16 September 2013

Writer's Block

Myep. I think I have it.

Trying different things to get out of it but I can't see it ending anytime soon.

Maybe I need a vacation.

Vacation sounds good.

10 September 2013

09 August 2013

August Motivation - With Music

No question that music is powerful. And sometimes it's the only thing that gets us moving.


Anybody else have a song they can't stop listening to?

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August Motivation ~ Yoga - Running -Tournaments -Cider - Dips, Burgers, BBQ - Make Up -In Pictures -With Music

07 August 2013

August Motivation - Looking Like Me

It's not surprising things change in six months or a year, but it is sometimes surprising how and what changes. Life experiences influence your priorities, your lifestyle, and your definition of success. Being unemployed for over a year now, I look back at the Frivolous and Feel Good goals I had set out about a year ago and think to myself, why?

Some of them make sense, like getting a massage ever month (preventative health measures and all). But hair extensions? WTH? Oh yeah. I had this notion about a year and a half ago because I had chopped my hair off because I kept dying my hair and being cruel to it. I also probably had this notion because I had the money to spend, instead of taking my advice of "hair grows" and be patient. Now that my hair is a good length and I can pull it nicely back into a pony tail, I look back on this goal and think "WTF?" I mean, what would I even do with that much hair? The same goes for lash extensions.

I thought eyeliner in the form of a tattoo was a good idea for a while too, particularly when I was working in an office. Again, I felt the peer pressure to conform and add eyeliner and mascara to my beauty routine and a tattoo would just save me a lot of time. It was the same sort of idea with laser hair removal, although, I could justify that better as I was only getting the laser where I was removing the hair anyway (ie. underarms. You were thinking something else, weren't you?)

Goals like a facial, mudwrap, a pedicure every 6 months, or an all day spa day I made most likely out of peer pressure as well. Not having the prospect of affording the above mentioned on a regular basis kind of makes you wonder if all of this is just a status symbol: Like cars are for men, beauty treatments are for women. Some beauty "habits" (I don't know what else you would call this) I enjoy though, pedicure being one of them. Again though, a pedicure every month? I can buy a lot of nail polish and stickers for the price of  a spa pedicure. 

Out of this unemployment, three things have happened I have learned to
1) do some of these beauty habits on my own.
2) re prioritize what's really important.
3)  save for these frivolous things.
4) go without.

But there is a flip side to getting rid of all these Frivolous & Feel Good goals. There is something to be said about pampering yourself, treating yourself, and spending a little extra time on your appearance. People tend to perceive you differently if you look after yourself, mostly like a well adjusted member of society, and people tend to feel confident if they feel they take the time to put effort into their appearance. I mean, who hates being told they look great today or that they're rocking an outfit?

A lot of goals that fell into this category were not necessary, they did make me feel good, if only for a while. The satisfaction or happiness I got from a new hair cut or a laser hair removal treatment was fleeting and the last thing I've learned is that

5) I like looking like me

I can make all the excuses in the world about why I don't wear make up, like laziness or inability to master a skill, but most of the time, it doesn't feel right. I feel like I'm covering up, putting on a mask, and not being me. And it's nice to see there are other people with a similar mindset, even if our social circles will never connect.

- - -

August Motivation ~ Yoga - Running -Tournaments -Cider - Dips, Burgers, BBQ - Make Up -In Pictures -With Music -

06 August 2013

August Motivation - Burgers & Black Beans

For the last couple months my life hasn't really had a semblance of routine: my husband was gone for two months, weekends out of sync because of tournaments, I had a friend come visit for a week, I attended two week long training sessions, etc etc. This didn't resemble anything I had been doing before May or since July ended so I ended up sticking with food that I already knew how to make quickly and on the run.

New Recipe #8 - Black Bean Dip
In May my mom helped my Great-Aunt arrange to send a food processor from Germany to the UK because I was complaining at how expensive hummus is to buy. Do you think I've made hummus yet? No. Black bean dip. And it actually tasted pretty good.

New Recipe #9 - Homemade Burgers
I haven't really had any pangs of homesickness in the last couple months, until last week or so. My husband had a work BBQ and one of his supervisors was walking around with a solo cup goblet. He had just gotten back from visiting family in Canada and had purchased them at Bass Pro Shops just outside of Calgary.

I felt a bit nostalgic for my summers spent in Canada where my mom BBQ-ed just about every night. The burgers were 100% beef and when my mom had the notion, she made her own burgers with varied spices. I have tried finding a recipe to recreate these burgers and so far the burger recipe from BBC Food didn't make the cut. Granted, I was BBQ-ing out in the rain, but there's not reason the burgers should have fallen apart.

The hunt continues for the perfect beef burger recipe. Or pork. I eat all animals. I might pass on the rat and pigeon though...

- - -

August Motivation ~ Yoga - Running -Tournaments -Cider - Dips, Burgers, BBQ - Make Up -In Pictures -With Music -

05 August 2013

August Motivation - Cider

This may be a counter productive lifestyle habit and lifestyle. A lot of fitness blogs, magazines, and trainers basically abstain from any form of alcohol, or try to get you to drink the lightest form of a certain beverage. Although replacing tonic water with soda water in a G&T will make you want to abstain from drinking anyway.

Having problems with gluten I tend to avoid it and have replaced beer drinking with cider drinking. I still love my wine, however, sometimes when you're out with people who are all drinking pints of beer, such is the case 90% of the time in England, I don't want to be the lemon without a pint glass.


 Yes, I'm still subject to that sort of peer pressure. 

I've had several conversations with The Drunk Runner about how alcohol is part of our lifestyle and abstaining from it to lose weight is fine, but obviously the minute you reintroduce alcohol into your life you'll put the weight back on. For the average everyday person, learning to balance alcohol consumption with your workouts and the rest of your meals and an acceptance that weight loss will be slower needs to be given more weight than abstaining 100%. Why? Because it's not realistic where alcohol permeates large portions of our lives. Unless you weren't really a big drinker in the first place. Binge drinking though, is a whole 'nother ball game that I won't touch on in this blog post.

Try 100 Different Types of Cider
Before I moved I had a friend +Kelsey Meehan go to Australia and set a goal for herself to try 100 different kinds of beer. Not to steal her idea, but stealing her idea, I decided to challenge myself to drink 100 ciders. This was a fine goal last year before I decided to become an amateur athlete and train almost every night of the week.

When I started back into training my alcohol consumption dropped off rapidly because I was just so tired I'd go to bed straight away. I started having a glass or two of wine my nights "off" but I felt so dehydrated the next day at training that I kept any sort of alcohol consumption to weekends when I didn't really have to exert myself. And just one drink at that: the dehydration the next day just feels awful. So the progress on this goal has been quite slow but I'm up to number 45 on my FaceBook album and every weekend I get the chance to sip on another cider.

At this point, Magners Cider is still my favourite. We'll see if it stands up to the rest of the ciders I'll be trying.


- - -

August Motivation ~ Yoga - Running -Tournaments -Cider - Dips, Burgers, BBQ - Make Up -In Pictures -With Music -

02 August 2013

August Motivation - Running

If you've been with me this last year you'll have read about my ups and downs of trying to run. There have been a lot of set backs in the last twelve months that have left me feeling pretty down, particularly in relation to a goal I had made in May to run twice a week and I failed miserably. Not from lack of trying, mind you, but my body just being misshapen and compensating for the misshape.

Run Twice A Week
It's a goal that I'm not giving up on, even though I didn't accomplish it on my first attempt. I'm nearly finished the third week of my walk to run programme and I'm able to run longer and longer distances according to the programme and runs over and above the programme.

 Yes, I have been jumping for joy every time I complete a run and not feel like I'm a cripple when I get home. I'm going to keep this up.

Tracking My Runs, Run More This Month Than I Did This Month Last Year
I use the Nike+Running app for my iPhone and iPod and have been tracking my runs that way for the last two years. It's sad looking back that far and knowing I was unfit but still ran more than I do now. But I feel good about not having quit and that I've been able to stay active in other ways in spite of my misshapen knee.

Since I haven't gone for a run yet in August, I'll use July stats. In 2012 I ran a total of 27.7 miles or 44.5 km and this July past I "ran" a total of 18 miles or 28.9km.

Tracking My Runs, Run More This Month Than I Did Last Month 
I could let the above July 2012/2013 stats bum me out, but I won't because June 2013 I "ran" a total of 5.3 miles or 8.5 km whereas I "ran" the 18 miles in July. A vast improvement and I'm on the right track to even better than. It might be hard to beat 18 miles this August but I'm hoping that if I can run at least 18 miles then I beat August 2012's 15.8 mi or 25.4 km, without really trying. 

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August Motivation ~ Yoga - Running -Tournaments -Cider - Dips, Burgers, BBQ - Make Up -In Pictures -With Music -

01 August 2013

August Motivation - Yoga

So now that I'm on a motivational upswing and it's the first of August I'm going to try my best to find ways not to fall into a sink hole of despair and hopelessness. A bit dramatic, but you get the idea. My strategy to achieve this is to talk about the goals that I happened to work on without too much intention instead of dwelling on the lack of success on my last group of intended goals.

Attend 15 Classes
I mentioned in yesterday's post that one of the positive experiences in my life over the last year is having met my yoga instructor, Natalie Coleman. I know very little about yoga, so when I attended her class for the first time I didn't know what to expect. I mean, I had researched other yoga studios and instructors but a lot of them were "Hot Yoga" or "Hatha Yoga". Hot Yoga and it's disease infested studios don't appeal to me and Hatha Yoga is a bit too slow for what I want. But I've always been aware of the benefits of Yoga and I was hoping that when I attended my first class with Natalie it would be what I was looking for.

And it was! So much so that I got back about once a week, stuck between all the Taekwon-Do training and have wracked up 11 out of the 15 classes I was aiming on completing sometime next year.

I'll give myself a pat on the back for doing better than I thought.

30 Days of Yoga
Because of the positive impact I've gotten from getting back into regular yoga classes and practice I feel like I'm ready to do this challenge in the next couple months. I may or may not start this challenge on the first day of a month, but kind of more when I'm ready to do this challenge. Obviously it won't be in August, but then, halfway through I might change my mind.

What is 30 Days of Yoga? It's a challenge, mostly personal, whereby you practice yoga everyday for 30 days straight. Apparently it takes 30 repetitions to make a habit, so it might as well be a good one.

There are more organized and official 30 days of Yoga challenges like the one from Do You Yoga and Daily Cup of Yoga. So if anybody wants to set up a challenge me, I accept! Just let me know.

- - -

August Motivation ~ Yoga - Running -Tournaments -Cider - Dips, Burgers, BBQ - Make Up -In Pictures -With Music -

31 July 2013

Taking August Off Pt 3

This week I've covered the job situation and the career situation, today is my "I'm going to bitch about the shitty things in my life" day.

I don't really want to though.


Sure, I'm not eligible to get a visa of indefinite leave or my British Citizenship (although, everyone thinks I'm entitled to because I'm married to a British Citizen but there is no supporting evidence for this anywhere) for another four years. Sure I don't have a start date for my job and am still broke. Sure I can't join the army and be bad ass. But I have my husband. I have Taekwon-Do. I have writing. I have my family. I have my old and new friends.

These don't make up for having a lack of fulfilling career at the moment, I do have to remind myself that life is not all bad and as the saying goes:

It's easy for me to fall into the hole of "I wasted my time getting my nursing degree and being separated from my husband and now I can't even do anything." instead of thinking "Look at all the opportunities you've been given." The husband cat has been pretty awesome and supportive anything I have wanted to do, which should be a given but not many couples experience (in my experience). I have a great coach who has not only helped me start competing again, but has included me into the British Army TKD training where I have met some great people. He is even trying to open the door where I may have a chance of training with Warren Vice, who holds all sorts of National and International Titles. I have stumbled onto a Yoga instructor, Natalie Coleman, who is the most calm and even tempered person I have ever met. I have been given the opportunity to have more time to write (with varying results) and to travel (also with varying results).

So, back to this whole "Taking August Off" thing. I'm going to blog as regularly as I can and keep going with some of the unfinished goals I set out in the first half of the year. I'll give myself until September before I start breaking out a new set of goals. Hopefully (fingers crossed) I will start work next month and a lot of the pressure I'm putting on myself can be eased.

- - -

Taking August Off - Part One - Part Two

- - -

Also, for those who don't know who Warren Vice is, he's the dude in the black and gold dobok. Don't worry, I just learned who he was a couple months ago.

30 July 2013

Taking August Off Pt 2

So yesterday I complained about my job situation, today I'm going to whine about my career. Be warned, it's dismal.

In fact, it is non-existent.Without a job it is dismally non-existent.

Sad cat is sad.
I know the difference between having a job and having a career, and you don't need to be employed by someone else to have a career. But when you've always seen yourself as a nurse working in a hospital or in a clinic it's hard to change your definition of a successful career. I know I have options of pursuing self-employment as a nurse, but I dont' feel like I have the expertise, knowledge, or experience to do that. I also feel like I need about ten to fifteen years more experience before I pursue a masters or PhD in nursing, if that's something that I still want to do in ten or fifteen years.

Last year, around this time, I had a notion that I wanted to join the British Army as nurse to see if that could reignite my love for nursing. I've had some experiences since nursing school that have left me scratching my head wondering, "Do I really want to do this for the next 35 years of my life?" and coming up with the answer of "No" every time. This time last year, I would have been able to join the army no problem, but as a nurse I was waiting for my registration to come through.

When I finally got my Nursing PIN I went straight to the recruiting office. My first recruiter conversations was "Have I considered becoming a chef or a Signaller?" went they told me I needed to be a UK resident for 5 years before I became a Nursing Officer. My second was "You can be Nurse Soldier." The third was "The rules have changed and nobody knew it was happening so you need your British citizenship or a visa of indefinite leave to remain. Even though you're part of the Commonwealth." Neither visa or citizenship is within my grasp for the next five years.

This is the kind of cat I wanted to be.
I only recently got the news about the rule change and being ineligible for service in the army and I'm still in the depths of disappointment. I had my heart set on it because I feel like it was my last chance to make something positive out of my nursing degree and you know, to join the Taekwon-Do team. With my non-existent start date for my job on a stroke rehab unit I just really want to throw the towel in with nursing and do something else. Not that that is totally financially feasible at the moment, but I was also reminded that my biological clock is running out and having a career change at 33 (when it will likely be financially feasible), which according to The Guardian is a typical age for a lot of people to start making the change, will be difficult when I start having a family.


Yesterday's blog post made me feel better, today's blog post makes me want to drink a lot of red wine. While you and I are talking over this bottle of wine, please share with me the best career or life advice you've ever received. 

- - -

Taking August Off - Part One - Part Three

29 July 2013

Taking August Off Pt 1

Yes, I'm taking August off.

Not in the "I'm going to stop exercising" or "I'm going to stop blogging." or "I'm going to stop writing" sort of way. More like, "I'm not going to set any new goals for myself" sort of way. Busy being relative, but it's been a busy couple of months. Not busy as in "I don't have enough hours in the day" but busy being "mentally drained" and I need to recover.There have been a few life things that have left me a motivational sink hole, particularly pertaining to my job, career, and residency.

About sums it up.

Not that I want to detract from my successes in the last year, but after a year off work I'd like to start again. I had an interview at the beginning of May for a "Bank Nurse" position on a stroke rehab unit. This doesnt' resemble anything close to my idea of dream job, but I knew it was a place to start to gain experience and confidence for that dream job. Beginning of June I finally received more paperwork to fill out to start said job and it was completed promptly. Following completion I was given the impression that I potentially could have started working middle of June. Huzzah!

June came and went and I heard nothing positive. First, that I wasn't going to be starting, and second, my employers were still waiting on my references in Canada to come back. I heard this over and over again until about ten days ago when I called and a relatively new employee to the HR department told me my employer requires me to have up four years worth of references and I had given them only two: I missing years 2009 and from August 2012 to August 2013. I sighed at first, then wanted to bash my head against that desk, and then I wanted to bash the head of HR's head against a desk. It's one of those frustrating, bureaucratic, red tape moments where you want to throw a tantrum down the phone asking, "Why the EFF couldn't someone have told me this in JUNE?"


But! I kept my temper in check and thanked the woman for informing of this good news. I have since been chasing up people to be my references here in the UK and back in Canada. If there's one good thing about Facebook it's that you can keep in touch with people on a fairly low basis of commitment and I had a few former coworkers agree to write me a couple of references.

While I try to stay positive and patient throughout this prolonged period of transition, I feel like it's a good time to have a good complaining session. If you're going through something fraught with red tape and poor communication, leave me a comment. It's good to get things off your chest once in a while.

- - - 

Taking August Off: Part Two - Part Three

28 July 2013

Missed the Solstice Pt 4


10. Read two more books.
In my Week 5 update I had mentioned I finished reading three books by Jane Austen, "Emma", "Northanger Abbey", and "Persuasion". I have also re-read "The Eye of the World" and "The Great Hunt" by Robert Jordon. I probably could have gotten away with just saying "read" because I don't really remember what happened in the books the first time I read them about 14 years ago.

Oh look, new covers too!

Don't I sound old.

Don't answer that.

Still, keeping track of all my books, those read and unread, via GoodReads.

11. Write 2 more chapters for Elisa's Thoughts.
Sadly, I have only posted one chapter update from the chapters I wrote for the previous group of goals and not written any more chapters... I seriously need to hunker down and finish this. Not that I'm solely motivated by this, but now that people are leaving nice reviews I feel some extra motivation to keep going with this.

I will finish this project.

Also, I made a playlist on my YouTube channel using the songs that inspire me throughout the project.

12. GoodReads Widget
Complete April 6, 2013

27 July 2013

Missed the Solstice Pt 3


7. Post five chapters of #KK
See Part 2 for more on this...

8. Get tickets to see Tegan & Sara.
Originally my plan was to see them in Manchester, but when the tickets sold out and Susi M could come visit me we saw them in London at The Troxy. A single, solitary picture can be found here of my experience.

9. Visit four more English Heritage Sites.
No change from the last update in Week 5 about these sights. I did manage to see Windsor Castle, although not part of the English Heritage collective.

- - -

It's a short and to the point blog post, I know. Summer simply doesn't inspire indoor work for me.

- - -

Part One - Part Two - Part Four

12 July 2013

Missed the Solstice Pt 2


3. Novel outline for Hashtag Kissing Katie
Several months ago Stephanie Pawley challenged me to a novel challenge, to blog one chapter a week (or at least a 500 word snipped of a chapter written) for the past three months.

It happened for neither of us, sadly.

Other life events and obligations just ended up taking priority over starting a new project. I'm not as stressed or worried about not finishing this project (it barely got a start, to be fair) for various reasons, mostly because I enjoyed what I did when I didn't get around to writing, and I have a number of other projects I really have my heart set on finishing.

4. Run twice a week.
In my Week 5 update for this 12 Week Challenge I mentioned that running wasn't happening. I was just walking. It was improvement from a previous running update as I thought I'd have to scrap it entirely but the Walk to Run programme I had started also wasn't going according to plan. I was still getting an intense pain in my knee.

After Week 5 my TKD instructor referred me to an osteopath that he used and since then I've had great success with the walk to run programme. The husband cat has also been a great support, "running" next to me as I go through my walk to run programme. I know it's not very challenging for him but it's nice to have someone with you to talk to during the walking bit.

5. Take a multivitamin daily.
I started off really well with this and then at the halfway mark somehow fell off the wagon. For whatever reason I got in my head that swallowing a single multivitamin (and occasionally an iron tablet) was a pain in the ass and my good track record deteriorated. Rapidly.

I'm back on track again since I bought a bottle of chewable tablets. 

They're tasty!

6. Get my blue belt in Tae Kwon Do.
My grading occurred before the Solstice so this goal is technically complete. I found about a week after the Solstice whether or not I passed.

A level pass? Shocking. I messed up pretty badly on the theory. But I'll take it.  
 - - -

Missed the Solstice Part One - Part Three - Part Four

11 July 2013

Missed the Solstice Pt 1

I am very acutely aware that the Summer Solstice was more or less three weeks ago. I've looked at my 12 Things in 12 Weeks until Summer Soltice list and posts a number of times, also aware I didn't get 80% of my goals accomplished... But it doesn't feel right to leave that group of goals without a final wrap up/reflection post before going on to the next set of goals.

So here is the final 12 Things post:

1. Complete the A to Z Challenge


2. Get my UK's Driver's license.
Well, let me tell you the hassle surrounding this goal. So you have one year from the date of your intention to stay in the UK to get your UK license. Until then you can drive on a "foreign" license. You can trade in a Canadian license for a UK before the year is up, but then you don't have a Canadian license anymore. But this is only handy if you took your test on a manual/standard vehicle in Canada, otherwise you can only become licensed in the UK to drive automatic vehicles.

So, over 10 years ago I took my driver's test in Canada on an automatic vehicle as that was my only option at the time. Since then I have only had a manual/standard car, save for 5 months. When I was 19 or 20 I even go into a friend's automatic car when I was DD and had to ask how to work it because I forgot what to do to get it to drive.

All of that driving experience? Irrelevant.

For me to trade in my Canadian license and then get licensed on a manual/standard would be the same procedure as me getting my Provisional (Learner's) license and then do a driving test. So that's what I'm doing.

Looking cheerful, as always for official government documentation...

I took my first theory test for my license earlier this week (I know, well after the Solstice) and failed. I was a disappointed cat, but I've already booked the retest for the 24th of this month. Fingers crossed 'cause I'm running out of time!

Also, the husband cat bought a new car. I actually like this one. Reminds me of my old cars. But better.

Any body else running out of time on some of their goals? It can't just be me!

- - -

Missed the Solstice Part Two - Part Three - Part Four

07 July 2013

A Summer Update

After my YouTube upload I avoided opening up a new blog post document. I didn't avoid it outright before that: blogging just took a major back seat to everything else that was going on.There are a few reasons for this avoidance

1. Guilt - didn't keep the commitments I made with myself and others.
2. Time - The very limited time I had over this last week I spent on relaxing or hanging out with people.
3. Low Priority - As much as I wanted to make blogging, writing, and my goals a top priority, it couldn't happen. I've been sad about it some days, but I'm trying not to get hung up on it or see this as a failure: just a re prioritization.

Events like this,
Impromptu BBQ at new foreign nursing friends house in London.
I'm not getting any money for having Fosters, Bulmers, or Heinz in
this picture, but I wouldn't say no if they ever offered me any...
Tegan & Sara at The Troxy in London with Susi M.
The Killers at Wembley Stadium with Kristy D.

Thanks Tickets4Troops!
GTI National Championships in Cheltenham

My coach and assistant coach duking it out...
 And this:
Canada Day in Trafalgar Square after my husband came
home early and unexpectedly.

Thanks Mom for sending those shirts!

I have six days of training left until I compete in the World Tae Kwon Do tournament in Coventry so I may or may not have an update between now and then. I will be more on Twitter though: 140 characters at one time is all I can manage presently but I'm hoping everybody else is having a good summer. For those in the UK and experiencing a heat wave, are you trying to keep cool or relishing the warmth?

29 June 2013

First UK Anniversary

Just in case you thought I was fibbing with my last post... I am alive and I apologize for the "how evers" in the vlog...

07 May 2013

Silchester Roman Amphitheatre & Walls

My mom has had a long standing obsession with Rome, Romans, and the Roman Empire. So when the opportunity to see another English Heritage site that was linked to the Romans presented itself, we took it.

I had no idea where Silchester was or how small it was, but sneeze and you could miss it. Even the road trip there was a little mind boggling with all the country roads you had to take to get there. And I hate taking country roads in the UK: what should be room enough for only one vehicle in Canada, the British manage to squeeze two moving vehicles in opposite directions.

Yep, I totally could have been a gladiator.

Being in the Amphitheatre was far more surreal than a lot of the other English Heritage sites I had visited thus far. Stonehenge was amazing, but because you couldn't get close enough the height and breadth of the monument couldn't really be felt. Old Sarum wasn't as old and neither was Farnham Castle.

It was just the foundation that was uncovered, but standing in the middle of the theatre it wasn't hard to use my imagination to see it built up around me. I say only jokingly that I could have been a Gladiator, but standing in the middle of the circle was quite intimidating: it felt so much larger and the sound would have been amplified.

I say that with some confidence because my mom and I were standing some distance apart and we were talking to each other at a normal volume and could hear each other clearly. Moving further away, we could still hear each other clearly and at the same volume. I could just imagine how the sound of a crowd of 3000 would have carried and either terrified or motivated a Gladiator.

Interestingly, there were no signs for the walls, so my mom and I had to ask a few other tourists if they knew where these walls were. They did, we found them, and as per typical English style, just part of a farm yard. I wonder if the farmer every stands next to these walls, still fifteen feet up, and comprehends that they were built thousands of years ago.

One thousand nine-hundred thirty years to be more precise. Thanks Wikipedia.

Where have you been that has made you stop in your tracks because it felt so surreal or awe-inspiring?

06 May 2013

12 Things in 12 Weeks - Week 5

Apparently it's a long weekend in the UK. May Day or something. And then there's a second long weekend at the end of the month, which I'm more accustomed to, Queen Victoria Day? I'll probably still refer to it as "May Long". What I don't understand is why the UK hasn't spread out their long weekends over the summer, you know, when people actually want the time off?

The only pleasant part about a long weekend is that even though I'm staying home, by myself because my husband is gone for three months, is that the neighbours next door have left so I haven't heard them scold their children too often.

Yes, the walls are that thin.

1) Complete the A to Z Challenge


2) UK Driver's License

I applied for and got my Provisional License, the equivalent of a Learner's License in Canada. I seriously feel like I'm a teenager again.

I'm giving myself ten days to study the manual and then apply for the written test before I pay for a couple of driving lessons, then subsequently the driving test. Hopefully I can pull this off before my International License expires!

That ragged piece of paper? Yes, that is my actual IDP.

3) Novel outline for Hashtag Kissing Katie.

Ehm... yeah.

4) Run twice a week.

I'm not "running" per se, just really fast walking. I'm covering the distances I normally would have when I was able to run. Firstly, to keep up my leg strength and endurance, although nothing rivals running. Secondly to get my feet and legs accustomed to my newly adjusted orthotic insoles.

My legs do nothing but ache presently.

(As an aside, I've been using the Nike+Running app  to keep track of my "running". I'm there as The Capillary if anybody would like to be friends there.)

5) Take a multi-vitamin daily.

I've been very inconsistent this week. But today is the start of a new day!

6) TKD blue belt grading.

There is a grading in June. I'm waffling about this now, but I still have five or six weeks to prepare. Totally doable.

7) Post 5 chapters of #KK

See 3)

8) Tegan & Sara

Tickets? Check. Flights booked? Check. Counting down the days until June 11? Check.

(That would be 36 days if you're counting like me...)

9) Visit 4 more English Heritage Sites.

1. Farnham Castle Keep
2. Waverly Abbey
3. Silchester Roman Amphitheatre & Walls
4. ???

10) Read 2 more books

As I've mentioned before, I'm keeping track of my book goals via Good Reads. But I will mention that I have finished reading three books, all by Jane Austen. "Emma", "Northanger Abbey", and "Persuasion".

11) Write and post 2 more Chapters for Elisa's Thoughts.

[Shifty look...]

12) Goodreads Widget

With two tournaments coming up this month on top of everything else, I feel a bit daunted. But I have my long and short term goals in mind, I just need to focus on the day to day tasks and not let myself get overwhelmed.

I feel ready for a vacation already. Anybody else? Sun, sand, and sea? 

04 May 2013

MFP Updates and Others

Instead of providing a bombardment of completed goals tomorrow, I'll split up the posts into the 12 Things in 12 Weeks Until Summer Solstice and the rest here.

1) Update my profile on MyFitnessPal 

Went from Project Fat Boy to The Tae Kwon Do Cat. 

2) Link my social media on MyFitnessPal
Kind of ties into the above, I realize, but MFP is not set up to connect with social media like YouTube or even Blogger is. You can sync Twitter and FB so whatever you update on MFP will update on the aforementioned. I would have loved to put up little buttons or something, but I'll have to be satisfied with just putting up the links.

3) I have registered for the Welch Championships and CIMAC Open Kickboxing Tournament.
New goals not listed on my Master List. The opportunity to go to both has come up for this month and I decided to take it. My fitness still isn't where it should or could be because of my lack of running, but I'm going to worry more about that after the tournaments are finished.


4) Purchase Gold Shoes.
Best purchase for the summer IMHO.

Indeed it was in a thrift shop and look to be worn only a handful of times. Granted they're only "BOBS" and not official and authentic "TOMS", however, they were 3 pounds. I believe Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have said it best:

5) Add a picture to "About Me"
Don't look at me like that. I know it took a long time. I just wanted to get a good one, you know?

Well, a half decent one anyway.

6) Lastly, it's my mom's 60th birthday today. Sadly, I can't be in Canada to celebrate, but here's to wishing her a happy birthday and a happy celebration.

03 May 2013

I'd Be Safe

In the same vein as yesterday's post about Farnham Castle Keep, I present another English Heritage site that my mom and I visited last month as part of my 12 Things in 12 Weeks Until Summer Solstice.

Waverly Abbey was just outside of Farnham, but the bus was taken as the car was in the shop for most of the day in Farnham. There's no actual bus stop, you just have to tell the bus driver on that route that you want to stop there. The interesting bit is when you'd like to get back: you stand on the side of the street and you keep your fingers crossed that the bus on the way back stops for you.

He did, naturally, or else I would be telling you a very different story right now.

The Ruins: it was hard to get a good picture because the Abbey was
quite large and spread out.

Waverly House was across the river, so the mom cat was like "It
looks like Downton Abbey! Lets open the gate that says 'no
trespassing' to get a better picture." And people wonder where
I get it from...

In its hey day.

Most intact part of the ruins.

Crazy vaulted ceilings. They had to carry so much weight.

Where they ate.

A lot of monks ate here.
That tree is growing exactly on the corner of the foundation of the
cathedral. I think there's something symbolic about that.

The whole time I was there I kept thinking of the movies and TV series "Highlander" and that if I was an Immortal, I'd totally be safe because this was Holy Ground.

Anybody else know what I'm talking about?