humour · Lifestyle · Running

THE INTERVIEW

It’s forbidden for staff to write anything about my place of work on social media… No, sadly it’s not MI5, it’s a flipping car dealership!? I know top secret, right?!? Company policy and all that jazz!

The company I work for is named after its founder and (until recently) director, who sadly passed away on Monday, aged 89.  The Boss was knighted by the Queen in 2004 and last year became the UKs first motor trader BILLIONAIRE.  His success story is pretty inspiring.  If you are Scottish you probably know who I mean, outside of Scotland you can find out who I work for with a quick Google search of the above information but it’s really not important to the story, I’m just rambling.

So, I was sitting at my desk on Monday morning when we (the office girls) received an email from our Office Manager informing us The Boss had sadly passed earlier that morning.  He was a grand old age, we hadn’t seen him for a few years and we were aware his health was deteriorating but it was still a bit of a shock to read.  No-one was sure what to say, if we should be upset, do we just continue on with whatever task we had been interrupted from.  Instead there was a bit of an awkward silence….

My phone rang.

Me: Good Morning, Angela speaking! …I start thinking about a funny incident of a time our late ‘boss’ paid us a visit…

Caller:  Hi Angela, blah blah blah….MARATHON ….blah, blah…VIDEO…blah blah… FILM YOU…blah..  see you on Thursday!

Me: …still thinking about funny story, almost laughing about it… Ok, thanks Bye!

I hadn’t actually been listening to a word the caller (no idea who he was) was saying but vaguely had picked up something about making a video and coming to film me about running?!?! What?! Which made no sense as I was at work?! I really should pay attention*

Turns out, [undisclosed company that I work for, that’s not MI5] has partnered with Great Run Company, who organise running events including the Stirling Scottish Marathon.  Awesome! The caller was from a film company who have been hired to make a video about the partnership between the companies (I think).  Awesome! …except I just stupidly agreed to be in it because I was too busy thinking about a funny story involving my dead boss, bless him!

Now, I am not the type of person you want in front of a video camera, I’m not what they call a natural.  I mean sure I have had more than a few You’ve Been Framed moments, worthy of the £250 prize money but in general I’m more of a ‘face for radio’ type of girl unfortunately I don’t have the voice for radio.  I’m really shy and quite nervous in most situations, including BEING FILMED.  When I feel uncomfortable I fidget, I stammer,  I say remarkably, stupid things when I’m put on the spot and I have this really annoying thing where I get fits of the giggles when I’m feeling particularly uncomfortable, I also smile over enthusiasticly.  So naturally, I spent Monday till Thursday freaking out about it!

On Thursday morning, I contemplated pulling a sickie,  then remembered I’m not brave enough to even do that.  I arrived at work ready for filming looking real fly with a double dose of what looked like pink eye because I’d fallen asleep with my contact lenses in, which I never do and my voice was hoarse from spending the night before screaming Bruno Mars songs at the top of my lungs**

The ‘film crew’ and an assistant from our Head Office arrived and introduced themselves then gave me a quick explanation of what was going to happen..

We’ll ask you a couple of questions a few times, you don’t have to prepare anything, just be yourself, natural, honest answers thats all we need, it’ll take about 5-10 minutes.  We will go set up equipment and give you a shout when we are ready for you.

I got a call from the receptionist about 20 minutes later.  ‘I’ve to tell you they are ready for filming! I hope you’ve got your lipstick on, you should see the set up!’

Now I’m proper freaking!

… palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy ..thankfully none of my mothers spaghetti vomit on my sweater…. ohhh I must add Lose Yourself to my marathon playlist..

I won’t lie, the set was intimidating.  It was in the middle of the showroom, lighting systems, microphones, cables everywhere, my collegues who were asking if we were filming for a new Hobbit movie…really funny guys.. and of course there was the camera and cameraman.

Stuart instructed me where to stand and checked the lighting was ok, then adjusted the camera and mic height because I’m a midget (rolls eyes) and we were off…  Stuart, the interviewer threw some questions my way, for example;

Why am I running the Marathon, what charity and why? What motivates me when I’m running? How have I found training? Any tech gadgets or apps I use? Favourite part of my kit? Pre/post run treats? How do I wind down after long runs and my advice for other runners thinking about signing up for a race?

You know, all the stuff runners LOVE to talk about, unless they are me and have a camera, 3 strangers, work colleagues and customers all staring at me!

I had to think of answers on the spot, not a strong point of mine.  We had to repeat some of the questions several times due to background noise and my wobbling.  I was standing which meant my nervous rock back and forth came into play.  I’m sure my voice was jittery (and hoarse) but I don’t think I stuttered much, if at all. We ran through the questions again, I’m not sure if I even gave the same answers. Ha! Finally  we were done, in no time…but felt like a lifetime.

Obviously once the nerves wore off and I was back in the comfort of my office I thought of much better answers.  Thinking about it, I’m 99.9% sure a bit of my hair was sticking up the whole time and knowing me there is every chance I had some of my breakfast stuck in my teeth too.

I don’t know what this video is being used for, I didn’t even ask.  I now fear the day that my colleagues get to watch my jittering mess explain how much I love peanut butter bagels.  Fingers crossed the footage of me doesn’t EVER see the light of day!!


*I do usually pay attention and actually listen at work.  It was a one off.. or twice…ok it happens often.

**I was at a Bruno Mars gig not just screaming songs into my hairbrush in my bedroom. 

How do you cope with nerves?

Have you ever been in a situation like this?

Thanks For reading ☺️

Have a great day ❤ Happy Easter Weekend if you celebrate it.

I’m working today, Good Friday… no-one becomes a billionaire by giving their minions a day off I guess…sigh!

Angela xo

humour · Lifestyle · Travel

Past Adventures • Tomb Raider

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After I posted my NYC past adventure I planned on sharing more of my travel mishaps and social calamities – unfortunately they are a regular occurrence in my life – but being the awful blogger that I am, I forgot.  I was however reminded of this particular incident when Quinn posted about her trip to Cairo (Quinn, I just realised my trip to Cairo was probably just a couple of weeks before yours)

AUGUST 2010

Kevin had booked for us to go on holiday with his friends and their little boy.  10 days All Inclusive in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt.  Now, I’m going to sound like the most ungrateful girlfriend in the world but…  I know it’s great if you have kids or if you are the type of person who basically just wants sunshine (I’m from Scotland I get that!) but an all inclusive resort is really not my thing.  Sharing a pool with the same people you shared the flight with, Good Morning nods to the guy from seat 28E and battling it out for a sun lounger with the kid that took a flaky in the airport does not give you feel for a place, you don’t learn about the culture or history and most importantly you do not help the country’s economy.[RANT OVER].   Egypt, as you probably know, has incredible history and home to the most famous and extraordinary landmarks known to man.  There was no way I was lying on sun lounger, expanding my waist for the whole 10 days when I was so close to the last remaining wonder of the ancient world.

Firstly, lets talk about the transfer from the airport.  17 people from our flight were going to our hotel, we were picked up in a 12 seater minibus.  As usual, Shorty here drew the short straw and had to sit on Kevin’s knee (ok, maybe Kevin drew the short straw) in the front next to the driver, my face practically pressed against windscreen.  The driver was actually really lovely and talked about everything we were passing but OMG I felt like I was in a Mario Kart.  We dashed in and out of lanes in rush hour traffic, I never heard so many car horns blasting.  Kevin questioned why some of the lamp posts were lying at the side of the road.  The driver replied ‘look ahead the road is not finished’, he wasn’t kidding, we drove over sand for about half a mile before joining back onto tarmac.  I was more than grateful when we finally arrived at our hotel in one piece.

After a couple of days of chilling out, which I must admit was actually amazing.  Kevin and I headed off to explore Cairo and ancient Egypt for a few of days.  Our friends stayed at the resort.  They didn’t have visas to leave Sharm and although this was before the political unrest that it is now, Egypt was still very high risk for terrorist attacks.  I couldn’t blame them for wanting to keep their little boy somewhat oblivious in this sanctuary of water slides and free ice cream.

SHARM-EL-SHEIKH  TO  CAIRO

I’m not a great flyer but this was honestly the worst plane I have ever been on in my life, the only way I can explain it was an old military cargo type plane with actual bus seats stuck in, we even had to climb up the hatch/ rear door. NO JOKE

Thankfully we made it to Cairo without the back door opening, sprinkling us all across the Sahara.. that’s what I kept imagining the whole way…  I might have a slightly overactive imagination.

EGYPTIAN  MUSEUM

After an altercation with airport security and losing some clothes off our backs to beggars our first stop in Cairo was the Egyptian Museum.

Now is probably a good time to share that I get really freaked out by dead bodies, graves, ancient remains, supernatural, the dark.. in fact I’m scared of flipping everything…  a museum full of mummies was right up my street. NOT!  Alas, we were here for a history lesson so I sucked it up.  The Museum was actually phenomenal, even if I did walk around cowering behind Kevin holding onto his arm in fear that one of the mummified bodies would jump out of its glass case and kill me.  Thankfully they didn’t.

Most spectacular was the Tutankhanum exhibition.  Every item an absolute work of art. The craftsmanship and the extravagance of the riches found in his tomb were unbelievable for the time period which makes it even more heartbreaking to see the poverty and war across Egypt today.

With our minds blown we enjoyed lunch in a restaurant that sat on the Nile before being picked up for the next and most exciting part of our adventure… and the actual point of this post.  I need to work on my rambling.

On the coach to the pyramids our guide warned us about camel touts, people offering to take photos to extort money etc.  he also said the police that guarded the area were just as bad.  Everyone, except me, was excited that one of the Great Pyramids was open if we wanted to go inside.  HELL-TO-THE-NO!  I said to Kevin he could if he wanted but there was no way I was going into a tomb, the mummies in glass cases just scared the bejesus out of me… have you even seen the movie The Mummy!!! I was happy to marvel at them from the outside and get one of those obligatory tourist photos where you look like you are touching the top.

As we got nearer we could see the pyramids above the buildings.  Quite surreal how close the city is to them.   We were informed no photography was allowed inside the pyramid, it wasn’t allowed inside the museum either.  The guide also explained that the pyramids would soon be closed to the public as they are becoming badly damaged and so, Kevin convinced me to man up and go inside.  Holy sheeeeeeet.

THE  PYRAMIDS  OF  GIZA

Standing at the base of the pyramids was one of those moments where you can’t find words, you just stand in silence staring.  I still cant comprehend how they were built and how are they still standing all these years later.

I was so scared walking in, the passage was really narrow and small, Kevin had to crouch, I can’t remember if I did, probably not.  We descended for a bit and then changed to a climb before we reached the chamber.  It was much smaller than I imagined and hotter than hell.. imagine being inside a huge stone oven.  As I made my way to the middle of the chamber a ‘pyramid guardian’ tapped me on the shoulder from behind, I jumped out of my skin ‘Seriously dude I’m already having actual palpitations here!’  He said something like “10 dollars for photo” and made a hand signal that looked like clicking a camera in front of his face.  I must have just stared with a confused look, like erm, cameras are not allowed?!?  He grabbed my arm pulling me over to the other side of him saying ‘photo, photo, cheese’.  The next thing I knew I was lying inside the coffin on the floor of the chamber.  Petrified that he was about to close a lid over, I jumped out and grabbed onto Kevin.

There were a couple of other people from our coach there who had sneaked cameras in (we’re so nieve) so they stayed to pose in the coffin and take photos whilst I made a sharp exit running back through the passage way like Lara Croft, but not really like Lara Croft, she was badass I am not!  Kevin thought it was hilarious but I wasn’t ready to laugh, I was bloody traumatised and convinced I’d just been cursed by Pharoah Khafre for jumping into his bed.

I calmed down and eventually started to see the funny side as we wandered around outside the pyramids still not believing that we were here.  A camel tout asked if Kevin wanted a camel ride?  He declined the offer and was then asked …’What about your daughter?’  I burst out laughing as Kevin hastily, explained that I was in fact NOT  his daughter!! Haha

Thankfully the rest of the trip was less dramatic.  Well, there was one more.. I was tapped on the shoulder whilst sunbathing back at the resort.  I opened my eyes to a huge picture of a shark, and jumped 10ft in the air..I have a phobia.. ‘shark fishing ma’am?’ Snorkelling?  You want to try?’  Arrrrrgh!!

This is why I don’t do trip reviews, my mishaps make it hard to sell a place but I can honestly say that Egypt was and still is one of my favourite trips of all time.

 

Feel free to share your travel mishaps with me? Go on, make me feel kinda normal.

Have you seen the pyramids? How do you think were the made? Aliens, Magic?

Thanks for reading😊

Have a great day ❤

Angela xo

Fitness · humour · Lifestyle

HOT Yoga

I’ve been to the odd yoga class here and there, I’ve tried so hard several times to properly get into Yoga and as much as I love meditation and stretching nothing I tried ever seemed to click, either I wasn’t feeling the love for the space or for the teacher or I just felt really uncomfortable for some reason.  The more I got into fitness and began to love high intensity killer workouts the less I felt drawn to yoga.

However, I really wanted to try Bikram or Hot Yoga, my friend has been raving about it for years but the closest hot yoga studio was in Glasgow (30miles away).  Until the end of last year, one opened in Falkirk which is not far and even more recently mid-December one opened here in Stirling.  Obviously I had to try it out.

So off I went last Tuesday.  I was a little nervous about this class because: a) I had done a TRX class at this new facility a few days before and had an…incident   b) I’m not good in saunas so if it’s unbearable heat I may have to make a sharp exit  c)  I was told people do this class in their underwear d) I didn’t have a yoga mat and being the newbie…always scary, right?

I arrived 15 minutes early.  Keen! Jack who had taken the TRX workshop remembered my name and introduced me to his wife Juliette who would be taking the class.  I hired a mat for £1 and headed into the furnace of doom, just kidding, it wasn’t too bad.  It was warm but not unbearable.  I copied the people that were already in the room and lay silently on my mat and towel, I closed my eyes and genuinely felt like I was lying on a sun lounger on a beach in Spain, all be it a very silent beach.  I miss summer…sigh!

Juliette came in and stood on a small platform at the front of the room and directed us to standing position before instructing us to practice a breathing technique which she explained thoroughly but I couldn’t get past the fact that it sounded like a group of people growling on inhale and sounded like Harry Potter speaking parcelmouth on exhale…if you don’t know what that means are we really friends? The more I thought that though the funnier it got and I was worried I was about to become the immature, giggling newbie.  Thankfully the breathing excercise was over before my lungs exploded to a cackle.

Next Juliette directed us through the warm up poses, not overly difficult but I did feel like the heat had turned up a notch.

Soon we were working our way through a Fierce Grace routine, I stuck to the beginner variations of most of the poses unless I knew for definite that I could do them.  I watched the girl in front of me as she looked like she knew what she was doing, there were full length mirrors at the front of the room, so she probably saw me and thought I was perving on her. Oops! She did have a great butt!!

The mirrors were good for having a point to focus on but also made me realise how unstable my balance was – my tree pose was more like a jenga tower that had only one last stabilising block left.  Thankfully I didn’t quite reach tipping point.

I don’t think the room did actually get any hotter but it felt like we had moved from sunny Spain to the desert heat in Dubai. Hot but again not unbearable.  I placed my forehead on my mat and noticed a huge puddle as I lifted it, not just where my head had been, my shoulders were dripping, my legs -who knew leg sweat was a thing, basically everywhere there was skin, there was sweat.  It dropped from my earlobes, my nose, my elbows and knees. I’m pretty sure I heard a noise similar to Niagra falls running down my back.  If our bodies are 70% water there was only 30% of me left standing.  Olaf, the snowman didn’t have a look in!! It’s gross but I’m pretty sweaty when I work out anyway so this didn’t bother me greatly.  I liked that everyone was just as sweaty, that doesn’t happen in the gym, there are those infuriating non-sweaters!!!!

However, with all the puddles it didn’t take long for my yoga mat to decide it was a slip ‘n’ slide and even standing with my feet together became difficult and a lunge soon became the first time I’ve done the splits in 17 years!!

After what felt like 15 minutes but was actually 60 I was back on my sun lounger in corpse pose (my favourite)for the end of class, Juliette opened the door and let some cool air in the room like a much needed sea breeze. Ahhhhhh!

After the class Juliette said I had done great, I have a feeling she said that to make me feel good because I did awful, but you know, practise make perfect and all that!!

I learned that.. I am about as flexible as a steel pipe and and have zero balance.

Did I enjoy it.. I went to my second class tonight, so I’d say that’s a yes!

I know I’m late to the party with this but have you recently tried hot yoga or are you planning to? 

Thanks for reading ❤

Namaste 🙏🏼

Angela xo