January Round Up!

Let’s face it, I’ve been bloody dismal at updating this here weblog. I’d like to say I’m too busy living my life to actually blog about it, but the truth is that when I’m not working (aka writing) I prefer to spend my free time lazing around the house.

Inspired by my good friend Lynne, I’ve decided it might be fun to do a little monthly round up from now on so that even if I forget to blog all month, you guys can still find out what I’ve been up to. So January! Here’s how it was for me.

JANUARY
1. Ringing in the new year on the banks of the Tagus 2. Selfie with Jesus 3. Scrabble with our friends 4. Coimbra’s beautiful cathedral  5. Around the university in Coimbra 6. Dramatic skies in Coimbra  7. Westernmost point on mainland Europe 8. Mid-run selfie 9. Wine and cupcakes

Highlights of January 2014

Having our friends out for new year

It’s become a bit of a tradition that wherever we are for new year, our pals will follow. While last year we were in dull as dishwater Tarbes, this year we’re in Lisbon, a city that keeps winning tourism awards for generally being awesome. Sadly when our friends arrived the binmen were on strike and it was pouring with rain, but that didn’t stop us from having a great time!

We went on a three hour walking tour and learned all about Lisbon’s colourful history, got horrifically drunk in the Bairro Alto, had a steak dinner over the new year bells down at the Docas, took a ferry over to the great big statue of Jesus, and even ventured to Sintra where we stood at Cabo Da Roca: mainland Europe’s westernmost point.

We also played a game of Scrabble where I foolishly put down the word “shat”, which let Sam and Shara play their trump card: “cunts”. Yes, we are twelve years old.

Starting a diet and exercise plan and sticking to it…

Every so often I decide it’s time to lose weight and become a skinny minnie again, but usually I either lose motivation or just can’t be bothered. This year, surprisingly, I’m managing to stick to it. I’ve ditched the fad diets and instead I’m eating more fruit and veg, less cheese and bread, and avoiding alcohol six days a week.

I’ve also ditched the Couch to 5k podcasts because they just don’t work for me, and I’ve downloaded Zombies, Run instead. It. is. AMAZING. I actually get excited about going for a run now. I’ve gone from barely being able to run for a bus to being able to do 4.2km no problemo. I’ve lost over a kilo so far, and my skin is looking fresher and healthier than it has for a long time.

…Apart from on date night

One night a week, I let myself be naughty and have a meal off. This is Friday night, and it’s date night, and it’s a night where I can eat hundreds of calories and guzzle wine and not feel bad. Although it sounds like it’s obviously going to hinder my progress a wee bit, it actually helps. If I find myself craving pizza and wine on a Thursday, I think “I’ll have that tomorrow.” Much better than giving in, stuffing myself, and then saying “that’s the diet ruined! Might as well eat some lard”.

It also means that we’re more likely to go to awesome places like Tease rock ‘n’ roll bakery. Massive cupcakes and huge glasses of vino? That’s what cheat night is made for! This month date night has taken us to swanky cocktail bars, trendy Russian restaurants, and an Irish pub where we listened to live music and drank pints of Kilkenny til 3am. God bless date night.

Taking a holiday in Coimbra

For his birthday last year, James’s parents offered to pay for a weekend break for the two of us. The big day was in August and we’ve just got round to accepting their kind offer this month. We caught the train from Entrecampos up to the beautiful university town of Coimbra, between Lisbon and Porto. We had a great time wandering around admiring the architecture, listening to fado in a bar that used to be a chapel, and eating our fill of suckling pig and goat stew.

That’s the great thing about holidays. Food has no calories when you’re away from home.

How was your January?