Update #16

It’s the month of May- how did that come around so quickly?!

I’ll admit, the past few weeks have been hard for me. I won’t go into details, but it always seems to be the case that when your life is looking up, it’s going to come down at some point. I’m at the down point currently, but I’ve had the comfort of my family and friends and I know what I need to do to move forward. My blog definitely helps me in this respect, as I can look back on what I’ve achieved and how I’m developing as a person.

April saw the end of lent, which meant that I could start eating meat again! I have enjoyed being back on the carnivorous diet, but I continue to opt for vegetarian options when I fancy it or when it sounds particularly tasty (I had a spinach, cheddar and butternut squash tart this weekend, which was so good!). As per tradition (for the past two years), I had bacon in a hot cross bun for breakfast on Easter Sunday and then a lamb roast dinner in the evening.

Before the end of lent I made two vegetarian quiches which worked out rather well. One was spinach and ricotta and the other was made with Mediterranean vegetables. Since starting my new job I’ve not had as much time to cook in the evenings, but hopefully I’ll be creative one night (or during the weekends) and make something new to post on my blog. I like to maintain the foodie aspect of my blog all year round, not just around lent.

Last month I signed up for the Leicester half marathon. On Sunday 15th October I will be running 21km (13 miles) around Leicester, which will be my biggest fitness challenge yet. I need to go out long distance running at some point, since 5 months will soon whizz by before I know it!

I ran my fifteenth parkrun in April. It wasn’t my personal best but it was nice to run on a beautiful Saturday morning.

I’ve just thought of this target- it would be nice to be able to complete a parkrun in 30 minutes by the end of this year. I think that’s an achievable target, considering that my personal best so far has been 32 minutes and 19 seconds. All I need to do is run 2 minutes and 19 seconds faster then I will finish 5km in 30 minutes- I can do it!

The feminist front has been quiet for me last month, but I like to keep myself updated with what’s going on in the movement towards gender equality. I follow many feminist pages on Facebook, such as Women’s Rights News, My Favourite F Word is Feminism and Feminists United. Generally there is a lot of positivity and empowering posts which make my day.

 

Happy reading and blogging!

Clare Bear 🙂

Update #15

Hello! Sorry it’s been a while. I hadn’t realised it’s been over a week since I last posted on my blog, but I have been rather busy recently.

Before I go through update #15 in my usual fashion, I thought I’d let you know that I started a new job on Monday. I finished my previous job last Thursday and went to Scarborough for the weekend with my mother. The weather was lovely and we both had a nice time, which was a sort of mini break before starting my new job.

View of Scarborough from the hotel

I’m glad to say that I’m back into walking to work again now! It’s a 45 minute walk for me to get to my new place of work. Luckily the weather has been on form this week which has made my transition into walking to work again pleasant. In my previous job I drove because there was no traffic and it took less than 10 minutes, so I used to have a lie in (or get myself down to the gym early in the morning).  For my new job, the traffic is quite the opposite so I find walking more beneficial. I can opt for the bus when the weather is poor or after work when I need to get back home quicker.

Gym wise, I’d like to have a go next week. The gym is a 15-20 minute walk from my new place of work, so I could walk or get the bus to the gym early in the morning, have a session there and then make my way to work. I used to get up at 6:15am for the gym when I drove to work, so I could still leave out at the same time and get to work on time after the gym.

Back onto the update. On the first day of March it was the beginning of lent. For the third year running I have given up eating meat during lent. During this period of time I become experimental in the kitchen. This is because I often have to do more of my own cooking as my parents carry on eating meat. I had a go at making a Spanish omelette, the first attempt I burnt it a little and my second attempt was much better and tastier. I also made a vegetarian pasta bake which was very tasty.

My biggest achievement fitness wise happened in March- I ran 15km for the first time! This was at the Resolution Run which was in aid of Stroke Association. It was certainly a challenge but it has made me more determined than ever to run the half marathon in October this year. I managed to finish 15km in 1 hour and 38 minutes.

Feminist wise, I wrote a quick blog about International Women’s Day on the 8th March. I haven’t had a chance to write about it yet, but on the 6th March the topic of wearing high heel shoes in the workplace was debated in Parliament. I had a quick scan through the transcript and the majority of people were in favour that forcing women to wear high heel shoes is outdated. I have been covering the story about Nicola Thorp who set up the petition in the first place on the site Viral Feminism.

I made some vegetarian quiches recently, so I will hopefully post about those very soon on my blog. But for now, happy reading and blogging!

 

Clare Bear

International Women’s Day 2017

Happy International Women’s Day!

My apologies that this blog is brief, but I wanted to make a contribution towards International Women’s Day in some way.

I wrote a quick blog about this day last year.  I mentioned what feminism means to me and the importance of it in today’s world, which still strongly applies. You only have to look at the recent news story about Emma Watson who appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair, for which she was criticised because a feminist can’t flaunt her breasts. Of course the biggest thing has to be Donald Trump becoming President of the United States, in that wealth overrides his sexist and racist attitudes and past allegations of harrassment towards women.

I do believe that one day complete gender equality will be achieved. It will take more strong and powerful women around the world united to combat everyday sexism, alongside with men who also want to achieve gender equality.

 

Happy reading and blogging!

Clare Bear

Two years!

2-u

It was two years ago today that I set up my blog on WordPress. I can’t believe it’s been that amount of time already!

Blogging has to be one of the best things that I decided to do. One of my passions is writing and I enjoy writing about feminism, fitness and food, as well as poetry on my other blog Poclaretry.

I’d like to thank you all for your support, by reading my blog, liking/commenting on my posts and following my blog. I enjoy reading fascinating content which is shared by excellent writers on WordPress. I like the community of WordPress as well, where people are supportive of each other’s work and where advice is shared.

Here’s to another year of feminism, fitness and food!
As always, happy reading and blogging!

Clare Bear 🙂

Update #14

Hello March! Where did you come from? I found that February went by quickly, as I was fairly busy (plus it was a shorter month, only by a few days). I was very active on my blog last month, in particular focusing on fitness.

I’m glad to say that 2017 has been a pretty good start for me fitness wise. February went really well, as I completed two parkruns and achieved my personal best in my 13th parkrun. My personal best is now 32 minutes and 19 seconds. I also ran 12.5km twice around my local area. Both runs were challenging as I ran across wet and muddy fields, and my most recent 12.5km run was rather windy. I got my first blister as a result, which is healing up now and I should be ok to go out running again soon.

I signed up for the 15km Leicester Resolution Run, which is taking place at Braunstone Park on Sunday 19th March. I decided to sign up for 15km because it will be a good motivator for me in my training for the half marathon this October. Plus it’s the next step in my training from 12.5km. I received my t-shirt for this run through the post yesterday. Purple is my favourite colour after red, and it’s lightweight and soft, which will be great for future workouts and runs. The run is in aid of Stroke Association, a charity which helps people who have survived from stroke attacks. If you’d like to sponsor me you can through my justgiving page.

20170302_074147.jpg
T-shirt for the Resolution Run

I invested in a pair of headphones last month which are designed for working out. I have worn them for both 12.5km runs and they work really well compared to the other headphones I used to wear which completely covered my ears. The new headphones clip round the back of my ears and are sweat resistant, which is ideal for long distance running.

I wrote my 3rd update for Viral Feminism on the subject of high heel shoes and dress codes in the workplace. Nicola Thorp’s petition is being debated in Parliament on the 6th March at 4:30pm, which is fantastic news. I work til 5pm and have choir practice in the evening on that day, so here’s hoping that I can catch up with the debate. You can watch most programmes now on some sort of catch up or player. In total, 152,420 people signed the petition. This clearly indicates people’s concern for this issue, and many women sent in their responses to the Government about their experiences of enforced dress codes and the damage inflicted from wearing high heel shoes for long periods of time.

Lent started yesterday, which means I am not eating meat now until Easter Sunday, which is on the 16th April. This is my third year of abstaining from meat and I’ve always enjoyed the challenge of not eating something which I have quite regularly.

It looks like I have another busy month ahead, covering all of the topics I write about on my blog. It also won’t be long until I set up my blog two years ago (5th March 2015)!

 

Happy reading and blogging!

Clare Bear 🙂

Update #13

As cliche as this sounds, I’m not a fan of January. The buzz from Christmas and New Year quickly fades with the return to normal life, such as going back to work and not scoffing on lots of mince pies. Sadly the news didn’t help much either and my social media feeds were filled with ‘Breaking News’ (oh, what now?!), but it wasn’t all dreary.

It’s been good to see lots of people retaliate against Donald Trump since he became President of the United States, especially politicians and people in power who have stood up to him. I would’ve loved to have participated in the Women’s March on London on 21st January, but I couldn’t make it. Instead I wrote a quick blog summarising my thoughts on the marches, picking some of my favourite banners used in marches around the world.

Continuing on the theme of feminism, I wrote a follow up blog for Viral Feminism on the story of Nicola Thorp, who set up a petition against women wearing high heel shoes in the workplace. Everyone who signed the petition would have received an email recently from the government, which states that the petition will be debated in Parliament on the 6th March. This is excellent news, and another step towards achieving gender equality in the workplace.

I wrote my first review of a restaurant on my blog. This was a Greek Cypriot restaurant called Troodos Taverna, which serves amazing food. My parents had been meaning to take me there for a while, and it was certainly worth the wait. I love Greek food so to have Greek Cypriot food in a family run restaurant was incredible.

I only managed to run one parkrun in January, which was my 11th one. I thought that I did pretty well and was hoping to reach my personal best, but I didn’t quite reach it. I’m planning on running this Saturday, which will be a cold morning according to the weather forecast. I’ve got a sports jacket if it’s really cold, and besides, I tend not to feel the cold when exercising, so it should be fine (as long as I get up in time!).

Despite only achieving one parkrun, I did run 10km on the treadmill at the gym. This was on a Sunday morning and I managed to complete 10km in 1 hour and 12 minutes. I’ve not yet had the chance to run 10km again since then, but ideally by the end of this month I’d like to be pushing myself to run 12.5km to get the half marathon training into full swing.

 

Happy reading and blogging!

Clare Bear

Women of the world unite

I was absolutely delighted to see my Facebook feed filled with photos of women over the weekend, protesting against the inauguration of the new US President, Donald Trump. It made me even happier to see young children and men attending Women’s marches all over the world. I wasn’t able to attend the Women’s March in London on Saturday, but quite a few of my friends went and the atmosphere looked fantastic from their photos.

I could fill this post with hundreds of photos which have made me feel many different emotions, from happiness to anger. However, I’ve managed to choose a couple which I particularly liked, and these messages have been protested all over the world.

q9iu0aeho2by
Women at the Women’s March On London, dressed as suffragettes
landscape-1484242376-womens-march
Sign at the Women’s March on Washington
dc-sign-5
Another sign at Women’s March on Washington

The worldwide marches over the weekend have proven to me that feminism is still relevant today, and is still needed. The fact that people are protesting that women’s rights are human rights and that the state shouldn’t have control over women’s bodies clearly shows that gender inequality remains an important and recurring issue (hence why some women dressed as suffragettes at the Women’s March on London).

We are still a long way from gender equality if such a man as Donald Trump has managed to become the most powerful man in the world. Patriarchy continues to dominate.

I find it scary that Trump managed to get into power when he has been accused of sexual harassment and claimed that he can ‘grab her by the pussy’. I remember watching the news before the US decided who they wanted to be president, and many people in favour of Trump tossed aside these allegations, that they weren’t important- there were more vital issues at hand and Trump’s misogynist and sexist nature simply had to be ignored.

I’m wary of what the future will hold now that Donald Trump is the most powerful man in the world. What will happens in the next four years, or will he even finish his period of office at the White House? He certainly needs to pull his act together to convince the millions of people who protested over the weekend that he will serve well as President of the United States.

 

Clare Bear