July 10-12: Weekend wrap

Sun, sun and more sun this past weekend. Combine that with not much inspiration to write, and you get another weekend wrap!

Friday I went to work and then for a quick drink with Iva and Pastora afterwards. Claudio, our regular waiter at Cafe de Pyrennes, was amazed we only stayed for one drink, but we all had things to achieve in the afternoon.

Mine was to mow the lawn for Rene, but the lawnmower is having petrol flow issues, so we canned the idea. That night, we went to dinner with The Usual Suspects (minus Eve, who is in Finland for a gymnaestrada event) which was very lovely. Leo and I ordered a tower of food, literally, which was a nice summer change to what we would normally choose.

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I almost caught Rene smiling!

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Lotti, Leo and Paul

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With Fritz and Liliane

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Leo and I shared a tower of cold food. The gazpacho was delicious

Saturday, Rene spluttered the lawnmower into life long enough to do the job and I cleaned the pool. We then spent the afternoon and evening by the pool with The Usual Suspects again, playing cards and enjoying a delicious barbecue. We watched a little bit of the women’s Wimbledon singles final but mainly we were outdoors. Congratulations Serena!

Sleep and repeat. Sunday we spent time by the pool again, but without the combined dinner. We watched pretty much all of the men’s Wimbledon singles final too. Poor Roger. I feel so disappointed for him on his quest to become the first man to win eight Wimbledon singles titles. Maybe next year? Djokovic was just too good.

I started and finished a sweet book on Sunday too – Waiting for Doggo. I’ve written a review here.

All up it was a very relaxing weekend. Very quiet. Not a lot of exercise, just some light swimming. But plenty of socialising!

Wishing you a wonderful day.

June 2: She works hard for the …

I think I’ve worked out why I’ve been going like a bull at a gate on the weeds for the past two days (no, I’m not smoking anything green, just removing them from the lawn).

Not only are they Rene’s enemy, so therefore mine, I think I’m taking out my frustrations on not getting either of the jobs I’d recently applied for. I found out on Friday about the job in Zurich and yesterday about the job in Lausanne. In the wonderful words of Kevin Kline’s character, Otto, in A Fish Called Wanda, “DisapPOINted!”

So, I reckon I am currently in training to be a gardener and, to be honest, I wouldn’t mind that at all!

While working out with Brad today, I listened to the end of the Serial podcast. Manual labour and a mental workout all at the same time. Highly recommended! I won’t say anything about the series in case you haven’t heard it (but I really want to write lots of stuff and have a big discussion!!).

I was overly optimistic thinking I’d get the rest of the lawn done in four hours. It ended up taking just over six, and that was just pulling the weeds out. I’ll fill the holes with soil tomorrow. I enjoyed the work today more than yesterday for some reason – Brad behaved well, all my aches and pains were gone, and I have the Birkenstock tanlines on my feet to remind me of my labours.

Today was also a very big day in the kitchen. Last week, Rene and Liliane decided it was time for us to have a dishwasher, and today it was installed (replacing the small bar fridge). Leo’s eyes went wide when he found out about it, as he has lived here for 12 years without one. We don’t really need it, but it’s a lovely gesture and will be great when we entertain. Now we just need to buy more than the four plates and bowls we currently own! Ahahahahaha. No, that won’t be happening. (Honestly, we’ll probably only use it once a month!)

We finished the television series Derek tonight. Another series bites the dust! We’re on a Netflix roll! I love binge-watching a series and not having to wait a week for the next installment. I really enjoyed Derek, but have never cried quite so much in a supposed comedy series. (It’s set in an old people’s home … join the dots.) Ricky Gervais is a very clever man (although the character of Kev I could have lived without) and I wish I was cleverer and could write something more inspiring about him than him what is clever (said in my best attempted Derek voice).

It got completely dark around 10.15pm tonight. I took this poor quality photo of the full moon just before 10pm. Not long til the longest day, which always makes me sad, because it feels like every year it comes too soon.

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Still light enough outside for my old phone to take a photo!

Speaking of phones (caption above), my iPhone 5 was too far gone to be fixed, so Leo very kindly bought me a second-hand one off the internet which should be here by the end of the week! Yahoo! I can use Instagram again #fitfor15in15 @fitfor15in15

Disappointed Roger Federer lost today at the French Open. I’ll have to cheer for Stan now. Or Rafa. Are you watching any tennis? Are you Wimbledon fans too?

Wishing you a wonderful day.

February 1: 15 minutes of strength exercises

Once again, I’ve left it too late in the day to exercise properly. I’m finding it hard on the weekends to do exercise!

While we were watching the men’s Australian Open tennis final this morning, the weather was gorgeous.

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Blue skies!

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Everything looks amazing in this kind of light

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Love the white trees

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And the white telephone wires! Our little house is looking good!

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Probably not the right footwear!

When we were ready to do something, it was snowing and yuck.

So I made the most of the afternoon doing something fun, which I’ll tell you more about tomorrow.

Tonight, I did 15 minutes of strength exercises in the office, as before – squats and lunges with the tin cans etc – and this time I threw in the occasional salute to the sun. My butt is feeling quite sore from the previous days’ exercises too. Yippee!

The weather’s supposed to be horrifically cold over the next few days, so I apologise in advance for my own prediction – an onslaught of blog posts to keep me occupied!

Wishing you a wonderful day.

January 30 #2: Stepping out to the tennis

My first ‘workout’ this morning didn’t quite cut the mustard, so I went downstairs and happily donned a new pair of sneakers bought the previous week. The only other sneakers I own were/are still covered in mud and looking pretty grotty from running in the forest. So using some of my Christmas present money from Leo, I splashed out on a half-price pair of sneakers that will never leave the house! No more jumping around barefoot.

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New sneakers good. Urgh.

Stan and Novak were into the second set of the Australian Open semi-final by the time I stood on the little step machine, so with baked bean tins in hand (we ate one of the kidney bean tins in a chilli last weekend!), I cheered them on for 30 minutes. Heart was definitely pumping at the end, but not because of the result. Poor Stan.

Tomorrow marks one month of blogging. It’s been fun making an exercise habit, with you as my witness. I was thinking about tackling the nutrition/food part of this fitfor15in15 project in February, but I think that’s too soon. I’ll slowly phase out bad things throughout the month of February and then start with conviction in March. Eating chocolate will still be on the cards, but maybe I’ll forgo the cheese and beer. Did I just say beer? I must be delusional.

Wishing you a wonderful day, again.

January 30: Morning yoga

Following the uncomfortable experience of exercising after dinner last night, it was time to try something I’ve been meaning to do for a while – working out straight after my morning routine.

The 10 minutes of meditation was interrupted by the neighbour’s cat making a huge racket in the roof, so I did Kim Sears and her fiancĂ© Andy Murray proud (language warning), while bashing my fist on the wall … then slowly went back to sitting on the floor … doing my meditation … as calm as can be … rubbing my hand on my knee … trying to ease the pain …

There were no Buddhist thoughts this morning. I want that cat gone!

This 15-minute morning yoga routine from instructor Brett Larkin came to me via social media last night, so it was perfect timing. Unfortunately, the routine didn’t have perfect timing (for me). It was just tooooooo slllloooooowwwww. Possibly doing the meditation and stretching beforehand had woken me up sufficiently. There are links for other, longer, yoga videos at the end if you fancy.

So I’m not sure if I’ll classify this as my fitfor15in15 routine today. I need to get my heart pumping a bit more. I’m off to watch Stan and Novak (I’m too lazy to spell-check their surnames!) play tennis. Maybe I’ll work out on the stepper at the same time, with the odd fist pump and “C’mon!” That should do the trick.

Wishing you a wonderful day.

January 21: Pleasant surprises

Wow, today has been full of surprises. Love surprises!

Please excuse the random thought processes below …

This morning, I acted on a comment from Freda from livesimplysimplylive. I really enjoy checking her site every day; it’s peaceful and inspirational. She mentioned candles, and I’d never thought about using them to add some ambience. The 10 minutes of meditation and five minutes of stretching did feel calmer, so I’ll be lighting a candle during my morning routine every day from now on. Thanks Freda!

After that I did some research to help a friend with his website, then Leo sent me an email with a job advertisement – for an editing job in English. It has really piqued my interest! So I spent the afternoon tweaking my CV and cover letter, and will send them off tomorrow after one last proofread when my mind’s clear. Here’s hoping!

I spoke with my neighbour about the possibility of our visitors, who arrive on Monday, staying in the empty apartment in the main farmhouse for four or five nights. She said yes, so I’ll be cleaning and preparing it on the weekend. Great news!

For some reason, my mind hadn’t switched onto the fact the Australian Open Tennis is in full swing – I love the tennis and can’t believe I haven’t been cheering on my favourite players. It’s been a busy start to the week, but from now on I’ll be watching as much as possible – more than the 20 minutes today. C’mon Roger!

And last but not least, I’ve found another great exercise resource, by complete fluke (and a bit of laziness!). I didn’t have time today to do more than 15 minutes, so typed “15 minute workout” into YouTube on my phone, and found this great resource from Fitness Blender. You do your own warm-up and cool down. It was an intense workout and raised a sweat. I’ll be doing it again, plus the others. Damn burpees!

Wishing you a wonderful day.