The only problem with having a week off and a lovely holiday in Tenerife (did you read last week’s weekly blog?), is that you have to get back to reality afterwards. With Sunday spent unpacking and hiding from Storm Ciara (much like we spent yesterday hiding from Storm Dennis, I think we get a storm a week now), the early alarm was set and it was back to work before we knew it. I don’t dislike my work, but I much prefer it when I don’t have to!

Splodz Blogz | The Weekly Blog Episode 06

But life isn’t all about the day job, and I truly believe that in order to have happy days at work, I need to make the most of the time when I’m not there to have some fun and do some relaxing. Some evenings that might be spending time cooking a nice meal and watching a movie, it might be eating quickly and heading out for a wander or meeting some friends, it might even be having a long bath and doing some online shopping. This week I’ve spent my non-working time catching up on washing(!), watching some television, cooking some tasty meals to make up for not eating out every day as we did on holiday, and trying a one new-to-me activity…

Trying Static Aerials

On Thursday evening I made use of my rather splendid Christmas present from Sarah (The Urban Wanderer) and headed to a local school gym to try out static aerials with the All Bars Flying Trapeze Club. I’ve seen pictures of people doing all kinds of fancy tricks and making lovely shapes on trapeze and silks on my social media feeds, and have always wondered if it is something I could do. I knew I was in for a good evening when I commented to Ian, the trainer, that I have the grace of an elephant and he replied with a photo of a circus elephant doing tricks… and when I arrived he was playing Christmas music 🙂

During the hour-and-a-half session I spent time on the static trapeze, rope and silks trying out different moves as instructed, and also watching club members practice and develop their skills. I enjoyed the trapeze the most, finding I could balance and tuck and hang happily up in the air, the silks second, particularly when I sat cocooned in it for a few moments, and the rope third because I still can’t get the right technique to climb a rope properly. I think my good balance made up for my lack of core strength in a small way, but a better core and stronger arms would have made the evening even better than it was. My shoulders still ache even a few days later, but it is a satisfied and happy ache that I don’t mind because it was caused by something fun. As with most things I try, I would love to be able to do this regularly, I think it’s the kind of thing that a session a week would lead to noticeable improvement in both strength and technique, but time to commit is something I’m severely lacking. I know it won’t be the last time I join the club though, I am considering a series of classes later in the year, and will 100% be booking a taster session on the full sized bar-to-bar outdoor flying trapeze rig they have when it opens in the summer.

If you are local to Cheltenham or the surrounding area and fancy giving static aerials a go, I would recommend Ian and All Bars Flying Trapeze Club without hesitation. Ian was able to get me up onto the trapeze doing various moves in no time at all, has a lovely manner, and it was an excellent way to spend an evening. Oh, and having the grace of an elephant really didn’t matter!

That’s Entertainment

I’ve heard great things about Michelle Obama’s memoir, Becoming, and so this week it became my audio book of choice. And it really is very good. I haven’t quite finished it yet (a couple of chapters to go), but it’s been a real page turner (if that’s possible for an audio book…). The book is full of reflection and personal storytelling, concentrating on the moments in her life that made her who she is now, including experiences of home and school as a child, getting her first job, losing people she loved, meeting and marrying Barack, and doing her best to make the White House as welcoming and inclusive as possible. It has been so interesting learning what it’s like to be the wife of the President of the United States, but also how it’s completely possible and hugely important to follow your dreams and fulfil your own needs in life. A beautifully written book that has filled me with warm feelings and made me smile.

We also watched Hidden Figures this week, a film released in 2017 that tells the true story of three African-American women working at NASA as “human computers”, who were instrumental in the race to send people into space. It really is an excellent film, easy to watch in some ways, but hugely difficult in others. Space travel is so interesting to me, and it was wonderful to learn about just one part of the race to the moon and how this (slowly) helped break down the terrible racial barriers of the time in the context such a large organisation. I don’t know if the line “we all pee the same colour at NASA” is historically accurate, but it makes a very good point.

Oh, and is anyone else watching Picard on Amazon Prime? We’re a Star Trek loving household, and so watching this new iteration of the science fiction classic was a no-brainer. I think we’re an episode behind (so no spoilers here), but I couldn’t let my blog go without saying how we smiled when Jean Luke looked straight down the lens at the end of episode three and said “engage”. It’s what we were all waiting for!

A Mini Review | Cawston Dry

As promised back in Weekly Blog 04, I took my trays of Cawston Dry (gifted by the company but not sponsored…) into work to see what my colleagues thought. And just as the drinks split my household, they split my office too. Some colleagues liked that they are not sweet, that they are dry, and that they are strangely moreish. However, others disliked them to the point of screwed up faces and unfinished cans, citing a distinct lack of flavour as the reason (they really do have just a twist of something). While I preferred the lemon and ginger one, my colleagues generally enjoyed the raspberry one more. We all agreed Cawston Dry needs to be drunk straight from the fridge – as soon as they warm up a bit they are no longer refreshing. Tastes are a funny thing, aren’t they?! I think if you are looking for a refreshing but not sweet sparkling water drink, you should give Cawston Dry a go. But if you like your drinks full of flavour or sweetness, then these won’t be for you.

This Week’s Question

I’m not convinced that these questions are working, I guess my readers don’t have time to answer, but I’ll keep going with them for a few weeks and see. This time around, based on the fact that you got a quick review from me in this week’s weekly blog, I want to know:

What’s your favourite soft drink?

My go-to is orange juice and lemonade – or a Henry as I’ve learnt recently it’s called here in Gloucestershire (every day is a school day!). A simple lime and soda is also very refreshing on a warm day. If I can have any soft drink then I’d probably choose root beer, but it’s not commonly available here in the UK, so I have to rely on having some in our fridge at home.

Splodz Blogz | The Weekly Blog Episode 06

If you enjoyed reading this blog, if you think my weekly blog series is a good idea, and especially if you got to the end of this episode, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. And I mustn’t forget the vloggers’ catchphrase – please like and subscribe for more posts like this in the future! Come on by next Sunday at 6pm for the next in the series.

PS Don’t forget we’re still in the middle of my month-long daily photo challenge for February. The Splodz Blogz Daily Photo Challenge is meant as an opportunity to look at the world a little differently. If you’re reading this on the day it’s published, then I’m after your photos with an around the block flavour. Check out the theme each day and share your daily snaps using #SplodzDPC so we can all see.

12 Responses

  1. Sarah

    My favourite soft drink is an elderflower cordial with sparkling mineral water and lots of ice. Refreshing and not too sweet.

  2. Wendy

    Hi Zoe. Loving the weekly blog as a catch up with you.. Favourite soft drink. J2O Apple and Raspberry or Cawston Press Rhubarb…love it but go to drink tends to be lime and soda. The others are then a treat!!
    Have a great week

  3. Katy

    I mostly drink water! Used to get through loads of orange squash but now everything seems to have artificial sweeteners in, yuck. In the pub my soft drink of choice is probably appletiser, a j2o or just lime and lemon

  4. Sarah Irving

    Yay! I am so pleased about you having an excellent time at the aerial class and that I could contribute to the ‘outside of work’ fun stuff too. For my soft drink of choice, I generally drink water or herbal tea. Although, like you, I do enjoy a pint of lime and soda when I am out and about.

  5. dave

    I love these weekly blog posts! They’re always interesting and I love reading them.

    Current favourite soft drink is the L’mon Lemon & Lime which handily comes as part of a meal deal at the local Boots 🙂

  6. slo

    I have just finished Michelle Obama’s book (I am also an audio person), and agree that is fascinating. Covers social history, personal drive and commitment, all with honesty. Would thoroughly recommend. And I largely drink water (boring I know).

    • Splodz

      It really is a superbly interesting book. Very long, but worth the effort – I felt myself nodding in agreement a lot of the time and had a profound sense of admiration for Michelle Obama.

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