saw the official race photographers at the end of the bridge by London Eye taking pictures of each race participant as they go past. In my mind I was like Yeah!! I hope they didnt take my official race pictures while I was walking down the bridge and wishing that I had looked up earlier and noticed them on time to put a little sprint in my step. LOL!!

We turned round at the end of the bridge and started heading back to the city and that was when Big Ben struck 9am. This meant I had been running for about 23 minutes. Finally, with a mixture of walking and running, I made it back to the finish line and did a little sprint at the end - from the 400m mark right down to the finish. I think I crossed the finish line at 9.12am (I still have to crosscheck this and confirm it with my official time which isnt up on the website yet) so that means I finished my race in 35 minutes. Although since I didnt start at the same time as other runners when the gun went off, there might be some more minutes added to my official time I think.

Hubby said he was so proud of me and my running partner was so excited!! She's now entering for the Race for Life so we can run together. She really enjoyed the race and was wishing that she had entered for it as it was so much fun watching others race. She was so impressed by other bigger ladies than her who were in the race and finished with a mixture of walking and running with some walking all the way!!

Rearing to go - just before the race
Go Calabar Gal!!
Heading back to the finish line
Last sprint to the finish line
Finished at last!
Proudly displaying my medal

So Goody Bag collected, medal round my neck, pictures taken, we hung around to cheer the 10km runners as they ran past and then left the city. Back to training for my next race now. Training begins tomorrow. LOL!!