14.05.2019 – Scotland (and more) from A – Z

My time in Scotland is almost over and I still haven’t written another post. Shame on me. No, not really, because what’s the point in pressuring myself? I’ve been quite busy “vacationing” and let me tell you, that can be exhausting. In an absolutely good way. Another reason I hadn’t written anything more though was, that I caught myself focusing too much on any perceived or imagined negative elements of my days. Comparing my time here to previous times or events and nitpicking how I seemed to have liked this or that better back then. Which is so stupid and I couldn’t and still can’t put my finger on why I did and to some degree still do that. Whenever I started drafting a post in my head it only took a few thoughts and I caught myself falling down that rabbit hole. It’s annoying and exhausting to consciously have to shut up that negative voice. Ugh! But I’ll give it a try now anyway, with a sort of random A – Z (memories / thoughts) for the last 10 days.

Arbroath: It’s where I’ve spent my day yesterday, a few miles north of Dundee, where I’m staying for a few days. Most famous for the Declaration of Arbroath probably and the Abbey (ruins), where it had been written by the abbot in 1320. It’s been a lovely, sunny, warm day and after exploring the Abbey and the small exhibition about the Declaration, I had some coffee and cake for lunch in a cute, quirky cafe before I walked down to the harbour.

Bell Rock Lighthouse: The Signal Tower Museum at Arbroath Harbour was such a wonderful surprise. I have a thing for lighthouses and the Bell Rock lighthouse, which is the main topic of this exhibit, is a marvelous one. To start with my visit, I watched the whole 45 minutes docudrama about it (filmed as part of the BBCs “Seven Wonders of the Industrial World”), because it was indeed such an impressive undertaking, engineering and craft and labour wise. The museum has a lot more interesting information and artefacts and I immensely enjoyed my visit, even with the actual lighthouse out of sight, as Bell Rock is located 11 miles off coast.

Frank Turner: Is playing gigs far away from Scotland at the moment and his festival “Lost Evenings” will happen in Boston this weekend. I’m not going to be there, obviously, and so far I’m not too upset about it. A bit sentimental, because I had such a great time at the first two Lost Evenings in London, but…. and yes, I’m also (almost) fine with the fact that he pre-premiered his new solo album at an rather exclusive show at Boston Winery yesterday. Deep breath. I’ll get the songs when I get them and I know I’ll enjoy them immensely. This morning I unlocked another level of fangirling, when while eating my cereal I watched a long Instagram live video of Frank getting tattooed in Boston. *headdesk* If you still don’t quite understand why I not just like Frank’s music and his shows, but him as a human being so very very much, have a look at this clip from a recent gig in Grand Rapids. I just want to get up there and hug him…

Lucifer: Season 4 has been available for almost a week now and I’ve been trying to watch at least one episode each night, but I’ve still not finished it. I’ve still got two more episodes to go. So far I’ve mostly enjoyed it, even though some characters and plot ideas have the potential to get on my nerves soon. I’m cautiously optimistic though that I’ll like the rest of the season.

My Peak Challenge Weekend: It almost feels like a long time ago, even though it all just happened 10 days ago. It was fun and inspiring and I was so grateful to be a part of it and to see how much it all means to Sam Heughan, who started it all. I didn’t make quite the connections and had as many surprising lovely moments as I had at the 2017 event and I’m afraid this clouds my view of this weekend a tiny bit. Which is stupid and not the 2019 weekend’s fault. I don’t know. I’m probably just being weird about it.

Schiehallion: My 2nd Munro after Ben Lomond in 2017. Go Me! I wrote a bit about it on Instagram and this is one of the (many) “negative voice” moments I mean. Because even though I did manage to get up and down, something I wouldn’t have dared to try before I’ve joined My Peak Challenge for real, there was still that nagging voice in my head, about how many people overtook me on the way and/or down. About how it took me so much longer than the time stated in all the guides and reports. About how, if I had such a challenging time at one of the “easier” Munros, I better shouldn’t think about doing any more of those in the future. But…. I hiked up a 3000 feet mountain. Which had still snow and slush on top. And a boulder field I actually found very challenging to navigate. I did that! And I so wish I’d find it easier or more naturally to give myself credit for that!

Valbo’d: Yes, I’ve been properly “Valbo’d” again. Which means, put through the ringer by some exercises My Peak Challenge head coach John Valbonesi made me do. Well, I did them willingly, along about 500 other Peakers in a sport center in Edinburgh. I hadn’t consistently worked out for months so I wasn’t sure how I’d fare in these 30 minutes. We did 4 rounds of 4 x 1 minute of various (modified) exercises: Squats / Push-ups / Lunges / Plank. Everyone had the option to rest for a round if they couldn’t do anymore. But I pushed through, which was a challenge and an accomplishment and I’m kind of proud that I did. It was also slightly stupid though, because I was so so so sore for days after, because… I hadn’t worked out properly for months before. Of course my muscles would protest. That’ll teach me. :-)

Work: I could also have said “worries”. I manage to keep worrying about work at a minimum and I’m grateful for that. That’s quite the achievement for me, because there was a lot of stuff I did worry about at work before I left for this vacation. Nothing I can do about it from here though, so that’s what helped to keep the worrying at a minimum.

You Got This: Is the latest book from Bryony Gordon. I bought it while passing through Kings Cross on the way up here and only yesterday finally started reading it. Definitely a book I neeed right now, because… of all the comparing and negative voice in my head right now. Thanks Bryony!

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