So what have I been up to during lockdown that isn’t reading wonderful books.
Over these last few weeks I have been doing a lot of studying and assignment writing but I must admit I am rather excited that soon I can begin work on planning what I want to do for my dissertation. The freedom of choosing my own topic is both exciting and terrifying!
I have been regularly practising the piano and trying to do at least half an hour a day and I have been loving it. I must admit that for a few reasons I had fallen out of love with the piano and sometimes music in general but lockdown has done me some good and I have fallen back in love with it all. The challenge of learning new pieces is fantastic and the memory skills that had lapsed are coming back and it is all falling back into place. The Ukulele also continues and hopefully this year I will finally manage to take an exam.
Exercise and Walking
Exercise is still going and I am loving it. I am a complete kettlebell addict and I also love latin dance workouts. I am now finding myself looking forward to my exercise which I never thought would happen. It is a perfect break from studying and teaching and I love how each week I am getting better at the workouts and stronger. We continue with our walking but only when it isn’t raining. I am no good when it is raining as it sets off my asthma. I also love a good dance workout with glow sticks and the disco ball.
I have now been planning all dinners a week in advance for over a month and I am thoroughly enjoying it. I no longer have to think what to make for dinner each evening but know exactly what I am making. This planning means I am trying lots of new recipes that we have never had before which has been great fun.
Not much going on really but I have been very happy. I have realised that usually I spend my time racing around from one job to the other and it is rather nice to have a quieter time which doesn’t involve so much racing around.
I haven’t done one of these posts for a while so I thought I would post an update of what I have been up to.
We have been trying to do more walking again but I must admit if it is too cold I tend to chicken out. This was taken the other day where the water splashed up from cars had frozen on the hedge.
Over the last four weeks I have been exercising 5 days a week and trying out lots of different workouts on the platform Own Your Goals and I must admit I am thoroughly enjoying the Latin Dance workouts and the other dance workouts. I always tend to stick to strength training so it is nice to mix it up a bit. When I did a later workout I got out the disco ball and the glow sticks and really went crazy. I workout in the conservatory so the neighbours might have been wondering what was going on if they noticed.
We have been trying new recipes over the last few weeks because I was desperate for some different meals. We have tried a smoked trout pasta bake and this included me trying a cheese I had never tried before which was Emmental. We have also tried spaghetti puttanesca which is definitely a new favourite in our house.
The rest of the time has been taken up with studying and music and teaching.
We took part in our first Zoom quiz on Saturday and it was great fun. It was so good to have some social fun, even if it was online. Our team came 7th out of 9. The rounds consisted of:-
Our best round was Abba. I thought I would share the Shakespeare questions with you all and see what you all think. They are all cryptic clues to different plays.
Farce of mistakes
Everything’s satisfactory which terminates satisfactory
Honourable duo from a city of love
Greek statesman, sovereign of a Phoenician city
The subjugation of the fishwife
The trader of Veneto’s capital
The sequel to “The Life and Death of King Richard 2nd”
The convivial consorts of Maidenhead’s neighbour
Priam’s son and Calchas’s daughter
Pumbaa’s friend from the capitol of Greece
I have been getting into my piano playing and I am thoroughly enjoying the new challenge of the pieces. I am hoping I get good enough to do the grade 6 exam this year.
I have finally got back into my exercise and I must admit after a big kettlebell workout on Tuesday I am still aching. I have also started watching the series The Expanse from the beginning whilst using my exercise bike.
We have almost finished the first series of 24 and I must admit I am thoroughly enjoying the show and I think it is really cleverly done.
So there is my week. I hope you enjoy the Shakespeare questions.
Welcome to the first This and That Thursday of 2021.
I will be honest as we are back in Lockdown yet again I am doing the same old things but I have had some highlights.
Before Lockdown I popped over to see my cousin and dropped off his Christmas presents. I obviously did not go in but thankfully the two dogs came out of the house to see me and I had lots of fuss off Daphne the Shar Pei and Daisy the Westie.
The Christmas decorations were all taken down this week as well which I never enjoy. I always leave it for as long as possible before I take the decorations down as I always find it so depressing and the house always looks so bare once they are down.
This week has involved lots of nice walks and I have been getting back into my exercise by doing lots of cycling on the exercise bike and strength workouts. It has been nice to get back into fitness but I must admit I am finding it harder to get back into the healthy eating after Christmas and New Year.
Today I have spent nearly all day researching and writing an assignment. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to find a reference that you know exists but you can’t find it! An hour later I found the reference and managed to write a bit more of the essay.
For Christmas my husband got me the game 51 Worldwide Games. This has been great because it has meant we have lots of games we can play together. I must admit I am a little bit obsessed with the fishing game and the darts. My old headmaster would be proud of my new found darts skills as during a school summer fair he tried to teach me how to play darts but I made more holes in the school gym wall than the darts board.
Piano and Ukulele
I have just started looking at the new Grade 6 piano syllabus and have chosen some pieces to learn and I must admit so far I am really enjoying the new challenge. I’ve been practicing the ukulele again and I am determined that 2021 will include some ukulele exams.
So there is my week so far. I hope everyone is having a good week so far.
Another busy week has gone by with teaching, studying and throwing things away.
Yes I have had a big clear out of my music room and changed the position of my online teaching setup and I love it. The room is so much calmer now it is all organised. I am aiming to do every room before Christmas so the bedroom and music room are now done, so kitchen and dinning room are next.
Here is my lovely music room
I have been after an exercise bike for ages and I now have one and so after a busy day I have been chilling out with a session on the bike whilst watching an episode of Criminal Minds.
We are still walking and have recently discovered a lovely walk which is really close to where we live and I loved it. Lyra has been helping us choose some new walks to try as well.
I have started practicing Christmas music on the piano. Each year I try to learn new Christmas pieces on the piano and so hopefully I will be able to play some new tunes at Christmas. So far there has been some terrible Christmas tunes in this house.
So there is my week. I hope everyone is having a good week so far.
So this week has included lots of studying again but today I also had a lovely surprise whilst visiting my mom. My sister who lives in Scotland and who I haven’t seen for two years has come down to the West Midlands because my nephew is trying to do his theory for driving a bus and he can’t get one in Scotland so they have come down to take the test and also socially distance see the family. It was wonderful to see my sister and three nephews but I must admit I did miss being able to give my sister a hug.
So here is what else I have been up to this week
The scarf is almost done, I am not looking forward to sewing all the ends in though. I always find the sewing and sewing of ends to be the worst part of knitting. I am already planning new projects to attempt after the scarf.
Yes, I know we aren’t quite at Halloween yet but I have already started decorating the house and Eeyore is very excited to be joining in.
I’ve started exercising more again and I am working on my flexibility and strength. I have challenged myself to be able to do the splits at some point. Most likely it will never happen but I will be happy if I get to be a bit more flexible.
We are still watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and are now on Season 6, I really did not enjoy the musical episode we watched last night! We have also started watching Spooks which I haven’t seen for years and never actually saw the first 3 seasons.
So there is my week. I hope everyone is also having a good week.
Well we are well on the way to the weekend and I must admit this week has been rather busy.
Walking and Exercise
This week we have upped our walking considerably which has been lovely and has also made my Fitbit step count go through the roof. I’m also still doing my exercises and I’m really focusing on strength training so I hope it pays off soon.
I’ve also been doing a bit of flute playing this week and trying to get my skills up. The flute is my main instrument and the instrument that I studied at university for my degree and my masters but sadly my asthma over the years has taken its toll and I can no longer play like I used to. I’m really hoping that one day I can get back to where I once was but it will take a lot of time and will only happen if my asthma behaves. It has been fun to play though and get back into it as I really miss playing.
On Saturday I played for two weddings which was wonderful but very strange. Everyone wearing masks and sitting two metres apart was very odd but it was so nice that the two couples could finally get married and I learnt a new piece for the occasion which was the Wedding Processional from The Sound of Music. It is always fun to learn new pieces for weddings.
The normal day to day continues and Autumn is fast approaching, I must admit I am rather looking forward to cosy fires, books, blankets and hot chocolate.
So this week has been a bit more adventurous for me which has been nice.
This week I went to one of the churches I am an organist for and practiced the organ for a good hour. It was so nice to be back and the fact that I was in the church with no interruptions was wonderful as I could just play until my heart’s content. Thankfully the organ is still working because it is needed for a wedding in September and it hadn’t been played since March. By the way the organ’s name is Bob.
This week we have been on two lovely walks which have been really nice as it was somewhere different.
I have been really getting into my exercise and have been trying out different workouts. This has meant the recent acquisition of a step box, hopefully this will mean some more fun workouts or with my coordination I end up falling off it.
This week has also involved a lot of cat photos for some reason. Think the cats are getting a little sick of it but they are so cute. Here is my favourite of Lyra.
We are still working our way through our TV series. We have finished all the Absolutely Fabulous episodes and are still working our way through Buffy the Vampire Slayer, sadly the annoying sister Dawn has turned up now and she does drive me insane.
There is my week. Still quiet but I’m still teaching and studying most days so not too quiet. Right now I’m currently frantically watching out for the enormous spider that is running around our living room.
This week has been a great week. I’ve had another student return and start online lessons and all my students have been working hard learning new pieces and preparing for exams. I am also loving my blog and reading everyone else’s blog and making new friends.
So here is what I have been up to this week…
The exercise is still going strong, I have been using the app FitOn for some new workouts and I gave Zumba a go! I love dance workouts but I must admit Zumba is scarily fast. Also as I was attempting to dance and waving my arms around and trying not to fall over our neighbour walked past the window to post the village newsletter and saw me. I dread to think what she thought about me.
I’ve done my second Belly Dancing session and thankfully I wasn’t the only one in the class today. I learnt some new moves and another little routine and didn’t fall over! Always a plus sign. Eeyore is loving the Belly Dancing hip scarf.
This week I have managed to take my dog Coco for two walks. On Sunday I spent the morning with my mom watching our church service online and then I took Coco for a walk and today I also took her for a walk and had lots of cuddles. Coco is technically my dog but when I moved in with my husband Coco had to stay with my parents because my husband has cats. Also there is no way my dad would have let me take her. This means I have been missing Coco like mad during lockdown as I usually get to see her three times a week so it has been so nice to spend some time with her.
We are still going for our daily walks and this week we drove to a new location for a walk and got horribly lost but it was still a lot of fun.
Finding new exciting ways to eat courgettes!
My dad always grows a lot of veg but this year he seems to have really gone overboard on the courgette front. So I have been researching recipes to use it in. I’ve done courgette chocolate brownies before and using it instead of spaghetti so wanted something different. This has lead to me discovering my new favourite courgette dish ‘Creamy courgette and bacon pasta’ it was amazing! I added sweetcorn because I add sweetcorn to all my food. Here is the recipe on BBC Goodfood
So there is my week. I hope everyone has also had a good week so far.