They live!

We have a lot of lovely rose plants in our backyard. The flower beds in the front are largely empty. In early November, Paul and I planted a few rose cuttings from the back yard roses in the front yard flower beds. He advised me there was very low likelihood that any of them will survive or take root.

I read somewhere that roses like acidic soil; mixing coffee grounds in the soil around them is good for them. So I’ve been doing that occasionally.

Today when I went to distribute some coffee grounds around the roses, I noticed a few fresh leaves sprouting out of a few of those cuttings.

They’re alive! They may even take root! We may have successfully added new plants (without buying them) to the yard!

I’m happy :)

Can’t sleep.

All day I worked to stay away from the trouble in the head.

Now the head is too tired to work, and too troubled to rest.

Can’t sleep.

The day

It’s three hours past my bed time. I’m still awake.

The day started with a slow lazy morning. My head was awake but the body was tired, so I stayed in bed.

I did a good day’s work, and had the boys and R for company. I stretched often, though not enough. I drank enough water, maybe too much.

Got a call in the evening that dampened the mood a bit. Received a rejection email that dampened it a bit more.

I must stick to the rule of not checking email after 6. Any wrong messages just knock the head off. I can take the knocks in the morning when I have work to dissolve the head in. In the evening they just ruin the sleep. Then the lack of sleep ruins the work, the run, and everything else in the next day.

In the last two hours, I finished reading Hemingway’s A movable feast. Then I read his Wikipedia page. I also read Scott Fitzgerald’s Wikipedia page. I read a few articles of the Economist. And now I’m writing this (on the phone!) while eating the Coffee & Walnut cake that R baked in the evening. It’s long past midnight, so it isn’t no-carb Wednesday anymore!

Mañana by other means

One of my tweaks for 2020 is to restructure my working week, with Monday and Tuesday dedicated to one kind of work, and Wednesday-Friday split between work and app dev. This new tweak starts today.

A trouble with this split, as I’m realising sitting here, is that this new work is still a blank sheet, and unstructured. And I’m new to it. When working or doing app dev, I can be deep in focus within minutes of sitting down, because I know what I need to do, why I need to do it, and, often, how I need to do it. With this new work, I’m unsure of both the what and the how. I don’t even know where to start. (Answer: start with why).

This blank sheet is unsettling. So I’m quickly discovering other things to do. Like realising how the work desk needs dusting, or that an unrelated spreadsheet needs updating, or that I should write this post. I guess the first few days of this work will be a struggle of sticking with it, learning more about it, and creating a structure—a mental model in the head and a workflow on the table/computer. And a struggle of avoiding all the suddenly alluring distractions—like practicing French instead.

No Carb Thurs… Wednesdays & Mondays

No Carb Thursdays have been a success.

But I now need to change the no-carb day of the week. My Paris marathon training plan has tempo runs planned on all Thursdays. I don’t want carbs not being available on the day when I have to run 10 miles at faster than marathon race pace. So, I’m moving no-carb day of the week. While at it, I am also tentatively increasing the number of days without carbs.

Wednesday and Monday* will be no-carb days hereon, at least till the marathon training gets over. Wednesday is the weekly rest day in the training plan, and Monday is one of two short, easy run days.

*Sunday is the long run day, and Tuesday is long intervals day. So, if I need more energy on Tuesdays, I may cancel no-carb days on Monday.

I would have liked Friday, the other easy run day to be the no-carb day. But Friday is pizza dinner night, and R wants to keep that going, so she vetoed it.

Aside:

So far, food intake on no-carb Thursdays has been mostly baked fish (cod/haddock), with an occasional omelette, or Jyoti’s sabzi/daal—all with large sides of freshly cut cucumber and carrot batons.

I want to include more food options on no-carb days. Please do share any easy to make/get no-carb food suggestions (preferably vegetarian).

Challenge for January 2020: No TV

I’m not watching videos—live, recorded, or in any other form—this January. Not on TV, not on mobile, not on the laptop.

Over the last year or so, I’ve disconnected myself from twitter, then newsletters and apps, then TV news channels, and eventually from email app on the phone. It’s been lovely. Each disconnection led to a few weeks of anxiety but, once they passed, I was calmer, less distracted, and less annoyed about things that don’t matter in the long term (if at all).

One of the big distractions that has remained is TV. I watch many series and movies on Prime video, BBC iPlayer, All4 and Netflix, mindless videos on YouTube, cycling and biathlon events on Eurosport player (while cursing Eurosport out loud), Big Bang Theory reruns on Channel 4, and Match of the day on the BBC. I may also watch occasional reruns of Die Hard on Film4 :)

On 31st, I watched a movie I’d wanted to watch—A marriage story—and then deleted all apps from my phone… YouTube, Prime Video, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, All4. I even deleted the TED app. To help me out, the old Sky box also conked out, so there’s no live TV feed either.

The only TV I can and may watch is whatever R has on when I’m sitting around the TV.

Continue reading Challenge for January 2020: No TV