I'm teaching a version of a 2nd-year course our department designed to appeal to a wider range of students than our English majors and minors. Depending who teaches it, the course readings change according to the focus we choose; I've built my curriculum around books about Paris, a mix of fiction and non-fiction, popular and more "literary." And what an indulgence this is turning out to be! We've just read and discussed C.S. Richardson's The Emperor of Paris which I first read a few years ago and wrote about here.
Trying to make the "waiting for retirement" stage as rich as possible rather than putting my life on hold until then, I've been concentrating again on folding some "social" back into my schedule. A week ago, for example, I met a friend for a quick breakfast before our work days started. Too short a visit, yes it was, but otherwise too many months go by without anything at all. And saying good-bye while still thinking of all the topics we haven't covered is incentive to book the next breakfast soon!
Similarly, I met a friend and former neighbour for coffee a few days ago, at the end of my "early day" at work. She was watching the clock, because her dog was waiting in the car, and I wanted to get home in time for dinner, but we filled that hour and a half with non-stop conversation, and I've got a new list of books to read as a result.
Last Friday, my work-at-home day, I followed up my yoga class with a trip to the grocery store to grab easy snacks to accompany the wine I'd invited a few girlfriends over for -- A Wine-Down Friday Afternoon, as I termed the event. I've done this before a few times, but not for months. Given the spirit-lifting effect, especially compared to the relative investment (yes, I have to organize a bit, clean a bit, shop a little, but that's really it). . . . I do wonder why I don't do this more often. Time for a resolution, perhaps. . .
Pater got me a TomTom Runner Cardio watch for Christmas, and I've been having fun with taking every possible kind of metric on my runs -- it tracks my heart-rate, my distance, my pace (both current and then average over the run), calories burned, strides per minute, elevation, and probably a few other items I've forgotten. As well, once I get more used to it, I can use it in training mode, setting up a program for intervals or working out splits for a race.
I resisted bothering with a runner's watch for years, and then once I conceded that it might be helpful in developing awareness of pace and pushing my speed (especially since I tend to do most of my running on my own), I was overwhelmed by the choices and kept putting off a decision. So I was delighted that Pater took on the consumer research involved. If you're a runner, do you, or have you, run with a GPS watch?
And I think we need another picture, don't we? So here are a couple of shots of a miracle I've been watching this week. . . those muscari clusters were the merest emerging buds on Sunday, and now you can easily see the shape that the separate flowers will pop out from. . .
And then, spotting their welcome foliage erupting into the January gloom, she'd brought them inside -- and grabbed one for me to enjoy as well. We both have many such plants out in the garden, but getting to watch the growth, up close and personal, has been a distinct pleasure.
I'll make sure to watch out when the potted blooms are on sale in a few weeks and follow Alison's lead. Do you do this? Buy spring bulbs, potted and in bloom, and then plant them out to enjoy in upcoming years?
Anyway, that's it for my Friday Five Things -- Hope you enjoyed. We're off to Vancouver after today's yoga class (we have a great Friday morning routine of yoga class followed by late breakfast at our favourite local spot (with the charming French name of Mon Petit Choux). Chat soon . . . .don't forget to leave a comment, if you're so inclined. . .