Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Wonderful Wednesday #12

Brrr isn't it cold today?! -6 degrees according to my car after I'd de-iced it this morning before setting off for work. My little South-Eastern corner seems to be getting the brunt of the bad weather lately - last week we got most of the snow which made a long journey home even longer on Thursday and now everywhere else in the country seems to be experiencing heady days of 8 or 9 degrees!

Anyway, I've had my breakfast in my office.... bit of deja vu here.... and now I have to quickly tap out this week's Wonderful Wednesday post before starting on my day. 6 piles of files (so probably about 30 files) in my to-do list today.... *gulp*... Anyhoo, on with the Wonderful!

✩ Post snow-apocolypse light over London. As I mentioned, it took me almost twice as long to get home on Thursday night as it normally does, as even though I left work at 4.30 to "beat" the weather, it came down in a blizzard just as I was trying to drive out of London. When I left home on Friday morning, the snow was all laid down so lovely and fresh and white, but the roads were just so icy. 30-miles later and I'm in London, without any snow in sight! Took this picky out of my office window as it had turned into a sparkly sunny day instead; just beautiful!

✩ Honey in porridge. Another of my lovely healthy wintry breakfasts includes the deliciousness that is porridge. However, in trying to cut back on the bad stuff, I'm trying to use less milk and more water, but that means I need something to sweeten it up a little. Not wanting to use sugar or anything artificial, I've been using banana with honey, or just some honey on its own. I loves it! However, I may be a little too liberal with my honey, so I think I need some handy suggestions for lovely healthy porridge toppings.... *nudge nudge* *wink wink*

✩ Flight to Exeter. My first trip to see the boy since New Year and for the first time ever I flew down from London City Airport. I have a permit to park my car so I could leave it at work for the weekend, and all it takes is 2 minutes on the DLR and I'm practically in the airport. Left a big vanity case of toiletries at his house last time I was there (knowing I'd be relying on cabin baggage only whenever I fly there) so I printed my boarding pass at work and was through security in no time! From desk to departures lounge in 30 minutes! The airport itself was full of Suits, as was my flight - it's definitely a Thing - people heading down to their family home for the weekend from the City lights. The flight itself was just under an hour and I was getting cuddles from the Boy by 6.30! Can you imagine if I'd driven down there.... *shudder* 

✩ Fine dining. It was a milestone birthday for the Boy on Saturday and I treated him to a night away in a posh hotel local to him with dinner in their restaurant. Canapes in the lounge followed by a 5-course taster menu with each course accompanied by a flight of wine chosen for the dish, then back in the lounge for coffee. Good Lord, was it good!! We were joking earlier in the day that we'd be heading out to McDonalds afterwards (not that there is one anywhere near him), but in fact we were so full that we couldn't even manage the little after-dinner chocolates given to us with the coffee! Now, I'm usually one that chooses good pub grub over fine dining any day, but seriously, I may be a convert!     (PS The Boy liked it - said it was the best birthday he'd ever had...)

✩ Pilates - proper Pilates. After over a year of searching, I've finally, FINALLY, found a Pilates class to compete with the one I first went to 5 years ago in West London where I used to live. I do it to ease the various aches and pains I have and I panicked when I moved back over Kent-side as I had no idea where to find such a class. Anyway, I started going to one that was a kind of pilates-yoga fusion type thing with a very eccentric instructor and to begin with it was helpful, but more in a "it's better than doing nothing" type thing. Over the course of the last few months, though, it's not been helping me at all. Anyway, cut a long story short I found one, which is much more than I am used to and I cannot recommend proper Pilates enough. There should be no Downward-facing Dog in Pilates - that's my biggest tip. Anyone who gets a niggle in their joints, hips or more importantly their back - do it. Do it now!

✩ Bath time. I had my first soak in the tub for months the other night. I had some awful stomach cramps (you know what I mean girls...) and it really did the trick. I used to have this routine where I'd clean my entire flat on a Friday night (if I'd stay for a couple of beers after work then THAT would be entertaining) and get all of my washing done then, no matter what time of night it was by then, I'd have a long soak in the tub before putting on clean PJs and climbing under fresh covers on the bed. OH it was lush. It was my favourite time of the week. Wonderful.

Think that's me done for this week, and now I must get on with my Day. Tell me what's made your week Wonderful and let's spread the joy! 

See you next week! 😊

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Wonderful Wednesday #11

I completely ran out of time to prepare this week's #WonderfulWednesday post, so I'm now preparing it while I eat my breakfast in my office at work. (No, I'm not on work time yet...)

It feels like it's been a long week. I was in the office for 3 days last week so doing a full-on 5-day week this week is hard. I think that's also why I'm finding it hard to locate the Wonderful in my week just gone... However, I've tried my best...

✩ Being cosy out of the rain. I may be wrong, but it doesn't feel like we've had much rain down here in the south east so far this Autumn/Winter. In the last week, though, there have been a few days when it's been chucking it down, so it's been a nice feeling to be holed up in a restaurant, in the shops or even just at home.

✩ New Year healthy yummy breakfasts. Since the Boy moved away, I've gone back to having a longer commute to work each day. It means I get to work stupidly early to avoid being stupidly late, so I have time to properly savour my breakfast. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy even with 2 Weetabix and some melon, but now I'm on a mission to lose a few pounds, I've tried to make it healthier but still satisfying. This brings me to my new favourite - poached eggs with spinach on toast! I have a microwave egg poacher, courtesy of M&S, which makes this even possible at work where there's just a microwave and a toaster.

✩ Winter healthy yummy lunches.  It's been out with the salads and in with the soups this week! I've had my slow-cooker going making some lovely soups to keep in the fridge for my week ahead. This week, it's been a chunky minestrone-type soup. I have a little miniature desktop slow-cooker at work (I know, right?!), which I've been putting my soup portion into each morning and by lunchtime there's a lovely waft of yummy in my office and it's ready. I know, I know, I could just as easily put it in the microwave, but when I know it's all cooked up and warm, it's impossible to be tempted by the treats in the M&S Foodhall next door when I'm starving hungry...

✩ Cooking for Mum. Very much following a food-based theme this week, aren't I?! Still, we should be hibernating, so it's no surprise that I'm thinking about food all the time. I made a tasty Thai green chicken curry for my Mum on Saturday night. My Dad was always one for meat'n'two-veg, so Mum rarely got the chance to try new foods and test her taste buds on anything too spicy. I made a fairly mild curry, but couldn't resist the chillies, so I had to put almost an extra can of coconut milk into it to dampen it down... oops... Mum did have to go and get a cup of milk from the fridge part-way through, but she did enjoy it so my work was done.

✩ Seeing the number on the scales drop. I'm hoping this will feature every week, but certainly that first week after trying your hardest to be good and you lose multiple pounds is a great boost. It'll be better when I see the overall number of stones drop down into the ones below, but still, it's been a good start.

✩ Our resilience. This one is a bit of an odd one for #WonderfulWednesday, I think. My office looks out over a pathway down to the River Thames and opposite me are some buildings as old as the one I work in. I have no idea what they do in it, but there's an elderly gentleman who I see going into and out of that building most days. I rarely see anyone else going in, actually. This man has some sort of head-drop syndrome, so his chin is permanently down to his chest and he cannot lift his head up. Depending on his condition, I suspect he has no pain, but it must be limiting in other ways - particularly just being able to look up and around himself every day. It makes me sad every time that I see him, yet I also smile inside for him as he keeps on going and it's a lovely example, in my mind, of our resilience. My sadness and sympathy may be quite misplaced - after all, he could well be perfectly fine just as he is, but in its own way it makes me think that when I'm having a struggle, I'm not the only one, and I can do it. I think it's that which is wonderful.

(I feel even sadder for him this morning as he's just arrived as I'm typing this and he can't get into the little door of the building. He's just standing outside it, facing the door with his back to the world. I want to run outside and give him a hug.... which if I did, he'd probably wonder what on earth I am doing...)

✩ Party planning. I have the honour of being a dear friend's bridesmaid later this year and so planning her hen party falls to me. This week I'm loving putting my plans together and despite some setbacks making it quite stressful at times, I really think she'll enjoy herself!

I had to finish up there with a light-hearted note. Not quite sure where that sixth bit of wonderful came from, but it was in my heart and I thought I'd share it. Anyway, it's now almost time to get on and start work, so off I pop and I'll see you next week!

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Wonderful Wednesday #10

Starting 2017 with my tenth #WonderfulWednesday post, that's quite a nice round number!

My Christmas and New Year break was over in a flash and already it's time to get back to work.

I'm writing this on Tuesday, though, sitting on my bed at home nursing a cup of coffee, feeling a little sorry for myself. I know I've had more time off than some people, so it's not just because I'm going back to work tomorrow. I've started my job hunt and I knew it would be hard but I've already had my first rejection and it's impossible not to take it personally or think that I'm NEVER going to find a job to enable me to move to be with the Boy.

It's the perfect time, therefore, to focus on the Wonderful from my last 2 weeks...

✩ Setting the Out of Office. Nope, it can't be beaten, but especially when the message is that the whole office is closed for 2 weeks so there can be no expectation of me dipping into my emails in the meantime. I haven't checked them since setting the automatic reply... I won't even worry about what's there until I log back in at my desk!

✩ Turning off the alarm. You can sense a theme here, I'm sure, but not having to be woken up by an alarm at 5am for 2 weeks has been pretty amazing. It's going to be a horror when it goes off tomorrow morning, but for now I'll focus on the lovely lie-ins I've had and especially when it's also involved a yummy cup of tea in bed from the Boy in his new-but-temporary house.

✩ Mother-Daughter Relaxation Time. Now, I don't always have the best relationship with my Mum, in that we rub each other up the wrong way at times, but she is my Mum and the only one I'll ever have. 2016 was pretty damned awful for her and in some ways it affected her more than me, so it was great to enjoy a full-body massage with her followed by some champagne and chocolates, courtesy of my brother, in the run-up to Christmas.

✩ A quiet Christmas. It was just my Mum and I on Christmas Day and it was nice just us - no friction, just lots of food and drink. I think she enjoyed the day as well, despite the glaring absence of my dear old Dad who we lost 2 months before.

✩ All of the Christmas yums. I love cooking and am a big feeder so making Christmas dinner is a bit of a highlight of the year for me. Granted, it's quite stressful, but just making it for 2 of us this year meant that it was far easier than normal! When else would it be expected that you can eat so much food?!

Also, I just have to show off the wonderfulness of my homemade Christmas pudding....

✩ The seaside. I was lucky enough to while away a few hours in Trebarwith Strand with the Boy last week. Fortunately, we were holed up in a pub but with great views out over the beach to sea. It was so relaxing just sitting there watching the surfers in the water and the birds, as well as the ramblers and their excitable dogs on the opposite side of the cove. I think it might be my new favourite place!

✩ Spontaneity. My plans for New Years Eve changed quite late in the day, so I got to stay with the Boy that night and we didn't have anything set. We turned up unannounced to his cousin's house where we enjoyed a takeaway and some post-dinner games and it was the BEST night. Spontaneous nights are always the best, no?

✩ New starts. It is a new year and that is such a wonderful thing in itself. It's clichéd but I find that it really does help close the door on all the bad stuff that's gone before and it makes me a little bit excited about what I can achieve in the next 12 months. There is so much to look forward to, I just have to go out and find it.


That's it for this week! Ending on a super wonderful note - we should all be looking forward to our year ahead, it can be only what we make it!

Hope you all had wonderful Christmasses and New Years - spread the wonderful and tell me all about them!