The week started with a relaxed evening in with a new film, Kingmans: The Secret Service. Although it was released last year, I never got around to see it at the cinemas and was excited to see it arrive via Love Film this week. There’s something quite surreal about seeing Colin Firth, normally known for being a stern romantic interest (Bridget Jones, Pride and Prejudice, Love Actually, Mama Mia!), suddenly becoming a very efficient assassin. Good fun, if not very realistic!
Saturday saw another film added to the list, seeing ‘Brooklyn’ at the cinema. The most surprising thing about it was that my partner Matt actually enjoyed it, despite it being a fairly soppy romance. He apparently liked that it didn’t end the way you thought it would. Plus it has Julie Walters in. We finished the evening off with an Indian meal in Jashan’s (thereby adding another restaurant off the list) and enjoying, for the first time, a Crabbie Alcoholic Ginger Beer (my first alcohol of the challenge). Not something I’d normally choose, and not something I think I’d choose again!
Lindsey also taught me to do ‘rope plaits’ in my hair, so with a bit of practice the next morning, I was able to create my first new hairstyle from the list, using rope plaits to keep my hair off my face. Matt’s verdict: “An improvement on how you normally look, even if you do look like a 4-year old from the front.”
Thursday saw my first free coaching session another NLP friend, Nikki, combined with my 30 minutes walking for the week (although I had already fulfilled the 30 minutes walking the night before with Helen – the weather was good and we knew we’d both benefit from some exercise and a good view.) We walked up to Craiglockhart Hill from my house, and each spent some time coaching the other on a current issue.
I also send my first letter. This was a birthday card to my Gran. Her birthday was in August, and I diligently bought a card about 2 weeks before, but forgot to send it! So, when I found it a few days after her birthday, I thought I’d surprise her at a random point in the year with a ‘non-birthday card.’ I’ve not heard from her yet, but I think it’ll appeal to her sense of humour and will mean much more to her that I’m thinking about her on some random day and making an effort to do something nice, than just getting lost in a pile of other cards with a cursory glance on her actual birthday.
Finally, tonight, I made another recipe and have to say I have fallen out with Nigella Lawson. Her recipe for ‘Rapid Ragu’ led to me spending the best part of 30 minutes searching everywhere in Asda for a jar of caramelised onions (NOT caramelised onion chutney) only to finally track down a lady that worked there who said she’d never heard of it. I then had to spend about 45 minutes making my own caramelised onions (which I have never done before, so needed another recipe) before I could make ‘Nigella’s Not-So-Rapid Ragu’. I’m tempted to claim 2 recipes for this effort, given I had to look up how to make the onions (turns out its just oil, onions and a bit of sugar) but its all gone into the same pot in the end, and smells pretty good…..
- Make an effort to get outside on these dark winter nights and do something you wouldn't normally do. It’s refreshing, energising and you get to see things looking different to the daytime, often in a quite magical way.
- Never trust Nigella Lawson and her ‘quick and easy’ recipes
- Birthday cards can be more fun and meaningful to send when it’s not someone’s birthday than when it is.