Monday, 11 April 2016

Couch to 5k: Weeks 5 and 6

Week 5 is where things start to change a bit. The first two runs of week 5 follow the usual format - short-ish runs interspersed with walks - and all seemed fine and dandy. No complaints about the runs and although the two 8-minute runs in run 2 seemed long I managed to complete them without any problems. And then came run 3. At this point in the program I hadn't read ahead to see what each run would entail, thinking that I might freak myself out knowing what I had to do. So when she said that after my 5-minute warm-up walk I would be running for 20 minutes I nearly screamed. It felt like it came completely out of the blue and seemed a massively difficult proposition. I even double-checked that I was listening to the right week as it seemed such a jump from where I had got to previously.

Now, this isn't one of those accounts that reads 'it was hard but I pushed through and I actually found it was easier than I thought!'. This was hard. I did complete it, but every minute that passed I was counting down to how many I had left. For the last minute I was literally counting down each second. Although I managed to complete it I felt completely demoralised about it all - I had almost stopped at so many points throughout the run that it didn't feel like a victory at all, and on top of that I am still at the stage where I'm moving so slowly I'm not even sure I can even count this at a run - my pace is still around the 5mph mark and I've not been able to increase my speed at all as the program has gone on. The only saving grace of this run was the fact that I timed it to a super dramatic episode of Eastenders, so that helped pass the time a little bit (by about 0.009%).

After this point I looked ahead - I had to do my first run of week 6 in the morning before work and wasn't sure I wanted to do a long run before trekking into the office - and was relieved to see that for the first two runs it reverted back to shorter runs and walking. I honestly don't know if I would have been able to continue into week 6 if it carried on with a long run.

From a psychological point - the first two runs of week 6 were easier purely because I knew I had banked a 20-minute run. However, I don't think that physically they were all that much easier than the other runs I have done. The longest runs come in run 2, which are 10 minutes long. They were completely doable, but pretty boring. The third run however, was a 25-minute run. Knowing I had managed, just about, to do the 20-minute run definitely helped with the motivation to start it - but unfortunately that motivation disappeared about 3 minutes in. To be fair, I had a bit of an annoying start - I moved treadmills twice because the TV sound wasn't working with my headphones (and running for 25 minutes listening to the music on the podcast would have been awful) though I kept the momentum going and didn't slow my pace down when jumping from one to the other. The run was hard, though. I wanted to stop continually, and I did walk for about a minute half-way through before getting a grip and getting back on with it. The last three minutes were probably the easiest - knowing I had a really manageable amount of time left really helped push through at the end. 

I am now planning to do the first run of week 7 tonight, which is another 25-minute run. I'm completely dreading it. I think this whole thing has shown me that I am never going to be a long-distance runner. I still find running completely boring, and I'm not even running very far yet. I'm definitely going to persevere with the program but I can't see myself as even a 5k runner in the future! I'm not saying that there have been no benefits at all - I could barely run for a minute before and now even the 10-minute run wasn't a huge deal - but I think running is going to be a sort of warm-up part of my cardio in the future rather than my sole work-out activity.

Stats: all over the place. I'm pretty sure I'm nowhere near 5k yet as my pace is so slow, and at this stage I'm not even sure that once I get to week 9 I will be there!

Monday, 21 March 2016

Couch to 5k: Week 4

It really felt this week that the runs had stepped up a bit. Format is:

- 5 minute walk
- 3 minute run
- 90 seconds walk
- 5 minute run
- 2.5 minute walk
- 3 minute run
- 90 seconds wal
- 5 minute run
- 5 minute walk

The step up to 5 minutes of running was definitely tough.

Run 1
At the gym. Hard going. The first half of the program was fine, although the first five minute run felt like it lasted forever, however the final two runs were really tough as my ankles were really feeling the pressure. I'm not sure what it was that made them hurt, but the final five minute run was really hard as they were causing me a lot of pain. I pushed through though and finished it, but I did feel a bit nervous about run 2 in case this continued to be a problem.

Run 2
Really hard going. I was a bit ill this week and took Thursday off work, so went to the gym to force myself out of my house. I should have maybe skipped running this day as I wasn't 100%, however I'm on a bit of a tight schedule now as I want to get this program finished before I go on holiday! I didn't have any ankle pain however I had a stitch for most of the 30 minutes, and the last five minutes were agony as the stitch spread from one side all the way under my stomach. I found this one so, so tough - if this had been the last run of the week I don't think I would have felt ready to progress to week 5 yet.

Run 3
Much better! I think my illness earlier in the week really affected me as this run was much easier than run 2. I still had a bit of a stitch but not enough to really cause any major pain so it was totally manageable. This was still tough going, and I'm still finding myself looking at the timer every 10 seconds, however I didn't feel at the end of the last five minute run that I couldn't go on any further, which is how I felt after runs 1 and 2. Goes to show that sticking to the program really does make a difference!

Calories: c. 240
Distance: c. 2.4miles
Time: 16 minutes running
Distractions: again, I varied my gym times this week so didn't catch any Eastenders and I'm still of the opinion that having something else to focus on really makes a difference for me. I think I'm going to be one of those people who always finds running a bit boring!

Monday, 14 March 2016

Couch to 5k: Week 3

Week 3 runs are complete! The format of week 3 is: 5-minute warm-up walk; 90 seconds run, 90 seconds walk; 3-minute run; 3-minute walk; 90 seconds run; 90 seconds walk; 3-minute run; 5-minute warm-down walk. This is the first time it really feels like you're running for a prolonged period of time, and the two 3-minute runs definitely felt longer than I was used to in run 1. However, each one got a bit easier and I'm already looking forward to the week 4 program.

Run 1!
At the gym. This first run was the hardest of the week, and knowing you have to run for 3 minutes is a bit of a daunting prospect. However, in the first 3-minute run the podcast lady starts talking to you when you're 90 seconds in, and by the time you're finished you've only got a minute left so that helped a lot. It was definitely a bit of a struggle to complete the second long run, but I did it without any dramas so I'm definitely improving. Knowing that I had to do the two longer runs this week, I slowed my pace to 5.2 miles per hour for the runs, but tried to keep my walking pace up so as not to not lost too much ground overall.

Run 2!
Again at the gym. I actually went longer than usual between run 1 and run 1 due to various boring reasons, so I was a bit nervous about this one but actually it was completely fine, which makes me think maybe I'm not pushing myself hard enough? I kept my pace the same as in run 1, and found this run much easier than the previous one.

Run 3!
Once more at the gym, and this time with my new gym top that has a built-in bra - I cannot tell you what a difference this made! I don't have any sport bras so constantly find I am adjusting my straps when I'm running, so not having to do this for this run was a dream. I get all my gym stuff from H&M and I cannot recommend it enough - it's good quality, fun and cheap. I was feeling pretty confident about this run as run 2 had gone so well, so I upped my pace on the 90 second runs to what I was doing in week 2, and upped my pace on the 3-minute runs to 5.3. It's only a marginal difference but psychologically it felt like I was working harder so this felt like a great way to end my week 3 runs.

Stats time:
Average calories per run: c. 170
Average distance per run: c. 1.9 miles
Time spent running: 9 minutes
Eastenders storylines: Due to the times I could make it to the gym this week I didn't see any Eastenders, and while this isn't an issue in itself it really hit home that I actually still find running quite boring. The first two times I went there wasn't anything on the tv screens that was capturing my attention, and it really did make the runs seem longer than they were - not ideal when this week contained the longest run so far! As I'm doing this with the podcast I can't really take something else to watch / listen to as I have to have my earphones plugged in already, but this week has definitely shown me that when I am at the stage where I'm running without the podcast I'm going to have to think carefully about how I'm going to occupy my brain whilst I'm doing it...

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Couch to 5k: Week 2

Week 2 is completed! I've done the three runs so I'm going to move on to week 3 later in the week and see how I get on - as you'll see these three runs were a bit up and down, but they're done now so onwards and upwards!

Run 1!
My first outside run and the worst so far. Where I live is a bit hilly, and I really underestimated how much this would affect my running. The week 2 program is 90 seconds of running interspersed with 2 minutes of walking, and I found it really hard to maintain a quick pace for the walks as the runs were so hard. I did all of the runs except one - one of them was a up a little hill and I just couldn't make it. However, I did the next run when it came along so I guess that's something. Aside from the hills, I also missed having the timer on the treadmill - I find it really useful to see how many seconds I've got left, so running blind was really difficult. I'm sure I'll run outside again during the program but I think best to stick to the gym for the time being.

Run 2!
I actually went to the gym the day after my first run, but I decided not to do the second run on this day as the program does say to have a day off inbetween each run, and I didn't want to have another terrible run so soon after. So, I gave it a couple of days before doing it and it was definitely the right decision as this was one of my best runs so far. As the runs are for 90 seconds on week 2 I slowed my pace from 6mph to 5.5mph and this was really manageable - it's actually meant that I've not gone as far as in week 1 on average, but at this stage I don't really care. It's not really about the distance yet, more about the stamina.

Run 3!
Not as good as the second run but still managed to complete it without too much trouble. Again, I kept my pace at 5.5mph rather than 6mph and although I was getting tired as the runs went on I found the last one pretty easy-going (probably because I knew it was the last one). There was a woman running next to me though which put me off - she was properly going for it on quite an incline but there's no point in noticing what the other people in the gym are doing - there's always going to be loads of people there fitter than me and there's nothing I can do about that! Anyway, on to week 3!

Week 2 Stats:
Average calories per run: c. 210
Average distance per run: c. 2 miles
Time spent running: 9 minutes
Eastenders storylines picked up on: Abby is still pretending to be pregnant, but now she has her period. Why not just pretend something's gone wrong with the pregnancy? Plus, Stacey seems to have some sort of post-natal depression?

Friday, 19 February 2016

Couch to 5k: Week 1

So, here's a thing: I cannot run. I don't really know how to do it and I've never been able to pick it up despite trying now and again either on the treadmill or in the outside world. My gym routine when it comes to cardio has basically been sticking to the bikes, but I've felt for a while that this is only really exercising certain parts of my body and, for me, I really have to cycle for a long time to make any noticeable difference. So I decided to give the NHS Couch to 5K podcast program a go. I've read loads of good things online about it, and despite being in a slightly weird position in that I am a regular gym-goer I still feel like a total amateur when it comes to running. I walk really, really, quickly and so my main issue with running is that I go too fast too quickly, over-exert myself after about 30 seconds and then have to stop as my legs hurt too much and I have a stitch. Couch to 5K teaches you to build up slowly - you intersperse bouts of running with a fast-paced walk, building up over the weeks until the focus shifts and you're running more than you're walking.

I thought it might be useful to keep track of the different runs, to see if I make any progress and remind myself of when I've found it both easy and hard.

Run 1!
The Couch to 5K program suggests that you run 3 times a week. My gym-schedule is quite flexible depending on work, so I reckon that some weeks I'll be able to do 3 runs and others only 2, so I'm just going to move on from week to week after 3 runs, regardless of whether this has taken me a week or a week and a half.
My first run was on the treadmill at the gym. For the first week you do a 5-minute warm-up and warm-down walk at the start and end, and then you do 60 seconds of running followed by 90 minutes of walking. The whole thing lasts 30 minutes, meaning you do 8 mini-runs in total. 
The first session wasn't too bad - I started to struggle by the end but the voiceover tells you when you only have two runs left so that really helps when you get to around minute 22. I was worried that the music would be really annoying and make the time go slower, but it's interesting because even though it's not music I would listen to at any other time, it's paced in the right way so it builds up as your 60-second runs come to an end meaning that you sort of know how much time you've got left without having to clock-watch. Finished my run feeling pretty positive.

Run 2!
Again, on the treadmill at the gym. Definitely found this run easier than the first one, which I initially put down to the fact that I had already done it once. I had a little stitch towards the end, but in that sort of way that you're pleased you have it as it shows you're working hard. Finished my run feeling very positive.

Run 3!
Still at the gym, and the hardest one of the week. I'd had a glass of wine at lunchtime, and I really think this hampered me when I ran that evening. From about the second run in my left calf was really hurting, and I got quite a painful stitch around the 20-minute mark. I also noticed I drank loads more water than I had the previous two runs - my lungs were needing it - but, again, this is probably due to the lunchtime wine. It helped though that this was the third run of this section, so I knew what I had coming and how long I had left. Finished my run feeling less-than positive, but pleased I powered through and completed it. I think as the weeks go on I'm not going to feel bad about it if I need to do an extra run before feeling like I'm ready to move on to the next week, however for this one I think I'm ready to move on to week 2.

Week 1 Stats:
Average calories per run: c. 200
Average distance per run: c. 2.25miles
Time spent running: 8 minutes
Eastenders storylines picked up on: Sonia is a lesbian again, a blonde-haired girl is faking a pregnancy, Sharon now has brunette hair [I haven't watched Eastenders since I was at university, but it's usually on at the time I'm at the gym so this is what I've noticed from the subtitles]

Any other amateur runners out there? Advice greatly received!

Monday, 3 August 2015

Book Review: Child 44 - Tom Rob Smith

*Ahoy! Spoilers ahead…*

This isn't my usual type of book, so I'm finding it quite hard to write about it. I definitely didn't love it, but then as I don't read this sort of thing very often it's hard to judge whether that is just because it's not my usual type! I know that it was nominated for the booker long-list though so I'm assuming it must be a good one of its type.

I think my personal favourite thing about it all was the backdrop - it's a really hard setting to write against and he must have done so much research into Russia's history to be able to feel as though he could tell this story appropriately. It was an interesting story to tell, purely because reading it now I'm sure that these sorts of crimes were covered up in exactly this sort of way, although I'm not sure how many have-a-go-heroes would have been around to try and fulfil their own vigilante justice systems?

I didn't know that this was a trilogy until I read the blurb at the end, so I read it having no idea what the fates of the main characters would have been. I found the ending a little bit oh-so-convenient, and I think that if I had known that there were two more books to come (and therefore I think would have assumed Leo would make it through OK) I would have found it a bit more of an annoying read; I didn't feel there was a huge amount of jeopardy as it was. I felt it was so clear from the start that we were going to read about Leo's redemption and journey into becoming a hero that I found his relationship with Raisa a bit of a by-line - you could tell that she was just a plot device to pit Leo's personality changes against. That's all well and good for a storyteller, but it did make me care little for whether she lived or died.

I did wonder why the Andrei / Pavel story was told at first, but I just figured it was a backstory to set the scene for us about the harsh realities of Russian life. I have to admit, when Andrei's name was first revealed it didn't ring any bells at all - it was only when I learned Leo's name was Pavel that I flicked back to the first chapter to double check the names and realised where the book was going. I also found the resolution with Andrei's character a bit disappointing - I don't think enough was done to make the reader have any sort of understanding as to why Andrei would behave that way (his brother left = he becomes a serial killer.. really?!) and Leo / Pavel's reaction to the situation seemed muted - I was left wondering why more wasn't made of the potential connection between these two men if this was what the whole book was leading up to? Maybe that's something for the sequel, I don't know.

I don't think I'd read the next one in the trilogy but the book I got had the film poster as the cover, which has Tom Hardy in so I might watch that if it comes on telly! I'd prob give it 5 out of 10 - I read it quickly and generally enjoyed it, but I have no inclination to read the next one. I think, for me, the ending was just a bit too neat - it was a pretty long book but everything got tied up really nicely within about 20 pages.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Solo Outings: Mishkin's and Woolf Works

I never used to be a fan of hanging out by myself. I remember when I first got to university I hated the idea of spending even a single evening on my own in my room in our halls made me feel so insecure. I don't think that's an uncommon feeling, but I definitely think I maybe took it to an extreme - I remember once stopping at a service station driving back from somewhere, and made the point of sitting at a table by myself to have a cup of tea and read a magazine. And I remember really feeling like it was an important moment (which, clearly it must have been as I still remember it now) as the idea of it didn't make me feel like a massive loser. 

Anyway, since then I've been forced into becoming more used to my own company; relationships ending have meant I have spent time living by myself in houses designed for two and anyway you gain a maturity and knowledge about yourself as you get older. Basically, you're not as clueless. For me, I think as I've got older I've realised how important it is to be able to be alone without getting agitated, and this is something that I think I will continually be trying to improve upon.

So, with this in mind I thought I'd start noting these things down more, with the hope that it will force me to push myself out of my comfort zone a bit more. 

Over a year ago I saw a story on the BBC news site about the Woolf Works ballet that would be coming to the Royal Opera House. I promptly put the date the tickets would go on sale in my diary and waited until the date rolled around. Being a huge fan of everything Virginia Woolf related, the very second the tickets went on sale I went online and bought two. And then I thought about it. And thought about who I should make come with me, and I realised that nobody I know loves Virginia Woolf as much as I do. So I manned up, and emailed them and asked to get a refund on one of my tickets (which, luckily, they agreed to as I was so quick off the mark).
The Royal Opera House is in Covent Garden, so I decided to get some dinner beforehand at Mishkin's, which is conveniently about 30 seconds away and also conveniently one of my all-time favourites. I was a bit nervous about going to the ballet by myself, so I decided to have dinner by myself beforehand as well - this is a much less scary prospect to me because I really don't care about eating by myself. Mishkin's is a good one for this anyway - they have a bar area that sits around 15 people, which they hold back for walk-ins. Perfect for solitary diners. I had the meatloaf to start and then the pumpkin cheesecake, along with two glasses of red wine. I read my book, ate my food, and then trotted over to the opera house. I got there with only a few minutes to go before the performance started as I didn't want to sit by myself for too long so that worked quite well - however in this particular performance there were two relatively long intervals which I really felt the length of. The ballet itself was fantastic though - I was so glad I went and I think I made the right call in going by myself, it would have been harder to "fully immerse" myself in it if I'd been explaining to the person next to me what story they were interpreting or whatnot. And most importantly of all - I did it. I actually felt like a proper grown-up (I'm 30 so I suppose I already am one) going to something that I knew I would love, and next time I find something I would love to see that nobody else I know would, it won't seem like such a big deal to go by myself.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

30 for 30: Trips Still to Do

I love planning holidays almost as much as I love going on them (almost). My smythson notebook is continually updated with new trip ideas, and all it takes will be overhearing someone in the lift at work talking about a recent holiday to make me furiously start googling. I don't think there are many (any?) places in the world, danger-of-death withstanding, that I wouldn't be interested to see, but there are certain places that are permanently on the list. These are the ones that if I haven't done by the time I'm on my deathbed, well, I'll be very cross with myself. In no particular order:

1) Slovenia - Maybe 3 nights in Ljubljana and 1 night in Lake Bled?
2) Texas Road Trip - Houston, San Antonio, Marfa, Dalas, Houston. Maybe Austin? Need to research this more.
3) New Orleans.
4) Mexico.
5) Boston & DC - and everywhere in between?
6) South America - Buenos Aires, Mendoza, Uspallata Pass, Los Andes, Santiago, Laguna Verde.
7) San Francisco, Portland, Hawaii - honeymoon???
8) India - incorporating the Mumbai - Goa train.
9) Inter-railing - initially planned for this year, put off due to money. Munich, Salzburg, Vienna, Bratislava, Prague.
10) St Petersburg - I totally want to stay at the W there.
11) Baltic Countries - when I was younger I went on a baltic cruise with my parents and I would love to go back to all the countries we visited and explore them properly.
12) Bath - staying at The Pig, and OBVY visiting the spa.
13) Cornwall - only been as a youngster, find this weird.
14) Scotland - as remote as possible.
15) Dublin - never been, find that weird.
16) Girls only trip - Tenerife?
17) Vegas, San Diego, Palm Springs.
18) St Barths / Maldives / Mauritius / somewhere super lush. Just once in my life.
19) Rural France - house, bread, red wine, done.
20) Thailand / Cambodia / etc.
21) Fort Lauderdale / South Beach.
22) Yoga retreat - not really my thing but maybe if I went on one it would become my trip?
23) Somewhere with a plunge pool. Somewhere, anywhere!
24) Revisiting Australia and doing a proper, all-encompassing, trip round the whole place.
25) Canada - roadtrippin'.
26) Iceland - I feel like I'm the only person in the world who hasn't visited that blue lagoon.
27) NY at Christmas.
28) Belgium - it was a family hotspot when I was younger so I feel I owe it to go back and visit again as an adult.
29) Skiing. Don't care where, but I haven't been in years and would like to go again.
30) Palm Springs. I know it's on here already, but it's my absolute fave and deserves a second mention.

NOTE! I started writing this a couple of months ago and then forgot about it. I finished adding to it today, then noticed that the first trip on my list is the one I recently went on. Good motivation to visit everywhere else on it!

What would make your list?

Monday, 13 July 2015

I Heart Paris! Paris thinks I'm "just OK"

Paris is awesome. The end. Well, not really the end - but I really feel it's worth saying as I, honestly, truly, 100% love Paris. It's a super awesome city with great food, great parks and you can literally walk everywhere. I last visited in May, a trip we initially planned after booking tickets for the French Open. As an aside - this was amazing. I'd never been before and it was everything I was hoping for. We had bought tickets for the cheaper court (of course) but actually ending up seeing both Murray and Nadal play (separate matches) so I would have been bummed if I'd been on the more 'spensive court watching Djokovic play Gasquet.

We spent the rest of our time in Paris, drinking, eating, wandering, parking (as in, being in parks, not parking cars) and sightseeing, and I could waffle on about all the lush things we did if I thought anything I said would be new information to anyone.

Anyway, my point is, I love Paris. And I'll tell you what, Paris loves me! Actually no, that's not right - Paris loves my Kate Spade purse. I'd not been off the train 5 minutes and it was gone - having been to Paris before I practically stuffed my bag up my top once on the metro so it could only have departed from me during the shuffling to get off the Eurostar / across Gare du Nord / waiting for the metro. I mean, it happens. When you travel a lot it's bound to happen sooner or later - you get to the hotel front desk, go to grab your credit card and go 'fuck, it's not here'. Luckily I was with my boyfriend who was able to pay for everything during the weekend we were there but it really made me realise the obvious importance of not keeping all your important things in one place. What if I had my passport in there as well? Losing all my money, credit cards and debit cards in one go is bad enough, but what if I had been alone? How would I have even been able to get any emergency cash? It's a shitty lesson to learn but an important one nonetheless - luckily enough I was away for a long weekend not too far from home, but it could have been a million times worse. Why did I even need to take my whole purse with me? Whoever took it is now the proud owner of my gym, nectar and boots advantage card - and all power to them - but really, I could have just left them in my beaut Kate Spade on my bed and just taken the essentials. 

Main lesson - just because you're on holiday doesn't mean everyone is going to treat you nicely. In fact, some people are probably going to treat you worse. Just chalk it up to experience, by a new (better) purse, and leave your boots advantage card at home.

What's your worse travel-theft-horror story?

p.s. I will truly have eternal pity on anyone else who has to experience the Eurostar Customer Service team, but that's for another day...

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Review: Field Day 2015

I love a music festival. I have been to a whole bunch of them over the years and totally don't think I'm too old to go camping at one in the future. Unfortunately, most of my friends seem to be over the whole camping-no-showering thing, so Field Day is the perfect compromise - it's a great festival with interesting acts, and there's no camping required. It runs over a two-day weekend, but we went on the Saturday.

Our day started at Mile End station, following the crowds walking to Victoria Park. Festivals like this are always ideal at this point of the day, it's before the crowds are too big and there are no queues for either the bars or the toilets. After picking up our tickets from the We Got Tickets desk and having our bags thoroughly searched we were in, and we headed over to the Shacklewell Arms tent to catch Tei Shi. She was great - really seemed happy to be there and got the crowd going. After that we wandered over to the Village Fete area, where my boyfriend got involved in a Tug of War. His side didn't win so, defeated, we headed off for a restorative snack. I spotted the Bleecker St. burger van, so we made our orders and waited for our burgers - as it was still early in the day the wait was no more than 5 minutes. I walked past the van later in the day and the queue was enormous so I'm glad we went for one of these when we did. Obviously, I am super in to a burger (the burger crawl we went on will attest to this) but I hadn't had a Bleecker St. one before - I wasn't disappointed. They have a pop-up on the Southbank this summer so I'm definitely going to visit again in the not-too-distant future.

After that we headed back to the Shacklewell Arms to see Jagaraa. Our group was split on them - I enjoyed them but someone else said that they didn't interact with the crowd enough. Worth a listen on spotify though. After a quick toilet-break for me (I went while the others were watching Stealing Sheep and there was NO QUEUE) and then a sit down with some beer (craft ale) for them and red wine for me, we wandered to the Crack Magazine area to see Owen Pallett. He was GREAT - much better than we had thought and a real highlight of the whole day. Definitely one to have a look out for as his whole show was really enjoyable.

Time for another food stop after that, and I spotted the Good and Proper Tea Co. van. I had a iced tea of autumn darjeeling mixed with elderflower which was amazing, and a crumpet with smoked salmon and cream cheese. This is the type of festival Field Day is - loads of interesting food and drink choices that suit all tastes. Needless to say we all greatly appreciated the tea break.

Over to the main stage (Eat Your Own Ears) for Kindness, and then back to Shacklewell for Tune-yArds - I was pretty under-awed for them so went for another wee, only this time had to queue for about 20 minutes. By this point in the day the site was pretty full, so queues for everything were getting ridiculous and the amount of rubbish on the floor was even more so. It was definitely a shame to see paper plates and cups on the floor after seeing so many people using bins earlier in the day.

After that it was time for tea. We had originally decided on wood-fired pizza, but these were cooked to order and with a queue already in place we were told it would be at least a 30 minute wait. Instead we went for Spit and Roast fried chicken - which also had a queue but by this point everything did sooo... This is another one that has been on my food-van to-do list so I was pretty pumped to see them there. Needless to say the chicken was delicious and I would definitely go again.

We then headed back to the Shacklewell Arms for Chet Faker - awesome - and FKA Twigs - super awesome. Chet Faker was great, he has a few singalong songs that everyone knew so people were really enjoying it. When the tent started to empty after he finished I rushed to the front to get into position for FKA Twigs who is one my current faves and I love love love. Of course, she was great. Her whole thing is about her stage persona, her outfits and movements are all so carefully thought-out that you can't help but get swept up in it all. It was the first time I had seen her live and I adored it.I would say though, I was so near the front I was really able to appreciate it, and I'm not sure whether my experience would have been the same if I had been at the back unable to see what was happening on-stage.

To round our evening off we headed back to the main stage to watch the end of Caribou. We all had a nice dance although the music at this stage could definitely have been louder - this is something I've seen a few comments about on twitter but then we were watching Caribou from quite far back so maybe that was our problem.

Field Day is a great festival - there's a great mix of acts and stages (we didn't even touch the sides) and there are loads of awesome food and drink choices. It's the perfect way to get that festival feeling without actually having to go without showering, and I will definitely be there again.