A little late, but firstly: Happy 4th July to everyone! My Mam's American so we have sporadically celebrated over the years. I don't remember celebrating as much when we were younger but in recent years we'd at least have some cake! Since coming to Korea, my first 4th of July was negligible - I don't remember doing anything special. Last year my friend, Swaglu, hosted a lovely party with hot dogs, soju drinking games and plenty of chat! This year a few of us shared pizzas, fried chicken and pasta salad on the rooftop of Swaglu's building. It was low key but we did sing the national anthem and some crazy people said the Pledge of Allegiance to a flag cake.
So how did I do this week on having no TV during the first hour home? Well, I got lucky the first two days and the others, well judge for yourself:
Friday, July 4th: Came home, cleaned and then roasted tomatoes and sausages for a 4th July inspired dish, When I wasn't cleaning I just sat and breathed! It was a very busy but also relaxing hour. I then proceeded to eat eat pizza and crispy chicken with some friends until the late evening. Friday = Success.
Monday, July 7th: When I got home, I heated up some Sunday dinner leftovers (pot roast!) and started reading Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent, which was a Christmas gift from my sister for Kriskindle. It's really interesting but after about 10 pages, exhaustion had set in and I fell asleep for around an hour and a half. Told you I lucked out! Monday = Lucky Success.
Tuesday, July 8th: When I got back to Jochiwon I went in search of some cardamom to make spiced tea. Sadly, Asia Mart didn't have any. So, instead I drowned (ate?) my sorrows with Katetastic at Misoya eating delicious food. When I got home I spent 30 or so minutes working on a drawing on the rooftop. It then started to rain so I went downstairs to finish off the section I was working on. At the moment the drawing is a secret gift for someone special so I can't show you all of if, but here is a wee glimpse to the right:
I then was overcome by exhaustion (see below as to why) that I went straight to sleep even though I'd lots of lesson planning to do (in fact I cancelled going to another meeting beause of the lesson planning!). I didn't even put on pj's, I just opened the windows and turned on the fan. (Note, in the morning I woke up shivering and discovered I was so cold because I forgot to turn off the a/c! Agghhh dreading that electricity bill!). Tuesday = Success.
Wednesday, July 9th: I was actually really good and got off near the Sejong Office of Education and walked home. It was really muggy and by the time I got to the lovely Liz's place to borrow some cardamom in exchange for some tea (it's that good, peeps, check out the recipe here), I was hot, sweaty and gross. When I got home, I stopped in to buy water and got an ice-cream. Man, was it delicious. I sat outside cooling off in front of my apartment and when I was ready, I went upstairs. I then made the tea and sorted some laundry to wash. I have run out of summer clothes so it was in dire need of being done! Have I mentioned before how much I HATE laundry? If not, well, now you know! While the laundry was washing, I ate chia pudding and a couple of bananas for dinner, worked on a new post for The Sejong Dish and did photo editing for this post and my post on my cooking blog. Wooo! Productive! And after that followed it up with Book Club (my choice - Waris Dirie) and a very important chat with my sister and niece (ok her chats were all giggles and coos, but still really important!). In the end only 20 minutes of TV watching - thankfully I'd already seen the episode of Criminal Minds and the hotness of Jonathan Rhys Meyers aside The Tudors isn't up my alley. Wednesday = Success.
Thursday, July 10th:
Another busy day! As Katetastic and I are are making stuffed mushrooms and drinking wine tomorrow, I'd to go to Homeplus on the way home for the ingredients. After dropping my things off, I went to Plan B to play Baduk with another friend who is teaching me the game. That was followed up by a Fried Chicken dinner for our Chicken Strut posts on the Sejong Dish. When I got home I baked some brownies for my students and tidied my house, so there was no TV at all. Oh, the brownies? Yeah. Forgot I didn't need to preheat the oven as it's just a toaster one - they were burned and tasted more like a (dried-out) cookie. We'll still eat it! Thursday = Success.
So you might think I'm mad to have let naps become part of my hour but as the weather gets more humid I'm having a much harder time sleeping. This, coupled with nightmares and already terrible sleeping habits, has kept me fairly sleepless over the last couple of weeks. Nightmares? Yes, here I am a mature 31 year old having nightmares! What about? Being late for school, realising that I am then in the wrong school with the wrong lessons planned and having brought the wrong books. It's awful. It's been happening every night for the last week. It also panics me into waking early and then not being able to fall back asleep. Gah!
I have to say, sleep aside, I am really enjoying this exercise in self-control and the eclectic tasks are keeping me entertained! I may not be "learning how to dance the rain" but I am definitely learning how to live life a little more fully. I guess in a way these hours are starting to become the my "mini-dates" which is good because I am no way near to making 12 dates with my self this year! I've only had two more since that first one!
This post is inspired by Take That's "The Flood" (featuring Robbie Williams) and my efforts to have less TV in my life.