Monday, 20 January 2014

The Big Breakfast.

I have been a Coeliac (gluten free freak) for about 15 years now. In this time the availability of gluten free food in the shops has increased massively and the choice of snacky treats is definitely getting better, some are even tasty!

The food labelling for allergens has also become much clearer, which is not only good for me but excellent for other people who may be trying to feed me.

Restaurants in the UK, in my opinion, have been slow to catch up with the change of dietary needs within the population and I am always very wary when eating out, so when I see a menu with GF written next to items, I still get stupidly excited.

This weekend contained one of those excited moments. For a little change to our normal busy weekend schedule, we decided to go out for breakfast on Saturday morning. After dropping off my bike at the shop for a well overdue service, we drove into town to Urban Angel on Forth Street.  I had checked the menu on the web the night before and they had a good assortment of delights to choose from so was looking forward to my breakfast.

After a quick look at the menu and a double check of what they could offer I decided to go with the same as my lovely companion. French toast with organic bacon and maple syrup!

To say that it was fantastically, mouth wateringly tasty is an under statement. I honestly thought I had died and gone to heaven. Such a simple dish to make, but the fact that I could order the same as a non gluten free person was so pleasing.

Obviously this could be easy, even for me, to make at home but the added decadence of going out for breakfast was just lovely. It's true that life is about enjoying the little things and for me those little things often revolve around food.

I did not take a photo of my delicious food so here is a rainbow instead.

Peace x

All photographs by Caroline Harvey

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Lovin' it.

The first full working week is over, thank goodness. It's always a thought knuckling back down to the dull repetition of work but in order to enjoy your free time, you got to make some bucks somehow!

The great thing about the end of the week is of course the weekend and this weekend was made all the better as the weather was fabulous. Cold, but fabulous.

Of course when the weather is good it makes the thought of going out and exercising so much easier and enjoyable. When the winter mornings are still dark and the urge to hibernate under the duvet is strong,  it is amazing to see a beautiful  blue sky take hold of the day. Even if there is no blue sky if it's dry and not blowing a gale, you've got to jump at the chance to get out and enjoy the few hours before darkness comes in again.

Saturday morning was one of those cold and very crisp mornings and having not run since the beginning of the week it was a great opportunity to head off the pavements and into the hills, or at least closer to them. The small amount of pavement and roads that i did go on were incredibly slippy with black ice, but thankfully I did not become a cropper. No speed records were made, but a successful 8ish miles were completed.

Sunday was mountain biking day. Yippee! Although the blue skies had been swapped for clouds it was dry, but still very cold and frosty.

The decision to head to Glentress and tackle the black route was made. I was especially looking forward to this trip as I recently treated myself to a drop seat (Rock Shock Reverb). This is a fancy seat post that you can lower and raise with the push of a button. This may seem a slightly pointless gadget to some people, but to me it is absolutely amazing. I like a high seat for climbing the hills but like it quite low for the downhills and on a varied trail this can be quite tedious and time consuming to do manually, but with this gadget you can do it on the move. It made me so happy it was beyond ridiculous.

Getting to the top of the black route is quite a leg and lung buster and is broken up with some technical downhills, but all the puffing and panting is worth it, not only for the views but for the great downhill at the end. To come down, we took the direct route that followed mostly red and then blue trail markers, and apart from having a few frozen gear problems it was a great run.

To top off a rather splendid January weekend, we stopped in at the Whistle Stop Cafe in Innerleithen. They have a gluten free menu that delights an especially hungry and slightly chilly me. A bowl of chips, a piece of carrot cake and a latte, blissful.

Now that, in my book, is a great weekend.

Morning run.

Morning bike ride.

Peace x

All photos by Caroline Harvey.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

365 days later.

Well it's that time again! Christmas has passed and now the new year is upon us. 2014! Wow, 14 years after the millennium already, where has the time gone.

It doesn't need to be the start of a new year to make you sit back and reflect on the past, but you always fall into it, or at least I do. My reflections tell me that on the whole 2013 was a fairly good one for me. It wasn't so good for a few close friends and family, but they have all come out the other side and fingers crossed 2014 will bring better health to those who need it.

I have many happy memories of 2013, good laughs with old friends, adventures with new friends, physical challenges achieved, and so much more.

What does this new, even numbered year hold in store, hopefully the same and more. I have no specific plans but I know I want to make more memories with a certain gentleman who makes me smile. I want time with my friends. I want to cycle more miles. I want to run more miles, and generally be content and happy.

Not too much to ask really!

Life is what you make it so live it and love it. I'm going to try.

Wishful thinking.

I wish for more mountain biking trails.

I wish for blue skies and sunshine.

Peace x

All photographs by Caroline Harvey.