May 24: Exercising my confidence

It’s been quite a few months since I’ve been on the Vespa, because of winter and so on, so this afternoon we went down to the local gardening store and I did a few refresher laps of the carpark.

I did three days of lessons last summer and rode it quite a few times around our neighbourhood (haven’t ventured into the city yet) but I lost some confidence in the last session when I dropped the bike coming to a slow stop.

No fitfor15in15 physical exercise today, but I mentally exercised my brain and nerves. I’m sure it will all come back to me (not that I ever had it in the first place!) and a few more lessons would be good as a confidence booster.

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Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’

Leo was very patient, standing on the sidelines watching me do figure-eight moves. I have real issues with tight right turns. Tight left turns, no problem, but being right handed and turning sharply right causes some problems – the nerves come and I don’t have enough speed and then I get the wobbles, and the nerves come and so on and so forth in a circle.

But hopefully I’ll master it. I’ll never be Valentino Rossi and that’s fine! Leo asked if I wanted to ride home with him as the passenger – no way!

We finished the tv series Luther tonight. Unfortunately, I have to say “don’t bother”. We then started watching more of Derek, by Ricky Gervais, which is a comedy about the title character working in an old people’s home. How can a show be so funny and make me cry from sadness in every episode?? It’s brilliant. His mate Kev is really starting to annoy me, I love how blunt and honest Douglas is and Hannah holds it all together. Well worth watching.

Hopefully the wind stops enough tomorrow so we can clean out the pool and get the communal outdoor area set up. It’s a public holiday here tomorrow too, so Leo will be in charge!

Wishing you a wonderful day.

May 19: Feeling flat … and new nutrition guidelines

It’s amazing how the weather affects my moods. It’s raining, grey and the sky feels like it’s only a few feet off the ground. Do you feel weird when the weather’s less than appealing? Especially when it comes hot on the heels of a lovely day?

Of course, it could also have something to do with the book I’m currently reading, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I’m halfway through the story of Theo and it’s quite depressing – a life going, or possibly already gone, off the rails. Maybe I should listen to more of Cary Elwes’ audio book As You Wish, which is his behind the scenes account of the movie, The Princess Bride. I love that film – maybe I should watch it to lift my spirits!

I feel like I’m here, but not here. Know what I mean? I’ll snap out of it when the sun shines again, I’m sure.

My friend Sandra sent me this very funny article yesterday about living in a foreign country and trying to speak the language. Sandra has German, Swiss German, English and Spanish under her belt, so she’s on fire. I’m making limited progress with German and have really no idea what’s being talked about 40% of the time when I hear Swiss German, so I can totally relate to the problems in this story. I had a good laugh … and then gave a hefty sigh, because unfortunately it’s so damn true!

We finished season one of Luther last night, the BBC series starring Idris Elba. I’ve been told seasons two and three are better, thank goodness! That whole storyline with Alice was laughable.

Do you remember growing up seeing posters of the food pyramid (that put fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy and grains etc into a graphic) about how much we should eat? If not, have a search on the internet because there are a hundred versions. Actually, no don’t bother with the old one because the new one is more important. Here is Nutrition Australia’s new healthy eating food pyramid. What do you think about the new weightings for foods? Less grains (used to be the bottom layer) and more veggies seems smart, and there’s no section for treats anymore – is that achievable? Maybe only for the dedicated! It’s printed out and stuck on the fridge, as a friendly reminder.

The more research I do, the more I keep seeing/reading that diet is more important than exercise and maybe, just maybe, it’s slowly sinking in. There was definite success on the 5:2 Diet, about 2kgs in four weeks, but I hate counting calories. What a drag! I have to stop eating chips or chocolate biscuits as an after-dinner snack … and don’t get me started on the Berliners! I had just one on the Swiss Camino, on the horrid third day, walking on busy roads. (I suppose one benefit/problem of walking on a busy road is the shops!)

So tonight we’re having couscous with vegetables for dinner and I’ll make a vanilla chia seed pudding for breakfast. The fitfor15in15 exercise today will be 15 minutes of bedtime yoga – my butt injury isn’t fixed, so I’m taking it easy after yesterday’s 4km run.

Wishing you a wonderful day.

May 17: Mentally fit with a book

A very relaxing day with absolutely no exercise whatsoever. Well, I finished putting the new plants into the garden this morning (and promptly forgot to take photos) so that could be classified as exercise. Now there’s some colour behind the hedge, in the garden, on the outdoor table and a window box next to the front door.

The hammock had its first workout; I started Donna Tartt’s new book, The Goldfinch, and lay under the umbrella for a while before the cool breeze sent me back inside. There’s nothing like a swing in a hammock for relaxation I reckon, preferably under palm trees with a blue ocean and white sand close by, but hey, the forests of Wohlen bei Bern and that sensational fresh-cut grass come a close second.

I need to finish the Cary Elwes audio book too, I’ve been neglecting it a bit because his voice is just so jolly posh you can only handle so much of it for so long! If you’d like to see short reviews of the books I’ve read this year, click here. Unfortunately, I’m well behind on my goal of 52 books in 2015. Can it be salvaged? The Goldfinch is going to take me a while to get through – at 864 pages, I won’t be ripping through it in a few hours, like the past few books – so maybe I’ll have to choose some shorter ones to get back on track … is that cheating?!

We also started watching a new Netflix series, Luther, tonight. It’s about a London detective with many problems and some questionable techniques trying to do his job. I’ve been a fan of the main actor, Idris Elba, since he was in The Wire but so far the recurring storyline of series one has me shaking my head in disbelief. I only hope it gets better!

Still having small problems with my right butt cheek muscle, but it’s slowly feeling better and I hope I’m up for Monday Runday tomorrow!

Wishing you a wonderful day.

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Someone’s clever “rockwall” garden on the walk into Einsiedeln. It was high and long!