Good morning and Happy Monday. I can’t believe that my week of annual leave has finished and I’m back in the office. One minute it was Monday morning and I had the whole week ahead of me, the next it was Friday evening and the weekend was rapidly approaching.
So, what did I get up to during the weekend? Did I remember that I’m meant to be a runner and make the time to run? Did I spend far too much time in front of the TV watching The Ashes? Did I eat and drink far too much? Most importantly, did I remember to have fun?
After some slightly negative comments on social media – I think the expression ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say’ comes to mind – I’m adding a disclaimer here. If you want to read about an action-packed weekend then this isn’t the blog for you. If you want to read about active travel this isn’t the blog for you. If you want an insight into the life of a 40-year-old Brummie who is experiencing a bit of a midlife crisis, this may be the blog for you.
My weekend didn’t get off to the most positive of starts when I discovered that my broadband had suddenly stopped working. With a job application to complete and an academic manuscript to submit this wasn’t ideal timing.
If you are thinking of switching to Virgin Media then please don’t. Their customer service is nonexistent – it took 55 minutes to speak to someone on Friday evening. To add insult to injury they keep putting their prices up. If you think I’m exaggerating, check out the feedback on their social media accounts.
I’m not sure if I was worried about the job application or something else, but I didn’t get the best night’s sleep on Friday. I’ve so much respect for people with children as after three hours’ sleep I woke up on Saturday morning feeling like a zombie.I dragged myself out of bed, had a cold shower and then made my way to the start of Sutton Park parkrun. My run was slightly marred by yet another out of control dog biting at my ankles. When I asked the dog owner politely to put his dog on a lead I was told to “piss off”. And to think people complain about the cyclists and runners in Sutton Park.
I’m not surprised my heart rate was a lot higher than it was during the equivalent run the previous week.Volunteering was a little hectic as there was about half the usual number of people volunteering.
I provided finish token support to my running buddy Ellen and also had the task of ensuring people remained in the correct order. Luckily someone took over number checking for me as I was struggling to note down all the dodgy barcodes while keeping Ellen supplied with tokens.
I enjoyed myself as with 300+ finishers we were busy most of the time. I also love getting to congratulate people as they finish. The rota for next week looks a little empty at the moment, hopefully, a few more people will volunteer.
[Photos: Peter Heafield]
I’m still on target for a 25 volunteer t-shirt by the end of the year 🙂
Ellen kindly gave me a lift back from parkrun and I switched on my computer and discovered that my Internet was still kaput. This is going to sound a little dramatic, but without Internet access, I wasn’t able to complete the majority of my Saturday chores. I wasn’t able to print out the information I needed to start working on the job application and I wasn’t able to submit the final version of my academic manuscript. It’s amazing how reliant I have become on the Internet. To make matters worse, I wasn’t able to watch very much of The Ashes as the TV stopped working.
My Saturday continued to be a bit what I call ‘pants’ when my friend called to say he didn’t want to meet up for lunch. I could have gone into a real sulk but I decided to spend the afternoon and early evening completing some household chores.
Household chores completed, I walked the short distance to one of my favourite local pubs. I’m sure I must look like a bit of a loner drinking alone, but I do enjoy having the occasional peaceful pint(s) on a Saturday evening. I got soaked en route to the pub – one minute it was sunny, the next there was a torrential downpour. The rain was so heavy, I spent 15 minutes trying and failing to keep dry in a bus shelter.
The pub was busier than normal but I managed to grab myself a table in a dark corner. I *may* have spent a little longer than I’d originally planned to waiting for it to stop raining. It was dark when I finally left.I felt far better than I probably deserved to when I woke up yesterday morning. Unfortunately, my right knee was incredibly painful, I hate the way it sometimes randomly hurts for no reason. I decided to be sensible and cancelled my planned run with Ellen. I hate messing people about, but I don’t think I’d have enjoyed hobbling around the top end of Sutton Park.
Despite my painful right knee I still managed to have a productive morning. As you can imagine I wasn’t overly impressed when I went to watch the first few overs of The Ashes and discovered that the Virgin Media fault had reoccurred and my TV wasn’t working. It’s like it knew I wanted to watch something on TV.
My day improved when my friend came round, apologised for yesterday and said that he wanted to go out for lunch. I’m not the type of person who turns down eating opportunities, so I got changed into something suitable to be worn in public, and headed into Mere Green.
I was feeling quite hungry so I decided to treat myself to the three-course lunch option. The menu was slightly different to last time I visited, so I opted for Calamari to start, followed by Steak-Frites. I wasn’t going to have a dessert until I spotted someone on the table next to us eating Crème brûlée, I’m sure you can predict what happened next.
The rest of the day was not quite as productive as I would have liked. I ‘phoned Virgin Media who confirmed there was an issue with a junction box, and was given an estimated time the issue being fixed of 20:45. Once I knew I wouldn’t have Internet access for most of the day, I cracked on with some more gardening, and got myself ready for work.
And finally, I’ve got a really short product review for you. I hope that people find it interesting and informative.
Cochie fruit Shakies review
I’m aware that I’m repeating myself, but as a blogger, I love trying out products and writing what I hope are meaningful reviews. I also love learning about new brands and discovering new products. Last month, I received an email with a rather eye-catching subject line – Introducing Cochie the new name in dairy-free goodness made from coconuts, not cows. Manufactured by Triano Brands, Cochie is an anagram of the word choice, and is pronounced Co–chi.I rather cheekily asked if I could review some Cochie products on my blog, and a couple of days later received a selection of ‘Softys’ and ‘Shakies’ from the launch range. As I’m still working my way though the Softys, this review focuses on the Shakies.
A quick introduction to Cochie
As a brand, Cochie has two priorities:
- Taste – Dairy-free does not have to taste bad; in fact it can taste really, really great.
- Choice – Dietary requirements, healthy eating, family-oriented shopping they all cause restrictions. With Cochie anyone and everyone can try and enjoy it.
Cochie fruit Shakies
I thought I’d include a bit of information about Cochie Shakies before I share my thoughts.
Cochie Shakies are described as a super refreshing drink that can be enjoyed from the bottle, poured over ice, mixed with cereal or frozen. The launch range includes fruit Shakies in two flavours – strawberry and mango – with more product variants coming soon.
The review process
The review process was in theory incredibly straightforward. As I prefer chilled drinks, I put the Cochie Shakies in the fridge, and waited for the ideal opportunity to try one. I had visions of enjoying a chilled strawberry flavoured Shakie after my Pilates class, and a mango flavoured Shakie after a run. Well that was the theory. The reality was a little different as my friend Hannah drank both bottles of the mango Shakie while I was out running.
As, I didn’t get to try the mango fruit Shakie myself and I wasn’t able to source replacements, I’ve decided to share the feedback that my friend Hannah rather reluctantly provided.
According to the Triano Brands website, the strawberry flavoured Shakie is free from all major allergens including gluten, soya, dairy and lactose and is suitable for vegans and vegetarians. In an attempt to be helpful, I’ve included a list of the ingredients and nutritional information.I drank the first bottle of Strawberry flavoured Shakie I’d been sent after a run in what felt like 100 degree heat. I was feeling so thirsty, I finished the Shakie in less than five seconds, and didn’t give a lot of thought to what it actually tasted like. Definitely a bit of a failure on the product review front. I saved the second bottle for after my first and quite possibly last attempt at Pilates. This time I remembered to shake the bottle before I opened it – I guess the clue is in the name – and took a few seconds to actually think about what I was drinking.
I thought that the strawberry Shakie tasted a little unusual, I suspect that I was expecting it to taste a little more like strawberry milk than it did. One of the main ingredients is coconut milk, so I was a little surprised the drink didn’t really taste of coconuts. I actually found the taste a little too artificial for my liking. Although I found the strawberry Shakie refreshing, I don’t think it will be replacing my usual selection of post-run drinks.
According to the Triano Brands website, the mango flavoured Shakie is free from all major allergens including dairy, lactose, gluten and soya and is suitable for vegans, vegetarians, kosher and halal. Once again, I’ve included a list of the ingredients and nutritional information.My friend Hannah drank both of the bottles of mango Shakie while I was out running. I wasn’t overly annoyed as I’m not a huge fan of mango. It would have been a different story if Hannah had drunk the strawberry Shakies. Although Hannah said that she found the mango Shakie a little on the sickly side, I suspect this was because she managed to drink two bottles in one go. Apparently the mango flavoured Shakie makes a great hangover cure.
So thanks again to Cochie for sending me some bottles of strawberry and mango Shakie to review. For more information, please visit the Triano Brands website. Each 250ml bottle has a RRP of £1.99.
**Full disclosure: I was sent a selection of products from the Cochie range for free in return for a review. I did not receive any payment for this review. As I complete forgot to take any photographs, the photographs in the review are from the Triano Brands website**