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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.
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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.
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.
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.
We've also sent out our invitations and ordered big travelling rucksacks for our honeymoon.
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...
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.
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
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
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
Doctor Sleep - all Stephen King
The Glass Castle – Jeanette Walls
Moranthology – Caitin Moran
The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson
School of Booze - both Jane Peyton
Embassytown - China Mieville
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!