Monthly Archives: December 2014

Reviewing last years resolutions.

Last year I wrote some resolutions down for this year, and posted them online.

I’m pleasantly surprised with what I managed to do.

1. Have a clearout and stop buying stuff I don’t need. – The clearout has been ongoing (and still is).  So yeah.  As for not buying stuff, I think I’ve bought very little this year.

2. Run again. For fun – Yes, I did manage this.  I’ve been running at least twice a week, and did a 5k and a 10k to gauge how I was coming along, and was pleasantly surprised with the results.  Still managing to not re-join a club, so I’m managing to keep it a pleasurable activity, and not get obsessive like I was in the past.

3. Go climbing again. – I’ve bouldered a few times.  We have a small wall at work now, so I’ve just used that the odd lunchtime.  Found that while it’s pretty fun, it was obviously the company of the people I climbed with that I enjoyed more than the challenge of climbing itself.

4. Stop buying overpriced coffee.  Buy good coffee and make it myself – Managed this one easily.

5. Cycle to work as often as the weather allows. – Done it in spades.  The weather hasn’t even been an issue unless there’s a really strong wind.  The only day I haven’t been cycling is a Tuesday, when I have karate after work, and I run the 5 1/2 miles to work instead.

6. Do another munro – while I didn’t do a munro, I did get up a few smaller hills, so I’m sort of claiming that one.

So overall, I managed to pretty much nail my resolutions.  Now I need to (a) keep it up, and (b) come up with more for next year.

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That’s that for another year.

So yesterday was the work Christmas do.

The place we had booked was a bit more….. trendy that I would choose to frequent, but the food was excellent, and the staff were great, so can’t complain on that score.
We had to be off that tables by 4.00pm as they needed them for another party that had booked, so we all headed into the bar at that point.
I’d had a couple of beers, and like I say this wasn’t the sort of place I’d usually frequent, so I slipped away and met up with some colleagues who had done their own thing, and were now in a pub.
I stayed for another couple of drinks, then opted for an early night and headed home.

The highlight of the night for me was an English colleague asking how much a kilt cost to get made.

Him – How much was it, the kilt.
Me – £300
Him – no, not including the sporran, belt, shoes, etc, just the kilt.
Me – Yeah, £300.

His face was a picture.  He didn’t know they were hand made to measure, and contained 8 yards of wool.

So anyway, that’s it over for another year.  Just got the karate club night out on Saturday and I can relax…

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So I’m wearing a kilt to work today….

…That can only mean one thing.

It’s the Christmas do today 😀

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Winter fitness lay off? Nah.

A couple of weeks ago I spoke to one of the fitness instructors at the gym, so come up with a training routine for me to follow.  It was ready last week, but due to other commitments, I wrote off last week for the gym, cycling and running, so today’s the day.
Yesterday I was in the gym playing badminton, and nipped up to have a look at the plan he’s come up with for me.  It’s split into three separate workouts which is great as I’m planning on three days a week.  He’s come up with a muscle routine (upper and lower body), a cardio routine, and a core strengthening routine (which I really need to do.)  So today (if I read it correctly) is the muscle workout.

That’s my lunchbreak sorted out then…..

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Nice freebie

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist is free on Amazon. Result.

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Christmas. Consumerism gone mad.

It’s almost that time of year again, when people spend more than they can afford, to give other people more than they need.
My mum was (and to an extent still is) like that.  She had to be the person who gave you the most gifts, or the biggest gift or the most expensive gift.  No matter how many times I told her (and keep telling her) that a small gift that has had thought put into it, means so much more than her idea of bigger/more/expensive.

She hasn’t really a clue what I like.  Sorry, that’s not exactly true.  She knows I like rock music, horror movies and science fiction, but ask her to name a band/actor/author and she wouldn’t have a clue.  So there’s been lots of random gifts that sooner or later go to the charity shop, where hopefully, they will be found by someone who does like them.

She is one of these people who falls for the commercialism of the whole time of year.  And it’s that commercialism that I really truly can’t stand.  You see people at their greed fuelled worst.

I know that my wife knows what I like and would get something that she’s seen and known instantly that it’s ideal for me.  She won’t be looking at a price tag and thinking “That’s too cheap, I can’t give that”.  If the gift fits, that’s what matters, and I appreciate that so much more.

(Don’t get me wrong, my mum has hit the nail on the head on a few occasions, but she still thinks that more is better, when, to be honest, I don’t agree.)

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Book swap

Well it’s sort of clearing out.  I swapped some China Mieville books with a guy in work, for the Hunger Games trilogy, and the Guillermo del Toro “Strain” trilogy.

I’ve read the first of the Strain books, but not the others, and it ended up in a charity bag as part of a previous clearout.  I’ll read it again, along with the sequels, and then it’s off to the charity shop with them.

I’ve also got some role playing games that are going to go, Elric, Runequest 2nd ed (+ Cults of Prax supplement), Stormbringer (+Stormbringer Companion, and Second Stormbringer Companion), and Rolemaster.  I used to love gaming, but that whole social circle fell apart, and no-one games any more.  C’est la vie……

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Still chanting

I’m not managing to chant every day.  Bad time management on my part.  I need to find just 15 minutes a day to be by myself and chant.
When I do, I feel so relaxed and calm afterwards, and, unlike when I tried Buddhist meditation, I don’t run the risk of dropping off 🙂

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Isolation chambers, Buddhist meditation and chanting Hare Krishna

I used to regularly go to an isolation tank in the West End of Glasgow, and just chill and relax for an hour.  It was a wee monthly treat, some me time where “me” melted away, and became irrelevant.  When I came out the chamber and walked round the streets, for a while it was like being in a bubble looking out.  And I loved it.

Then the place with the chamber closed.

For a while I tried Buddhist meditation, as there was a weekly session in my work, at lunchtime.  The results varied, from “a bit chilled out” to actually nodding off, so it wasn’t really working out.

After talking to a couple of Krishna monks, I thought I’d try chanting.  Not for any religious reason (I don’t really think of myself as religious, but I do consider myself spiritual.), but to see if I could get that calm that I’d lost when the chamber closed.
I do have Krishna beads – japa mala – that I got when I was in India and visited a Krishna temple in Mumbai (among other temples), so I was good to go for counting a “round” of chanting.

I’ve actually been pleasantly surprised by the results.  I’m “almost” getting the same results that I got from the float in the tank.  There’s a slight disassociation post chant that almost matches the post float feeling, so I’m taking that as a positive result.

I feel a lot calmer afterwards, and that surely is the point I’ve been looking to achieve.

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Winter fitness regime

So with the winter kicking in, I’ve re-joined the gym.  Fortunately it’s located in my work, so I get a decent discount.
To be honest, I probably shouldn’t have stopped it a couple of years back, because, all I do is cycle/run/karate.  There’s zip, nada, zilch in the way of upper body.  It’s all lower/cardio, so I really needed to get back and do some upper body stuff.

Today I’ve got to go over and see about getting a programme worked out for me.  Better than trying to flail about randomly on my own.

I should probably try and check out a yoga class as well.  I used to do a class when they had one early morning.  To be honest I found yoga a bit of a bore, but I loved how I felt after a class, so stuck with it until the class was cancelled after the instructor got pregnant.

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