Monday Morning Motivation – Touch the sky with Alex Zanardi

18 May

Alessandro “Alex” Zanardi is an Italian racing driver and paracyclist.

He won two CART championship titles in North America during the late 1990s and also had a career as a Formula One racing driver. More recently, he has attracted widespread praise for his return to competition in the aftermath of a crash in 2001 that resulted in the amputation of his legs. He returned to racing less than two years after the accident, competing in the World Touring Car Championship between 2003 and 2009.

Switching sports, Zanardi took up competition in handcycling, a form of paralympic cycling, with the stated goal of representing Italy at the 2012 Paralympics. In September 2011, Zanardi won his first senior international handcycling medal. In September 2012 he won gold medals at the London Paralympics in the individual H4 time trial and the individual H4 road race, followed by a silver medal in the mixed H1-4 team relay.

Alex Zanardi at Ironman Kona 2014

In October 2014, Zanardi finished just outside the top 10% at the Ironman Wolrd Championship in Hawaii: http://www.espn.co.uk/f1/motorsport/story/179809.html

Monday Morning Motivation – the benefits of swimming

11 May

Are you aware of the benefits of swimming?

Benefits of Swimming

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Monday Morning Motivation – the underdog

4 May

Here’s the thing that makes life so interesting. The theory of evolution claims that only the strong shall survive. Maybe so…maybe so…But the theory of competition says just because they’re the strong, doesn’t mean they can’t get their asses kicked. That’s right. See what every long shot, come-from-behind underdog will tell you is this: the other guy may in fact be the favourite, the odds maybe stacked against you, fair enough, but what the odds don’t know is this isn’t a math test. This is a completely different kind of test. One where PASSION has a funny way of trumping logic. So before you step up to the starting line, before the whistle blows, and the clock starts ticking, just remember out here the results don’t always add up. No matter what the stats may say, and the experts may think, and the commentators may have predicted, when the race is on all bets are off. Don’t be surprised if someone decides to flip the script and take a pass on yelling uncle. And then suddenly as the old saying goes, WE GOT OURSELVES A GAME!

My first DNF and I’m OK about it

2 May

Everything seems to have been going so well recently. My running has been going well, I achieved a new PB for distance swimming and I’m starting to work with a nutrition coach, so I’ve been feeling positive… however, my home is a bit chaotic as I’ve not kept on top of housework. I’m so grateful that this is a bank holiday weekend.

The weekend started with parkrun. I’d had the option to go for a run with Teri and James beforehand, but I decided that I needed a bit of a lie in, so I turned down that opportunity. After dithering about what to wear as I couldn’t be sure what the temperature was, I decided to wear my new Team SOAS shorts and vest. I’ve worn the vest before, but the first pair of shorts that I received were too big. The new pair fit well, but I generally prefer to keep my chunky legs hidden a bit more – hopefully, I’ll lose some weight from my thighs to make running in shorts more comfortable.

I’d forgotten that the Southampton parkrun route has changed at the moment, so I spent a while chatting to a former colleague at the finish funnel and then had to jog towards the start. At this point, I realised there was a problem.

On Wednesday evening, I helped Ben to lead a Lordshill Road Runners training session. One of the runners is having problems because she has very tight hips, so I explained some stretches that might benefit her. She wasn’t sure about all of them, so I demonstrated some. Unfortunately, I was quite cold as I had been coaching and not running, so I managed to pull my hamstring whilst demonstrating pigeon pose. It wasn’t too much and I didn’t think any more of it.

Yesterday morning, as I jogged across the grass, my right thigh started hurting where I had pulled it on Wednesday evening. I hoped it would ease off, so I met up with some friends and the run started.

I had been feeling quite confident that I could manage a 25 minute running, but I started feeling in pain on the way up the hill. I continued chatting to Tim, but the pain increased instead of easing off, so that about 1.5km, I decided that the sensible thing to do would be to quit.

I pride myself on not being a quitter. I’ve never DNS’d or DNF’d a race or event before, but I have such big plans for this year that I don’t want to struggle with injuries. I’ve pushed on in races where I’ve felt exhausted and have even collapsed at the end of races, but finishing a parkrun is not about proving something to someone. It would have been my 149th run, but I’m OK with that. I’m trying to discipline myself to train smarter and I think this is a step in the right direction. Likewise, there has been a lot of peer pressure this week to enter a marathon, but I’m not going to. I have other goals at the moment and I need to remain focused. I’d love to have a chance to do London Marathon, but if it doesn’t happen next year, that’s fine. This year will be my year of swimming and 2016 will be my year of cycling.

The walk back to the start/finish area at parkrun was tough because my leg hurt and I started feeling cold, but I was heartened by the huge number of runners who stopped their run to check that I was OK. This to me embodies the spirit of parkrun – it’s just a run and there’s always next week. Also, Southampton parkrun had over 760 finishers today, which is a new record (perhaps they were all inspired by Southampton Half Marathon last weekend), so maybe my presence next week will help to create another new record!

I spent most of yesterday desperately trying to get my house in order as housework has taken rather a backseat recently. However, under coach’s orders, I’ve been doing the tidying in compression tights and have been trying to rest my leg whenever possible. I took this as a reason to do a bit of DIY, instead of going up and down stairs with laundry.

I’ve never been particularly bothered by medals, but as I have them, I feel I should do something with them. A while ago, I bought some Bygel rails in Ikea, with the intention of using them as medal hangers (I can’t afford fancy medal holders), but I never got around to doing anything with them. Then I saw a photo of Julian ‘King of Bling’ Porter‘s medal display and it spurred me into action.

An impressive display of medals that is a couple of metres long

Jules’ medal display © Julian Porter Photography

I can’t claim that my medal display (or more correctly Team Smith’s medal display as the medals on the left were earned by Stu) rivals Julian’s, but it’s a start. Unfortunately, I’ve run out of screws and rawl plugs, so I can’t put up the 4th rail at the moment, but it will get sorted by the end of the weekend :-) [OK – all sorted now!]

Rows of medals

The medals on the right are mine for running, swimming and triathlons; the ones on the left are my husband’s

I’m hoping to spend a bit of time planning my meals for next week and making a shopping list. I’ll be meeting with my nutrition coach tomorrow and on Wednesday, Stuart and I will have a delivery from Gousto:

  • Lebanese Halloumi
  • Posh Burger ‘n’ Chips (not vegetarian, so Stuart will eat this!)
  • Asian Nutty Noodles

We were persuaded to sign up at London Marathon Expo and as my cooking repertoire is quite limited, we thought it would be fun to try it. If you’d like to try Gousto, visit http://www.gousto.co.uk and enter TAMSY54389 to get £20 off your first box (I’ll get £15 credit).


I read an interesting article today that explained ‘How to predict your Ironman time‘. The formula is:

186.3 + 1.595 × (PB for Olympic-distance triathlon) + 1.318 × (PB for marathon)

so for me that’s

186.3 + 1.595 × (220) + 1.318 × (270) = 893.06 = 14:53:06

Which isn’t far off my HIM PB x2 (7:24:54). I’d love to know how accurate people have found this calculation to be. I’d be delighted with that kind of time!

My longest ever swim (and a cold dip in the lake)

30 Apr

It has been such a busy week, so far, so I think tomorrow may be a rest day.

On Monday morning, I had a cross fit session with SUTRI for the first time in a few weeks. There were only 4 of us there and Olly made it quite a relaxed session, with a lot of stretching. I was amazed by how flexible I felt, but I think it may have been down to the super-painful sports massage that I had on Saturday. We did 40 dead lifts (in 10 minutes). I started out with a relatively easy weight and finished at 55kg as I didn’t want to over-exert myself. We also did a lot of wall ball, which I’m terrible at – I think I’ve got a lot of muscle imbalances and throw in a wonky way, which makes me feel self-conscious, which makes me even worse.

I went to STC swimming at 7pm and decided to stay for a double session. A problem with my parking permit meant that I started a bit late, so I was really pleased to be able to swim 3750m. It is by far the furthest I have ever swum (I’ve only swum 2000m or more 12 times, with my longest ever pool swim being 2250m and my longest open water swim being 2.6k. I would have liked to have swum 3800m (as an iron distance swim is 3.8k), but at least I have a goal for another week.

On Tuesday evening, I went to the STC track session, but there was no coach and the others who had turned up decided that it should be a hills session. We did just over 6km with much of it up and down golf course hill, which is a particularly tough hill at the best of times. By the end of the session, I was feeling better, but my legs were tight to start off with. Thanks, Donna for choosing the session!

Lakeside

Lakeside © Try Tri

After coaching yesterday evening, tonight’s session was my first swim in the lake. Unfortunately, a series of accidents and football traffic meant that what can be a 20 minute drive at the right time turned into over an hour and three-quarters :-( A;though I had been told that the lake was a balmy 17C, I decided to start off wearing my new bootees and orca vest. I have to say that they both worked brilliantly, but my fingers were very cold and my face was freezing. Fortunately, my breathing took much less time to calm down than last year. I did one rubbish lap (mainly doggy paddle!) and then a full lap of front crawl, but the sun was going down and I didn’t want to get colder, so decided that that would be enough for today. Hopefully, the lake will be warmer next time and it won’t take me as long to get there. Stu arrived earlier than me and managed to swim 2 miles!

One good thing about the lake is that the old changing rooms have been demolished, so there are new portacabins, which are really cosy (although the shower temperature still fluctuated between very hot and icy cold). I also felt a bit safer as my NOWCA wristband was scanned in before I started swimming and scanned again when I finished, so hopefully there won’t be any bodies drifting around in the lake!

It’s also been a week when a lot of my friends have been signing up for marathons – Paris, Bournemouth, New Forest and Brighton have been particularly popular choices. I’ll enter the ballot for London next week, but if I don’t get a place, I’m OK with that. I’ve not received any emails about my mysterious free place at Lisbon Rock’n’Roll marathon, but I don’t think it would be sensible for me to add it to my training schedule. It’s really hard being picky about what I will/won’t do. I’m really tempted to do a 5km swim at Stithians Lake in Cornwall on 19th July – it’s the day after I swim around St. Michael’s Mount, so I’ll be in Cornwall, and that seems like a good enough reason to enter!

My first triathlon of the season is on Monday: May Day Tri. Stuart is in the first wave of the day at 8am and I’m in the 4th wave at 8:30am. I’m in a lane with 3 blokes aged 30-45, which seems to be a competitive age, so I’m hoping that I’ll be OK. Some of my friends are much faster than me and they’re in later waves, so I’m not sure how the waves were allocated. In the afternoon, my niece is taking part in her first triathlon, so we’ll stay to cheer her on, which will be fun. She’s a brilliant swimmer and is in her school cross-country team, so I’m sure she’ll be able to hold her own.

What I’ve been reading this week:

Finally, following the perpetuation of unattainable physiques by Protein World, it was refreshing to see this fantastic video by my favourite female endurance sportswear brand SOAS:

We Are SOAS from SOAS_RACING on Vimeo.

If you watch closely, you might see a familiar face at 1:20!

Monday Morning Motivation – Prefontaine

27 Apr

these streets

Are you going out for a run today? Where do you run? I don’t do a lot of off-road running as I tend to run straight from my house rather than driving somewhere to run.

One of my running heroes is Steve Prefontaine:

best pace

Pre was known for going out hard in a race, rather than waiting until the final lap before making a move: “I am going to work so that it’s a pure guts race. In the end, if it is, I’m the only one that can win it”.  There have been three films made about Steve Prefontaine.

Prefontaine (dir. Steve James, 1997)

Without Limits (dir. Robert Towne, 1998)

Fire on the Track (dir. Erich Lyttle, 1995)

Who is your running hero?

ABP Southampton Half Marathon

26 Apr

I didn’t run as much as I’d planned to in Japan (my running was limited to the running tour that we did in Tokyo at the very start of our trip), and I’ve struggled with jet lag and laryngitis since returning, so I was a little apprehensive about doing Southampton Half. I did parkrun in Cornwall last weekend, and only just got under 30 minutes, which is significantly slower than I expected.

I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to complete the half marathon distance, so I asked my friend Teri to go for a run with me on Monday. The short run to her house (<2km) was really hard and I struggled to get under 7 minutes a kilometre. I had said to Teri that I wanted to go for a 60-90 minute run, but I tried to revise that down when I spoke to her husband. Fortunately, Teri was keen to go for a longer run as a bit of stress relief, so I was persuaded to go for 90 minutes. We chatted for the whole run and gradually picked the pace up, so although it wasn’t fast, I managed to do 10 miles and didn’t have any aches, which reassured me that I should be able to finish the race, although I revised my goal to 2:10.

I was sensible for once and rested all week, although I had forgotten that I had booked a sports massage for Saturday afternoon. It was one of the most painful massages that I have ever had – that’ll teach me for cycling miles every day and not stretching!

This morning, I woke up early as Stuart was doing London Marathon… however, although I had intended to be the supportive wife, after a quick chat and a cuddle, I turned over and went back to sleep for another hour and a half.

I made breakfast (apricot and almond porridge) and dressed quickly, so I was ready quite early, Teri had contacted me to agree to meet early, so I set off to walk to our meeting spot. We intended to walk to the start of the race, but just as I got to our meeting point (by a cross roads), a car pulled up and Teri shouted for me to jump in. Teri had been picked up by our club mate Jonathan, so I was happy to accept the lift.

We arrived just before the start of the 10k race, so we stopped by the side of the road to cheer the start of the 10k race and then went and collected our race t-shirts. After that we headed over to where the LRR flag was set up… with a brief stop along the way. There was the most adorable black pug with her owners, so I had to stop for a quick hello!

Then it was off to meet the rest of the Lordshillers and time for a team photo.

LRR team photo

I also spotted my friend, Jez, just back from our trip to Japan. It seemed like everywhere I looked there were people I recognised!

As the queues were quite long, Teri and I headed over to the baggage tent early, and I reluctantly handed in my hoodie and rucksack. Teri had brought a bin bag with her, but I hadn’t thought to pick one up. The temperature was ideal for running, but a little chilly for standing around in.

We headed over to the start and managed to make out way to the front of the 1:45-2:00 pen, where Teri snapped a quick selfie of us.

Selfie with Teri

© Teri Pragnell

Before long, the count down was on and the race started… but it took a little bit of time to cross the starting line.

It was an uphill start, but I felt a burst of adrenaline and was excited to get started. I absolutely love races where there is crowd support and this race did not disappoint.

As we headed onto the High Street, I said to Teri that perhaps I was going a bit fast, but that I would stick with her for as long as I could. Teri pointed out that we were going downhill, so I wasn’t too worried.

We headed into Ocean Village for a run around the marina, which was a little congested and slowed to a walk at one point, so this may be an area that Marafun need to rethink for next year… although a staggered start may be enough to ease it.

We arrived at the Itchen Bridge faster than I realised. Teri quickly pulled away from me, but after my illness, I didn’t think it would be wise to push the pace too early on, so I let her go and focused on keeping my pace under 5:38/km, which was what I needed to do to ensure that I finished under 2 hours, as I had started to believe that I might be able to manage that.

In training, I have hated running across the Itchen Bridge and have often slowed my pace down or stopped for a quick breather, but I focussed on watching out for people I knew on the other side of the road, which distracted me from my discomfort. After the turnaround, I was able to see who I was ahead of… not necessarily ‘beating’ as they may have started considerably further back than me, but friends who run at a similar pace to me.

The support continued as we left the bridge and headed around past the Saints football stadium, before heading onto a part of the run that I have found tough before. Previously, I have started the run from on Southampton Common, so I wasn’t as tired as usual at this point, which was in my favour. It was also great to see Dan, one of my club’s finest runners, cheering people on. There was a slight incline, but the support of the crowd meant that I didn’t notice it. I also focused on smiling at the supporters to show how much fun I was having… as well as watching the technique of other runners, which distracted me a bit. I also saw parkrun Jill go breezing past – she really makes running look effortless!

We continued through Bitterne triangle and into Riverside Park, where again there were many supporters cheering us on. I’m wondering whether some of them were people who had been there since Junior parkrun finished.

Although the weather was cooler than of late, I made sure that I took on some water at every drinks station and poured some over me to keep my temperature down. At 10km, I had an energy gel. It allegedly had caffeine in it, but I didn’t notice any benefit.

The 2:00 pacer passed me, but from looking at my watch, I could see that he was running significantly faster than was necessary, so I wasn’t too bothered. I knew the toughest part of the race (Burgess Mountain) was yet to come, but I was confident that I had done enough earlier in the race that if I didn’t slow down too much, I would be OK.

There were many church groups and bands on Burgess Road, which helped me to maintain a steady pace, and before long, I was at the top of the hill. It included my slowest kilometres, but my average pace was still fast enough to finish in under 2 hours, so I felt motivated.

Running along University Road was great, I saw several work colleagues and there was great support from some student groups. I loved the run down the hill, even though I knew that there would soon be another 90 degree turn and then a hill up to The Common.

The Southampton Tri Club crew were the ‘mile makers’ on this part of the course, and it was great to hear them cheering, even if Steve did get over-enthusiastic and call me Donna (to be fair, we’re similar height with brown hair and are both Cornish, but that’s about the end of the similarities!)

I told another runner that the hills were over, because I had completely forgotten that we still had to run up the hill on The Common – oops. We ran through the underpass, which seemed incredibly dark – I’m sure it’s not normally that bad – and I powered up the other side as I knew that some people I know intended to be somewhere in teh area and I didn’t want to be seen slacking off. There were lots of people that I knew on The Common, including Steve Robinson and his children, Teri’s children, my work colleague Lorrayne with her daughter and Dean with his daughter. My breathing was feeling a bit strange, so I decided to give it to the top of the hill before getting out my inhaler… but I didn’t need to as the support helped me to feel good and it settled down again.

I love running downhill, so I was really pleased to have reached the highest point of the course. I also noticed that I was running near to fellow parkrunner and Sunday Runday runner Kate. She looked like she was having a great time – especially when we passed her son and the rest of her scout group.

At the bottom of the hill, I saw fellow RunCamper Max, along wither her husband and fellow STC’er Richard and their gorgeous daughter (who hasn’t been signed up for any clubs yet… as far as I know!)

Then it was on to the flats, where I saw my colleague Lorrayne again – she was looking in the other direction, but I shouted to get her attention! Further along the flats, I saw Lorrayne’s husband, Jonathan (who gave me the lift earlier). he was struggling a bit, so I encouraged him to run with me, which he did for a while, but unfortunately, it wasn’t his best race today :-(

After we left The Common, I knew there was a small group of LRRs to pass as well as the infamous cake-baker, Lou. Sadly, she had no cakes with her today, but it was great to see all of them cheering people on.

Heading down London Road, I knew that I was so close to the finish and I started to relax a little as I was feeling great and was confident that I would get under 2 hours – a feat which I have only achieved twice: at Reading Half in 2012 (1:52:19) and at Gosport last year. I couldn’t remember my time from Gosport, so didn’t have a specific target in mind.

I picked up the pace when we started running through the park – especially when I could see where we started, but then I reminded myself that we had to head back up to a finish in Guildhall Square… and, unfortunately, there was another hill to be conquered. I was determined not to stop and wanted to enjoy my run back up the High Street.

Towards one of the final turns, I saw the beautiful half of Julian Porter Photography (the lovely Sue), so I gave a huge grin, in the hope that there would be at least one good picture of me from the race as I’ve not had many recently.

It was then onto the final 100m, where I really picked the time up. I was absolutely delighted to finish in 1:55:14. A quick check of my time at Gosport Half last year showed that I finished in 1:57:37, so although it wasn’t a PB, it was my third time under 2 hours, my second fastest time ever and my fastest time since 2012. I am so happy!

Southampton Half results

I’m also really pleased with my stats – I finished in the top 45% (not sure that actually sounds better than the top half) and was in the top 25% of all women and my age group as well.

Southampton Half Marathon Certificate

Southampton Half Marathon Certificate

I really enjoyed this race. My preparation was not ideal, but the support from a home town crowd cannot be beaten. The TryTri/Marafun boys delivered a great event. It wasn’t perfect, but as their inaugural race at a scale they’ve never undertaken before, there were no major problems – they even fixed it so it wasn’t too hot, but it didn’t rain either! :-)

I’ll definitely be entering this race again next year. If you want to find out more, watch the video and then visit http://www.abpsouthamptonhalf.co.uk/sign-up/ to sign up.

selfie with becky

Post-race selfie with Becky, Alison and Teri © Becky Cleeves

Pub with Teri

Post-race refuelling with Teri © Megan Draper


As an aside, my amazing husband ran London Marathon today. He spent most of the last three weeks feeling ill with a chest infection and I did wonder whether he was going to be able to cope with our cycling tour in Japan. He did a lot of training for the marathon, but I thought his dream might end in tatters, so I am immensely proud of him for not only completing the marathon but getting a new PB of 3:13:47. I’m sorry I wasn’t there to cheer him on.

Monday Morning Motivation – The Marathon

20 Apr

The Marathon isn’t about running; it’s about salvation. We spend so much of our lives doubting ourselves, thinking that we’re not good enough, not strong enough, not made of the right stuff. The Marathon is an opportunity for redemption. Opportunity, because the outcome is uncertain. Opportunity, because it is up to you, and only you, to make it happen.

That’s the opening paragraph of a fantastic article on marathon running by Dean Karnazes – make sure taht you read the rest: https://medium.com/@DeanKarnazes/the-marathon-785b08cf5ac4

Monday Morning Motivation – Who’s swimming this week?

13 Apr

How do you get into the pool? Are you ready to try something new?

50 Ways to Jump Into a Swimming Pool

Explore more visuals like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

Takayama to Tsumago

10 Apr
Yet another early start today. Despite going to bed at 10pm, I was exhausted by the time the alarm went off at 6am, as Stuart was coughing and snoring all night. 
Breakfast was a pot of yoghurt with fruit and a muffin that we bought in a convenience store last night.
  
By 7am, we were out on the pavement unzipping our bike bags and loading the bikes up.
It was a short walk to Takayama station, where Jez and I reserved tickets for the 8am train to Hida.
We packed our bikes back up and went to get on the platform but were stopped by the guard. It wasn’t possible for us to go onto the platform before an earlier train had arrived and left. 
As soon as the 7:40 arrived, we could see the challenge – there were hundreds of school children on it, who came pouring out of the station. As soon as they had gone, a slightly smaller group of children boarded the train.
Soon it was time for us to board. As usual, our carriage was the furthest from the entrance, so we had to lug our stuff to the far end of the platform. 
It wasn’t easy to see where to put our bikes, so we stacked them by the door and then found our seats.
The seats were spacious and comfortable, and we could see through the large windscreen at the front, where the driver was sitting.
   

 

After the train started moving, the conductor went to the front of the train, where he bowed before starting to check tickets. A few minutes later he returned to explain that we needed to move our bikes.
We had to carry the bikes down a couple of carriages… They ended up sitting in First Class!
When we arrived at Gero, we unloaded the bikes and then spent a few minutes on the platform as it was quite busy. Jez tried out a new beverage from the vending machine: hot milky chocolate tea. This one was a hit!
When we came out of the station, a taxi driver kindly took a few photos and warned us that it would rain.
It was then onto the road.
   

                 

Again the scenery was stunning. Down in the valley by the river, the cherry trees were in full bloom. This was the theme for the day – as soon as we climbed, the trees were in bud and then we would descend again and the trees would be in bloom.
   

   

By 3pm, we arrived a traditional village, Tsumago, and decided to have a look around. It was a little cool and we felt a few spots of rain, so we pulled on some jeans. We weren’t sure where to put our bikes, so we put them in a gutter in the coach park and left them there fully-loaded and unlocked. This would be unthinkable in the UK, but we were confident that they would be in exactly the same place on our return.
We wandered up to the village and went in search of a cafe to buy some hot drinks as Stu was a bit cold. 
We managed to find a cafe, which had an interesting system: read the menu, select your food/drink and then go to a machine and enter your order and the correct amount of cash. This produces a ticket which then has to be presented to the waitress.
Something that has surprised me about Japan is the popularity of coffee. Cold tea is available from vending machines, but hot tea is not often an option, even though hot coffee can be bought.
After our drinks, we wandered around the village for a while. We paid to go into a traditional house/museum and a member of staff came out and gave us an impromptu tour. It was really interesting.
   

                 

   

                 

When we left the museum, it had started to rain, so we decided to return to our bikes and cycle to the ryokan (traditional guest house). Fortunately, our bikes were where we left them, so we removed our jeans and got pedalling as quickly as possible.
As soon as we left, we were on a hill. Jez and Stu swiftly pulled away from me, but I was ready for a couple of kms climbing. Shortly afterwards, I saw Stu and Jez on the other side of the road… We were almost there!
  
On arrival at the ryokan, we tucked our bikes on the porch and were shown to our room. As it is a traditional inn, there was a small table in the middle of the room with a cushion on each side and a tea set on the table. We had a cup of tea, put our stuff away and went down for dinner.
   

 

   

   

Wow! What a spread! We had a shared table with Jez and it was entirely covered in food. I avoided the fish, but found that there were lots of vegetable dishes.
   

     

After dinner, we went to the social area and chatted with some Aussies and a young English guy.
  
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