We both have fairly challenging, albeit rewarding jobs (I am a primary school teacher and my wife is a mental health nurse) and establishing a good work/life balance is something we know is important. We certainly are lucky in that respect.
As enjoyable as teaching a class full of nine and ten year olds can be, to say I look forward to my holidays is somewhat an understatement. Of course, much of the time is spent marking work and planning the next half term's exciting topics. Kindly, my wife also works hard to ensure that I do not get bored by taking time to prepare a comprehensive list of 'Jobs to do' around the house. The one holiday however, that I possibly look forward to the most is Whitsuntide (or May half term) thanks to the 'tradition' that we started last year.
Inspired by Eddie Izzard and an ever-increasing waistline, about fourteen months ago, I took up running. Equipped with some new trainers, fetching lycra shorts and a 'technical' T-shirt, I registered for the BUPA 10k race in my native London and had two moths to prepare. Training for the race naturally took a lot of hard work and commitment but the real challenge was to convince my wife that coming along to cheer me on was a good idea. That's when we decided to make a week if it: find a nice hotel, take in the sights and go out for some food!
Sadly, the running has not had a major impact on my aforementioned waistline. This probably has something to do with the advice that I read in my running magazine about 'carb-loading' before the race and the importance of eating afterwards, which I may be taking a little too far.
In May 2010, we arrived on the Sunday before the bank holiday race and checked into the Millennium Hotel in the Chelsea Village. Readers of my previous blog entry will note that I am a Chelsea FC fan but the other reasons for staying here were Marco Pierre White's collaborations with Roman Abramovich and Frankie Dettori, 'Marco' and 'Frankies’ that are attached to the hotel.
|Outside Marco at Stamford Bridge|
|Finishing on the Mall|
|Post run lunch at The Butcher's Hook on the Fulham Road.|
So the tradition goes: carb-loading meal at Frankies on the Sunday; run on the Monday; eat at fine restaurants the rest of the week. (Last year’s choices were: Pied à Terre, Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester and Marco).
|At Alain Ducasse in the Dorchester|
|Alain Ducasse: Petit fours|
|Pied a Terre|
Tonight we will be once again enjoying the carb-laden delights of Frankies; running up the appetite tomorrow and ‘deservedly’ dining during the rest of the week at Le Gavroche, The Ledbury, Sketch and Hibiscus. You see, running has its plus points!
I'll be back here next week to write all about it!