Everyday Distractions…

IMG_8230As I type, there is an industrial floor sander working in the next room so loud I feel I need to wear ear defenders, there’s a plumber working on the shower in the bathroom, the Tour de France is on the telly, we are looking at websites trying to find suitable furniture for the room that’s being sanded and hopefully have it all done and dusted before my elderly mum comes to stay next week! It’s her birthday – and several other family members’ – so presents need to be found, wrapped and posted, too. All in all, I’m a little distracted just now, have been for a few weeks to be honest, what with having the decorators in (same room), choosing plants for the garden (which the snails and slugs apparently thought were Christmas lunch and so promptly decimated and killed them), trying to get a date for the drive to be resurfaced (in 2 weeks’ time) and fit in a haircut (next Wednesday).

This is all by way of a long-winded explanation and apology for neglecting not only my blog at the moment but reading and commenting on others. I try to fit in a few when I get chance, but now that all the Tour de France stages are being televised from start to finish, the men in lycra are just too distracting!

In case you’re wondering, that’s Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas winning the yellow jersey the other day.  Unfortunately I don’t have him in our family Tour de France fantasy league, but I do have his teammate Chris Froome who took it over yesterday and I too am currently in the lead – my  very competitive, bike-mad son sent me a text last night to tell me to look behind me as he is catching up fast! (He likes riding up very steep hills for very many miles and even managed to fit in a ride up one of the climbs of that year’s Tour de France when on his honeymoon a few years ago!)

When all the madness has calmed down, I’ll post photos of the parquet floor we’re refurbishing, but if you want to follow the process in real time, take a look at my Instagram account (@pearsnotparsnips) to see the transformation.

I hope normal service will be resumed as soon as possible. I’ll be posting a new gluten-free bread recipe soon. Meanwhile, enjoy the holidays and some relaxing days in the sun, fill up on Vitamin D (but beware of the midday rays), some fresh air and exercise – and commiserations to those of you in the southern hemisphere!

PS The plumber can’t fit the new shower, turns out the previous installer had extended the wires and connected them with insulating tape which makes it very dangerous! So now we have to wait for an electrician to come and rewire it – in 11 days’ time, the cost now being three and a half times as much <sigh>.

Photo by Team Sky.

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Juicing While Watching Le Tour De France

imageIt’s that time of year again – I can’t believe we’re into July already and I’m still wearing my woollies and putting the heating on! (Even the telly has a scarf on!) Anyway, as I said, it’s that time of year again when our house and our family become completely overtaken by all things Tour de France (TdF): wall to wall cycling everyday, all afternoon, and the highlights in the evening! Oh, and we’ve even joined a Fantasy League.

My son and I spend hours going through the form guides, switching team members every other day for about two weeks before any cycling event, keeping it all hush-hush; my husband spends half an hour picking names he likes the sound of the night before, guess who usually wins?! This is the man who falls asleep every single time the cycling is on, doesn’t have a clue who half of them are and he nicks the win in the last couple of days. (I’ve even joined another couple of leagues to try to win some TdF goodies). But we’re not competitive. Not at all. Texts will be flying back and forth throughout the day and the occasional triumphant one will cross the ether late evening after the daily league update goes live. But we’re not competitive.

During the first week, I shall also be doing a juice challenge. imageThis time of year is usually when people begin to think about their upcoming holidays, about displaying the parts of their bodies that have been covered up all year with woolly jumpers, jeans and boots. Others want to rid themselves of that central heating pallour to their skin, get re-energised and kickstart a healthy-eating programme or reset their hormones and taste buds having decided to declutter their system of processed, fatty and sugary foods.

I signed up for Jason Vale’s free 7 Day Juice Challenge – there’s still time to join in, just visit the website* and sign up. You’ll receive an emailed shopping list, all the recipes and coaching videos for free. There’s lots of advice on how to begin, what to expect and lots of encouragement if you find yourself struggling, – like when your family are eating pizza! – and what to do afterwards.

Join me, raise a glass of juice and tell me who you reckon is in with a shout to win this year’s Tour de France – I mean the riders of course, not our fantasy league, because it really doesn’t matter, we’re not competitive at all!

Here’s to a healthy summer!



Copyright: Chris McGowan