I thought I would re-explore my weekly roundup posts because I’m conscious that over the past year a lot of the quite interesting things I’ve been doing (and let’s be honest, a lot of the mundane things too) have ended up being left off my blog because in the absence of a big training goal – like a marathon – they didn’t seem to fit in with a broader narrative and weren’t quite worthy of an individual blog post. This year I’ve been trying to get to grips with the Work/Life/Workout balance and I get the feeling that a lot of my friends are going through the same kind of thing, so I hope that this might strike a chord with the people (my mum, my aunt, my husband – hi guys!) that read my blog too.
I had a pretty hectic week at the office in which although it felt like I was working really hard, I barely managed to definitively cross a single thing off my to-do list. At the moment, I’m working on a couple of projects that are in their very early stages, so I spend a lot of time in meetings and chasing people for information when what I really want to do is lock my office door, turn off my emails and just get on with it for a couple of hours.
I did attend a really good Employment Law breakfast briefing on Wednesday though, it was an update on the most recent case law, a discussion about the employment law issues around social media and an interesting look at the likely developments in employment law based on the outcome of the General Election in a few weeks time.
I didn’t have very high hopes going in because the last breakfast briefing I attended was about networking using social media and was a bit of a disappointment. The one and only memorable point that the guest speaker made was that you should back up your contacts by exporting data from LinkedIn. I only remember that because she didn’t actually say “you can export contact data to Excel”, she said “you can suck off all your contacts from LinkedIn” and I felt like I was 14 years old again and trying not to giggle in the back of assembly. However, the Employment Law event exceeded my expectations and has restored my faith in the usefulness of the breakfast briefing (also they gave us bacon sandwiches – amazing!)
I tried out the Insanity Fit Test early in the week and it was hard. My fitness has definitely stalled over the past few months (basically since coming back from honeymoon and moving house, such a cliché!) and this was nowhere near as manageable as I found the Insanity class at Reebok gym I reviewed last year. In fact, I tried to gather my thoughts about the Fit Test during those all-too-brief rest periods I spent gasping for breath on the bedroom floor and all that came to mind was Nanny Ogg’s description of opera in Maskerade; ‘it goes like “Oh oh oh, I am dyin’, oh, I am dyin’, oh, oh, oh, that’s what I’m doin'”.
Thankfully, my body wasn’t as wrecked as it could have been because we went to the Porchester Spa the same evening and I had the chance to recover while lying in the steam room. I also treated myself to their rather fabulous Porchester Body Scrub treatment, which removed approximately 63 layers of dead skin and left me feeling quite rejuvenated and summer-ready.
I had a really great swimming lesson on Wednesday. My usual teacher is off for a few weeks so my class is being covered by a newly qualified substitute with lots of fresh ideas. She totally understands what it is like to be told to move your body in a way that feels completely alien and is able to break down what to do so it doesn’t feel so odd, probably because her own memories of being taught to swim (and I guess being taught to teach someone else to swim) are so recent. I had a couple of eureka! moments during the class where everything seemed to click and it felt much easier … for a length or two anyway.
LD & I also took part in the Swimathon 1.5km Team Challenge on Saturday. I kept this on the down low because this is the first competitive swimming event I have ever, ever participated in and I wanted to know that I could do my part without needing to be rescued by a lifeguard before I splashed it all over the internet and secondly I was only doing 500m of our challenge in order to bench mark my swim-fitness. LD is an awesome swimmer so I didn’t feel at all guilty about lumbering him with the lion’s share of our challenge. In fact when I got in the pool to do the final third of our distance, I found myself wishing I had told him to do another few lengths.
My immediate post-Swimathon thoughts were:
1. Swimming is hard
2. 50m lengths are A LOT harder than 25m lengths
3. 500m is a REALLY long way
4. Swimming can be pretty awesome cardio work when I am doing it properly
5. Swimmers are really lovely and supportive people
6. There is no room for ego in swimming. I was slow, I had to take a breather at the end of each (REALLY long) length, I was overtaken by primary school children and OAPs, and I read updates on Twitter that people were swimming 5km in less time that in took our team to do 1.5km
7. I’m VERY hungry. Where’s the snack machine? (Does anyone else finish swimming absolutely ravenous? It’s worse than post-running hunger by a mile!)
This week was also noteworthy because it was the first episode of the new season of Game of Thrones – did you see it?! What did you think?! I am really looking forward to seeing how the TV show storyline develops and differs from the storyline in the books. I read a few weeks ago that this series would see some serious departures from the books but I wasn’t expecting one quite so early on (possible spoiler ahead?) I think it’s fairly safe to say that the TV show has dispensed with the Rattleshirt storyline which makes me wonder what will happen with the story arc for the North. I was also bit surprised that there was a lot in the media about the TV series overtaking the books by the end of this season because in my opinion there is a lot they could do to flesh out the characters and do some world building in Dorne and the Iron Islands this season while the characters that we already know and love are sort of … on ice? I haven’t seen anything about casting new Iron Islanders for season five but I do hope that the producers pick this storyline up in season six because I’d love to see Victarion “The Most Beautiful Woman In The World Has Urgent Need Of My Axe” Greyjoy on screen. Yeah, I know that we are all supposed to love Jon, Arya and Tyrion but I love Victarion because he is such a ridiculous swashbuckling badass.
Aside from all the excitement over Game of Thrones, this week I had a delicious lunch at Gymkhana in Mayfair to celebrate a colleague’s birthday. We all went for the £25 lunch menu (I had Dosa with Chettinad duck to start and Tandoori guinea fowl as my main course) so while it was expensive by the standards of my typical Tuesday lunch it was quite reasonable for a two course meal in Mayfair at what was voted Britian’s best restaurant by Restaurant Magazine in 2014. I didn’t take any photos of this trip because I felt a bit gauche being the only person snapping away with their phone in a restaurant full of serious people having business lunches, but it was as delicious as you’d expect from The Best Restaurant In The Country ™. I’m waiting for a good excuse to go back (with my camera!) so if you have been please let me know what to ordered.
And now for some boring news, I’m in the middle of spring cleaning (or at least spring organising) my flat. So far this has involved finally taking the big bag of “specialist clean only” clothes to the dry cleaners and swapping the heavy winter duvet over to a summer weight one (a task that I cheerfully delegated to my husband as I get really annoyed and frustrated trying to wrangle the duvet back into its cover). I have the flat to myself this weekend and I’m planning to tackle some more tidying – I bought a few really exciting things like drawer organisers which according to the shopping channel will literally change my life. Such glamour!
However, it is not a coincidence that tidying my flat has become more of a priority the closer I get to my next round of professional exams – I did more washing up during the two weeks leading up to my finals than I did in all four years of my degree! – so my challenge for the coming week is putting an achievable study plan in place.
So, there you have a bit of an idea about what’s going on in my life. What’s new with you?