I meant to write a post last week to wrap up the month of January, but honestly couldn’t think of anything that would be interesting to share!
January is usually a slow and dull month, not much happening and it’s still dark and cold. Unless you like winter, in Northern Europe it’s mostly a month you have to endure to get on to February. Yes, I know it sounds bad, but we can’t love everything, right?
Let’s talk about what DID happen, the good and the bad.
A new music session started in town, in a pub that had closed but that reopened with new owners. Some of our music friends told us about it so we went to check it out. I was in some self-doubt crisis when we first went and mostly wanted to be a fly on the wall and just enjoy the music, but the others forced me to play and sing something so I did, and in the end I enjoyed it. It’s a nice session with some good people, and a great atmosphere in the pub.
However, the best music happening this month was a gig at a local winter music festival. If we had been smart, we would have checked out the festival a bit more beforehand, because we discovered too late that there were some old-time fiddle workshops that my husband would have loved to attend. But at least we had tickets for what was, for us, the main event – a concert with Tim O’Brien & Jan Fabricius (nowadays also O’Brien). That was a superb night!!
I’ve been listening to, and admiring, the music of Tim O’Brien for 30+ years. I found him on various country and bluegrass collection CDs when I first started discovering these music styles, and to begin with I only knew about his singing, because it really stood out, and since then I’ve always thought he’s the very best voice in bluegrass/country/related music (perhaps alongside Vince Gill). Later I discovered he’s also a brilliant mandolin, fiddle, guitar player too, through his recordings with Hot Rize, various collaborations, and solo albums. When I played the mandolin he was my top inspiration, involved in both bluegrass, folk and Irish trad music.
Our seats didn’t offer any fantastic photography opportunities, but I took some photos anyway:
And if you haven’t heard him, here’s some for you to enjoy:
When it comes to my own music, I haven’t yet managed to get myself into a practice routine, but I have a plan now and the tunes and songs I’ll focus on are on my work desk.
Photography, in January? Not so much, lol. I’m mostly an outdoors photographer. I really need to learn to take good photos indoors, especially since I need good photos for my online shop. But I’m not there yet, and except the shots I’ve taken of places where I walk and run, the camera has been very inactive this month.
I took these for a camera club competition though, and I quite like them.
If you’ve visited my photography blog, you may have noticed it’s very quiet and sad. But I’ll get back there when I’m back to actually taking photos regularly. Spring is coming soon… so there is hope.
Fitness, running, walking
I went out for running and walking twice a week for the beginning of January, and strength training twice a week in the gym as usual. Then, after my best run ever, I was down again with an injury, this time in my foot. Why? I’m not sure (although I suspect a few things, some of which I can adjust). The only thing I can do is to keep strength training, do my physiotherapy homework (which will be ongoing also after I recover fully), and keep my running ambitions. But since I was already in some mode of self-doubt, the injury triggered a crisis (perhaps age crisis, even) and I haven’t been a happy camper at all. Over the weekend, with some good self-reflection, I’ve realised a few things about myself and my thinking, and I’m doing much better now. My foot is better too and should allow me to do my 150k challenge, although I need to do shorter daily distances in the beginning.
While I can’t run, I’m focusing more on strength training and do some more of it at home in the mornings now – core training mainly since I get to work hard on the rest when I go to the gym.
And – we’ve bought a rowing machine! This is going to be a lovely addition for us both. It’s good to have a second cardio training option.
We’re going on holiday! Since we moved to Ireland, except going to Sweden separately, we haven’t been away together not even once. Of course we’ve been travelling within Ireland but we haven’t been abroad together at all. Now we decided to go to see my in-laws in Spain in March.
March is a month of mixed emotions and it can be lovely because spring is in somewhat full swing, but it’s also usually still quite cold and you’re tired of cold at that stage. A trip to Spain with at least good daytime temperatures, and hanging out with my husband’s parents, will be a wonderful break! We gave them a wine tasting with some other experience for Christmas, so we’ll organise that too.
Other good things
- Spring is coming soon. If we only trust the Celtic traditions, spring starts today 🙂
- I was labelled as “conneisseur” in an online whisky community where I’m a beta tester.
That was it for January, folks. Today is the 1st of February, in Ireland St Brigid’s day, and the start of February is always inspiring. I hope your January was good and that you’ll have a good start of February too!
I’m linking this post with Denyse Whelan’s Wednesday words & pics, and the new What’s been on your calendar link-up with Sue, Deb, Jo, and Donna.
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