Thursday, August 11, 2011

Campaign to better myself

Have been stuck in a lifestyle rut for a long while now so have decided to take baby steps to invigorate body and mind:
  • I have been powerwalking for some time now but need to up my game and start running so I'm starting the Couch to 5K programme using the NHS podcast. It's largely due to time constraints: to get a proper workout from walking I need to powerwalk for an hour and that, frankly, eats into my early morning. Running, on the other hand, would cut my workout time to half an hour.

  • My brain has gone rusty over the last few years - since I finished my PhD, in fact, way back in 2002. Since then I've exercised the brain matter largely on topics relating to work and parenting. So I am reading a daily quality newspaper every day again. There's no point me reading the news online because I get distracted. During lunch or after I've put Little Planet to bed I crack open the paper and try and educate myself on worldly issues.

  • I've slipped into a chick-lit reading rut too. After a busy day, it's easy to unwind with some pink-covered slush. I never used to be like this. I used to read William Gibson and Margaret Atwood in hardback. So I've consigned the pink fluff to the charity shops and am reading Jonathan Franzen's Freedom. More of that ilk in the to-read pile.

  • I also want to get more adventurous in my cooking. I tend to cook the same ten or so meals but I need to expand my repertoire of recipes. We have loads of cookbooks and Mr Planet is always perusing them and experimenting. I need to take a leaf out of his book.
My writing is going well - slowly, but surely. The book is longer and the plot much more intricate than I originally anticipated so it's taking me longer than I'd hoped. Also, my eating less regime is also going very well. I thought I'd fallen off the wagon for a couple of months but in fact had only put on 3lbs so the rules must be working for me at a subconscious level now, which is terrific.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Checking in and out

Just checking in to say I'm still here and we're all fine but have just been busy enjoying life. All my writing energy is focused on finishing the book and the rest of the time is spent enjoying family life: cooking, eating out (eg Wahaca in Covent Garden), galleries, museums, parks, the garden, family, friends. The usual really.

I'm also helping Little Planet learn to read her letters and simple words. She's only just turned 3 but she was expressing interest in reading so I thought Why not? I was reading by the time I was 4 so as she is showing interest I should help her. I'm using a system called Progressive Phonics which has free downloadable resources; I'm also using a phonics app called Pocket Phonics on the iPad which she really loves. We're really lucky because her childminders are supporting us in this and are reinforcing the phonics when she's with them during the week. The key thing is keeping it fun for her and not making it something she has to do. That's why the app is particularly good as she sees it as a game.

Anyway, hope you are all enjoying the summer. More soon.