A little bit late considering we’re nearly halfway through February. However better late than never. With everything, the way it is with lockdown there really isn’t much that we can do. That is why it is so important to take note of what I have achieved during January. However small these things may be. 

Reading 

The first and probably something I enjoyed the most is that I have managed to read three books during January. Well, technically two and 2/3rds of a book. As the first book I finished I technically started in December however I read most of the book during January so it 100% counts in this. I also discovered an app called GoodReads. It’s a way of logging what you are reading and sharing with your friends the books you’ve read and want to read. Since finding the app I have set myself the challenge of reading 24 books this year, which is only two a month. Keeping that in mind I think the third book of the series, Millennium, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest may not be read in a while with its 602 pages! Maybe if I get enough ahead! 

Book 1

The first book I finished was Machines Like Me, by Ian McEwan, this book was part of my book club. Which I joined a couple of months ago with some local girls and guys around my age who all enjoy reading. To be completely honest I am not a huge fan of this book. Mainly because I don’t have enough political historical knowledge. The story is based in a parallel universe, therefore, I had no real comparative reference. It has made me think I should learn a little bit more about the UK’s history, but I don’t know if it will ever be a priority for me. 

Book 2

My second book was The Green Mile by Steven King. I was recommended this book by my friend Nikki; this is her favourite Steven King and she felt like it was a good start to my Steven King journey. I did enjoy this one a lot more than my first book of the month. After finishing the book I also treated myself to the film and decided I prefer the book. Steven King was very descriptive in the book and also included lots of feelings of the main character. Reading the book made me feel emotionally attached to the storyline and I was able to empathise with the character. I didn’t get this same feeling for the film as they miss a lot of the personal narrative from the book. Overall though I would read another Steven King book. If you have any recommendations please let me know.

Book 3

My final book for January was Dead Flowers by Nicola Haralambous. I had bought this book a couple of months ago when the second-hand bookshop was open. I have to say this is one of my favourite shops. Whenever I go there, I have to limit myself to three books otherwise I feel like I would end up with the whole shop. This book was interesting, it skipped from 1970 to modern-day every few chapters which I usually enjoy. On this occasion, I found this frustrating as there were quite a few cliff hangers, which then made me feel forced to read more to know what happened. That said, I enjoyed the ending due to the plot twist, which I would never have guessed.

First Virtual ‘Trefoil’

I know what you’re thinking; how is it possible that nearly ten months of lockdowns and this is the first time we have virtually met for an activity! For those that don’t know, Trefoil is a branch of Girlguiding for adults; the idea is that we try new activities that we wouldn’t usually. Previous activities have been axe throwing and wreath making. We didn’t get a chance to meet due to Covid-19 during 2020.

This year we have decided to try and meet once a month whether that be virtually or in person. Our first virtual event we worked together on a virtual escape room challenge. It was great fun and I would recommend this if you are looking for a new option on Zoom! For our next Trefoil meeting, we’re doing a virtual cocktail night. Which I will update you on with how it went and the future for our Trefoil group.

Our escape room and team!

Crochet 

One of my new year’s resolutions is to finish all my ongoing craft projects, or works in progress (WIPS) as they are often known as. Now I fully believe that the acceptable amount of WIPS is n+1 where n is the number you currently have. This logic also applies to cats, dogs and anything else you want it to, at least this is what I want to believe. However, I do seem to have a large number of projects that really do need completing at this stage.

Last year I started a blanket for my bed. The plan is that it will be big enough for a double bed. To do this I have been making sections of the blanket which will then be sewn together. During the month of January, I have completed a section. I have one more section with the balls of wool I have. After this, I need to purchase the wool that will make up the parts that go in between these sections. 

One section of my blanket that I have achieved in January

Couch to 5K 

Another of my new year’s resolutions is to do more exercise. The main purpose of this is my mental health. I know that I feel better after I get those endorphins working and so I am trying to encourage more of them! As I started this journey at the start of January, I have completed the first four weeks of the Couch to 5K. I cannot put into words how proud of myself I am for sticking with this. Especially as I have tried the Couch to 5K a number of times before and never completed it.

If you don’t know the Couch to 5K is an app (I have the BBC Version). The idea is you build to being able to run a 5K or for 30 minutes in nine weeks. It has a number of different narrators, I am currently listening to Sarah Millican. Whom I really enjoy as she often says “You are doing so well Flower!” I also find myself thinking about her stand up which often makes me chuckle during a run. 

Completed a 5K 

Yes, you have just read that right! During week three of my couch to 5K journey, Bess (my housemate), convinced me to run my first 5K. And surprise surprise I actually managed to do it! This is some form of miracle, especially considering I don’t think I have ever run this far since leaving school! I managed to run the first 15 minutes, which was just over 2K. Followed by a walking/running the next 3K to complete it! This has really inspired me to continue with my couch to 5K journey! I will keep you updated with this journey! 

Me and Bess

So that’s what I have achieved this January 

When I first thought about January, I didn’t feel like I had done much; hence the delay in writing the blog. But now when I look back on this and consider that we are still in a national lockdown I have made the most of the situation and am pleased with what I have done! Hopefully, I will feel the same in the future about my achievements however big or small these are! Don’t forget to read my other blogs to keep up to date with what I am up to.