Books in 2020

I’ve read 20 books so far this year. Unlike most years, it’s been a weirdly clustered bunch.

3 Harry Potter books, and counting

3 Fredrik Backman books,

2 Hemingway books,

2 John Steinbeck books,

2 John L Parker Jr books, and

3 running related books (not including the 2 John Parker books).

That’s 15 of 20 books I’ve read so far. I’m guessing it’ll be 19 of 24 before the month is over.

Also, unlike most years, my reading list this year is loaded with fiction. Usually there’s an almost even split.

A magical weekend for this muggle

I hadn’t read any Harry Potter books till last week. I’d seen all the movies, of course. A few of them more than once.

I read the first book during the week. Took me three days. I’d borrowed the book from a neighbor a while ago, and Elsa prompted me to read it.

I read the second book over Friday evening and Saturday. Got R to borrow it on her Amazon Prime account, and read it on her Kindle

I started reading the third book last night, and finished it a couple of hours ago. It wasn’t available on Prime lending, so I joined a two month trial of Kindle unlimited membership and read it on my Kindle.

I’ve just started the fourth book. Work will take over in the morning, so it may take a few days to finish.

The TV hasn’t been switched on this weekend, except for an episode of Kim’s convenience that R wanted to watch. I haven’t been out of the house for a run, walk or a ride. I did a fair bit of garden work yesterday, and cooked lunch yesterday and today. Other than that, all I’ve done this weekend is to be in Hogwarts.

It’s been a fine weekend in Hogwarts.

This weekend

Learnt to use the WordPress.com API with Retrofit. Stumbled over various undocumented quirks of the API. Nearly achieved what I’d started off to do.

Finished (re)reading my favourite Frederik Backman book: My grandmother sends her regards and apologises. I wish I could live in that house in the kingdom of almost awake.

Named one of the flavours of the new app ‘Elsa’. The other flavour is named ‘Granny’, but I might change it to ‘Wurse’.

Dug and relaid the stone tiles in the middle section of the backyard. Weeded the full upper flower bed from end to end. Aireated the rear lawn – one fork pitch at a time!

5+ back breaking, knee stiffening, hand cutting hours in the garden. I could barely move my arms in the shower afterwards.

Rewarded myself by watching a bit of the old sweetheart movie, You’ve got mail.

Now, convinced by Elsa, I’m reading my first JK Rowling book: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Bon Nuit!

A five check mark day

Five check mark day - ran, gardened, slept, drank...

It’s been a long time since I had one of these. 2 months lost to injury, 2 before that lost to over training, over work, and lots of anxiety.

I slept well last night. Woke up and solved a cube in bed. Then walked around singing aloud. Did 8 and a bit pull-ups. Finished reading about Quentin Cassidy’s latest race. Ran; down to the river, across to Shalford and back, and up the hill; in the heat. Did a bunch of chores around the house. Did 5 pull-ups. Spent a few hours gardening. Spoke to parents. Drank a lot of liquid (not counting milk, tea and coffee).

It was a good day. Fully deserved those 5 check marks.

Should’ve saved that Magnum ice cream bar for today.

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!

77.4

I’m happpy.

Weight is down. At 77.4 Kg, it’s the lowest it’s been since December 2017, and within touching distance of the all time grown-up low in early 2015.

I’m running again. 5 consecutive days after 3 dreary runs in 3 weeks.

I’m working. It’s hard and happy work. Just the kind that drives me crazy yet leaves me happy.

I’m reading. I’ve run out of things to watch on TV so have been happily spending evenings reading in bed.

The boy is sleeping with me again. He comes and snuggles up while I’m reading. He even forced R to open the doors to come to me last night. And again this morning.

Autumn is at its most beautiful. I get to enjoy it everyday on my runs.

I’m listening to music that I like.

And, it’s sunny today. People outside northern Europe won’t understand how valuable is a sunny November morning :)

I went to pick up a book from the library…

Books from the library

I ended up getting five. I would’ve brought more, but I’d gone late and the library was closing.

I’d reserved Walter Isaacson’s biography of Leonardo Da Vinci, so got that.
I’d been looking for a few Hemingway books. I didn’t find anything from top of the list, but did find these two, so got them.
Brad Stone’s Everything Store has been on my radar for a while. When I saw it on a shelf, I picked that up.
And close to it was Seth’s little book. So got that too.

I didn’t get to visit the Sports or the Scifi sections before they announced the library was closing.

Aside: I like how the three small books on the right are, together, about as big as the fourth book. And the four books on the right are again, together, about as big as the one on the left. Fibonacci-esque.

Last week, I…

October 2019 calendar dog confetti

… turned 40.

The calendar dog celebrated with confetti.
The dog looks like a 1 year old Chewie with Dudley’s hair colour. Chewie was a master confetti creator at that age :)

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… finished reading a book that I started reading more than 10 years ago.

It was worth it. I shouldn’t have taken that break for 9 years, 11 months.

… did a shit load of work.

It was one of my most productive weeks. Long hours + deep focus = lots of good, happy output.

… started seeing the autumn colours everywhere.

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I missed carrying a camera on my runs. But I did get a few shots in on Chewie’s evening walk yesterday.

… ran nearly every day

Missed a run on Thursday due to bad weather in the morning, and Athletics world championships in the evening.
Yep, I didn’t run because I was busy watching better runners run :)

… ran 50 km in the week

It was my first 50km week since the marathon in April

… set a new high for running mileage in a year

My total running mileage for 2019 reached 1,213 km. Previous highest was 1,202 km in 2015.

… sat for an IQ test.

I scored 133.
The score is 12 points lower than what I remember scoring in my early 20s.
Still, apparently it suggests I’m ‘gifted’. Not sure in which way.

It was a good week.