Arsenal 0 -1 City

Two days after the Liverpool game I was back in front of the TV (fortunately sniffling much less πŸ˜‰ ) to watch City travel to the Emirates for the Carling Cup quarter final. City haven’t won away to Arsenal for donkeys yonks so I didn’t have my hopes up, yet was cautiously optimistic.

What a game! Both teams battled so hard and Arsenal had several excellent chances, with City looking tired (despite the squad rotation). I was desperately hoping it wouldn’t go to extra time (or even penalties) as I was still tired and wanted to go to bed – but it looked more and more likely as the game went on and we couldn’t break through. Arsenal’s youngsters were impressive and Frimpong was my MotM as he seemed to be everywhere. But our goal, when it came, was SUPERB! (If you haven’t seen it, click my highlights link below!) Dzeko took the ball from our end, sprinting up the left wing and beating everyone to set up Aguero via AJ. Beautiful!

So – a tough game but a win in the end and City go through to the semi’s along with Cardiff, Liverpool and Palace. (The latter magically beat ManUre and as well as being pleased to see ManUre out, I was delighted for mum and my Palace friends as well πŸ™‚ )

MCFC’s 60 second highlights here
MCFC’s extended highlights here

Musings of a gym bunny.

It’s now been 3 months since I started going to the gym regularly and I have stuck to my routine of going before work on Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday πŸ™‚

My workout has increased a little, though I don’t feel the need to continually push myself to the limit. I stick at a level of exercise until I start finding it comfortable and then when it feels quite easy, I increase the level slightly. Even-so, I wouldn’t say my workout is arduous but it IS enough to get my heart and lungs working (I generally maintain a heart rate of 145 during my cardiovascular workout) and get my muscles moving a bit. Currently I do:

β€’ Bike: Level 2 warm-up for 2 mins; Level 3 for 8 mins varying the speed between 65-90 rpm (I confess, I like the bike least)
β€’ Rower: Resistance 8, for 5 mins at 32 strokes/min (I enjoy this, close my eyes, and get in to a rhythm)
β€’ Treadmill: Incline 7 (out of 14) at speed 6 (fast walk) for 10 minutes, work level 6 (out of 10) followed by a 3 minute gradual cool down to get my heart rate down to 110 (I quite like striding along at a steady pace, listening to my music, on this) I don’t like running on the treadmill and see no reason to do so since the incline gives me a better workout and I can feel that my leg and bottom muscles get worked hard.

Then I do the weight machines at a very low intensity – I don’t want to develop bulging muscles! πŸ˜‰ My favourites are the two hip abductor/adductor machines and I like to do these straight after the cardio part of my routine to stretch my leg muscles out. I then do a quick whiz round exercising my abdominals and a little for my arms – but my arms really don’t have much strength at all so I generally have to use the minimum possible weights – it makes me laugh when I follow one particular man round the equipment as I reduce the weight from 80Kg to my measly 5Kg! πŸ˜€

Another thing that makes me laugh (how appropriate since laughter is supposed to be excellent exercise) is overhearing the men in their changing room/shower as their voices carry very easily into the ladies’ changing room/shower. Some of what I overhear isn’t repeatable, some is rather sweet – I don’t think the men realise how clearly they can be heard πŸ˜€

One thing that baffles me is how few women (can’t speak for the men) that take a shower after their workouts! I always shower after exercising, but am one of only a handful that seem to do so – yet I see women dress for work after their gym session without having a shower! Yeugh!

One thing that has amazed me is the lady who was running on the treadmill next to me a few weeks ago who told me she’d injured her back a few months previously and had been told she’d never walk again!

One thing that’s intrigued me is the size of the person who leaves the bike on seat height 10! I have an inside leg of 31″ and have the seat on height 4. This person must be a giant and I have yet to see one of those in the gym. πŸ˜‰

One thing that’s pleased me recently has been trying out the hairdresser that has taken over the room where I had my clinic. (Now called “The Room” ) She does a wet cut for Β£18 and as I have long, straight hair which I only have cut once a year or less, and don’t need to style, this sounded good to me. I did my workout then had a shower and washed my hair before having her cut it. It irritates me with hairdressers when they faff snipping a snip here and a snip there taking an hour to take off 1cm of hair and charge Β£40+ for the pain. So I was delighted when this took 15 minutes and the cutting was done confidently and efficiently. You never know, I might be persuaded to go back in less than a year… πŸ˜‰

One thing that’s lethal is getting chatting! To other gym bunnies, or to the staff – I end up running late getting out of there, but of course I do enjoy the friendship and sociable aspects of going to a gym rather than working out alone.

So, aside from firmer muscles (especially my legs), cardiovascular health, and stress-busting benefits, I get inspiration, food for thought, friendship, a laugh or two and more from my gym attendance πŸ™‚

Spoiled on my birthday.

Nel has been excited and smug for weeks about my birthday present. She chose it, organised payment, with Billy and Stephen chipping in, ordered it, wrapped it and then… put it in my room almost a week before my birthday so it would tease me πŸ˜€

On my birthday – a Sunday this year – Billy brought me a coffee in bed at 6am, having set his alarm specially as he knows I tend to get up early. He then went and made me two bacon rolls for breakfast and brought them to me in bed. I then opened my card and “little something to open on the day” which turned out to be a bottle of very nice wine and some chocolates from Dillies. πŸ™‚ This was more than I expected, knowing he’d chipped in with my big mystery present, AND got me my new City shirt.

When Nel woke up she couldn’t wait for me to open my big present and I was suitably surprised, pleased and grateful when I saw what it was:

Wow! No wonder Nel was pleased with herself! And she’d even thought to buy the batteries too! Having set aside my day to just enjoy doing as I pleased, I planned to have a play later. In the meantime, I opened all my lovely cards that had been arriving during the week, and then my presents from Mum, a City piggy bank and the start of a new collection:


I’ve never even seen these before so am very pleased with such an inspired present πŸ™‚
I also had a bottle of wine, M&S cup-cakes and a gorgeous hand-crafted bangle from my colleague, K, a big pot of Quickies (nail polish remover pads) from colleagues C & J (who laughingly told me the choice of birthday presents in the hospital pharmacy and volunteer shops was a bit limited, but actually it was a good choice as I always wear nail-polish). Later on Raji gave me a boxed set of George RR Martin books, ones which a few people have recommended that I might like.

After being spoiled, I had a relaxing bath and watched a bit of TV – I was determined I was doing no jobs round the house on my birthday. Later, Billy and Raji went out to play in a memorial cricket match (with my blessing, I could see Billy was torn between staying home with me on my day, and playing the game in memory of a member of his cricket club who had sadly died last year.)

For my lunch I had potato salad made by Nel with my cheese on toast, and then birthday cake – also made by my lovely daughter:)

The two of us played with the Wii-Fit in the afternoon πŸ˜€ It was hilarious as we were weighed and measured, lectured, encouraged and scolded in turn! Based solely on my height, weight and my ability to alternate my centre of balance according to little coloured lines on the TV, I was told that I was a couch potato! Me! Who runs round doing stuff all the time and goes to the gym 3 times a week! HA! Actually, I do have good balance but I’m rubbish at computer games and interpreting pictures on the screen and reacting accordingly. We had a play with hoola-hoop, step, yoga, and muscle training games as a little taster. I must admit I’m quite interested in the yoga as I’ve never done this before and it would nicely compliment my gym programme. Apart from finding time, though, having the living room to myself is going to be tricky – Sunday mornings should be OK, but I’ll have to have a think about finding another slot or two. Nel and I did enjoy playing and we had quite a few laughs. She then decided we had to add Zara using the pet programme so she is now recorded as weighing 7lbs. (We weighed Zeb the next day, when we got Billy to have a go, and he (Zeb!) is 9lbs)

When I looked on Facebook in the afternoon, I had so many birthday wishes from my friends that I was overwhelmed but felt lucky to have so many lovely friends.

In the evening, Stephen, Nel and I sat and watched Hot Fuzz together and Billy bought home takeaway, which we had accompanied by one of my birthday bottles of wine πŸ™‚ I hadn’t been too sure about the film choice, but actually I did quite enjoy it and of course, I always love doing things together with my family. πŸ™‚

So I had a very pleasant 43rd birthday with lots of cards, presents and love and everyone had put a lot of thought, effort and money in to spoiling me. Thank you everyone, I had a lovely day. πŸ™‚

City 1 – 2 Everton

Although this match was on TV, Nel had friends over for the night and was using the living room so I watched online instead – having given my ST to Lee to use with it being a weekday match.

All the hype before the match was expecting City to win and go top of the table for Christmas (several other games having been postponed due to the snow were partially responsible for this being a possibility) but I was utterly convinced we wouldn’t do it and so it proved.

The match was far from boring and City played far from badly – though the defending was poor for the two Everton goals. The stats showed that City had: 70% possession; 25 attempts on goal; 15 On target; 16 blocked shots; and 11 Corners! (Everton had 4 attempts, 3 on target!)

There were at least 3 hand-ball shouts and I feel we should have certainly had 2 penalties from them, but the ref saw nothing. However, I can’t get too het up over them – if we can’t score from that many attempts on target, it simply wasn’t going to be our night no matter what. :S To balance it a little, it was a bit harsh on Everton that they went down to 10 men in the second half as I thought it a soft yellow for Anichebe when he crashed into Hart so that his second yellow led to him walking. It didn’t particularly seem to cause Everton a problem, however. Zabeleta was my MotM having played his socks off, even with 4 stitches and two bandages round his head.

Kippax Blue’s Photos Here.
MCFC’s 60 second highlights here.

I watched with wry good humour and hope we do better next match – the family derby on Boxing Day πŸ™‚

Feel Good Friday

Friday was a busy day and I started it with my first gym workout for months. I took it at a nice steady pace and was pleased that I managed it fairly comfortably (with the help of my broncho-dilating herbs taken an hour before to help me to breathe.) In fact I was enjoying it so much I was pushing my heart rate up into the cardio-workout zone instead of the fat burning zone, yet it felt easy. I took care to cool down properly and work out each pair of muscles on the weights, in hopes I wouldn’t ache too badly the next day (and I didn’t!) I’ve since done another similar workout, and have one more planned before getting the gym staff to help me devise a new programme to give me a proper workout.

In the afternoon, I needed to do the ironing as I was going away for the weekend, but my LoveFilm DVD hadn’t arrived (probably due to postal strikes) so Stephen lent me his Michael McIntyre DVD. It was brilliant! I was laughing so much it hurt and I expect a few creases were wobbly too! πŸ˜€ I love the fact that he doesn’t feel the need to swear every second word to tell a joke, yet they are genuinely hilarious observations of life. If you’ve never seen/heard him, try this link for a sample or this πŸ™‚

That night was the first of the new darts season and we were playing at home against the Ex-Service-Hearts (players from the old Heart teams of last year, with a couple of new faces who had joined from other teams) It was nice to be playing again, though Roger Jnr wasn’t available so Roger Snr partnered me instead. I had a one of those nights where my darts were a bit hit and miss – 26 one throw, 60+ the next! Neither could I finish – not far off, but a miss is as good as a mile. Still, it was the first game so I didn’t allow it to bother me really. We lost 5-6 which was quite a respectable score line, with our wins being: Roger/Billy/Paul Trebles; Billy/Paul doubles; Claire, Billy, and Paul’s singles games. Looking forward to the rest of the season and to revisiting of the really lovely teams in this league.

So Friday was a good day and I felt more chirpy and normal than I have done for a little while πŸ™‚