Boat trips, fans and office space…

Sometimes, I just want to blog general life stuff rather than wait on some big ol’ topic to share with you. That’s what I’m doing now! The heatwave in the UK continues, it’s blinkin’ nutty hot, for us at least, and it has turned the running into walks-and-other-things-that-won’t-actually-kill me. Odd thing is, I am looking forward to it cooling off so I can run some more! 10559828_812856685415604_597330894109233375_nI’m rocking a fan to keep cool, which works to an extent and is handy for making large gestures whilst talking, or hiding behind. On our Monday ‘Sabbath’ we headed off once more into the lovely New Forest for lunch at Buckler’s Hard, followed by a boat cruise on the Beaulieu river, with a hysterically funny guide who had a proper announcer voice. 10400875_812562615445011_3154391280619172846_n

The announcer voice so inspired Bik that he continued to narrate the rest of the day, including making me a sandwich for supper.

He is a silly man.

Last of all, this week, I am thunking thoughts about sharing an office with some pals, including Jude of Judelicious.

Honestly, despite having my gorgeous little yellow studio for art, I find that working downstairs in the main part of the house is just too full of distractions for me to get much done.

Jani needs a room of her own.

My head is literally stuffed with ideas for eCourses and new content at The Bubbling Well, so I need some time set aside – not time squished in around everything else – to get it all out and onto paper.


Time and space, of course, are closely related and not just in the world of science.  When one has a space to work in undisturbed, time suddenly expands magically and you get lots and lots done.

Running The Art House (with all my fine co-running-peeps of course) takes up a lot of time and energy, and with Bik being at home with me when I’m working, Art House stuff encroaches onto my-biz stuff.

I will be mid newsletter and be asked a question about a gig date in October.

Which leads to growling and sometimes shouting, and a loss of momentum in my typing.

Even as I type this, at The Art House, peeps are popping in to say hello (which, you know, ROCKS and all) and it means this post will take an hour instead of 30 minutes or so.

In the short term, my chum Ruth is off to Cornwall for a few weeks and I am going to use her house as a base to retreat and get some shizzle DONE!

In the long term, an office and eventually the magic pixie house at the bottom of the garden. It will look a little like this……

Well, maybe not with a shower - who knows?

Well, maybe not with a shower or privvy – who knows?

But at the moment the site looks not a lot further on from this……

Loadsa rubble....

Loadsa rubble….

Watch this space, for what happens with …. my space!

Now, I’m off downstairs to grab a cool drink and watch the magnificent Ricky Tart.

Sit down and show up: doctor’s orders update!

So, first an update on the health challenge :)  Typically of any time I try to start a fitness regime, I came down with a cold a few days later – and then a heatwave hit!

This totally counts!

This totally counts!

Nothing has gone as smoothly as planned.

Ain’t that always the way.

So, I’ve been doing the running when I can (and it’s getting so much easier, my goodness!) and making sure that if I don’t run, I do twice as much time time at something else.  Which works really well, as it happens. Exercise this past week has included repainting The Art House, wandering around Monkeyworld and dancing on a vintage steam ship.

This also counts - as does lugging all the PA equipment on board!

This also counts – as does lugging all the PA equipment on board!

I’m applying the Ramadan principle to the running.

Muslim pals of mine have explained that, during the fast, if you break the fast one day, you are allowed to tack it on the end of Ramadan.  Whilst it’s still not ideal to do this, it allows for things like willpower lapses, illness and practical obstacles to sticking with a regime. It’s the same advice I give anyone on one of my eCourses.  If you fall behind, that’s OK, just pick up and carry on – as many times as you need to.

The trick is not to give up the first time you give up!

So, if I skip a run, it goes on the end of the 8 weeks – which means I still have 7 weeks to go, now! I also skipped a ‘dry day’ and had some drinks on the ship, because, well, it was a party on a ship and there was RUM.  So, 1 August will also be a dry day now.

Not a problem!

The eating and water have been going better, though, and I’m finding that being really conscious of having 5 a day and plenty of water means I’m having less of the stuff that’s not so good for me – I’m also really enjoying getting back into juicing and green smoothies!

Sleep – well, the heat has not helped with that, but I’m getting better at insisting on a civilised bedtime on non-work nights.

When we’re working, that goes out of the window of course – but getting to watch a thunderstorm roll in across Southampton Water on Thursday night from the deck of the SS Shieldhall at gone midnight was worth a little sleep deprivation.

What I’m learning from this challenge

What the whole thing has highlighted, though, is a distinct lack of structure and routine in my life.  I mean, seriously, I can’t seem to plan anything at the same time every day, not even when it’s only three days out of seven – which is bonkers, frankly.

Runs have happened, when they have happened, at varied times.

Aside from breakfast, which isn’t always at the same time, no other part of any day is fixed.

Whilst I love change and all, I think I may have let things go too far the other way. For years, I worked a 9 – 5 type job and had a VERY structured, routine day and week.

Monday art day.

Tuesday – Friday work.

Fridays at the pub.

Saturday house clean and shopping.

Sundays long country walk followed by roast dinner at the Ma-in-Laws (still missing your roasties, Sheila!).

Now, I literally have no idea week to week what’s going to happen.

A lot is dictated by The Art House programme, which in turn is dictated by availability of crew, space and performers.

As I try to bring regular exercise and healthy eating in, I find I’m bumping against this lack of routine a lot. So, somewhere in the middle there has to be a balance, some anchor points to my days and weeks, some times which are dictating solely by ME and what I need.

I would love to hear from YOU how you balance the need for a routine with the unexpected ‘life, work and family stuff’ that comes out of the blue – do share!

Time to follow Doctor’s orders……

This post has nothing to do with creativity, not a thing.  Which makes it harder to write, as I’m WAY more comfortable talking about arty goodness than I am about.

Oh crikey.

Health and fitness.

Somebody shoot me now.

I adore my work, and because I adore my work I do it every single day, I do it early in the morning and late at night, I do it when I need to be resting, goofing off, sleeping, eating, cuddling my fella – and exercising.

So.  I shall own up.

I have overdone it, burnt the candle at both ends and treated my body like it’s a robot with a never-ending power supply and self repair mechanism.

Which it isn’t.  Obviously.

Lately, my body is rebelling by picking up colds, unsettled digestion, hayfever, crappy skin, general exhaustion and headaches – which is really slowing me down and making me feel about 100 years old.

Also, depression triggered by boredom triggered by not being able to do the things I love, crabbiness, general ennuie….

I’m coming out of the closet, so to speak, as overtired and overworked, and under nourished in every which way at the moment.

I’m coming out of the closet as ‘not perfect, not coping right now, not OK at the moment’.

I’m also totally done feeling like this. Enough says I!

I’ve decided I’m going to actually follow doctor’s standard advice for optimum health – 30 minutes proper exercise 3 times a week, 2 litres of water a day, 5 portions of fruit and veg a day and 8 hours sleep a night.

For at least 8 weeks.

And the best way to stay accountable is to record it for you, dear reader – and perhaps you’ll see something useful for yourself in my journey, who knows?

If you are as not-into-health-blogs as I am, then you can skip the ones in this category, I honestly won’t mind.  I’m kind of boring myself, already, with all this talk of sensible living!

So, day three is where I am now.

Actually, I don't think I look like that smug person in the top frame, not even when I'm fitter than I am now!

Actually, I don’t think I look like that smug person in the top frame, not even when I’m fitter than I am now!

I started a running programme on Monday – right at the beginning beginners section as it’s been so long since I did any regular exercise.  Even the beginner interval training felt stupidly hard.  I am too embarassed to say how little running I did, and it was still hard.

As I ran home (for which read:  limped, panting and red faced), past our local school, I could hear a PE teacher yelling.  It was like some awful high school flashback.

Honestly, I don’t like running much – but it’s simple (no equipment other than shoes which I already have, and I can do it from home at no cost – removing many excuses!).  I know it’s best to find an exercise you enjoy, but I really only enjoy dancing and swimming in the sea, and I can’t get to a class three times a week, and I don’t really want to turn dance into an obligation, either.  The sea here?  It’s cold except for one afternoon a year, sometime in late July.  I am not kidding!

So, unless I get my act together for some other form of 30 minute exercise, running it shall be.

I was really pleased there were no people around to see how badly I struggled on my first run.  It was quite sunny and I got really hot and just couldn’t get any kind of stride going.  It was not a pretty sight, I’m sure.

Run two is tomorrow.  

I’m using the ’5K’ runner app on my iPhone for the runs, so there’s an annoying voice (you can choose between male and female – equally annoying) telling you when to run and when to stop.

Honestly, based on my performance I can’t possibly imagine being able to run 5K in 8 weeks like they say – luckily I’ve done this before and I know it’s possible!

(I trained for the Great South Run years ago with a group of people from work – I still didn’t enjoy running by the time I could do 10 miles, but I did enjoy how good I felt!).

The food and sleep bit was much easier – I drank plenty of water and because I wasn’t working in the evenings, the good night’s sleep was easy for the last two nights.

I worked from home yesterday so eating regularly was simpler, too, although on both days I think I had more fruit than veggies, and I think it’s meant to be one or two pieces of fruit to three or four veggies, so I’ll try for that today – it’s veg box day.

Of course, as is always the case when I change to healthy living, I feel awful today.

Which may mean I’m allergic to running.  But probably doesn’t.



Disclaimer thingy

I am sharing because I want to remain accountable and I think it may help others to witness a real experience.  Please DO give me encouragement and kind wishes.  Please DO NOT give me any health, fitness or diet advice, thanks!