Calm Caribbean Seas

The good thing about blogging is the possibility to schedule posts. You can have an argument with yourself, or moan about the government and the state of the world, or just simply let off steam about the petty things in life. Then you schedule the post for a month’s time and rewrite when you’re feeling a bit calmer – lovely! But what about the times when you let off steam and press publish, then feel the wrath of your readers? There must be other ways to calm yourself down and heal your broken little soul. Here are five of mine :

  1. A nice long walk – Living in the city centre there’s no limit to the amount of people watching I can do. Alternatively I can take a walk on the Calthorpe Estate and pretend I’m in the countryside. Walking without music leaves you open to conversations, birdsong, traffic noise which can really take the mind far away from any bad feelings. A few weeks ago I did an enormous walk, about 5 miles around the city centre, zigzagging around the streets taking in all the sites, forgetting all my troubles and enjoying the fresh air.
  2. Singing at the top of your voice – Music is the food of the Soul, so having a dance round the living room to Shakira might just do it. I don’t pretend to be an opera singer, or Beyoncé, just having a sing-song to a real eclectic mix in all languages, making up the words and having a dance around to everything from britpop to Lorde to metal to nineties pop classics and Mano Negra – any songs that remind me of the good times with good people.
  3. A glass of ice cold water – Really refreshing, cleansing. Maybe that’s all the crappy hype about the #icebucketchallenge, it refreshes your awareness and does something to your brain to refine your thinking. I always find myself more energised, and alert, and ready to tackle whatever is going on in the big picture.
  4. Malteasers – Only 187 calories so among the nicest of the chocolates to lose yourself and make you feel better about the horrible world out there. It’s widely known that chocolate contains something that triggers the happy hormone in your brain, and just this little bit is perfect to recharge before facing it all again.
  5. Have a sleep – This is best done once actually calm, obviously. Although things always seem about a hundred times worse in those few minutes between turning the light off and falling asleep ,they really will feel a hundred times better in the morning. Tomorrow is a new day and it’s sunny so enjoy it!
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Feeling calm in the Caribbean…

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#100happydays Days 35 – 41

Day 35 – After nine days in New York I needed some healthy food, so a full fruit bowl made me very optimistic about the Summer coming up!

Day 36 – One of my Guides does Gardening Club at school and gave me a leek as a thank you. Cooked it up with a chicken and bacon and potato mess the following day.

Day 37 –  An invitation to my friend’s hen night. She’s been living in Australia for three years now so I can’t wait!

Day 38 – Our Spanglish got a bit out of hand when we invented some new words, on top of tidyupear, the versatility of this language made me happy on Thursday!

Day 39 – A big catch-up with my friend and a healthy walk in the park on a sunny Friday evening.

Day 40 – There’s this new loyalty card and our first use at The Warehouse Café was both our first use and their first customer to present it!

Day 41 – A surprise phone call from my friend to finalise our travel plans for a different friends hen party.

A Very Vague Bucket List

31st January

January is an interesting month, it makes you think about what you’ve done in the past year, and what you want to do in the next. I’m going to be 31 this year, and I’ll be getting married when I’m 32. My Mom was something like 20 when she got married, and I know that times change – more university years, more careers, general attitudes to sexual freedom have changed so much – but I feel old doing this at this age.

Big stress, drowning in detail, or kick up the back-side

Big stress, drowning in detail, or kick up the back-side

I bought a wedding magazine today, by accident. Haven’t opened it yet. The Mexican one was a mistake as well, waiting in the queue at the supermarket just flicking through, and before you know it it’s in the trolley! We’ve got potentially five weddings this year as a guest, all over the world (well, UK and USA). Everyone is more or less our age so it’s kind of the right time to do it. But I’m very, very aware of age creeping up. And if I didn’t want children I’d probably be OK with it. So right, this morning I was thinking about a Bucket List, or a Life Plan but I don’t even know what I’d put on it. I’ve bought a house and met the man I want to spend the rest of my life with, so then we get into the details. So here are some short, medium and long-term goals.

Short-term

  • Get settled in the house we have bought
  • Concentrate on getting recognised at work
  • Enjoy New York
  • Start getting my weight back on track
  • Training for this 10K run in March 2014

Medium-term

  • Getting healthy and slim for my wedding
  • Plan a beautiful Anglo-Mexican wedding
  • Decorate the house we have bought, in that truly international style that shows our travels and our roots
  • Re-vamp my work wardrobe
  • Visit my friend in Australia

Long-term

  • Visit Moscow (my travel dream since I was very young)
  • Save for a future, not just a holiday
  • Stay healthy for a long life together with my Danielote
  • Stay happy

A Fat Girl’s Love/Hate of Exercise

I went running this week for the first time in ages. I did four times around the block, which is not much in total – only 1.6miles, 2.5km. I’m not sure how long I took, and I felt great afterwards – but bloody hell it nearly killed me! There are three blocks of flats on our development, all in a nice line so every walkway between was like a marker to start or stop running and walking. Like an idiot I started off so confident and fast pretty much like Mark on Peep Show, exactly the following happened, thanks to David Mitchell in Peep Show :

“Hey! Wow, I’m actually good at this. Maybe I’m a natural – yeah, I’m a jogger! Of course, there had to be a sport for me, I just never realised. Legs like two great steam locomotives, pumping away! I’m Cram, I’m Ovett, I’m unstoppable – JESUS, is that a stitch? Fuck, I’m gonna be sick, I need to walk. Oh, I think I’m gonna puke, I’m literally going to die, ugh, what an idiotic boob I was back ten or eleven seconds ago.”

Not great, but I used to run at the gym

Not great, but I used to run at the gym

It never used to be like this, I used to play sports, I used to walk, and go to the gym. I’m still paying for the stupid bloody gym, but get this – membership has gone up £3.00 a month since I joined, so if I freeze it and then decide I do want it again, I’d have to pay the increased price. So instead I’m paying for a gym I rarely use. Maybe I should look into the classes again, I used to go to an abs class at 06h20 on a Wednesday morning which again, killed me but I liked getting the exercise out of the way before work in the morning.

There are millions of excuses for not exercising : Got out late from work, Cooking Dinner, Got to ring the bank, Haven’t rang my Mom for three days, Scared of all the muscle and slim people in the gym, Need to plan for Guides, Masterchef’s on… Another one of mine is really stupid, I’ve got to cross over Broad Street to get to the gym and if I’m standing there waiting to cross for more than just a minute or so my motivation just disappears. Well I went on the roads this week and really I felt really good about it. I wasn’t counting calories, or timing myself, I just ran until I was tired and walked to the next marker and ran again. Maybe that’s what it takes, putting something immediate in place so I don’t lose motivation.

All the cakes in the world, and the yummy biscuits from the Wahaca book are all very well but there’s got to be a balance. It’s a vicious cycle, I eat a cake then I feel crap and won’t go to the gym then because I feel crap I eat another cake and feel even crapper and won’t go to the gym and round and round until the end of time! But I’ve signed up for a 10K run that I need to practice for. When I do exercise I feel brilliant, all pumped up for eating properly and getting out there again!

Shoulda Woulda Coulda – gone to the gym

So I’ve been a bit lax all round lately, blogging, the gym, eating well, not drinking too much. I guess part of this is just being busy – blink and the weekend is gone! So on Monday, I tried to go to the gym, I kind of stopped when I reached my goal weight in November 2011, dabbled a little bit last year, and Monday was the start of something new, all my old weight-loss was drawn a line, this is a brand new effort. We got there and it was closed! Bastards. And tonight I tried again, I got 10 minutes on the treadmill, I’m trying jogging this year – and the gym guys come round telling us to all ship out – 24-hours my arse! This is my gym (none of these people are me) :

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Pure Gym Birmingham Broad Street

How to survive the Jet Lag

I’m flying 12 hours on Friday, to go 6 hours behind, then on Saturday I fly 4 hours to go another two hours behind! Then on Sunday I have to be awake enough to watch the game…

So I searched the NHS website, because being the UK it’s virtually impossible to get an appointment so they offer a fantastic website of do-it-at-home remedies – so here are our combined tips to beat Jet Lag between the UK and the states.

  1.  If you are taking any medication that requires a strict timing, let your doctor know – if you can get an appointment of course!re
  2. Sleep, sleep, sleep! Although as it’s travelling West, so if you sleep on the plane you’ll be really awake at 21h00 at night! So, I will be Red Bulling it all the way on Friday. I guess try and sleep a bit on the plane, they usually have a lot of chick-flicks that you can just zone out too.
  3. Try and have a stop over, for example if you’re flying from London to San Francisco, stopping in New York for a few hours will help your brain adjust – and give you time to have a quick blitz on your face and re- do your eye-liner before the next bit. But you’ll need to start thinking about this early, if you’re booking your flights in August for example!
  4. Drink water – it’s so dehydrating in there, but they have little areas to get a drink and a biscuit, then if you’re really lucky they come round with ice lollies! I know you want to travel in style, but just avoid the alcohol, firstly it can upset your nervous system, so instead of calming you it will lessen your idea of control and you’ll end up terrified of every little bump.
  5. Buy an eye mask, I really like this one from Urban Outfitters, but I just can’t bring myself to buy it! Even if you’re not sleeping it’ll help block out the light, and those passengers that just love to talk you to death for two hours.fu
  6. Sleep if you need to. I was really awake during the day in Mexico, then crashed in the car on the way to Querétaro. If you’re going to a big city then chances are it’s just as lively early in the morning, so don’t worry too much about needing an early night sometimes!
  7. Keep out in the open, just being out in the daylight helps – it took me about three days and one mammoth sleep to get me back to normal.