Trip to the UK!

Well it’s that time of the year again and me and Miss Peanut will be heading over to the UK to visit family! 5 Whole weeks this time 🙂

I honestly cannot wait to get there! She’s so big now and will have so much fun. Grandma already has a stock of treats and favorite foods for her and everyone is itching to give her hugs and cuddles.

New on the trip she gets her own plane seat this time!! eeek!!

I am not sure if this is going to be a good or bad thing! Hopefully she will sleep on the trip like she has all the other times.

I have visions of her running up and down the plane isle though! lol

I am going armed with things to keep her amused, like her colouring book, crayons, snacks and cartoons on my kindle. She’s much more of a hand full now shes a toddler and 2 years old!

I have seen two races in Norfolk and Suffolk which look like fun but i don’t honestly know if i will do them. If its pay on the day then it will be tempting. But i shall see!

I will be continuing with my running and there’s even the chance i will get to go to a gym and do some classes! 🙂 I even have a few online races to do while i am there.

For now I’m busy making lists of things i need to take hoping i won’t forget anything. While at the same time making sure Miss Peanut does not stick all her toys in the suit cases!

I will blog a bit while I’m there when i can.

Miss Peanut is packing her Mickey Mouse bag she got for her birthday 🙂



Rome Steam Punk Festival! SteamFest

SteamFest was on the weekend here in Rome. It was the second edition of this Steam Punk festival which started last year.

Steakpunk is something that has become very popular since the films Old Wild West and Sherlock Holmes.

Also Back to the Future 3 with the crazy Dr Emmett Brown! Its a meeting of Victorian era fantasy/technology!

So think H.G Wells, Jules Verne and more modern like Philip Pullman and Stephen Hunt.



I was very keen to go as Steampunk is something i have been interested in for quite a while. I have actually been looking online for costume ideas for a few months now. I decided to go on the 3rd day of the festival which was sunday 13th September.

The festival was being held at the same place the food festival was which i attended also this year.

Its a part of Rome know as Testaccio and not far to walk from the Piramide metro stop.

It was 7 euro’s to get in which is not that bad.

I got there an hour early and sat at a table by the bar. It was actually quite fun to watch them setting up and people all dressed up arriving.

Some of the costumes were amazing and you could see a lot of thought had gone into them.










There were quite a few different themes going on from safari, Disney, sea to soliders. Everyone was different and some of the details were really quite clever and well thought out. There was a costume competition later that day where you could win a trip to the London Steam Punk festival!



This guy dressed as a solider had music playing from his belt and he looked quite cool.



One of my favorite constumes was this guy dressed as what looked like the super hero Deadpool but Steampunk fashion. He was very kind and let me take a photo of him relaxing.


The stalls there were heaven for anyone into Steakpunk and even goth stuff. I ended up going from tent to tent mentally deciding what i liked and what i might buy.

There was everything from costume accessories like little cogs and watch faces to hats, clothing, rings, bracelets, necklaces and more!

I knew i was after some Steampunk goggles which i have been after for a while. Rather than buy them off the internet i decided it would be fun to buy them at the festival.

I saw quite a few cool hats as well but it took me a while to find one i fell in love with 🙂 And it was love at first sight!

This lovely lady had some interesting stuff on her tables and the moment i saw the red and black hat i was instantly in love!                              12006170_10153647363393594_3422723112999852126_n


It’s a tiny bit big which i can fix with glueing a little felt inside so that is not a problem. I could buy it with or without the goggles but as i liked the over all look i bought them with it.

I can also remove the goggles and wear them on their own if i wish. It was 30 euro’s for the hat which she had made herself and 18 for the goggles.

She even took a photo off me to put on her website for her business! 🙂

Which you can find on her facebook page:

I really liked some of the clothes she had made to.



I also bought some gloves she had made which i thought were really steampunk-ish to. They wrap around and then lace through the clip. There really comfortable and were 8 euros for the pair!




This watch caught my eye and i added it to the things i had bought as well. Steampunk use a lot of watches, cogs and things like that. So as i am building my own costume its good to find things i can add and collect to any ideas i have.


And of course if you go to a festival you have to at least get a festival t-shirt! They were sold out of the women’s large. So i ended up buying a man’s medium which is a little baggy but is very comfortable and was only 10 euros! I will be wearing this proudly around Rome and on my trip to the UK!


Apart from shops and cosplay people, there were also face painting, having your photo taken with people in costume. A stage for Steampunk bands which played in the evenings. Also live action role-play!

One of our friends was actually involved in that and he was fighting with sticks, boxing and other sorted fighting with others.


There was also a workshop on how to make your own Steampunk hat!

I wish i had gone all three days as they had quite a few different activties going on even then.

Saturday evening i know there were a few bands playing and even a burlesque artist.

A workshop on costume making as well and even a Barber Shop competition for the beard which looked the most steampunk!

I also found a tent for the LARP (live action role play) Steampunk Group which is here in Rome. They had some wonderful costumes and pretend weapons they were showing off.

I really enjoyed my afternoon at the festival and i’m really happy i got to go! I have three friends who have made and are making there own Steampunk costumes and i think i will be doing it to!

I already have my eye on a bag and corset to go with my hat! Perhaps next year i will go in my own costume 🙂

But for now i am happy with what i have so far!




Platform 9 3/4k Virtual Race

If you have ever seen or read Harry Potter than you will know that Platform 9 3/4 in Kingscross is where all the children catch the Hogwarts Express.

When this race came up through the Hogwarts running Group, I was eager to sign up for yet another challenge.



The race was being held on September 1st although you were allowed to do it another day if you couldn’t make that day. This of course was the day that Harry and Ron went to catch the train but missed it!

The aim was to run 9.75km or 6.058 miles the same distance as 9 3/4!

The 1st September was a tuesday which meant my running time was from 7pm. The days are starting to get shorter so the sun is slowly begining to dip by that time.

I decided to try and run the whole distance, although you were allowed to break the distance up if you needed to.

I started off slow for the first mile and half taking my time. The temp has dropped so it was a lovely 27c that evening. Two miles in a sped up.

My legs have been feeling really good and strong since i started running further, so i like to push myself a little now.

When i hit the 3 and half miles mark i had to stop as my legs had started to hurt. The fact it was getting dark was also another factor.

I haven’t run further than 3 and half miles so i kind of knew I might not make the whole 6 and half miles in one go. (I’m not quite ready to hit 10km again but getting there!)

So tueday i did 3 and half miles and the following evening i did just over 3 miles.

I managed to make a personal best for my 5km run to! I used to be able to run 5km’s in 35mins some years ago and want to get back down to that. So i was very pleased to get my 5km down from 38 minutes something to 36 mins 41!


I was not the only one to break up the long run but i was happy that i completed it 🙂

We were even given a special ticket bib just for the run to wear which is really pretty and looks like a train ticket for the Hogwarts Express!

I posted a photo of myself on the events facebook page after i had finished along with everyone else.

It was also nice to get some more miles done for points for my Hufflepuff house!

I have to say i love the exclusive medal we will all recieve to for our run 🙂 I can’t wait for the next race!




Road to Hogwarts Virtual Race

As i mentioned in a previous post i have joined a Harry Potter virtual running Group.

Apart from joining one of the different school houses (Hufflepuff) and getting house points from running they also do virtual races.

Middle of July i signed up for the Road to Hogwarts 90 day challenge! It cost me 30 euros for the entrance fee which goes to charity.


Then I had from the 1st July to the 1st of October to run 52 virtual miles from Aberdeen to Dufftown where Hogwarts is located.

Once you had signed up on their web page and the race web page you had to indicate what type of device you used for running. So for me it was my Garmin although other options where fitbit and Runkeeper.

It then connected to my Garmin account where it would automatically log my runs each day and add them to my distance to Hogwarts! This got me motivated to run and connect my Garmin as sometimes i would leave it for some days before doing this.

Once you finished the course between those dates you would recieve a very cool Medal for your achievement!

It took me 5 weeks to run the entire distance which im quite proud of and it kept my motivation for running high. I did have a problem with my Garmin connecting but that was the fault of Garmin and a recent update to their website which alot of people are having trouble with.

Luckily the race website gives you the option to put your runs in manually so thats what I had to do for the last 20 miles.


I am so happy to have finally completed my run all the way to hogwarts!

I am really enjoying these virtual races as after all i am always running against myself even in when doing normal races.

I also like the fact im getting some very cool exclusive medals that not everyone else has and im working for them over a longer time period 🙂

It’s also nice to have them linked to something like the Harry Potter world which i love and makes them all the more special in my eyes 🙂



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The life and times of a writer, runner and triathlete