Days Out · Sports Thoughts

Para Athletics 2017

On Sunday we travelled down to London to go to the Olympic Stadium to go to the evening session of the World Para Athletics Championships. I bought the tickets ages ago, during last year’s Paralympics, so our anticipation levels were really high. Buying the tickets was really easy – the website highlighted which of the Team GB stars were competing in which session, I chose the Sunday evening session so that we could see Jonnie Peacock compete in the men’s T44 100m.

We got to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in plenty of time, after a quick trip through the gift shop we went and found the Hero Village. This had some stalls running activities, but more importantly was home to the Medal Plaza. No medals are actually being presented in the stadium during the session they’re won in, instead they’re presented later at the Medal Plaza. Just as we arrived they were presenting the medals from the previous evening’s men’s T42 200m final, for GB a gold to Richard Whitehead and a bronze for David Henson. It was very cool to get to see it, but at the same time felt like a shame as we realised that we wouldn’t get to see the medals from our session actually presented to the athletes who won them.

Getting into the stadium itself was so easy, the security was efficient and the entry system had clear instructions to make sure you entered the stadium in the right place. We were in our seats very early when there was hardly anyone else in the stadium.


It soon filled up though, there were over 30,000 people there – the biggest crowd so far in the tournament. It was brilliant to see the crowds including loads of families with children, lots of them clutching their cuddly toy version of the competition mascot Whizbee.


The sport was brilliant. We saw such a variety, from our seats we had a fantastic view of the long jump as well as all of the track events. Most of the throwing events were a little further away so I found myself paying a little less attention to them, but there’s so much going on that you can’t possibly watch all of it.

There was so much good sport to watch and enjoy but the highlight was of course seeing Jonnie Peacock race. His heat and his race were both highly tense, even if they did both only last just over 10 seconds! Seeing him set a new record, and win the gold medal was absolutely brilliant.

We had such a great evening. I came away definitely wanting to go and watch more live sport. I’d gladly go back to watch more at the Olympic Park, but also plan to investigate some other venues – locally we have the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham which hosts major athletics competitions, and also other sports – after both London 2012 and Rio 2016 we said we’d love to go and watch some cycling at a velodrome and I don’t want to get to Tokyo 2020 and still not have done it.


Tune for Tuesday

I saw this video on Twitter yesterday (I think) and then today YouTube thought I might like it. I like it very much, and in lieu of the Para Athletics post that I'm still writing I thought I'd share it here too in case you enjoy it too.

Geek Stuff · TV Stuff

Changing faces

Yesterday afternoon I was sitting in the shadow of the Olympic Stadium, waiting to go and take our seats to watch the Para Athletics (more on that tomorrow when I've got my thoughts in order) when this video finally went live

While I was waiting for the video to load I felt so nervous, there had been so much discussion about the fact that this time might actually be the time when we got a female cast in the role of Doctor but I couldn't bring myself to believe that might be the case. I was so delighted when it started playing and it became clearer and clearer that the Doctor was indeed being played by a woman and the reveal that the lucky lady who gets to write history is Jodie Whittaker.

As expected there are choruses of disappointment and anger over the move to cast a female in the role. I'm choosing to focus instead on the many voices saying that this development is going to bring them back to the show, or is going to be the step that makes them finally start watching it after years of disinterest. With regards to those negative voices though I love this post by excellent author Susie Day that is aimed at young people but speaks really to fans of any age.

I'm really looking forward to seeing where this next regeneration of The Doctor takes the story. With every new Doctor comes a shift of everything, a new beginning nestled inside the richest of histories, this 13th (or 14th or 15th depending on your personal take on the show's canon) face of The Doctor is surely going to take us on yet another incredible adventure.

Book Stuff · Films

Best get reading

I was so excited to see this new trailer for the upcoming film adaptation of¬†Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time.¬†It’s more years than I care to remember since I last read the book, it’s going onto my reading list so I can read it again in plenty of time before the film comes out next year.


Saturday song

I’m off to London tomorrow to see the evening session of the ParaAthletics so today’s musical choice is inspired by this. After last year’s Last Leg coverage of the Rio Paralympics featured this song a couple of times it has become intrinsically connected with disability sport in my brain.


Work in progress : Corner 2 corner crochet blanket.

Tonight I found myself wanting something really simple to work on craft wise so I grabbed the tote that contains my much neglected corner to corner (c2c) blanket out of the cupboard and quickly settled back into the rhythm of it.


This is the perfect sort of project for occupying my hands without taxing my brain. I’m tired tonight, so tired after an information heavy first week in my job, so I needed some quiet TV time. The c2c blanket is so ideal, it’s mainly triple crochet stitches (UK terms) with some chain stitches and slip stitches here and there. I find triple crochet the easiest to work, once I get into the swing of them again they’re almost hypnotic.


This blanket is neglected mainly because it’s for me and so there’s no deadline for it to be done by. It’s going to be for curling up under on cold evenings, a TV and reading blanket, so it won’t end up being too big so shouldn’t take all that long to make. Or it won’t if I don’t get distracted by another dozen projects in the meantime!


100 Days of Cross Stitch – The End.

100 days. 100 squares. 10,000 stitches. 

Today marks the 100th and final day of the 100 Days Project. My finished cross stitch project now looks like this:

I’ve enjoyed this project so much and I’m so pleased with the end result. I can’t wait to get it ironed and mounted in the frame I have ready and waiting. I think it’s going to be strange tomorrow to get home from work and not be thinking about a new design! I’ve got plenty of other cross stitching to get on with but I’m going to miss the simplicity and creativity of this piece. 


Finished Object: Stripey Baby Blanket

Today is the day where I finally get to talk about the secret knitting project I’ve been mentioning off and on for the last few months. It was secret because it was a gift, it’s now been given and so I can blog about it and share a couple of photos. 

At Christmas one of my oldest friends shared the news that she and her lovely boyfriend were expecting a baby. I was so excited for them and couldn’t wait to get making something for their forthcoming arrival. In recent years I’ve made blankets for all new arrivals and so this baby would receive no different. I decided I wanted to knit rather than crochet and felt in the mood for a new design (in the past I’ve knitted feather and fan blankets). It was the perfect excuse for spending some quality time on Pinterest, I’ve now got a board with more baby blanket ideas than I’m likely to ever need (and I still keep adding to it). 

I chose a pattern that used stripes of colour done in stocking stitch with the colour change row done as a row of knit 1 purl 1 rib to give a nice effect. After much thought I picked five colours that coordinated well and would be suitable for a summer baby. I also decided that I wanted a single colour border so decided I would knit one on at the end – after all, what’s a big project if you’re not doing at least one thing for the first time.

The final result looked like this:

I’m really happy with how it turned out. The main body of the blanket in particular gave me much joy as it took shape – I’d initially planned on horizontal straps but realised that this would end up being very big so turned them round and made them vertical stripes and was very happy with the end result. I didn’t work to any fixed pattern for the stripes other than choosing to make it symmetrical. All of the colour blocks are a multiple of four rows, I just went on instinct to decide when to switch.

The border wasn’t anywhere near as challenging as I’d expected it to be. I put off knitting it for a few weeks before I finally made myself make a start on it. I was happy with the overall look of the finished border, but it didn’t work quite as well as I wanted it to structure wise. I don’t think I’d be in a rush to do another border like this.

The blanket has been well received, which is the most important thing, and receiving a photo of its tiny owner asleep underneath made my day. As far as I’m aware there won’t be any more blankets to knit for a little while, in the meantime I can just keep pinning new ideas to that board!


First day done.

Today was my first day at my new job. I woke up really looking forward to getting there and getting started, but also felt those first day nerves. Within the first few minutes they’d pretty much vanished as I got a warm welcome and introduction to the team.

It’s going to take a little while for me to settle, new jobs are always like that though. Based on the first day though I think I’m going to be very happy within this team. I still don’t know too much about the ins and outs of the role itself but what I’ve learned so far has been great.

It’s so nice to be back behind a desk, hearing the same sorts of conversations as the ones I used to have in my old job. Soon enough I’ll be in the thick of them too. In the short term this week is filled with induction activities, the standard mandatory training and lots of meeting different people and hearing about their roles and how they all fit together. I think it’s going to be busy but good.