Sunday thoughts: 4th May 2014

… It just dawned on me today that it is May.

I remember when May meant t-shirts, maybe the odd pair of shorts, final exams creeping nearer, and leaving school at lunch time or in free periods to buy whole litres of tropical juice from the supermarket and drinking it all straight from the carton throughout the remaining afternoon classes.

These days I’ve given up getting excited about the summer, but I guess that makes it even more exciting when a day like today turns out to be so warm and beautiful, and the city fills with happy ice-cream wielding people.

New things I’ve learnt this week

  •  I’m going to cut a long story short and deal with questions later, in order to just state that a client of mine and I ended up researching MDMA (or 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine for those of us who are less familiar with it). When I realised I knew absolutely nothing about it except its street name of ecstasy – which I didn’t actually realise was usually used to refer to adulterated versions of the drug – my interest was peaked and I went on to do my proper research. I had never, for example, actually thought about what type of drug it was (an amphetamine). Nor had I actually looked into its range of effects beyond spurring enthusiasts to dance themselves into dehydrated oblivion – turns out that along with the well-documented euphoria and, by extension, loss of anxiety it induces, it also forges a sense of intimacy with others, which is perhaps why it is used as a therapeutic aid in psychology and cognitive therapy. Funny how you can know something exists and yet know nothing about it!
  • This article on the role of medical professionals and sports coaches in promoting health among their athletes gave me some good food for thought. I’ve been thinking a lot about whether it is possible to have it all – can you be an elite athlete, a top-ranking competitor, and still enjoy a normal and healthy life? – and this article addressed exactly that. How and when can medical professionals and sports coaches reach a compromise whereby athletes can reach their full potential without harming themselves? While the article suggested some interesting ways of bridging the gaps, it struck me as incredibly unrealistic that these professionals with diverging end goals would ever accept that the other party had the athletes’ best interest at heart… What a strange situation to have come to.
  • Meanwhile, I’ve been enjoying some great TED talks on the definition of success and this excellent one on the evolution of language as it is shaped by evolving technologies. Highly recommended!

New things I have eaten this week

Nothing new this week I’m afraid! I’ve been so happy to get back to basics like overnight oats, yoghurt and berries, grilled veggies and tofu, chocolate… and spoonfuls of peanut butter (shh!).

Simple pleasures. #eatrealfood #whatveganseat #whatpersonaltrainerseat #30minutemeal

A post shared by Claire De R (@claireoftherocks) on

We did eat out at a new-to-us Japanese restaurant in Ealing, Okawari. Nothing exceptional, but with a wide ranging menu from sushi and sashimi to fried noodles and ramen – we were a party of 15 and everyone was pleased with their food – very reasonable prices, and a simple decor with tables which are sunk into the ground so it looks like everyone is sitting on the floor, it’s somewhere I’d be glad to return. Oh, and unlimited green tea refills.

Other highlights this week

  • Today has been the highlight of the week by a long shot. Admittedly, getting out of bed was as unpleasant as ever due to a long and busy day yesterday, staying up a little too late, and being woken a little too early by Ben’s nephews… But then we took a stroll in the sun to the cricket ground where the eldest was training, followed by some mucking around in the sunny garden where I taught the youngest one the Chicken Dance, then finally Ben and I strolled into Kingston – soon to be our new home – to walk around the bustling town centre and sit by the river to laugh at swans and ducks preening and getting up to no good. By the river in KingstonFor lunch, we bought a tub of hummus and a loaf of fresh foccacia from the market, and sat down to devour them. It was bliss!
  • Having said that, yesterday morning was a close second! With an even earlier start and a super busy morning, I’m surprised to report that I had such a wonderful start to the day. I trained a handful of clients who all worked hard whilst making my work feel effortless with their smart and funny chat, popped into Harris + Hoole for a coffee and a catch-up with the staff, back home for some admin and a Skype with my parents, then over to Ben’s brother’s to look after the kids.
  • Coming home from work yesterday was made even better by discovering my tester copy of Zsu Dever‘s new cookbook, Everyday Vegan Eats! Her book is just gorgeous, and I can tell the recipes are going to become popular staples for us. More on that soon I’m sure!
  • I also had a lovely time out in Paris with my aunt on Tuesday morning, despite the painfully early start and the fact that I was wheeling her in her wheelchair. I was exhausted, but also elated after being out in the morning sunshine and spending some quality family time.
  • But then, getting back to London to see Ben was just wonderful. I was completely unaffected by the Tube strikes on my journey, and came back to the gym for a quick training session while he worked, where he surprised me having bought me a new compact camera to replace the one that was taken in the burglary (which, incidentally, I had bought a few years ago as a reward to myself for passing my driving test!). It was so unexpected and adorable – how do you ever thank anyone enough for that?

Other highlights have, of course, included plenty of delicious food (grilled asparagus! avocado! falafel! raw cookie dough!), a leaving do for one of the staff members at Harris + Hoole, some great work with clients, and more Masterchef Australia than I’d necessarily care to admit. But space and time – and your patience, I’m sure – are fast running out so suffice to say it has been a wonderful week. I can only wish you all the same!

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2 thoughts on “Sunday thoughts: 4th May 2014

  1. Aja says:

    I’m glad you had a wonderful week. This is a beautiful picture of the water. Happy May! I can’t believe it’s here already either.

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