Falling In Love With My Bike | Chats With Cath

Looks like I’ve got a new series for you: welcome to Chats With Cath! These posts are going to be a bit longer, for those of you that enjoy a nice sit-down chatty vibe. If you’ve been around here a while, you’ll know how much I love a good ramble. Chats With Cath is going to be an ongoing series where I talk about things that are on my mind. 

Starting with…

Exercise!

We all of have some relationship with exercise. You might love it, or you might detest it. I was one of them people that turned their nose up at the thought of exercise. If that’s you – don’t fear! Just keep exploring exercise until you find a sport that suits you best (for example I can’t stand indoor workouts – I much prefer being in the outdoors!)

Cycling

Cycling didn’t start out as ‘my sport’. Truth be told – I hated it. I tried so hard to not practise even though my mum kept forcing me up on to the seat. I learned how to ride a bike pretty late into my life. I must have been 10? I couldn’t keep myself upright as a rode but then one day – it just clicked. I was riding about in no time. I am very grateful Mum’s persistence in making me learn. As they say – you never forget how to ride a bike.

That bike that I learned to ride on is now much too small for me. As an early Christmas present, my parents bought me a lovely bike. It was over £100 which is really a lot of money! So come Christmas I won’t have a ‘big’ present, if you will, because I already have it. My beautiful bike.

Here she is: I decided to call her Christine, because I love naming inanimate objects. 

I took her out for a spin the other week with my friend. We went on a lovely autumn bike ride together on Halloween. Sadly, the nights drawing in means I can’t get out for exercise in the evenings after school. Weekends are my opportunity to go zooming about and I look forward to it all week (although I try not to get ahead of myself because we need to be grateful for what’s happening now)

It’s October half-term as I’m writing this. I’m having a week long break from school and really feels like lockdown. So I’ve started reflecting and those 6 weird months.

Lockdown

Lockdown was a really turning point for many people and their exercise habits. We had more time to go out and enjoy the great outdoors. The British phenomenon was Joe Wicks and I am ashamed to say I never tried one of his workouts (as I said before, I don’t really like exercise indoors).

Despite the circumstances, I really embraced lockdown. I went out for my daily exercise, did schoolwork, blogged and slept. My mum and I went for a walk almost on a daily basis! It was wonderful and I grew to appreciate my scenery a lot more. I live in one of the most beautiful places in the country. As I have lived here all my life the beauties which other people admire have become ‘the norm’ for me. I speak for many people when I say lockdown made my appreciate everything that little bit more.

I wrote this post before the second lockdown was announced!

Catherine, how does this link to exercise?

I’m a bit gutted I didn’t ask for a bike last Christmas, because lockdown would have been the perfect opportunity to get out on my bike. Now the nights are drawing in I can’t get that exercise anymore. It’s a bit poopy living so far north in the world. It goes dark by 4:30 – and that’s when I get home from school!

I’m just voicing inner frustration here. I do realise how lucky and fortunate I am, to be sat here under a warm blanket writing to an audience of 830 people. 

To finish off this post, I’d just like to say a huge thank you for all of the support.

Not only because of the rebrand, but everything else too.

This is such a lovely space on the Internet and each and every one of you means the world to me.

What’s your favourite way to exercise? Are you more of an at-home workout person or do you enjoy going to the gym?

I’d love to hear about your relationship with exercise and lockdown in the comments.

Love you lots,

Catherine x

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Email me! cathjaneblog@gmail.com

Where I’ve Been + October Goals

Long time, no type! Hope you’re all well. Thank you for continuing to support my blog while I’ve been away. I’ve not replied to your comments but I have see them pop into my inbox, and I look forward to chatting with you all again.

As you will understand, September is back to school season. That is why I haven’t posted to my regular schedule since mid-August. I’ve been bombarded with work! I can cope with it, it’s just very overwhelming. I’ve had 6 months with no commitments, no brain puzzles, no people. I need to accept that I can’t blog 24/7 (as I used to) while school is in my life. That’s okay! I’m not a superhero, and I will not try to be. 

In the next few years, academics will only become more important. They will be my priority so I can’t pressure myself into being a perfect blogger when blogging is not my job (even though I’d love it to be). This blog isn’t going on the back burner – no way! It’s my passion and I love it very dearly. 

Life’s been good. I’ve finally got into the swing of things in my new school. Not quite found balance between reading, blogging, cello and school yet but we’ll get there as I become more adjusted to the ‘normal’ lifestyle.

We’re also crawling closer to Christmas! A gingerbread scented candle is burning happily away in my room right now. It smells DIVINE! The other day I finished my rewatch of the Harry Potter films and it was so cosy and comforting. Dark mornings aren’t very inviting, but the nights drawing in are certainly hygge.

Many people will be curious about how coronavirus precautions are operating at my school. We have to wear masks in the buildings, but not in classrooms. We have ‘year group bubbles’ which is Bo Jo’s genius idea. I don’t know how it works but between lessons and after school we mash together anyway. Upon entrance of classrooms we disinfect the tables with antibacterial spray. We are also required to sanitise our hands.

I’m no scientist but anti-bacterial spray and anti-bacterial hand gel only kills bacteria. Not viruses! And they’re two very different things. I understand the precaution and I will abide of course. There is no proper ‘virus protection’ however.

I took a break from social media. I occasionally open Instagram on desktop to look at DMs but it’s completely gone from my phone. I don’t know when or if I’ll return, but I know now isn’t the right time. It does help drive traffic towards my blog but I’m not worried about stats at the minute. I need to solidify where I want this blog to go!

I am working on a few changes in terms of this website. My profile photo and other things need a revamp so I’ve been staying up late on my iPad drawing out ideas for logos and website banners! I can’t promise when that will be ready but I’m hoping before the new year.

There are so many more great things going on. I have been accepted into a trip with Girl Guiding to Kenya! It will be an expense so I am depending on some of your help and support to raise the funds. I will be flying out in February 2022. Due to coronavirus, I won’t be able to carry out my regular fundraising ideas. But I’m thinking up new and creative ways (many being online). If you have any ideas, I’d love to hear them!

My new obsession is pom-pom making. When Bake Off comes on on a Tuesday evening, Mum crochets and I make pom-poms! I’m working on a garland to go across the long wall of my bedroom. It’s alternating yellow and white. Tuesdays are now my favourite day because of my new hobby.

Speaking of telly, Strictly Come Dancing starts soon. My friend and I are fully obsessed. It’s trashy but it’s good trash – you know? Some of you may have read that heartfelt post about my Granny. She adored dancing, specifically Strictly, so I will never not watch it. Besides – who can resist that theme song?

Since deleted social media, I’ve been filling time where I used to scroll reading. In 2019 my blog was book centred which is very telling of that stage in my life. Through lockdown I stopped reading as much but now I’m beginning to love it again. 

I was also in a love/hate relationship with cello. But since having lessons again I’ve fallen in love with the instrument. The better I become, the more I enjoy it. I just have to overcome those parts where it’s ‘too hard’. Things I used to find difficult are now easy-peasy. But Grade 3 is pretty hard. I took my Grade 1 in 2019 so this is a leap but I’m handling it okay. The main difference is switching positions and getting the intonation perfect.

This post is more for me (a time capsule, so to say) than it is entertainment for you, but I suppose it’s nice for you to know what I’ve been up to behind the scenes!

October Goals

Now we move on to the part of the post that excites my Slytherin heart: ambitious goals! Here are a list of my aims for October (some easier than others):

  • make a chai latte
  • make pumpkin spice baked donuts
  • stay on top of blog comments, Instagram comments, DMs and emails. I will put this into action by having a weekly ‘blog afternoon’ where I just sit down and get admin tasks done. 
  • post 2x a week on my blog and get geared up for Blogmas
  • finish all the books I’m in the middle of

At the end of October I’ll come back to review my goals and hopefully say that I’ve achieved them! The blog admin one is so important to me. These notifications popping up everywhere get overwhelming if I allow them to pile up.

All the books I’m in the middle of!

Thank you for reading, if you’ve made it to the end. I plan to post every Tuesday and Friday from now on! I hope you appreciate the photos that I took, exported, edited and uploaded very late on Thursday night for you. 

Take care and wear your mask,

catherine x