This week has been my third week of bronchitis and despite feeling a lot better in myself I am definitely not quite up to my usual speed. On Wednesday I went out for a walk for half an hour, wheezing like an old man enjoying his morning pipe, and when I got home accidentally fell asleep for an hour and a half. Not ideal when you are meant to be working.
It means as well that running has had to be put on hold. I did try the ‘man up and get on with it approach’ last week but after playing netball twice on the Monday and then running on the Tuesday I felt so dreadful on Wednesday that I had to resign myself to taking things easy. I felt bad about it, like I was cheating, but Boyfriend gave me a stern look so I knew I had to behave.
I was especially sad though as it means I have only been able to use my new trainers once so far and I had been so looking forward to using them and looking super cool.
I have previously been running in the trainers I wear for netball, which are designed for use on courts and aren’t really very supportive for proper running. I had been getting a lot of cramps in the bottom of my feet and shins and wanted a pair that would give me much better support. I was recommended Women’s trainers from Hi-Tec and went for the Black Shadow, partly because they look awesome and partly because they have a ‘Die Cut EVA sockliner for underfoot cushioning’. (Well who wouldn’t?) Comparing them with my other trainers I can clearly see that the shape of the inside is totally different, with loads more support around the arch of my feet.
I was a bit anxious about going out in them for the first time as I hadn’t run for a week (damn cough) but was pleasantly surprised that I still managed to complete the programme for the day. I can honestly say that my feet felt much more comfortable and I didn’t get any cramps at all – very impressive after a week off too.
Hopefully next week I will be hacking and wheezing less and will get to use my trainers for a second time and rekindle my love (by love I mean reluctant tolerance) of running.
The Black Shadows are half price at the moment too so if you are looking for a new pair of trainers these are an absolute bargain at £24.99 – I would definitely recommend them.
While I have been enjoying my new trainers, Boyfriend has been trying to rescue two old pairs. Up until yesterday they smelt a bit like a family of kippers had eaten a meal of poisoned stilton and then crawled into the trainers to die in peace. They weren’t pleasant. It was however the perfect opportunity to put Dettol’s new anti-bacterial laundry cleaner to the test.
You add Dettol’s laundry cleaner to the wash alongside your normal soap powder and it kills 99.9% of bacteria. You might think (as I did initially) that this is all a bit unnecessary and that the whole point of the washing machine is that it cleans things, but as Boyfriend explained patiently to me when he saw me washing my pants with our kitchen tea towels, it apparently doesn’t work like like.
Many of us now are being super eco-friendly and turning our machines down to 30 degrees, but without the high temperatures our clothes and machines become a potential breeding ground for bacteria, chortling happily to themselves (in a slightly menacing way as I am sure bacteria do) as we simply swoosh our towels and underwear around in tepid water for a bit. Not only are our clothes at risk, but our washing machines no longer benefit from regular hot washes and can end up smelly and basically not very hygienic.
The principle then of adding something to your low temperature washes to combat this seems sound, although I do wonder how adding extra harsh chemicals into the water system weighs up against the environmental benefits of turning the temperature down in the first place. The environmental scales are always tough to balance.
On a more positive and less stinky note, my new favourite product this week is this royal jelly face mask from Apivita. Made with 89% natural ingredients it is designed to be firming and regenerating. Apivita’s products are made ‘high biological value bee products’ and although I’m not entirely sure what that means, it does sound very impressive.
The theory goes that being a single parent is dead hard and that you never have any time for yourself but to be honest I find sometimes that the opposite is true. It’s a good thing in that you have a grown-up to share you spare time with, but it does mean that you don’t have endless evenings to fill with gazing at your blackheads in a magnifying hand mirror and experimenting with which angle your calves look least fat from. Probably a good thing you might say, but the self-indulgent gazing is quite fun once in a while and I definitely used to make a lot more time for things like lying around in baths drinking wine through a straw to avoid my face mask.
One evening recently then, when Boyfriend was away for the night, I tried to recreate this with Belle by doing face masks together. I couldn’t introduce the calf thing as 1) her calves are beautiful and slender from any angle and 2) I don’t want her to think I’m weird, but we had fun anyway.
Apivita do a whole range of natural, holistic health and beauty products, made with organic essential oils and I am a big fan of their lip balms. Belle has also been using their honey and pomegranate shampoo and conditioner for kids and it smells heavenly.
And finally, Bee has been testing out some damage-free sticky things…
Living in halls can pose some awkward problems. There is barely any room to store things and putting up a poster can lead to losing my £300 deposit. [Note from Editor – I think you will find that’s my £300…]. Not being able to personalise my room how I want to is quite depressing, but Command damage-free hooks aim to solve that problem. With sticky strips to put up hooks or pictures, they are said to be easily removable without leaving any marks on surfaces or walls.
I put some hooks up in my room to hang my bags and coats on, on my door and on the side of my wardrobe. They were really easy to apply, even for someone like me that severely lacks common sense. None of the hooks have fallen off or broken, although we tried to use some of the smaller ones to put up a banner for my flatmate’s birthday and they refused to stick to the wall and kept falling down. However, this was probably because the boys didn’t read the instructions or weren’t patient enough to wait 30 seconds for them to stick. A bad workman always blames his tools, as they say.
I took one of the hooks off a couple of weeks later and it came off easily without leaving a mark. I reapplied it and it held just as strongly. Over all, Command damage-free hooks are a great way to create extra storage space and decorate a room without leaving a trace. (Hopefully I WILL get my deposit back, although as I am writing my room is covered in flour…)
Disclosure: We were sent the Dettol laundry cleaner, a selection of Apivita products, Command hooks and Hi-Tec trainers for the purposes of this review.