The Trials and Tribulations of Running the Marathon



When I crossed the 2012 London Marathon finish line I declared, “I will NEVER be doing that again”, yet this spring I found myself once again training for the London Marathon. How did that happen? Good question.

Having crossed the finish line in 2012 and hobbled home, I found myself watching snippets of the event. As the days went by my memories filtered into those of elation, I had completely forgotten about the six months of arduous training through the winter, and because of these warped memories I found myself entering the ballot for 2013 –  after all, it’s a highly known fact that it’s hard to get a place, so it would be unlikely that I would get through anyway.

Much to my astonishment I got through and so began the training. Despite the obvious commitments made when training for a marathon, here is what they don’t tell you:

1) Weather

You will spend six months training through bitter winds, rain and snow all to be welcomed by glorious sunshine on the day, something that you haven’t yet run in and which is a completely different running experience.

2) Clothing

Lots of tight lycra – I am certainly not living the dream with the high possibility of running with camel toe! I now have more running kit than regular clothes. None of this comes cheap.

3) Pedestrians

When you are training in London, pedestrians are something you can never get away from and it’s not like you can just run in the road. They will walk out of shop doors right into your path at which point you can’t stop. Plus it takes more energy weaving through the crowds.

4) Boredom

It is immensely boring!! There is only so much music you can listen to. I am lucky enough to train with a friend, but it still gets to a point where you see each other so much, you don’t have anything to talk about. Plus I have now run all the scenic routes in London repeatedly so there’s nothing new to see anymore.

5) Running

Now I am talking about your nose, this will continuously pour throughout your run, to the point where you haven’t brought enough tissues, and have to keep reusing them until they are soggy – gross!

6) Aches

Aches and pains are a given, but once you finish the marathon, there is nothing to prepare you for the days of hobbling after, the sleepless nights and the torment of trying to walk down stairs.

Having completed the 2013 London Marathon, I can safely say that I will NEVER be doing that again. If it weren’t for the thousands of spectators taking to the streets helping by cheering me on and the support of my fellow runners I never would have finished.

All the pain was worth it for such a good cause though: < please feel free to donate.


AmazeBox Winners' Gallery


As part of the beta launch of our new website, we whipped up a quick competition. All you had to do was send in a picture of yourself conveying how much you wanted a FREE AmazeBox.

With all the entries compiled, counted and compared, we managed to whittle down the participants to our favourite 8 ( or as we refer to them – our favour8), all of whom won a FREE AmazeBox. To find out who won keep reading – you can see what the judges picked out!

In no particular order….

AmazeBox Entry 1Just look at those puppy dog eyes! We just had to send this Easter themed entry an AmazeBox.
AmazeBox Entry 2If a picture had sound, this one would say ‘EEEeeeeeekkk’. So we sent an AmazeBox to squeaky clean little’un, Benjamin.
AmazeBox Entry 3Not sure where she thinks she’s going but she certainly rocked her way to a FREE AmazeBox.
AmazeBox Entry 4Bill and his mate wanted an AmazeBox this much, so we gave in – they only got the one mind you!
AmazeBox Entry 5In a box to win a box, we love it Mark!
AmazeBox Entry 6Claude the cat clearly wants to get his claws onto the prize, who are we to stop him? PS Claude the cat…we see what you did there.
AmazeBox Entry 7Mr and Mrs Callow are all smiles as they approach their wedding anniversary. Ahhh, how sweet!
AmazeBox Entry 8An empty bowl! We can’t have that now can we. Never fear a box of treats is coming your way.

Many thanks to all who entered and congratulations to our favour8! We hope you enjoy your AmazeBox.


@ArenaFlowers' Ten Most Viewed TwitPics Ever


A world without funny TwitPics would be like a world without bacon. Good job it’s not true. Mmmmm delicious bacon. Here for you to enjoy are the 10 most viewed @ArenaFlowers TwitPics ever. Please note that to heighten the excitement, we’ve posted these in reverse order of popularity. Please try to contain yourself.

10. Baby’s First Big Book of Terrifying Geese. Total views 532

Baby's First Big Book of Terrifying Geese

9. Brief FAQ about punctuation marks. Total views 793

Brief FAQ about punctuation marks:

8. Ahead of Movember, here are some tips for would-be moustache growers. Total views 917

Ahead of Movember, here are some tips for would-be moustache growers:

7. Some Crikey Facts about Sunday. Total views 1,036

Some Crikey Facts about Sunday:

6. HAM TECH: Looking to buy a new ham? We compare the latest ham offerings from Apple and Google… Total views 1,065

HAM TECH: Looking to buy a new ham? We compare the latest ham offerings from Apple and Google…

5. What can we expect from the new iPhone? Total views 1,181

What can we expect from the new iPhone?

4. Ideas for coping when the Olympics is over. Total views 1,318

Ideas for coping when the Olympics is over

3. Chillingly, we are now using your Instagram photos in our ads. Total views 1,612

Chillingly, we are now using your Instagram photos in our ads:

2. Euro 2012 (A Beginner’s Guide). Total views 2,323

Euro 2012 (A Beginner's Guide):

1. Remember when they found that swan from the future in 1999? Total views 2,833

Remember when they found that swan from the future in 1999?


Keukenhof 2013: "United Kingdom, Land of Great Gardens"


No, this is not The Hoff’s cooking blog but an enlightening article on a park that changes according to nature… Keukenhof.

Based in Holland, Keukenhof is in fact the world’s most beautiful spring garden with over 32 hectares of flowers. It offers 30 inspiring flower shows, 7 amazing gardens along with 100s of wonderful works of art. This year’s theme ‘United Kingdom Land of Great Gardens’ features a spectacular flower mosaic of The Big Ben and Tower Bridge composed of 60,000 flower bulbs.

Big Ben and Tower Bridge

On Saturday 20th April visitors will be given the opportunity to leave the park to watch the 66th annual Bulbflower Parade which will travel 40km along the main roads from Noordwijk to Haarlem, comprising of 20 large floats and more than 30 decorated luxury cars, all decorated with millions of flowers by hundreds of volunteers. Amongst the parade, ahead of the cinema premier, characters from Despicable Me 2 will be showcased on one of the floats, including the iconic daffodil-yellow minions.

So if you’re eager to see more than 7 million tulips, daffodils and hyacinths all in bloom, then check out more at

Holland Flowers