The Boudica Challenge


Good People who read my blog, welcome, welcome to my latest insane (simply a synonym for genius by the way) idea.

The background

My bike is also called Boudica.

Mostly because I dig Boudica and think she is one badass woman.

Also there is Nikki.

She is very cool. Her bike is called Hermin.

(I think Boudica and Hermin may have a thing going on but we can’t find out for certain. They’re keeping very quiet about it all.)


When Nikki found out that my bike was called Boudica I made a stupid joke about riding around naked with butter knives attached to my wheels.

Nikki took it from a joke and suggested we actually do something useful with such an insane idea.

Naturally I loved it, except the naked idea (ouch). Some lateral thinking later and…. TA DA!

The Boudica Challenge was born!

And So…

July 24th 2010 is the day that The Boudica Challenge takes place.

Working West to East and riding three trails in one day, totalling 35 miles (yikes):

Brechfa:      Gorlech Trail: 12 miles

Afan:          The Penhydd Trail: 14 miles

Cwmcarn:    Twrch Trail: 9 miles

Inspired by Boudica’s story, we are supporting Refuge, because one woman in four experiences domestic violence at some point in her life.

Furthermore, two women are killed each week by a current or former partner.

Domestic violence accounts for almost a quarter of all violent crime and in 90% of domestic violence incidents children are in the same or next room.

On average a woman will be assaulted by her partner or ex-partner 35 times before reporting it to the police.

It is shitty, shitty, shitty and if we can help by riding our bikes stupid stylee around mountain bike tracks then that is what we want to do.

More details…

We shall be riding in gold bikinis and cycle shorts since it is common knowledge that this is what all modern day lady superheroes wear.

Our hair shall be red – Boudica’s was. It wouldn’t be fair if we did not have red hair.

It is not a closed event – we want to raise the profile of mountain biking for women, and the more people involved, the more money we can raise.

If you want to be involved – let me know in the comments section and I will get back to you.

Fancy Supporting Us?

Well the least troublesome way is to donate using the link at the top of the page, that way from the comfort of your desk chair you know you’re helping and you don’t have to ride around in a gold bikini feeling stupid.

Or you could join in with us as mentioned above.

We’re setting up a website too and when that is up we will be letting you know if there is anything we need. So I hope you’ll visit us there when it is live.

Right then – that’s the news lovelies. More soon!


The best day off ever

I had a day off! Yes, normally I usually get one a week, BUT this time I got to spend it with people, actual real people, because it coincided with their days off too!

So this is what I do on such a day:

Ride Cwm Carn in the snow

Which was so much fun!! (Please feel free to ignore the ridiculous pink cycle computer. It doesn’t work anyway.)


Go climbing


I’ve just noticed that my shoes match my hoodie – not intended but I’m still a little impressed.

They all seem to laugh gently and think I’m taking the piss when I insist that colour co-ordination improves climbing… but, you know – it does.

Didn’t help me much as I was knackered and ended up downgrading in a big way and swearing a bit on one route, but hey – it was fun.

Also – yes, I have mud on my trousers.

That’s because I was a silly Doris and forgot to pack a change of trousers and hence was climbing in my riding trousers, which were muddy. Very muddy.

So there you have it. Lots of fun had by me.

The Petticoat – at last!

The Petticoat



So there you have it – my first petticoat.

Sewn without pattern and just kinda thrown together, in a day for the next evening.

Experimenting with my new ruffler foot.

I discovered that yes, it makes gathering much much easier but, hell did I need a lot of fabric.

So worth it though – totally makes me more feminine than I can possibly describe.

And it made my dress look AWESOME.


Oh, oh yeah – and you can go “floof, floof” with your skirt when you have it on.


I say every girl should have one.

Re-encounters with Comfort Eating

The New Year has brought an insane amount of newness for me which, although expected, has thrown me into chaos.

The New Job

You see – it was totally expected. Eventually, eventually they gave me my start date and it was in the new year and not before Christmas as originally expected.

So now I’m working shifts – which I have NEVER done before.

And I’m working in a cafe – which I have NEVER done before.

In a climbing centre – which, to be fair, I know quite well, but…. as a climber not a worker bee.

There are a thousand things which have thrown me off whack.

Mostly it is the newness of all the new things I’m doing and having to adjust to them.

There’s realising that although this company and its people are incredible (we have meetings on beanbags, with lollipops – what is not to love about that pray tell?) the work I am doing for it is so totally no up my street that it may as well be in another city.

Struggling to adjust

The newness and the change are difficult for me to adjust to, because on one hand I need this job and I know that this is an amazing experience and on the other hand knowing that this is just so not right for me is making it hard to keep going in every day.

And then there’s the shifts – which have just thrown my days into disarray and along with that my social life.

Like I never get to see my housemate any more. The woman is one of my closest, dearest friends and I never get to see her anymore.

Where I used to see her every day, at least for a little bit before we fell asleep.

Heading back into old territory

So on my days off last week, where I had no one to spend my time with, I discovered this much about me:

When I am left alone and am struggling to adjust to something, I spend my days in bed, watching telly and eating. Mostly eating.

Old comforts.

Food is something I used to have a very tangled relationship with and I spent a very intense year about nine years ago learning about how much I was using food as a comfort instead of listening to the needs behind my feelings.

But the change

Since spending a year journaling away my relationship with comfort eating I have a new way of interacting with it.

It involves allowing it to happen but also picking up my journal and listening to what is going on behind the scenes.

No judgement.

What I found this time was such a huge change in my ways of interacting with myself that it took me by surprise.

I remember the days before when there was so much guilt and anxiety over feeling what I was feeling, this time however what was there was permission.

Comfort and Joy

Yeah, I discovered that the reason I was eating was because it was bringing me comfort and joy where I was feeling these things were lacking greatly from my day to day.

My other sources of these are scarcer now – my friends, my QS job, my colleagues, the known – and so I was turning to once source which was readily available.

Furthermore, I was able to give myself permission to need comfort and joy in a difficult situation, committing to finding some different, healthier ways of giving this to me.

Whilst I’m not sure what these are just yet, it does mean that every time I fancy eating when I’m not hungry and especially when it’s something sugar laden, I can recognise a need for a bit of comfort and then I can give myself an invisible hug and permission to need some comfort.

And so I say this

Comfort eating is a complex issue and the reasons behind it differ for everyone, but most often I believe it exists because there are some unmet needs lurking which are scarier than putting on weight or whatever negative connotations there are to comfort eating for you.

I have found that gently asking myself what’s up during these times, whilst still giving myself permission to need the crutch invariably leads to me being able to give myself what I really need without worrying that I am depriving myself of a source of comfort.

Food is less scary than asking for help in many, many situations.

Unless you’re asking for help from yourself, and in my experience, that’s the source that’s most often the most helpful.

Most of all permission to need is key.

Snow is just MAGICAL

All you need is some heavy duty plastic bags, a snow covered mountain and good friends to make a most magical day.

Clothes! Hats! Men Dressing Up! Oh, Handbags and Hairstyles – it’s all happening here.

There is much whizzing about my wee brain currently and as things are coming to close on this project.

I’m trying to think of new things to do which will bring in some cold hard cash in the absence of another Quantity Surveying position.

I’d like it, whatever it is, to bring in enough money to get me through university, pay my rent and bills and to allow me to live comfortably.

By living comfortably I mean going on the holidays I’ve planned with my friends, buying things that delight me, buying things that entertain me, spending time with my friends dong social things, and so on.

My thoughts have taken a turn towards sewing, which is really quite scary for me because you see, sewing was my original dream.

I was 16, I had no business know how whatsoever, but I was a demon with a sewing machine. Therefore, I was going to become a designer.

Look, I’m training to be a QS- obviously I did not become a haute couture designer.

So I’m scared of entertaining these thoughts, because what if it all goes wrong again and once more I’m left cleaning the egg off my face?

But my explorations have taken me to some delightful places and I want to share them with you.


Handbags galore.

Such gorgeous patterns and accessories, I really, really want to get into making handbags. Especially the ones on this site.

A man! Who talks about clothes! With passion!

I heart.

Send your gentlemen friends here should they be required to look oh so spiffing and handsome.

Oh yes! I love a man who explains to other men when dressing up for an occasion, “that the reason men’s evening attire is either black or midnight blue is to provide a backdrop against which your lady can shine.”

The site itself is not so great in layout and looks, but oh! It is fun to think of all that dressing up.

Moving on…

Ball gowns!

I am making this one for my housemate for her Christmas Ball. It’s a Vogue Pattern and you can find it here.

And you shall go to the ball Cinderella.

I think I shall get her to model it for me when it is done.

I’m really rather excited.

It’s Autumn! That means Hats!

Cloche hats more importantly.

I look cuteasabutton in cloche hats and I just love, love, love this one from M&S

Och! It’s just too gorgeous.

I’m hoping a fairy or a pink fish might give it to me for my birthday. Who knows?! I can see us being very happy together, especially when teamed with a scarf and gloves and a coat of equal gorgeousness.

Similarly they have this one which would be just perfect for my upcoming trip to India. I can picture it with long white linen trousers and a halter neck top.

Hairstyles! To go with the Hats!

I’m inspired by Holby City.

Dr Valentine in particular:

Whilst not a million miles away from my current hairstyle, her fringe is different – shorter and straighter, not swept off to the side.

More twenties – Me Lika.

Goes with the cloche style hats for sure.

I’m considering copying her.

She did heart surgery last night. Perhaps if I have her hairstyle I can do heart surgery.

Or star in a drama where I can pretend to do heart surgery.

You know I’m joking right – right?!

That’s it for today.

Have you been inspired recently? Tell me more…

Remembering a dream

A movie, a hotdog and more 7Up than one person should be able to drink…

Last night we watched Fame (2009) and oh yes, it was fabulous.

Obviously, don’t watch it if you’re after a deep and hard hitting story line because that’s just setting yourself up for disappointment. But if you’re after good dancing, singing and general entertainment then this is the movie for you.

After we’d watched these gorgeous, young people perform their hearts out at the end of year production and turned to each other saying, “Can’t wait for Construction Management on Friday can you?” all very tongue in cheek, I listened to them talking about dreams, success and fame and it struck a cord.

The meaning behind it all…

I realized that I used to believe in these things myself.

I realized that I used to have an incredible belief that I could do and succeed at anything I turned my hand to because I was me.

So I was a little sad at thinking that I’ve let that go, because I have – I question my ability now at pretty much everything, and I also thought that there’s no need for me to carry on as I am.

I can reclaim that belief in myself and reignite the dream I once had, which was to set the world alight by being myself.

Being alive, feeling alive.

Noticing the tiny moments and snippets of time which freeze in your memory as something significant and infinitely precious.

Knowing that it is these that make our lives.

Knowing now, with a little bit of life experience behind me, that these will too include pain and that too is okay.

My life and all its drama unfolding…

Right now in my life things are uncertain and I find myself craving stability and certainty, thinking that there is not much I wouldn’t give right now just to know where the next step will be.

This is so frightening for me to go through and I am finding it incredibly tough to maintain my resilience and get up to face another day.

Keep calm and carry on.

Only I’m inclined to fits of drama to spice things up.

But this realization that I’d like to reclaim the tiny moments reminds me that life is poignant and precious, even during this time that is so trying to me.

Within this all there is much to be grateful for and I most genuinely am.

I’m talking about my kitty’s face as she peers with curiosity into my jewelry drawer, looking round eyed and cute as anything.

Or hugs with my friends in comfort followed by laughter as we use some good ol’ fashioned humour to cope with things.

The kindness of my mum and my family as I panic about money and wonder where things are going with my job.

It is the people around me who make my life and I intend to hold onto this as my little life raft during a time of change and uncertainty for me.