Tag Archives: fitness

PhDs, fitness club and a sparrow

Whenever people talk about PhDs, they make it seem all doom, gloom and back-breaking work. Now, I’m not trying to dispute that a PhD is tough and if you’re researching a topic like mine, you should anticipate being tucked away in a chilly lab on quiet evenings when the undergrads have all left for the day. Studying for a PhD is not easy and you will have to make sacrifices, whether to your bank account, social life or sleep.

On the other hand, if you plan your time well enough, you may be able to slot in a couple university societies. I’m taking advantage of my current, relatively clear schedule and joined the Fitness Club, which conducts group workouts several times a week in the evenings. I get to exercise and socialise; also I believe that working out in a group makes it much more palatable (and therefore effective) than working out alone.  I suppose it does help that I live on campus but I’ll take every chance I can to avoid being a hermit while I can, because I’m sure that time will come eventually.

So I’m going to enjoy every day as it comes, work my hardest to get my work done and not worry. This post actually came about when I looked out the window in my office and saw a sparrow grooming itself. Continue reading PhDs, fitness club and a sparrow


Fitness Blender rant about body shaming in social media

I follow these people for their fitness videos, they have loads of fun, varied workouts for different abilities and interests, and thought this rant was a good watch. I felt that they covered a lot of issues to do with the latest trend of people sharing photos of ridiculously cut abs, round butts etc with a pseudo-motivational message.

They make a good case for fitness and exercise -without- the fashionable focus on an ideal body shape. It’s definitely something to watch if you’ve been disheartened by what a lot of people advocate as the ‘perfect body’, which is unachievable for most people.

White and yellow

I went for a run yesterday, the first in a week. I decided to take a route that meanders slowly and constantly uphill for the first mile, after which the gradient very abruptly goes on a steep climb for only a quarter of a mile but what seems like another whole mile to my poor legs. 

That said, it was a very enjoyable run. The sun was out for most of it and the pavement wasn’t too frosty.  I finished up the run alternating sprints and slow jogging all the way home. 

One of the reasons I work out is so I can eat things like this: 


A few weeks ago my housemate decided he wanted a pavlova, so he walked down to the shop, bought all the ingredients and made the pavlova. We found the recipe for Nigella Lawson’s chocolate and raspberry pavlova on Google. It was delicious. I think the best thing about pavlova is the contradictions – there’s the simultaneous crunch and squish from the meringue and the sharpness of the raspberry that prevents the rich smoothness of the cream from overwhelming you. 

That said, after we made the meringue we were left with six egg yolks. We didn’t want to throw them away so it was back to Google and searching for recipes that used egg yolks, which brought us back to Nigella’s website, although the recipe was a community recipe, rather than one personally from Nigella Lawson.


I’ll admit that the egg yolk sponge cake I made was one of the ugliest cakes I’ve ever baked, but this might be down to my baking technique rather than the recipe (I took it out before it’d properly cooled). That said it was easy to make, very tasty and kept well in the fridge. It’s one of those cakes that goes well with anything; we tried it plain, with more raspberries and a touch of cream, yoghurt and chocolate fudge sauce and they all worked.

Tomorrow we’ll be having a night out but we’ll be having drinks at home. I’ve bought a bottle of vanilla vodka, so I’ll be trying out my cocktail making skills and hopefully the drinks I make are up to scratch. I’ve never made cocktails before so I’ll definitely be keeping things simple. Wish me luck!