Things That Make Me Happy – Three Weeks in Review.

One thing I’m discovering is that it is harder and harder to stick to a specific number of things. Sometimes there are lots of small incidental events – running, cooking a good dinner, sunshine – that add up to a happy week. Other times it’s one or two significant things – Paris, a weekend with friends. Therefore I’m not going to adhere to the five things as strictly as I have been. This means some weeks I might write about lots of things, other weeks only a few.  It also means, when I have to do two weeks at once, I’m not struggling to pad out the week I remember least well. This is good, right now, because yet again I’m rounding up two (note, now three) weeks in one go.

The fact that, yet again, time has gotten away from me is actually in itself a good thing. Although a lot of my time is still taken up with work the last couple of weeks have generally been super busy. I’ve concentrated on preparation for Tough Mudder, done gardening, seen friends. Lots of exciting things and this makes for a very happy me. Occasionally one friend or another asks how the book is going. “It’s not”, is the standard, usually regret filled, answer and that has certainly been the case recently. However without the regret, because I’ve not been working on book 2 because I’m too busy having adventures. Paris was an immense adventure and in preparing for Tough Mudder I’ve been about to embark on another. As far as I’m concerned, not writing is ok if it’s because I was having other adventures or because I was doing something I genuinely enjoyed.

Like gardening. I’m not brilliant with plants, have no idea what plants I own or what I should or shouldn’t weed but I do love gardening. Few things beat being outside when the weather is good, working with the soil, clearing and tidying and making things beautiful. As the weather has started to improve I’ve been able to get into the garden and start clearing the winter growth. Already it is looking beautiful. Mum and I have planted fruit trees, cleared weeds and cut back dead bits in preparation for the summer. Now when I sit out in it I can take pride in what has been done rather than feel ashamed which is what I was doing.

2015-05-15 16.15.42

Alternatively just doing absolutely nothing because your body and brain decided that you have, in fact been doing too much, is also acceptable. Which is what happened last week.

So now I’m three weeks behind myself…

Pre-bank Holiday weekend I did some serious training – including beach runs and throwing myself in the sea to prepare for Arctic Enema – a three mile run for Macmillan, my new wig arrived and Lesli and I took it out to the Limes for steak night (where I got chatted up by one serious weirdo, like, scary weird, not my usual weird) and I discovered that Walter Bishop was going to be at Comic-Con, AWESOME!

The first weekend in May made me happy for two reasons – one I got to visit my lovely friend Kitty and her husband and two I survived Tough Mudder.

As I had an early start time for Tough Mudder I didn’t want to drive down to Henley first thing, so I appealed to my Surrey friends for a place to stay. Kitty offered and I jumped at the chance as it would mean I could finally met their new dog Peanut. As if that wasn’t grand enough, we had Wagamama’s for dinner – multiple awesomeness (we also watched Drag Race, so much awesome right there!) I have to confess, as I was quite nervous about the following day, it was pretty much all I could talk/think about.

SHE'S SO TINY!!!!!!!!
SHE’S SO TINY!!!!!!!!

And so Sunday came and, after forcing down two lots of porridge, it was time to make my way to Henley and Culden Faw, the site of Tough Mudder London West. It was a miserable morning and, as if finding my way in the rain wasn’t enough, my sat nav decided to dick me about. Consequently I arrived late and very stressed. Not the best start.

Teamless – as they had presumably set off in the right time slot – I joined the warm up session and then made my way with my fellow Mudders to the start. This is accessed by climbing over a small barrier. I say small, it was big enough that I had to ask for a boost to get myself over. To be honest, it wasn’t looking too good. Mudder pledge out of the way and off  we went. I banged my arm badly on the first real obstacle, discovered Culden Faw is actually the site of a well hidden mountain, faced my nemesis; Arctic Enema, walked more than I ran, avoided Birth Canal (just  no) and, somehow, met up with my team about halfway round. This turned out to be an absolute godsend as, at around 7 miles, things started to get tough. Having people with me who I could talk to, when I could talk, about the course and obstacles, which all of us found hard, was such a morale booster and I am forever grateful to them. Without my team I think I would have just lay down in the mud and given up. It. Was. Hard.

I finished it though and that, my friends, was an absolute rush. Who cares that I had to get myself frozen, bruised and electrocuted before I could join Mudder Nation? I completed the biggest challenge I have ever set myself, one that realistically I never actually thought I’d do. Even on the day, as I was driving to the site I think I was still partly convinced I wasn’t actually, really, honestly going to go through with it. But I did, and now I’m signed up for a 10k obstacle course race with the same team in October and will definitely join them next year for Tough Mudder 2016. Not at Culden Faw again though, not if I can help it.

Not surprisingly the week following TM was rather quiet. I did a couple of runs and not much else but hey, I think I earned it! Still, it was just as well I rested as the weekend took a rather eventful turn with the arrival of my number one partner in crime (well, one of my number one partners in crime…) Saturday afternoon brought the arrival of Hannah Beacham for MUCH Gin drinking and Drag Race watching. At some point (around 11pm) we lit the fire pit and continued the party until somewhen around 2am. All good fun. Although Sunday wasn’t so much fun for Hans, even though the eight double gins and half bottle of Prosecco each was pretty reserved by our standards.

Sunday for me was a lovely sunny drive to see Mama and Papa so I could print my Comic-Con tickets, see their faces before they jetted off to Thailand and apparently so B could chase pheasants up into trees, because that is exactly how he rolls it seems. Monday, I finally got to see Avengers: Age of Ultron. ALL THE GEEK!!! I wore my superhero T-shirt as I am a massive fan-girl, something I make no apologies for. Tuesday, I cooked the most amazing Green Tea Salmon with Miso Greens and Coconut Rice and (hopefully) cheered the lovely Lesli up as she’d been down. She’s come to my rescue enough times since I moved back so it was super lovely and rewarding to return the many favours. Thursday, I actually managed to spend some time working on my book before watching Occulus – not that bad, if you ignore the super predictable ending – and Friday, I finished all my marking and input all my data and rewarded myself with The Babadook which is very intense, very clever and very much worth a look.

Saturday Linzi came to stay ( another friend that doesn’t count, according to Kat, which will make Lesli happy as she doesn’t count either) and we went to Norwich Castle Museum for the Museums at Night event. We had dinner in Aslan’s Den, appropriate as I wore my big lion mane hair, and then headed back to mine for Gin and to finally set me up a dating profile.

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And that is three weeks rounded up with all the not so good stuff taken out. Not too shabby huh?

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