The good, the bad and the plain rude of looking younger than you are

“So, now that you’ve finished school – what are your plans? What’s the next move? What are you studying or going to do in your future?”

“My future is now, lady. I’m in it. This is it.”

 

Age. It’s a funny thing. And whilst, for the majority of the time it’s not something we pay much attention to as adults, when you look younger than your age you’re probably forced to think about it more than the average person walking down the street. Here I thought I’d share with you some typical age-related stories for you to enjoy, because these are the sorts of things I come across daily.

 

Tickets please

Now, I’m an honest person. If the man on the bus asks me if I need a child’s or an adults ticket I will tell him I need an adults ticket, because I don’t want to lie about these things. But, if he’s going to assume I’m a child and charge me a child’s price – I’m totally fine with that too. It’d be too much hassle for him to process any other transaction, right?

“NO WAY!”

I think my favourite thing comes down to good old British politeness. If I meet someone and they don’t know how old I am the conversation might progress enough that they start to wonder. I can see their minds whirring “I’m talking to this 14 year old, but she’s married, and has a proper job, and is talking like an adult – how old is she?” A number of times someone has stopped the conversation and gone “so, how old ARE you?” and this is a pro purely because I must at least sound and act like an adult on occasion. I really enjoy the response which is often “NO WAY!” Yes way. Why would I lie to you?

 

Do you have any ID on you?

And now we move onto the good old fashioned ID’ing saga. Now, I work in retail and ID people every day. I know how hard it is to judge someone’s age. I also know that if you look young it’s a really good idea to carry ID with you wherever you go because no-one’s going to sell you the alcohol without it. As a retail worker, if this is your job, I have total respect for you and this part of the job. It’s not nice, and it’s usually the start of a barage of abuse from angry customers who didn’t bring their ID. But, please, if you ID someone who looks younger than they are please refrain from looking up and down from the ID several times and going “Wow! You really do look very young.” I know you’re embarrassed you asked me because you feel like you should have known – but feel free to just give it back to me and smile. I don’t need you to mention it. Again. Because someone probably reminded me yesterday.

 

Are your parents home?

Possibly one of my favourite moments was when one of those really annoying door-to-door salesmen (hereby known as X) paid me a visit one day. I think he was hoping to sell me some double-glazing. I never found out because he realised he was losing from the very moment he first opened his mouth.

C: Hi

X: Hi. Are your parents in?

C: Err…no.

X: Is there an adult at home?

C: I’m an adult.

X: Oh right, sorry. Can I talk to the homeowner?

C: Yes… That’s me.

X: No, I mean the one who pays the bills.

C: Still me.

X: Really? But you don’t look old enough. Do you own this house?

C: Yes…

X: Oh. Wow! That’s amazing. Wow! You look very young…

C: …

X: I don’t think I’ve got off to a good start, have I? Should I go?

C: I think that would be best.

Having said that he’s possibly one of my favourite door-to-door salesmen for recognising he’d got it so wrong. Wherever you are X – thank you for leaving so promptly.

Similary I enjoy not being hassled in the street to change my mortgage, discuss my finances or give to charity. I can’t make these decisions without parental consent, so bonus for me! I’ll just wander along to the next sweet shop.

 

Work life

A lot of people say it can be difficult to gain respect in the workplace when you’re young (or look young), but I do think if you’re surrounded by decent people then beyond your first day that isn’t a majorly big deal – when they see you know what you’re doing they forget what you look like and treat you as one of the team. However, in a customer orientated job there are expectations from the customers. Like that the person that’s going to be dealing with their query isn’t going to be the kid on work experience. That’s fine, but let me see if I can solve your problem first before you start to judge me based on my baby face.

 

School student

Last year a lady started to talk to me whilst we were walking up the street (it was one of those awkward moments where we’d half got talking because someone had stopped us both at once for directions and we happened to be walking exactly the same way). She was chatty and I’m sure she meant well. A retired teacher, she was very interested with my education (which has long since been and gone) and my impending results. The assumption that I had just completed my GCSEs (she very specifically had assumed I was 16, but there we go). When I had explained and set her straight that I had finished school, and I was not currently at college as was her next assumption I was very clearly on a gap year. By the time we’d reached the end of the street she’d decided I was on said gap year (she was a talkative sort, not really leaving any room for correction) and heading off to university after the summer. Alas, it was not to be so and I had great joy telling her that I was heading in another direction to her and that I was, indeed, on some sort of ‘gap decade’ if that was the case.

 

Life choice judgement

Discussing with a friend of mine (who also looks young for her age) she mentioned that, as she has a child, that she finds looking young to bring out the most judgemental people. With a young son there is an assumption that she has had him very young as a teenager. Not only is she not a teenager, but if she had done – would that be their judgement to make on whether that was right or wrong in her life?

In a similar vein I might sometimes drop into a conversation that I am married, hoping that will age me without me writing “I’m 27” on my forehead. The common response tends to be “but you’re too young to be married”. I could have chosen to marry at 16 if I so wished – why is that something you need an opinion on?

Our lives, our choices.

 

“One day you’ll be very grateful that you look so young”

This may well be the case, and when I’m 90 and finally looking 30 I’ll be back here letting you know how that feels when no-ones giving up their bus seat for me and I can’t get into places and a concessionary OAP rate. See you then! Meanwhile, enjoy this photo of me in the future turning 50!

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Trust Me, Series One, Episode One ~ Review *** GUEST BLOG ***

Another BBC drama series…. and another TV review for Break A Leg.

Break A Leg

Chloe Buckles, a member of Team Break A Leg has very kindly offered to review the new series on BBC One, ‘Trust Me’. We love a guest blog from Chloe, so here she is to tell you all about the show which stars the new Doctor-to-be.

Lovely Chloe, who is one of our treasured Guest Bloggers

With Tuesday nights rapidly becoming a prime time for the BBC to show it’s latest mini drama series, plus the added surge of interest in actress Jodie Whittaker as the new Doctor Who, Trust Me is, in my opinion, a piece of ‘must-watch’ TV. And this first episode of the series didn’t disappoint…

So, Who is the Doctor here? Well, one thing’s for sure, Cath Hardacre (Jodie Whittaker) is not. When we first meet her she’s a capable and caring nurse, frustrated by how the system is letting not only her, but more importantly…

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Zombies Run!

I’ve never been a fan of helicopters, but ever since mine was shot out of the sky into a world that is overcome by hoards of the undead, I have a real dislike of them. Thinking I was doing the world a favour by swopping in with supplies on my chopper, it was a bit of a shock to be unexpectedly blown out of the sky – as I’m sure you can quite imagine. By some stroke of luck I found myself guided via radio link by those who are currently battling to survive in this undead world. They guided me through the deserted lands and past the swarms of Zombies that wished to eat my brains. And now they’ve decided I run sufficiently well enough that I could be of use to the town gathering supplies and creating diversions, in exchange for the safety of Abel Township – the only sanctuary from the undead world. Things aren’t looking great though, and the more I learn about this land, the more I realise we are all doomed.

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OK. So none of that actually happened. Unless, of course, you’ve downloaded and used the Zombies Run app by Six to Start available in the App Store and for Android. This app combines the usual features of a running app (recording pace, distance and all the usual stats using GPS) with the wonderful art of storytelling. And let me tell you – it’s good! I’m not one into Zombie films or anything like that, so I approached the app somewhat reluctantly thinking it’d fail to capture my imagination. I was wrong. It does capture my imagination, and in turn I manage to escape capture of the Zombies.

So, how does it work? Well the story is independent of your run, so in theory you could sit at home and listen to it on the sofa – although I can’t imagine that’d be very effective. But it does mean you can run/walk at your own pace and the story will progress just the same.

Each mission (so far for me anyway) lasts approximately 30 minutes and continues you on your story, where you have landed in Abel Township and are attempting to survive the Zombie Apocolypse. You have the option to turn on ‘chases’ which requires you to up your pace for a short time whilst being chased by Zombies. Don’t worry though, if you get caught you just lose any supplies you’ve picked up in the mission, you don’t die or turn into a Zombie. Or you can just turn chases off.

Completing missions and collecting supplies means you can improve your base camp, which is a typical setup of a lot of gaming apps (collect things and spend it on improving something). I’m not really into that so I haven’t played around with my base camp as yet.

If you don’t complete a mission (perhaps you weren’t going on a 30min run today) the app just pauses the story and you pick up for next time. Equally, if you want to run further then after each mission you tune in to Radio Abel. Which, in itself is entertaining enough without your surrounding missions. Naturally, you can listen to your own music or podcasts for the majority of the time, the volume just dips for the app to cut in to give you updates. Any Radio Abel runs also allow you to collect supplies for your Base Camp if you don’t feel like completing a mission.

This app definitely adds some entertainment and distraction to runs and so if that’s what you’re looking for I would absolutely recommend it. There’s also the option of training plans, which I haven’t tried as yet as they are for improving your 5k/10k/half marathon, so there’s lots of uses for it for all abilities. I can absolutely see myself getting into those training plans in the future though.

Anyway, if you excuse me, I have a hoard of Zombies banging at the window and I really need to get out there and collect some much needed supplies.

Ahhh! Zombies, run!

Made it to 5k!

Today was the day.

I knew it would be a good day when I dropped a bottle of wine earlier from shoulder height onto a hard floor and it didn’t smash. Luck was on my side.

So, when I decided on the spare of the moment to go for a run today it was with the intention of ‘now or never’. I knew a route that was roughly 5k (or 3 miles if you prefer) which simply required me to make a decision after about a mile in – do I keep going? Or do my usual shorter route?

For whatever reason today I kept going. And it wasn’t because I was feeling good. On the contrary, I felt pretty bad and the muggy air was unhelpful.

I have run 5k before, a number of years ago, but I still consider this a massive success for where I am right now in life (i.e. I’ve actually had to put precious time aside to get fit – outrageous!).

Those that have followed me for a while will know that this started with the NHS Choices Couch to 5k app, and I didn’t actually say that my aim was 5k until a few weeks in (because I have a tendency to go all out for something for a short while and then become disinterested quickly). At week 7 I completed the 25min runs and decided I needed a new adventure, and so downloaded the Zombies Run app. My running dropped off for a while after then, and I do wonder if I’d continued with Couch to 5k I might have got there more quickly. But life happened and the running didn’t.

But today it did happen. So if it’s running you’re doing, or something else you’re working towards that seems like a long slog – just keep going. Definitely slow and steady wins the race (I won’t be breaking any records any time soon!) but it feels wonderful to have achieved an aim!

Now to get to a 30min 5k before moving on to the next challenge….!

Hi July!

Another quiet month on the blog – whoops, sorry about that! I made the absolute biggest of all no no’s and over promised and under-delivered. It should always be the other way around, so I’ll set no expectations for this month and hopefully I won’t let myself down!

I was so looking forward to June because I had plenty of plans and lots going on, so it’s not a surprise that it flew past in a flash!

Monthly Verse ~ Your word is a lamp for my feet, and a light on my path. Psalm 119:105

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I’ve been trying to read my way through Psalms, and this well known verse jumped out at me as I endeavour to make more time for God and the Bible in my life. I know I feel better and more grounded when I spend some time reading the Bible, so why can it feel so difficult? That’s why this was my verse to focus on in June, reminding me what I want to be focusing myself on.

 

Happy moments ~ There are fewer this month, not because I had a sad month, but because I was so busy having lots of wonderful and happy moments that I didn’t quite jot them all down quickly enough! Completed a 25min run; Camping with Cubs; Campfires; Friendship; Sleeping for a solid 10 hours; Postcard; Really sunny days; Annual leave; Climbing Snowdon

Task Tracking ~ 30 days in June. Up before 9am – 28 times (I KNOW, WOW!), blog – 3 times, Run – 5 times, Read Bible – 12 times, Bed by 11pm – 17.

There’s lots of improvement to be had there. My least amount of sleep was 5 hours on 10th June (hello Cub Camp!) and the most amount of sleep was 10 hours on the 12th June (again, hello post-cub camp!)


About Today ~ I started this last month to remind myself of what was happening each day (essentially a very short diary!), but I had so much stuff this month that took up chunks of time it lost it’s way a little. So here’s a quick summary.

3rd June – Second Guest Blog for Break A Leg was written.

9th-11th – Cub Camp 😀 The best thing about being a Cub leader is Cub camp. Yes it’s exhausting, a bit stressful and a big drain on the sleep but it is fantastic fun and a lovely way to spend a weekend getting to know the Cub Scouts more and have some adventure! It also is wonderful to spend time with our leadership team, who are all fantastic human beings.

17th June – went to the bride to be’s dress fitting and spend the afternoon/evening with Sarah, one of my most favourite people and her family.

24th June – Wedding day! Not mine, but a friends. Was honoured to be their bridesmaid (even if I did have to wear a dress) and very glad I went to the dress fitting or else I’d have been clueless on how to lace up a wedding dress!


26th June – Climbed Snowdon. I’m so proud of us for doing this, but also so shocked at how unfit we are!


Running ~ It’s still happening, but progress has slowed somewhat! And I owe the blog a review of Zombie’s Run, the app I’m now using. I never quite made my 5k target, but I’m not too far off being able to do it (infact I think I probably could, but just need to make myself accountable for it. This month is 5k month, ok? You’re responsible now for making me go). So, keep your eyes peeled for Zombie Run post and a celebratory 5k post!

Thanks for catching up with me. Hopefully there’ll be some more posts in July for you!

Climbing Snowdon

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This week we were on an adventure! We decided to use our annual leave to explore Snowdonia (and for me this was the first time in Wales) and climb up Snowdon. As everyone had already told me, North Wales is beautiful and there was lots of amazing scenery to take in, especially whilst we climbed Snowdon.

We took the Llanberis path up to Snowdon which is known as the easier (if not the easiest) of the routes up. We aren’t hill walkers, infact it’s hard enough to find a hill to walk up in Suffolk, so this was plenty of exercise for our little legs! The Llanberis path is easy to navigate (the pathway is always easy to see) and relatively easy to climb. It does have its steep parts, but it’s not so steep that you’ll need to be on your hands and knees at any point.

We started at 9.30am which I think was probably a little ahead of everyone else, as they all seemed to catch us up when we stopped for a break at Halfway House.

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One of the steepest points in the route is probably the road leading the Llanberis path, but at least it’s tarmac, so it’s easy on the feet. Eventually, after a steady steep climb you reach the official signpost and start of the Llanberis path route.

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From here on it’s mainly slate and stony paths. It was along this first part of the path that we met some runners. And wow are there a lot of people running up Snowdon! And in the most part we saw them running up whilst we were walking up and then whilst we were still walking up, they came sprinting down.

Everyone walking up and down was very friendly, and those that had walked it before told you what to expect next and when you could see the peak etc, which was nice and added to a good atmosphere.

The track is fairly samey for the first half of the walk, and reasonably flat. You cross under a small railway bridge (the photo at the top of this post is from that point) and even though it’s only halfway you still feel fairly high up, and views are incredible.

Continue along this easy path for a little way and you come to Halfway House. I didn’t know what to expect here, but turns out it’s a nice little stop off. Tea, coffee, soft drinks, snacks and a slush puppie machine. There’s also a toilet which is very important for someone like me who has such a small bladder. We refuelled here with a bottle of Lucozade Sport. At this point we were both hot and sweaty. Turns out we’d picked the best day to go up during our stay, and there was even a hint of sunshine as we made our way up.

Halfway House is halfway between sea level and the peak of Snowdon and over halfway in terms of distance. However, because it gets steeper time-wise it’s not quite halfway.  Just past leaving Halfway House you come across this:

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I’m not sure what it is, or why people leave money in it, but it seems interesting!

Continuing along this path for a little way it quickly steepens into a natural looking staircase made up of stoney chalky rock. And it is hard work for the unfit folk of Suffolk to get up. But at the top you are rewarded with crossing under the railway bridge once more, which sort of marks the beginning of the end of the climb in my eyes. After this it’s one more very steep climb and then it’s relatively easy walk to the top.

 

On our last little bit of climb the cloud really came in very quickly and we quickly lost visibility. Which isn’t unusual and was quite amazing to see how fast you can lose sight where you are. It was also at this point where the peak finally came into view and we realised that we were almost there!

 

It felt quite an achivement to finally get to the top (even if loads of people do it every year!) although we were both a hot and sweaty mess. When you get to the top there’s a cafe and visitors centre (so if you need a souvenir, go for your life) there’s also some hot food and of course the all important toilets. We’d brought some good up with us so we sat and had a little picnic, with accompanying seagull at the top with this view:

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I think you’ll agree that as picnic views go it’s unrivalled. We also got very lucky with the weather when we got to the top with a lot of the cloud clearing and leaving us with amazing views.

Sadly, what goes up must come down and physically coming down is really hard on your joints (knees and ankles especially) but it did take us about half the time of going up in total. We opted to come down the same route as we went up purely for convenience sake (it saved catching a bus at the other end – I know, we’re lazy) and we’re not quite adventurous enough yet to have tried a different route.

I hope you kept up with all that and feel like you’ve climbed Snowdon with us. If you want a real experience of climbing with us we did some very amateur filming (or I did) which you can see by clicking below:

 https://youtu.be/o6ytthz3sRY

C25k: Week 6

3700 steps.

3700 steps in my 25min run this week. And I felt every single one of them.

They do say that you’ll have that one run (or runs) where you wonder what on earth your doing, why your doing it and what the point of coninuing is. Week 6 Day 3 was my run for that.

The feeling began during my 5 minute warm up walk, where I had a stitch (yes a stitch, on a walk after a glass of water…) so I knew I wasn’t in for a fun time. Fortunately, by the time I started running it had subsided through all sorts of weird and wonderful attempts at alleviating it. The NHS choices C25k app suggests breathing in whilst pushing your stomach out. Have you tried that? It’s ridiculously difficult and you feel stupid. Try it now, I dare you. It seemed to work though, so I’ll definitely hold on to that tip for the future.

Once I’d started my 25min run, the usual first 5 minutes dragged as all I could think about was how far I had to go. This is quite normal for me during all the plans, to overthink what I’m doing, how fast I’m going, what route I’m doing, and how long until the plan ends. Unfortunately, whereas I usually distract myself and drift into some sort of mind blanking exercise, this time I didn’t and what followed was 20 minutes of constant time checking (to the point where I’m thinking of removing my watch next run – but I do love checking my stats after), heaving breathing and spending every other step wishing the run to end. The consequence of this was that I stopped at 17minutes and did a one minute walk, which I am disappointed about as I know that I can run 20mins without stopping. But on this day my mind wasn’t playing the game with my body and the break was very welcomed. The plan now continues with 3 more 25min runs for the next week, so I’m hoping that I’ll see through to the end all 3 of them, if not I may return to the week 6 interval plans for a bit and see how I go.

In contrast Days 1 and 2 of the plan went very well. Day 1 was a 5min run/3min walk/8min run/3min walk/5min run which was a generally nice plan. It was at this point that I realised that my fitness has really increased because the 3min walks were proving to be ample time to recover from the runs and a 5min run wasn’t very taxing at all. Day 2 was 10 min run/3 min walk/10min run which again was quite comfortable for me. Perhaps this is why I went into false hope into Day 3, as I managed Days 1 and 2 with no problems at all.

Anyway, we’ll see what Week 7 has in store and if I can crack the 25min runs. I can’t believe how quickly the plan seems to be going and how noticeable the improvement in my fitness is (especially recovery after runs, which hardly seems to take any time at all anymore). I’ve set myself a challenge of trying to run 25miles this month over the course of the plans, which should be do-able if I complete all runs left in the C25k plan in a timely fashion. If I’m able to stick to the plan without repeating any areas then I’m due to complete on 22nd June with a 5k run in, hopefully, 30 mins.

Thanks for reading, race you all to next week! 🙂