Microadventure #3: Bodyboarding weekend in Cornwall

Tl;dr: unfit middle-aged Brummie woman with lifelong surfing obsession fulfils dream by not standing up on board.
fiona cullinan bodyboarding

The challenge has always been to surf. It’s been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember fuelled by seeing early skateboarding films in the ’70s. Then came movies such as Big Wednesday, The Endless Summer, Blue Crush, Lords of Dogtown and the oh-so-quotable Point Break. I even read books: Andrew Martin’s cult classic Walking on Water was particularly inspiring as (like Keanu in PB) a fellow journalist gets the ultimate assignment – he’ll be paid to go surfing, in Hawaii, for The Times. ‘Awesome.’

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Harkive – how I listened to music on 19 July 2016

I’ve been meaning to do the annual Harkive project and this year I’ll finally got around to it, albeit a couple of days late. Here is it:

I work from home. I generally wait for a bit of editing work to come in that I can do ‘with my eyes shut’, which allows me to have my ears open. Around 10.30am a piece on Brexit (the 50th this week) comes in and, to take the pain away, I flip on the mini amplifier that sits amid a bookshelf of comics in the home office. I like its little neon-blue glow – and its ironic surreptitiousness, given the racket it can make.

ampNext step I alt-click on my laptop’s sound icon. This brings up a drop-down menu of where I want the music to play. Thanks to the husband (family tech support) we can play music via wifi in most rooms of the house. I click on ‘Office’ and then open Spotify.

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Microadventure #2: Nordic walking in the woods at night

‘There’s no snow, you know!’ OK, so walking with ski poles across the pedestrian crossing in suburban Birmingham may draw a few gags but needs must. I want to get fitter and this seemed a perfect way to take my daily 10k step walks up a level even if I did look a bit silly.

It’s not just walking with poles, though. I needed to book a lesson to learn the basic technique. Nordic walking involves ticking off a number of skills before you can join a group walk, and so, in the same way that people join ski school, I booked an hour’s one-to-one lesson with Hazel Jonas of Nordic Walk Now.

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Microadventure #1: Alone in Kings Heath park at night

IMG_6900My heart was practically tachycardic as I entered the blackness. They (if they were there) could easily see me nipping off-path and slipping between the large conifers edging the park into the expanse of darkness beyond. I was banking on no one of cruel intention waiting for me there. All I wanted to do was to be able to see the full moon undiluted by surburbia’s glow.

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So that was 2015!

 

sunflowersThis Christmas break has been a feverish, fog-brained, sinus-filled and jelly-legged two weeks, due to the most fluey of cold viruses (but not the actual flu because when you’ve had the flu, you know!). And so, the Christmas alcohol remains to be drunk, I’ve dropped three lbs and our post-Christmas walking holiday has been postponed. But I have a history of broken festivities so I’ll just add 2015 to that list. When you work from home, the winter office viruses find you just in time for the holidays and are all like: ‘Wayhay! Fresh meat!’

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A collection of spam quotes to touch all the internet people

Spam can

Image: (CC) Mike Mozart / Flickr

A while ago I starting collecting some of the best/worst spam quotes being left on my various blogs. I do like the relentless positively testimonials of the spambots. So how great am I? Let’s check my spam filters to find out.

1. Inspiring fondness

I have no idea how you do this but I’m completely fond of this blog.

2. Grammar-free praise

I don’t know who you’re however certainly you’re going to a well-known blogger should you aren’t already. Continue reading

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Before you buy a bunny for Easter…

Bunzilla and Bunminster An Easter message from Bunzilla and Bunminster (and me).

1. Do not buy a bunny this Easter because they look cute and fluffy, or because someone lumped bunny and Easter together like puppy and Christmas. You all know what happens when the festive tinsel comes down.

2. Buns are a 8-12-year commitment and attract expensive vet bills as they may need an anaesthetic to figure out what’s wrong being prey animals who hide their ills.

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My new trip camera is an iPhone

GridRecently I sold my DSLR with every intention of replacing it with a new hybrid camera. Instead I’ve been pretty pleased with the output from my iPhone 6 and so, for the first time ever, I took all my trip pix using just a cameraphone. Here are some shots from our honeymoon to Iceland. Many pics are straight out of the camera or with just a little adjustment for the confused white balance of snowy landscapes.

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Poster girls, GoPro debut and a sudden Total Eclipse of the Heart

Snowselele is the now-traditional Christmas singalong featuring Moselele (“The second best ukulele group in Birmingham”) and a chorus of around 400 drinkers at the Prince of Wales pub in Moseley. I was pleased to find myself and my sis appearing as poster girls for this year’s event (photo by fellow Moselelean, Sarah Aust). Continue reading

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Oh Dear Diary – another step on the path to conquering public speaking nerves

I’ve posted a few times about my fear of public speaking so agreeing to read from my teenage diary at Oh Dear Diary, as part of the Birmingham Comedy Festival, involved yet another stomach-churning, leap of courage.

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