9th January

Just a walk across the Thames today. Beautiful sunset.

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Jan 8th

Bikram yoga. Although I was shattered afterwards, I am not the sore-muscle-wreck I had expected to be this morning. Whoop. I’ve been practising this form of yoga on and off for a few years, and sometimes I’ll go just to lie in a really hot room (that isn’t a sauna).

The real bonus was the brief period of glorious but weak January sunshine to greet me at the end of class! apologies for the pic, I couldn’t really get one that didn’t look like we weren’t having a solar eclipse.

any hoo

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7th January

I’m beginning to think the most difficult bit of Janathon will be finding a picture to post every day. I mean, what the hell am I going to post when I go to Yoga tomorrow? The camera on my iPhone is not great so I can’t take any macro shots and its awful at long distance. I looked like a nutter for 10 minutes trying to take a picture of a single yellow bloom on a gorse bush.

Fortunately for everyone, this little piece of social commentary presented itself right at the end of my run.

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5th Jan

Last day of Christmas. Boo. For a fitting end to the 12 days, my sister and I attended a performance of The Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House. Although the seats were stratospheric, it was impressive (and yes, for all you ballet heads out there, I know The Nutcracker is dull, godawful, tacky, blah but I LIKED IT).

I had a nightmare getting in because Transport for London had decreed that there should be No Transport in West London, and as a result I arrived after curtain up but they found me a dark corner on the balcony from which to watch the 1st act. 

Here’s the view from my favourite bridge as we walked to the Southbank for a very late lunch

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Then a lovely wander around the city in the quiet evening, 

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discovering lovely little alleys

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and hidden churches…and some not so hidden…

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Finally ending up in Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, which has been on its current premises since 1667, and still serves nice beer, has a fireplace and sawdust on the floor. 

Soz about the small photos – not sure why this is happening. 

January 4th

A short whizzer of a run, this.

Considering there was a 6 mile hike yesterday, my hip is complaining a little and I’m only 4 days into 31 days of consecutive exercise it seemed best to take it easy. And I got up late. Even including the time taken to do the photo, I was back indoors within 12 minutes.

Although a hard, balls-out, lung-busting threshold run can blow the cobwebs away, I’m not sure its one of my favourite things to do. Its firmly in the ‘this is only good when it stops’ category, along with intervals and hill training. Not sure I have a preference either.

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PS after a Friday night out, I can confirm that St. Austell’s Tribute is still one of my favourite ales, The Balham Bowling Club is a rather lovely place and Jack Reacher is a RUBBISH film. Remind me never to buy a book.

 

January 3rd

A hike!

After a little discussion, we drove to the Dunstable Downs. I had simply no idea there were Downs in Dunstable. Thought they were only in the South and Yorkshire.

Anyway, after 2.5 hours of this:

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We ended up with a view like this:

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along the Icknield Way, apparently one of the UK’s oldest known routes (approx 2000 years they said). It was windswept and muddy, and full of farmyard animals that’s for sure. But it was also rather beautiful.

We took the circular Whipsnade Route, taking you through Whipsnade and the Whipsnade Tree Cathedral. Built in 1931, its probably at its best when the trees actually have green on them – which was not today! The whole route was very clearly signposted, although it contains a few redundant stiles and kissing gates. Should you come across these, don’t feel obliged to walk through them, unlike some in our party today…

 

January 2nd

A so-so kind of day. Still keeping all serious work at arm’s length.

This was a fairly routine little stretch out, with very little opportunity for pretty vistas.

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Happy ninth day of Christmas!

New Year’s Day 2013

Well, here I am.

Attempting to stick to Janathon very quietly. I havn’t told anyone, as I don’t want to look a fool when I can’t manage it. Self-employed musicians often have to drop everything at the drop of a hat, and can end up working for hours on end in a tiny studio or running between rehearsals and/or gigs if it’s a good month. So, we’ll see how it goes.

Why? After a year of ill-health and endless hospital outpatient, scans, pokes and appointments it is time to look after myself. Nothing serious, and I am still a spring chicken in the grand scheme of things. However, I am sufficiently old enough to be at a stage where things Start To Go Wrong. Cholesterol, Blood Pressure, Heart Disease blah. Don’t want to be dealing with that shade of nonsense in my fifties and sixties. So, why not just try a little harder at being nicer to my body?

I’m certainly not giving up booze, cake, butter or red meat. Long ago I learnt that resolutions need to be positive, not negative. So I will just eat more fruit and veg. Drink more water. Exercise a little more. See my friends more. Sleep more. Knit more (more on that hopefully in future). Talk to new people a bit more. Read a little more. Go to the Theatre more. All of which will hopefully improve my stress levels and my general sense of well-being as well as improve my health, and possibly the well-being of the people around me…

So in the spirit of all things Janathon, here is the picture from Today’s walk. A little ramble around Greenwich Park at Sunset (got up at 1pm) with Canadian Boy. Cold, but pretty.

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GET ME!!!!

I’ve actually managed to finish a few things:

A Hemlock Ring Blanket:

Rowanspun chunky

A February Baby Sweater (rav link) (and if you don’t know what ravelry is, you and I clearly have nothing in common)

Rowan All Seasons Cotton

Rowan All Seasons Cotton

and Another:

Rowan Wool Cotton

A Baby Shedir

James C Brett merino DK

AND

a Grr!

Sirdar Cotton DK

Do you know why? I would love to join next year’s sock club at socktopus but after having to go through the trauma of a recent move I discovered that I have waaaaaaaay too much yarn to justify that. It is almost entirely Rowan brand as I only recently discovered the joy of hand-painted yarn. In fact, I have so much of Rowan’s back catalogue it is now listed as a separate item on my contents insurance, along with my laptop, my PA and woodwinds! So, dear reader, I have joined the ravelry group stash knitdown of 2009 and will be knitting my way out of my little treasure trove and into a wardrobe of new socks for my little tootsies.

Now what next? My Hexagon Blanket is continuing, now that I’ve decided to graft-as-I-go. But that is long-term, heirloom knitting. Soo, I have started on my own FLS or February Lady Sweater, based on Mrs Zimmermann’s famous baby jacket as above. I’m doing mine in an old stash of rowan summer tweed – I discovered 13 skeins of the stuff. Jeez.

Based on previous performance, my usual tendency is to start many and finish none, but that seems to have changed recently. Am I growing up? Improving? Getting less manic? More Boring? Never….. Tune in next week Bat Fans, same Bat Time, same BAT CHANNEL!