Monday, 20 January 2020

New Year, Fresh start

I'm not a big fan of resolutions but somehow a new year seems to be a good time for fresh starts and good intentions. For years I used to be a runner... quite a keen runner, belonging to running clubs, competing in races and even running a couple of marathons. But about ten years ago, on the advice of my GP, I gave it all up as I began to feel the wear and tear on my knees. I've always done plenty of walking and some swimming and my knees haven't really felt any better or worse. But I have really missed running and recently I've had a hunch that a bit of gentle jogging wouldn't hurt... and if it did I could always stop. So I decided that I would like to gently build up to doing a Park Run in 2020 and so three weeks ago I embarked on the Couch to 5k programme. So far so good and there have been no ill effects other than finding it hard work!

One of the hardest things is resisting buying new kit. I still have a pair of decent running shoes but I have been looking longingly at some of the latest lycra running gear. However, as you may remember, back in September I took a pledge not to buy any new clothes for a year in an effort to consume less... so it's been no new kit for me. In fact I have been wearing long sleeved Ron Hill running tops that are about thirty years old... but they do the job and I'm kidding myself if I think a bit of new running gear is going to make me look good when I run! Wobbly, bright red and panting has never really been a good look, has it?

My year of not buying new is going well and so far all I have bought is a pair of socks. They were necessary and I think can be classed as underwear which I am allowing myself to buy new. I draw the line at second hand knickers etc. I do have a look around the charity shops now and then though and last week came home with some great bargains. I bought a pair of shoes, previously unworn, a Phase Eight dress and an M & S top all for a total price of £12.50! I'm a charity shop convert.

The other intention I have set for the new year is to try and work on my art every day. It is such a pleasure to be working in my lovely new studio that this has been an easy one. I haven't always managed every single day as sometimes work and other things can get in the way but it has certainly become a regular habit and I have made lots of new pictures already this year, using a combination of painting, collage and stitch.

And I've been having fun with an app called InSituArtRoom that takes your photographs and makes them look like framed pictures in different room settings!

Although soon some of my pictures are going to be adorning some real walls and will be displayed in our local pub.

Have you had any good intentions for this new year?


  1. Just continuing with my daily walks!
    Love your collages.

  2. I just started a beginners running group, so much fun. I rather like the company of likeminded people. I have some quite nice lycra running tops that are way too small (short sleeved). Happy to send one your way if you like.

    Your art is always inspiring Gina. You have a way with colours that induces happiness. x

  3. I always longed to be able to run. Even as a child all I could manage was to run for a bus, and usually came last in any races! Good luck to you.
    My intention for this year is to get back to 20mins of a personal exercise programme each morning. I did them years ago but when my husband became ill there never seemed to be time. I resumed 10 days ago and believe they are already making a difference. I would also like to lose a little more weight for health reasons though in this cold weather it is not easy when I crave hot buttered toast with every cuppa.
    It is never hard to get back to art work and I still enjoy that, hence the need for more exercise.

  4. Sounds like a very positive start to 2020. No resolutions made here, just a guiding word for the year. Hope there's an endless supply of hot beverages being served in the studio!

  5. The new year is a good time for fresh starts. I hope your knee fairs better with the running, the shoes you wear are so important particularly if your are running on hard surfaces.

    I love your art, how wonderful to see it displayed locally I do hope it is appreciated.

  6. Your new collages are beautiful Gina! Sounds like you're off to a good start in the new year. I have lots of good intentions, but seem to be having a hard time kicking them into gear -- all this time I now have seems to be confusing me LOL!

  7. Well done you on your running. I hope it goes well. Mine was going well until yesterday when I fell and landed on my bottom. Rather stiff this morning 😿. Glad the lack of shopping is still on track. I’m only wearing new things that were bought for me at Christmas. B x

  8. Wow, I feel exhausted just reading what you managed to do. Love your pictures

  9. Great you’re running again! I tried the running thing, daughter is a great runner, but I found I was spending so much time concentrating on not falling over I missed out on seeing the things around me. I’m not really built for it either.

  10. Well done on the running thing. The mister is a great runner and I have tried in the past but have found it a bit of a mountain to climb ( metaphorically speaking - there are no mountains in the Fens!) maybe I should give it another go ....

  11. I keep toying with the idea of running again - but after the two occasions a few years ago when I tripped and split my chin open, I'm a bit wary. Perhaps I'll take myself to the beach where I might do less damage!


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