Interior moodboard: bathroom and en suite

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As you may have seen, we fitted our staircase this weekend. I thought work would pause on the house for a little while because we have been working so hard but nope, Josh has been plodding away with building the bathroom stud walls. It was hard to imagine the bathroom because of the stairs moving position but now they are in, we know how much space we will have to play with. It won't be big at all, only enough room for a shower, toilet and sink but we are happy with that on the 1st floor. I want to keep it really bright and minimal because it will be small and there won't be any natural light either. I was a little sceptical of this but thinking about it, most hotel bathrooms don't have windows and are pretty small, so I'm going to be taking lots of inspo from hotel suites and try to think back to our holiday's to Thailand. Our en suite in the master will be a little different. We have permission to fit sky lights on the opposite side to our two pitched roofed dormers, so we plan on having one of the sky lights in the shower. Don't worry, nobody's going to see us unless they are peering down from the fell with a good pair of binoculars! The plan is to also have a bath but I'm not sure whether that will be in the en suite or in the bedroom. When we visited the Brimstone hotel and spa last year, there were not one but two roll top baths in front of the bed. It was beautiful! We won't need two but I do love the idea of soaking in the bath in the bedroom, peering out of the dormers across the fell. Ah, I'm totally dreaming again, haha! Anyway, I just wanted to share with you my little mood board for the bathrooms. There is a clear theme of grey, black, white, wood and I will of course add a splash of green (my favourite colour). Speak soon, L.

The new staircase is in!

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It has been a full on weekend. Josh's football game was cancelled on Saturday because of the weather, so he cracked on with the house. We got SO much done, I feel so proud! Josh has worked his arse off to get this staircase in, he's an absolute legend! Kind of feel like we deserve a day off tomorrow to put our feet up but we need to go to actual work to pay for all this stuff, ha! It took 6 of us to lift the new staircase up and in to position. It was really difficult with three acrow's in the way and trying not to damage the new staircase but we did it! Of course we did it! We had some good people helping us out, even if it was baltic! We had the spindles and newel posts matched to the existing ones, which was so worth the extra money. They are beautiful! We are going to have to leave the spindles out for now because the plasterer will need to get behind them, so it's just a pain in the bum for them if we put them in. Although, I would absolutely love to see them in! Still undecided whether I want to just give the bannister a good wax/varnish or whether I want to paint them. I love the black hand rail and newel post with white spindles but I am just seeing it everywhere! Anyway, I am knackered. My body aches, my eyes feel heavy and I cannot wait to jump in to a nice warm bed! I hope you all had a lovely weekend, whatever you were upto. Speak soon, L.

Painting our back door

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We finally got around to painting the back door and window on Sunday. It was dry enough to get the first coat on but who knows when it will be dry again to get the next coat on. Saying that though, I'm not 100% on it but we've now spent £45 on paint for the back door. Josh is happy with it but I feel like it needs a bit more umph. Something stronger. You know what I mean? Black, dark dark blue, even charcoal perhaps but this just isn't doing it for me at the moment. I think I'll leave it for a few weeks now as it's not a priority but I'll perhaps have to convince Josh to change it. I always do this with paint. I get carried away, spend money on paint, paint it, waste time (and money), then want to change it. I never learn! I've been following Emma Hill and her house renovations over on her YouTube channel, she has swatches of paint all over her walls and she leaves it for a good few days before making a decision. This is what I need to start doing! I'm not settling for anything in the house until I've tested at least 10 different colours. I may go back on that though, if I do happen to stumble upon 'the one'.. we'll see! Sorry about the lack of photographs... I've been filming the majority of our latest renovations so the photos have been a little neglected. Did you see our latest home update over on my YouTube channel? You can view it here if not. Anyway, this evening I do feel rather tired. I think I'm going to do some drawing, have some tea and get an early night. I'd usually be playing netball but because it's half term we don't bother. Shame really because I do love a good workout on a Tuesday, it usually makes me feel so much more alive! Speak soon, L.

This weeks photo diary

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Thursday morning before work, Josh and I woke up super early to catch the sunrise from the top of Winder. It was a beautiful morning!

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Went to a military style fitness class on Saturday and then pigged out at Method Cafe. The polenta and passion fruit cake is delicious! I will certainly be back for another piece of that.

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One morning before work.

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Storm Ciara causing chaos here in Cumbria. The River Rawthey had burst it's banks and all of the roads were flooded leading out of Sedbergh.

Turns out the racing green paint we decided on looks terrible on the back door, so after Josh decided to paint the frame, I now have the best job of sanding it down! Nevermind - you live and you learn! I must learn never to rush in to things and just think about what I want. That's a £25.00 tin of paint wasted. Anyone want to buy it from me? I actually purchased another tin this weekend. It's called 'green glade' by Dulux. It's a softer green which Josh told me to go for originally. I don't think we'll be getting the back door painted anytime soon, as the weather is.. wet, windy and just rubbish basically. Never mind, we still have lots to be cracking on with, including the ripping out of the attic space, yay! I cleared it this afternoon, so all we need to do is get some scruffs on, get a mask on and start knocking it to pieces. This is in preparation for the two pitched roofed dormers we hope to get passed by the Yorkshire Dales National Park.. and if we don't get it passed then we'll be terribly annoyed. Fingers crossed we hear from them very soon! Oh, after also whinging about a summer holiday on my last post, we actually went ahead and booked a week in Italy for the summer. I'm incredibly excited and I have a list as long as my arm about what I want us to see and do. Anyone else plan their holidays? I always note everything down so I don't get stuck when we are there, otherwise I feel it's a wasted trip away. I'll share more on that nearer the time! Anyway, I am super tired. It's been an energetic weekend to be honest with you. I'm ready to snuggle down and get cosy and warm in bed, so I'll love you and leave you.

Interior moodboard: kitchen/living space

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What a bloody miserable week it's been. Obviously I'm talking about the weather (cause I'm half British and it seems that's all us Brit's talk about). We need a holiday but cannot decide where to head off to. We want sunshine, adventure, soft sand and beautiful clear blue water but I can't find anywhere in our budget that I want to go... I had thought about Sardinia. I even got as far as reserving an Air BnB for a week until I realised flights would almost cost as much as going to Thailand. I compare everything to Thailand because I know you get so much for your money there. Speaking of Thailand, we are planning a trip for next Easter. I know it's a long way off yet but I have to have something to look forward to and aim for in the gym - whatever that is. I haven't been in god knows how long. This week has been a quiet one and we haven't set foot in the house. I thought about painting the back door this weekend but it's been far too wet and we couldn't decide on a paint. After sleeping on it though and asking you guys on our @verynorthernhome Instagram, we've decided to go for green. Josh is more keen on a lighter shade of green and I'm much more keen on like a dark racing green - the same colour as my first Mini I had to say goodbye to a few years ago. I'll hopefully get that sorted sometime this coming week, if the weather cheers up! I've been pinning a lot on Pinterest lately, mainly because I'm really starting to think about what I really want in the house. The kitchen/living space is open plan and I really want to make sure it all flows, rather than feeling like two separate rooms. Even though we had plans done for the kitchen from 3 different kitchen designers, we think we are just going to design and make our own. On entering the kitchen through the back door (which will be used as our main door), we'll have a little bench, shoe store area and hooks to hang our most used coats up (the top image on the right is what I'm hoping it will look like). This has been one of my latest ideas and I think it will break the space up, as previously it was just going to be a full wall of cupboards, from floor to ceiling. I'm thinking of having all the cupboards on this side dark and the kitchen cupboards on the other wall a light grey colour, which I hope will flow in to the living room better. The wall with the log burner will be a light grey/green colour, same as the big window wall. Then the main door (which will be out of use) will be dark green, the same as the rest of that wall leading up the stair case. This probably sounds like total gibberish to you so to put it in basic terms, the colours downstairs will consist of, grey, blue and green with added brass accessories for the kitchen cupboard handles, lights, door handles etc. I'm still unsure about the stairs but I think we are best just getting the bannister fitted and seeing whether wood works or whether it will need to be painted. Woah, this is an extremely long post. I hadn't planned on typing so much but I feel so inspired when I see these images. It makes me very excited!

Planning submitted!

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Our fabulous friend Will has done all the drawings for our planning, with the help of Josh of course who measured up and photographed all the dormers in our town etc. so we have now submitted our second lot of planning! I'm a little nervous about it actually because our first application was rejected. We had originally applied for one big flat roofed dormer in the roof of the house. The main reason for this is because we want to convert in to a master suite and you need so much head height over the stair case to class the space as a 'bedroom'. With a sloped roof either side it would make it difficult to list the building as a 4 bedroom house without adapting the roof space, so we've reapplied with two pitched roofs, which is more in favour around our area. We probably won't hear back from the Yorkshire Dale planners now for another 8 weeks. However, I'm hoping because we already submitted planning previously that it might be a little quicker.. but I won't keep my hopes up. It was a last minute decision to have windows on the side faces of the dormers but it should allow much more light in, which is exactly what we want. I've also noticed that one of the houses a few doors down have these too, so I can't see how they can say no but you never know. Anyway, wish us luck. Keep your toes and fingers crossed for us because I feel as though we may need it! Speak soon, L.

Before and during

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What was the bathroom has now been knocked down. That horrible wooden panelling is all gone and the light from the bathroom window has allowed so much light in to the rest of the house. I love it! We plan on moving the stairs up to the attic to alongside the window here, which will allow us to have a slightly bigger bathroom but without a window. When I say move the staircase, the original staircase will actually have to come out because it doesn't comply with building regs. They are too short in the foot and too high in the rise, so we have a fella coming to take a look at what we want next Tuesday.

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Doesn't it look so bare! I really need to get those door cases stripped and sanded down but I think it will be more of a Spring/Summer job when we have better lighting.

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Look at those stairs! They were too grand to be hidden behind a door! We are adding a new bannister on to the side without a wall and will be choosing something as close to the original spindles as possible. I'm looking forward to decorating it with a beautiful garland for Christmas. I just hope we are in by then!

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This view of the house just makes me so incredibly happy. I love it! I love the light and the bannister. I just keep picturing how it's going to look when it's finished and although I keep telling myself to enjoy the process, I'm so eager to get it all done so we can move in.

If you aren't following our home account on Instagram @verynorthernhome then you won't have seen all the before and afters I've been posting lately. I've had this sudden urge to want to get the house done and dusted and I've had lots of new ideas for our home, including a change of thought for the kitchen cupboard units and the paint for the living room. This will probably change again in a few months time knowing me, as I'm so indecisive! The bathroom will now have no window at all, which means we will have more wall space and slightly more room because of the way we've worked things out. I love the idea of a crazy wallpaper but then again it probably isn't practical for a shower/wet room, so I'm on the hunt for some tiles. Anyway, I wanted to keep this short and sweet so I hope you've enjoyed this post. I know it's been a while with house posts but we are still plodding away and things seem to be moving a bit faster now since Christmas! Enjoy the rest of your weekend and I will speak to you soon, L.

A lovely weekend

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We decided to take the easy route up to Warnscale bothay which was from Honnister and up over the slate mine. Josh and Dan carried kindling and logs on their backs.. and then had to carry it all the way back down because they bothays were full!

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The photo above and the two below both of Josh and I were taken by Dan Toal. You can view his site here for some more amazing photographs!

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I edited this on Lightroom. I'm trying to use Lightroom more as opposed to using VSCO on my phone. I find it quite hard to use/navigate but with hopefully after a few more practices it will just become second nature.

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Dan was taking some astronomical photographs and he helped me set my camera up so I could capture this. I wanna use my camera more and more, so I'm definitely going to try shooting in manual more often. I also popped this in Lightroom and had a play around.

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This guy lended us his battery powered pump to blow our kayak up. He was a Mancunian who drove up for the weekend in his mahoosive camper van.

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Should be wearing a life jacket but totally forgot to pack them! Next time for sure though, it's a little scary out int he middle of the lake without one.

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I had been craving a roast beef dinner and a glass of wine but because we were short on time (Man Utd v Liverpool match), we had a 'Summit to Eat' vegetable chilli con carne, which by the way is the most delicious 'boil in the bag' type meal I've ever had. It's so tasty! I'm going to try and make my own version at home for bate boxes.

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We have had a truly lovely relaxing weekend. It started on Saturday, of course, with a relaxing morning, a hike up on to Haystacks from Honnister (the quickest route up) because we had planned on stopping in Warnscale Bothay but we were too late, someone had already nabbed it! We tried Dubs Hut but there was a group of seven already in there. We could have fit in with them but decided not to, so we headed back down to the car and off to a bothay in Thirlmere. There was nobody there but there weren't any benches to sleep on so I was against sleeping on the floor. We lit the fire, chatted, ate sweets and had a go at photographing the stars. It was fun!

Today Josh and I went kayaking on Derwent Water. It was such a beautiful morning, the hills were frosty, the sky was blue, the lake SO still. Just the most perfect wintery morning but weirdly not that cold. After a float on the lake and a bite to eat we headed over to Bowness for some Churro's from the ChoccoBar. They were okay, bit stingy on the chocolate sauce and because we wanted to take them away, they were packaged in a huge plastic container. But never mind, I guess we should have brought our own! Then we headed up to Windermere for a waffle from The Little Ice Cream Shop. I didn't actually have one because I was full by this point but of course Josh went all out and got almost everything on his waffle. Now I'm sat at home, waiting for SAS to start. I'm really tired, I can barely keep my eyes open and I am so full, I could be sick.

Work has resumed on the house!

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Our beautiful home all lit up. I love seeing it like this.

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Last night Aaron and Isaac started electrical and plumbing work again on the first floor.

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And tonight, they started ripping down the wooden wall separating the landing and the very small bathroom.

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Another perspective of the hallway/bathroom looking across the landing from the guest bedroom.

Finally, we should start seeing a little more progress with the house! After getting the log burner fitted at the end of November the work seemed to just stop to a halt. With Christmas in the way it was hard to motivate ourselves and get anyone around to come and help, so we let December slide but now we are back in business. The next sort of 'phase' is to get the first floor all wired up and the plumbing sorted. We have plans of each room for the electrics and radiators, which I was planning on sharing here but I left the 'little book of plans' up at the house for the boys to go over. Once we have all this sorted, we can start insulating the walls, dot and dabbing again and then we can actually get it plastered! It doesn't sound like that we have that much to do on the first floor.. but then we have the problem with the attic room. I haven't yet mentioned that we had applied for planning permission for the attic room to extend the roof with a flat roof dormer. The reason for this is because we want to have the top room as our master and en suite and we need the head height above the stairs to allow the room to pass as a 4th bedroom, as well as allow plenty of light to flood in and give us a lovely view of the roof tops and the fells behind when we wake up in the morning. Our planning got rejected at the end of last year but we do have an extension date which is later this month. We still have plans that need to be drawn up and sent off to Yorkshire Dales planning but I'll let you know how that goes. Oh and just a little bit of background info as to why we have to go through planning, where we live is classed as a conservation area and is within the Yorkshire Dales National Park. It's obviously very annoying when you don't get what you want but I totally understand their logic. I'm hoping we can come to some sort of agreement to allow us the extra head height we need and keep the exterior in keeping with the rest of the houses on our street. Anyway, I probably shouldn't admit this as it is only Wednesday but I've had two glasses of red wine whilst I've been cooking tea and now I wanna jump in to bed and fall asleep, ha! I'm currently waiting on Josh and his brothers to get home to eat dinner and watch football so I'm sure there will be lots of noise because there always is when there's football.. especially Man Utd. I created my own meatball sauce this evening.. so I hope it tastes nice. Can't wait to eat it! Speak soon, L.

Date night: Blue Smoke On The Bay

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I don't know why but I'm always attracted to black and white polka dots. I got this from Zara just before Christmas and then I wasn't too sure about it but I'd already cut the label off. It's quite formal but with a pair of black cigarette trousers and a black heel, it looks okay for a meal out. You can find the top here but it does appear to be out of stock.

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I curled my hair every day last week with my new wand. I love it so much but it didn't look as good last night as it had done through the week. I sometimes think the more time you spend on something trying to get it 'perfect', it never works out.

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A date night has been well overdue.. in fact I cannot even tell you the last time we went out for dinner together, just the two of us. Friday date nights are somewhat a distant memory but it always feels extra special when we eventually get round too treating ourselves. Saying that, we actually had a voucher to use which was ever so kindly given to Josh from our friends Erin and Stu for helping with their home renovations. Just to clarify that the voucher was given to Josh for all of his hard work, not me. I did nothing! (Thought I better put that in there because I know that he reads every single one of my posts, hi Josh). There were a few different English Lakes restaurants and hotels we could've used the voucher but after hearing a few bad reviews on the Wild Boar, somewhere we used to go to on special occasions, we decided to give somewhere new a try! We chose a delicious bottle of Argentinian Malbec, which I'd already decided on before arriving. For starters, I went for the lamb kofta and Josh went for the duck pancakes. I was a little disappointed in the lamb kofta to be honest. I do a great version of my own at home, so I wish I had chosen the duck pancakes which I was initially going to go for, but because Josh wanted them I thought I'd choose something different. For mains, we both decided on rump steak and the sauce I chose was to die for... red wine and shallot. My god I could just dip some chips in it now, mmm! The steak was cooked on a flaming grill, which took me right back to Thailand. Whenever we are there, we love to eat BBQ'd pork and chicken and especially BBQ'd sticky rice, so yummy. Obviously we had pudding too because why the hell not, even if my stomach felt as if it was going to burst and shatter in to a billion pieces. It was such a lovely place to dine for the evening but if you do plan on going then I'd suggest asking if you can dine in the area in front of the kitchen because there's much more of an atmosphere then the other small 'conservatory' type room, which we were sat in at first due to a mix up. Speak soon, L.

3 small things I achieved in 2019

As I write down my goals for 2020 whilst sipping a rather large glass of Malbec, I thought it would be good to share with you 3 small achievements of mine from 2019. I didn't think it was possible to do all 3 but boy did I have some determination at times, even when I was intoxicated, I still remembered what I set out to do for the year (I'm referring to achievement no. 3 by the way). They may seem like little goals to you but these were actually 3 of the hardest because I think they are 3 little things that can be easily undone. There were obviously bigger achievements, for example buying our house (best day of my life), completing the Great North Swim and actually managing to pass my SSI in Koh Tao of all places but I'm super proud of these 3 especially. Remember that whatever resolutions or goals you have made or decide to make this year, have a few small goals and remember that you can do it and you will do it, you just need a bit of determination.

 ‍‍1. I didn't buy a single plastic bag

2019 was the year when I truly realised how the human race was impacting the planet. The number of Instagram posts, Facebook posts, videos etc. I saw online about plastic pollution really did have an effect on me and I pledged at the beginning of the year to not buy a single plastic bag. I visited Thailand earlier in the year and for those who have travelled Asia but or some of the poorer parts on the continent, you will have probably noticed the amount of litter and the amount of plastic is used on a daily basis. I must admit, it was hard to avoid it in Thailand especially because you cannot drink the tap water out there and all the food you buy on the market stalls is wrapped in plastic and handed to you in a plastic bag. Back home though, here in England, I do remember my reusable shopping bags every single time I go shopping. It's easy for me because I live away from the major super markets, so it's always a planned trip over, whereas I can see how easily forgotten bags must be when you pop in for the odd bits. I've tried so hard to be less wasteful in a number of different ways and I still hope to make small changes this year. It's really difficult to be perfect but I thought that by setting myself this goal for the year, it would make it an easier achievement than setting several 'don't buy any plastic' goals.

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I fished this out from the sea on Karon beach in Phuket. This wasn't the only thing I picked up that day. There were more than 10 plastic bottles that washed up on the shore in front of us. I will always do my bit for the sea life and clean up wherever I go.

2. I didn't have a single ounce of sugar in my tea

This is like a huge achievement for me. I love a sweet cuppa tea but when I started working in an office, drinking several cups of tea a day, I soon began to notice how much sugar I was actually drinking. Not only was I drinking it in my tea, I was also dunking biscuits in my tea too, so something had to give. January 1st 2019 I just stopped putting sugar in my tea and got used to it. I didn't wean myself off it, I simply just cut it out and I haven't looked back since. I must admit that I probably have upped my biscuit in take, so I'm going to try my absolute best to cut down this year. Although, I'm happy to give myself a treat every now and again just not every brew time!

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 ‍‍3. I didn't smoke a single cigarette

Little bit of a confession.. (sorry Mum and Dad), I began smoking when I was about 15. It was something most of us used to do throughout our teenage years and it was easy to get hold of them when the local pub had a 'cigarette vending machine', with easy access through the back door. I remember when a pack of 20 Lambert and Butler would cost £6 and a few of us would share them for the week. Now, I don't even know how much they cost but I know that I certainly couldn't afford them and I certainly do not want to damage my health any more than I have done. I haven't smoked regularly for 6 years because I gave them up when I met Josh - he didn't like it at all. However, I started social smoking, having a fag with my friends after a drink, outside in the nice fresh (smoky) air but then I decided in 2019 that I wouldn't touch one at all. There were hard times, especially when I was offered them down at the local by friends I hadn't seen for some time but I restrained myself and I am so bloody proud of myself for doing so.

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Jeez, that was a lengthy post for a Friday evening! I hope you managed to make it to the bottom! Anyway, after two glasses of wine and a delicious home made curry, I'm almost ready for bed. Speak soon and have a truly wonderful weekend. Lots of love, L.

Removing yet another wall

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What a miserable weekend it's been. I was expecting it though, as I check the forecast religiously. We spent the weekend at the house, knocking through yet another wall. We decided to do this to allow the smallest room in the house an extra foot of space. It will be our walk in wardrobe/dressing room and although not a bedroom at this stage in our lives, it could be in the future and the extra foot would make all the difference, especially when we wouldn't miss it in the other room as we still have enough space for a fitted wardrobe which will sit flush with the door. It's hard to explain but you'll see what I mean when it's done. We had another load of rubble to get rid of, which Dad and Alex helped with. I can't do too much heavy lifting at the moment as my back has been in a bit of pain. The Doctor said it's just a strained muscle though, so light exercise and plenty of rest for me, bliss! Time seems to be going so slow this evening. I don't want to complain because it's the last day of the Christmas holiday's before I go back to work tomorrow but it feels so much later than it actually is. I've just prepared some veg for tea to go along with our fillet steaks I bought from the butcher. Garlic mushrooms, roasted cherry tomatoes, fried onions and of course home made chips before the health kick starts tomorrow. God, how many times did I say that in 2019? I'm hoping that because it is a new year, I might give it a better go and I have written a bit of a meal/workout plan down to keep me on track. We'll see how that goes! Anyway, I've got some stuff to do before work tomorrow and before SAS: Who Dares Wins at 9pm this evening! My eyes are also stinging from the fried onions sizzling away. Speak soon, L.