The French language and I have a love/hate relationship. In school, I adored French lessons – here was a whole other language, a beautiful new world that I was entering just by putting together verbs, nouns and adjectives. At Sixth form, French was the first option I chose. I imagined myself sat in Parisian cafes chatting with the locals, at art exhibitions and wine tastings, on a yacht in St Tropez. Two years of conjugating verbs and there I’d be.
Then I went to University (choosing to study European Languages) and, within a month, knew I had made a major mistake. My choice of degree was based on little more than the fact that I was good at languages. I hadn’t considered a career plan; how I would use the 5 languages I would finish my 4 years speaking. They don’t pay people to sit in cafés, or admire art. There’s no such thing as a Yacht-sitter. I’m all for ‘learning for learning’s sake’ but I wasn’t enjoying myself either – my beloved French had become extraordinarily complicated and the teaching repetitive and dry. I dropped out of University, lost my mind and developed an irrational hatred towards all things French.
I decided when I started this blog that I would endeavour to alphabetter myself physically, intellectually and emotionally. Of course, my adventures up to now have had an inherent positive effect on my confidence and self-esteem – continuously putting yourself into situations you’ve never been in before and overcoming challenges will do that – but I also want to do some activities specifically focused on supporting my emotional wellbeing.
I have always been something of a sceptic when it comes to alternative therapies (even more so since I started reading Ben Goldacre) but, perhaps counter-intuitively, am also quite superstitious – honestly believing that the reason my car broke down recently was because I looked at a family stranded on the side of the road and thought ‘Thank goodness that’s not us!’. As a result, I was unsure how I would respond to any alternative intervention where part of me would be saying ‘this is quackery of the highest order’ while the rest thought ‘but I do feel different’. Turns out I’m a sucker for that sweet sweet placebo effect…
And the good news for you, blog fans, is D is also for Deluxe edition! Why? Because this week I tried out not one… not two … but THREE types of dance class and you’ll get to hear about them all right here. Delighted? You should be! Continue reading →
Peer pressure is a powerful force, especially when it is applied by muscular men.
I was sat last week discussing the blog with some friends when we got onto the topic of my next activity – what would I be doing for ‘C’? It was at this point that I realised the danger I was in. Like a gazelle, who has been idly chatting away to his new lion friends, suddenly looking up to see them licking their lips. You see, I was sat with my friend Andrew who runs CrossFit Avon, Amelia (his wife – big Crossfit fan) and my husband Jim (recent convert). Although there was no overt demand that I should get CrossFitted, everyone in the room sensed the inevitability of the situation and I, like the gazelle that I am, spent the evening trying to find a CrossFit gym in Hampshire. Continue reading →