Monday, February 01, 2016

January Challenge: The Results

The January Challenge: Results


Towards the end of 2015, I was having a bit of a mid life crisis, in that I felt I was stuck in a bit of a rut.   I am an introvert, so I'm not naturally drawn to trying new things and making new friends.    I am,  on the whole, happiest when surrounded by dogs (they can't speak), books and TV (they don't ask me questions), and generally being indoors where there are no people skills/talking/justifying my quiet needed.  

With this in mind, I realised that there was no excuse for not trying new stuff that was safely ensconced within my comfort zone, I.e new things I could discover on my own that didn't involve me interacting with others too much.   This is the extent of my expansion in January:

Audio Books: The January Challenge
Audio books help me sleep.   Not if I sit like this, though.  

New Author:  
During my usual weekly searches through my insomnia's greatest friend, Audible, I discovered Mark Dawson after his name popped up on my recommendations.   

'Welcome Back, Suzanne! Here are some new books full of murder and misery, which we thought you'd be interested in, as it's the same genre as every other book you've purchased from us since 2011'.   Or something along those lines.     You get the general drift.

It's not a departure from my crime novels because, well...it is one, but it IS a new writer  and I'm a sucker for authors who have lots of books about the same character as it gives me the chance to get to know them as I follow the series.  As far as I can tell, Dawson has several books about his protagonist, John Milton, and I'm enjoying the first instalment, 'The Cleaner'.  


New Music: 
After watching the 2015 CMA stream last week, I caught a performance by Chris Stapleton and Justin Timberlake, which was incredible.  Seriously: you should YouTube it.     

Needless to say, I rushed to iTunes and bought me a N'Sync CD.   I jest, I didn't.   I'm trying to enjoy listening to new music, not punish myself for that time I scared the life out of the neighbour's cat by barking like a dog until it flew out of my garden.   I felt a bit mean after that, to be honest.    

What I DID do was download 'The Traveller', which is the debut solo album from  Stapleton.   It's a mixture of blues and country and the man's voice is incredible.     From his album cover, I reckoned him for around 50 and couldn't work out how he had escaped my radar for so long.   As it turns out, he's a year younger than me, so that got me wondering how many people make the same sort of judgement when they look at my photo. 

Note to self:  Buy anti wrinkle cream.  Tomorrow.   

Mount Everest: The January Challenge
I may be some time.... 

New Movie:
I have friends who see every new release going, but if I watch one new movie each month, I think I'm doing fairly well.   This blog doesn't write itself when I'm at work, unfortunately.  

Anyhow, having received a recommendation from a friend about the adaptation of the story of the 1996 Everest climbing disaster (aptly named 'Everest'), I decided to give it a go.

It takes a lot for me to look up from my laptop when I'm watching a film, but this one had me me hooked from the start.   With a fabulous cast, including Josh Brolin, Sam Worthington, Keira Knightly and Jake Gyllenhaal, amongst others, I found myself, during a particularly hopeless looking scene, actually shouting words of encouragement to one of the climbers as his life hung in the balance. 

Worrying, I know, but I am certain I absolutely helped that climber survive, so it was worth the side eye from LT.   


New TV: 
I FINALLY got in on the act with 'Making a Murderer'.  I understand there's probably a second season by now, but I've been busy moving house and surviving with no Internet, so forgive my being late to this particular party.  

It.  Is.  Fascinating.   And I've only watched the first episode.   I love anything which delves into the workings of the mind and understanding the forensics and motives is guaranteed to keep me watching.

I'd recommend you check it out on Netflix, but it would appear that I'm the only person in Wales, indeed the world, who hasn't already seen it.   

Running Dog: The January Challenge
This is my face after 5k these days.  
Why didn't you tell me how great it was??? 

Exercising:
I say I'll do more all the time.  In fact, I've been saying for about 20 years.   I did do more exercise than in November and December, but sadly, I still fell short.   I promised to run 30 miles, but managed to run 3.   There's no way to spin that, is there?    I did do a fair bit of indoor cycling, though.  40 miles, to be exact.   That still doesn't solve the whole running problem, but there's always February for that...right?  

So, that's basically how January went.   Did you have any challenges that you were working on in January and, if so, how did you get on?  

Suzanne x