I haven’t done a This and That Thursday in ages so I thought it was time for an update that doesn’t involve books.
I have had my first vaccine now and have gradually started going out and visiting places which has been a nice change.
I have now begun work on my dissertation and I am thoroughly enjoying it. It is so nice to be studying a topic that you have chosen for yourself.
I am averaging an hour a day of piano practice and thoroughly enjoying it. It is so good to be practicing and having a proper structure to my practice again.
We went for a lovely day out to Croome which is a National Trust property. I hadn’t been for years so couldn’t remember much about it. It was beautiful day and it was wonderful to go for a nice walk around the grounds and go around the house followed by a nice lunch in the cafe.
We also went for a lovely meal this evening for my mom’s birthday. It was so good to have some normality and have a nice relaxing evening.
This morning we got the telescope out to see the solar eclipse, with a filter of course. It was rather cloudy but we managed to see it which was wonderful to see. I managed to get a rather dodgy picture with my phone through the telescope, it isn’t great but it was really tricky to get the phone lined up with the telescope.
So there are a few of my adventures recently. Work and chores continue as normal but I must admit I have been having lots of fun with the new strimmer. Hopefully I will manage to go to an actual bookshop soon as well.
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.
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.
I am so happy that I have finished and submitted my assignment, I am hoping to celebrate by getting to read some fun things and not things about Ancient Roman funeral rites.
This week has mainly been spent on the assignment and teaching but I have managed to fit in some other things as well.
I haven’t really managed any of my fitness due to time constraints but I have managed a few long walks and on one of them we met this lovely pony who came over to meet us. My husband is allergic to horses and ponies so he couldn’t make a fuss of the pony but I made sure I gave the pony lots of nose scratches.
I’ve managed a bit of piano practice and it has been a welcomed relief from studying. I am learning two of the grade pieces and I am absolutely loving the challenge. One of the pieces is by Chopin and I must admit I have never really been a fan but I think this piece is going to convert me.
Today has been taken up by moving approximately 3 tonnes of logs from the drive to the log store at the back of the garage. This was a long process and I must admit when we finally moved them we rewarded ourselves with a hot chocolate and I promptly fell asleep on the sofa.
We have just finished the TV series Spooks and I must admit I was left a bit shell shocked by the last ever episode. We have now started the series 24 and I must admit I am hooked already. Oh and I have also been watching the Masters Snooker as I do love snooker.
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.
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.