It’s too damn hot to not be allowed to eat ice cream

Day 18 of my Whole30! Woohoo! We’re WELL into double digits, people!
I feel pretty good so far. I can’t say I feel fantastic, but I certainly don’t feel bad in the slightest. According to the timeline in the official Whole30 guide, days 10 and 11 are meant to be the toughest, so if that’s the case, then I guess I’m doing pretty well, as last weekend really wasn’t so bad at all. Not to say that spending that weekend mainly in our flat by myself (hubs was away supervising DofE) hasn’t been a little hard… There’s most of a pint of Phish Food in our freezer that I swear was whispering my name when I was trying to read last Saturday night.

But besides that, I’m doing OK. Although I have to admit I’m eating probably way more dried fruit than is officially sanctioned by the powers that be behind the Whole30, but I need the energy. Because otherwise I get home from a full day at work PLUS teaching and/or practicing/going to the gym/going on a training walk and I’m totally exhausted. Like, head on the pillow and I’m out kind of exhausted. So I need to work on getting my energy levels up somehow.

In non-Whole30-related life news, we’ve just been for another training walk today for out 100 km walk from Bath to Cheltenham and good god it was HOT and I now resemble a lobster. So I have absolutely all my fingers and toes crossed that the actual event day (which is now less than 2 weeks away *cue crazy freakout*). James managed to complete the South Downs Challenge last summer in just under 19 hours. We’re not going to beat that record, but I’d be happy with completing within 20 hours. 
P.S. If you haven’t sponsored us, PLEASE DO! You can do so here.
And here’s the miscellaneous crap that’s been on my mind recently:
– I wrote an article about fitness for work that entailed going to a bunch of different workout classes and having my ass kicked numerous times. Read it here.

– By far my favourite meal I made this week was turkey meatballs in marinara sauce. Recipe here.

– Was very sad to hear of Adam West passing away recently, so now is a good time to bring attention to what I think is his best work, Lookwell.

– I’ve just started my 52 week Happiness Planner and totally love it!

– As recommended to me by mindfulness teacher/overall babe, Jackie, I’ve started reading a beautiful book called When Things Fall Apart by Buddhist nun, Pema Chodron. Pema is an absolute badass and inspiration. You can listen to her talks on YouTube
That’s all from me for this week! I know this is a short post, but that article I wrote for work is fucking LONG and also my hayfever has turned me into a living breathing ball of mucus and sneezes the past few days. It’s desperately unattractive. 


I’m back. For realsies. Promise. 

I realised a few days ago that I have taken yet another massive hiatus from this blog. Oy vey. 
I’m not going to apologise, though, because the lack of writing was mainly due to the fact that I started a new job at a wedding website where I write A LOT about random shit about weddings… which I’m good at because I know way too much random shit about weddings anyway so it’s great to have a place to word-vom all of it.

But this new job has also been a catalyst for me making a couple of resolutions to myself (even though we’re half way through the year now but shhhh). The first is that, because I have to write so much for work now, I will write more for myself. Which isn’t something I’ve really done in a long time – especially fiction writing – so rebooting this blog is part of that initiative.
The second is that I need to get my shit together and finally do the Whole30, which I have been umming and aahing over for a couple of months. Now that my Uveitis is back and I’ve returned to pummelling my body with drugs (and not the fun kind), I have to start taking better care of myself. The Whole30 was first brought to my attention by my friend Bobbi as a way to help some awful stomach cramps I’d been having which I couldn’t understand the cause of. I went ahead and bought the book and did a load of research… and then didn’t start it. I realised this was stupid of me, so 7 days ago I cut the crap and went full speed ahead.

I’ll talk more about Whole30 in the coming days and weeks, keeping you updated on my progress, how much I’m craving Phish Food ice cream, and what my fave Whole30 compliant recipes are. And if you don’t give a shit, well, don’t read my blog until July I guess. (Only do because I love you!) I am going to need all the moral support and cheerleading I can get because tbh I just really love pasta and sugar and I’m dreading going to the cinema this weekend to see Wonder Woman and not being allowed my precious pick ‘n’ mix. Pray for me. 

Anyway, back to the topic of the new job. If you were wondering whether this means I’ve stopped teaching yoga, the answer is FUCK NO. I still teach at Bikram Yoga Bristol and I still love every moment of what I do. I just basically needed some more money. Because, y’know, food… and bills… 
Actually, though, I’ve discovered that teaching less has made me enjoy it more. Now that my opportunities to teach are rarer, I take more advantage of them, and I feel I can give more to my students. 

Not that I don’t miss teaching more; I totally do. But at least I know that, for the moment, whenever I walk into the hot room to lead a class, I am going in with complete presence of mind and excitement to see how my students have progressed, as opposed to slumping in thinking, “Oh not this shit again.” 
And believe me, if you’re a Bikram teacher, you have definitely thought that more often than not. If you haven’t, you’re lying to yourself. 
I must admit that this job has sent me down a bit of a rabbit hole, though, where I cannot figure out for the actual life of me what I actually want to do. Like, with my life. Do I want to have my own studio? Do I want to try to be a writer? Do I want to drop everything and go to law school so I can do my best to be an advocate and catalyst for change in this seriously messed up world? (Yes, this is something I am seriously considering.)
I’m at a serious crossroads here. And no, sadly I’m not referring to the Britney Spears film which was a masterpiece of our times. I mean I feel very confused and really quite lost. 

But hey, I got no time for feeling down about that right now because I have 23 days left of not being allowed pizza, which is definitely taking priority as a bigger problem in my head at this moment. 
God I just want some damn cheese.

  • Just before I started my new job, I ended up getting corralled onto a Mindfulness retreat in Essaouira, Morocco with Jackie of Sky Garden Retreat. Essaouira is now my fave place and Jackie and I are soulmates. I also made friends with a lovely man there who makes shoes (because of course I did). You need this retreat. Learn more here.
  • Thanks to the aforementioned Bobbi, I’m now part of a book club in Brizzle where we read cool books and then talk about them whilst eating lots of food. Our most recent book was My Name is Leon by Kit De Waal. Not my favourite, but still a striking read.
  • I am the MOST pumped to be taking part in Inferno Hot Pilates’ first ever UK teacher training in Warwick next month! I’ll be teaching IHP around Bath and Bristol post-training, so I’m very excited to share the class with you and to share my teaching experiences here.
  • I am still traumatised over Valentina getting kicked off RuPaul’s Drag Race 2 weeks ago, but this interview with Bob the Drag Queen made me feel slightly better about it. I am also SO glad Alexis and Nina have gone the fuck home. It was about damn time. Still can’t decide whether I’m on Team Sasha or Team Shea, though. Bear with.
  • Re: RPDR. This:  

On having to admit that you’re actually very scared

It’s half-term this week, as you’ll very likely know by now if you’re a British schoolchild or a parent of one. I know it’s half-term because I work as a nanny and Boyfriend is a history teacher, so we’ve had the week off as well. A lot of people with normal jobs probably think adults who get a half-term holiday mostly spend it drinking, clubbing, going to late-night showings of films (“50 Shades”, anyone? Nope, definitely not us.) and “relaxing”, whatever that is. What have we actually been doing?

Spending the week at Boyfriend’s parents’ place.

The principle activities this week have been things such as: eating far too much cake, doing the crossword with Boyfriend’s dad (“What do you reckon 5-down is then, Sam?” “I don’t know, Geoff, that’s why I left it blank.”) and playing the kinds of card games you play to pass the time on a camping trip when it’s raining. Oh, yeah, and there’s also been a lot of Thinking About the Terrifying Looming Future.

You see, this July will ring in rather a lot of changes for us. I’ll be graduating from uni and Boyfriend will be leaving his job at a school in Surrey to move to a school in Bath, near his hometown of Bristol. So we’ll pack up our Brighton flat into lots of boxes, haul them into a van, and plop them back down in Bath, which will be our home for the foreseeable future.

Now, to be clear, I am super excited about this. I am thrilled about this. I’ve wanted to move to Bath for ages, and I definitely think now’s the right time, especially since I’ll be leaving uni and joining the “real world” and all that other glorious shite you have to do to be a proper grown-up. But this week, whilst we were strolling around Bath talking about how we wish we were millionaires so we could buy a townhouse on the Royal Crescent, I started to get a horrible lumpy, crampy feeling in my stomach. (And no, it wasn’t from eating too much of Boyfriend’s mum’s Lemon Drizzle cake, although I did consider that possibility.) It was from suddenly being very aware that, come July, the proverbial rug is going to be yanked out from under me, and I am very likely going to land flat on my not-so-proverbial arse.

Mind you, it would be like this wherever we were going to live after I graduate, whether we stayed in Brighton or moved to the bloody Orkneys. The fact of the matter is, I have no job prospects (because I want to be an actor), no fall-back options (because I want to be an actor), and will probably have to continue doing student jobs, i.e. barmaid, Saturday shop assistant, nanny, etc (because I want to be an actor). The current name-of-the-game is to get on Spotlight. (For those of you not in the UK, Spotlight is an online database of actors used by agents and casting directors. You have no cache as an actor in the UK if you’re not on Spotlight.) To get on Spotlight, you need to have done 4 PAID acting jobs – not short films, music videos or adverts – and to get those jobs, you need to have an extremely flexible schedule. To have that kind of schedule and still pay the bills, you need to work as a barmaid or a waitress. Maybe a part-time nanny. Either way, you’re not bringing in much money, and you certainly don’t have any kind of guaranteed financial future.

All of this dawned on me during a very nice day in Bath, when I should have been getting excited about starting a new chapter in a new city with the man I love. Instead, I spent most of the day feeling totally depressed, and then had a quiet, Emma-Thompson-in-Love-Actually style sob to myself back at Boyfriend’s parents’ house.

I guess all soon-to-be graduates have to admit this to themselves at some point, and I admitted it to myself this week: I am utterly shitting bricks. And there’s nothing for it except to plunder my way through my last term of uni, save up a bit of money for the move, and hold out some kind of faith that it will work out. 

Yes, it will mean submitting myself for every paid job possible on Casting Call Pro. And yes, it will mean pounding the streets of Bath handing my CV to every pub and restaurant – even the ones who aren’t advertising for help – or potentially taking on another badly paid nannying job. But I did the exact same thing three years ago after I abruptly left drama school and that didn’t go too badly. And then – hopefully – one day, my fantasy of Julian Fellowes popping up out of nowhere, pointing at me, and shouting “You, girl! You will star as a recurring character on the next series of Downton Abbey!” will come true. (By the way, Lord Fellowes, I’ve already got my character’s storyline totally written out if you’d like to peruse it some time.)

In all seriousness, I know the best I can hope for is that, some day soon, an agent will take their chances on me and then maybe I’ll get some bit-parts in a few TV shows. It may never make me a millionaire – it may never even make me a living – but I have to try. Because if I don’t, I’ll spend the rest of my life wondering “what if?”, and I would never forgive myself. But that doesn’t make me any less scared or any less unsure of myself. I wish I was the kind of person who would be happy taking a desk job. It would make my future a lot more certain and it would make July a lot less scary, but instead I appear to be a victim of the stubborn resilience that apparently runs in my family. The only thing I can focus on right now is what I am able to do right now. 

And the other night, when all of this was running through my neurotic-ass head, the only thing I was immediately able to do was to go downstairs and have dinner with Boyfriend and his parents, and laugh about his dad’s outright refusal to get a hearing aid. Because he seriously, seriously needs one.