So October did that thing that a few months this year have done: slipped by in the blink of an eye while also lasting approximately forever.
Once again no trips outside Manchester except for work which is definitely sending me a bit loopy. However I go on holiday TOMORROW so you can read all about that next month.
For work purposes, I visited the lovely city of Sheffield, and essentially walked to my meeting and then back to the train station. It would of course have been glorious to spend a bit more time there as I love Sheffield and even walking through the city I could see so many places I’d have loved to duck in for a coffee, pint or snack, but I needed to get back to Manchester to meet a friend so it was not to be. I took a few pics in the Winter Garden though. I really do love Manchester with all my heart but I really love how nice Sheffield is.
I went to Indy Man Beer Con with some lovely friends and had an excellent day, sampling many a beer and also a cheese plate from Epicerie Ludo and some tacos from Al Pastor Paul. Afterwards we went to Mughli – because who doesn’t need a curry after a day of drinking?! – which was, as always, excellent. I could eat the aubergine mash for days.
I didn’t make it to the very first day of GRUB at its new home, Alphabet Brewery, but did get down a bit later. Rich and I had a great time and enjoyed a pork bao from Wallace & Sons, a burger from Barnhouse Bistro, and some mac and cheese balls from Mac Daddies.
I managed to make it to Milk Jam twice which makes it a damn fine month in my eyes. Milk Jam is great, you should all run there now. Honestly I ignore the cakes because I’ve had them before from Home Sweet Home and they just don’t do it for me, though they are very fun to look at. It’s all about the brownies and the ice cream, together if you know what’s good for you. It’s not exactly cheap as a brownie ice cream sandwich will cost you £5 but it’s more than worth it for a treat.
I also made my first visit to Wahaca and was very pleasantly surprised by it. A friend and I had a sharing selection. Everything was really well flavoured and for a fairly small price (£23) you get a very nice amount of food.
I finished Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey which was very good. I’m usually too impatient for an unreliable/muddled narrator so I would have thought that a book told from the perspective of a woman with dementia would not do it for me, but it’s really good. Sad and stressful in parts but with a really gripping narrative and well crafted characters. I also read The Burning Sky by Erin Kelly which I really loved. I loved how everything linked together and it evoked a sense of place and season so well. Again a rather stressful read but perhaps that’s what I like. With two good books in a row hopefully I’m out of the rut of mediocre books I was in. I don’t love the one I just started but the reviews are promising so we’ll see.
I did a few circuits classes which are on a Monday evening and are a really good way to blast the cobwebs away after the first day back at work. They’re tough, and I sometimes have to take a break or modify an exercise, but overall they’re really good. The class time is 30 minutes but that’s not all active time what with the demonstrations of the exercises and rest periods between circuits. I always feel quite happy with myself after the class as even though I could barely manage it and I’m dripping with sweat, I know that even a year ago I would have probably ran out of the class halfway through and threw up. (That may or may not be a real thing I did at an exercise class. I can’t confirm or deny this.)
This also got me to thinking about how lots of the time when you read about fitness it’s all ‘consistency is key!’ and how that’s not really always good advice. I know that for me it’s certainly not. I really enjoy those classes but I know that if I thought ‘I have to go to that class every Monday forevermore or it’s just pointless’ I would hate it. Fitness does not have to be about consistency or goals, not for everyone and not all the time. I totally understand that for some people that is their main motivation and that’s fine. I also understand that I am not a peak example of physical fitness so ignore me if you like. But I really love thinking ‘I can do a circuits class on Monday but I could also go for a run, or do some yoga, or dance around for half an hour, or take a walk, or do nothing’. Exercise – or just any physical activity – can be fun, meaningful and valuable even if it’s not going to help you ‘change your body’ or ‘meet your goals’.