a list of ten things

A list of ten things

You know when you really want to write about a certain thing, but it’s too short for a blog post but too long for a tweet?

I had that.

The thing I wanted to write about was deferred bragging, but that’s a topic I could probs only stretch to about 100 words and, like, what even would that be?

What I thought I’d do was flesh out the bit about deferred bragging with 9 other things I drunkenly wrote down in my notebook on Friday night.

So, here we are: 10 of my current favourite things, also including strange things that wandered into my brain over the past week:

1. Deferred bragging

Remember back when you were a kid and not only did you desperately wish you were cool, but also that your parents were too?

I had averagely cool parents – my mum was pretty young (married at 19, first 2 kids at 21 and 23) and could teach me things like how to make fortune tellers (cootie catchers, for US folks), how to do double dutch and how to eat jam doughnuts without licking your lips.

My dad was automatically propelled to the top of the Cool Parent charts by having a lot of tattoos. Kids are weird judges.

However, in terms of their parenting style, my parents were Not Cool. Not to me anyway. We had strict, fairly early bedtimes. We couldn’t be outside past teatime (which was 5-_-) and had to cross the road at a very specific place. About a minute’s walk further along than where the other kids crossed, because traffic was going slower slightly further up the road and you could see really well.

How cool is that?!

I know that sounds like good parenting, and I now know that it was, but as a kid it’s harsh. Our bedtime was earlier than my friends – can’t remember when though – and it’s only recently I think I may have found out why. My brother and I were both furious readers.

Dad used to read us a story from a novel, and then we’d each retire to our separate bedrooms to read our own book. We had a permitted time to keep our lamps on until we had to go to sleep. Which of course we ALWAYS exceeded. I’m guessing that my parents didn’t want to discourage the reading, so sent us to bed earlier so that we’d at least get sleep at a reasonable hour.

But there was a chance for my parents to grab the Cool Parents award:

by going to bed late themselves. My best friend’s parents went to bed at 2am. How very cool. Mine were always turned in by ten, I assumed to embarrass me (nothing to do with the long hours getting their business off the ground, I’m sure).

So this is where deferred bragging comes in. Obviously now I’m older, I’m happy to be in bed at 9 – 10’s pretty late. Again, the reason being that I’ll be reading for at least an hour. I’m proud of my parents being in bed early. They were cool before their time. And I’m especially glad that I inherited the habit.

2. How not to Die

It’s a book by Dr. Michael Greger – here’s a link to his website. It’s all about the virtues of eating a more plant-based diet and how many doctors are ill-informed about the benefit of eating your veg.  It’s all rather fascinating, and I’m hoping it encourages me to be more mindful of my diet.

I do have a headstart over many people because I’m vegan, but so far there’s been no mention of the health benefits of Quorn fish fingers and oven chips. I did do mash, sausages with cabbage, carrots, peas and broccoli the other day, rather than just copious amounts of mash and a floret or two of broccoli.

Also whilst writing this I’ve polished off a whole punnet of grapes – go me.

3. Gardener’s World

Teenage me is appalled by this, but I assure you that there’s no better Friday night than settling down in front of the telly with a glass of prosecco and Monty Don. It’s just so wholesome and cosy – and his dogs are freaking adorable.

This year they’re giving out a lot of info on how to reduce your plastic use with regards to gardening, which is amazing.

We have a garden now (after ten years of living in a terraced house with literally no outdoor space at all), and it’s so satisfying when you plant something and it doesn’t die  waits a couple of months before it dies.

4. Raccoon somersaulting

I’ll just leave this here.

5. Yoga with Adriene

If you’re looking to get into yoga, just search for Adriene on YouTube. She’s the best. I’m the least flexible person in the world, but I still get a lot out of it. I am slowly loosening up, but I’ve done one of her videos nearly everyday since New Year’s Day.

It ain’t a quick fix, but I’ve actually got definition in my abs for the first time ever (they’re slightly hidden by my fat layer, but who cares? It’s keeping me warm). If you’re looking for one to get started, I’d recommend doing day 8 of any of her thirty-day challenges – 30 days of yoga, yoga camp, yoga revolution and true.

6. Grapes as snacks

If hadn’t guessed, I’m trying to get healthy. Once I tried to get healthy by scarfing down popcorn instead of biscuits, but I was equally surprised, horrified and proud of just how much popcorn I could eat in one sitting, especially if washed down with prosecco.

I’ve moved on to grapes, which may be higher in calories, but which aren’t covered in salt and do have some micronutrients in them. I assume. I eat the purple ones? If I’m wrong on this count, don’t correct me, I’m happy.

7. Podcasts

What a lie. They’re not currently a fave, but I’m desperately trying to fall in love with them. I find that if I listen to spoken word when I’m running I keep a much evener pace and can go for longer without stopping. I think because I like to listen to music full blast and probably inadvertently mime along to the words and run in time.

It’s a struggle when you’re not a natural runner. I do enjoy going for a run, but I’m not going to do a marathon anytime soon. The bits I like are the being outside in the sun and the solitude, which sounds sad, but I mean it in a positive way. If you’d prefer you can replace the word solitude with the vom-inducing phrase ‘me-time’ or, if you like, ‘self-care.

8. Smoothies

Wheeeeey it’s officially too warm for porridge! Sometimes anyway! I like to have a healthy, virtuous breakfast that includes greens, fruit, hemp, flax and chia seeds and even sometimes wheatgrass, and I get my lunch at work, so I usually pick soup (the chef does incredible lentil or Tuscan bean).

This leaves my evenings free to gorge myself on a huge amount of Linda McCartney sausages, salad, and the afore-mentioned oven chips. And obvs prosecco and bread at the weekend.

9. Bobby

Ah, Bobby.

For the past three years Dave and I have volunteered at our local Blue Cross centre, taking a dog off-site for a walk. We walked anyway, wanted a dog but couldn’t have one. This was the perfect solution, and we’ve met some absolute corkers.

We first walked Bobby, an 8-year-old Lakeland x last year for about five weeks, during which we fell in love with everything about him EXCEPT his incredible skill at getting us to pick him up and carry him.

The poor little sod wound up back at Blue Cross a few weeks ago so we’ve taken him out a couple of times. He still won’t walk – we suspect his little old legs get tired and sore – so we’ve had quite th core workout.

Since we’ve moved we can get a dog and if Bobby wouldn’t eat my rabbit within 2 seconds of meeting her, we seriously consider adopting him.

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Bobby thinks I have chicken, but I don't 😐

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You’ll be glad to know that the fur on his ears has grown back.

10. Writing by hand

I have wholeheartedly thrown myself onto the write-by-hand wagon. I find that everything flows better, it’s less tiring and if you find yourself disheartened by the blank screen, draw yourself a little doodle.

Calligraph your title.

Calligraph your own name.

Distract yourself by writing the date and the title in bubble writing and underlining it and colouring it in.

Anythings better than staring at a blank screen for five minutes, then giving up and logging into Twitter.

I’ve found that it really helped me get to grips with completely changing my plot, and it’s weirdly satisfying having a 200-page notebook filled with your own handwriting.

This also helps you give less of a shit about your word count👍

What even was that list?

It was just a list of ten things that I wanted to write about. It’s my blog and I can do what I like.

A list of ten things




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