Round(ers) the bend

I woke up at 8am in a bit of a panic. “Psst. Brad! Is that rain I can hear?”

Brad murmured sleepily “It’ll be fine, go back to sleep.”

“BRADLEY! What happens if we have to play rounders in welly boots and macs?” Brad bundled the bed covers up around his ears in an attempt to block out the sound of my anxious weather analysis.

The rounders game was number 12 on list 34; ‘Arrange a big rounders game for a friend who keeps talking about it, but hasn’t got round to organising it’. And now the big day was here and it was bloody well raining.

Fortunately, the spell of rain was satisfyingly brief and insubstantial (not often I’d make that statement) and our game of rounders did not need to be hastily converted to a game of stuck in the mud instead.

We’d arranged to meet in a local park at lunchtime and for the first half hour, the sky continued to look rather mean and moody, but in true British summer style before long the clouds had moved and the sun put his hat back on.

We prepared for our rounders games in the most sensible and practical way possible; sitting around on blankets and stuffing ourselves full of food. A few cheeky little barbequed sausages followed by some of Krispy Kreme’s finest merchandise surely contain the relevant nutrients to enhance playing performance. The National Rounders Association would be proud.

The tasty barbeque aroma attracted a number of canine callers, one sassy little pup managing to get her chops around a number of sausages before running off proudly with her delicious ill-gotten gains.

Eventually, Rounders finally got underway. I divided the gang into two teams. Badly it would seem because my team somehow had two fewer players than the opposition. Counting is clearly not something I excel at. That said, my team did have a secret weapon, star fielder extraordinaire, but more about him later.

The rounders games were brilliant fun albeit not highly skilled and resulted in considerable more laughter than actual points scored. Tactics included picking small children up and running with them if they got in the way, using your head to stop the ball (I’m pretty certain this wasn’t a deliberate fielding strategy), missing out bases completely and obstructing the path of batters from the opposing team whilst they were attempting to run.

Many of us hadn’t played Rounders since our school days and it’s fair to say that at least 90% of us have not missed our rounder-playing vocation. Some of the more competitive players had brought studded football boots for grip. I had mocked this approach, particularly as one of the be-studded rascals was Brad. I sorely regretted my teasing when I skidded spectacularly onto my arse whilst fielding, allowing the opposition to get to fourth base “bet you wish you’d been wearing football boots now, don’t you darling?” shouted my smug beloved.

The highlight of the day and a very special mention has to go to Oscar, my friends Rob and Victoria’s springer spaniel, for literally being the best player on the field. The ball landed, Oscar got hold of it and turned into super dog, he ran like the wind. He couldn’t be challenged, he couldn’t be stopped and our team got a great big beautiful rounder out of it.

I haven’t enjoyed a day out as much in a very long time and I’m definitely going to try and make it an annual event; well, as long as Oscar’s on my team that is.

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The team that didn’t quite win

The team that did

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Oscar: Star player!

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Do or diet

20140122-233213.jpgA recent survey has reported that women go on twice as many diets as they have lovers.

The first thing that occurred to when I read this report was that based on my dieting history, I needed to get myself some more lovers…

I am an all or nothing dieter. I will either eat a whole box of doughnuts or I will not allow one crumb of sugary evilness past my lips. Every last one of the Maltesters; crispy balls of scrumptiousness, from one of those oversized ‘peel and reseal’ bags or not even one lone globe of chocolatey honeycomby joy.

Talking of those bags, does anyone actually peel and reseal? Surely the Mars company could save thousands of pounds in packaging costs by getting rid of the futile peel and reseal sticker? I may write to Mr Mars and suggest it.

Apparently, Maltesers were first sold in 1937 and were described as energy balls, aimed at slimming women. Sadly, we now know that if you stuff yourself full of energy balls, you will soon struggle to fit into your frock.

71% of the women polled in this diet survey believe that diets are an effective way of losing weight and I agree with them completely. The only way to lose weight is to move your backside more and shove less cake in your face. The problem with this is that star jumps and eating celery are both less enjoyable activities than sitting down and eating biscuits.

This year, I am attempting to be healthier, slimmer and fitter. I say attempting because we’re only at week three and each passing day the golden arches of McDonalds shine a little brighter, tempting me with their delicious fat laden, deep fried delights. Oh tasty tasty fries why must you tease me so?

In order to assist with my healthy living I have been trialling a number of different exercise classes. This week, was the turn of the kettle bell. For anyone unfamiliar with these instruments of torture, let me explain further. A kettle bell looks like a shot with a handle on top, to clarify, I mean the metal ball used for shot put, not an alcoholic beverage. At a kettle bell class you swing this device around whilst bending and stretching until it feels as though your arms are about to fall off and someone has set fire to your legs. Just when you think that you can take no more of the kettle bell hell, you get a break, in which you are required to partake in cardiovascular pursuits like skipping, jumping jacks, squats and other hideous activities.

I’m also giving Zumba another shot. Unfortunately I do not possess the two key skills required for this activity, namely multi-tasking or coordination. As a woman, admitting to being unable to multitask is a bit like admitting that you’ve never cried for no apparent reason or you don’t own any cushions. It’s shameful. Unladylike. Yet, it’s true. I can’t do actions with my arms if my legs are required to do something different and there is no chance that I can  manage booty shaking as well. I do not look sexy, I look like I’ve wet myself. Less Latino vamp, more tena lady tramp.

Still, I shall persevere. Embrace the exercise and welcome the work outs. Eat more carrots and less carrot cake, ban the pizza delivery man and who knows, I may even utilise the peel and reseal sticker on my bag of Maltesters.

Every cake has a silver lining

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In order to attempt for this blog to not just be a place for me to talk about the joy of cake or to get cross about random things. I have signed up to receive a daily prompt; a subject or topic to blog about.  I haven’t tried it until today but I really wanted to write and I was struggling for inspiration so thought I’d attempt the prompt. Today’s title is “No Fair” http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/20/daily-prompt-fair/.

It would be tempting to start by saying that today was not fair because of the lack of cake. However, that would be a complete lie because I accidentally fell into the Bakery earlier and bought a cake.

When I say accidentally, I mean completely deliberately and with the absolute intention of buying some cheese straws. And when I say fell, I mean walked in confidently and with purpose whilst simultaneously barging an old lady out of the way in a pastry panic because I mistakenly believed that she was intending to buy up the last of the cheese straws, leaving me with a soggy looking Cornish pasty.

As I was paying for my cheese straws, I caught sight of a solitary iced bun out of the corner of my eye, threw caution to the wind and bought that too. I do love an iced bun. I have an American friend who just does not get them. I can picture her now screwing up her face in that ‘you English people are just odd’ way that she does, exclaiming “I don’t understand, it’s just bread with some icing on top”.

As far as I am concerned, a day that contains cake of any description, even if it is just bread with a bit of icing on top, is always going to be a better day than one without cake.

This cake anecdote sort of sums me up. I am a looking on the bright side sort of a girl and I try to not feel sorry for myself or think that life is unfair. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t always manage it. If I ever buy a lottery ticket it is always not fair when I have not won the jackpot because I absolutely deserve it. That said, if I did win, chances are I would buy an awful lot of cake and would have to buy bigger and bigger trousers to accommodate my jumbo jam doughnut shaped bottom so maybe it’s better that the money goes to someone else.  Other things that are a teeny weeny bit unfair are the fact that I have not yet appeared on Strictly Come Dancing. Yes, I know I’m not a celebrity but I’d be really, really, really excited to do it which will more than make up for my lack of fame. It is also not fair that I do not like celery as much as I like cake because that would make dieting a whole lot less of a challenge.

So there we have it, the daily prompt has helped me to expand my horizons, to write about new ideas and different subjects.

I am not a one cake trick pony.

Dammit.