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  • Getting fit. The soccer pre-season is starting and here I am. Haven't played for 5 years, haven't done a lick of proper exercise for 5 months, but getting involved. Hopefully the feeling returns to my legs soon.

  • Starting work again. So far, so enjoyable.

  • Finding a place to live. Now we get to buy furniture! That will be nice after so long living with other people's furniture, wobbly IKEA crap.

  • This hot December. It doesn't feel Christmassy. I miss icy pavements, lights sparkling in the night-time, roast meals in warm pubs with good friends, snuggling up on the couch while it's cold outside, Christmas shopping on the high street, dressing up for Christmas parties, mince pies, wreaths on doors. I'm remembering all the wonderful things about London December.
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Over the last few months, I’ve learned a few things about having a Good Swim. The kind when you walk home afterward with legs like jelly, flushed with endorphins, feeling great because you’ve just had an epic session in the pool. Here’s what I do to get that swimmer’s high:

  • Eat 1 hour beforehand. Something substantial enough to sustain but not too heavy. I like a small bowl of bran flakes with a sliced banana, dollops of greek yogurt and a splash of milk.

  • Drink 1 litre of water in the hour before the swim. This seems to be key to not getting one of those CRACKING headaches. I’ve had a few of those and boy, were they awful. My head felt like it was going to split open.

  • Rinse your hair thoroughly first and comb a conditioner treatment through it, and leave it in under your swim cap for the duration.

  • Push through the first 10-15 minutes. These are the hardest. You can’t breathe. Your arms hurt. Don’t stop and don’t switch to breaststroke, just keep going. Because it will get somehow magically easier after that. I guess your body acclimatises to the rhythm and effort?

  • Keep your head down – look at the bottom of the pool – and try to look behind you when you turn to breathe.

  • Don’t forget you have legs. If you’re like me, you’ll be a lazy kicker and all your energy will be expended in your arms. And if you’ve got puny arms like me, that means getting tired too early. I’ve been up in the gym floor and looked down over the pool before, and I’ve seen how a lot of people don’t kick properly or even at all, especially when turning their head to breathe.

  • Buy goggle de-fogger instead of new goggles. I think I went through 4 or 5 pairs before I figured that out. I heart goggle de-mister!

  • Drink loads of water afterward too.

What I still need to learn:

  • How to tumble turn! Water up nose, ending up too deep, going sideways… gah! Not fun. I shall continue to turn the manual way I think…

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The A-Team (or, “That movie that starts with A that has those people in it” as I kept calling it) – Ridiculous. But you figured that would be the case going in. You knew that was the case when they flew a helicopter upside down. Don’t expect anything and you won’t be disappointed.

The A Team

New books - Added to my reading list, John Scalzi’s The Last Colony and Elizabeth Bear’s Chill, purchased from the awesomely geektastic store Forbidden Planet. I could spend a lotta money on sci fi books there.

Cold War KidsEvery Man I Fall For – Darling song of the moment that I’m playing on repeat. Seriously I think I listened to this 25 times on Saturday while wrestling writing my current WIP.

Haircut – No more scraggly ends!

Inception - A good and solid original movie. Keeps you thinking after. Not as hard to follow as I’d expected. Loved the ambiguous ending.


Coffee - With 2 of my buddies at Lola & Simon, my favourite cafe in London. V v v good coffee, delish range of cakes & goodies (try the banana bread!)

Jack the Ripper walking tour – Which I’ve been meaning to do for, like, forever. Okay. Ever since I moved to London four years ago. I used to work at Tower Hill so was good to return to the area and get an insight into the history of familiar streets.

May 2014

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