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.
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.
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.
This week the usual antics of teaching, reading, and general chores continue but teaching is now getting busier as people who had August off return for their music lessons. I’m also still trying to sort out all my sheet music in the music room which is taking a very long time to organise.
This week I tried a new recipe off FitOn which is Peanut Butter Chocolate Cups and they are amazing and so tasty. I will definitely be making them again as they are such a nice little treat and not too unhealthy as it is dark chocolate and peanut butter with no additives.
We have gone on some lovely walks this week and I must admit I was fascinated by this tree’s roots, hence the photo. The tree is clinging to the sand stone and you can see the roots and you can see that the tree has been there for many many years.
I’m still practising ready for the weddings I’m playing for on Saturday and I must admit I am rather nervous as it has been a while since I played for a wedding. The Ukulele practice is back as I am now definitely aiming for grade 2 before Christmas but the one piece is a real ear worm so I’m constantly humming or singing it.
So a very musical week really with plenty of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Criminal Minds to relax with.
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.
The cats’ instagram is going really well. They have nearly 100 followers and I must admit my husband and myself are enjoying posting pictures and videos of the cats possibly a little too much. The cats are not bothered in the slightest.
Online Cocktail Parties
On Friday it was my best friend’s birthday and we had planned a cocktail party but because of the current situation we had an online one. My bestie’s husband sent us cocktail making kits and we all made the same cocktails during a Facetime call and had some lovely drinks and a good laugh.
I have two weddings coming up in September to play for so I have been learning some new pieces that have been requested. I have also been looking at other piano pieces for fun and really enjoying playing the piano.
Fish and Chip Picnic
On Saturday we met my family for a fish and chip picnic which was brilliant. It was so good to see my brother and sister and my parents all together after so long. Also we haven’t had fish and chips for ages and my brother had brought ice cream for pudding. It was a brilliant picnic even if it did rain on us.
I also tried a new recipe this week, chocolate banana loaf. I don’t really like bananas but this loaf is rather yummy as it is so full of chocolate.
The usual bits and pieces that happen during the week have happened but it has been wonderful to catch up with friends and family. All socially distanced of course.
Another Thursday has arrived and so it is time for me to do my This and That Thursday post.
So this week hasn’t been that busy and I haven’t touched my new jigsaw sadly but I’ve still tried to keep busy.
I’ve started getting into my piano practice again. The piano is my nemesis, no matter how hard I try I just can’t progress and get my grade 6 complete. This leads to me getting frustrated and ceasing to practice. So I’m aiming for 30mins a day but not just grade stuff I’m playing fun stuff that will still push my playing in the hope I don’t abandon the instrument again. I have also started working on grade 2 ukulele which is proving to be a good challenge, I’m currently working on Ziggy Stardust which is really fun trying to play on a ukulele.
Yesterday was our wedding anniversary and to celebrate we went for a walk by the church where we got married and then had a lovely meal which involved pizza and champagne. It was a lovely quiet day and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I have started a Tudor course on Future Learn and I love it so far. It is mainly done by Dr Suzannah Lipscomb and it is very informative. Should keep me busy for a few weeks. I highly recommend Future Lear. The courses are excellently done and massively enjoyable to do.
So that is my week. Hopefully the piano playing will continue to get better.
So this is what I have been up to over the past week…
TV and Movies
I’m still watching Criminal Minds and I am now watching all of the episodes of Absolutely Fabulous. We are also choosing films to watch in an evening which is nice because we are catching up on the films that we missed in the cinema.
This week I have been busy playing lots of music which has been lovely. I’m slowly doing more teaching online and it is so nice to see my students again. I’m still practising hard for grade one Ukulele but not sure when I will take the exam.
Walking and Exercising
We are still going on regular walks which is lovely in this glorious weather but sadly there is no sheep in the fields to say hello to. The exercise continues, some days are better than others.
We made a musical pie, and some mini quiches. Trying new recipes continues and I have another cake planned now my wonderful sister has managed to get me some flour.
That is about it for this week. I hope everyone else has had a good week.
I hope everyone is well and having a good week so far. This is what I have been up to other than reading this week…
I have been practising my Ukulele quite a bit in the hope I can take my Grade 1 exam when exams are allowed. This is something I am really enjoying and it is wonderful learning a new skill.
I’ve been thoroughly enjoying blogging and reading everyone’s blogs. I love to see what everyone is up to and what books people are reading.
I’m keeping up with my exercise and really enjoying it. I’ve nearly finished season 2 of Criminal Minds whilst using my Elliptical machine. I really enjoy exercising but it has been a struggle in this heat.
I’ve upgraded my teaching and recording set up so I no longer use my laptop speaker and inbuilt mic. This has already created a massive quality improvement in teaching and recording so I am hoping to have some more pieces up on Sound Cloud soon.
I made a new recipe called Whittingham Buttons, they have proved very yummy and I will be making them again as they were really easy to make.
This week’s studies have been fascinating as I have been learning all about how the ancient Greeks and Romans dealt with child birth and child bearing, it has been rather gruesome at times. Now I have begun learning about the ancient sewage works.
So that about sums up my week so far. I hope everyone else is also having a good week, please drop me comment with what you have also been up to.