Champion’s Choice*

It’s Leg Day at Personal Training. Here’s my leg press:

Haven’t done the Leg Press for a while but do a warm-up set on a light weight and then four sets of 100kg. Do four sets of all my weights and trainer is pleased with me.

Watch Rafa’s match at lunchtime which he wins 6 – 2, 6 – 2, 6 – 2. He plays just wonderfully, beating Joao Sousa who is the first Portuguese player ever to make it to the last sixteen at Wimbledon.

Meditate but can’t sleep.

Am up and on the sofa now. Johanna Konta has just beaten Petra Kvitova which is exciting to book her place in the quarterfinals. Roger is about to stride onto Centre Court to play Matteo Berrettini. Come on Roger!

The panther lies on the floor at my feet. He gazes at the television with amber eyes as we watch Roger warming up.

Happy Monday everyone!

*1940. By John Tunis. Tennis novel.

You Will Know Me*

Really don’t feel like going to my training today but of course I make it there and work hard and trainer is pleased with me. Here’s my chest press:

Back at the flat I watch Medvedev beat Verdasco at Queens and Cilic beat some new young chap. At long last it’s the grass court season, for which we wait all year. Going to Queens with Mum on Thursday and am so much looking forward to it.

Have lunch and a sleep. Then Suzy visits for a much-needed chat.

Now I’m watching Cameron Norrie versus Kevin Anderson recorded earlier. Norrie has just taken the first set 6 – 4: he broke Anderson early in the set – in the first game I think. Anderson has been off with tennis elbow for a while apparently. You will remember him beating Roger last year at Wimbledon but he hasn’t come back into that sort of form just yet.

Am in the nest with the panther. He rests his chin on his front paws and stares at the ball bouncing back and forth across the screen.

Happy Monday everyone!

*2016. By Megan Abbott. Murder mystery novel.

Animal Farm*

It’s 4.39pm and I put down The Spa Decameron to write this. Suzy will be here soon and want to spend time with her so need to get this done first.

Wake up when alarm goes off at nine o’clock this morning. Push the panther off the bed where he lies next to me. Make it to the gym for training. Show you my Chest Fly:

Trainer is pleased with me: I work hard.

Walk home from the gym in the sunshine.

My cleaner arrives. Have lunch and meditate and sleep. Wake up and read The Spa Decameron.

Am sipping my lemon squash and listening to The Kinks. The panther lies next to me, resting his head on my shoulder. The flat is clean now.

Happy Monday everyone!

*1968. Song by The Kinks from the album The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society.

Big Magic*

Rafa is having a bad time at the moment which isn’t helping my mood. He hasn’t won a clay tournament yet this season: this time last year he’d won all of them. He has talked of retiring if he can’t play at the standard he likes to play at anymore. This is a worry. Of course he’s thirty two, almost thirty three. A generation ago he’d have retired already. It upsets me though. Maybe things will improve now in Rome. Really hope he’s in better form by the French Open: darling Rafa. Don’t want him to retire.

Wake up late this morning and drag self to the gym for personal training. Show you my Arm Extension:

Have to put some of my weights down, due to the panther dragging my feet, stopping me lifting as heavy weights as I like.

Finish reading Big Magic which is very readable and good on living a creative life. It’s not a book about how-to-write as such, more a guide to the creative process. Think I already do most of the things she suggests in the book eg turning up to my writing every day; keep buggering on and so on and so on. Recommend it, although if you’re after more of a how-to-write guide I suggest Stephen King’s On Writing.

Look what has arrived which am so excited to get stuck into next:

I love Bret Easton Ellis – he’s a massive influence on my own writing – and I love non-fiction so I cannot wait to read this.

Suzy is coming round later and we will have felafel and hummus to celebrate International Hummus Day.

Suzy is here already. Must go and entertain her.

Happy Monday everyone!

*2015. By Elizabeth Gilbert. “Creative living beyond fear”.

The Legs Murder Scandal*

Oversleep again till 9.15am and wake up with the panther lying on my back, breathing in my ear. Push him off me and sit up.

Make it to the gym by 10.30am for Leg Day at Personal Training – you can see my Leg Press above and we also do Leg Curl, Leg Extension, Abductor and Adductor machines.

Talk to my trainer about my theory exams. She tells me that she pinned up cards with the muscles on around her bedroom. Decide that I’m going to do that too and message Mum asking her to buy me some cards.

Start revising before lunch and cover Levers And Exercise.

Have lunch and a sleep. Then study Contraindications And Key Safety Guidelines. Have done three hours of revision today but would like to get that up to four hours per day really. Am wondering whether or not to delay exam which at the moment is at the beginning of August: am finding it very difficult to remember anything.

My cousin is coming round for a Pilates lesson at six o’clock and then will watch Silent Witness.

Happy Monday everyone!

*2010. By Hunter Cole. Murder mystery novel set in 1935 in Laurel, Mississippi.

Easter Bunny Murder*

Work really hard at training at the gym. We do triceps dips (pictured), sumo squats with kettlebell, ten step ups on each leg then change with kettlebell. In terms of abs: pull knees in on mini skateboard, climb up and down from hands to elbows. And lots of other exercises that can’t now remember.

Trainer is pleased with me. Am sad that we’ve had our last session now. Will see her when she’s in London end of June/ start of July.

Last night we go to the Thai restaurant in the port and have red curry with tofu:

See this on Facebook and think it’s funny:

Fluffball is having a good holiday and the cattery posts these pictures of him on their page:

People have written next to him “what a handsome boy.” It’s good that people recognise the aesthetic superiority of the Fluffball.

Before my sleep this afternoon I listen to a Persia Lawson talk about finding one’s soulmate which is good. Persia is a love coach and motivational speaker:

http://www.persialawson.com

Found her through an interview she did with Melissa Wells on the Goddess Collective website.

Mum is making supper: my brother’s friends are coming round later.

A good thing: have realised for the first time ever on a holiday that am looking forward to returning home and back to my life. Have never felt this before – this is major progress. Am so happy about this!

Happy Easter Sunday everyone!

*2013. By Leslie Meier. A Lucy Stone mystery novel, Book 19.

The Passover Murder*

Gym Personal Training session with brother this morning. His trainer is thrilled to see him after he’s taken many months off.

Brother is actually gifted at training. There is an exercise where you tilt your pelvis forward whilst holding a mini-skateboard and he can do it until he’s horizontal. I suggest that trainer films him performing the exercise. He hasn’t trained for months and yet he can do everything perfectly.

There are also sideways skateboard lunges, one leg lifts up on step with kettlebell, going up and down to forearms with straight legs and triceps dips on box. Also TRX pull ups and push ups on Bosu ball:

Next do chest press with bar and lat pull downs. Many exercises in fact. We do well. Then brother has a glass of vodka as gym owner is celebrating Passover which starts tonight:

We have a coffee with brother’s trainer at Greg’s and then walk home.

After lunch, meditate and rest but can’t sleep which is annoying as will have late night tonight at Passover Seder. We will be at brother’s friends where we’ve been for the past four years.

Must have bath and shave legs as despite the inclement weather will be wearing my new Frank Lyman dress from Myla Clare. Actually ask Mum if she’s brought any tights as it’s So Cold. She hasn’t.

Chag Sameach and/or Happy Easter everyone!

*1996. By Lee Harris. An ex-nun Christine Bennett mystery, Book 7. Set in New York.

Hill Of Secrets*

We have a fantastic meal in the port last night at a new restaurant called Lux. I have aubergine carpaccio and a fattoush salad. Show you:

In England a fattoush salad has strips of pitta but here they are fried bits of bread.

Here’s the whole spread:

Mum has sea bass and brother has seared tuna:

Sleep well although wake up a few times and have bad dreams. These drowsy antihistamines are not as good as my beloved Promethazine.

Wake up at 7.20am, have coffee on my balcony:

Then walk to the gym. A shop here sells my favourite label Joseph Ribkoff and I love this dress:

Look at this beautiful Bottle Brush tree:

There is a lovely person at the gym when arrive. Cuddle her and have a Border Collie facial wash:

Trainer arrives. Request that we do Upper Body as legs and abs are sore from the last two days exertions. She sort-of listens although we start with obliques – lifting a five kilogram ball and twisting up and down:

We do Kettlebell squats with shoulder press with a ten kilogram kettlebell and then drop backs and drop forwards on the TRX machine. It’s another tough session: Functional Training is Hard Work.

Walk home via the mall where I purchase a lovely homemade protein shake with yoghurt, banana and Nutella.

My Uncle and cousin visit. We go to Biga the kosher restaurant as they are both kosher. It’s good to see them but I have a new problem: my new shoes give me a painful blister on the joint of my big toe and walking hurts. Apply plasters but to no avail.

Manage some of the huge Farmer’s Salad at Biga:

Unfortunately am tired, grumpy due to painful blister and very tired. Feel irrationally annoyed with the others for ordering unnecessary starters: the portions are huge at the restaurant as you can see.

Leave at two o’clock and then walk home for my sleep, leaving the others at the restaurant. About ten minutes into the thirty minute walk I take off my shoes and walk home barefoot.

It’s hot today and wear my yellow dress and my hat and sun cream. Feel that have caught the sun a bit.

Meditate and sleep for an hour and a half. Brother has just arrived home after taking them to see his University and then on to the station. Cousin catching train to Tel Aviv then bus to Jerusalem and Uncle taking train to Tel Aviv then flying back to England.

Sit on my balcony in the sunshine drinking my coffee. Hope no-one is going to make me go anywhere else today. Need to relax at the house. Have upset tummy: am just not used to these big meals and my body rebels against them.

Have booked Spin for next Tuesday when am back and will see my Dolly then too. Miss her today.

Am enjoying the holiday, or most of it at any rate. Just need to limit my food consumption as too much rich food has a bad effect on me. Have put new shoes aside whilst blister heals.

Happy Tuesday everyone!

*2014. By Michal Hartstein. A Jewish Israeli crime thriller starring Detective Hadas Levinger, a renegade atheist daughter of a religious family.

Blood Oranges*

Wake up at 7.11am and have a coffee on my balcony. Yesterday afternoon unpack furiously looking for my Promethazine tablets which I need to help me sleep. Somehow I’ve forgotten to pack them.

Go with brother to the pharmacy. They won’t give me Promethazine without a prescription. In England it’s available over the counter. Ask my Uncle who’s on his way here to pick them up at the airport chemist but they don’t stock them. Email my pharmacy at home requesting my prescription by email but they won’t reply until Monday.

Brother posts on Haifa English Speakers to see if anyone happens to have any Promethazine: it’s just a drowsy antihistamine. He procures a different drowsy antihistamine which will take tonight.

By some miracle: sleep last night: it’s hot – twenty eight degrees – and do A Lot of walking yesterday so am very tired.

Meet brother’s trainer at the gym for Functional Training at 11.30am this morning. This consists of many sets of horrible exercises using mini skateboard; body weight and kettle bells. Do Sumo Squats with kettle bell; lunges and sideways lunges on the skateboard; triceps on the box and triceps push ups. Also do various abs exercises involving rolling the skateboard back and forth whilst dipping pelvis; one leg circles with other leg straight balancing on the skateboard and push ups going up and down with hands down to elbows and back.

Here’s my sideways lunge with skateboard:

Here’s the gym dog:

Brother has paid for sessions at this gym that he’s never used, so will return there for weightlifting. Trainer is impressed with the improvement in my fitness since last year when, unbeknownst to me, lungs had filled with fluid and collapsed so couldn’t breathe. Have indeed improved fitness A Lot in the last few months since have been studying and training for Pilates Instructor Course and wearing leg weights all the time.

Walk home, picking up more protein bars and mosquito 🦟 repellent on the way as have already been bitten. Brother says mosquitos prefer O negative blood which we both possess.

After a windy, overcast walk, arrive home for lunch. Rest and meditate but can’t sleep.

Hotmail has locked me out of my account due to me attempting to log in from an unusual place – Israel. Dad starts the process of unlocking account but still can’t receive new emails which is frustrating.

Have a coffee and a protein bar on my balcony overlooking the sea. Do love it here. Just wish the various problems would disappear, but these things are sent to try us.

Yesterday, my Goddess Collective chums meet our Guru Melissa Wells at the Hay House Ignite festival. Am So Envious. Apparently Mel is just lovely: I am Desperate to meet her soon!

Right: must have bath as we have colleagues of brother’s coming for supper soon. Brother is marking exams and Mum is cooking. Am writing this lying on my bed.

Happy Sunday everyone!

*2014. By Liad Shoham. Crime fiction novel set in Tel Aviv.

Dreamcatcher*

Wake up at six o’clock this morning and crack on with my Pilates Instructor Course theory. Do two hours.

Watch last night’s Victoria about the Chartists, Palmerston and Louis Philippe. It’s wonderful. Love Victoria – it’s Episode One of the new series so that’s fabulous.

It’s a sunny day. Work hard at training and trainer is so pleased with me – here’s my triceps press-up:

Walk home from the gym rather than taking an Uber. Well Done Me.

Watch the wood pigeons feeding in my garden, the blue sky and my dreamcatcher:

Water my fritillaries, narcissi and pansies.

Have lunch and talk to MadFatRunner, a male chum and another friend I haven’t spoken to for ages. Sleep. Wake up and do two and a half more hours of Pilates theory. Talk to brother.

Suzie is here. We have hummus, felafel, pitta and salad which contains avocado, sweet corn, carrot, parsley and spinach.

Suzie is loading the dishwasher and doing her work. The laminator roars: an awakening dragon 🐉.

Tomorrow I have Pilates then Dolly. Can’t wait to see my fluffy love.

I do the Enneagram Test. I’m Type 8, The Commander: Winston Churchill, Bette Davis and Lauren Bacall are this type. So too are Donald Trump, Saddam Hussein and Fidel Castro. So it’s a good one to be as long as I don’t turn into a despotic megalomaniac.

Happy Monday everyone!

*2001. By Stephen King. Horror novel. Have not yet read it 😳