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.
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.
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.
I haven’t done a This and That Thursday for a while so I thought I would do one this week.
The studying and teaching is still going and this week I was really pleased to find out my two students who had completed their music exams at the beginning of the month had passed with a merit and a distinction. In these difficult times where their lessons have been online via Zoom since March it was an excellent result.
So here is what I have also been up to…
Yes, we have been getting the house ready for Christmas. I love decorating the house for Christmas and I would have a Christmas tree in every room but my husband reigns me in so I just have 3 instead. Here are a few snaps of the house so far as it isn’t finished yet.
The walking continues, we have been sticking to local walks recently and only averaging 1.5 miles but I always struggle at this time of the year with my asthma.
I’ve got back into my fitness again and have been enjoying my regular workouts on my exercise bike and doing some strength training. I have also come to realise that I really hate ab work on the floor so I have been trying out some standing ab workouts and have found I much prefer them and the aching I feel the next day shows that they must be doing me some good. I also treated myself to some Christmas leggings for my workouts through December.
So there is my week. I hope everyone is having a good week so far and managing to stay safe in these weird times.
I hope all my fellow Book Dragons are well and having a good week so far.
This week I have been organ playing and back to teaching again which has been a bit of a shock to the system after a week off.
So here is what else I have been up to this week.
The studying is going well and I have now begun planning my two essays for my first assignment. They are very different to anything I have done before and I will be honest I am rather nervous about them. Hopefully I do a good job.
The cowl continues! This cowl has been unravelled and restarted several times as I haven’t been happy with it. The husband has threatened to throw it in the bin several times but now I have got the ripples correct and it is going well.
The Great British Bake Off is having a bad influence on me because it keeps making me want to bake lots of yummy cakes. This time I chose to do some chocolate brownies. Thankfully, they came out of the oven a success with that all important gooey middle.
This week has also included lots of hot chocolate sampling as we work through all the different flavours that Hotel Chocolat does for the Velvetiser. So far my favourite is the mint and dark chocolate.
To finish here is a cute picture of Lyra who decided she needed to be under the blanket rather than on top.
This week has been my birthday week and I decided to take a week off from teaching for the first time since April so it has been a lovely week so far.
A birthday book haul post will be appearing soon.
This week we went to some English Heritage places and thankfully the weather was wonderful. I also got some good Pokemon Go playing in as well.
Obviously there were some birthday celebrations that involved a little treat which is my all time favourite drink.
Hot Chocolate and Reading
For my birthday I had a Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser and so this has meant some amazing hot chocolates to curl up and read with. So far we have tried salted caramel and hazelnut praline.
Another present I had was a crochet pattern and the wool and hook to go with it which my sister gave me. I haven’t done any crochet since I was at uni so this has been a shock to the system. The wool is beautifully soft to work with which is an added bonus. The pattern is for a cowl but at the moment it looks like a beret so this might need to be looked at again, it was all going so well!
I have still been studying this week as well but it has been nice to have a break from teaching.
Well this week has been full of studying, reading and Christmas shopping! Yes I have started Christmas shopping, please don’t hate me. I never usually start this early but I took advantage of the double stamps at Waterstones. I always love giving books for presents, I always find it magical.
So here is what else I have been up to.
We had a lovely walk on Tuesday after I had finished teaching in the morning. I really needed a change of scene and it was just the tonic I needed as the sun was shining and it was wonderful.
Also this week my phone decided to form a video of the recent cat photos I have taken which has made me realise just how many cat photos I am taking.
I will be honest my week has mainly involved studying and binge watching Criminal Minds. I did however get a new desk this week which was very exciting as it is yellow!
Another busy week has gone by but still plenty of reading accomplished thankfully.
This week was my husband’s birthday which meant a special meal of pizza and a nice bottle of bubbly.
It has been a while since I have done a jigsaw but a friend of mine has given me a load of jigsaws to do so I thought I had better make a start.
I’m back on my future learn courses to get my brain back in gear for studying ready for my Masters that restarts in October.
On Sunday I went around to my parents’ house where we watched the church service online but before the service started I went for a wander around the garden because the flowers in my parents’ garden are gorgeous so I had to take some pictures.