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2018 goals – the halfway point

Oh wow. This year is getting away from me! I can’t believe I’m here at the halfway point already. So what have I been up to? I’m going to look at how I am getting on with the goals I sent myself back in January.

I’ve been playing around with some new crafts over the last few months – embroidery, shuttle tatting and zentangle. I went to an embroidery workshop at the Herbert Art Gallery so I’m checking that one off of my list.

  

I’m still having drum lessons and I’m really enjoying that. I’m working on learning to play Chekkov’s Hangnail by Martha. I also got my very own snare drum for my birthday so I’m one part closer to getting a kit to practice on!

So far I’ve read 67 books and watched 8 films. I was going to recap what my favorites are but I think I’ll leave that till the end of the year. Reading wise, I’ve already hit my goal of reading at least 10 books from the library so my next focus is on reading some of the books I’ve had unread on my physical or virtual bookshelves before this year started.

In all honesty, not much decluttering has happened over the last 3 months and we’ve brought some things for the new place but I’m ok with that. I think once it gets less hot, I’ll be ready to dig back into the decluttering again. My Mum visited at the end of May and planted some flowers and herbs for us and also gave us 3 tomato plants

We still need to buy garden furniture and some astroturf for the bare patch where the previous owner had putting practice putting hole but it’s looking pretty nice out there. I’ve been really enjoying having people to visit and being able to cook and entertain without feeling stressed out like I did in the old place.

Work-wise I haven’t yet signed up for the mentoring scheme but I have been reaching out to a lot of different people on a more casual basis to ask for their advice on different aspects of my career and progression. It’s out of my comfort zone in a lot of way but I’ve also been really touched by how willing people seem to be to help. I am aiming to finish my Microsoft certification by the end of the month so I can then decide what to focus on next.

I’m being fairly social over the next few weeks – off to London to see Fun Home at the Young Vic which I am very much looking forward to. It was over a year ago I booked the tickets so it feels like it has been a long time coming. I’m off on holiday to Copenhagen in September but I’ve also booked some other time off of work and can hopefully fit some UK adventures in too.

As for my word of the year – Resilience – that’s a work in progress. I just went through a fairly hard few months emotionally and I felt like my moods were all over the place. I don’t think I always managed to be the most resilient person in facing some of those issues either which is frustrating. That said, I’m starting to realise that I always need to start from the ground up and make sure my very basics are being met such as getting enough sleep, taking my meds and drinking water. Since moving house, I feel like I am in much better routines with all of these type of things so hopefully I’m building myself a stronger foundation and now I just need to look at what needs work next.

and on that note…

be strong, be resilient, be young, be fucking brilliant
– Grace Petrie

2018 goals – 3 months in

I can’t believe March is over – which means it’s time for me to reflect on how my goals for 2018 are going.

The big news is – WE BROUGHT A HOUSE! It finally happened. We moved at the end of February (yes, in that week with all of the snow) I love our new place – it has a few teething issues but overall I couldn’t be happier. It’s a little closer to town than where we lived before and in a much quieter area. We’ve been living here for just over a month now and it just feels right.

I did a lot of de-cluttering both in the run up to the move and while packing but I still have a lot more to go. In total, I’ve got rid of over 1,500 things since the start of this year which is a huge improvement on last year. The more I get rid of, the easier I find it to let go and the easier it is to see what I actually want to keep and why.

My Mum came to visit last weekend and we did a workshop on embroidery at the Herbert Art Gallery. You can see a little glimpse of what I did in my March 1 second everyday video. I’ve been working on setting out my new office and it’s really helping me to feel more inclined to create.

I’ve watched 4 films so far and read 32 books. I haven’t been so good at not buying more books tbh but that’s something for me to work on.

I’ve signed up for a new Microsoft course at work so that will be my focus over the next few months as it’s mainly self study (and we are about to enter another busy exam season)

I want to try and add more pictures to my blog posts so future ones wont just be big walls of text like this. Sorry!

Coventry Skyride 2016 – or that time I got to cycle around the Coventry ringroad

Yesterday I took part in the Coventry 2016 Skyride with my partner Joe and our friend Cait. Last year I happened to be meeting a friend in town on the day of the ride but I didn’t know much about it other than seeing lots of people wandering around in bright yellow cycling bibs.

We heart cycling text by the Godiva Statue

We really lucked out in terms of weather – blue skies, hardly any cloud but a decent amount of breeze while riding. I still didn’t manage to drink enough water though which left me feeling pretty dehydrated.

The route started at Broadgate in Coventry which is right in the centre of the city. From there, it took us round by the cathedral and some of the Coventry university buildings before leading out of the city centre to Fargo village where we had to dismount and walk through before hopping back on to cruise back into town (via a diversion through one of the Coventry university buildings which was one of my favourite parts) and then TO THE RING ROAD!

I think the idea of getting to ride around the entire ring road without having to avoid cars or be choked with fumes was part of the draw to this ride for me. As someone who doesn’t drive, I rarely go on the ring road at all so this was a chance for me to really explore the views of the city from up high.

Motor vehicles were still allowed to drive clockwise around the road, but the anti-clockwise side was given over to bikes only from 11am-3pm. There was a sprint section where people could check out their timings but I just focused on enjoying riding on such a clear wide surface.

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I don’t ride my bike very often so I was a little worried about getting round the course. In the end we rode around twice in total (although skipped the Fargo diversion the second time) I probably could have gone again but I was mindful that I needed to cycle/walk my bike home afterwards as well (and that that part of my journey started with a hill).

I haven’t ever been a fan of Sky and I think Rupert Murdoch is utter scum so I was a bit leery of attending an event that was so heavily “Sky” branded. Credit where credit is due though – the event was really well run, the signposting and marshalling were great. There were lots of other sponsors/partners too like Halfords (who pumped up both my slightly flat tyres for me before the ride) the local Council and British Cycling. I hope the council puts on some more things like this.

I liked how alternatives to different parts of the route were offered and it was great to see such a diverse crowd taking parts. There were lots of families with young kids riding, groups of teenagers, serious looking cyclist who zipped past me on the ring road with their proper gear and speedy bikes. I loved seeing so many different body sizes taking part too. I wasn’t made to feel too fat to ride or like it wasn’t an event that I wasn’t welcome at just because I wasn’t able to race around the course.

It is rumored to have been the last ride in Coventry of its kind but equally it may just be that it’s the last one under the current sponsorship. I’m really glad I did it because it showed me a different perspective of the city I’ve called home for almost 5 years. If it does happen again, I’ll be there!

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Tiny things Tuesday #25

My life is quiet at the moment. I’m spending a lot of time resting, working on simple but satisfying craft projects and thinking about what I really want from life. I’m trying to learn what I really desire and crave in life rather than what I think I want or what I think will bring happiness.

I’m gearing up for Indietracks this weekend – I’m crossing my fingers for good weather.

Here’s this weeks list…

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1. These vimto lollies taste of childhood summers. I’m not sure about the description of them as “water ice” but at 99p for 6 they are a lovely treat on a muggy summer evening.

2. The retro flower pattern on this washi tape makes my heart sing. It’s got all of the things I am enjoying at the moment – bright colours and retro patterns. It’s by mt who make some amazing washi tape.

3. On Friday I spent some time walking around the cathedral part of Coventry. I saw lots of friendly squirrels including this guy. I love how he looks like he is pointing to himself!

4. I’ve managed to keep the bedroom floor clear for a week so I celebrated by putting down this great rug I picked up a few months ago. I think I have been saving it for some so called perfect day some day in the future but I need to allow myself to use these things and enjoy them now. It will give me some good motivation when I get up each morning.

Till next time…