365:181 Pilates Studio (Plus bonus Odin!)

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This is what physio has done to me. I am now the owner of a load of plastic crap which I imagine I’ll use faithfully for a month and then chuck in the cellar, sick of the sight of it, in another six months.

The red band is for doing arm exercises while I hold my torso perfectly still, tightening my stomach muscles and pelvic floor.

The green ball is for doing a nigh-on impossible exercise: lie on the floor with your feet on top of the ball. Keeping your shoulders on the floor, lift your butt & back up so they make a straight (but diagonal) line from your knees. Lift one leg up and move the ball back and forth with the other leg. At the moment, the muscles I need for this exercise are practically non-existent so I do it with both feet at the same time.

The black roll is for massaging my leg. I lie on top of the black roll and roller myself up and down it. It’s a killer, I can tell you! Even my physiotherapist warned me against how uncomfortable it would be. I also need a lot of upper body strength which I don’t have.

Apart from the massage rolling thing, my physiotherapist tells me that the exercises she has given me are all pilates exercises. I am thinking of trying a class. Just thinking, mind.

In the meantime, my leg, even though it’s getting better, still hurts. Oh, woe is me.

Luckily, I have this wee guy to to look forward to. His kennel put new photos of the puppies up yesterday. Look how gorgeous Odin is!

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His litter name is Dusty and all of his brothers and sisters are named with a D too. Oh, the cute! I can’t wait until our next visit. And then, eventually, he’ll come home and grow big and love us all forever.

365:179 Pints of Mojito

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Mr Mac found a new product at the supermarket- Mojito cordial mix! Since we’re still enjoying the most glorious weather in the Village of the Damned, we decided to have mojito evening out on the balcony, whiling away the time before dinner. I had no control over the cocktails, Mr Mac is our resident cocktail shaker and maker. I was (pleasantly) surprised when the mojitos came out in pint glasses.

Trouble is, with the warm weather and the delicious taste of mojito (white rum, lime, brown sugar and mint- delicious!) they’re way too easy to drink! Barman, bring me another!

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Yeah, yeah. Just as soon as I’ve finished with Twitter.

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Dinner was bbq-grilled chicken breast sandwiches with a spicy mayo. We’ll do that again.

365:178 A Perfect Day

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We’re having more glorious weather. Mr Mac spent the morning at a motorbike course while I lounged about on the balcony, reading and lazing. I also indulged in a bit of red kite gawping, as one of the red kites which nest near us did its soaring-on-thermals thing right in front of our house. Of course, I didn’t think to make a video of it until way too late.

I did, however, manage to snap a little of it having a dogfight with a crow. The crows chase the red kites away from their nests. Even though they’re not even half the size of the kites, the crows really let the kites have it.

It’s a bit hard to see the birds in the video but at least you can hear a little of the red kite whistle.

365:177 Spotlight on Sunny by Keris Stainton

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Such a gorgeous afternoon on the balcony, I decided to spend the afternoon reading one of my best friends’ novels.

After winning a local film competition, Sunny and her best friends Kitty and Hannah are off to do a film-making course – in London! Sunny can’t believe her dad has let her come on her own (even if he has asked her to phone every day…) Sunny is loving the film-making classes and hanging out with their new friend – lovely, funny Will. Sunny knows that these things don’t fit with the future her parents want for her and she starts to wonder what she really wants. And that’s not even the biggest thing on her mind – there’s also the big secret she’s hiding from her best friends…

Spotlight on Sunny is a delightful story for younger teens. It’s funny and cute and celebrates diversity, friendship, family and growing up.

I insist you buy it for any teens you know*. And look out for Keris’s new novel for older young adult readers coming out in September, Counting Stars, which I have read and is also fabulous.

*Because it deserves a wide audience and not because I’m supposed to be Keris’s research assistant for the next novel in the series which means a trip with a BFF!

365:175 The Chair of Torture (With apologies to any Odontophobes)

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It was time to get my filling replaced. In a previous appointment, she had already extracted the remains of tooth which I’d had the root canal done on over eighteen years ago. That was such an easy appointment, I wasn’t worried at all about having the filling redone.

The worst part of the filling was having the injection in the gum. Actually, I’m starting to wonder if I even needed it, the actual filling bit was such a non-event. Of course, if I hadn’t have had the anaesthesia, it would have killed me, wouldn’t it? Murphy’s Law and all that.

Anyway, now I just have to have a cleaning done and I am back on track like a normal person who regularly goes to the dentist.

In hindsight, I don’t know what the eighteen years of worry was about.

But ughh, a cleaning though. Am I right?

365:174 A Gift

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A neighbour of mine rang my bell. Not that neighbour (the one I had a whine about yesterday) another neighbour. She brought me a bouquet of flowers to say thank you for having removed the apple tree from our allotment, the apple tree which had been bothering her for years.

She also felt the need to say sorry for any slight I may have taken while were at the meeting of the homeowners. At some point, during the rainy and sorta cold evening (we held the meeting outside, under the shelter of the entrance to the underground garage), I felt too warm and took my jacket off to tie it around my waist, leaving me with bare arms because I was wearing a vest-top.

I didn’t know this but at the same time, or perhaps just after I did that, she felt the need to pull her jacket closer and wrap her scarf more tightly around her neck, feeling the cold*. I think she thought that I had taken that as some sort of insult. Of course, I hadn’t even noticed, so wrapped up I am in my own head. Still it was a nice thought. And flowers are always welcome.

*After the meeting, the secretary who was taking the minutes told me, “I wish you could give me some of your warmth, I’m always so cold!” I get this a lot. I suspect I am a naturally warm person because of my size. I love being a warm person.

365:172 A New Friend

IMG_7880.JPGOh dear, oh dear, oh dear. What have I done? I suppose I just got fed up of saying, “No, we’re not having a dog.”

Mr Mac and Ewan have been nagging me for years for us to get a(nother) dog. I’ve always been (and am still) hesitant because, as we all know, the dog will end up being something else for me to look after. And still, I gave up.

But wouldn’t you? Isn’t he just the most precious furry thing you ever did see? He’s a boxer and his name is Odin* (that’s the name we chose for him. His litter name is Dusty. But as soon as we told the breeder that we wanted to call him Odin, she started to call him so which I thought was a lovely, professional touch.)

We went to meet him on the weekend. He’s somewhere around three-four weeks old in these pics. By the time we get him he’ll be around 8-9 weeks old. He’s going to be a lot of work and Ewan and Mr Mac have both been warned, “You can not¬†half-ass this puppy thing.” I’ve been assured they won’t.

To their credit, they have both attended the compulsory dog course, the certificate you get at the end of which, you have to have before you can even be a dog owner in Switzerland. Once Odin comes to join the family, they will have to take him to another puppy school, where they’ll learn the practicalities of taking care of a dog. Odin will also have to attend puppy socialisation classes, which I suppose I’ll be responsible for.

Nothing’s easy in Switzerland. Which, in this case, is a good thing.

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*When we were discussing what to name our boxer puppy, we wanted to stay away from all the typical boxer names, like Bruno, Rocky, etc. We were watching one of our fave shows, Vikings, and thought about Ragnar, Rollo or Floki. But Odin, the Viking god won out.