About Ivy Blaise

I write whatever comes into my mind. My muse can go off on a rant or be all sappy or missing in action altogether. You have been warned.

My Ten Things To Do in June

Goodness we are really churning out the posts lately… not. It is a good thing that Christy is keeping an eye on blogging prompts so that we can get some ideas and inspiration. Finding something that we both like and most importantly something that we have time to put together can be quite challenging. Time really is the main issue here… there just is not enough hours in the day.

Therefore this topic is very apt. When trying to find a moment to get things done, then I find that keeping a “to do” list helps.

So for June – here are my ten things to do (amongst other things) in no particular order:

  1. Try to fit in at least one training session a week down at the club – I really, really need to get going again properly.
  2. Go to Glendalough and go for a longer hike. – have been thwarted several times due to the weather. Rain go away!
  3. Get a haircut! The birds are circling above and most likely will mistake my hair for a nest soon…
  4. Get my car through the NCT  (mandatory car test/service) – third time lucky?
  5. Survive this month in work – last month of the fiscal year. It will be veeeery busy.
  6. Take up meditation again – started it and then it fizzled out.
  7. Prepare myself for delivering a presentation in work (I get nervous just thinking about it).
  8. Finish at least two of the six books that I have started and that are collecting dust on my bed side table.
  9. Meet up with the girls for a dinner (or two) in town. Or a drink or two…
  10. Get at least two more blog posts written!

Let’s hope I can get all that sorted in June. Wish me luck. Or maybe it will just be a lot of do-be-do-be-do…

 

 

 

If I had one day to eat anything I want…

Following an idea from Christy we decided to look at what we would eat if we could eat whatever we wanted without any consequences. I have now been staring at this draft post the last hour and for some reason I am struggling. There are loads of things I could list.. maybe that is the problem, there are TOO many choices!

So instead of looking at main courses (which could take a while) with all from Tacos, steak, BBQ’s … (hmmm I am definitely a carnivore)… I will stick to the best dessert ever. It is the simplest cake in the world to make. Contains more calories than I ever want to know and it is just divine. It is a cake for all the chocaholics out there. There are many variations of this cake out there but they are all called the same thing in Sweden: “Kladdkaka”. Literally translated that means: “Sticky cake”. A friend of mine once named it “Orgasm cake”… she liked the cake, a lot.

The recipe that I use is from a good friend of mine. She gave it to me when we were both 17. I have not deviated from it since, as I could not find anything as simple that is as good. Why mess with perfection?

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 3 dl (approx 1.3 cup) sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar (or dash vanilla essence drops)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3-4 tbsp cocoa/cacao powder (preferable dark, organic if possible)
  • 100 gram (3.5 ounces) butter
  • 1 1/2 dl (approx 0.7 cup) flour (you can add more if you do not want the cake too sticky)

Melt the butter. Briskly whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla sugar together. Add the salt, cacao, melted butter and the flour. Stir everything together.

Grease a baking tin, approx 25 cm in diameter (9-10 in). Pour the mixture into the baking tin. Put into a pre-heated oven (175 degrees C/ 347 F), at the bottom, for about 35-50 min (again depending on how sticky you want it to be).

Once it is done, take out and let it cool down for about 40 min. Serve with ice-cream or whipped cream.

Enjoy!

Who would have thought…

Finding a work-out that suits you is quite difficult I find. I have a number of friends who love running or spending pro-longed time at the gym either working with weights, doing classes or trying to kill themselves doing spinning (as you might guess I have never tried spinning… the sheer look of pure pain on the faces of people doing spinning kind off puts me off a bit…).

I do enjoy a good work-out at the gym as well. Preferably a mix of cross-trainer, weights and toss in a session on a rowing machine as well. However my issue has always been for me to actually go to the gym… once I am there I am fine. So needless to say I have not always been a very regular attendee at any gym. As for the moment I do not even have a gym membership. Running… nah never been anything I enjoyed.

So what do I do… well three years ago I joined a martial arts club. Out of the blue. I had never tried anything similar before, always been curious but I never felt that any particular type of martial art appealed to me. I got this flyer through the door and it was for a beginners class for Bujinkan Budo Taijitsu – a japanese martial arts. Off I went to have a look and I’ve never looked back.

Ehh no… I do not look like that…

To describe what exactly it is that we do and the different schools within Bujinkan would take a very long time and I am not exactly a subject matter expert so I leave that to the ones that are much better versed at that. One interesting article can be found here:

http://www.happobiken.com/index.php?/blog/entry/sbp_article_on_japan_training/

For me we kind of do everything… different throws, kicks, punches, ground fighting, using different kinds of weapons and everything else in-between. Each year there is a different theme (as you can see in the wiki link).

I love it! I am currently (once again) the only girl in the club. Training with only lads is actually kind off fun. They do not hold back just because I am a girl, which I think is great. Or as one told me.. “if you cannot defend yourself in a somewhat controlled environment, how will you ever be able to do so on the street if someone would try to jump you?”

Yes, being the only girl can be interesting. I have to try to look for ways to do the techniques without relying too much on strength, cos lets face it… most guys are stronger than me. That is good though. I will really never be able to power myself through every step which really also is not the point of the art.

I do get bruised… a lot. I always seem to have blue bruises on my arms, hands and elsewhere. I always have to point out to people I meet for the first time that “no, I am not a victim of domestic abuse”. I give as good as I get. The sparring is always interesting with full head-gear and gloves. I’m telling you, getting punched for the first time was a bit freaky. But… at the same time it was really good because I know now what it does to me. I would be less likely to freeze IF it would happen in reality. It also teaches you how quickly you tire after getting all that adrenaline rushing through your system and how to continue even when you are absolutely spent. The ground fighting can be really draining… a 1 minute fight feels like an eternity.

At the moment my favorite part are the weapons, especially using a Bo – which is a 6 foot wooden staff. Don’t ask me why, but I totally get a kick out of training with the Bo. It is a lot of fun. You learn about distance, timing, speed, intention, defence and aggression etc… all at the same time and this is naturally equally applicable when training without any weapons.  

You might ask if people get hurt a lot… well, we do ensure that we do not go full-out. In the end of the day you are responsible for the safety of your training partner. Yes, it can be full on – as it has to be, how else will you learn without a taste of reality. However we also take care of each other. Yes, accidents can happen as in any type of martial arts or sport. I have been lucky and have not had anything happen for three years… apart from one Saturday not long ago when I bent my thumb nail back, connected my nose with another person’s knee and got my eye poked…all in one session. It was not my best day. But then all was fine in the end.

I have missed a bit of training in the last few months, mainly due to work commitments but I am hoping to get in a session twice a week going forward. After every training I am normally totally soaked through, every part of my body aches and I have a big smile on my face. That feeling of being totally happy, training with a great bunch of people – that is what makes me go back.That is why I am so glad I took that first step towards that beginners class three years ago. That is why I will stay.

Bujinkan-logo

Bujinkan-logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Right now in Dublin

It is once again time to take a snapshot of what is going on “right now” in Dublin, Ireland and more specifically in my little slice of the world.

Current time: 13:34 GMT – oh and look it is cloudy again. Well it was brighter this morning but I was way too snuggled in, in my duvet to bother getting up early at the time.

In my glass: A cup of coffee – strong with a generous dash of milk. Perfect.

In my belly: Cereals, yoghurt, blueberries – yep I am having an extremely late breakfast.

In my ears: The neighbor’s dog barking. It is quiet outside part from that. Sometimes it is just really nice to have silence all around.

Out the window: There is no wind at all so all the trees are motionless, or at least that is how it seems. It is almost like a snapshot in itself; grey sky, nothing moving and silence (apart from the dog).

On the editor: Blue jeans and a blue v-neck jumper with 3/4 length sleeves. And I have even blow-dried my hair!

Last watched: “Game of Thrones” – got the box set and watched all episodes. Brilliant!

Feeling good about: That I stayed in bed all morning and just snoozed for hours.

Feeling bad about: That I did not get up early and get some exercise done as planned.

Next to me: Mobile phone, Kindle, coffee cup, notebook.

Making me think: That I need a holiday to get some renewed energy.

Photo Challenge – Day 29 (Black&White) In the park

The month of February and the photo challenge has come to an end. This is the final day and the final shot for this particular photo challenge. I have really enjoyed it even if there were days when I did not have a clue of what to post.

The final topic is Black & White. This was shot a few weeks ago in Phoenix Park in Dublin.