Monday, 13 January 2014


It's a new year so I was looking for a bit of a challenge. Something that I could achieve so long as I put in a bit of extra effort. As I work I don't have a lot of spare time and so I was looking for something that wasn't going to take up every weekend and would still leave time for my many craft related hobbies. Well I've found it. My husband loves walking and one of the magazines he has every month is Country walking. Their challenge for 2014 is to walk 1000 miles. Obviously this isn't in one long trek or I for one would be running fast in the opposite direction. No this is to walk a 1000 miles over the year just by taking a little time to walk every day or to take a longer period of time at the weekend or on a day off to walk slightly further. If I was walking three miles a day over the year I would walk 1095 miles.

Over the last year we have walked by rivers and canals. Here the view takes in the River Thames in front of the 600 year old bell tower of All Saints Church in Isleworth. The Thames here splits to go round the island in the middle.

It has taken us past historic homes. This is Syon House, the London home of the Duke of Northumberland. The gardens behind it are beautiful.

We have come across some amazing sculptures on our walks,

and looked out across the downs.

On some of these walks we had Scamp for company

However over the year we didn't manage to walk a thousand miles. Of course we didn't have a record of the walks we took at lunchtime to try and refresh ourselves before afternoon classes so we did a little more distance than we think. However still not reaching the target. 

So this year I am joining this challenge. I have an app on my phone called moves that measures the number of steps I take and gives me the distance and route so this will help to keep a record (so long as I remember to take my phone with me) I also use runkeeper to keep track of our route when on one of our hikes, again on my phone. So provided I remember my phone I should be able to keep track of the distance I cover.

From January 1st until yesterday (12th) I managed 9.88 miles. Not great in 12 days so I need to get a wriggle on to catch up. Last week was a very busy work week and I left home in the dark, drove home in the dark and didn't get out of the building at all during the daylight. No time for lunchtime walks. This week I'm better prepared and managed a mile and a half at lunchtime. If I can up the distance I should feel fitter and maybe a little lighter by the end of the year. Today is really my starting day for this challenge and since I want to get fitter I hope I can achieve this by December 31st.

My other challenge is a stitching challenge and I'm following in the footsteps of Denise from Count it all JOY. She reminded me that there was once a challenge on one of the blog to try and put 15 minutes a day on one side for stitching - any sort of stitching you like. Protected me time! She started this challenge for herself at the beginning of the year and reports on her success every Sunday. From today I will be joining her on the 15 minutes a day challenge. I will try to stitch something everyday (at least for 15 minutes.) I can see this becoming my way of relaxing at the end of the evening before bed so with any luck my sleep should also improve. If I can't fit it in then I'm not going to get upset as this is my hobby but it should give me a chance to work on some of the hand stitching projects that are lurking, neglected in my sewing basket such as my millennium sampler.

The last area I worked on was St Paul's Cathedral and this was completed some months ago. I have done the writing in the area above this but I then kept on making mistakes on the butterflies so put it away in the basket.

I haven't made any resolutions this year because I never keep them but I'm going to try these two challenges. They are both things I want to do so hopefully I will succeed. I'll let you know my progress.

For now I need to get on. I'm still at work and will be staying late as there is a meeting I have to go to that is near here so no point in driving home. Having taken time out to write this post I now feel like getting back to some of the paperwork I need to complete but I would much rather be taking out my embroidery and settling down to a bit of stitching.

I hope you have had a good Monday.



  1. WM and I are walking five days a week at 5am before he goes to work. While he's showering and preparing for work, I get about another fifteen minutes walking around our back yard making a total of about 4 kilometers a day. Being the middle of summer here, there's no way I'm going to walk in the afternoons when he gets home! It's a lifestyle change for me because my "normal" waking time is 8am so I am still training my body for this new timetable. I might take a look at the 1000 mile (1600km sounds such a lot) too. Good luck with both those goals.

  2. I think those are very good resolutions! I really need to start walking again!

  3. Fantastic challenge!! I've had a good think about this. I don't I will achieve 1000 miles in the year so I am going to challenge myself to achieve over 250 miles over 2014. I need more exercise, I don't like many sports and I can't afford the gym but walking is free! You have inspired me and I will blog about it on my own blog! Thank you!

  4. The walking challenge is a great idea, I could do with having a go at something like that too, although my hubby walks so fast I am always out of breath trying to keep up:)

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