Take 5

*This Take 5 series will be a way for me to look back at my week and write about all the features of the last 7 days.

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1 – Gardening on Lisson Grove Estate

At work the other week a group of us donned our branded t-shirts and headed out to the Lisson Grove Estate to do some gardening. The gardens on the estate were abandoned due to lack of ability from the tenants to maintain it, and so us group of (relatively) fit young things went down there to hack away weeds, turn over soil, plant some flowers and laugh a lot. The next day I ached more than I had expected. Turns out dragging big bags of compost and wielding a pitchfork is a great workout. It was a windy chilly day but the sun shone for us. We got quite possessive over our little patch of garden, and hopefully we can go back in the spring to help with the maintenance.

2 – Baked feta

I don’t know what it is about feta and honey, but it is a pure joy. I discovered this with a baked feta recipe. Simply place feta on a baking  dish, pour over with honey and sprinkle with some thyme or rosemary (or both!) with a bit of olive oil, and bake for about 8 minutes (the feta will be shiny and springy). Slice off chunks and enjoy with salad, some rye bread, pitta bread or some roasted vegetables. A glass of white wine goes even better with it.

3 – Beginning my 10k training

So I signed up for a 10k – the Cancer Research Winter Run – and I am a little bit terrified. I am glad I’ve pushed myself to exercise all through the winter as normally this is my hibernation period. But I’m now on week 4 of my 10k training and it is going…fine. Every week I feel better at running and I feel like my fitness is increasing. But my ability to run continuously just feels so far off what will be required come February! Running for half an hour seems too far away never mind more than double that. I know I can and will get there, but it’s one of those mental barriers I am going to have to push through.

The Big Easy brunch

4 – Big Easy brunch

I have never seen this much cooked meat in one place. It hit all of my wildest meat dreams, and I wasn’t aware I even had any of those. Big Easy offer a bottomless two hour brunch where your meat and your alcohol are very quickly topped up as it is depleted. My friend and I particularly loved our waiter’s attention to our prosecco glasses. They never went below half full. Before our time was up, he plonked a whole new prosecco bottle on the table and welcomed us to finish it up at the bar. We dragged ourselves – a few stone heavier than when we sat down – to the gorgeous bar and did just that. If you want a place to wile away the hours, eat huge amounts of food, and really get the best iteration of a ‘bottomless’ brunch then Big Easy is the place to go.

5 – My first gym class

I got my gym membership at the work gym a year ago. I went once to get signed up and have an induction. I promised myself I’d go once, maybe even twice a week at least. And then…I never went again. This was helped by the fact that we don’t have to pay for our gym membership at work, which is great but unfortunately only helped my avoidance of the gym. I had one aborted attempt, but I panicked in the changing room and left immediately. I felt guilty about it but couldn’t quite force myself to actually go. Then two colleagues of mine suggested I went along to a class with them. It was exactly what I needed – all that anxiety about the unknown (how do I pay for the class, where is the studio in our rabbit-warren gym, how do I work the lockers) was worked through by doing it with someone else, who knew what they were doing. It’s an upper body class and I hope it’ll be a great balance for all of the cardio I am doing with my 10k training.

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