Sunday thoughts: 22nd June 2014

The only way to describe this week is “Stop-Start”.

A couple of busy days spent looking forward to a now-rare midweek day off. A day off that turned out to be busier than my work days. A working day that was meant to be ridiculously busy and ended up being ridiculously quiet.

Ben breaking his foot after a really good run, ending up in an air cast and on crutches.

Sunny day, cold grey day, sunny day, cold grey day. Getting all geared up for a sunny Sunday, only to step outside into overcast mediocrity.

It’s been weird!

New things I have learnt this week

Once again, I have pretty much failed on this point, beyond briefly doing some research into hypothyroidism and how it could affect an individual’s ability to exercise – but that didn’t tell me much I didn’t already know (chronically low metabolism => focus on building muscle to naturally increase metabolism).

Most interestingly this week, Ben and I learnt a lot about pigeon courtship. Yes you heard me right. I’ve mentioned a few times how our new favourite pastime is to sit by the river and watch the ducks, swans, pigeons, and the occasional crow or seagull who fly in the wreak havoc. We noticed loads of pigeons puffing themselves up and relentlessly following another around – due to their different markings, we assumed it was some sort of courtship ritual, so we researched it and indeed: when courting, the male puffs up his feathers, turns around in circles, and fans his tail out to drag it along the ground. And they are monogamous!

On a completely different note, I also learnt a lot about Ted Bundy. I went to a performance inspired by his confession tapes, realising I knew very little besides his name and the fact that he was a serial killer, and came out knowing a little more of his grizzly story.

New things I have eaten this week

No new discoveries for me but plenty of delicious food nonetheless. More delicious flaky fried flatbreads, another dish of black-eyed beans topped with lime juice, fewer/no smoothies, the last of my Frank bars and too many Riolife bars, and about as many dates in the past week as I ate in the last three years put together.

Some food wins: one of our local health food stores, Food for Thought, had some of our ultimate favourite vegan sausages on offer at £2.15, reduced from £3.69. So we bought five packs… ate one then bought another one the following day! Make hay while the sun shines, right?

And I also found a half-price (£1.36!) The Living Food Kitchen raw banoffee pie lurking in the freezer so I picked that up for a Saturday night treat.

My client gave me a huge jar of coffee ground and spiced by his mum, along with my very own set of little coffee cups. His mum showed me how to brew it, and when I got back from work yesterday I couldn’t wait to make my own coffee and sip it alongside a few syrup-packed dates he brought back from Dubai. Perfect!Spiced coffee and dates

And speaking of dates, Ben and I spotted a huge bowl of dates at the market – £1 for a bowl the size of my head! I didn’t take a photo because – let’s not be shy about this – they look like slightly dehydrated ageing cockroaches, but they appear to be medjool dates or something similar. And that’s goodbye to paying £3 or £4 for a little pack of a dozen in the supermarket!

Other highlights this week

  • A full day off, complete with breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien over a catch-up with a friend I haven’t seen yet in 2014 (how is it June?!), a walk along the Grand Union canal in the sun, and then a visit to the theatre with a couple of friends! For £9 I got to watch two plays; The Ted Bundy Project which was cleverly entertaining if not mind-blowing and entrancing, followed by This Is How We Die, a whirring one-man Beat-style monologue on life and death and everything in between. That last one did blow my mind. I especially liked catching up with friends on a school night, wandering home in a warm night, and coming home to find out my morning client had cancelled so I could enjoy a leisurely start to the day!
  • I dropped a message to an old acquaintance to ask about the progress of an injury – he has discovered BJJ in the time that we had not had any contact, so that makes us practically family – and got a really sweet message back. It’s the little things.
  • Now that we don’t live with people who are liable to break everything nice we own, I have been able to freely display and use my set of beautiful Anthropologie measuring cups that my friend Steph gave me back in December. I am finding every excuse to use them, from actually measuring out flour to make tortillas, to housing a serving of dates with my coffee as above, to holding homemade relish for the fajitas and hot dogs we’ve been eating this week. It makes me so happy to use them!
  • Work continues to go well, and I find myself looking forward to seeing each client and catching up. Not to mention seeing how much progress they make, and the kind feedback they give me!
  • As always, I continue to love that feeling of finishing work on a Saturday afternoon, knowing we have the weekend ahead of us. After an agonisingly long bus ride, we changed into more summery clothes (short shorts!!!) and wandered out to explore the market and town.

And that’s that for this week! Dinner tonight was leftovers from a lovely curry I made a couple of days ago, alongside some cauliflower rice, which was much nicer this time around. I have no idea what I did differently.

But the best is yet to come (I hope), with a mostly-raw banoffee pie I threw together earlier inspired by a recipe a client gave me. If it tastes good I will try to carve out some time this week to share the recipe with you, how does that sound?

Hope you have all had a lovely week! Did anyone get up to anything exciting for the summer solstice?