Thursday, May 15, 2014

On R&R

At the moment there's a lot of talk of activity on my blog. Cycling has become such a hugely enjoyable part of my life, that it feels as though I spend over half of my life on 2 wheels or talking about how much I love that I spend so much time on 2 wheels. But with a departure from normal routine this week (I've been business sitting for my parents at their home in Cambridgeshire) and a holiday on the horizon (2 weeks in Spain next month) my mind has turned to the importance of rest and relaxation.

I should probably also kick off here and remind you- what works for one person might not work for another, and this isn't prescriptive, merely a little look at what R&R means to me.

1. Reading.
It's well know that's lots of bloggers are book lovers, and I like to read as well. It's something I don't make nearly enough time for because I don't find it a sociable activity and where I used to get some guaranteed time on the train to work every morning, I now have to work a bit harder to find appropriate times to read. But it doesn't get more appropriate than having a house to yourself, no phones, no work journeys and pouring rain and I find I go through phases where once I start a new book or get into a series I'll happily devour the pages in quick succession.

Chilled out lunch
A chilled lunch- love that I can read and use cutlery at the same time with a Kindle....

Currently reading: Bad Blood, Charlotte Savage
Favourites: Fatherland, Robert Harris. The Firm, John Grisham. The Contortionist's Handbook. Craig Clevenger.
On my wishlist: The Silkworm, Robert Galbraith. The Forgotten, David Baldacci.

2. In the kitchen
It's not really a secret that I like to eat, my Chloe Likes To Eat posts are some of the most popular posts on the blog, and I enjoy cooking a lot of the food I showcase here. I don't always feel like it, and sometimes finding something for dinner is just a chore, but having time and freedom to cook even simple dishes tend to make me a happy bunny, cooking for people I'll be breaking proverbial with is the biggest joy, and there's really something quite calming about knowing there's something tasty coming from the oven.

Chloe Likes To Eat recent cooks

Currently cooking: Salads of every kind- hot, cold, vegetarian, leftover specials, dressed and specials
Favourites: Italian flavours, chilli kicks, lean protein and anything I can make better myself
A dish on the list: I really REALLY want to master making decent pizza...

3. Magazines
I don't often buy one, and really, I'd love a subscription, but I did treat myself to this after a grim wet day of problem solving this week. As someone with a sweet tooth, there's little better than settling in with a mix of fashion, lifestyle and opinion and big fat bag of sweeties.

Pre-WT14 watching post-dinner entertainment

Currently reading: Elle (currently on shelves)
Favourites: Elle, Grazia, InStyle
Wishlist: Elle Subscription, TWC as a print magazine!

4. Planning.
I did warn you, this wasn't a one size fits all... By comparison to some people we know, I'm sure mine and T's lives aren't *that* hectic, we're not out at events or hobbies or social functions every night of the week and we're not super involved in clubs, committees and structures. But what we do have is the need for some planning to make sure both of us know what's coming and how it's all going to fit together given the fluidity of his schedule and the more time consuming restraints on mine.

Making lists, checking calendars and working out what we an make happen in the coming months is one thing I really enjoy, not just for the excitement of anticipation, but for the calm that comes from knowing the grocery list is up to date and the calendar is 'at-a-glance' accurate.

5. Browsing
This seems to become something that's a little frowned upon, we're all supposed to be super grateful for what we have, and I do agree, it's great to enjoy the good fortune we do have and not to focus on consistently needing to own lots of things, but I actually quite enjoy browsing for things I might want to have in the future or fantasy purchases. This week I've been completely hooked on the commentary for The Women's Tour 2014 (amazing new British road cycling race) and it's more than ever left me lusting after another bike. I cannot afford to be spending hundreds of pounds at the moment, I definitely don't need a second bike as it would be purely for fun and leisure, and much as I love cycling, the rest of the year may not yield as much free time over evenings and weekends for those longer rides outside my commute. It doesn't stop me wanting to pretend I'm Hannah Barnes, Lizzie Armistead, Marianne Vos or Giogia Bronzini though....

Happy freakin weekend
Browsing in bed, perfect complimentary accompaniment

Dream: Specialized Pro Ruby 
Love: Trek Sleek SL
Need: Trek Lexa SL

I'm intrigued to know if my R&R differs hugely from yours, have you got any suggestions for things I'm missing out on since the weekend is almost with us?
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