keygen

It’s not always easy to get myself to yoga. I didn’t want to go yesterday morning — it was 5:45am, James was in bed after waiting so many months to be together again, and I had slept really badly and did NOT want to get up. I also was grumpy because I knew I had to buy a 1-month pass even though I’d be banned from exercise for a week (more on this below) and then we’re going to Taiwan. But it’s so expensive to do Bikram it’s rarely not worth getting a pass.

Anyway, I went, precisely because it was my very last chance before my one-week ban commenced, and I felt meh-to-neutral all the way through. But on the last shavasana, I felt incredible. I think it’s a bit like a Rubik’s Cube or a videogame cheat code — you have to configure your body in 26 different postures, twice each, feeling crap, and then ta-dah! You feel good.

And if there was a fairly simple cheat code you could use whenever you want, to feel happy and well… you would be a fool not to use it at least a couple times a week!

Anyway — exercise ban. This morning I had an appointment to get my right knee’s common peroneal nerve injected with cortisone to try and improve my shin pain/nerve damage. It was pretty horrid, and then my leg went rather numb, but it’s wearing off now. I am reassured that my shin is aching which suggests they hit the right nerve. However despite me cajoling the specialist, the doctor and the nurse separately, they are adamant that I cannot exercise for a week and no, not even yoga.

My volunteer stint for Oxfam Trailwalker is in 10 days so I am trusting I’ll be ok to hike 11km by then. I certainly am cringing at the idea of not going to yoga for a week! But at least James and I can relax and enjoy a lazy Easter weekend.

On the 13th of March, my replacement at work will be starting! So I am very close to an end and there is bright light at the end of the tunnel. I’m a little nervous about how quickly work wants me to move on (my boss mentioned me potentially not bothering to come back from my holiday, but if he thinks I can do a complete handover in 8 business days he is quite deluded). But I’ll certainly be out of there by the end of May.

I have been debating blowing some of my savings to go back to Europe in June. I’d like to go visit my grandmother in the UK, and I would also like to walk a couple hundred more km on the Camino. It’s probably not a very wise idea but… it’s at the back of my mind. First and foremost I need to call Immigration and work out if it will affect my Australian citizenship eligibility though.

my 2011

A year ago I was in Australia, on Phillip Island with James, Nadege, and Ash. It feels like that was a long, long time ago. Since then I have:

— acquired Australian permanent residency:

— quit my job (three little words, a lot of drama)

— sold all my possessions

(pictured: Nom and Mansa, two of my favourite girls in the world, modeling some of the crap I flogged at my yard sale)

— gone on a variety of manic road trips around Australia with James and the White Knight

— run 107km with miCoach, 345km with RunKeeper, and an estimated 15km with James this summer (I know, wow, right??!), which adds up to a total of 467km. There was a biiiig gap in running due to the fact that I…

— travelled around Europe from April to August, mostly on the back of this motorbike.

 It wasn’t quite the self-indulgent experience we had planned, but I squeezed in time in a number of countries:

—  England (London, Devon), France (most of the Lot department, Biarritz & Bayonne, Marseille, Strasbourg, Paris), Spain (San Sebastian), Italy (Florence, Lake Como), Switzerland (some tiny village in the Alps), Belgium (Brussels, Knock), and Sweden (Gothenburg). One day I will get round to writing at least a bit about my travels. I also moved to Taiwan where I have visited Penghu and Taidong as well as of course Taipei. I also spent significant amounts of time pacing up and down the airports of: Abu Dhabi; Copenhagen; Moscow; Beijing. #jetsetting #namedropping

— lost my boyfriend, running buddy and close friend James to MSF after they whisked him away to Uganda out of the blue. A lot of the time I’m ok with this and chalk it up to fate taking us our separate ways. Sometimes I’m not so ok with this. 

— gone back to Mandarin school and somehow heaved my way back up to upper intermediate/advanced level.

— learned to really, truly, cross-my-heart-hope-to-die, love my own company. 

— found the Hash House Harriers — I have no words. 

2012 promises: Korea, Hong Kong, Australia, finish school, get a new job, run two half-marathons, and more…

angel

I’m finally in London, staying in Angel… The English all think it’s very warm and sunny but of course I’m shivering, as I’m always too cold (except when I’m too hot, obviously). It’s funny how in French we say frileuse and in Chinese they call it pa leng, “cold-fearing”, but of course the stoic British don’t have a word to describe people like me who always want the heating on and worship hot-water-bottles. However they do have the word “bracing” in their vocabulary… I was born to live in warmer climes!

My flight with Etihad was very good, overall — and thanks to my liberal consumption of Imovane, I actually slept for several hours, which has to make it the most successful flight I have ever taken. When not sleeping I read The Year of the Flood, and it is a credit to Margaret Atwood’s talent that even though I have only very vague memories of Oryx and Crake, it was a great read and extremely engrossing. I think it was a good book for the plane…

I went to a sort of… performance? last night, with Ollie, which involved a sort of labyrinth set up in an art gallery-warehouse, populated with dancers and actors, and including a tiny little grill-room (where a real skinned lamb hung from a huge minotaur skull over a barbecue upon which you were encouraged to prepare yourself lamb skewers), as well as a bar, where bottles of gin hung from chains and boys skipped up and down ladders preparing drinks for us. The whole place was full of bizarre shadows and almost-nude girls crouching under furs staring at the visitors as we crawled our way through the labyrinth. After traveling for over 24 hours and struggling with jet-lag (not to mention the very strong gin and the smell of the dead animals and the straw) the whole experience was very bizarre!

It’s been really good to see so many of my friends from uni, and London is still London (although I feel a bit touristy). In a bit I’m going to extricate myself from my bed (where I am engrossed with my book When God was a Rabbit) and meet Ben and Sarah in Covent Garden for a spot of… shoe shopping (what! I need them!). Two more days till James gets here! Three more days till France!