A belated blog post (pt 1)

I’ve been neglecting my blog lately, I know. But I’ve been busy and I’m still not really in the mood for writing down the things I’ve been thinking about. So I’ll summarise them and hopefully I’ll be in a better, more creative state of mind soon enough…

1. Challenges

March ended with my good friends, Tracy and Leigh, embarking on wonderful adventures. I blogged previously about Tracy’s Big 30 Adventure, which saw her cycle and Nordic walk 30km a day (and write about it here) for 30 days in celebration of her 30th birthday. She finished in March, only to find herself setting off on another journey with a new, dream job and a move back to Birmingham. I’m fairly sure her Big 30 achievement played a significant hand in her taking that leap, which makes it all the more wonderful. Meanwhile, Leigh began her career break in April, jetting off to Australia for a whole year; selling her car and renting out her house. Leigh is also blogging throughout her adventure and she writes beautifully – better than I could hope to write – so I’d recommend a read, here. Her description of the outdoor cinema and memories of her childhood in South Africa is just great.

I’m so proud of my friends’ bravery and absolutely thrilled for them both. But mixed with that is real sadness that they’re no longer in Worcester, some sense of regret that I didn’t make the most of having them here to spend time with and also a little jealousy. I am not the kind of girl that will challenge herself regularly. Or, should I say, I’m not the kind of girl that will move out of her comfort zone (even when challenging myself, it is usually something I’m comfortable with, such as studying part time whilst working full time – pretty challenging but well within my comfort zone). I realised that what I’m really jealous of is my friends’ ability to push their own boundaries and have decided to do something – or three things – about it:

  • Addressing my fear of heights – my older friends will know I’ve already conquered my fear of needles, albeit through a course of hypnotherapy, so I’m now tackling my fear of heights through a rather more direct method. Firstly, by abseiling 60ft down Tank Quarry in the Malvern Hills, a team building exercise that was so exhilarating I wanted to do it again as soon as I’d finished. And so my desire to climb great heights was kickstarted and I swiftly followed this with a climbing lesson (I need to spend more time doing that before I know how I feel about it – currently, still frightened) and a birthday trip to Go Ape in the Wyre Forest. The latter was both the best and worst birthday activity I’ve ever experienced but one I’d do again and one I’d hope to enjoy a little more next time. There are photos, if you’re interested, here.
  • Running – not a challenge to most people, I appreciate, but I enjoy a more sedate way of life. So I’ve joined a new jogging club with some lovely ladies from the PCT and a few of my own colleagues and we jog (or walk/jog) at least a mile, at least once a week but hopefully more, providing one another with support, encouragement and motivation and setting ourselves goals. My current goal is to run a 5k race in the summer. I have another – more ambitious goal – to run a 10k race with my step-dad at some point in 2011 but we’ll see about that one. In the meantime, I’m really enjoying the exercise, the outdoors, new friends and not aching quite so much as I did in the beginning.
  • Continuing the Cookery Challenge – Leigh may have departed from the UK a few weeks ago, but she left me with the tools to continue where I left off in January…becoming a confident cook. As the last person to see her before she flew to Perth, I was lucky enough to inherit the contents of her kitchen cupboards, including what she described as “a few curveball ingredients”.

Leigh challenged me to use these so-called “curveball ingredients” to continue the Cookery Challenge, so I’ll be starting that soon and will, no doubt, blog the results. First up, venison stew with Leigh’s juniper berries, I think. Juniper berries are pretty curveball.

(Tomorrow, ‘A belated blog post pt 2’ will probably be about the Laura Marling gig at the Alexandra Theatre or the Twilight Saga and the fact that I really love it, despite its faults and against my better judgement. It might not be tomorrow, to be honest.)

Advertisements

Alice in Wonderland in 3D

It’s possible that my first experience of 3D was not a good one because of the poor quality of the film we chose to see. I’d describe Alice in Wonderland as style-over-substance if only there was any style to it. But the richly drawn, colourful Wonderland I’d expected hasn’t made it to the screen. It just looks like a big – very dark – mess, with poor dialogue trotted out by an endless procession of on-trend British celebs (Matt Lucas x2, Stephen Fry, Barbara Windsor, Alan Rickman) and no plot to speak of. The only redeeming feature is Mia Wasikowska, who is an absolutely wonderful Alice. Just enough innocence and curiosity, balanced with just enough feistiness. And beautiful in the most understated way.

Regardless of the film, I don’t think I’m won over by 3D and I’m sure I wouldn’t rush to see a film in anything other than 2D any time soon. Maybe it’s my very poor eyesight, particularly worse in my right eye, my astigmatisms and the fact that I was wearing high index lenses under my 3D specs but I was unable to focus quickly enough on anything to make out the 3D effect. So it was all a just a blur. When the action was still, I was able to make out the effect but it lacked any detail in the background, more a fault of the film rather than my eyesight, I think. Maybe I’ve just got high expectations…is it like that for everyone?

We’re going to see Kick-Ass later this weekend. I have much higher hopes.