Everything’s Gone Green*

It’s 5.11pm.  Lying in bed after another unsuccessful afternoon sleep, know that need to tidy up a bit and achieve bath before Suzy arrives in an hour.  

Push self very hard at training today and put up some of my weights: now lifting 15kg on the pectoral machine, 25kg on the pulley and 40kg on the arm pulldown one.  Trainer is pleased with me.  Also have lost a bit of weight I think, or maybe it’s that have gained a bit of a tan.  You can see my gym outfit in the attached photo.  Am seeing trainer again on Friday…

Anyway: enjoy watching last night’s Grantchester at lunchtime whilst knitting.

Photograph all the trees on the way home from the gym.  Their leaves are new and shocking in their greenness:

Look at the ballerinas on the horse chestnuts flagrantly displaying themselves:

Wonderful blossom:

Sadly Mum’s ceanothus at the front of the house has committed suicide. They are out in force round here though:

All these leaves are new since my return from holiday.  It seemed that winter would last forever, but it didn’t and now it’s Spring.  Yay!

Have unpacked suitcase, hung up all my dresses and put everything away.  Suitcase now back under my bed.

Happy Monday everyone!
*1981.  Song by New Order from the album Movement.  Released as a single.  Written by Gillian Gilbert, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris and Bernard Sumner.  Produced by Martin Hannett and New Order.  Reached Number 3 in the U.K. Independent Singles Chart.  

Why Don’t You Try*

It’s six o’clock in the evening.  Am listening to New Skin For The Old Ceremony.  It’s good to be reunited with my Leonard Cohen box set.  Am drinking lemon squash and thinking about all the things that need to do around the flat:

  1. Unpack suitcase and put clothes away.
  2. Unload dishwasher.
  3. Make supper.
  4. Have bath.

Afternoon sleep was unsuccessful: couldn’t sleep, so am exhausted.  Maybe am still recovering from all-day-Spinathon.  Somehow have run out of coffee.  Will buy some after training at gym tomorrow morning.

It’s a beautiful day: London Marathon Day and St George’s Day.  A couple of my purple tulips are flowering in the garden.  It is sunny but cold outside.

Push self hard at Spin this morning. Here is graph:

Spin outfit is in the attached photo.  Am thinking about training to be a Spin Instructor.  There’s a course in July…

This morning meet a fourteen-week-old St Bernard in the village.  He is so soft and fluffy.  Ask his owner if he needs any help with him but he declines my offer, which is a shame.

Think will just post this and then watch Born To Kill? whilst knitting.  A new series of The Durrells starts tonight at eight o’clock so will watch that.  Will record new Grantchester at nine o’clock as will be asleep by then and watch that tomorrow.  

Suzy is coming to see me tomorrow evening and maybe she will talk to me whilst I unpack suitcase.

Happy Sunday everyone!
*1974.  Song by Leonard Cohen.  Appears on the album New Skin For The Old Ceremony.

The Winner Takes It All*

Just this minute have arrived home from the Eight Hour Spinathon.  Achieve Six Hours of Spin.  Am so pleased with self.  Wasn’t expecting to manage more than four hours, but start at 11am and just keep going.  For Six Whole Hours.

Here are some photos from the brilliant event:

Can’t remember the last time had such fun.  Instructors came from all over the world to lead the sessions.

Apart from Sore Feet, feel surprisingly fine.  Don’t even feel tired.

It will be suppertime soon so just want to post this and then have a well-deserved rest and cuddle my fluffy monster.

Happy Saturday everyone!
*1980.  Single by ABBA from the Super Trouper album.  Written and produced by Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus.  A major hit for the band, it was Number 1 in Belgium, the U.K., Ireland, the Netherlands and South Africa.

On And On And On*

Wake up in my bed at the parental home.  It’s good to be home, although there is no sea view, no brother and no sunshine.

There is a parcel waiting for me on my return and it’s this, sent by the lovely author herself:

So that’s something to look forward to reading once have finished We Have Always Lived In The Castle by Shirley Jackson, which started on the plane yesterday.  It’s brilliant so far…

Push self hard at first Spin class for almost two weeks.  Here is graph:

One of my lovely Spin chums is taking me to the all-day event tomorrow and bringing me home.  Am charging my MyZone belt as it will have a lot of work to do tomorrow.

Have unpacked a bit although have to take some things back to the flat on Sunday, so suitcase still seems full.

On the not-plus side: pop into the Bookshop for a coffee and it turns out they don’t need me anymore, due to circumstances outside my control.  So that is a shame.  Have a little cry but it will be OK.

Here is new puppy client who will be looking after for Daycare from the end of May: 

She is a Bear Coated Shar Pei.  Isn’t she gorgeous.  Am looking forward to getting to know her and to cuddling her.

The fluffy monster enjoyed his holiday and seems happy to be home.  Here he is, back on his office chair, getting on with some Important Work:

Now that am home, Headache has returned.  It was absent throughout Holiday.  Wonder what that means…

Am scribbling this lying on my bed listening to ABBA’s Super Trouper album and looking forward to supper which will contain either artichoke or English Asparagus – yay!

So, just have to Keep Buggering On and hope that mood doesn’t crash.  It hasn’t done so yet, which is good.

Have been chatting to New Chap and am planning to visit him soon, so that’s something to look forward to.

Happy Friday everyone!
*1980.  Single by ABBA from their Super Trouper album.  Written and produced by Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus.

No One Gets Out Alive*

Lying in bed at 8.44am scribbling this before we set off for the airport at 11am.  Who knows when there will next be wifi or a chance to write.

So, this is Moses leading the Israelites – sculpture in the garden at the Art Museum:

This is a pair of eagles, also in that garden:

Here is Bar-Kochva, limbering up to lead his rebellion:

See also attached photo.  The 1905 sculpture is by Henryk Glicenstein in bronze.

Case is packed and am just going to have a last cup of coffee and then strip my bed.  It’s another beautiful sunny day.  Really don’t want to go home.  Brother is taking us to airport and don’t know when will next see him after that so feel sad.  Miss him so much when we are not together.  Aiming to return here Soon – am not waiting another year…

Maybe will have a last shower and then stuff dirty sleepwear into case somehow.  My new fluffy Bearded Vulture is in Mum’s hand luggage – he’s called Vladimir.  Ray is packed flat in Dad’s case.

Can hear the parentals rustling about downstairs.  Had better Do Something before get Shouted At.

Happy Thursday everyone!
*2014.  By Adam Nevill.  Horror novel.

Star Of The Sea*

Last day of holiday so need to post this blog, maybe take a last stroll around the neighbourhood and then pack.  Ugh.

The air-conditioning unit rumbles.  It’s 4.27pm and have just woken up from my afternoon sleep.  It’s still sunny outside.

Up at 7am or so and then gym 10am to 11am: see photo at the top of this post for gym outfit which includes new Under Armour sports bra.  Manage four sets of everything: chest bar, triceps, high press, low press, pulley, some other kinetic machines, lat pull down.

Then we drive to the beach and wear my Matthew Williamson yellow bikini.  Mum takes a couple of photos:

See also attached photo.  Swim in the sea with brother for a bit.  It is a wonderful turquoise colour in the bright sunshine. Will miss swimming in the sea once am home.  Will also miss brother and the fantastic food here and the brilliant house that we’re staying in.

Things To Look Forward To At Home:

  1. Another election (why?) on June 8th.
  2. Weeks of campaigning prior to this.
  3. Cuddling my fluffy monster.
  4. Spinathon on Saturday.
  5. Queens whenever that is – at least it’s not on the day of the election.
  6. Spin on Friday and Sunday.
  7. Book group about The Sheltering Sky, which I love.
  8. Seeing Dolly on Tuesday.
  9. Returning to work at the Book Shop.
  10. Trying to improve at my New Job.
  11. Spring and, eventually, Springwatch.
  12. Spending the odd day at my flat.
  13. Watching Midsomer Murders and Knitting.
  14. Showing off my tan.
  15. New Daycare dog client coming in May.

Happy Wednesday everyone!
*2004.  By Joseph O’Connor.  Historical novel.

The Thistle And The Rose*

So I just wrote a great long post and somehow WordPress lost it.  Anyway: am going to try again.

Achievements Of The Day:

  1. Push self hard at gym.  See attached photo – if it has attached and also this one:
  2. Get taxi home from gym on own.  So proud of self about this.
  3. Take some photos in the wadi:

  4. You can see my Severe Leg Injury from the other day at the Art Museum.  At least it’s healing up anyway.
  5. My cousin comes for lunch and we go to a restaurant.
  6. Have a small sleep.
  7. Write earlier version of this blog which gets lost in the ether.
  8. Book Spin classes for Friday and Sunday as it’s the Eight Hour Spinathon on Saturday.
  9. Must return to gym tomorrow to train as Thursday will be airports, flying and so on all day.
  10. Will be so sad to leave here and brother.
  11. But soon will see the fluffy monster and cuddle him all over.

Happy Tuesday everyone!
*1963.  By Jean Plaidy.  Historical novel about Princess Margaret Tudor.

The Mystery Of The Kidnapped Whale*

The wind roars in the trees.  It’s 5.11pm and have just awoken from a short afternoon sleep.  Am sipping my coffee in bed.  It’s been a beautiful warm sunny day and the sun is still shining outside.

Push myself hard in the gym today: despite leg injury.  Achieve four sets of everything: chest press with bar, triceps lifts with barbell, pulley, kinetic shoulder press, other kinetic press, lots of abs exercises with 10kg ball.  

Here is photo with brother’s trainer and there is another one attached:

After the gym, we pick up the parents and head to the beach to swim.  Mum takes these photos of me in my Marks and Spencer bikini:

Swim around the bay with brother for a bit.  It feels good to be swimming in the sea, if a bit cold.  We see this mural outside a fish restaurant at the beach:

Back at the house, Dad takes this photo of the rest of us:

The best thing in it is the frosted glass side of the house, but never mind.  “It’s too sunny to see the camera properly,” Dad says.  We have lunch outside on the terrace and then I have a sleep.

Here is a photo of bikini taken inside the house but unfortunately the lighting is not good.

Must have a shower now as am itchy from not-having-washed-off-the-sea-water.  Passover is finishing this evening so we are going out to dinner to eat bread and so on.

Happy Monday everyone!
*1983.  By Marc Brandel.  Book 35 in The Three Investigators Mystery series for young adults.  The three young detectives, attempting to rescue a beached whale, end up searching for sunken treasure.

The Corpse In The Cactus*

Am lying in bed thinking about improvements have made in my life since this time last year whilst eating a yoghurt and drinking coffee.

Fall over outside Art Museum this morning and now have grazes all down right leg but am being Brave and Inspirational about the pain.  So much for legs healing up – leg looks like the victim of a tiger attack – there seem to be claw marks all the way down shin.  Ouch.

  1. This time last year was drinking alcohol starting at 11am and continuing all day till bedtime.  Now have stopped drinking and have been sober since 30th August.  Am really proud of self about this. 
  2. Have lost about a stone since stopping drinking.
  3. This time last year was depressed and so far mood remains up, so that’s good.
  4. Can now Knit, that is a new skill that have learnt this year.
  5. And have started earning actual money from dogwalking.
  6. And have Pet First Aid Certificate.
  7. Have landed New Job in the Bookshop and am getting to grips with it.
  8. Have made progress with strength and fitness.
  9. About to do an eight hour Spin ride – well, four hours of it anyway.
  10. Have met a New Chap who I like.
  11. Have been enjoying writing poetry for the first time in many years.
  12. Have made some new friends this year and am getting out a bit more.

The attached photo is a flowering cactus outside the Art Museum.  The above photos are the cacti and bougainvillea there, around the scene of my Severe Accident in the gravel.

Can hear Mum clattering about in the kitchen.  Am going to post this, finish my coffee and then have a wash.

Happy Sunday everyone!
*2015.  By Lonni Lees.  Book 2 in the Detective Maggie Reardon mystery series set in Tucson, Arizona.

Nightmares Can Be Murder*

Bad dreams last night – again – in which am back at school in the sixth form, and I can’t find my timetable and…  

…wake up around 7.30am, pull my gym clothes on and we’re at the gym by 9.35am: brother drives me there and drops me outside.

See brother’s lovely trainer in the gym. Get told off by a random chap for lifting-chest-bar-in-wrong-bit-of-gym.  Brother’s trainer finds me a bench where am allowed to lift chest bar, so that’s OK.  Achieve four sets of everything, including some of the Kinetic machines – High Pull and Low Pull – as well as the Pulley, triceps lifts with a 12kg barbell and Lat Pulldown machine.  See attached photo for gym outfit.

Some chums visit from out of town for lunch, so that’s nice.  We take them for a short walk in the wadi, where the treehouse has been dismantled by the storm, which is a shame.

Don’t manage to sleep this afternoon as am worrying about some things.  Or maybe am excited after our visitors.  Or both.

Wash self and hair earlier so just need to:

  1. Post this blog.
  2. Paint nails.
  3. Put a dress on.

We’re going out to dinner tonight and am looking forward to this.

Happy Saturday everyone!
*2014.  By Mary Kennedy.  Book 1 in the Dream Club Mystery series of cozy crime novels, starring Taylor Blake.  Set in Savannah, Georgia in a candy store where the Dream Club meet to analyse their dreams.  Suddenly they have a murder to solve in which Taylor’s sister Allison is the chief suspect…