So, following the Christmas and New Year break, I now have 3 weeks of the ‘30 things of 30 for 30 Challenge’ to catch up on writing about, and its been a busy few weeks, so lets get started!
Narrowly missing the last week’s edition was an opportunity I took while staying with my Gran. My cousin is currently studying shamanic healing, to complement her qualifications already achieved in massage and reiki, and she offered me a healing session. I’m pretty sceptical about these things but open to giving them a go, with the theory they can’t do any harm. The session involved lying down for about 40 minutes while my cousin wafted incense around me, placed healing stones on my energy chakras and even ‘shook up’ my energy with a rattle and culminated in a list of thoughts and recommendations that had come to her during the session. While I have no evidence that the session had any effect or not, at the very least it was nice to lie down peacefully for a while, and her thoughts were at least thought-provoking.
Just before heading away for Christmas, I wrote 2 letters, one to my Grandma thanking her for the Christmas money she sent, and one to my Gran, thanking her for the stay I had at her house the week previous. I have since received a phonecall telling me that my letter was ‘very cheeky’ – not least because I addressed it to ‘Granny Barton,’ a name she really doesn’t like, and which I did purely to get a reaction. My Gran is so predictable!
We then headed down south for Christmas, first stopping at Matt’s parent’s house for 36 hours, where I ‘took another opportunity.’ Faced with the prospects of doing Matt’s expenses (I help him with his business invoicing and accounting every couple of months,) and which was overdue by a month, Matt’s mum had other ideas, and I readily accepted the opportunity to go out for a walk in the local area with her. We enjoyed a beautiful sunny day, a good girlie chat, a beautiful waterfall and a nice pub lunch, and were still back in time for me to do the bulk of the expenses. Much better use of a day!
I did manage one random act of kindness that evening. With Harry’s parents comfortably seated and enjoying the Christmas spirit(s), Harry became to get tired and cry. I offered to take him for a walk around the block, in the dark, in his pushchair to help get him to sleep so his parents could continue a well-earned rest. Harry was obviously very tired, but also massively curious, so would be nearly nodding off when a car would go by and he’s wake up trying to look at it. After 2 trips round the block (and standing in some dog mess) I finally got him off to sleep.
Following Christmas, I headed up to Lochearnhead (10 hours on a minibus from Ely to Scotland) for my annual trip with Scout to help lead on a Winter Mountaineering course. This is always a fun trip with lots of old mates (although I’ve seen them too recently to count as catching up with old friend) It did however count as a new activity for my exercise list – Winter Mountaineering. We got a good couple of days using ice-axe and crampons. Although we did 6 munros during the week, they are all ones that I’ve done before, so didn’t count towards my Challenge.
As you can imagine, the festive periods saw a few more alcoholic drinks get added to my Challenge list. At Mum’s, I had an Amarula (South African cream Bailey-like drink) and also a Mojito cocktail made by my brother. In Lochearnhead, my fellow leaders were most accommodating in letting me try glasses of their favourite tipples, so I had Ginger Wine, Port, Whisky (they all taste the same to me, so different whisky’s don’t count as separate drinks for me) and also some home-made Sloe Gin. This now takes my drinks total to 22 out of 30!
The festive season finished off with a new film, the one everyone is talking about: Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I thoroughly enjoyed it (once I got over the loud volume in the IMAX and the 3D effects making me duck at low-flying debris.)
So its now back to the normal working week with a bit of a bump, but I do have some interesting learning to reflect on.
- Mountains make me really happy. After finding November and December, with their dark nights and limited work, really quite difficult, I felt amazing over New Year spending time in the mountains. Nature and the company of good friends really does make the world of difference. I need to work out a way of getting more of this in my life.
- Babies are fun (this I knew already) – watching grown adults, normally very sensible, playing with babies and doing all sorts of stupid things can be even more entertaining.
- Despite rarely being in contact because he’s so busy and important, my brother must actually read my blog, as all of his Christmas presents to me were based on achieving Challenge items. I love you, Bro!