So Monday again, new weekly blog post and new pet portraits all being worked on this week. Ava is one and Queenie the other. I start most of my weeks with a Nordic walk with my group. I nearly didn’t go due to my work load but as my husband pointed out, I will feel better for it an likely to be more productive by taking a break. He is right. I know that, but I am sure all you self employed out there know how hard it is to know when to take a break. You feel like you are losing time, when actually by feeling refreshed the time you do have is put to better use rather than struggling on when you feel tired and stale.

I am so glad I did. It was simply beautiful out there. Warm, wall to wall sunshine and a goo testing walk to get the heart rate up! I feel tired tonight which is great. I have been sleeping quite well recently, but not getting to sleep until late. I love the feeling of well exercised limbs and even if I don’t sleep I know I am going to love being in bed tonight. Next week I want to try the work out walks again. They are really testing. But before we are walking to Penshurst and back on Saturday. 8 miles, or 16 round trip. I hope my foot holds up. If not I will get hubby to get me and drop me back to my car. I really want to be able to so I can gauge how far 16 miles is to walk for the half marathon in September. It’s hard to envisage how far it actually is.

Below you can see our group outside The Cock Inn in Ide Hill. I just love this beautiful village and our group is such a fab group. I am so lucky to have found these lovely people and to realise how much fun it can be to get fit.

Today was such a beautiful day. I hope you managed to get out and enjoy the sunny weather. I have to admit I am finding it a little disturbing to have it this warm in Feb. Typically its going to turn just in time for my birthday next week! Happy days….. Never mind I think we still have a few days of this lovely weather. I don’t know about you but the sun really gives me a big pick me up and mentally I feel so much better for it. As you know I suffer with anxiety and depression so it has been a welcome break from the cold and dull winter. I find I am so much more productive in weather like this.

I think the proof has been in the pudding today. I have made great progress on Ava’s portrait and did quite a bit more on Queenie’s today. Queenie’s portrait will take a little longer due to her fur detail. Lots of flecks. She isn’t brindle, but almost roan in parts of her fur. I am not sure if that would be correct terminology for her. I know you get blue roans in spaniels. Please feel free to let me know if you do know what it’s called.

It was a lovely day today, I had my first aid training as part of my Walk Leader Training. It has been a long time since I have done one, 15 years or so. It’s amazing how much has changed and the different things we learnt in relation to it being first aid for outside, rather than the work place. One of the best things we learnt was how to make own tourniquet. Brilliant and so straight forward to do.

We had fun doing it and the best bit is we managed to do half of it outside in the glorious sunshine we had today. It was good to make the most of it as the weather will be going down hill tomorrow. I fear for all the wildlife that have thought it was spring. It could have such a huge impact on animals such as hedgehogs and other hibernating creatures.

Due to doing the first aid course I haven’t been able to do any work. I find these days quite tiring on the whole, so pet portraits are going to have to wait until tomorrow. I have managed to reply to some emails and now I am going to crawl into bed with my woofs and shill out for a couple of hours before I fall asleep, providing I don’t do my usual trick of getting an annoying second win at about 10-10.30. Updates to follow tomorrow on Ava and Queenie’s pet portraits.

Yay, today was a full studio day today. I finished Ava and you can see the completed portrait on her blog and I also made good progress on Queenie. She will be finished by the end of the weekend at the latest! Just her tongue, mouth, collar an finishing details to go!

I am always shattered by the end of the week and today was no exception. I however have nearly finished Queenie’s portrait too and I am going to edit the video in bed. So rock and roll for a Friday night. I need an early night-ish as tomorrow I have an 8 mile hike, possibly 16 depending on if my foot holds out. We are Nordic walking from Ide Hill to Penshurst food market. Rumour has it the pulled pork roles are delish! I will let you know tomorrow, on that and whether my foot allows me to do both ways. I am really eager to do both as I want to know what 16 miles is like for my half marathon in Sept! I have to try and be sensible and not get carried away, because to flare up the injury will really upset me. It is so much better, but still gives me grief at times.

I have a new hydration backpack as well so I can go loaded with water, coat and snacks should I need. I bought this as I need a larger one to fit my first aid kit in and other bits when I am doing my new role as walk leader. If it is just me or I am not leading I can take my smaller one! I am really liking my new one. Lots of room, just need to see how comfy it is when it has stuff in it!

Today was the day of my 8 mile, possibly 16 mile hike. I am sad to say I only made 8 as my foot was grumbling slightly. If i was honest I could have gone both ways, but I think I would have regretted it tomorrow. As it stands now it doesn’t feel too bad so I am delighted. On the other hand my right foot is not a happy bunny. I have a huge blister. My boots felt comfy all the way round and I had no idea until I removed them when I got home. It’s a proper gnarly one. Salt baths and dressings to be applied and hopefully I can walk Monday. If not it will be Thursday.