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Sunday, 2 January 2022

December 2021: It's Christmas! - and More

 Sunset over the roofs in East London, December 2021

Weds 1 Dec

Opened the 1st window of my Feel Unique beauty Advent calendar. Did forest walk. Started the 12 days of Christmas Kettlewell Colour Club challenge (to see the outfits, look here and here).

Thurs 2 Dec

3 posts on the blog this week, a record! No walk today. Set off for gym but forgot phone so didn't go in  (need the phone for podcast app to listen to).  Wrote Christmas cards for family and friends in Ireland and the Netherlands. Received the annual package of "tat" from a former colleague, who sends useful little notelets, pens and other items. 

Fri Dec 3

Raining in morning. Did Zumba for 1st time.

Sat Dec 4 

Sunny after rain. Did 30 mins of cardio at the gym. Then Body Balance with the Orion Harriers - just 2 of us.  Swung by the Christmas market and was given a lovely gift of dried flowers by Heidi, who I featured here

Sun Dec 5 

Rainy most of day. J and I went to Gunpowder Park, an outdoor track. First time I've run for a long time. Only did 1 circuit. Roast chicken.  Put tree up, wreath, crib, garland, earlier than usual. 

Mon Dec 6 

25 miles to go in the Walk 1500 Mile Challenge.  Did another 4.2 miler. 

Tues Dec 7

Walk. Wrote blog post.

Weds Dec 8

Did walk via Connaught Water and the Queen Elizabeth 1 Hunting Lodge (pictured).  Cold. Wrapped some presents. 

Thurs Dec 9 

Went to gym and did cardio and Peak on treadmill.  Then weights. John installed new speakers. His son and daughter-in-law both have Covid. 

Fri Dec 10

Walk, J came as well but only for half and ran. Quiet day work-wise. 

Sunrise over Epping Forest, December 2021

Sat Dec 11

Blue sky start. Did the "mud walk" which includes Yates Meadow and the horse and pony.  After lunch went to Epping to pick up some bits from M&S. It was the semi final of Strictly Come Dancing. 

Sun Dec 12 

Rest day. Woke up v late for me, 6.50. Intended to take blog photos but heart not in it. Roast lamb. Watched Grand Prix final. Lewis Hamilton robbed. 

Mon Dec 13

Day off to have hair done. Surprise delivery of an M&S food hamper which was sent by the ad agency in New York.

Tues Dec 14 

Walked to Tesco. Good workout, particularly on way back with loaded rucksack. Watched 14 Peaks documentary - very good. 

Weds Dec 15 

A lot of concern now about new variant.  Rachel was exposed to someone with Covid so fingers crossed for Sat when we are supposed to be going to a carol concert at the Royal Albert Hall. My brother and his wife struggling to book boosters. 

Thurs Dec 16

Penultimate day working.  Will complete the challenge on the next walk. Wapped presents instead.  Watched film Lovehard. Predictable but actually not too bad

Fri Dec 17 

Took car for MOT. They called me to say it had failed because of a bulge on a tyre. Agreed they would get the tyre and I'd pick it up Tues. However they then called to say the tyre was in stock, so can collect it tomorrow.  Went to a gong bath. Had no idea gongs could make so many sounds.  

Sat Dec 18 

We didn't go to the carol concert. None of the 6-strong group have Covid now but it was likely to be a super spreader event and we want to safeguard Christmas. Did urban walk to Waitrose and saw annual procession of a camel and donkey with Mary and Joseph. Picked up some more lateral flow tests. Then John drove me to Loughton to collect car. 

Sun Dec 19

Walk, roast lamb, cleaning.  Have finally met goal of walking 1500 miles. My brother now has Covid. 

Mon Dec 20

On holiday until Jan 4. Did walk. Made the final payment for my car, after 3 years of leasing. It's now mine. Would not normally have kept it but will make a profit if I sell it myself, plus the new car will not arrive until March at the earliest. 

Tues Dec 21

Did a mini blog shoot and wrote blog post. Had long chat with a friend in Munich I haven't seen for years. 

Weds Dec 22 

J and I did a short walk at High Beech so he could present me with my Walk 1500 Miles medal.  Very cold. Spurs v West Ham. Watched 1st episode Emily in Paris.  Not sure we will watch the rest. 

Gail Hanlon celebrates walking 1500 miles in 2021

Thurs Dec 23

Spent morning cleaning and tidying.  V satisfying.  Watched The Holiday, a Christmas ritual.

Fri Dec 24: Christmas Eve

In Sains at 6am to get a few bits. Ocado delivery at 11.  Then had flowers from my mum.  Went for forest walk, surprised to find the cattle  (thought they went away for winter). Nephew proposed to girlfriend of 8 years (she said yes).  Watched Don't Look Up. 4 out of 10. 

Sat Dec 25: Christmas Day 

Overcast. First we went over to Christopher and Katie's to open presents with them, Rosie, Rachel and Sean. Came home and put turkey in. Then J and I opened presents. Watched Last Christmas with Emilia Clarke followed by Love Actually. Peaceful day. 

Sun Dec 26: Boxing Day

We've made it, 8 of us are Covid-free and able to have lunch at our house, first time for two years!  Nipped out to buy sliced chicken to avoid the cold turkey which was dry.   I'd bought a new game, Herd Instinct, not very good. Rosie - aged nearly 3 - made us laugh with some of her funny sayings - "where do you think you're going?" and "I want to go to the pub." 

Quite a few dessert choices - all from M&S! 

Mon Dec 27

Went for walk in new wellies.  Put to test in puddles and mud. Steak. Watched Xmas sewing bee in afternoon.

Tues Dec 28

Spent long time preparing a blog post. Too long. Listed some items on a FB site for Kettlewell clothes.  Ate 9 Florentines. First time I have deviated from usual frugal diet over Christmas. Oops. Watched first episode of A Very  British Scandal about the Duchess of Argyll. 

Weds Dec 29 

Bad night, circles under eyes. Fortunately didn't put on any weight in spite of Florentines. Went to the  post office. Too hot at night so going to get rid of duvet and try sleeping with sheet and blanket.  Did yoga and meditation at the gym, followed by trip to big Tesco. Seems to be a shortage everywhere of tissues.

Thurs 30 Dec

Slept better but still woke up too hot several times.  Did forest walk, J ran part of it. Took down tree and decorations. Watched film The Tomorrow War - 5 out of 10. 

Friday 31 Dec

Dreary. Raining so drove to gym instead of walking for Body Balance.  Post office. Did 3 skirt shoots and downloaded some new images for blog. In bed early as per. Woke at 11.30 and then again at midnight for what sounded like Armageddon but was only fireworks.

Thanks to Rebecca Jo at Knit by God's Hand for the Sentence a Day concept, and to Leslie at Once Upon a Time and Happily Ever After for creating and sharing the link-up code.

Sharing this post with #Linkupontheedge at Shelbee on the Edge, #AnythingGoes at My Random MusingsRena at Fine WhateverFabulous Fridays at Lucy Bertoldi, #Neverendingstyle at The Grey Brunette  


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Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Sentence a Day: Christmas And More - December 2019

Sun Dec 1 December
Bright and sunny. Drove home from my mum's in Plymouth - a long journey, six hours.  Opened  the first window of my beauty Advent calendar. A big window indicating a big gift, a Morphe eyeshadow palette in neutral shades.

Mon Dec 2
V tired after weekend and long drive but went to office. Expecting to be in a different office but we haven't moved.

Tues 3
Posted vote for the General Election - I'll be on the way home from America when it happens.  Gym.

Weds 4
Up extra early to prepare salads for lunch and get my link up email out. Office. On my drive saw deer and a spectacular sunrise and sunset. Set up my new nativity stable.
Thurs 5
Thrilled that Advent calendar gift today was an Elemis day cream. Needed a new moisturiser. At work we exchanged our Secret Santa presents.  My mystery benefactor gave me a candle and some Lindor chocs.
Fri 6
At home. Raining.  Dreamed I was trying to swim across the Hoover Dam. Was struggling against the turbines.

Sat 7
Woke to devastating news, the husband of John's sister Kate had died in India. He was 58. Kate was already on her way from London, having been told he was deteriorating in hospital. He was very quiet but made a big impact on the world, particularly with the children's school he founded and funded in India.

I had a lot to do with my business trip to the US tomorrow. Gym, shopping, ironing.  Put the Christmas tree up. Packed case and gave myself a manicure. Wrote day by day menus for J.
Sun 8 December
Got to airport mega early. 10 hour flight,  bought a virtuous salad but didn't eat it as the curry smelt so good. Watched films Animal (entertaining),  Happy New Year Colin Burstead  (improvised drama about a dysfunctional family) and Ad Astra (overly long and ponderous).  Got to hotel in downtown San Jose at 5.30pm. Watched 2nd Mamma Mia film in room.  Music from bar in the courtyard seems very loud although I'm on 6th floor.

Mon 9 Decermber
In a big planning meeting until 3.30. Then we split into teams for a light hearted scavenger hunt. San Jose has lots of Christmas trees. Nice to get outdoors. Drinks. Then early night for me.
Tues 10 Dec
Went to our San Jose office for meets with colleagues.  Went to a Chinese restaurant for lunch. The Brits all got a bit crazy in the afternoon  - we couldn't figure out how to get water out of the tap, and found a human organ for transplant in the fridge!  (It wasn't really an organ but a very realistic bag.....).

Weds 11 Dec
Up at 4am. I don't mind this, I spend a couple of hours reading and doing emails. Then had a full day's meeting with the marketing team.  Part of it involved taking a partially written script, breaking into teams and dramatizing the rest of the story in video, podcast or "live" play format.  Day ended with a team dinner in hotel.

Thurs 12 Dec
Awake at 3am. Today we had a smaller meeting of the campaign team.  I had to leave before the team building activity for the airport, but as it was something I've done before  ("escape room") I wasn't bothered. The flight was delayed by a couple of hours. A technician had to drive from San Francisco to repair something. Saw the election exit poll before we boarded the plane, predicting a landslide win for the Conservatives  (which is what happened).
Friday 13 Dec
Finally back home.  Didn't sleep much. John went to a charity pub quiz, I was too tired.

Sat 14
Slept for 10 hours! Did food shopping, wrapped presents. Watched the final of Strictly Come Dancing.

Sun 15
Have a bad cough and sore throat, legacy of US trip. Didn't go to gym. Roast beef.

Mon 16
Hooray, reached target weight 9st 7, 1st time since 25 Aug 2016. Worked from home to avoid spreading cold germs around. Boiler not working! Arranged for British Gas to come tomorrow to fix it.

Tues 17 Dec
Worked from home.  Boiler sorted. Went to gym. Devastated to hear that one of the founders, Tracy, has died in her early 50s. Terrible news.

Weds 18
We finally moved into a different, larger, office in the same corridor.  Much bigger and tidier. Finally found pair hot pink boots - in the US - and ordered them.

Thurs 19
Still not sleeping well and feel very congested, so worked from home. Work is stressful, too much to do. Have neglected blog and not sure if I want to go back to it.

Fri 20
Worked nonstop. So much to do. So stressed I was weepy. John was nonplussed.

Sat 21
Quiet day of shopping and housework.

Sun 22
Had roast beef for lunch.  Depriving us of poultry until Xmas Day so we appreciate it more.

Mon 23
Finally I'm on holiday. Went with John's daughter and her husband to one of the carol concerts at the the Royal Albert Hall, with dinner first. Very festive and jolly.

Tues 24
Broke with tradition-  usually have sausage rolls and baked beans on Christmas Eve. Had falafals and salad. Determined not to regain any weight this Christmas.

Christmas Day
Woke up early and saw a lovely sunrise. Was spoilt with lots of presents.  Chatted to mum. on the phone, she was spending the day with my brother's family. Our roast turkey  crown wasn't dry (shocker!) although I did have one disaster where a tray of parsnips, carrots and squash got irredeemably burned. The crackers were a bit of a let down! Tiny metal cooking implements  (at least they weren't plastic).
Streamed and watched Oliver (1968) one of my all-time favourite films, even though I don't usually like musicals.

Boxing Day
Fun day with several family members round, including our baby granddaughter. More presents and games. Cooked a ham for lunch along with cold turkey, jacket potatoes, coleslaw and salads. Desserts were Heston's Golden Delicious Christmas pudding, cracking chocolate tart or sticky toffee pudding.

Fri 27
Mild with a blue sky. Went for a bracing walk and pub lunch. Very enjoyable
Sat 28
Went to the gym and shopping. Went to Rachel and Sean's for an hour. First time I've 'met' their new cat Eric.

Sun 29
Was planning  a big photography shoot for the blog but only took a couple of pictures in the end - enough for a blog post, the first for three weeks. Roast chicken.

Mon 30
Sunny. Went to the gym. Went in town  (London) to return something to what I call "the Mothership" (John Lewis).  It was strangely relaxing in the Haberdashery dept even though I don't knit or sew.  Watched last episode of The Witcher.

Tues 31 Dec: New Year's Eve
Did some photography and wrote a blog post for tomorrow. Watched In Search of The Wilderpeople, a quirky film from New Zealand. Asleep by 9.30, woke up at midnight with all the racket (fireworks etc). Happy New Year!

Join me tomorrow, Wednesday, for #WowOnWednesday.

Sharing this post with Claire Justine, #sharealllinkup at Not Dressed as Lamb,Spread the Kindness at Shelbee on the Edge, Muttonstyle and #BloggerClubUk or #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings.

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