It used to be that having a Christmas break meant staying in bed and chilling a lot, but since we got Monty holidays are busier and more tiring than work days. My general feeling is that dogs don’t live long lives (compared to humans) and I want him to enjoy the time he has as much as possible, and if that means having no free time then it means having no free time.

So Christmas has been busy. But also fun. I bought my mum a custom mug that says “Monty’s Grandma” with a picture of him printed on the side. That made her laugh. I bought my sister an aurora light projector, which was kind of a “I have no idea what to give you” present but she seems to love it. Mum gave me a pair of Shokz bone conduction headphones for running, which are nice and useful.

Anyway, my sister thinks she has a cold today so I get to play the exciting lottery of am I going to catch it? I haven’t had a respiratory infection for almost three years now (the last one was probably COVID, the week before the UK went into lockdown) and I feel nonplussed by the prospect of breaking that streak. Working from home is a blessing in that regard; I remember in my previous job I once had a six week period where I caught three colds.

A few weeks back I had three or four days in a row when my heart rate was elevated and my stress levels high for no obvious reason, so I’m hoping that was my body fighting off whatever my sister has caught and now I’m immune… But we’ll see.

I have now finished work for Christmas, which is nice. This year, because of the timings, the company has decided to just close entirely for two full weeks. This company always closes between Christmas and new year. Obviously that comes out of my holiday allowance, but my holiday allowance is higher than it was at my previous company, so it feels like a pretty good deal to me.

I finished the first release of my exciting new wellbeing app. Unfortunately I hadn’t realised that Google’s app review process has slowed down and so far it’s sitting in a review state, so I can’t actually launch it properly yet. I pushed back some ideas for version 2 just to get it out there, but it looks like I might have v2 ready before v1 goes live. We’ll see. I had an idea that it’d be interesting to add custom metrics to mood logging. So instead of just saying “I feel happy/sad/somewhere in between”, you would say “I’m interested in emotions X, Y and Z (e.g. anxiety, frustration, depression, excitement, happiness, optimism, etc) and when logging how you feel you’d rate those emotions. Then you can see how those particular emotions trend over time.

In other news my hip seems to have improved a lot just recently. I’ve found squats really help it. When it starts to feel tight, a deep squat loosens it up, and now I’m running longer distances again without it really bothering me. Today I ran 16km (10 miles) for the first time in months and only needed a 30 second squat break somewhere around 12km. I’m pleased about that. I’m currently on about 2440km for the year. Last year my total was 2492! Can I break 2500 this year? I think so…


Usually Sunday is a long run day but since I’m trying to rehab my ab (rehabab), it wasn’t.

I used the time to wrap Christmas presents instead.

I bought my sister a board game called Colt Express, which may or may not prove to be a good purchase. I haven’t played it, so I don’t know what it’s like, but it looks like it might be good. It’s something to do with a wild west train robbery.

I learnt recently that board games are a burgeoning industry, and some of them are actually really fun. It’s not all Monopoly or Battleships.

I had a last minute idea to give my mum a plant from splitting one of mine. I used to have one Drosera Adelae (Australian sundew). Over the summer I split it and ended up with three, but they’re looking overcrowded again, so I split them again today and now I have five. I think she will like one.

I also did some weights (squats + deadlifts), but a little while later my abs were feeling sore again. But is that just because I sat down and my hips tightened up?

Maybe I’m going about this the wrong way. Maybe I should just focus on stretching for a while. Everyone knows that sitting all day is bad for you and shortens your hip flexors and changes the angle of your pelvis, and I don’t do any stretching to offset that.