Rants and raves #33 and a giveaway

**Disclaimer: I’m writing this post after spending an expensive and not very enjoyable hour at the dentist. I’m also preparing to travel back down to Wallingford. As a result, this blog may well be slightly more moany than usual. As always, all rants and raves and moans and groans represent my own views. Other, less negative running and fitness blogs are available**

Rave: My new lodgings

I’ve escaped from the shared ‘House of Doom’. I’m now living with a lovely lady and her elderly dog. I feel safe when I go to sleep, and don’t get woken up at 4am and 5am by people turning on the extractor fan in the kitchen. I’ve been getting 8 hours sleep a night and have been waking up feeling refreshed.

My temporary contract was extended last week; I’m now looking forward to living and working in Wallingford until at least the end of June.

Rant: SpareRoom

Last month, I escaped from the shared house I’d been living in endured for 12 months. The final straw was returning after Christmas, and discovering the one housemate I actually had something in common with and spoke to had moved to Reading. To make matters worse, two people had moved into the room next to me and they were noisy. Like really noisy; I could hear every word they were saying at 2am in the morning. It got so bad; it was a case of find somewhere better or hand in my notice at work.SpareRoom

Even this shared house sounded better!

I was a little surprised to see the house advertised on SpareRoom as having a lounge, an immaculate garden, friendly professional and quiet housemates, parking and a spotlessly clean kitchen. The house had no lounge – the lounge has been converted to a bedroom, the garden is a jungle, most of the housemates were anything but friendly, there is no parking and the kitchen is so dirty, I never risked preparing food in there. All the photos looked really old; possibly from when the house was last sold, the photo of the room wasn’t even of my old room.

The blatant lie that made me report the listing to SpareRoom was the description of the ‘current housemates’. The advert stated 3 Males, 3 Females whereas the reality is 7 males. Incredibly misleading. I reported the listing to SpareRoom and from what I can tell they did bugger all. The completely misleading listing was live for a couple of weeks and has now disappeared. I just hope the new housemate has some good earplugs.

Rave: Famous failures

Sometimes I need to remind myself that it is acceptable to make mistakes and to fail! 

Thanks Jeff!

Rant: The lurgy

I’m still not feeling completely recovered after my recent cough and cold. I’m finding running more of a struggle than it should be, and feel like I’ve lost a lot of my fitness and running stamina. I spend a lot of time on trains and buses surrounded by people coughing and sneezing. A lot of people make zero effort to cover their mouth when they cough and sneeze, it’s disgusting.  I’m getting slightly paranoid I’m going to get ill again between now and the London Landmarks Half at the end of March.

Does anyone know where I can buy my own breathing apparatus set?

Rave: Bargainous 2XU reflective leggings

I recently popped into my local TK Maxx on the final day of the ‘yellow sticker’ sale. Predictably, the vast majority of the items left in the sale were either broken, not in my size or unidentifiable. I did, however, spot a pair of these 2XU reflective leggings in my size.2XU leggingsThey set me back the grand total of £2.50, definitely a bargain. I also bought another couple of pairs of leggings in a smaller size, hopefully a bit of an incentive for me to lose a bit of weight before I’m 40.

Rant: eBay again

After last year’s automatic relisting saga, I decided to give eBay another chance. I’m aiming to sell my unwanted running gear to raise money for race entries.

I listed a couple of pairs of running shorts and made sure that the ‘automatically relist’ option wasn’t selected. I was so paranoid I double-checked both listings. My listings ended on Friday, one was automatically relisted and the other wasn’t. I only knew one had been relisted when someone sent me a stupidly low offer. I declined the offer and deleted the listing and a couple of other listings I had scheduled.eBay woes


Unless eBay stop trying to automate everything, I’m going to stick to buying and not selling. There are cheaper alternatives including Facebook selling pages.

Rave: Facebook selling pages

I listed the running shorts that failed to sell on eBay on a Facebook selling page and both pairs sold pretty much instantly. I got what I wanted and saved money as I didn’t have to pay eBay and PayPal fees. Definitely what I call a win-win situation. I just need to make sure I don’t spend all the money I make buying running gear I don’t need.

Rant: The Running Bug

Did I completely miss an email or something similar warning me that The Running Bug site was closing its doors? I only became aware it had closed when I did a broken link check.The Running BugThe site had an amazing online community and contained a lot of incredibly useful running related articles. It seems a shame for everything to disappear without warning.

Rave: Reflective hairband and a giveaway

And finally, what I hope is a bonus rave. The first and quite possibly last giveaway I’ll ever attempt to organise through this blog.

Last month, Kimberley contacted me and asked if she could send me a reflective headband to wear and review during my night-time training runs. I said yes and received four of these amazing headbands Kimberley has created in the post. I’ll be hopefully writing a review soon.Reflective headbandTo be in with a chance, please leave a comment below saying why a reflective headband would be useful to you. I’ll pick a winner at random and announce the winner on Sunday February 17th. Fingers crossed I get at least a couple of entries. Good luck!

If you’ve reached the end of this blog and have read all of my somewhat random rants and raves, then a huge ‘thank-you’. I’m not sure I would have made it to the end. I hope that you think that my rants were reasonable. As always, I do feel better now that I’ve put pen to paper so to speak.

Have you got any shared house horror stories you’d like to share with me?  

Did you use The Running Bug site? If you did, were you aware it was closing down?  


19 thoughts on “Rants and raves #33 and a giveaway

  1. misswheezy says:

    I lived in a house during my Masters where there was a leak in the bathroom and the ceiling collapsed into the kitchen whilst we were away over the Easter holidays. The landlord never fixed it, so we lived with a hole in the ceiling/floor for the remaining 6 months of the tenancy!

    Those headbands look awesome – hair in my face always annoys me when running and you can never be too reflective 😀


    • Emma says:

      That sounds pretty horrendous, I hate the way some landlords don’t fix major issues. The landlady of the house I stayed in Leeds during my Masters was very good at collecting our rent but not very good at getting things fixed. She lived miles away, never answered her phone and tried to do everything on the cheap. I’d like to think regulations are slightly stricter now.

      Thanks for entering. I’ve put your name into the virtual ‘hat’.


  2. AnnaTheApple says:

    I’m not a headband wearer so I won’t enter the giveaway but they look great!
    I don’t know how you managed to not kill those housemates. They sounded awful. And that is TERRIBLE about the advert. God.


    • Emma says:

      Seriously, I wanted to kill my old housemates so many times. I now walk past the house every morning and feel a sense of relief I’ve escaped. As for the Spare Room advert, it was so inaccurate it was a farce. And to think Spare Room did nothing. The problem in Wallingford is that there is such a shortage of housing, people get desperate and will put up with rubbish living conditions. I guess landlords know they can get away with doing very little.


  3. Isabelle McKenzie says:

    Hi , I love wearing a headband during my run with the evening running group I join in Auchterarder Scotland. . The fact that it is reflective is a super bonus helping me to be seen. Thank you.


  4. jenniferlucie says:

    A reflective headband would be amazing because a) I run in the dark a lot at the moment (can’t wait for it to get lighter!) and b) I normally wear a headband to keep my hair off my face. So I’d get two useful things in one here. They look really good.
    Those leggings were an absolute bargain!


    • Emma says:

      Keep a look out for the next TK Maxx yellow sticker sale, they had loads of running gear priced at £2.50.
      I’m also looking forward to running when it’s light again, I’m getting fed up with running in the dark! I’ve put your name into the virtual ‘hat’.


  5. Mary says:

    I lived with all boys during two ofy uni years. Basically the kitchen was disgusting, there were random papers everywhere through the house and we never slept as it was so noisy! I had lots of fun, but I was only 20. No way would I want to live like that now in my 30s!
    I had a bad experience with eBay recently too. I sold a book for 50p (fine, I got something for it) but eBay then charged me £1.50 in fees. I was so annoyed. I’ve switched to Facebook Marketplace now and it’s much better. There are plenty of Facebook groups to sell more specific things in luckily. No more eBay for me!


    • Emma says:

      I was quite lucky during my first two degrees; as an undergraduate I somehow ended up in some seriously nice halls in the first year and lived with some great people in the second and third years. During my Masters at Leeds I lived with five people all doing teacher training. They left the house at the crack of dawn and were shattered most of the time.
      Ouch, £1.50 fees for a 50p book. I don’t know eBay are playing at, it’s like they only want professional sellers. I’ve read pages of people complaining about unexpected fees and this obsession with automatic relisting. I’ll keep my eBay account as I have found some real running bargains over the years. My selling days are over. Facebook selling groups are a lot less stress.


  6. Dorothea says:

    I think your rants are reasonable, especially about the SpareRoom! I’m jealous of those leggings and the steal! And as for reflective headbands: I find myself getting distracted at work, not making it out the door until shortly before dusk (I’m so looking forward to the summer) and then finishing my runs in the dark. People come towards me on their bikes with their incredibly bright lights right in my eyes, so I figure a headband would at least help them see me, too, from farther away.


    • Emma says:

      SpareRoom really annoyed me, it’s clearly all about making money. Is there a TK Maxx in Cambridge? If there is, definitely check it out. There are a lot of cyclists in Oxford so I can imagine what Cambridge is like. I tend to delay my evening runs until 19:00, any earlier than that and it’s so busy out, I’m probably breathing in a load of pollution. I’ve put your name into the virtual ‘hat’.

      Liked by 1 person

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