Thursday, 18 June 2009

Travel dreams and plans...

I'd so love to go to Machu Picchu. I've wanted to go there for years so I've made a decision to try and go there in 2011. I got as far as pricing it up and looking into it as a birthday trip a few years ago but realised I wanted to walk the Inca trail to get there and there was no way I'd manage it. (I went to Prague and got Salmonella instead... arghhhhhh!)

First up is loosing enough weight and getting fitter so I can actually do the walk without risk to my health *blush*. I think the up and down nature of the trail + 1000s of steps would finish me off at the moment. So this months challenge to myself is to up the number of steps walking I do a day! I have been aiming for the recommended 10,000 a day but have only managed it twice I think! Mostly I've been walking as normal at work and walking 35-40 mins on the way home but it means I don't always quite managed the full number so I've been doing a bit of cycling on my wee cycle machine too to try and make it up (for every 100 steps short - 1 min gentle cycling). I've also been eating more sensibly and do feel better for it all. I've also lost 5.25lb so far in June! Yipee. Hopefully this is the 1st step in my loose 7 lb for a year bit of the 101 challenge too! Next weigh in is Sunday...

I was talking to my parents about which countries/places we have all been to (inspired by SFT's country list!) and I mentioned wanting to go to Machu Picchu and they do too (especially my Mum I think) and they are threatening to come and possibly do the walk too! Not sure if I can see them doing it (they are as unfit/overweight as me and I don't see them going camping somehow... he, he, he) but it'd be lovely to be there with them even if they cheat and get the train lol!

Everything else challenge wise is plodding along and I've started a few other things on my list too. Having real trouble remembering how many XYZ I have managed though... ooops! Oh well!

PS I managed to do another random act of kindness - I gave a stranger a 12.5% off voucher for a £35 or more spend in M&S. I'd seen her trying to decide exactly which of several items to buy earlier so I gave her the voucher. She did a good impression of a goldfish when I gave her it... mouth opening and shutting and very surprised... lol! I felt so good and was smiling all day!

Film festival...

Hmmm I haven't posted yet this month - oooops! My last (attempted) post got pinged into oblivion when I hit publish post :-(

Started another thing yesterday - I went to my first ever film on the Edinburgh Film Festival "Away we go", the opening film of the festival. Sadly I missed/ was too late for/ couldn't see most of the big stars there (like Sean Connery and Alan Cummings) but saw Sam Mendes and a couple of the actors as they introduced the film. :-) The film itself was very good and had a nice mix of very, very funny and more poigniant moments. Its about a couple who find out they are going to have a baby and can't decide where to bring it up so go on a road trip visiting various places and friends/family. Definitely worth a watch - I think its out properly in September.

I'm also off to see "The private lives of Pippa Lee" tonight along with 3 others over the next week! :-) Should be fun - I don't think I've been to the cinema so much in my life! I think I was ~5 films in total last year but I'm resoundingly in double figures this year so far! Hmmmm... actually I'll be getting close to double figures this month, he he he. I've been to see quite a few film previews through seefilmfirst /tellten (so free) too and there have been some really good films recently. I saw "Sunshine cleaning " on Sunday - worth a watch too.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Well, I certainly am working through the going to the cinema part of my challenge... I went to see Star trek about 10 days ago - absolutely great and (rather unexpectedly) quite funny in places. I would definitely like to see this again! :-)

I got a preview ticket to go see "Anything for Her" (also known as "Poue elle") last night. Its fair to say it wasn't quite what I expected but I was pleasantly surprised by it. The premise of the film is the husband (played by Vincent Lindon) trying to get his wife freed from prison. The wife (played by Diane Kruger) has been wrongfully convicted for murder and with legal means to get her out of jail exhausted, her husband hatches plans to break her out of jail. The storyline is a bit far-fetched, especially the husbands change from an ordinary person to one contemplating breaking the law to rescue a loved one but the emotional portrayal of the story is very involving and you wind up hoping for things to work out for them.

Hmmmmm whats next?

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Other things on my list!

I've made a start on quite a few on the more mundane things on my list (like taking vitamins, NSD's at work etc) so I've decided that in progress stuff will be in red.

I have to say I'm still struggling with the daily ones - some of them I have missed a couple of days already so I'll never make it to 1001/1001... oops! I think I was a bit too optimistic there! I think 75% for those would be a good target and a massive improvement!

I'm enjoying the random acts of kindness (#90) - last weeks was in the supermarket - pointing out someone there was a cheaper way of buying what they wanted... eg not buying the several multi packs of muller corner yoghurts but buying them singly instead (they were 5 for £1 or a 6pk for £2.90)!

I'm especially struggling with #10, "Record one thing a day that has made me happy." I've suffered intermittently with depression for years so really want to try and look on the bright side more (and stop being so negative a lot of the time) but its a stubbornly, difficult habit to change (hence it being on my list... lol). Saturday's was lovely though. I ended up going for a walk I hadn't planned along a river close to where I live. There were lots of lovely lilac bushes all along the path! They smelt heavenly and reminded me of my Mum :-) I had such a grin on my face! Wish I'd taken a camera...

I've also made a start on #50 "Go to the Film Festival." The city I live in holds a film festival each year and I've never been to anything in it before! So... Ticket one has been booked - "Away we go"! I hope its good! I need to decide on what else I want to see and get it booked - currently my short list involves me being in several places at the same time so that's never going to work out... lol! Decisions, decisions...

Work and PhDs...

Hmmmm well so much for posting at least once a week... oops!

Its been a busy old fortnight - lots of work stuff that has really thrown me off kilter. At one point it looked like I could have a 1st equal author paper (no 47) far sooner than I'd hoped but it wasn't to be :-( I'm still not overly happy about the decisions my boss made concerning this but whats done is done and I have no intention of being put in this situation again.

At least I got up enough courage to speak to my boss about it (without bursting into tears!) and we had a rather frank conversation about it and other issues, so changes are (hopefully!) afoot on the work front! Yippee! Hopefully this will all help towards my PhD plans. Its looking most likely that it'll have to be a part time PhD due to my degree grades, despite years of relevant experience. That would certainly complicate things, not least because I only have just over 2yrs funding and I'd probably need 6yrs worth in total. There is no guarantee we'd be able to get more funding and no guarantee it'd be on a similar enough topic to be able to use it in my PhD!

Oh well, at least if I do it part time I'll be on my current wage and I'll be able to overpay the mortgage (no 96) at a higher level than if I was doing it full time, so its not all bad :-)

Saturday, 9 May 2009

First post - Day 1!

Hello and welcome to my ramblings... :)

I've been wanting and needing to make some changes in my life and this seems like a good way to help me keep an eye on what I would love to achieve in the next few years and also to motivate myself to actually do it.

So far so good... lol! Breakfast, a short mindful meditation (3 min breathing space today), cleansing/toning and moisturising done (#2 on list) and NSD no 1... tick!

Today's "Record one thing a day that has made me happy" is finishing my 101 list. Woohoo! Its not as easy as you first think... Hopefully it also means I won't wake up at 4am tonight thinking of more things to add too so I'm doubly happy :)

Wish me luck on my journey...