Little Wing

When you are tired of Olivia Coleman you are tired of life. THAT IS ALL ON THE OSCARS.


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This week’s a monthly crossover, but I’m giving serious thought to taking some time off. By that I mean that I know mentally there’s not much left in the tank, because I’ve been writing poetry pretty solidly since September. I’ve promised my daughter a birthday playlist (14 on the 5th) but apart from that there is very little actual desire to do anything but re-write a particular piece of fiction. The enthusiasm for that is very great indeed, so much so I was planning the re-write in bed last night.

I’ll work out the details on the writing site, suffice it to say I wanna be walking everywhere as much as possible in the next few weeks. I’d record the steps too but last night the Fitbit became a brick. This is the second time in three months a device has effectively died: it is hard to tell whether software is at fault or if the build quality of these devices is the bigger issue. Either way, free replacement is inbound.

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After that, and an edit on this second collection of poems for a March 1st deadline, it’s building furniture, recycling shit we don’t need and generally clearing the decks so that the next project (front room redecoration) can begin in earnest. It might happen at Easter, or it could take until the summer. Either way, it will allow me a custom area to work and create within, and I couldn’t be more excited at the prospect.

This is the Day

Right then. Found a new hairdresser that I’m happy with. She worked miracles on the youngest, and next week (hopefully) will do the same for me. Badminton courts are booked for the next ten days. I have a Blaze class next Thursday, and my PT will now be on Monday to accommodate this. This has taken three weeks of domestic upheaval to organise, but now? It is done.

I’m beginning to stop to self-care more, too. The benefits this gives to just being better organised and aware is enormous. That also means making myself more accountable too, sticking myself out into the world regardless of what is going on in my head. Sometimes, it is about pushing past tiredness and discomfort, trying to fundamentally alter how things get done. These are inevitably the days when stuff really does change for the better.

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I’m back on Instagram as a sort of acknowledgement that there needs to be a place like this for stuff other than art and poetry projects. The problem now, of course, is getting myself back to posting on it regularly: plan is for this month to post my haiku there, and then start doing a second post of ‘background’ to how my day works. If that can be done for 21 days, it is supposed to be habit forming. It’s really hard to do this at present. Most of the time, I don’t want to talk about or photograph the personal details.

In that regard, this is a good process to force myself into.

Don’t expect anything flash or fancy. I’m not here to try and aggressively build a massive fan-base. In fact, if that happened there’d undoubtedly be mass panic followed by hasty retreat. This is a careful, subtle redefinition of how work gets done and so far, I am very pleased with progress, regardless of stones thrown.

Yeah, this is good.

Long may this continue.

Walk on By

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I have been remiss on my step count of late. There are lots of reasons for this, most of which involve getting the Patreon off the ground. However, the Summer holiday is providing a head start in getting step numbers back up to the point where breaking my current record of 35k in a day might yet be doable. Today, for instance, involved dropping off the car, walking to the Gym then back, with 30 minutes of VERY brisk walking when I got there to help sort my legs out after yesterday’s PT. Then I strolled back, before doing to and from the supermarket with the youngest. It meant I could pretty much eat what I liked, and there should be more days like this and not less. It definitely helps that the weekend cold/virus thing is virtually gone, and that this morning wasn’t damp or wet. In fact, it must be said, I even enjoyed walking down the main road which is normally never that much fun during rush hour.

The plan tomorrow therefore is to walk to pick up the car, drop it off here, then walk to the Gym early, do a session of cardio and weights to be back as my daughter gets up. Then there will undoubtedly be a walk somewhere else in the afternoon (probably for bread) and I can try and use 18k as a starting point. If I can do that all week, it should set me up for the weekend’s real challenge.

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On Saturday, Central London is effectively closed to traffic, and for the entire day you can bike around it. The RideLondon Freecycle is the precursor to Sunday’s RideLondon main event, the 120 mile race around the 2012 Olympic circuit which Mr Alt’s taken part in since inception. This year myself and the youngest get to go and throw ourselves past some of the most iconic parts of London history and not worry about being mown down by a continental lorry driver. I have to admit I am rather looking forward to it, assuming that the weather holds. If it does, expect all the pictures, plus I suspect there will be Pokemon hunting to boot. It should make this week a bumper one for miles, and *crosses everything* perhaps my hyper efficient fat to muscle exchange of a body could take the weight down a bit in the process.

A girl can dream, after all.

Design for Life

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Yesterday, I went out with husband and daughter for my first meal post-operation. I played it safe: nothing overly fatty, healthy choice, and only a single beer, and woke up at 5am with a hunger I can’t recall for quite some time. Yesterday’s PT was all that was hoped for too: weights were utilised, exercises suggested that put no pressure on my healing umbilical hernia, and once my daughter’s packed off for a sleepover with a friend, I’ll go and do 5 miles on the Octane. When I do that tomorrow it will be with press ups, TRX rows and single arm rows as accompaniment. This is maintenance mode for two weeks, so that the hernia gets a full month to heal. Then, we’ll go back to where we were.

I’ve put on half a kilo at weigh in time, which could be as much about the Gym clothes I was wearing or the fact I didn’t use the loo before I stood on the monitor. What matters below the weight, as I have discovered in the last few months, are the important details such as the percentage of my body that is fat, and how exercise translates to general body health. In that regard, owning the body of a 40 year old is something to be pleased about, and having lost 4% body fat thanks to the operation? Yeah, let’s take that as a win. The trick now, of course, is to make sure it stays that way. Doing the work has never been a problem. My PT yesterday made the point that she wasn’t surprised I was back in and exercising less than a fortnight after the operation, that was ‘just the way you are.’

You bet I’m going to take that as a compliment.

Poppies Wave

We also went as a family to see the installation of poppies that has been adapted from the original art at the Tower of London. Hopefully I’ve done the magic with the URL from my Flickr account to link that here so you can take a look. It’s on land that the MoD sold to developers about a decade ago, and the original Barracks were converted into housing. Needless to say, it was a lovely evening and very moving when, at 7pm, a lone bugler came and played the Last Post by the wave of poppies.

Without further ado, let us get on with the day.

Making Your Mind Up

Even though I lost an hour this morning, it’s a beautiful day.

I’ve spent some time pouring over Co-Promote, which is turning into an extremely useful component of the experiment for the Writing Site. I have posts worked out for the next few weeks on the Warcraft Site, and there’s NEW CONTENT due on Wednesday. The only problem I foresee in the next week is when I get on the scales tomorrow for PT and it is apparent I’ve been eating far more than I should have been, because it’s taking a while to adjust noshing patterns to the increase in exercise frequency. Everything else is looking great, and there’s now no excuse to put off a lot of stuff I’ve been avoiding. In fact, I’m looking forward to getting things thrown out and cleared away.

Life, as it stands, is going remarkably well.

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What has now made the difference, undoubtedly, is the Mindfulness course I’m on, which is about to end its first week. It has done nothing more than opened a door in my head that before I did not even realised existed. That has in turn given me entry to a place where my normal life has gained an extra depth and space: nothing dramatic has changed, but my perception has undoubtedly shifted. I’ll write about this more in detail in the week, but suffice it to say there’s a new brightness to every moment that is only now beginning to register. I’m beyond grateful for the lovely lady who suggested I go take this course to begin with. I may never adequately find the means to thank her for simply doing the job she’s paid to do.

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Normally on a Sunday I’d be lost at a PC and gaming, but today (once the blogging is done) I fully intend to put my mind to the first big task I set myself to finish this time last week, and once that is finally done I can move forward and start attacking the front of the house with hoover and dusters. Spring Cleaning will take a couple of weeks at my current rate of attrition, but this year it will be done. I’ve half assed my way through it over the last few years but really, there’s just so much crap now accumulated, and a ton of it is never used any more by either child or us. As a result, it doesn’t need to be here any more, and I can make space in a house that’s already bursting at the seams. That’s the other debt of gratitude I have to acknowledge: I’ve been keeping track of my Minimalism Game goals since the 1st of March, and I’ll have thrown out a ton of stuff come Friday and completed the goal.

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Sometimes I know it can feel as if people blog stuff that’s not real, that it is all just smoke and mirrors to get others to read their work. I couldn’t get away with ever being like that because I know now I’d be lying, and that helps nobody in the end. This month, I suspect, will be looked back as a watershed going forward, that this was the moment when I stopped pretending to be doing all this stuff seriously and moved forward.

The future is making me vibrate with excitement, and that’s never a bad thing.