January summary

Well hello there!

I’ve just logged in here and realised that my last blog post was a happy new year post from January 2018 *facepalm* so I thought I had better write something.

Wishing you all a belated new year from the arse end of January. We made it! January wasn’t too bad this year, and I’m about 95% sure the reason for that is my decision to avoid dry January this year. I mean seriously, it’s a hard enough month as it is without depriving yourself of drinking the cold and dark evenings away!

So, I started January feeling rather sluggish and fat, post Christmas. I looked a bit like Penny does in the below photo.

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I weirdly enjoy setting new years resolutions, and I found that I actually managed to stick to them this month.

My first one:

Watch less, read and write more

Or, read the books I own, and stop building book mountains around the house. (I’m convinced I’ll one day die in some kind of book related crushing or fire) One December day I decided to count how many books I have in the house that I haven’t yet read and the answer was…drumroll please…. over SIXTY! *insert screaming face emoji*

So, here came the resolution: stop buying books and read the ones I own. This meant I needed to create more time to read. So I got rid of social media, and stopped watching so much Netflix. I now watch one episode per evening, and head to bed at around 9pm so I can read before bed. You can call me Mick Jagger if you like.

At the start of each year I set a goodreads goal, and this year, I decided I’m aiming to read sixty books (the switched on among you will know where I got that number from) so that works out at five books a month. It’s the last day of January and I am still reading book number five, but thats okay, that just means shorter books next month hehe.

Here are the books I read in January:

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Quite a mixed bag! Let me give a quick review of each one:

Bridge of Clay – 4/5 

Loved the Book Thief, didn’t love this quite as much. Stunning, beautiful language, which is definitely worth a read, but I felt it was let down by a confusing plot where not an awful lot happened.

On Writing – 5/5

Long live the King! Brilliant non-fiction about writing. I heard this recommended several times by writers and thought I’d give it a go. Definitely would recommend to anyone interested in writing more, and writing better.

Norse Mythology – 4/5

Neil Gaiman is the perfect author for this book. I really enjoyed covering an aspect of mythology I hadn’t dipped my toes into before. Great escapism and the Norse Gods are so much more hardcore than the Greek gods!

The Scheme for Full Employment – 4/5

Absolutely bizarre. I’ve read a few of Mills’ books and Ruth agrees me with me in saying that his works are incredibly dull but impossible to put down. This story is about a futuristic world where everyone is employed, even if their job is utterly pointless. The main character drives a van from A to B for no reason, every day…. until things start to unwind. I think this book is a metaphor for the unionism in the UK under Thatcher but I can’t really be sure because I wasn’t alive then.

AAAAAAAND can we just talk about this book?

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I haven’t finished it yet but BLOODY HELL, it’s good. I think I’ve got a new favourite author after absolutely demolishing “The Human Stain” in December. I was actually late for work because I couldn’t stop reading. Anyway, American Pastoral is about “Swede” Levov, a man who has it all, the family business, the trophy wife… and then his daughter commits an act of terrorism. We watch his fall from grace, and the subsequent death of the american dream. I haven’t finished it yet but I’m calling it…. masterpiece.

Sorry, book ramble. Anyway. That Stephen King book has made me want to write more, so I might aim to write here once a week. Ho ho ho, I know I’ve said that before, but lets see how it goes!

Exercise

This January, I did a thirty day yoga challenge. It’s free on youtube, with a woman called Adriene. You should look up “yoga with Adriene” if you fancy giving it a go.

On day one, I was so stiff and sluggish. I was in pain just putting my chin to my test. Fast forward thirty days of swearing, laughing, belly flopping and I’ve completed thirty days this morning!

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I feel great! Calmer, and less tense. I can tell my arms and legs are stronger, and I’ve improved my general yoga. Some of it was really hard, but the sense of achievement is brilliant. Looking forward, it would be a shame to stop doing yoga, but I want to add some cardio into my routine. So I’ve blown the dust off my fitbit and I went for a little run this morning despite the fact that it is MINUS TWO outside.

Here’s photographic evidence:

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How cool is that spiderweb?

My hair actually froze!

Moving forward in work

I’ve been having a think about the things that I’m not enjoying and how I’d like my future to pan out. I’m not really enjoying my teaching in schools at the moment. I find teaching groups stressful, I don’t like driving, and I much prefer to teach one to one at home. But hey, I have a mortgage to pay.

I’m just going to write my dream for the future here… I feel silly but I think if you write ideas down they are more likely to take root and you’ll work towards making them real. (Whoops, I seem to have turned into a self help book)

Anyway, I digress. I want to make things and sell them. I want to make some nice knitwear, or homeware etc… I’m not really sure yet, and sell them online via etsy or something similar. My dream is to do this working from home during the day time, and to make enough money to not have to teach in schools anymore, and then still have my evenings and mornings free for private music students.

I believe in good things coming.

See you next week! (Now I’ve written that, I have to do it)

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