Rants and raves #28

**Disclaimer: I’m writing this post in my boiling hot room in Wallingford as I’m doing my best to avoid my housemates. Sometimes, I just really need some peace and quiet. As always, all moans and groans and rants and raves represent my own views. Other, less negative and far superior running and fitness blogs are available**

Rave: Wallingford

It took me quite a while, but I’m finally appreciating how lucky I am to work and live in Wallingford. I’ve realised that I moved to Wallingford during possibly the most depressing month of the year – January – and found walking to and from the office in the dark really uninspiring. This month I’ve (kind of) made the most of the light evenings and have spent quite a lot of time relaxing next to the River Thames with a pint after work.WallingfordI’ve got to know some of my colleagues a lot better and have learnt how to chill out after work. I’ve also enjoyed(?) training with the local running group and have found plenty to do after work. The only negatives of living in Wallingford are the extortionate costs of renting a tiny room in a shared house. I could also add RAF Benson and noisy helicopters at 02:00 but I won’t.

Rant: Living in a shared house

I’m still finding living in a shared house a touch challenging at times. Since my last rant on the same subject, I’ve been scalded in the shower on several occasions. Not ideal and frustrating when I shower as late in the evening as possible to avoid this happening. As you can imagine, I wasn’t exactly thrilled when someone stuck on a load of washing when I’d just stepped in the shower. Cheers!

The kettle went ‘AWOL’ last weekend and hasn’t been replaced. Rather amusing. The smoke alarm in the kitchen has never worked and I’m not convinced the landlord has a clue about fire regulations.

Rave: Racecheck

I recently headed out for an evening run and returned to over 100 notifications on twitter. My initial reaction was something along the lines of “what on earth have I done?”

I then discovered that after reviewing the Cathedral to Castle Run on Racecheck, I’d become a member of their Visor Club. After a slight delay due to me not being at home, I rescued my visor from the local sorting office.Racecheck visorNext time I’m at a race I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for other people wearing a Racecheck visor. I’ll also work out a way to actually wear my visor as I’ve got a slightly smaller than average head…

Rant: GDPR emails

I’ve lost count of the number of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) related emails I’ve received this month. ‘Last chance to stay in touch’, ‘Would you like to hear more from us?’, ‘We need you to update your preferences’, ‘We’d love you to stay in touch’, ‘GDPR…you know the drill’ and perhaps the most amusing; ‘You’re about to become extinct’. Really?

I’ve received emails from brands and companies I don’t recall ever buying anything from or contacting. Rather ironically, I’m still waiting for an email from the most spammy company on the planet.

At least my email inbox will be a little less cluttered next month.

Rave: Competition wins

A couple of years ago I won quite a few useful bits and pieces through twitter and facebook competitions. My winning streak came to an end and I assumed I’d used up all of my luck.AfterShokzAs you can imagine, although I was obviously over the moon when I discovered that I won a pair of AfterShokz Trekz Air headphones in a twitter competition, I was also a little concerned it was a mistake.

I can’t wait to test them out when they arrive. I’ll definitely be writing a review at some point.

Rant: Working in an open plan office

The office I work in is large and at times incredibly noisy. I’m sure that there are bazillions of advantages to working in an open plan office but I find it hard to concentrate when it’s noisy. Luckily, my line manager lets me listen to music but it’s not a long-term solution. And don’t mention the lack of phones, the clear desk policy and window wars.

Rant: My local athletics track

Apologies for the ‘bonus’ rant. I walked past my local athletics track a couple of weeks ago and was horrified to discover that it would cost me almost a fiver to use.

I’m aware that athletics tracks are expensive to maintain but surely Birmingham City Council should be trying to encourage people to use their sports facilities. No wonder I’ve never seen anyone using the track in the daytime.

Rave: New trainers

I’ll end on a positive note with a bonus rave. After my old pair of Brooks trainers started to look (and feel) a little past their best, I decided to crack open a new pair.new-shooooeeess1.jpgOnce I’d successfully transferred my custom insoles into my new trainers – this was quite tricky as they we wedged in my old trainers – I was ready to run. The new trainers felt amazing and thanks to some online research were as cheap as chips. Fingers crossed my injury prone feet and knees also love them.

Once again, if you’ve managed to reach the end of my latest random selection of rants and raves, a massive thank-you. I hope my rants and my raves were reasonable.

Do you enter competitions? If you do, what is the best thing you’ve ever won in a competition?

Do you work in an open plan office? I need some tips for coping with the noise.


13 thoughts on “Rants and raves #28

  1. John says:

    I’ve entered lots of competitions, but I’ve gotten a little heavy for running races lately. In December, though, I won a pint glass that came with two free re-fills. That was the best. And I also work in an open office; I just have to get up occasionally and walk outside or to some other quiet spot.


    • Emma says:

      I love the sound of a pint glass that comes with a couple of free refills, such an awesome prize. Did you get to keep the pint glass? My office was really noisy today; it was like people were trying to outdo each other. It got so bad I spent a couple of minutes hiding in the loos to escape the noise. Hopefully tomorrow will be quieter.

      Liked by 1 person

      • John says:

        I did get to keep the glass, and I use it often. 😉 I’m sorry about the noisy office–I hate noise. I’ve had the office to myself this week. Everyone apologizes for leaving me alone, but I’ve loved it. Hopefully you can have a pint and some quiet this weekend.


      • Emma says:

        I’m pleased you got to keep the glass and that you use it a lot. The office wasn’t too noisy today; it never is on a Friday. I would love to have an office to myself. I’d be far, far more productive. I’ve had a can of gin and tonic (not very classy) on the train between Oxford and Birmingham and am enjoying some peace and quiet.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. AnnaTheApple says:

    I love a competition. Rarely win but worth a punt! Tho I did win a race entry which was silly because it was in London and in the end it was just too much faff. I hadn’t really put much thought into would I actually do it if I won. Silly of me!
    The Aftershokz are amazing. I truly love mine. Hope you find them good!
    I work in an open plan office which is, like you said, good and bad. I have a really loud laugh which doesn’t help… fairly embarrassing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Emma says:

      I think I entered that competition; I’m not sure what I would’ve done if I’d won a place. I remember being thrilled when I won a place in the Run to the Beat Half Marathon. Once I’d worked out it would have cost me loads to spend the weekend in London, I decided not to use my place. As it turns out loads of people complained about the race so I didn’t feel quite as bad about ‘wasting’ a place.
      I can’t wait to try out my AfterShokz, I’ve left them in Four Oaks so will have to wait until the weekend. My office was so noisy this afternoon I went and hid in the loos for 10 minutes to get some peace.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dorothea says:

    sounds like the raves outweigh the rants. And Wallingford does look like it can be lovely in spring. Actually, “Home Thoughts from Abroad” by Robert Browning (1812–89) sounds very appropriate right now


    • Emma says:

      I think the raves are still just about outweighing the rants. I can almost smell the weekend so I’m feeling quite chilled out at the moment. I’m just off to Google “Home Thoughts from Abroad”…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Maria @ Maria Runs says:

    Congrats on winning the headphones!
    Are you allowed to wear headphones in your office? Our staffroom can get noisy and so some people stick in headphones with music or something to drown out the noise from everyone else and help them focus on work. Might be worth a try?


    • Emma says:

      Thanks Maria. I was amazed when I found out that I’d won a pair. We are allowed to wear headphones occasionally but I don’t think the area manager is a supporter. I might ask if I can work from home when I have some work I need to finish.


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