I Ran

It’s been long since I ran a proper distance. Over the last year I’ve ran only a handful of times and only about 3-5 kilometers at a time. Not far, not fast, not often.

Today, that changed.

I haven’t written much lately, but I’ve started to get into shape, and I do quite a bit of working out, trying to drop a little bit of weight. It’s going pretty well. Some of the guys at work are in on it too, and we’re pushing each other to keep at it. I’m getting stronger and I can feel it.

It makes me happy. I feel good about myself.

The last time I ran a longer distance was still working evening shift and I could go for 14 kilometer jog at 1 am after work. It’s over a year and a half ago. I’ve felt the urge for a while now. I’ve been wanting to run, and today I finally got around to it.

The plan was originally to do a workout with some friends at the gym at the office, but I forgot to pack my clothes and I really didn’t feel like working out in my underwear, so I skipped it.

Instead, I went home, found my clothes and went for a jog. Just over ten kilometers. Just under 60 minutes. It’s nowhere near as fast as I want it to be, but I did it, and I’m not dead.

I’m glad I didn’t go for the 14k run as I’d originally planned – the one I used to run at nights back when I was working late. I think I’d have pulled it off, but I’m not sure how well I’d been afterwards.

Now, I’m fine. I’ll be in pain tomorrow I’m sure, but I’ll get over it. Most of all I’m happy I did it, and I’m happy to do it again. I’ll probably leave it for a bit later in the year though, it’s still too bright out at this hour. I like running in the dark better.

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I Ran

Silent for so long

I feel like I haven’t written here in ages. When I check, I see it’s been over a month.

Too long.

Things have been slow lately. My story has stalled and I barely write on it at the moment. I’m nearing the end, and the way it’s going I’m just not feeling it anymore. I also don’t have the peace of mind to sit down and dig into it properly. There are other things going on that needs my attention.

I’m doing a lot of writing for my Burning Man camp. Every year, I send out a series of mail to the entire group to get them in the mood for what’s to come and to explain to the newbies (virgins) what they need to know to survive the event.

Last year, and the year before that, I just copied the mails from the previous year. It gets the job done, but it’s no fun for the old-timers to read, and it makes me feel like I’m cheating.

This time around I’m re-writing all of the mails from scratch. It’s going pretty well. I’ve cheated once because I had visitors and re-ran one of last year’s mail, but for the other ones I’ve reworked the texts completely. It feels good.

Unfortunately, it takes my attention away from my story writing.

So not only am I losing faith in my story, I’m also distracted by other things. Perhaps that’s good? Perhaps it means that once I’m done with the mails and with Burning Man I can go back to focusing on my own imaginary world? I hope so.

That’s not everything though.

I also have another project going. It’s a secret. I’m really excited about it, but it’s still a secret. It’s taken a lot of creative energy, and it’s surely contributed to not getting any writing done on my story.

Other than that, I’ve gotten a bit more serious about my health and fitness, and I’m working out a bit more, and trying to eat more reasonable. I’m not doing a diet, but I’m cutting down on snacks and junk food. It’s working out pretty well for me.

That’s about it for now.

Silent for so long

Vacation in the Land of Forests

I’ve been on vacation in Sweden for about a week now. I’m flying back to Ireland later this afternoon. It’s been good, but it’s gotten to the point where I’m looking forward to going home.

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Elves dancing over a field in Lerum, Sweden.

I met up with my mother and father, and I met most of the friends that matter.

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Lerum, Sweden

Ireland is great and all, but the forests around where I live leave a lot to be desired. They’re just not the same as the ones back home. Fortunately, I had some great opportunities to get out and about and wander among the trees.

I’ve probably mentioned it in the past, but it bears repeating: I’m a forest person. There’s something special about walking among the trees that I don’t quite get anywhere else.

The hills back in Ireland provide stunning views and magnificent scenery. There’s a grander scale to the landscape when you can see so much further.

Often, in a forest you don’t get that in the same way. You usually don’t see that far, but there’s still a sense of greatness. Now and then you can climb a hill and be able to look out over a forest that stretches towards the horizon. You get a glimpse of how large the forest can be and for a moment you get a sense of perspective.

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Måröds Lyseberg, Hjärtum, Sweden

The forest isn’t visible, but you know it’s there, you just can’t see it for all the trees. You get a view of what’s near you, and you get a feel for the rest of it through glimpses and imagination.

I think that this may be a hint to why I like it so much. It tickles my imagination in just the right way. It gets my thoughts running and the ideas flowing.

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Gipenäs, Hjärtum, Sweden

The forest also makes me feel safe and comfortable in a way I rarely do in other places. It’s probably related to how I’ve spent so much time there. I grew up right next to a forest, and my family was very active in the sport of orienteering. We traveled all over Sweden to take part in competitions and events, and I’ve seen most of what the country has to offer as far as forests go.

By far, my favourite kind is the one showing here in these pictures, where pines and firs stand tall and straight, and where the land buckles and twists into hills and ravines.

It’s been great, but it’ll be good to get home again too.

 

Vacation in the Land of Forests

Love

Valentine’s Day is in about two weeks.

Last year I had a whole lot of fun designing my own Valentine’s Cards, and I’ll be doing that again this year. The original idea came from when a friend of mine linked a page on some blog with quirky/alternative cards, and I figured it’d be fun to try and do something similar myself.

Plus, sharing some love and positivity has got to be a good thing, right?

Originally, I’d planned on waiting a little longer to start, but then I was informed that today (January 31) is Inspire Your Heart With Art Day, and I figured that it was too good a coincidence to pass up, so I got going.

Here are some of the cards I did last year (click the images for larger, easier to read versions):

I’ve got a few done already, but I’ll save them for later and put them up closer to the day, or after, or some other time. After all, it’s not about the day, it’s about telling someone you love them – or just making people smile. That’s fine too.

Love

…and then I baked!

I made semlor (singular form semla).

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According to wikipedia, semla is:

A semla (Sweden Swedish) or fastlagsbulle (Finland Swedish), laskiaispulla (Finnish), vastlakukkel (Estonian) or fastelavnsbolle (Danish and Norwegian) is a traditional sweet roll made in various forms in Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania,Sweden and Norway associated with Lent and especially Shrove Tuesday in most countries, or Shrove Monday in Denmark and Iceland.

Apparently, Semla is also the name of an Etruscan goddess. I did not know this until just now when I looked up the description here.

…and then I baked!

More Bad Body Times

My shoulder’s been acting up again lately. I spent too much time in a bad chair playing computer games. So my arm, shoulder, and neck all started aching and being all painy and achey. Not cool.

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I’ve been to the physiotherapist again and the arm is fine now, but the are between the neck and shoulder still aches. I’ll have to keep up with the stretches and remember to stand up regularly while it at work. I had two days off, then worked one day and then it was weekend. I’ll be back at the office tomorrow.

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With this going on I’ve been trying to do things that doesn’t require me to be in front of the computer. There’s been no writing and no gaming – except maybe just a little. Mostly I’ve sat in front of the TV watching anime. It’s entertaining but feels like a waste of time.

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The entire weekend has been a bit of a waste really.

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I was horribly hungover on Wednesday, and today I’ve just sat around not doing much. I did go to the spinning class, and I wrote a letter – by hand no less – to a close friend (sorry Å, not you), but other than that, not much.

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I suspect there will be more walking coming though, once I’m not hungover and once my legs don’t hate me after the spinning. I went for a nice little hike after work on Tuesday. It’s getting too dark for long walks after work though. With the time change evening begins to fall before five, and the sky is black soon after six. I manage on my own, but I don’t feel like dragging others with me under those conditions.2015-11-01 15.05.51

I did get a few nice pictures though. I still enjoy the idea of the panorama function on the phone and I like finding the landscapes where it works. One of these days I’ll have to get up on Elizabeth forth (which is next doors) and take a big picture of the surrounding area. I should be able to see my house from there.

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I’m really looking forward to getting back into writing too. I want to try and finish the scene I’m working on for the story about Alena, and then I’ll get back to Emma’s Story. I have a few ideas of things to change up and then I’ll do a thorough editing pass to try and catch as many mistakes as I can. After that I should be ready to send it off to the editor.

More Bad Body Times

Panoramalpaca

This weekend me and my friend E went for a trip to the Waterfall Alpaca Farm near Drimoleague in West Cork. We did a bit of walking, ate a lot of good food, met the alpacas and figured out how to take panorama pictures with our phones.

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Sure the picture quality isn’t the best, but we had fun, and if just look at the thumbnails and don’t zoom in, it looks kind of nice. It also gives a pretty good idea of the scenery we encountered.

I’m always mesmerized by the hills and mountains of West Cork. It’s very unlike the landscape of back home in Sweden where I grew up – I may have mentioned that in the past…

Still, it fascinates me, and I’m not entirely sure why, but maybe that’s part of it.

I took some normal pictures too:

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And of course, a bunch of photos of the alpacas. They’re friendly, and while not necessarily shy, they do seem to like to keep their distance. We got to lead them around a little trail, about half an hour or so, and in order to keep them from running ahead, you just had to hold your hand out in front of them and they’d stop.

Even then, they’s still let you touch them, and they’re really soft. I can see how they make for good wool.

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Panoramalpaca