Archive | March 2017

Mountain bike mayhem

It has been a while since I have told you about a new thing I have been doing, so I am going to do just that now.

OK…technically this isn’t a new thing… it is an old thing that I haven’t done for a while…

By a while I mean about 8 years…

So it totally counts as new!  especially when you take into account the shiny new toys that have had to be purchased to make it happen! In case you hadn’t guessed by the title, I got a new bike. I had a bike but it was too big for me and I was quite scared riding it… I was ok going in a level straight line but any bumps, lumps, hills, corners or other sudden change in direction caused a lot of squeaking and squawking and on one occasion crying and getting off to walk…

Consequently, once I had decided that mountain biking had the potential to be fun, and decided that it would be fun to do mountain biking with Mr Mark without being scared at him and shouting, we thought it was time for a new bike 😀

Looky look new bike 😀 I love it! It has lovely wide handle bars and is not super massive so I can actually reach the floor…yeay!!

Not all the time…I still have to lean my bike to the side a little to put my foot down when I stop, but that is ok because that no longer makes me feel like i am going to land on the floor in a heap when I do it 😀

Since getting my new bike, I am able to go up and down lumpy bits and through muddy bits without feeling like I am taking my life in my hands, so that is an improvement…

I haven’t tried it on a really hilly ride yet so I am not sure how that will be, but on the short hills I have done so far it seems ok if glad that i have a) gears and 2) strong legs from all the lifting 😀

We have been on quite  few rides now, some of them featuring my Brother in law, Sister in law and my awesome (crazy) nephews :-D, some of them featuring cake, some featuring both.

Some of them also featured my awesome comic book superhero leggings and my dubiously coloured 1980s looking mountain biking jacket, which looks odd…but is very comfortable and doesn’t end up around my middle when I am riding 😀

Dancing shenanigans!

As the 2017 dance season is nearly upon us, and it is a lovely sunny day, I thought I would remind you all of the fun and frolics that were last year’s Mythago away adventures 😀

Midsummer 365 Projects

I believe that when I wrote yesterdays post, I promised you dancing…

I don’t think i promised shenanigans, but generally speaking, when there is dancing there is also a degree of shenaniganinity.

(yes, it can be a word if I like!!)

Dancing-wise the may was somewhat quieter than normal, we had the customary Horsham day of dance, a favourite as it is on our own turf as it were (actually not turf…dancing on turf is hard…but we’ll come to that later). IT was an odd day, it was a good day, we had fun, we pretty much always do, but instead of moving around the town as normal, by some quirk of organisation we ended up staying in the same place for three out of four stands…

Here is a look:

Broadwood day of dance, horsham

After a relatively, and unusually quiet May,  June was a veritable explosion of dancing…

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I had forgotten how much I like kettlebells!

kettlebells

I love my kettlebells…have I told you that?

If you have read my blog for a long time, you may remember a little while ago I was obsessed with kettlebells! those up there are my own lovely lovely kettlebells.

I confess I have been neglecting them, I have been won over by heavy weight plates and barbell goodness!

Well…this morning with New Matt the new trainer, I did an entire session of kettlebells. I swung everything from a 16kg right up to a 24kg and cleaned and pressed 12kg and 16kg 😀 I had forgotten how blooming hard work they are.

It turns out…I still love kettlebells!!

I have every intention of adding them back into my regular routine 😀

I might need to invest in a heavier one soonish mind you…

I did spend half of this afternoon trying to figure out why I had bruises on the back of my wrists mind you…this heavy kettlebell buisiness is dangerous! 😀

Found poetry pt 2: the otter saga

Or the day my phone turned into a needy surrealist and developed an obsession with otters!

Otter-City-1

this is what you get if you google surrealist otters… It is by Caleb Brown and I think it is awesome!! (click on it for more info!)

In case the title of the post didn’t give it away, I have been experimentinf further with this predictive text found poetry idea. I have had some quite interesting results.

There are quite a lot that don’t work, you get an endless string of “I have not I have I want to no seem…” etc but I have discovered that the way to avoid this is to play with the rules. In traditional found poetry you can take words from a page or pages and put them together, this allows a degree of selection of words. So in the construction of these predictive text versions I am allowed to take out words and sometimes give the phone a startign letter. but not add words which were not suggested. This is what happened yesterday:

I hate it when people think they know me
I have been thrown away
It does not matter

I hate it when you don’t think of me
I have just noticed the otter
It seems that there is no such thing as Tuesday

That could have been a very depressing poem if it hadn’t turned suddenly, into a surrealist, near future expose on a world with otters peering at you from behind the impending destruction of tuesday! It has been pointed out to me that the juxtaposition of an otter with the emo-angst of the first 4 lines adds a playful tone to the end of the poem (thank you Lucy for that one 🙂 )

I thought that would be the end of it…but in my next attempt the otter put in aonther appearance…

During that moment you can tell me how you feel
Yes it was meant for you but I am not
Soon I will be honest with the otter

It would seem that I have been lying to the otter. but what about and why? Was it about the destruction of tueday, which really can only be a good thing and I am not sure why anyone would lie about it. Was it soemthing else? Something I was not sure that the otter could handle. Maybe I was concerned that the otter would indeed tell me how he felt…

The next installemnt looked like this. I did encourage the otter with the addition of an O at the start of the second line, but that was the only medeling i did. It is in the rules…and I had to find out why I lied to the otter!

I don’t know what you are
Otters and I have gin and tonic
I am just so ready for a new wildcat

Well…I guess the otter didn’t know about the new wildcat. It would seem that he has gained some otter friends too, possibly to balance out the afore mentioned wildcat. Everyone seems to have gin and tonic though so I think the honesty went well!

Mind you…I have a feeling the otter left me in the end…

It does feel better when you are my friend
It was ok to go back in time for a while
I am sure it would be nice to see the otter

 

Guess what…I signed up for another thing!

Yes…another thing…this time it is a marathon length thing O_O

buffy shock

yeah…thats how I felt…

But… it is a WALKING marathon not a running one…

This is very important!!

I am not running a marathon!

Nope…not now, not ever.

However…I am walkign one and it is overnight and I have to do it wearing a bra.

yes…ok…to be honest I normally walk places wearing a bra…but the point is I have to wear only a bra.

on top…I mean only a bra on top…I get to wear trousers and shoes and stuff…

I feel I could be explaining this better…

There is an event called the Moonwalk which some of you may have heard of. It is an overnight walk around london (or the one I am doing is in London, I belive others are available) in aid of Walk the Walk who work with breast cancer charities to help people with breast cancer! Go and read all about it here: http://walkthewalk.org/challenges/the-moonwalk-london-2017/

So this is my crazy challenge for 2017 which I will undoubtedly tell you more about…

I have done some training already (not enough…i am following my usual pattern of procrastination and last minute panic) here are some pictures of it…

If you are feelign particularly generous… I have a sponsor page and I would be super grateful for any help!!

http://wtwalk.org/moonwalklondon2017/sam-19

Found Poetry pt 1

I have discovered and rapidly become obessed with found poetry. If you aren’t aware of found poetry, it is using words and phrases you find in certain placecs to make a poem. This is how wikipedia describes it:

Found poetry is a type of poetry created by taking words, phrases, and sometimes whole passages from other sources and reframing them as poetry (a literaryequivalent of a collage) by making changes in spacing and lines, or by adding or deleting text, thus imparting new meaning.”

This whole voyage of discovery came out of a conversation with the lovely Lucy from  PorterGirl about auto correct and predictive text. So for my first venture into found poetry I decided to use only the words suggested by my phone’s predictive text:

I am not sure if it is true or not
I am not sure if I am a good person
Saturday nights are the best things ever

I am not sure if I should be honest with this
Yes I am sure that I am not sure
The idea of the gin is not a bad thing

Yes I thought you had to be honest with me
It does not work for the people who don’t know
Yes yes indeed yes

Which is interesting and not just random word salad so that is a start…

My second attempt went like this:

Yes there was an option for a small gin
Yes It was good fun, there was a lot of good stuff
It should probably have been more sensible than it was

Yes I do have some sort of food
Yes it does seem like that would be quite tricky
It was ok but that was meant for your mind

Well…I see a gin theme developing here, and to be honest the line:
“It should probably have been more sensible than it was”
probably sums up my whole life!

I liked the repetition in the startign words, so I continued this for my third attempt:

I am just leaving work for a while
I am just so happy to see it again
If it doesn’t happen again it should

I am just not surprised at all
I am not going on anything else
If you had been a little more sensible then she would have been a better person

I could see by this point that my predicitive text with no direction was startign to come up with the same words, so I decided to see what it would do if I gave it some help…

So I gave it the letter M…literally that is all…

Manipulation is not very much fun
It hurts me to think about it but you never know what I mean
It was a very small thing but it certainly was meant to be hurtful
It does nothing for me and my mind

Well…me and my mind are not sure about that one…

I quite like it though!

I also quite like this form of poetry, and am inspired to try some more found poetry method. I have seen examples made from words taken from book pages or magazine pages, or adverts…

I feel some experimentation coming on!

found_poems_jpg.jpg

Another New Paddington Day

paddington

woohoo New PB 😀

And…not a deadlift one this time!! My deadlifts have pleataeued, which is annoying but not surprising considering the amount of lower body injuries I gained at the beginning / middle of 2016!

This time it was a bench press PB…yes, thats right I am finally attempting to address the imbalance between my upper an lower body strength. I am getting there too but slowly!

so…

New Bench Press 1RM 47.5kg!! 😀 this makes me very happy! and quite surprised!!

This isn’t a picture of that day… but I love the leggings so I am putting it here!!

This was the day I discovered that the incline bench press is not made for people as short as me!! 

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