Monday, January 29, 2007

sell out

My MSOffice-free computer experiment has been only half successful. I have had to revert to Word & Excel. I share too many layout-heavy documents with word users, that Open Office probbaly could cope with if I had the time and patience to fiddle about with templates and the like, but I don't. Similarly with spreadsheets, I can barely work excel so any extra level of complexity is beyond me when it comes to dealing with spreadsheets.

I haven't, tho, been sucked back into Outlook. I used to be a 'heavy user' - as well as email, I used the calendar and tasks and synched it all with my phone. But I love Thunderbird, I think it's an ace email client. The associated calendar, Sunbird, is fairly rudimentary but as I've gone analogue in my new GTD-ism, I can cope with that for now. So not a complete sell-out.

We had a good weekend, quite busy - on Saturday we went swimming, to see a puppet show and out for pizza with friends, on Sunday I went cycling and R took O and some friends to run about in the outdoors for a few hours. Now back to work boo hoo and still trying to eat normally too. It is not going too bad, although I'm thinking that maybe buying a big box of dried dates wasn't such a good idea ... just becausee it's fruit doesn't mean it's all good ...

Friday, January 26, 2007

weekly review

oh not more gtd dronings? Yep, fraid so. The weekly review is a key gtd thing, and a generally good idea. So I'm hoping planning to do it each Friday, which ties in nicely with my weighing myself schedule too, then I can review my eating and WL week at the same time. I've dusted down my 43 things list to use as a collection bucket for some of my personal projects (particularly those of the 'someday/maybe' variety), and gone through adding next actions to the things I want to move on (oh and put it in my side bar too hurrah for java script thingummies). Then I've dropped those next actions into my @actions system and made folders for the projects that need them.

I haven't weighed myself today, as I only did it a couple of days ago, but Friday will be my regular weighing day. Eating has gone OK the past 3 days, I have been over my points but I'm not that bothered about that for now. The important thing is I have been eating real food (fruit and veg and pulses omg) and drinking water & green tea (instead of 6 cans of Diet Dr Pepper a day). So far, so good, so keep on going. Tomorrow morning I'll have a swim while O has his swimming lesson, I have a bike ride arranged for Sunday and I've arranged to take friend along to belly dancing so I have to stay for 2 hours instead of 1.

And my OU books have started to arrive hurrah!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

lang may your lum reek

Happy Burns' Night

burns  night

I happened to find myself in a pub (on a colleague's leaving do) and they gave out free wee drams.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

book snob? moi?

Hearing on t'wireless that a third of British adults have lied about reading a 'high-brow' book to appear more intelligent. Being unable to resist my natural urge to show off, I rushed to find out more. Today really is a good day for smugness, as I find I really have read the top ten books on the list. Hah.

Top Ten Books we other people apparantly lie about reading:

1. The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R Tolkien
Well of course I've read it, and the Hobbit. Several times. And yes that is several times before the fillums came out. Another year or 2 and O will be having the Hobbit for his bed time story. Interesting tho that everyone apparantly wants people to think they've read it, before the fillums came out most people pointed and laffed at you if you admitted reading Tolkein. Geekchic really has arrived.

2. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
Yep, read this one too, only a couple of years ago. It was a bit of a marathon, and more of a 'because it's there' read than something I adored, but I kind of enjoyed it. Although I can't believe most people tell everyone else they've read it?

3. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
Read the book, seen the fillum, got the single. It was one of my a-level set texts as it happens. I remember thinking I wouldn't enjoy, then not being able to put it down. Haven't read it for years, tho. I'm really more of a Janeite than a Bronte fan - can't be doing with all that running round the moors in your nightie. I still say Heathcliffe was Mr Earnshaw's bastard, why else would he bring some weird kid back from Liverpool one day? I also have this interesting theory about Thomas Hardy's .... oh you've just seen someone over there you know and have to rush off? oh OK

4. Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus - John Gray
OK I confess, I've only read about half of this twaddle. Because it's twaddle. If you were trying to impress me at a party by telling me you'd read this, you'd fail. Now if you told me you'd read How Mumb-Jumbo Conquered the World, that would impress me.

5. 1984 - George Orwell
You mean everyone else didn't spend their teenage years reading Orwell and Huxley and getting all angsty about dystopian futures? Shallow bastards, probably out having fun while us sensitive souls worried about jackboots and human faces in our bedrooms. Mind you, the more I read about the role of Stalin in the Spanish Civil war, the more I realise why Eric Arthur hated Stalinist communism quite so bitterly.

6. Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone - J.K Rowling
Got my copy of number 7 reserved already. Hurryuphurryuphurryuphurryup

7. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
Read it, love it. Used to be my favourite Dickens' but that's now between Bleak House & Little Dorrit

8. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
Yep, but see above for general comments on Brontes.

9. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
Read it, it's awful. Dreadful pish. Carboard cutout characters in plot-by-numbers 'thriller'. I am certain I shall never see a Dan Brown book lovelier than a tree. Even an old dead dutch elm disease infected rotten blasted stump.

10.Diary of Anne Frank - Anne Frank
Another "you mean everyone else didn't spend their teenage years crying over this?" one. Seriously, you must have read it?

not again

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingSo I got back on the dreaded scales and the dreaded numbers were as dreadful as I'd dreaded i.e. highest ever (& over the 18 stone barrier). This is Very Very Bad and Something Must Be Done. I don't feel like I have the energy for it but will push on and hope some energy turns up. I've logged back into WW esource to log my points (because it's a handy tool for recording eating and exercise, and points are easier to work with than calories) and committed to going to aquarobics tonight. And as ever, in case of emergency, buy books.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingActually I must stop buying books, already this month I have spent more on books than most people do in a year and I have a bedside shelf full of ones waiting for me, pluses boxes of stuff on the way from the OU. But this was essential book buying, I needed some books to help me help O with his maths. I don't actually care (much) about whether or not he can do the maths, what upsets me is how easily discouraged he is in the face of new, hard-looking things. I don't want his brain telling him what mine's told me all my life - I can't do it, I'm rubbish, I'll fail, I'll be in trouble, I have to do it perfectly or there's no point, that kind of crappy old yaddah yaddah. So I've got him some books, me some books, and a book for a friend's new baby. Oh and a book for me and O's half-term trip to London - we pretty much know which sights we're going to see and now we know where to eat, too.

So that's the 'spend less' and the 'eat less' resolutions blown already this year, but at least the 'use less plastic bags' one is going strong. I wandered round town with my carbon-neutral, as used by Dick 'n' Dom, omg I look like I hug trees and knit my own muesli, unicorn grocery jute bag, smuggly telling shop assistants "I've got my own bag, thanks, I don't need a plastic one".

Then I came home to wait for the plumber and pimp my blog - thanks so much to phydeaux3 for the labels cloud code.

fluffy clouds

well as you can see I've been playing with the kewl new blogger. Next action: make my labels show as a fluffy cloud rather than a nasty list.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

one more thing

one of my new favourite things is Freecycle. You've got stuff you don't need anymore, someone else wants stuff, they come and collect stuff from you. Hurrah, less consumerism and less stuff in landfill. When I gtd-ed my office I found a pile of stuff I've offloaded on freecycle. I've got some great stuff from there too, best of all a new bed1 for O which he loves (we were going to buy one but then it showed up for free yay). Go on, try it, it's like ebay but for free.

1. We bought the mattress new, tho. Ickety ick to used mattresses.

health kick

R had his annual check up at the doctors and was told his cholesterol is too high, he has some liver enzymes that shouldn't be there and he's put on weight. So basically he needs to drink less, eat better and exercise more. And it's not just him, is it? My eating continues bad, although today I have made myself a lovely fruit smoothie - probably the first time this year I have consumed fruit other than bananas.

I went back to belly dancing this week (C gave me a gorgeous coin belt for Christmas so I had to try it out) and am actually going to try and do 2 hours a week instead of just 1. I have offered to take a friend along to the beginners' class with me, so then I will have to go. Also I am going to go back to aquarobics and re-start pilates. I have to put these in place now as regular habits - if I don't do it now then when I re-start my studies I will think I don't have enough time to exercise too.

Finally getting serious? Dunno. Hope so. OK I know hoping isn't enough. I have my exercise plan drafted out. Now I have to work on the eating. Not just for my physical health but my mental health too, I've been really irritable for the past few weeks (months?) and I know I would feel better if I wasn't consuming so much cr@p.

Next action is weigh myself, find out the worst. Eek.

Monday, January 22, 2007

exceptions to the rule

My motto is "never do today what you can put off till tomorrow", but I make an exception for stationery shopping. I feel about stationery like normal women are supposed to feel about shoes - somewhere out there is the one, the magic item, that will make me organised and productive and beautiful and sexy. Getting into GTD has given me a fantastic excuse for indulging my passion. I have lovely new intrays and files and folders and best off all, brand new today, a lovely box for keeping my 43folders in (thanks to 43folders wiki for the tip - there is no room in my tiny office for another filing cabinet so a box for my folders is great).

The 2 things I like best about GTD are:
  1. he tells you how to set up a simple system to organise your stuff. All my systems break down because they are too complicated or things drop through the cracks. I think this new system might work for me, I particularly like the whole tickler file thing, I feel like I might finally be managing my paper.
  2. the emphasis on next actions. For someone who prevaricates and panics and procrastinates like I do, focusing on the next thing I have to physically do makes sense. It also chimes in with stuff I worked on during CBT sessions in the past.
The book has a quote which I love, so I have made it into a motivational poster incorporating my spiritual beliefs:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
It is easier to act yourself into a better way of feeling than to feel yourself ino a better way of action
O.H. Mowrer

Saturday, January 20, 2007

catching up

Christmas was great, it was really nice to spend the day with all of my family, plus we went to visit friends who moved to Brum last year. Owen got totally spoilt with mounds of presents, including Marvin's Mind Blowing Magic. He spent New Year's Eve performing street magic for friends and neighbours.

All back to work and school now boo and also waiting for the course materials to arrive to start my next OU courses. In preparation for which I have signed up to the cult of Getting Things Done. I've read the holy book, I've set up the sacred 43folders and now I'm ready to start cranking those blessed widgets. I'm going for a mainly anologue implementation to start with (square cut folders, A4 paper, post-its), we'll see how it goes.

Eating is double plus ungood right now, bingeing like feck. Next action: read "Overcoming Binge Eating"

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

a sad post

Not that Xmas was sad, actually it was great and I may even get round to blogging it (Oh yeah and resolutions) at a later date. But tonight I feel sad and old and maybe finally a grown up. K is the same age as me, more or less, and one of my oldest and dearest friends. On Friday night his mum died. It was completely unexpected and a huge shock. She was only 60. She was a brilliant woman, the centre of their family who held it all together. She was always kind and welcoming to me when I used to visit. Tonight on the train I was happened to be listening to HMHB and it took right back 20 or so years to when I first visited their home. And I remembered her and felt for K, who was very close to his mum. And I felt a bit sorry for myself, too; I am 40 this year and my contemporaries' parents have started dying. Does this make me a grown up at last?

Anyway I got home and cracked open the best whisky and gave him a ring. And now I'm going to sit and drink some more of the best whisky and raise a glass to K's mum.