A Cancelled Race but the Redeeming Hot Tub

First of all, I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas, that Santa was great to you and that you gained at least half a stone from totally-worth-it food!

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On Christmas Eve, Emma stayed over and we baked (a lot!) and had some wine, watching films by the fire.

(obviously we didn’t bake the popcorn, but it was too yummy not to post about it)

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(while the cinnabons, buckeye brownies, and cake batter krispy treats were baking, Emma lit her first fire!)

Christmas morning was spent at Mum’s, then I drove up north to Kyle’s family’s in the afternoon so I could get two dinners to see them!

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(We met up with Matty after dinner for a walk and a festive pub visit. Yes I got strange looks for my jumper and hat. I am not a local.)

On Boxing Day, Kyle and I headed down the road towards Clitheroe for the Ribble Valley 10km. After about 3 hours driving in a storm in the car, we were discussing the race and wanted to check the start time, so I went on their Facebook page:

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And we had had no idea! We were psyched to run it! And the forecast looked better and better every day. We were pretty annoyed we hadn’t received any prior warning that it might be cancelled (I’m guessing they would have known it was a possibility when the flooding started?) BUT safety comes first and we can’t go complaining about a 7/8 hour round trip and missing the race when people have lost their homes. Wishing everyone down there a safe and healthy 2016.

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(after we found out the news)

(pitstop at House of Bruar to cheer us up!)

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We had both been quietly confident we could get PBs, but we can use that aggression for our next race! I was also meant to have a retul bike fit at Planet X, however, after more Googling we made the call that it may have been too dangerous, so we decided to postpone it. Thank you for being so understanding PX!

The good news was that because I am an amazing planner on our return to the house, Keith had already snuck in to set up Kyle’s 30th birthday present…a HOT TUB!! This was meant to be a surprise on our return from Prague, but there were delivery issues so Mum kindly stayed in to receive the order, and Keith agreed to set it up while we were away! They are awesome.

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(I think he was excited!)

Speaking of Mum and Keith, they are off to New York this morning to GET MARRIED!!!!!! Many congrats to them and I wish them all the happiness in the world!! ❤


Favourite thing you ate at Christmas?

Best gift you gave/received?

Ever had a race cancelled on you?

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I <3 CHRISTMAS!

I hope your day is filled with all the calories and all the funs! I will be eating, baking, eating, cooking, napping, eating and living in sweats the whole day!

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Best card I’ve received:

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(Thanks, Keith!)

 

Love you all and thank you again for all your support ❤ xxx

 

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So Much has been Happening

First of all, Sisterister Emma graduated with her Masters in Project Management! We were so proud of her 🙂

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(it was a mental windy day!)

(it got a bit mental afterwards! i think there was a weight off her shoulders!)

We had a girls only meal, then went to the Christmas markets, and finished off in the Noose & Monkey where Kylie Babez taxi’d us all home!

When she found out she’d passed, she sent this which I had to LOL at:

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(if she turns into THAT guy with lots of initials after their name, I will disown her don’t worry)

A night hill trail race strop also happened this week! Once again, I forced Callum to come for a banterous run with me (I said we would be going slow – he doesn’t know what slow means). So I NEVER use a head torch! IF, and I mean IF, I ever venture out in the dark, I either find lit streets, or follow someone else’s light.

Also, I HATE mud. And hills. Downhills in particular. And the dark. And racing with sore muscles (I did a tough session the day before). And ice. And Callum’s patronising “come on you can run downhill without falling” attitude. Just trails in general.

Kyle obviously won. I, on the other hand, went off easy, Callum ditched me, I tried to catch up, and ended up 2nd woman to the top. Not bad considering the above.

Then we turned around to come down.

I screech (I HATE running downhill in broad daylight). Callum stops a bajillion times to make sure I am ok (he lept down like a gazelle). I stick out my arms like I am struggling to walk in high heels, screech another several thousand times, step to the side to let about 17 females pass me, and side step down the hill.

If any of you ever went to skiing lessons, I went down the hill the way the instructors teach you to side step down in skis, to the rhythm of “peanut butter, jelly, peanut butter, jelly.” (Yes I did them in America, but same principle applies.)

Anyhoo, I shout at Callum for wanting to race this in the first place, apologise for being so rubbish, and then we go hard in the last 500m to secure 5th place. Worst “race” ever.

BUT it followed with hot chocolate (every cloud) … 🙂

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(my incentive to get down the hill. I would have preferred to sit in the foetal position at the top, rocking back and forth until a helicopter came to collect me, but apparently that’s “overdramatic”.)

Safe to say I will never be a trail runner.

Callum then slept over at “Mooreig Mansion”!

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…and you can tell what we did the following day:

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(By “tomorrow” I was referring to his Lossie Turkey Trot, where he only went 60mins and got his Metro Standard! He is on fire at the moment!)

The next morning, after 4 hours of sleep(!!!!) and sore legs, I went swim training:

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(you read that right. what was I thinking?)

Fair to say after 90mins of pretty pathetic paddling, I did a food shop and then arrived back at Mooreig Mansion at 9am to Kyle still asleep, and Callum making bacon waffles for everyone! I want a Callum in the house all the times!

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(Uh-MAZING!)

Then the day called for pjs, baking and Christmas movies (see what ones in the message above!).

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(Saturday = perfection!)

I dropped Kyle off in town for his work’s Christmas night out, then was in bed for 9pm to get up at 5.30am again for a Stirling trip (more on that in another post!)

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(doesn’t he scrub up well?!)

However, I kept getting calls and texts through the night from the above drunkard, so I didn’t have the best sleep…!

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He ended up out with more running friends (Myles I blame you!) in the Casino until the time I was up and ready to head down the road!!

After a long day in Stirling (and a hungover Babez), we got a chipper, watched Family Guy’s Christmas special, and went to sleep!


What did you get up to a la weekend? 

Trail running, road racing, hill race or cross country?

Morning person? Or night owl?

A Christmas Idea, No Chocolate Update and Training Progress

Happy Monday everyone! Hope you all had a great weekend 🙂

First of all, despite hating admitting it is on the horizon, I am SOOO HAPPY toffee nut lattes are back at work, signally Christmas time fast approaching!

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(ignore the chipped nail polish. I promise I’ll be a girl soon)

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Training has been getting better. I still have nothing in the diary, as I just want to get fitter again. I have been at the doctor a couple of times since we last talked and I got more bloods taken. There is a small chance I actually have pneumonia, so I’ll probably get a chest x-ray pretty soon. Anything else you want to throw at me, body?!

I also have an inhaler too, to help my wheezing during exercise! So there will be updates on that soon.

I actually used it properly at the track on Thursday:

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(it was that drizzly rain everyone hates apart from me! I love a light shower to keep me refreshed!) 

Needless to say, even with the inhaler I still got my butt kicked by Kyle and Callum! 1km, 1500m, 2km, 1500m, 1km later I was just pleased I didn’t get lapped 😉 Callum I’ll catch you soon…give me a few months!

I must also mention that the inhaler was used for a long course 1500m time trial, but I’m ashamed to admit I didn’t even break 21minutes, so we shall leave it at that.

BUT I did manage a decent session on Monday (8x300m long course off of 4.30, aiming for 15-20rest – woohoo I did it!) in my new Aquasphere swimsuit! They sent me the suit to see how I felt in it. It is made of slightly different material to my usual endurance training suits, and it felt really light and smooth in the water. Plus (and arguably most importantly) it is a funky design and I love the minimal back! They have some pretty amazing athletes who use their products (think Phelps), so they must be onto something! 🙂

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Cycling is pretty non-existent during the week due to the horrible weather, and getting home when it’s dark and late. We have ordered decent lights for our bikes, however, incase we do fancy a dark ride (I wouldn’t go out myself until I regain confidence…). I think my plan over winter is to learn how to use rollers – if anyone has any tips PLEASE share! Or just come and laugh at me help me! I’ll do some longer rides over the weekends and try to fit in a couple turbo sessions during the week too.

Speaking of the horrible weather, I took my bike to work last week and – underprepared as usual – I had to borrow gloves off of my friend Tom. As I was putting them on, I saw this:

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(How cool is that?!)

So that’s the training side. On the nutrition side, NoChocolateNovember SUCKS! First of all, why did I do this at a time when ALL Halloween candy is reduced to like 5p!!?!?!? Secondly, Christmas boxes are EVERYWHERE!! Thirdly, I ❤ CHOCOLATE! But, I am managing to exercise self control and have lived off of jelly tots an maoams for the last 10 days or so.

Has anyone started Christmas shopping yet? I have started browsing and look what I came across!!

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I LOVE LOVE LOVE this! Don’t worry, Kyle. I know you would have to be forced into it, so I didn’t add it to my basket.

Fiona and Tom?? You guys need inspiration for Christmas?!?! 😉

Speaking of Kyle & Tom, it is their 30th next month and we are thinking of organising a beer/chunder mile! This could get interesting….! Anyone want to get training with me on the hydration element of this?!

Ok that is enough for now. I love a good ramble.

Enjoy your week!

Christmas Week

I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas?!

I feel like this was the most unorganised I have been – usually all the presents have been wrapped and are under the tree by the start of December! I suppose I’ll let myself off, given that Lanzarote and Budapest made for a busy month (not to mention Leeds!)

Christmas week I was working, but I still managed to fit in my swimming reunion at Brew Dog and 6 Degrees North #ladsnight!

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(Robbie, me and Phil (who I’m doing the Kalmar Ironman with!))

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(Scott, Andy and Martin)

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(Phil, Wan and Scott)

There were no girls in our swim squad at COAST for a good couple of years so my teenage years were spent trying to fit in with the boys! I love how successful my team were – Robbie won 2x Commonwealth Games gold medals and has swam at the Beijing and London Olympics, Andy made a Commonwealth Games final, and everyone else was in either Scottish or GB teams, having won at least 1 national gold medal! …Look at us now :S

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Christmas Eve after work Mum and I went into town to watch the panicking-last-minuters do their shopping while we had our Starbucks, then Emma came over for our annual baking evening! We made Cinnabons, Salted Caramel Butter Bars (make these as soon as you can!) and churros made in my waffle-maker!

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(Cinnabons)

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(Salted Caramel Butter Bars)

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(Waffled Churros)

The following day was CHRISTMAS!! Emma picked me up to take me to Parkrun, where Freyja (another Olympic qualifier!) and I decided to dress up and join in for fun…Half way through and neither of us could handle taking a “race” easy, so Santa and his elf decided to go sub-6 miles for the 2nd half. It was a PW for the both of us of 21.03 but it was the most fun personal worst ever!

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(it was too cold to break a sweat!)

Then Emma took me to Mum’s house where I got a nice long shower and an extra hot chocolate!

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The rest of our day looked a little like this:

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(2 robins just chillin’ out together = unheard of!)

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As for presents, I got a bluray player with surround sound from my uncle (!), lots of makeup and clothes from the rest of the fam, BUT ALSO…:

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Lots of cycling stuff (cycle clothing not pictured!)

I sent this to Noodles straight away, thinking he’d be proud. This was his immediate reply:

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Merry Christmas to you too, Scott!

Kyle and I had our Christmas when he got back the following night, but no rest for the wicked as we had to leave the following morning bright and early for the Ribble Valley 10k that was on the Sunday….!


Questions for you:

What did you do for Christmas?

Any Christmas traditions?

What did Santa bring you?

Ever raced Christmas day?

Budapest Photo Dump!

Kylie Babez was so excited the entire trip to the airport (I booked a Travelodge in Dunfermline because “Edinburgh Airport Travelodge” for the night was a bit of a giveaway) and we were like little kids all the way to Budapest!

The nerds athletes in us actually had a marathon paced tempo run to do that day and, being quite the planner, I also picked our hotel based on running routes. We were less than 2 miles from Margaret Island: an island that had a 5.5km RUBBER running track surrounding it! It was a runner’s paradise!!

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The session was 5 miles at marathon pace, but I got carried away trying to keep up with Kyle in the distance so I averaged 6.24 pace (don’t get excited, people – I would be happy with 6.44 pace in a marathon) to his 5.20 pace (that is not a typo. He is THAT fast. And that was his ACTUAL predicted marathon pace!)

Our hotel was in Buda (the old town), right on the Danube and we had the best views from our room! After a quick shower and change, we headed straight over the bridge (the sun was setting about 3.30pm – it was gorgeous!) to Pest to explore and there were Christmas markets everywhere!

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We watched children ice skating, took in a light show ON St Stephen’s Cathedral, drank mulled red, white AND rose wine and walked for ages taking everything in! It’s so cheesy but it was actually magical!

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(If I knew how to show you videos I would – this light show was spectacular!)

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(This is probably the best thing we ate – a cinnamon “chimney”!)

It was one of those nights where you think you have only been out for an hour but actually we had been out since 3 and got home about 11pm! We were feeling so festive!

The following day was Kyle’s actual birthday! He chose to run the 3 miles to City Park, which holds Europe’s largest outdoor ice rink, as well as the Szechenyi Baths which we were really keen to go to! We ran with our swimming bag packed (he carried it!), hoping to dump it in the “private cabin” we booked and run longer around the park, but they didn’t let us leave once we were in. I wanted Kyle to get a proper run in as opposed to hauling an uncomfortable bag full of my makeup and our winter clothes for after, so I manned up and took over bag duty for a 45 minute run around the park! I even have the chaffage to prove it (TMI?)!

We finished our run in Gundel, a famous and delicious patisserie where we had hot chocolates, scones, swiss rolls and the 2014 winning Hungarian cake…I can’t remember the name 😦

Then it was on to the baths:

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The baths were thermal and they went up to 38 degrees I think AND they were stunning!

We walked back through the city, stopping again for roasted chestnuts, mulled wine and more market browsing before we went on a champagne cruise down the Danube for his actual birthday treat!

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I hope it was a good birthday, oldie!?

Saturday called for another run session. This time 4×1 mile, 8 hill reps, 4×1 mile. This was a toughy! We did it back at Margaret Island (I could run there every day!) and other runners were so nice – if they know you are working hard they cheer for you and everything!

After a long shower, we headed to the back of our hotel and up a wee hill to real old town Buda. Castles, churches, monuments – the views were incredible!

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We even popped some bubbly at the top of the hill (people love drinking outside there, so we followed suit… “when in Rome”)

We toured Buda and headed over the river again to Pest to find a chocolate shop and pay a visit to the Ice Bar!

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And the night ended with a Ferris Wheel ride (romantic, until we reached the top and thunder and lightning hit. We were terrified)

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(view from the top)

Then came the final day 😦 We ran up to Gellert Hill and over the bridges we hadn’t done yet! It was super windy though  (I didn’t realise this until we turned around so shorts and tshirt = couldn’t-feel-my-limbs type of run

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All in all I think it’s safe to say a) he had a nice birthday, b) we left feeling festive, and c) we ❤ Budapest!

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Last Week’s Festive Roundup!

Last week was relatively quiet. I got ill on the Tuesday (I think it was going from a warm place to the freeeeeeeeezing reality of Aberdream!) I took a couple days off, felt sorry for myself, watched a couple of Christmas movies before a weekend of festive fun with a race added on at the end!

On Friday night, it was my work’s department’s meal and night out. Quite the opposite of our formal dance (well, the posh part of it involving dressing up and bringing partners!); it included lots of Prosecco, wine, vodka and last – but by no means least – haggis bombs (jagermeister and irn bru!), as well as karaoke in a gay bar.

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(I think you can tell by my general expression I was rather confused with life singing karaoke in a gay bar that night…)

On Saturday morning I woke up fresh as a daisy, went for a wee run, then had a lovely festive lunch with “genuine mulled wine” (no idea the difference between fake and genuine?) with Kyle’s parents and Andy.

Then we were ready to watch Emma star in the Sleeping Beauty pantomime (go and see it if you’re in Aberdeen NOW – it’s soooooo good!)

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(a backstage pic: she is on the right, her “Mummy Rowie” on the left (her friend Mike))

Afterwards, she ran out to meet us and we couldn’t get a word in because all these little kids – forming an orderly queue of course; this wasn’t a rock concert – asked for her autograph and pictures with her!!! I was SUPER PROUD!!!!

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(I think you can tell from my white knuckles, I was so proud I was gripping on to her!)

We walked around the shops, went for a beer at 6 degrees north (we HAD to show Kylie Babez’ parents how amazing it is, during which we beat them at Connect4 (!), then it was time for them to catch the train 😦 come back soon please!!

Kyle stayed out (it was his work’s meal and drinks) and I had a quiet one before my race the following day…!


Questions for you:

HAVE YOU SEEN EMMA’S PANTOMIME? IF NOT SEE IT NOW!

Do you have any Christmas traditions? Nights out? Mulled wine? Pantomime visits (see Emma’s now, yes please!)?

We’re baaaaaaaack!

Wow Club La Santa was AWESOME! The weather was lovely, the training was fun, and the company was good too I suppose…!

More to come on what we did but let’s backtrack to the week before we left, ’cause that was so much fun too!

It included my FIRST EVER TORCH RUN! I dont think I could go into the woods myself at night in the dark, but Kyle and I had combined some of our Run4It voucher winnings and bought a funcy schmuncie head torch and we had to try it out!

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(At first I was afraid, I was petrified….)

But then it was exhilarating, both trying to keep up with him, but also having to avoid puddles and branches last minute, and looking out for wildlife (none this time, unfortunately)

It also included more turbo training…

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(this sports bra is navy…when dry – holy smokes turbo makes me sweat!)

And it even included being a girl and getting my nails done 🙂

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(ignore the pink and white in my skin…I have bad circulation)

Now on to the weekend before the holiday! It was time for Kyle to race the ND champs (he was 2nd – I still thought that was awesome but he was pretty disappointed. He’ll win the next one (and did, multiple times in Lanzagrotty!)!)

After prize giving etc and traffic heading back to Aberdeen, we were running late for my work’s Christmas Dance at the Beach Ballroom! We made it just in time for the drinks reception though!

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(Don’t we scrub up well)

That was at the start of the night. Drinks were flowing, accessories were appearing, and it went a little downhill after that.

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(our baby, Pacman)

The biggest accomplishment of the day (sorry Kyle this beats your race) was the fact I WALKED the couple of miles home IN MY HEELS! Power to my women! I ALWAYS bring a Mary Poppins bag to nights out with pumps to walk home in so safe to say my calves were feeling it the next day!

The following morning, I felt great (Kyle, not so much) so I ran back to the beach (took a longer route for about 6 miles) to pick up the car, we both got changed, checked we had everything packed for Lanza, and headed down the road to Edinburgh for Christmas market fun! Unfortunately, we had to endure a MAJOR traffic jam in Dunfermline which meant the journey took 4 hours instead of the usual couple.

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(gridlock…)

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(Isn’t it stunning!?)

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(Worth the 4 hour journey!)

We had mulled cider, mulled wine, mulled beer, fresh pretzels, truffles….mmmmmm!!!!!!!

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After walking around the markets, we met up with Hannah & Stephen (I was bridesmaid at their wedding 2 years ago!), and Kyles friends Matty and Tim for some Brewdog beer! Time flew past and it was time to head to Nicolle & James’ flat for dinner, catch ups and a bed before our flight the following morning!

After waking up bright and early for a 4 mile run by Arthur’s Seat, it was time to head to the airport!

We were on our way!!

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(plane selfie)