Things to make me smile

The houses of Eastleigh from the Swan Centre car park.
The houses of Eastleigh from the Swan Centre car park.

My one thing to make me smile yesterday was a jaunt out to the Swan Centre at Eastleigh for lunch. Commando wanted to check out the running shop there and Mini Commando and I went along for the ride. The Swan Centre is a small shopping mall, kind of WestQuay light as Commando put it, and was often my stopping point during all the long Moonwalk training walks. Mostly I’d take advantage of the toilets and pick up a take away coffee from Costa. Those coffees saved my life a few times, especially at mile twenty when I really just wanted to sit down and stop walking.

Lunch was a fairly unhealthy burger from MacDonalds. It did come with the added smile bonus of watching a small blonde girl, clad in pink dancing to the piped music and watching herself on the CCTV. She was totally oblivious of everything but the music and herself on the TV screen and, as Commando said, she was a pretty good dancer.

While Commando went off to the running shop I had a wander around TK Maxx, just window shopping. Then we all met up for coffee at Costa. It made a change to be sitting down drinking. Mini Commando made a smiley face in his coffee with sugar. It may be bad for his teeth but it gave me another reason to smile.

Sitting down for Costa, a new experience
Sitting down for Costa, a new experience
Mini Commando's smiley coffee
Mini Commando’s smiley coffee

Originally just a farm on the road between Southampton and Arlesford, Eastleigh remained a small village notable only for its connection with the Itchen Navigation. This all changed in 1839 when the railways arrived along with Eastleigh station. At that time it was known as Bishopstoke Junction. The railway meant rapid growth for the little town, especially in 1889 when the London and South Western Railway transferred their Wagon and Carriage Works from London. It was one of the first planned towns, with houses laid out on the American grid system, all straight roads intersecting at right angles. In three short years the population grew from a village with just three hundred houses to a population of six thousand. Sadly the carriage works have now closed but the town remains, rows and rows of terraced houses set out in geometric rows. Before we left we had a look at the houses of Eastleigh from the roof top car park.

Today it was back to the job applications, a surprisingly time consuming job. I’d been planning to go for a walk but, by the time I looked at the clock it was after two and I hadn’t even stopped for lunch. In the end the only walk I got was a rather wet and windy dash up to the Health Centre for my three yearly mammogram. What fun! Yes, it is a very important check, especially as Mother had breast cancer, but it isn’t high on my lists of afternoon entertainment to have my boobs squished between two pieces of plastic until it feels like they will burst. Still, at least in the UK it is all free, if I had to pay it would just add insult to injury.

So what of the one thing to make me smile today? With all the job applications and medical procedures it didn’t leave much time for anything too exciting. In the end I decided to try out the melt and pour soap making kit I’ve been meaning to get round to using for a while. After some Googling on Sunday night I’d got some ideas about exactly the type of soap I wanted to make and was really looking forward to seeing how it would turn out.

The idea was to make a honey rich exfoliating soap with beeswax and sugar, the kind of thing you pay a fortune for in the shops. As it was my first attempt I stuck to a small amount and made just three small soaps using bun tins as moulds. It was surprisingly easy, basically just melting the soap base and beeswax in a glass dish in the microwave and adding some citrus essential oils, honey and sugar. To get a honeycomb texture on the little soaps I lined the bun tins with bubble wrap although I can’t take credit for the idea myself, I saw it on Google. It did turn out to be quite effective though and I’m pleased with the results. Once they’ve dried out completely I look forward to trying them out.

Even with no decent walks over the last couple of days I am still bang on target for my one hundred miles a month too. Hopefully I will be able to add a couple of decent length walks this week to bump the total up even more.

13 thoughts on “Things to make me smile”

    1. It’s actually quite fun and pretty easy with the melt and pour stuff and a microwave. I’ve been making my own body butter for years because the shop stuff is so expensive but this is my first real go at soap. I enjoy making things and being out of work does at least mean I have time.

  1. Tell commando we think he rocks when he makes you smile. lol I have got to get back into walking. Had lots of bitter wind and cold weather. It was easier to make myself get out in the less desirable elements when I was fighting of the pounds. It is just as important now, but I find myself waiting for warmer days instead of venturing out.

    1. I’ll tell him. It is hard to get out there when it’s could and wet, especially wet. I quite like the cold frosty walks as long as I’m wrapped up well, everything looks so pretty with a coat of frost or ice. I think you have had some very cold weather though, much colder than we ever have.

      1. It’s been mostly the upper 30s or lower 40s. (-1 to 5 or so C). Last year that cold wouldn’t have deterred me much, but I have been cold all winter. I finally added a blanket to my bed. The heater in the car is broken so even driving can be a chilly experience. Still, my body and emotions do better when I get outside so I need to prioritize it even in the cold!

    1. The coffee was a lovely treat and the soap smells great. I can’t wait for it to dry out properly so I can try it out.

  2. A childhood friend of my sister lives in London and sends us big bottles of E45 Moisturizing lotion. It’s not available here in the States. Love it! Can’t wait to hear more about your soap!

    1. It will take a few days for the soap to cure properly but I’m hoping its going to be worth the trouble. I have loads of the base left though so there will be more.

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