Sunday, 27 April 2014

Different Kinds of Energy

I've been itching to try something new lately, I mentioned that to my acupuncture lady during my appointment on Friday and she said that there was a Qi Gong workshop on at the clinic on the weekend and would I like to come? Of course said I. So I rolled out of bed at 8.30 this morning (yes! on a Sunday!), put on some comfy clothes and got ready for an adventure.

I arrived a bit before 10am and was introduced to people and given a cup of chrysanthemum tea (good for the liver, apparently). Where there is tea, there is hope. I'm not sure how to describe it, but Qi Gong is a bit like a martial art, but a bit like yoga in the sense that you are working with the body's energy but there is also meditation, and there are also choreographed moves as well as spontaneous ones. In short, it is pretty hard to describe. One of the ladies said it was more like a way of life really. We then got into the morning session which was mostly exercises, done quite slowly, quite spontaneously. We were guided as to what we were trying to do but how we interpreted that was up to us. There were about eight of us, so it was a nice number of people, and many of them had been practising Qi Gong for a really long time - one lady started in 1990! We went through some breathing techniques, some stretches and some movements. In the second session we did some stretches and then some meditation for about 40 mins. We then had a lunch break for an hour so I popped home for lunch - I felt very calm and floaty, it was lovely. I came back for the third session where we did some stretches for to help digestion (if you stretch out the middle finger and ring finger that helps) and some more meditation, this time combined with breathing. Between every session we had tea and cake which can't be a bad thing - there was a subtle oolong tea called Iron Buddha and more of the brown chrysanthemum tea that I might have to hunt down. Then the last session which was a lot longer where we did lots of movement focused on being a bear. Bears symbolise strength and grounded energy, good for focusing scattered energy and redirecting it towards physical strength, but also in Chinese medicine they are linked to the gallbladder, and anxiety, so when you do this kind of movement you are letting go of that, flexing the joints, stretching out and working with that emotion. It was a lot of fun, and quite a release. Finally we had a little half hour session of walking and stretching to round off the day. It was very interesting - even though it was new it felt quite familiar, and my acupuncture lady said I fitted in with the group very well, there was no awkwardness or stiffness. They run day courses once a month so I think I will try and make another one in the future.

When the workshop had finished I hurried home to get cooking - it was my turn to cook Sunday Dinner today. We had a massive roast for Easter last Sunday and that was going to be a tough act to follow! Middle B was off on a hen party so that left just four of us, but we still managed to stuff ourselves silly. I made Vegetable Curry and Dhal Makani (both World Food Cafe recipes) and rice as the main. I had fortuitously found a cheese board for £3 when I was shopping for coriander. £3! So we had a cheese course - red leicester, cheddar and french blue cheese with red wine (we tried port but it looked a bit iffy so we stuck to the wine) and crackers and digestives even. Once we'd digested that a little, I brought down my new tea set that I had found in a charity shop and we had chocolate cake, cream and coffee out of matching china. It was very exciting. We even had cream in our coffee not just milk. We started dinner at about 6.30 and ended up at about 9.30. Pure class!

Back to work tomorrow - 40 minute walk there and back will do me a lot of good....

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Drinking Gin, Dancing round the Living Room and Other Joys of Life

V been  has been finishing up essays frantically the last few days, and yesterday was the first time she got to really see everyone and let off steam. We met in the pub at 2pm with a view to getting some food. It was pretty apparent that the staff were not as keen on providing food as we were on eating it so we had a pint and moved on to another pub. At the next pub we were then told that they don't start serving food until 4pm. So we sat in the beer garden in the sunshine and drank wine and pear cider and laughed at things hysterically until we could order food. It was worth waiting for! V and I shared some nachos, some mushrooms on toast and some chips. Everyone was in pretty high spirits, especially once we moved onto the gin. There was an awful lot of cackling. Very, very loud cackling. At one point I went to the loo and I could hear our lot even inside the building with the toilet door locked.

The sun went in and we all decided to move to another venue that had tables inside ('Can we catch a bus there?!'). We ended up in a wine bar where they ushered us into a secluded room with a big table. They had obviously heard about how loud we laugh when we get going and decided to keep us away from other customers. We all drank gin (apart from one of the lads who insisted on having ale), then after looking at the bill we decided not to buy more drinks but instead went to the supermarket and picked up more gin and tonic and pizza and trifle (it was vegetarian) and cake ('We should get cake! It's my birthday!', 'Really?! When?', 'December!') and went back to Vs place.

We got back to V's place about 7pm, we put pizza in the oven, and put youtube on the telly - yep time for karoke, if you count drunken singing and dancing round the living room as karoke. The first song on was V's favourite, 'Dead Ringer for Love' ('If I was going to be on Stars in their Eyes, I would be Cher in this video. I'm not joking!'). And it just got cheesier from there. At some point V and I switched to tea and managed to have a bit of a chat amidst everything that was going on ('Do you know I was tidying my room the other day and I came across one of my socks in a mug. I have no idea how long it had been there. I was hoping it was empty but it was a third full of coffee. How does this happen?!'). It all got a bit indie for a while, but we rescued it with some jive and then we moved on to some musicals all of which got us up and dancing around like mad things - including a V and Middle B doing an impromtu version of the elephant medley from Moulin Rouge. A lot of singing, a lot of dancing and a lot of cake later, I finally got home at 2.30am. I'm knackered today, but I'm a pretty happy bunny - I should clearly do this more often. V agrees: 'I wish my boyfriend had been here tonight - I wish everyone could see how awesome my friends are!'.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

The Update

Our internet has been on and off so I haven't been able to update as much so I am sneaking in a post while I'm at work.... don't tell the boss! I've got a bit of time off now so I can get started on that pile of books that have been waiting patiently in the corner of my room.

Middle B and I went mattress shopping, which was exciting, partly because I can actually get a good nights sleep now, but mostly because we got to throw ourselves on loads of beds and bounce up and down on them when the owner wasn't looking. So I am now the proud owner of a pretty firm memory foam mattress! And on sale with an extra 10% off!
Hooray! I'm looking forward to some beautiful nights sleep ahead....

In other news, I have a crush on a very lovely man and I sent him an email to ask him for coffee or a drink or dinner so we could talk about Einstein or existentialism or squirrels or cornflakes or something. I'm waiting for a response.... Miss T, G and Middle B think that it's exciting but I think it's terrifying! We'll see what happens.

And last but not least I'll be teaching a whole day course of Karma on 10th May.... I'm used to teaching one session, and this will be three so we'll see how that goes. I hope I get some good questions! I'll just have to prepare well.

Next on the list is to find ridiculous duvet covers for double beds.... allonsy!

Friday, 11 April 2014

The Cuteness!

These are Valais Blacknose sheep from Switzerland. They may be the cutest thing ever. Maybe more than squirrels.

I wonder if I could make sock creatures like them? Hmmm....

Sunday, 6 April 2014

The Excitement!

I posted this the other day on facebook (because who doesn't love Simon Pegg?!):

Me: Well in that case I'm geeky about nearly everything....
Miss H:  I like how you say "that's so exciting" about virtually everything and always mean it x
Me:  It is one of my catchphrases, its true. If you feel the need to give me synonyms feel free xx
ID: If you were a superhero your name would be Exciting-girl...
Me:  Exciting Girl! I love it! 

So yeah, it turns out I'm really bad at playing it cool and that makes me a superhero! How exciting!