Reflecting on my week #98

I don’t think I’ve had so much time away from my blog for quite a while, if ever. But that time away isn’t because I’ve fallen out of love with it, but more because when things are full on something has to give, and that thing has been this space. Which thinking about it objectively like that, I’m not so happy about.

Today I’ve had a day out of the office at a conference for work, and it has been the best thing. Yes, work is busy, and a day out now could be classed as indulgent, but it’s also amazing for the perspective it brings. All round. I left Victoria today feeling more inspired than I have done for a while, still with a list of things I want to achieve as long as my arm, but with renewed determination to tackle the important things.

That includes making time again for this space. Making time for proper meals. And making time to do things that bring joy - and incase you think that’s related to a big tidy up, it isn’t, but it is about spending time together when we can both get off the treadmill of work-sleep-repeat.

MOH’s had it worse than me though, his hours have been crazy. When there’s seventeen hours overtime done in a single day, yes seriously, it’s all a bit wrong. It’s amazing what clarity there is when you have time, and headspace. And views like this from Platform 2 at Victoria earlier on.

view from platform 2

No doubt tomorrow I’ll be back on the grindstone and my resolve will be challenged, probably more than once. But there is only so much you can do, isn’t there?

So what else has been going on? There’s been gin. Well more precisely gin liqueur tasting. MOH headed off to Shoreditch on a Monday night and drank some gin. And very civilised - and tasty - it was too. I’ll share more another day though.

There’s been cake too. We wandered into the Farmers' Market in the Village last weekend for cake, it’s the rules when at Farmers’ Markets. And we left with two weird and wonderful creations. Mine was green, totally vegan, sugar free and as tasty as it was unusual looking. MOH opted for something slightly more traditional, but equally as gooey and between us we demolished the two - we had to share each one (another rule) and in keeping with my digital hiatus, there’s no photos.

Sunday afternoon was spent on the sun loungers in the garden, and after a long Saturday, it was needed to recover. Wasn’t the weather nice, and wasn’t it nice to be able to just sit out in the garden again? Looking ahead to this week, we’re already planning to head out to lunch on Sunday after England’s first game in the Rugby World Cup, though I noticed today as I came past our planned restaurant of choice it’s closed for a refurb, let’s hope they’re quick and open again by the weekend, or that could backfire, somewhat.

Reflecting on my week #97

This update actually covers two weeks as after a lazy day on the Bank Holiday, where I spent a good deal of time with my nose in my kindle and feeling listless about what to write, and even to pick up my crochet. So I treated myself to a couple of days away from here.

I also ended up taking a couple of days away from work as somehow I seemed to have picked up an infection. The over the counter medication definitely helped but I wasn’t convinced it was totally gone, so I booked a preemptive doctor’s appointment - the earliest available was today. I don’t know about you, but I’ve usually got a backup list of topics to talk to the doctor about, even if the original symptoms have resolved themselves. Though I’m not sure they actually have, so I’m glad I have my slot before work tomorrow.

So for a lot of the week, even when I went back to work, I was trying to take it easy and seriously up my water intake. That helped, and was much easier to do at home in a relaxed environment. I know that I need to keep this up at work, as I suspect my low water intake levels were a contributing factor.

Photo by  Bino Le  on  Unsplash

Photo by Bino Le on Unsplash

Pair that with the warm weather, and I’m starting to think I’d missed a few warning signs. I am feeling much better, and even though I lost a couple of days in the office and so there’s work to catch up on, I’m also feeling inspired after an illuminating conversation with lasted three times the length it was supposed to.

I’m pleased that the temperatures are coming down a bit, I’ve realised that I’m not built to function normally in temperatures of thirty degrees plus, or actually even the very high twenties. Though they’ve also reminded me that I think my annual blood test check for my overactive thyroid is probably due, or overdue (another one for the doctors appointment!)

Since we went for a picnic in Greenwich Park much earlier in the summer I’ve been stalking these plates on the M&S website. At £14 they were more than I wanted to spend on something we’ll more than likely use a handful of times, there were other plates of course, but none that quite compared. Then suddenly, they were half price, and just as quickly they were in my basket, paid for and ready to collect.

flamingo picnic plate
An elephant on my picnic plate
picnic plates on special offer at marks and spencer
a zebra melamine picnic plate from m&s

I know MOH won’t like them, so he wasn’t consulted during any of this process. He can choose if he wants to eat off them, or from his hands, the next time we picnic. I think they’re gorgeous, and quite unlike the melamine plates I thought I’d find. I do need the weather to stay nice for a bit so we can use them though!

We’re off to a mediaeval banquet in October to celebrate a big birthday for my BIL. It looks great and it seems that our party is going in costume. There’s a local company that supplies and delivers costumes to the hotel, and I found a few that looked suitable. However, my concern is sizing and what you’d do if it didn’t fit, or was too long (quite likely) when it arrived.

So I’ve spent some time sourcing my own costume, and the current plan is to go as a mediaeval queen, kitted out in a burgundy outfit, with sleeves which I’m sure will drag along the ground. What’s funny though, and tickled me, is the uses for the costume, which included party wear, casual wear and office wear! The first one ok, but I suspect I won’t be wearing it for the other two, but then again, never say never, I guess…

This week is likely to bring another busy week, and one where I’ll be trying my best to keep up my newly discovered eating and drinking habits, though with a visit to the Greenwich Comedy Festival on Sunday evening it’s unlikely to last for the whole week.

But something is better than nothing in my book.

Reflecting on my week #96

Last week was a week for deliveries, and a week where I missed all of the deliveries for our recent purchases. Our new doormats arrived and were taken in by our neighbour, the bin arrived - more on that in a moment - and that was taken in by another neighbour, after a call from the delivery driver. He was perplexed as I was out, at work, it was Thursday and so was my neighbour. Outrageous, hey? But the ground floor flat saved the day by opening the door. Afterwards my colleagues were amused that the delivery driver knows the neighbour’s name, but then again, he does seem him, more than me! Then Friday another delivery, some shoes this time, and my neighbour was in. I am very lucky, he often works from home, so I hope when he says he doesn’t mind, he really doesn’t mind.

The mats came from Garden Trading, and I’d been eyeing them up for a while. I wanted a mat, that was narrow but long, and have struggled to find something that works. In the end I opted for two of these small star mats, and my plan is to gaffer tape them together (on the rubber back, obviously) so that they don’t become a slippy, slidey nightmare.

Old mat, new mats

I was keen to have a mat (or mats) that were the width of one of our bi-fold doors, so that when we’re in and out there’s more mat to aim for. And less detritus brought inside. But I found that mats that were wide, were also deeper than I wanted. I found that I could get custom made mats, but they were just plain, and as you can see my penchant appears to be for patterned coir mats. Actually the made to measure, plain version will be useful for our porch, which is actually our smallest room in size and currently is ‘carpeted’ in coir, which could do with a bit of a refresh. It’s not square of course, so we’ll need to cut it to size, but I’m sure it’s do-able…

two mats bought from Garden Trading

The bin, a new kitchen bin, arrived via a short sojourn in the ground floor flat, and again it’s another one we’ve been thinking about for a while. We saw it at Grand Designs in May, and now it’s here. It’s out of the box, but doesn’t have the batteries in yet - it’s one of those that you wave at to open, rather than the manual foot operated type. But six AA batteries, that’s a lot, they’d better last.

Both MOH and I were a bit under the weather last week, with different symptoms. Not bad enough to not go to work, but just lethargic enough that heading straight to bed for a snooze after a busy day was called for. It’s unusual for one of us to do that, let alone both of us on the same night. We’ve both recovered from/are recovering from our symptoms, but it’s a good reminder that we need to listen to our bodies more. I just wish mine wouldn’t feel the urge quite so often to talk to me at around 3:13am (and yes, I know that’s a precise time. I’ll happily not see it for a while)

we're surrounded by numbers we just need to look

I had planned to stay on track with this year’s #AugustBreak2019 over on my Instagram stories, but what with everything I’ve missed days here and there, and then been uninspired for other days. One of the prompts I did participate in though was numbers, which had me stumped for a while. Then I looked, and really saw, and even in the kitchen I was surrounded by them. And the hob made for an interesting picture too. Mindfulness, it seems to be working.

The rest of the week has been pretty mundane; two new pairs of the comfortable walking sandals arrived, and so I’ve bought in bulk (I really have, one pair the same as the ones I’ve been living in this summer, and another in a fuchsia pink colour, which I didn’t even know was an option before) I’ve started, and almost finished a new book - Beneath the Surface by Fiona Neill - well I need to do something in those early mornings, and I have new hair. Most of Saturday morning was spent being bleached and dyed, then dyed again and now I have significantly less greys and my ‘natural’ pink and orange highlights are showing again. This time the rest of my hair went a deeper brown than before, possibly darker than I thought, but it looks good and I’m loving the gloss that my hair has right now, as well as the unusual colour choice, for segments a layer or two down.

And I’ve finally finished tying in and untangling the plants just along from the patio. I’d paused work here as I wasn’t convinced the honeysuckle was still alive, but I’m happy to have been proved wrong. I’ve a feeling next year in the garden is going to be just a little more fragrant!