Day 24 of Project Happiness – Lost!


  • Meditate for 2 Minutes – Not Yet, but I will later
  • Write about something positive for 20 minutes – ✔
  • 5 random  acts of kindness per week  – 1/5
  • Take 3 x 30 minute walks per week – 0/3
  • Unnecessary items bought today – 0
  • Total car miles saved – 60 (10 today)

Today I woke up a keen bean, looking forwards to my longest bike ride to date.  I had planned in an 18 miler, extending my previous best of 11, going through what looked to be some pretty villages.  Unfortunately things didn’t start well, as I forgot my route plan.  However, I had written the villages I planned to ride through on my hand, so undeterred, set off.  The weather wasn’t as good as Tuesday, with a hint of drizzle, but still a nice enough morning.  However, things quickly started going wrong.  I decided against a left turn which in hindsight I should have taken, and never recovered from there.  Out of the 5 villages I planned to go through, I found one!!  I also ended up turning back after a mile and a half convinced I was going the wrong way.  On examining the route my garmin had tracked later, I realised that I was actually heading the opposite way up the road I originally should have gone down, but decided not to.  Doh!  Anway, it was a bit of a mental battle, but I was able to remind myself that it didn’t matter where I went, the plan had been to do 18 miles, and I ended up doing 17.5, so mission accomplished.  I was also pleased to see that despite all my faffing whilst trying to decide which way to go, I managed to achieve an average of 13.5mph.  The shoulder was definitely not happy, so no doubt I will suffer on my ride home.  I have also discovered that the padded knickers I bought for riding, but weren’t comfortable, are equally as, if not more so, uncomfortable on a bike.  I’m going to have to do some research here, because even after a mere 17.5 miles I was rather uncomfortable in the nether regions, and I think another 10 miles and even if Jonny Depp himself, dressed in the full pirate costume and complete with dodgy but strangely sexy make-up had come begging for a session of hot and steamy sex, I would have sent him packing :O


Tonight, with mini EN away on a school residential, and the elder 2 out at clubs, Mr EN and myself have a rare few hours together on our own, so I’m looking forwards to a nice takeaway curry, and maybe a film.

Plant based diet today has been good (other than eggs again)

  • Breakfast – Bagel and scrambled egg (I wanted fuel for my ‘long’ ride)
  • Snack – Satsuma, apple, carrot sticks and humus.
  • Lunch – Veggy rice
  • Snack – Carrot and walnut muffins
  • Dinner – Curry  🙂



Day 22 of Project Happiness – Cheese!


  • Meditate for 2 Minutes – ✔
  • Write about something positive for 20 minutes – ✔
  • 5 random  acts of kindness per week  – 1/5
  • Take 3 x 30 minute walks per week – 0/3
  • Unnecessary items bought today – 0
  • Total car miles saved – 50 (10 today)

Cheese has been on my mind quite a bit recently.  I LOVE cheese,  like kids love chocolate, like cats love mice,  like politicians love lying.  I’ve been frankly amazed at my self  restraint.  I haven’t bothered the brie, stayed clear of the stilton, and I’ve successfully avoided chomping on any cheddar.  But I am starting to drool at the mere mention of the word cheese.  So I did some research online, as to what people seem to think is ok with regards to ‘fake’ cheese, and then went online shopping with a vengence.  I am now the proud owner of a tub of violife cream ‘cheese’, some violife ‘chedddar’, and some Tesco’s smoky ‘cheddar’.


I got up quite excited, and rushed down to start my day with some sesame bagels,  and ‘cream cheese’, with a cuppa.  Well, despite my excitement, I will admit to secretly believing it was going to be, well, minging.  Because of this I did spread it very much more thinly than I would  with ‘normal’ cream cheese, and my first bite was fairly tentative.  I was relieved to find though, that it was actually alright.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was great, it had a strange kind of sub taste to it, which I guess is just the soy,  and I think if it wasn’t cold it would  be more noticeable, but it was a fairly good imitation of a bagel with cream cheese.  Result!  I will definitely be buying again, and might keep me away from the scrambled eggs more often!

Lunch time was a sarnie with the Tescos Smoked  cheese.  I combined it with some baby leaf spinach and some tomato and chilli chutney.  Again, not bad.  It reminded me of the very cheap cheese I used to buy as a student!  It will do when I don’t have time to properly make something.  I’m saving the violife cheddar for pizza night on Friday.  Fingers crossed 🙂

Had a wonderful bike ride this morning.  Extended my usual ride to just under 11 miles.  The route was beautiful, through country lanes bordered  with farmland and the associated wildlife.  The weather was superb again,  and it was just a joy.  My dodgy shoulder held up quite well, just twinging towards the end,  and I think I am definitely going to invest in some  tri bars for it, as I really like having my borrowed ones there for an extra position to ease the pain with.  The way home was also a good ride, just did the point to point 5 mile route, but shoulder was much more painful.  I have some exercises which I’m hoping might help, but need to actually start doing them to find out for sure….!  Planning a 19 miler for Thursday morning – just got to prise my bum out of bed in time to fit it in before work.

So, aspiring Vegan diet today was a success!

  • Breakfast – Sesame bagel with violife cream  cheese
  • Snack – Green smoothie (banana, 1 cup spinach, handful of blueberries, handful frozen summer berries, coconut milk), satsuma, loads of pink grapes – they were just lush!
  • Lunch – Sandwich with Tescos smoked cheese, spinach, tomato and chilli chutney
  • Snack – Doritos
  • Snack – Ritz crackers
  • Dinnner – Stir fry with Quorn vegan pieces,  veg,  noodles, and home made garlic, ginger and soy sauce.

Day 17 of Project Happiness – This ‘n’ that


  • Meditate for 2 minutes – 
  • Write about something positive for 20 minutes – 
  • 5 random acts of kindness per week – 0/5😦
  • Take 3 x 30 minute walks per week – 2/3
  • Unnecessary items bought today – 0
  • Total car miles saved – 40 (10 today)

Positives for today are a little tricky.  We’re currently down visiting family for a funeral tomorrow.  However, it is good to catch up with folks, and it’s lovely to see the family all rallying round.

My poorly broken landy is now fixed again, and will be ready to pick up on Saturday.  Just a case of trying to cobble together the money.

I’ve managed to catch up on a few bits of admin, put in a claim for two refunds owed and cleared my work email box from 600 down to less than 50!  Whoop!

Cycled to and from work today, and am enjoying it so much that I have planned out a route which goes all the way from home to work, instead of my half way point from the yard.  It’s over 13m each way, whereas normally I only do 12 total, so I’m a bit worried about what it’ll do to my shoulder.  However,

“Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.”
Rikki Rogers

So I’m going to give it a go, on a day with suitably cheery weather.

Oooh, another positive I’ve just remembered, is that my potatoes are coming up, and so is my thyme!  My peas kind of raised to the surface, so I’ve sprinkled some more compost on top.  Fingers crossed I get some more coming up soon 🙂

Vegan(ish) Diet – epic fail today.  What with trying to do a full day of work, sort out ponies, and travel down to family, along with a lack of preparation, meant I didn’t have dinner planned so Mr EN just bought me a pizza 😦  However, I think I have found some cheese to make them myself in the future, so we’ll see how that goes!!

  • Breakfast – Scrambled eggs and mushrooms on toast
  • Snack – Banana and satsuma
  • Lunch – Marmite sandwich, carrot sticks and humus
  • Snack – Banana muffin (vegan)
  • Dinner – Pizza (blush)


Day 11 of Project Happiness – Swallow!

  • Meditate for 2 minutes – 
  • Write about something positive for 20 minutes – 
  • 5 random acts of kindness per week – 2/5
  • Take 3 x 30 minute walks per week – 0/3
  • Unnecessary items bought today – 0
  • Total car miles saved – 20 (10 today)

Today’s positive had me beaming from ear to ear.  I had gone to fetch the pony from the field, and she was quite a long way down, looking rather unenthusiastically at my arrival.  We started trudging back up the field towards the yard, and were immediately joined by a small flock, about 10 birds, of what I thought were swifts, but now having checked the RSPB site I think are swallows; swooping and diving all around us.


“Swallows are small birds with dark, glossy-blue backs, red throats, pale underparts and long tail streamers.” – RSPB Website

I assumed initially that they were after the insects around the horse dung, but to my surprise they stayed with us ALL the way up the field.  The were swooping only a couple of inches off the ground, wheeling round then coming back at us again.  They were so close I thought one was going to hit my leg on one occasion.  They were really pretty up close, I had thought they were black and white, but up close in the light their feathers have an iridescent blue shine to them,  absolutely gorgeous.  They reminded me of a humming bird as they seemed to hover at times as they banked and changed direction.  They were chirping as they went past too, so I tried chirping back at them, not sure if they noticed or not though!

Had a good cycle to and from work, despite the wind and grey weather, and eldest EN sprog had a lovely ride on the pony who looks like he’s feeling better now.  She is starting up a tack cleaning venture at the yard, so has been practising taking my tack apart and putting it back together which has been amusing for me if nothing else. 🙂

Vegan venture has definitely failed for me today.  Friday is pizza day in my house, and I still haven’t found a quick, easy and tasty alternative.  Mr EN bought me a veggie shop one which I ate some of.  Interestingly, I ran out of rice milk at work and was gasping for a cuppa so had cows milk.  Ewww!  I thought the first lot must have been off, but turns out it’s just me!  My taste buds seem to be changing.  My pizza tasted odd too!

  • Breakfast – Beans on toast
  • Snack – Breadsticks and hummus
  • Lunch – Mixed vegetables with barley and endame beans.
  • Snack – Flapjack
  • Snack 3(!) – Marmite on vegan hm bread
  • Dinner – Pizza 😦


Day 10 of Project Happiness – A very good cause

Status :

  • Meditate for 2 minutes – 
  • Write about something positive for 20 minutes – 
  • 5 random acts of kindness per week – 2/5
  • Take 3 x 30 minute walks per week – 0/3
  • Unnecessary items bought today – 0
  • Total car miles saved – 10 (10 today)

What a simply wonderful spring/summer day!  A nice breeze keeping things fresh, but the sun was out in all it’s glory, and nature was proudly showing off all the frills on her skirt.  I cycled in to work today and it was glorious, I felt absurdly lucky to be fit enough to do this ride, and to be in a location that offers me such sublime scenery to enjoy en route.  The lambs are getting bigger now, and the sound of them calling to each other fills the air as I cruise along.  We’ve had a lot of rainfall recently which means the streams I cycle over are very full, and rather than merrily babbling along, this morning seemed like they were on a very important  mission.  I love how much more wildlife I discover on my bike; it’s so much quieter that the car that the animals don’t seem to mind so much, and I have rabbits nibbling away and paying me no attention as I whoosh past, and the other morning I had a red kite swoop right over my head as he came in to rest on a fence by the side of the road.


So another 10 miles I didn’t have to do in the car.  Hmmm, I ought to keep a record of how many miles I save……added to the status 🙂

My act of kindness is actually one of my huge positives of today, and I am just so so pleased I can help in this way.  The yard where I keep my ponies has it’s own facebook group, and a lady who’s children used to ride there posted today about her friend’s 4 year old daughter who is currently undergoing aggressive cancer treatment.  Apparently all this little girl wants is to spend time with a pony and have a ride.  They’d had something arranged but it had fallen through.  I immediately offered them some time with my children’s pony.  He’s already used every week for Riding for the Disabled Association, and is very well behaved, and he’s incredibly cute, although will be quite big for this little one.  They were very pleased to find something, and so she and her cousin are coming to visit on Sunday.  My eldest daughter and I are going down in the morning to give him a bath so he looks gorgeous, as the woman who arranged it is a photographer and is going to come and take some piccies of them all.  How fantastic to be able to help in this way!

Vegan food has suffered today.  I started off really well by making a fresh vegan loaf, by replacing the butter with olive oil.  It’s actually delicious!


Unfortunately though, I always struggle with what to fill it with….and put on it.

  • Breakfast – poached egg on toast
  • Snack – Green smoothie
  • Lunch – Tuna and mayo sarnie
  • Dinner – Very unhealthy spring roll, onion rings and chips from the fish and chip shop!!

Green smoothie recipe – was ok, but too many pea shoots I think made it taste weird.

  • 1 cup of kale salad (including spinach and peashoots)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 round of melon
  • coconut milk to cover.