Tuesday, 16 July 2013

The sun will come out...today!

Wow, the weather is awesome in Lincolnshire. It is so wonderful to have breaks outside in the sun. The last few days have been so lovely - lots of writing (3500 words yesterday!), reading and chilling. I love the summers. They are always hard work as I try to cram lots of research projects in to them but I really appreciate being able to organise my own time.

After finishing Insanity I had two weeks of rest, just doing whatever exercise I fancied whether that was going for a run, lifting some weights or playing with Punchie (my resident punchbag in the garage). I really feel I've rested my muscles and am ready for a new fitness challenge. So yesterday I started Georges St Pierre's Rushfit, an MMA style workout schedule that uses DVDs like Insanity. It is far more about technique than Insanity which is, when it comes down to it, just about exhausting yourself in a variety of painful ways. I enjoyed the first workout and reckon I'll get better as we go on. It uses proper weights which I don't normally do. Pretty excited about it. Plus cardio is left entirely up to you so I can do whatever I feel like.

Last week I used the gym at the University of Essex as I was down there for a conference. Gym rated highly, conference slightly less highly although i did get to hear the best (no really) plenary ever from Rosi Braidotti. She was so inspiring!

I arrived back to find the Scottish side of the family who were taking their summer holidays with us. It was so great to see them; we do some proper laughing when we get together. When my in-laws left I found lots of goodies all over the house - sweeties, crisps, chocolate. It was like a jolly treasure hunt!

Anyways, after being chained to my desk almost all day, I am going to take half an hour with D who has arrived home from work early for a change. A cup of tea is already waiting for me.

Enjoy the sun y'all

Friday, 5 July 2013

A busy summer!

You know when you look at your diary and get a bit overwhelmed by it? Erm...yes... My summer is pretty crazy this year. Fortunately it is all wonderfully happy from a week with a kid's camp in Germany (a good test for my Deutsch) to multiple conferences to a wee run up to Edinburgh, to a trip to Sri Lanka to longs days of writing in my lovely Lincolnshire pad. It all feels so good and really, really full! Looking forward to the mixture of work and play - lots of adventures, scholarly, linguistically and culturally. With Bruce singing in the background it's time to fill you in on the week.

Well this week I received good news about a funding bid, became a mentor for the Higher Education Academy at Lincoln, read some mad plays by Alexandr Blok (in English), watched some new Bruce DVDs (present from D even though it has clearly just been his birthday!), watched a rather terrific play about The Ashes (that's the cricket tournament for any American readers), rewatched Reel Steel while doing a heap of ironing, chatted with the ducklings (who are basically ducks now) and done lots and lots of writing. And (probably biggest news of all) I've finished my Insanity fitness programme. Pretty proud of myself actually. It was really tough but great fun. Definitely feel fitter and stronger. Today I went for a run and smashed through my 5K record. Go me! For the next few weeks I'm just going to enjoy wee fitness challenges (like some new weights work, new yoga moves and some great runs) and then I'm on to Rushfit, Georges St Pierre's fitness programme. Can't wait. Reckon I'll do some Insanity workouts too as I'm going to miss ol' Shaun T in my world. Feeling fit and healthy is a super blessing. Probably just eaten a spoon too much frozen yogurt but we'll let that go.

We have a relatively quiet weekend in store. I'm riding tomorrow before going to a joint 40th birthday party. All their buddies have cooked a chilli and are taking it along so my kitchen currently smells of beef...lots of beef. Sunday is super quiet. LEC in the morning before sitting out in the sun and probably watching a certain tennis final. D has done his Nottingham commute 11 days out of 12 so he is looking forward to not getting the train! Next week is the British Comparative Literature Conference in Colchester and the Scottish side of the fam are coming to stay. Big Dave, if you are reading this, you have to leave all the washing up for when I get back. We made a deal!

So, summing up, life rocks pretty good right now. I love the summer months when I can make my own schedule and get loads done. And if the sun continues to shine you'll find me with a smile on my face in my hammock with a book, the tennis and a glass of Diet Coke. Rock n' roll!