Adventures in Chocolate… Cocoa Runners

 Cocoa Runners is a subscription box service. I found them a while ago and followed them on Twitter and Instagram before deciding to sign up. They were them on a weekend kitchen show, which made me happy. I really want to make good chocolate a part of my life and want to cut out the crap that is more sugar than real chocolate, so paying a. Bit extra each month to try some new and different chocolates I wouldn’t be able to find at home is the first step in making this change. 

The first box contained these four bars and also came with tasting notes and an brief explanation of where they came from and about the company that produces them. 

 

My favourite was the Original Beans bar as it was smooth and the flavour was nice. The one I had liked least was the Pacari bar as the flavour was very intense. 

I have also received another two boxes I have yet to start, but they look absolutely fantastic.  

 

 

Adventures in Coffee… Small Batch Goldstone Espresso

 

 

This was a random find in Brighton in April. I have been following lots of coffee shops on Twitter and Instagram and Small Batch was one of them, so when I passed it while out shopping with friends I had to pop in and get myself some beans as well as trying a cold brew on a super hot day.

I was a little disappointed in the selection and because the shop was so busy on a Saturday afternoon I felt the staff weren’t really able to spare the time to help a growing customer, so I just went with the blend that sounded nice from the packaging. 

For some reason I stopped having a morning espresso before work for a while so buying this got me back in the habit and I really enjoyed it.  The blend of bens from three regions was nice and worked well for me. I liked the smoothness of espresso as well as the slight bitterness of the aftertaste. A lovely blend to start the day with.

Adventures in Coffee… Rave Cuban Serrano Superior

 im no sure how I missed this one, but I finished this coffee back in January and never posted about it.

  

This was a single original coffee and one I was recommended as one for drinking in a French press and black. I mostly drank this in a fresh press, but also I have tried through the pour over. I think this is my first Cuban coffee. I probably need to make a searchable list to check out what I have tried and what I haven’t tried. I can’t say this was one I would get again, but it was differnt and I like different. It wasn’t as smooth or bold as I was expecting a itch the tasting notes being nutty, chocolate and smokey. I found it a bit Erie acid is than I was expecting. I will be going back to Rave in Juen to pick up another blend and another single origin to take me into summer. 

 

Reality Check

This last weekend was an eye opener for me. I walked up and down Snowdon with a group of friends and I really struggled. I am frustrated and disappointed in where I am currently with my fitness. I have let things slide as I have been pulling back from club politics and focusing on myself, but I don’t think I’ve been focusing on the right things.

I found walking up Snowdon really hard work. I had to go slow and take lots of breaks. I wasn’t left on my own, but most of the group were well ahead of me, especially on the steeper bits. I hated being the slowest. I hated how weak I felt.

I felt really out of shape.

I feel really out of shape.

Don’t get me wrong, I am super proud I achieved the walk up in the shape I currently am. And also I didn’t really ache like some of the others did, but my feet suffered. I know I can do better and I want to do better. I know I don’t want to feel like I currently do and I do not want my weight to stop me doing things I enjoy in the future.

It’s time for a reality check and to stop kidding myself it will happen without me putting in the effort required to make it happen.

I want to be fit and strong.

In order to do that, I need to eat well and exercise regularly. I need consistency. It needs to be a way of life. I need to change some habits.  I need overhaul my approach to food. I need to look at my triggers and assess how I can avoid or mitigate them.  I need to change how I think about eating and show myself that overeating is not taking care of myself or being kind to myself.

Life is an adventure.  I have proved to myself I can do anything I set out to and I know I can make it easier on myself by taking better care of myself. So the next part of my journey is to redefine how I take care of myself.

Adventures in Swimming… Lane Etiquette

I rarely swim in a public swimming session. I joined a club so I didn’t have to swim in a public swimming session. I definitely could not do the swimming sets I do with the club in a public session. I would be considered rude in a public session. That is why lane etiquette is so important, even in club swimming!

I’ve been upping my swimming a bit and have included some recovery sessions into my schedule and to do that I have to go to public sessions.

Lane etiquette is a bone of contention for lots of swimmers. Everyone think they know best and have the only right way to do things.  I am probably one of those swimmers at times. However I think there are some general guidelines that most pools have signs up about or lifeguards would be happy to advise on, such as speed, passing, and blocking the wall when resting.  I search to see if I could find any official rules, but the internet is swapped with lots of different versions so I thought I would add my own that I follow myself:

  • Get in the lane that matches your speed, but don’t assume you stay there for the whole of your swim, or every time you visit.
  • If it’s quiet use an empty lane, but be prepared to switch if more people arrive.
  • If more people get in your lane and the speed changes, then switch lanes!
  • Circle swimming as per the signs on poolside. This reduces the risk of hitting or locking arms with people in the other lanes.
  • Tap the feet of the person in front to pass – no overtaking. If they don’t stop they might not know what it means, so let them know nicely.
  • Slower swimmers must let faster swimmers pass and definitely don’t push off just as one is coming in to turn.
  • If resting, allow room for swimmers to tumble turn or touch turn – don’t block the end of the pool. We all know a length doesn’t count unless you touch both ends!
  • Chat to the people in your lane and let them know what schedule/swim you are doing – don’t try to ‘teach’ or advise unless they ask you something.
  • Be polite to other swimmers and take the high road. If someone is rude escalate to lifeguard. Or if there is a problem with someone slower blocking the lane; don’t deal with it yourself (unless it’s a fellow club member you can banter with)
  • Be careful with swimming backstroke or butterfly – make sure there is room and people are swimming in the right direction – also if your pool uses the horrible lane ropes, rather than the wave cancelling ones, don’t do butterfly unless you know every single person swimming – it impacts the entire pool! (I know this is often in the ‘don’t do’ column for people, but I don’t mind)
  • Don’t go off the rails if there is some accidental touching – it happens. Sometimes I come home with bruises, other times I’ve had a pat on the back as someone passes (it’s quite nice). If you think it isn’t accidental then report it.

For me the overall guidelines are to be prepared to switch lanes and to look out for each other. This is not only in public session, but also in my club sessions, where the faster lanes are filling up, but no one will move into the slower lanes, even though it would up the speed of that lane, so overall we would have more lanes for faster swimmers. It gets quite frustrating with some people.  If you can’t stand the stress of public session my advice would be to join a club where you can swim with people the same speed or slightly faster to be able to push yourself. However if you can’t stand the lane etiquette, then stop swimming as it still applies to clubs and can be useful for open water swimming.

I still only swim in public sessions when I absolutely have to. I prefer to swim with likeminded swimmers, rather than the occasional swimmer, but I like to see the sport open to everyone and would hate to be someone who might put someone off swimming for good.

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