Tuesday, June 16, 2009


In the past few weeks, I have had something approaching a social life. I spent a lovely day with Rosemary Riveter and her parents, and we went to the current exhibition in the Queen's Gallery (The Conversation Piece: Scenes of Fashionable Life. It was good, especially as Rosie looks at pictures for about as long as I do.)

Then later in the week, I went to the knit night at K1 Yarns, which was very pleasant. I met lots of lovely people, including Wendy aka Tartanqueen, who I know from Ravelry. I also got quite a lot of sock knitted simply because I could knit uninterrupted for a couple of hours. I wasn't able to go back last week because I had to collect my bike (it was in the workshop - I managed to break the axle!) but I'm sure I will return. And I'll bring my crocheted guinea pig as requested.

Last weekend my parents-in-law made a flying visit. J took Friday off work to entertain them, which was just as well since somehow I failed to realise in advance that they were leaving on Sunday morning. (Whenever I think I'm getting better at knowing what's going on and organising myself accordingly, I do something like this.)

Despite this, we had a nice time, I think, if somewhat low-key.

All this socialising is very nice, but it is causing me to think that I am on holiday. Which I'm not. Soon I will have to get seriously going on my thesis (I'm still in the writing-vague-plans stage) and this is making me a bit nervous.

However, this week I will genuinely be on holiday at least some of the time. We are going up to Crieff for a few days. Crieff has the advantage of perfect, perfect familiarity; there is plenty to do if you want it, or you could just go for walks. Or sit and read books. No pressure.

We are taking the guinea pigs with us. I'll let you know how that goes...

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Time passes

That was not meant to be a nearly three-month hiatus.

I didn’t feel much like blogging for a while. I was doing a big project at work which was stressing me out, and was working late a lot and then coming home and feeling that I had no brain or energy left to blog with. Yeah, I know; I only work three days a week. There we go.

Cupcake chills out

2009 has been a depressing kind of year in so many ways, which has probably contributed to making me feel that I want to draw my head in, like a tortoise. It’s not had too much of an impact on J and me; we still have our jobs, and we’re doing OK. J has been feeling well enough to go to work for much of this year, as well, which is fantastic, although tiring in its own way as he has needed a lot of support. We’re beginning to feel we might be able to do grown-up things like book exciting holidays and actually expect J to be well enough to go, but we’ve been so tired out by the daily round that we just don’t feel like it. Yet. Things are getting better.

What happened in the past three months? Let’s see. We redecorated the entrance hall/stairway/landing of our house, and hung some pictures up. I did quite a lot of work in the garden, mostly on the lawn (boring) but also growing vegetables from seed and some flowers.


We did a lot of cycling and fitted panniers to J’s bike so that he can carry more stuff on it – I’ve had panniers for a long time and they do make a bike a lot more useful. We visited my brother in Dumfriesshire, which was lovely and very relaxing. I read quite a lot of books and did some knitting.

I completed the six-month fitness course in the gym; at the end of it, I still hadn’t lost any significant weight, although I was running a good bit faster and lifting heavier weights. A couple of weeks later, feeling my motivation starting to sag a bit, I had a couple of sessions with a personal trainer. This resulted in a new programme which relies almost entirely on free weights rather than machines, and a different sort of interval training (much shorter intervals, but higher intensity).

The new programme is interesting, and I enjoy it while I’m doing it, but it is definitely more demanding and takes longer to do than my old routine. Instead of having different days for upper and lower body, I do all the muscle groups every time. I know that the old programme wasn’t having quite the impact I wanted, but sometimes the new one feels like a lot to tackle in one session.

For that reason, a few weeks ago I took a break from it until my big work project was finished. I know that exercise is supposed to give you more energy, but if I’m too exhausted to do anything else, then it’s not working. I’ll be resuming this week, but if it continues to be too difficult to keep up, I will think about following the same basic outlines but splitting up the exercises into upper/lower body days to make the overall routine shorter. It won’t be as high-impact, but it will have more impact than not doing it because it’s too much!

Num num num

The piggies are in good health and are not suffering from exhaustion in the slightest.


Summer has arrived in Scotland and last weekend we went to the beach and swam in the sea. No photographs were taken of this. This is what the sky looked like that weekend, though. It’s not so hot now, but still feels like summer – maybe the second half of 2009 will be a bit more promising?

Fuchsia and blue sky