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02 January 2014 @ 11:01 am
No one really uses LJ any more, but I've been doing these for so many years it seems a shame not to carry on doing it.

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19 August 2013 @ 10:06 am
In The Return of the King, referring to the great adventure he has been on, Frodo says: "how do you pick up the threads of an old life?". I hear you, my hobbity friend. My prediction that I would come back from honeymoon "depressed and stuffed with onigiri" was not far off the mark! After an amazing wedding and incredible honeymoon it felt a bit strange to pick things up where we had left off. One minute I was battling with Japanese Hornets on Mount Misen and spending the night with monks in Koyasan, the next I am standing on a hot, smelly train with someone poking their elbow into my ribs with their iPod turned up so loud I can hear every word. We had just moved house two weeks before the wedding, so that was a bit of a distraction for a while, but generally returning to the daily grind of the commute and work and all felt like a bit of an anticlimax.

What has really helped me through the wedding comedown is remembering that Frodo also said: "you have so much to enjoy and to be and to do". Recently I think I have become more aware of how important my interests are to me and how much enjoyment I get from them. That, in turn, has helped me look ahead to new challenges.

The last time I updated my "positive thinking" blog in March, I had bailed on running. The chiropractor had said that unless I paid for a lot of sports massage and physio and basically swapped jobs for something that didn't involve sitting down all day, my ITBs weren't going to improve. I felt really disspirited and like a failure. In desperation, I ordered DDP Yoga after seeing an amazing video about Arthur Boorman on Facebook. We had only done about 6-8 weeks before the wedding, and it's only been in the last couple of months that the effects have really begun to show. I didn't have any weight left to lose, but the changes the programme has made to my body are amazing. I can see muscles where I could never see them before, I am stronger and more flexible... and I LOVE it. Losing the weight was a huge deal in itself, but seeing my body get healthier and stronger every day is like an addiction. I never believed I could feel this way about myself. I know I am not perfect, but I can look in the mirror and be happy with it, even proud of it, and not give a shit what anyone else thinks. I have never felt this way before.

As well as the yoga, my interest in cooking and healthy food has continued to grow. I devour cookbooks and magazines for recipes and cook as many different things as I can, trying everything and anything. Humorously, I couple this with being a massive fan of both beer and chocolate. I now sample different dark chocolates almost every single night after dinner. My favourites so far are by Willie Harcourt-Cooze's company, Hotel Chocolat's Rabot 1745 Collection and Beschle. I love having something new to be interested in and enjoy so much.

Beer is, of course, still a big part of my life (in moderation, of course!). In fact, tying in with my resolution in March to work on my writing, a friend and I are working on the launch of a blog based around beer, health and feminism - It Comes In Pints?. We want to explore how beer can be enjoyed as part of a healthy lifestyle, how the beer world is opening up to women and how the craft beer movement facilitates both of these. I think it's going to be really exciting and a great way to combine several of my passions at once.

I am also working on a novel - my first really fresh idea in years. I am toying with doing NaNoWriMo this year to kick it off but we shall see. I feel good about this one.

We're talking seriously about our next big adventure. Japan was a big step for us both - neither of us had gone anywhere so "other" before, we had never left Europe (save America, which is cosily nestled in the comfort zone). We loved it so much we want to go back, but there is a whole world to explore. I think we're now brave enough to do that, money and time permitting.

There is still so much I want to do and see and be. I will never get to do it all. But that's okay. Sometimes that's actually quite comforting - it means there is always something else to look forward to.
Current Location: London, UK
Current Mood: determineddetermined
01 June 2013 @ 09:58 am
Well... it's all over!! We only went and flippin' got married!!

Wedding...Collapse )

Then after coming back to the flat on Sunday, we were up at 3am on Monday to head off to Japan. Slight terror had set in but we needn't have worried. It was all amazing and we had the most incredible time. I won't elaborate yet as it's far too much to condense into one post... I kept a little diary so maybe I will post it day by day or something when I have got the pics off the camera (we took over 2000! Need to do some serious editing!).

Been on a healthy eating and yoga drive since we've been back as we ate so much on honeymoon and felt a bit soft. I feel amazing for it - I am all glowy in the face. Bit knackered from preparing lots of healthy snacks and stuff during the week but it's all good.
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30 April 2013 @ 11:51 am
So we moved house. It was a bit of a crazy nightmare but we are now in and unpacked, and although there are a few things which haven't found a permanent home it is at least tidy and functional with no boxes left lying around. I really love it and haven't missed our old place once. It immediately felt like home. We've already done a rather over-excited IKEA trip and I am enjoying being boring and old and house-proud.

Now that the dust has settled, of course, it means it's FOUR DAYS UNTIL THE WEDDING and SIX DAYS UNTIL JAPAN.

My mind hasn't wrapped around this yet.
18 March 2013 @ 11:15 am
We now have a proposed completion date for the flat, which means I am moving house in EIGHTEEN DAYS.

I am getting married in FORTY-SEVEN DAYS.

I am going to Japan in FORTY-NINE DAYS.

I feel like I am living in a parallel universe.
Current Location: United Kingdom, London
Current Mood: stressedstressed
04 February 2013 @ 03:46 pm
My brain can't take much more... way too much stuff... 
28 January 2013 @ 09:18 am
This weekend we picked out the men's outfits and got them all fitted and ordered. They're going with pinstripe grey trousers, an embroidered ivory waistcoat, light grey morning suit jacket and a dark red cravat to match the bridesmaids' boleros/sashes.

We've also sent out our invitations and ordered big travelling rucksacks for our honeymoon.

14 January 2013 @ 04:33 pm
It is now 110 days until the wedding...

A bit terrified. It still feels utterly surreal. I was never the type to plan my big white wedding from the age of 8 or whatever so I still can't really imagine myself dolled up in the dress and being a bride. It's a bit crazy.

We're ticking jobs off at a rate of knots, but it all feels a bit disparate at the moment; it doesn't feel like things are all coming together. This weekend we went to the venue with our photographer, because he hadn't worked there before, and he took some snaps for us. I don't like posing and I hate smiling for the camera because I end up grimacing. Still, they came out OK so hopefully on the day with all the excitement and us being all dolled up it will be good.


The next big thing is suit fitting for the fellas and shoe shopping for me and my bridesmaids. We also need to get back on the wagon with organising our honeymoon...
07 January 2013 @ 01:33 pm
So, about a fortnight ago we went to see The Hobbit for a second time, and I noticed a pear on one of the shelves of Bilbo's pantry. I immediately started craving pears and had to nip into the supermarket to get some as soon as we got out of the cinema.

I now CANNOT STOP EATING PEARS. I'm eating about three a day. When we did our weekly shop yesterday, I bought FIFTEEN PEARS. I couldn't even fit them in one bag. It was something insane like THREE KILOS of pears.

Help me.  
31 December 2012 @ 11:17 pm

Last year's total - 83 books!

Will update as and when. Add me on Goodreads!


Skippy Dies - Paul Murray

Perfume: Story of a Murderer - Patrick Süskind

The Blind Assassin - Margaret Atwood

The Accidental - Ali Smith

My Uncle Oswald - Roald Dahl

Norwegian Wood
After The Quake - both Haruki Murakami

Alone in Berlin - Hans Fallada

Tipping the Velvet
The Little Stranger
Night Watch - all Sarah Waters

Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn

Catch 22 - Joseph Heller

The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters - Gordon Dahlquist

Let The Right One In - John Ajvide Lindqvist

American Psycho - Bret Easton-Ellis

The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window and Disappeared - Jonas Jonasson

A Spot of Bother - Mark Haddon

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Philip K Dick

Delusions of Gender - Cordelia Fine

Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury

Black House - Stephen King and Peter Straub

The Secret Life of Bees - Sue Monk Kidd

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency
The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul - both Douglas Adams

The Roads to Sata: A 2000-Mile Walk Through Japan - Alan Booth

Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things - Lafcadio Hearn

The Kite Runner
And The Mountains Echoed
A Thousand Splendid Suns - all Khaled Hosseini

A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole

Touchy Subjects
The Sealed Letter - all Emma Donoghue

Rashomon - Ryunosuke Akutagawa

The Snow Child - Eowyn Ivey

The Silver Linings Playbook - Matthew Quick

Inferno - Dan Brown

Saturday - Ian McEwan

The Secret Crown - Chris Kuzneski

The Historian - Elizabeth Kostova

The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho

Remainder - Tom McCarthy

A Song of Ice and Fire: A Dance with Dragons - George R. R. Martin

Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons

The Name of the Rose - Umberto Eco

House of Leaves - Mark Z Danielewski

The Ministry of Thin
An Apple A Day - both Emma Woolf

Candide - Voltaire

World War Z - Max Brooks

Escape from Camp 14 - Harden Blaine

East of Eden - John Steinbeck

Never Trust A Rabbit - Jeremy Dyson (reread)

The Truth - Michael Palin

A Tale For The Time Being - Ruth Ozeki

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon
On Writing
Doctor Sleep - all Stephen King

The Glass Castle – Jeanette Walls

Moranthology – Caitin Moran

The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson

Beer O'Clock
School of Booze - both Jane Peyton

Embassytown - China Mieville

Bodily Harm
Maddaddam - both Margaret Atwood

Still Missing - Chevy Stevens

The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

The Gone-Away World – Nick Harkaway

The Cuckoo's Calling - Robert Galbraith

A Casual Vacancy - J K Rowling

TOTAL: 80 books!