I have put together an alternative outline for my book-in-progress, though whether I can make it work, I am not sure. I have also been playing around with some genealogy, researching the families of my adoptive grandparents. I started to do this a few years ago but didn't write much down, so I am effectively starting from scratch. Yesterday evening was Zoom band practice, and I am nearly through my book about a World War I hospital in London that was run entirely by women. All in all quite a productive few days, though I still keep complaining that there isn't enough time in the day to do everything I want to do.
Thursday, 21 January 2021
Monday, 18 January 2021
Sunday, 17 January 2021
Rest, renew and restore ... that was the name of tonight's yoga class, but also sums up this weekend. I caught up on sleep - a blissful nine hours each night - and I will be starting work tomorrow feeling much more ready for a run of busy days than I did last week. I am now eight days into my 21 day yoga challenge and loving it. The classes are varied, and today's restful class was a lovely way to end the weekend, including 30 minutes of yoga "sleep".
As well as resting and relaxing I did a bit more research and writing. It still surprises me how often a bit of judicious digging through Ancestry, the newspaper archive and other oddments on the internet throws up answers to questions. I have no idea yet of what this attempt at a book will look like. I am working on a draft which is just a chronological account of the lives of the women I am researching, but I feel that there will be a more interesting and readable way to tackle it once I have got the outline of the story down. My current plan is just to work through to the end of the chronological draft, read through it a couple of times and see what better plan, if any, jumps out at me. Goodness knows how long it will take even to get to that stage. I am still only on Chapter 3 of what my current outline expects to be 12 chapters, and while I am still working two paid part-time jobs it isn't going to progress very fast. I also have another writing project I should be working on which has been sadly ignored - one which I know will actually be published when it is eventually finished it as it is for the local historical society. I may be doing things badly out of order, but I am hopelessly distracted by my Edwardian ladies and their war time adventures.
Friday, 15 January 2021
Wednesday, 13 January 2021
Talking of medical things, H phoned 111 this morning and was given a list of dentists to phone. She spoke to one and has been given an appointment with a local dentist next week, but the jaw pain seems to be easing a bit. M went out to M & S Food to pick up a pair of pyjamas he had ordered online - our store is food only, but they also operate a free click and collect service for other M & S products, which is very handy. I asked him to look for a pot plant while he was there to replace the large poinsettia we bought a few weeks ago which was dying. After showing me all the plants by FaceTime and much discussion, we ended up with a very small cyclamen that looked lost in the living room so has gone to live on the kitchen windowsill instead. He also had video chats with friends at lunchtime and again in the late afternoon. TG had Zoom dance and I had Zoom band this evening. After three days of yoga which was quite tough today's is a gentle wind down session, which I plan to do before going to bed. All in all a comfortably routine sort of day.
Tuesday, 12 January 2021
- Regular yoga is good, even when it hurts.
- Working in pyjamas is bad.
- Not taking breaks is bad.
- Exercise to wind down after finishing work is good.
Sunday, 10 January 2021
I like the idea of picking a word at the beginning of the year as a focus for changes I need to make. It is less specific than new year resolutions, more of a guideline than an instruction. I don't by any means do this every year; even when I do I may forget about it by the end of January, but I still like the idea. Last year I decided my word would be Rest. I felt over-tired and over-stretched and, well ... in need of a rest! Let's just say I got rather more than I bargained for, between a nasty non-Covid virus (I got ill on 1st January, so too early for Covid), a long post-viral recovery, and the pandemic. There was far more Rest in 2020 than there had been in several previous years put together. Unfortunately, despite the amount of rest, the virus I had means my energy levels still feel lower than they should be and tend to wilt quickly if I overdo things.
I have decided that this year's word is going to be Slow. It popped into my head unbidden and after a bit of pondering I realised it had a lot to teach me ...
- Pace myself - take things more slowly so that I don't drain my energy levels. This includes getting plenty of sleep.
- Don't rush - I am a terrible time manager. I waste time, and then end up chasing my tail. It is stressful for both myself and the rest of the family. It also works the other way - my competitive streak (vs myself!) kicks in and I try to do things quickly just for the fun of it, but then I run out of steam and end up getting less done. The story of the tortoise and the hare has a lot to teach me. Instead of rushing, I want to take things slowly.
- Take time to savour the little things - slowing down gives time to be more aware and appreciative of the good things in life.
- Accept that for at least the first part of the year life will have a naturally slower pace, and treat this as a positive rather than a negative.
After talking about going more slowly and pacing myself, today had been very active! I started the 21 days of yoga challenge with a one hour live online class at 9 this morning. I am out of practice and out of condition, and it has left me feeling tired for the rest of the day, though not too tired to do some other physical things. Later in the morning we took down the tree and Christmas decorations, then M and I went for a short walk in the afternoon. According to my Watch I burned over 800 active calories today. I was glad that H cooked dinner, which tasted as good as it looked.
I am seven stripes in to my crocheted blanket. The photo was taken in the evening with electric light, and it looks a little darker and more yellow than it does in real life. The Meadow blanket is inspired by the colours of a wild flower meadow in spring, with slightly muted yellows, mauves, pinks and greens, and with blues for the sky. There is a "colour story" version with the flower and grass colours at the bottom merging gradually into the sky colours at the top, but I am making a mixed stripe version with the colours more randomly distributed. As well as making progress with the crochet I have made a good start on my third book of the year, an autobiographical account of life as the doctor on a remote Scottish island in the Orkneys. I have a longing to visit both Orkney and Shetland when travel becomes possible again. For some reason I am feeling very much drawn to the north and my travel wishlist also includes Finland, Norway and Iceland. I would love to make it up to the Arctic Circle!