Dottie about . . . .

It began with my Clipper Adventure – and the Adventures continue

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Sleeping Beauty and the mutant vampire?

I do love a good ballet, so when a friend invited me to join her last week I agreed.

As the ballet in question was Sleeping Beauty I was looking forward to an enjoyable evening watching a classic story, full of romance and magic, with graceful, elegant dancing performed by a handsome prince, beautiful princess, mutant baby and vampire fairies . . .

. . . . mutant baby???

. . . . vampire fairies???

Looking back, I think the mutant baby was the first clue that this wasn’t going to be a classic interpretation of the well loved story I know so well.  (It was meant to be a baby Sleeping Beauty but as it was controlled by a puppeteer that everyone could see, it was strangely scary)

vampire mutant baby

The vampire fairies were possibly the next clue . . .

vampire fairies

The point at which the ‘innocent’ princess stripped off her dress and rolled around the palace garden with the gardener while royal guests strolled a few feet away pretty much confirmed it . . .

. . .  and if there was a prince I didn’t spot him but there was the gardener who having been bitten by a vampire fairy became immortal, enabling him to camp outside the palace in a one-man tent for a hundred years. . . .  (ah, I can tell you don’t remember that part of the story either!)

I thought the one-man tent was a nice touch . . .

I was a bit concerned about the gardener’s eye sight as he suddenly seemed to need glasses – but I figured after a hundred years maybe even vampires start to feel their age, but no, it appears that as well as vampires having wings (who knew?) they have a little black band that appears across their eyes.  All these years when I thought the way to spot a vampire was to look for the fangs!

And if you think that was confusing – listen to this.  The evil fairy was her son wearing a dress!  Or to put it another way, the evil fairy’s son was the evil fairy wearing man’s clothing . . . and he may have also had wings . . . but I don’t think he had them all of the time . . .

vampire evil fairy

It’s really hard to choose the best bit, but I have to say I think the finale was the winner – the curse has been broken so wide-awake princess and vampire gardener go to bed, vampire fairies cover them with sheet to protect their modesty (bit too late for that if you ask me, we’ve already seen her bloomers – and who knew ballerinas wore bloomers?!), then vampire fairies lift the sheet and wide awake princess and vampire gardener reappear – holding hands and magically joined by their mutant vampire baby – complete with wings!

Classic . . .  an absolute classic!

And in case you’re wondering . . . I did enjoy it – it just wasn’t what I was expecting!



Park Run Addict

It’s confirmed!

I am now officially a Park Run addict.

I began to suspect this might be the case when I packed my running gear and park run barcode for a one week trip to Morocco.

The suspicion grew stronger when I then packed it for an overnight stay in a Berber village outside Marrakech . . .

. . . and was finally confirmed when I left the Berber House promptly at 9 am on Saturday and set off for my 5k run.



I’d asked our host Khalid to suggest a route and he pointed out a village that was about 2.5 km away so a run there and back would be perfect. . . . . . the only problem was that he’d called it the Crazy Village, and when I asked why, he told me that some of the residents did things like shooting at people who were passing by!

Now call me a wimp but suddenly I decided not to run too close  . . .

While I’m pretty sure being shot at would help me get a PB I prefer the clapping and cheering you find at my home park run in Southampton.

My other worry was the wild dogs.166

I’d talked a Danish girl staying in the same house into joining me but was a bit concerned when she started filling her hands with stones to throw at any dogs that looked as though they might attack us.

As she was both younger and fitter than me, I was pretty certain that while she might be the one throwing the stones I was likely to be the one getting bitten.

A PB was beginning to look like a certainty!



Despite these slight concerns I wouldn’t have missed this run for the world.


No noise . . . just the puffing of our breath and the pounding of our feet. . . .





No traffic, no people, just one solitary shepherd and his sheep up on the hills . . .







No towns or cities, just snow capped mountains in the distance . . .




Morocco is on the same time as the UK, so there we were, two women running along a quiet road in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains knowing that back in Britain, thousands of other people would be running their 5k too.

So thank you Park Run for inspiring such a special experience, I would never have thought of doing this without you.

. . . . just a shame I couldn’t find a marshal with a bar code reader!


*PB Personal Best time


The Latest Challenge!

I was supposed to be doing something called a Brutal Run tomorrow – well THAT’s not going to happen!

So, if I can’t do a 10 K Challenge – how about a 10 Cake Challenge?!

I’ve already started training and I can tell you – IT’S BRUTAL!

The rules are simple – You just have to eat 10 cakes!

Its up to you if you want to stipulate time limits, size limits (of the cakes – or the entrants!) or add in obstacles.

At the moment the biggest obstacle I’ve encountered is getting the wrapping off – which can be a lot more difficult than it should be!

So . . . anyone up for this latest challenge?

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Hop Along

You’ll be pleased to hear that my recovery is virtually complete. It has taken longer than I’d hoped, but as I’m typing this on Friday 13th we are talking only a month ago that I had my little mishap – so I guess its not too bad.

After my post about doctors I was asked if I’d rested my leg as instructed by the good doctor – and the only answer I could give was “Yes . . . . by my standards” – which I realise probably doesn’t quite tally with other people’s idea of rest.

So let’s see, on the Saturday I barely moved, on Sunday I travelled home, Monday I saw the doctor and he said it would be OK in a week as long as I rested (at least I think that’s what he said). So I pretty much rested the whole week. Admittedly I had a teenager staying for a couple of days which meant it wasn’t TOTAL rest, but pretty much. . .

And then, on the Saturday – which WAS a week later – I drove for 40 minutes to Hayling Island (OW), hobbled down a pontoon (OW OW), got helped into a boat (after we’d cleared the ice out) and then went rowing for a couple of hours, then I hobbled back up the pontoon (OWW-OWW), went for lunch with the rest of the crew (which involved hobbling up a flight of stairs – AGHHH) and then drove home . . .

This is a bit of a long-shot, but I’m thinking this probably doesn’t really meet most people’s definition of “resting”. Although in my defence I didn’t actually row – I just coxed.

However, I can absolutely promise you – I barely moved for the rest of the day – or the next!

Since then, I’ve done better. But as far as I am concerned REST is definitely a 4 letter word. I can’t say it comes naturally – and certainly doesn’t get easier with practice – I think I may even be allergic to it. But it helps that I’ve seen the results, so I’ve perservered as much as I can.

So, my nickname at work may now be Hop Along – but at least I’m moving.

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Doctors Lie

The doctor lied.  Maybe he thought he was being positive and upbeat – or maybe I just heard what I wanted to hear – but sadly three weeks on, any hopes of a full recovery in a week have been well and truly dashed.

I’m still limping, the calf is still swollen and the leg is painful if I do too much – but the good news is – its much better than it was.

I was certainly over optimistic going to the gym last week – I was only going to do core and upper body exercises  (honest) – but they weren’t impressed.  They didn’t quite escort me off the premises but the “you’re not a very good advert” gave me a hint that I wasn’t really welcome.

Still, on a positive note I can now hobble at speed . . .  if I get any faster I’m going to have to worry about the g-forces and slip streams.

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The Crew

So here we are – the Isle of Wight Rowing Challenge Crew

the rowing crew

From left to right – Samantha Cook, Hayley Streather, Magdalena Gawecka, Kate Davidson, Tasha Hacker, Heather Reid and Ruth Cordero Obrecht.  Claire Wilkinson will also be joining us.

As you can see – having a training day in February, meant our Clipper foulies came in very handy!


What to Wear?

The question exercising everyone’s minds at the moment is What to Wear?

Well, it is a boat full of females . . .

. . .  and we wouldn’t want to clash . . .

Seriously, as for some mad reason we’re doing our first training day in the middle of winter, we need to wrap up but at the same time be able to row comfortably.

Having just looked at the weather forecast for Sunday – temperatures feeling like 1 degree, 90 percent chance of rain and winds gusting up to 44 mph, I think I know exactly what we should be wearing . . .


Do they come in pink?