The first week of 2020

Yes it’s that time of year when people make resolutions that they don’t keep. I’m going to break it down smaller, and try and set myself things to think about and do each month.

Having had another spell of ill heath at the end of 2019, I’m starting 2020 with a commitment to building up my health and strength (again). I’m using the lessons learnt in the six-week body transformation programme that I did in November/December, and trying to be mindful about taking exercise and what I’m eating. (Although eating better will be easier once all that Christmas cheese and chocolate is finished.)

Last year we did dry January and vegetarianuary. And did I lose lots of weight? No, not a bit. So instead this year I will just think a bit more carefully about whether I am really hungry, whether I really want to eat that thing (whatever it is). One of my discoveries from the programme last year was oats and porridge; having a big bowl of porridge fuels my whole morning through to lunchtime. I no longer get the mid-morning snack munchies.

In terms of exercise, 30 minutes per day is what’s recommended and that might seem like a lot but I’m following the tip to break it down. I’m going to aim to do 5 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes of dancing when I get home at night. Yes, dancing. In the kitchen. It’s silly but it’s fun and I’m more likely to do that than 10 minutes of yoga or Pilates.

It’s day 5 of the year and day 4 of dancing but I’ve only done 3 days of dancing. Yesterday we went for walk instead that left us sore and tired so we were recused from dancing.

We are lucky in that our neighbours are away for Christmas and Nee Year. Their kitchen looks directly into ours so it could be embarrassing – for them and for us -if they see us dancing.

Yesterday we took a walk because it was a sunny day. But every walk we do involves walking past charity shops and we love looking for… well anything. The first one we passed was doing a sale on books: 4 for £1. We only found two we wanted but were in there for ages looking for the next best options because had to find another two. And then take all four on the walk.

A lot of charity shops are doing sales but also refusing donations at this time of year. I guess this is a popular time for people to clear out their house of clothes, books, CDs etc. and dump them in charity shops. Every shop has only got so much capacity.

Once we got off the main road (away from that first charity shop) and into Epping Forest, our adventure began. Husband doesn’t like to read maps so much, so we got a bit lost. This did mean we got to see some other parts of Epping Forest we hadn’t seen before. Unhappily for us, most of the paths through these areas were pure mud. And I don’t mean muddy paths, I mean the path was pure sucking mud which made me grateful for my hiking boots being tightly laced up. I don’t wear my hiking boots much and I don’t often put them to hard use but I was thankful for them keeping my feet dry during our hour of squelching through mud.

We finished our walk in Chingford. Chingford is next suburb over from us and quite a bit more affluent. I’ve heard a lot about the death of the high street, and I’ve seen in my local area the little shops closing down and remaining empty. Even in a wealthier suburb like Chingford I saw there were a number of empty shops down their high street. The shops that seemed to be busy or doing well are cafes, hairdressers, nails bars and charity shops.

(I guess people need coffee after they’ve had a haircut and got their nails done and dropped off last year’s fast fashion to charity.)

One other thing I want to do more this year is read books I like. I’ve just acquired four new ones on the weekend, in addition to the 10 or so I got for Christmas. I have only got halfway through Orhan Pamuk The Museum of Innocence and I am not feeling inspired to finish it. It took me one year to read Nicholas and Alexandra (I started 02/01/2019 and finished 31/12/2019) which was handy because I was able to watch the Netflix series The Last Czar and put all that reading into context. But this year; I want to read books I like, not books I feel I have to read or should read.

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