18 December 2014

Kitchen Dancing

She's in her pajamas, hair stuck flat to her head on one side and yet standing in tufts on the other. Groaning, she reaches into the cupboard, fumbles blearily for the biggest mug and punches the kettle on with a slight air of contempt. 

After tipping, measuring by eye, the coffee into the mug, she reaches up and twirls the radio dial until the reassuring pips resound throughout the kitchen. 'Good Morning', she's greeted, 'and welcome to another day on planet Earth'. With a sigh of exasperation, she tugs on the hem of her sleeve, wondering whether the radio jingle really expects to greet anyone other than the current inhabitants of this rock.

As the kettle slowly rumbles into life, a familiar riff begins to resound from the speakers, and her fingers begin to tap on the side of the counter. By the time the chorus starts, the volume has been edged up and she's moving swiftly across the tiles, sliding across their sheen and spinning around the floor. Her shoulders bounce to the music and watching her own feet, a messy fringe covers her now sparkling eyes - the sleep brushed aside in an exaggerated gesture.

Occasionally a line is repeated as she sings along, the odd hand clap, drum beat and guitar strum escaping. She's laughing to herself, at her own silliness, the speed of which tiredness can be chased away with a favourite tune.

As the song fades to an end, she pours the now boiling water into the mug, still wiggling her hips along to the closing beats and feeling that a boogie was perhaps more beneficial than the caffeine she'd just procured.

Unexpectedly, a hand appears around her waist and spins her around, catching her by surprise and stumbling over her slippers, causing a peal of laughter to escape. 

'Dancing without me are you?' he asks with a knowing grin. 

17 December 2014

Challenging 2014 and Embracing 2015

As we near the end of the year, it feels apt to address the small word I had as my resolution this year. *2013 here*

Little did I know, that 'challenge' would mean more than I thought in 2014. Here's a little recap to refresh your memory on what January Laura thought 'challenge' meant for her year, and then how May was shaping up.

    • For starters, August didn't happen for the thesis, but November did. As they say... Better late than never. I've been attending job interviews all year and though as yet I haven't been successful, my interview skills are definitely growing each time and I almost bounced out of my last interview thrilled that I'd given it my best. 
    • The house definitely came along this year, you can see a range of updates dotted around these pages. There needs some work still, but I won't be staying here for much longer so it's taken a bit of a back-burner since October.
    • I started training at my local CrossFit gym and made some of the best friends a girl could ask for. I dropped a dress size, found a sense of achievement and had the pleasure of competing both with and alongside some incredible women. Every time I train I manage to come away with an small goal conquered and a personal best in once way or another. 
    • As I said in May, since starting CrossFit my body shape has changed dramatically. I've been taking progress pictures to see if there was any change and boy can you tell! As my body gets leaner and stronger I find myself loving feeling healthy and strong, and caring less about what I look like. I love focussing on what my body can do. Turns out when you worry less, it looks better anyway. I started having eyelash extensions back in the year as though I love feeling fancy, I hate applying and wearing make-up. Eyelashes make me feel put together and a little bit glam without worrying about mascara pouring down my face or smudging eye-liner.
    •  Finally, the challenge of relationships were perhaps the key point in 2014. Yes, I made some fantastic new friends and cut some old ones out that were no longer on my wave-length. But rather strikingly was the break-down of my marriage (which though I've not discussed in depth here, took up a large part of the year). I am lucky, especially towards the end of this year, to have met some wonderful people who are very supportive and kind, and I hope to keep these lovely souls close as we start a new chapter in 2015.
    And so that brings me to consider my word for the next year. As I've said, I don't make resolutions as I dislike the negativity of saying 'no' to things. Instead, I shall be saying 'yes' to new and different things in 2015. 

    background source

    I have a feeling 2015 will be my year to explore a little, and I aim to do so with an open mind, arms and eyes. I don't want to miss a thing.

    16 December 2014

    Breaking Traditions


    Divergence from our regular pattern can promote anxiety and inhibit productivity. Forgetting to brush your teeth before you put on the slick of lipstick, accidentally catching the wrong train, unexpectedly running out of milk for your tea.We label these broken plans in such a way that it immediately connotes negativity, but as my Christmas plans are verging on the edge of different this year, I've been wondering how a break from the norms I've grown to know can be embraced.

    Small things, like trying my coffee black, eating pizza on a Monday and walking the dog in an anti-clockwise loop make little to no difference...unsurprisingly. 

    However, clearing a day's plans to spend time with a friend meant I could discover new curiosities that wouldn't usually have appeared should I have spent the day in the gym as planned. Trying a new sport for an afternoon taught me that I'm not quite as uncoordinated as I once thought, nor as terrified of heights, and therefore was a personal education in itself. Not setting the alarm for a change enabled me to wake up with soft crease lines across my cheeks two hours later than usual, and pull open the blind to discover a beautiful sun-filled, frost coated morning instead of stumbling around in the dark, mainlining my coffee and cursing sleepiness. 

    Even hearing a new person describe your positive aspects and give you a pep talk can feel like the first time you've ever heard them, previously falling deaf to any other compliments.

    This Christmas, I'll be looking forwards to star-fishing in my own bed, beef instead of turkey, giving a couple of unexpected gifts without receiving any in return and wondering what might happen if I spend New Years Eve away from home. 

    Let's make some wonderful new patterns this year.

    15 December 2014

    My Monday Montage: 15.12.14

    • Having a well needed lie-in on Saturday morning, and then pottering around the house with some strong coffee and banana pancakes to nibble on. 
    • Giggling away to the Gavin and Stacey Christmas Special (again)
    • Bundling the dog into the car with some walking boots and bobble hats and heading off to Elvaston Castle with a friend for a few of hours of walking and chatting in the crisp Winter sunshine
    • Treating ourselves to chocolate with whipped cream, sitting in the sunshine outside in the castle grounds
    • Heading home for an afternoon of relaxing on the sofa, a mug of mulled wine and Love Actually on the TV
    • Cooking a massive thai green curry for dinner, and loving spending time in the kitchen again. 
    • Feeling very, very full and settling on the sofa for the strictly semi-finals before an early night
    • An early start on Sunday, and managing to get to the gym for opening 
    • Faffing a little in the empty space. Struggling to get warm as I noticed my breath pour out in white blooms, and yet finally getting some progress on my handstand push-ups. 
    • Doing some more skill work before jamming my ipod into my ears, cranking up the volume and starting some rowing intervals. 
    • After gossiping a little too long with a team-mate, rushing home to satiate my rumbling stomach with leftover thai green curry and a cup of tea
    • Taking the dog for a long walk before relishing a steaming hot shower, clean PJs and an evening with my laptop browsing potential job applications, addressing some Christmas cards, purchasing a last minute present and watching Sports Personality of the Year.

    4 December 2014

    December Lust List

    December Lust List
    I'm just going to go ahead and pretend that this isn't just my birthday & Christmas wish list. It kinda is though... family are you reading?! 
    1. Oh copper Vans. I adore you
    2. New collar for the hound. This one is from notonthehighstreet.com but I *may* have already picked him up a leather one on discount at Pets at Home...
    3. Every autumn/winter Rouge Noir makes it into my lust lists. One Day. 
    4. Training gloves. Because them bars and kettlebells are cold!
    5. To go with said gloves, a gym bag. My canvas rucksack is starting to look a little sad and I really want something with compartments for all my tape/socks/snacks/protein. Sh*ts getting serious guys. 
    6. A Christmas tree. Yep. Never had one. 
    7. Salted Caramel Charbonnel et Walker truffles. Need I say more!?
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