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August 26, 2014


I've had a lot of spare time this year, so I've started exercising a lot more. I think it's the first time in my life I've had a regular schedule of physical activity (that hasn't been imposed on me e.g. PE at school). Here's what I've been doing:

  • Running - I go for 5km runs, three times a week. I started at the beginning of last year, when I downloaded a Couch to 5k app. I've never been a runner and it's still really challenging for me (I'm in pain from about 2 minutes in all the way til the end), so I don't think I'll be doing City2Surf anytime soon.
  • Swimming - I go to the pool once a week and swim 3km each time. Swimming was my sport I was younger, so I find it much easier than running. I like swimming as exercise but it's just hard to schedule in a visit to the pool at a good time. I also wish I could listen to music while swimming, because right now I have to just get lost in my thoughts and my imagination can get pretty whack.
  • 7 minute workout app - This one I do really sporadically on days I don't run/swim. 7 minutes sounds too good to be true and it is - you're supposed to do three in a row, which I don't, but something is better than nothing right? It actually makes me feel a little out of breath! And I don't even do proper push-ups.
In terms of what I've gained this year by exercising more, I haven't really noticed any difference. I don't feel that much more energetic, and I still get puffed out during daily activities (to quote Wai Lam when we were running to catch a ferry: "Are you sure you can run 5 kilometres?"). I still like it though - it makes me feel like I've achieved something (especially since I've become queen of procrastination this year), and there's nothing like post-exercise endorphins when you've been having a bad day. I think it's also helped with my body image - not because my body has changed much (I shamelessly use exercise as an excuse to eat more) but because I can now appreciate what I can physically do, as opposed to view my body as an end result, or as an object to be molded by my behaviours.

As of today, I haven't run in more than a week because I just can't shake this cold I have. I thought I was getting better last week, so I went for a swim, but I must have misjudged badly because right after that a nasty chest cough flared up and I've now lost my voice (I sound like Marge Simpson). So I'm taking a break, which I hate, because in terms of running I feel like whenever I stop for a week I regress double that. Ah well, it's been raining a lot anyway!

How do you guys like to get your exercise?

August 24, 2014


I'm doing the blog's first giveaway! A little one, just to say thanks for sticking around. I have no idea what I'm contributing to the world by blogging, apart from being a prime example of Millennial narcissism. But if you somehow enjoy reading my blog as much as I enjoy reading the blogs I follow, I'm happy. So this is what I'm giving away (I thought about it for ages so let me ramble a bit):

  • The Adventures and Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. Two of the Sherlock Holmes short story collections in one. I tried to pick a book which was a classic, but not so classic that you've studied it at school and now hate it. I have all the Sherlock Holmes books and they're on my favourites shelf, they're so fun to read.
  • Lush Ultrabalm. For your chapped lips and chafed skin after you've been tailing suspects in the cold all day. I've also been using it on small patches of dryness/irritation like eczema and scrapes, works wonders. Apparently it also softens hard skin, heals tattoos, and removes makeup, etc etc.
  • Notebook. Random notebook, small and inconspicuous, good for taking notes while you interview witnesses.
  • T2 All Sorts. Just a variety of tea to help you relax after a long day of investigating. There's English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Lemongrass & Ginger, Chamomile, Peppermint, China Jasmine, Sencha and Chai.
Did I just make this giveaway detective themed? I think I did.

This is open internationally and will run until 14/09/14. I know not everyone uses GFC or Bloglovin, so you don't have to be a Bloglovin/GFC follower to enter with the Leave a comment option (following with those will help you get extra entries though!). Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

There will be one winner, who will be chosen by Rafflecopter at random. I'll contact you via email if you've won and you get 1 week to reply before I choose another winner. Good luck!

August 22, 2014

North Island

This is, finally, the last of the New Zealand posts! I probably shouldn't have done a post for every day we spent on the South Island but I just took so many pictures. For our last three days in New Zealand we swapped the mountains of the South Island for the rolling hills on the North.

We flew to Auckland, but hopped in our hire car straight away and made for Rotorua.

We passed through Matamata on the way, where the Hobbiton set is. We'd decided against visiting the set, because it's quite pricey and we're not die-hard LOTR fans.

This is what the tourist information centre looks like though, cute.

Our first stop in Rotorua was the Redwoods. Definitely a sight to see!

There's me, for scale.

I took a lot of photos, but as you can tell, they all come out kind of the same.

After a visit to the Polynesian Spa, we went to a pub near our hostel and ordered way too much food...

The next day, we went to Wai-O-Taupo thermal park. Rotorua is famous for its geothermal activity - the whole town smells vaguely of rotten eggs. The colours are the result of different minerals.

It looks better in photos, which are zoomed up to all the colourful bits - it was mostly steaming grey water.

A pond of kryptonite.

A bubbling mud pool nearby - it was cute how it went gloop gloop gloop and made patterns.

We hit the road again, to spend the night in Hamilton on the way back to Auckland.

It's a university city/town, and while it was sort of quiet there were lots of restaurants and bars. We found a nice one, but I just had a caesar salad because I was still feeling gross from the night before.

It was desserts specials night, so we went in for it.

The next morning we drove back to Auckland, and then flew home. Phew, New Zealand posts over!