Friday 29 June 2012

Summer ambitions

I've read some fantastic Summer Bucket Lists recently, including this amazingly long one from meals and moves. That is going to be one fantastic summer!

My list is somewhat less "wow", but I've tried my best to add in some ambition along the way!

1) To get surfing again. I don't mind if it's in the UK or during my summer holiday, but I've got to get back on the board and work on my skills! On the girlie surfing weekend last year, I just about stood up a couple of times and I desperately need to practise more to master this tricky skill. Note to self: do some upper-body workouts before surfing to limit muscle soreness afterwards!

2) Do 3 ballet classes in one week. I'm all set with a timetable of drop-in classes with teachers that have been recommended to me, so there's no reason not to up my number of lessons :)

3) Spend some quality time working on my Spanish. I'm not great with languages and often freeze up when abroad; hopefully a bit of revision and practise will up my confidence and make sure the words that I do know are close at hand in my brain :) Maybe...

4) See some live music. Erm... This one is totally unplanned so I've no idea how and when it might happen. I'll be in the vicinity of live bands in a few weeks when rigging a firework display, but that's hardly the same as being in the crowd.

Pic from last year's Marvelous Festival, expertly taken on my phone!
 5) Make sushi. I've just been gifted a great iPad video-book-guide-thing and have to try it out!

6) Make more pies. I had a bit of a flurry of pie making after Christmas (after receiving two great pie recipe books) and then haven't touched them again!

What are you going to do this summer?

Wednesday 27 June 2012

From one extreme to the other

I don't do those "weekly exercise round-ups". That's mostly because, compared to most of the blogs that I read, I'm actually pretty inactive most of the time - maybe two proper workouts in the average week? Not enough to blog about.

This week, however, I finally had a bit more time on my hands. So what did I do?! Overdo it :) Doh

Sun: swim 40 lengths (1km)
Mon: run 1.5 miles, walk 3.5 miles
Tue: full on ballet class
Tue night: tweet about how tired I am and how my ballet wasn't up to scratch because of my tiredness
Wed: no planned workout but end up having to carry things up and down the stairs at work a lot
Wed evening: a bath and an early night!

I was so determined not to do any proper exercise today that I even donned inappropriate-for-running-on footwear:

Monday 25 June 2012

Barely jogging

I went out for a run this evening. I managed a mile or so without too many problems, but then I got really tired. My running stamina has gone right out of the window and I really need to sort it out.

Somehow, I'm going to have to up my running to at least twice a week. On the bright side, my workload should be lightening up over the next few weeks so I might have the time to do it!

I need to get back to a place where I am comfortably (and regularly) running 3-4 miles. If I dip any lower than this then it causes issues and takes a whole load of effort to get myself back up to this basic level. So, starting this week, I will definitely get two runs a week in.

In other news, after scouring the internet for summer ballet classes to no avail, twitter has yet again become my saviour. More specifically, @becca_tweet has suggested a couple that look like they might work for me. And I might get to meet her too!

And after a disappointingly picture-free blog post, here's my new favourite summer dinner:

Sunday 24 June 2012

Slightly obsessed with ballet videos

Gosh, my poor little blog looks a bit ignored at the moment. I've been away with work and haven't had a chance to do anything interesting or to post about it! I've just about managed to keep up with my #smallpleasure tweets in my one-person campaign to appreciate life a bit more, but that's been it.

Having arrived home on Friday, I've mostly slept and tried to catch up on washing (what a glamourous life I lead!). However, between catching up on life I stumbled upon this video of a complete morning ballet class at the Royal Ballet Company. It's amazing - go see for yourself!

And then I found some more great videos:

Thursday 14 June 2012

Small pleasures

I posted a couple of weeks ago about trying to take notice of the little things and take pleasure in them. I meant well, but to be honest I wasn't very good at it - I just wasn't taking the time to make myself aware of these things. On day one I had a short list (strawberries dipped in chocolate, an unexpected Facebook message from a friend, sunshine), but I don't think I thought about it once on days 3-8.

So, to set myself back on the right track I've started tweeting at least one #smallpleasure every day. This way I'm prompted to do it and also have some accountability from others. Knowing that I'm going to tweet makes me spend a minute or two thinking about the good aspects of the day. Hopefully I'll even start having the "oooo - that's something I can tweet about" thought when I get into the mindset better.

Then all my stresses will melt away and I'll be happy forever! Or, failing that, maybe I'll feel a little less stressed on a day to day basis - that'd do me :)

Tuesday 12 June 2012

A catch up on the activeness

In the last few weeks I've hardly posted anything about sport/fitness/etc, so I thought I might be due a catch up post :)

Ballet - still my sport of choice at the moment! I am loving my dance, so much so that I even tried going to class with a dreadful headache one week (and no, that didn't go very well!). My brand new leotard will had its first outing this week too! At the moment I'm trying to find a class for the summer because my teacher only runs classes in term time and I don't want to have a six week dancing break!

Running - hmmmm. Well, I have been running a bit - about once a week. But I really should try and fit in a bit more. I'm finding it much more tiring than previously, which I'm guessing is a combination of not training so often and of trying to mid-heel strike. My running coach (who I must make another appointment with) did say that I'd be exercising lots of different muscles so I shouldn't be surprised. I can't quite face my second coaching session until I've done a bit more practise! 

Sunday 10 June 2012

Dressing up and acting lady-like

Finally, my posh day out with the girls arrived! All that time trying on dresses (and shoes and hats) on several shopping trips culminated in an afternoon and evening at Royal Windsor Races.

It was Ladies Night at the races, which means we really went for it in the dressing up stakes. And despite it not being quite Ascot's Ladies Day (which is legendary for pretty dresses and amazing hats), we all scrubbed up pretty well.

I'm the one in the middle, wearing white.

Mostly, I tottered around on my heels: chatting, watching the pretty horses being paraded and enjoying a couple of glasses of Pimms...

Friday 8 June 2012

Fireworks, ladders and firemen

As part of the Queen's Jubilee celebrations, St Albans (a town in the South East) was one of over 4000 locations lighting a beacon. We were drafted in for a bit of accompanying firework-y goodness.

The beacon was mounted on the roof of the town hall and our job was to provide a three minute display after the firemen had lit it.

Everything was very straight forward. Apart from the need to climb a ladder to get all of the gear onto the roof. This was quite a chore, especially as I'm not very good at using one hand on a ladder and carrying in the other hand.

Once everything was up, we got rigged and ready:

Thursday 7 June 2012

Not too board :)

We had a boardgames playing invite for Saturday, which seemed like a nice, relaxing way to spend the day. It accidentally turned into a bit of a gaming marathon - 12 hours of games, chat and food :)

We started with Bananagrams - a fast-paced word game. It's a bit like scrabble, but quicker and more fun.

Next up was Killer Bunnies. This is a brilliant game invented by a slightly insane bunch of people. For example, you can now buy more than 10 sets of playing cards to add to the game, and some of the illustrations and information in the first set are only used when you add in the later sets. It involves keeping bunnies alive, collecting carrot cards and killing everyone else's bunnies (using weapons such as green gelatine pineapple chunks or a miniature black hole! It takes a bit of playing to get the hang of, but is well worth it.

Then there was a game with Vikings in. The instructions weren't too difficult and I remember it being quite fun. I mostly remember that the Viking playing pieces were cute! If you've played Settlers of Catan and liked it, then you'll probably like this!

Wednesday 6 June 2012

Jubilee fun-ness

We've had a crazy four days here in the UK - a super-long weekend to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee (60 years?! That's impressive in anyone's books!).

The official plans for the royal family involved:
    Sun - a flotilla of 4000 boats down the River Thames (unfortunately in awful rainy weather)
    Mon - a massive concert in front of Buckingham Palace
    Tue - a service in St Paul's Cathedral, carriage procession and fly past

Most of my plans didn't directly correspond with the Queen's, but I did try to make the best of the four days and briefly "checked in" with the royal events yesterday afternoon by standing on the bank of the Thames to watch the fly past. It was pretty cool...

Oh yes, those are the Red Arrows :)

Stay tuned for the rest of my super-long bank holiday weekend...