33.20 – the heatwave breaks

The thunderstorm on Thursday night may have interrupted my sleep a little bit, but as it brought the temperature down I didn’t mind so much, and when it was done, it was cool enough to sleep. My cat was not very happy during the heatwave. He had pretty much stopped eating and we were having to tempt him with various bits of ‘people food’ like slices of ham, and sardines from a tin. But after the rain on Thursday he perked up a bit and showed more interest in his ‘regular’ food.

This week’s OMG moment – Back in The Before, I had a vague idea (really vague, as in, I wasn’t even sure I wanted to do it) of going on a water sport holiday for my (next, round number) birthday. But that idea, vague as it was, has been thrown firmly into the “I don’t think so” basket for this year at least, so I decided to look closer to home for water sport adventure. As we’re heading off to the seaside at the end of the month, this was my chance. And so I’ve booked a a surfing lesson while we’re in Margate. I sat and looked at the website for about three days before kicking my own butt and making the booking. It’s something I’ve always wanted to try, and so here I am, giving it a try.

This week’s WTF moment: Husband had a panic this week that while we’re staying in villages in the Peak District we won’t be able to get any food because all the restaurants will be at half capacity due to Covid restrictions and if we don’t book now we will be turned away at the door. So he spent an evening doing research on places to eat, perusing menus where they were available online, asking me my preferences, and making dinner bookings. And I’m sitting next to him thinking, “Seriously?”

On the more practical side, we also spent some time looking at what is open in Sheffield. We have three days there before we head out to the Peak District after all so we need to fill that time as well. It can’t just be a three day pub crawl sampling local ales (Husband has bookmarked enough pubs that we could do this. But we will not do this).

This week’s Eat out to help out: We took a friend out to dinner at a Polish restaurant near her house. This was in the peak of the heatwave and was foolishness on our part for two reasons: (1) this restaurant does not have air conditioning or even a fan, and (2) Polish food is heavy food that lends itself more to freezing winters than to hot summer days. Compared to our disappointing meal from last week, this week we actually had too much food (happily the restaurant was well prepared with boxes – almost ever other diner took their not-quite-finished meals home). Husband ordered the Polish Plate which involved several types of meat, pierogies, and a plate of salad. He is someone who is usually up to a food challenge but this huge plate combined with the hot weather was too much even for him. We’ll keep this place in mind for the winter when the weather is more favourable to large plates of heavy food.

This week’s Couch to 5K: I’ve run 25, 26, 27 and 28 minutes this week. And I realise the weak point is not my lungs, it’s my legs and my feet, particularly during the heat. It’s good to know I am improving my ‘huff and puff’ capacity, and if I can distract myself (doing mental arithmetic for instance, yes really) then the time passes quite quickly. Of course the playlist helps! I’m still only getting around three and a half laps of the 1K running circle in the park during my runs so I am a little bit short of the 5K that was promised. Maybe with the coming week’s cooler weather I’ll feel like going faster. I should get to the first 30 minute run before we leave on holiday.

This week’s small panic: I realised on Friday I have one full week left at work before going on holiday. So I started to draw up my list of Things I Need To Get Done Before I Go On Holiday and it was a lot longer than I thought. Next week needs to be focussed and task-oriented. Thankfully the weather outlook is for cooler temperatures that means I should be in better mental shape than I was on the heatwave days of fuzzy brain/no sleep from last week.

This week’s social occasion: We had friends come over for dinner. We were supposed to meet up back in May but obviously lockdown and Covid restrictions put paid to that. It was a long day, starting at 6.30am when I got up to go for my morning run, followed by several hours of house cleaning (nothing like people coming over to inspire us to do a bit of cleaning) and then several hours of cooking. I let Husband plan the menu and so we ended up with enough food to feed ten people, not four. We made a Tex-Mex extravaganza: bean chilli, Mexican chicken and rice, pulled pork enchiladas and cornbread. Our freezer is now full of boxed up leftovers. As we haven’t seen these guys since New Year’s Eve, we had a lot of news to catch up on. So it was probably unsurprising that we were up talking until 3.15am.

This week’s support a local business purchase: I only found out recently that there’s a local soda/soft drink company called Square Root Soda. So I continued my buy local / support local initiative and bought a mixed box – three types of tonic water (East London tonic, Artemesia tonic and Hop tonic), plus three types of regular soda: cola, pear and aronia, and rhubarb. I’ve only tried the Artemesia tonic so far and it gave a kind of herbal mintiness to the gin and tonic that was quite pleasant.

This week’s podcast: I listen from time to time to Niall Breslin’s podcasts, Wake up / Wind down. And this week I caught up on the past few weeks’ Wake ups (the Wind downs are more of a getting ready for bed kind of meditation). They are short 5 and 10 minute meditation pieces with a focus on mental health; 5 minutes wake up for the morning, 10 minutes wind down for the evening. Niall does have a pleasant Irish accent so he’s very nice to listen to and he does swear occasionally which makes for a more ‘real’ experience than other meditation pieces of the “Imagine you’re on a peaceful beach…” variety. If I could sum up the message from his podcasts, it seems to be “be kind to others, and to yourself.”

This week’s smile – Could this be the best ad for library services ever?

This week’s ‘some people are so clever and creative’ award goes to: this gorgeous piece of drawing from Doodle Chaos.

Have a good week!

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