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)

 

In just this moment

Sometimes it is difficult to find time and most of all to find inspiration for a blog post……..

Meme to the rescue!

As this blog is a joint venture these types of meme’s are also great fun when wanting to make comparisons between the authors. (… let’s pretend that this is not also a lifesaver as I was staring blankly at the page with a frustrated expression).

So thank you Christy for finding us some inspiration!

Current time: 15:58 GMT – that is in Dublin, Ireland right now even though the grayness outside would want to make you think it is bedtime once again. Hmmmm tempting….

In my glass: Well cup really… tea. Good auld Irish Barry’s tea with a dash of milk… and a separate dash for my cat who is addicted to all things dairy (not sure if there is an MA, Milk Anonymous, organization).

In my belly: Oven roasted Mediterranean vegetables with pesto and leftover sausages. I know, a bit of a weird combination but that is the beauty of being single… I can mix and match to my heart’s content.

In my ears: Brandi Carlile’s album “The Story” playing on shuffle. With the added noise of the washing machine in the background – how come is my laundry basket always overflowing…

Out the window: Gray January skies over my neighbors rooftops. I really wish we would get some snow to brighten up the view.

On the editor: Ehmm I am assuming this point refers to what is actually “on me”… I could lie and say I am wearing a very chic outfit  but in reality I am sitting here in a dark blue hoody with the company logo and gray sweats from Roots. I LOVE Roots and they do not exist on this side of the pond to my great despair.

Last watched: On TV: “Notting Hill” – yeah it is a cliché film but it did kill a few hours. In the cinema: “Sherlock Holmes – A Game of Shadows” – I really enjoyed that one!

Feeling good about: The fact that it is Saturday and I got to sleep until 10am. Most importantly though – the amazing people who I have around me.

Feeling bad about: Ouch… I could give you a bit of a list now but in this particular moment I have to say – that the sun is not shining right now.

Next to me: A few notebooks, pens, the all important remote to the iPod docking station and some more tea.

Making me think: Why my internet connection is so infuriating slow at the moment. Skype calls are crashing, pages take ages to download and I think I will have to restart my router. Yeah I know… first world problem.

Now however I think I will shuffle over to the next seating area… i.e. my sofa and just be exceedingly lazy. If you happen to be in the area… have pint of the black stuff, like so many others will have this evening. Here’s to a lovely Saturday.


What’s on my nighstand

This is the very first proper post I will write for this particular blog. Yay! So let us examine what I literally have on my nightstand at this point in time.

  • The all-important alarm clock. One of those illuminate one that start to shine like a raising sun. (Except the bulb is broken and I have yet had time to replace it which means I still get woken up by a beep instead of a gentle ray of light…). I am not a morning person…
  • My favorite IKEA night stand lamp which is vital as I always have a tendency to read something before I go to sleep.
  • A couple of disarrayed necklaces. The ones I forget to take of when going to bed so they end up on a heap instead of hanging off the jewellery tree that I have in the window.
  • Ear plugs… for some reason I just cannot sleep without them. It also comes in handy when my cats decide that they want food at 05.30 in the morning and meow insistently.
  • My mobile phone. Just in case I just have to check Facebook or Twitter or the weather or… Yes, I am slightly obsessed with my phone. It is totally normal, so they say.
  • My Kindle – got it as a gift once as I refused to buy an electronic reader but I have to confess… it is pretty cool. Especially when traveling and in order to get those books that I want NOW (and for a decent price). Currently it holds about 50 books. Mostly urban fantasy, some romance (preferably historic setting) and some comedy (Bridget Jones Diary anyone?).
  • I also love a good aul normal book, that I can read cover to cover. There are always a few on my nightstand. Currently I have:
    • Clive Barker‘s “Weaveworld” – a fantasy novel which I am re-reading for the second time.
    • Kim Harrison‘s “The Hollows Insider” – urban fantasy, part of the “The Hollows” series which I adore.
    • Bill Bryson‘s “A short history of nearly everything” – as I harbor a curiosity and love for science and I wish this book would be part of any school curriculum.
    • Henri Charriere‘s “Papillon” – re-reading it for the third time now. It is just one of those books and stories that grip me every time.

I think I will go to bed and read a bit now. Perfect way to chill out.