The week that started 7th September 2020

Learning to look after myself better

So, I participated in training for Building Resilience and Finding Balance, by work’s internal learning & development team and Brooklyn Minds, respectively.

Some of the things I learned/re-learned:

  • I already have resilience. Becoming (more) resilient is about boosting existing skills, as well as building new ones.
  • Hobbies that are totally unconnected to work are really important! Invest time and energy in them regularly.

Other things I’ve been learning…

Sitting down less

Practising being less sedantry by sitting less and standing more:

  • Going for a 1 minute walk each morning (I want to go for 2 x 1 hour walks to bookend each day; slow & steady is the way!) 🐢
  • Setting a 20 minute timer every time I sit down, and standing up when it goes off
  • Using boxes on tables to create a lo-fi standing desk
  • Playing music so that I dance whilst I’m standing
  • Hobbies that involve standing (eg baking)

I put all of this into practise on Saturday, and in 6.5 hours I sat down for 1 hour (3 stretches of 20 minutes each). Yay!

These are the videos I watched, quite randomly, that led to these changes in behaviour:

Trees, botany, and stuff

I’m so into tree families, i.e. which trees are related to which other trees. I’ve been exploring this for a few months now, and because of the finding balance training I realised I want & need to make more time, more regularly, for my hobbies. So, I’m practising doing that every day. And my plant taxonomy knowledge is accelerating.

Did you know…?

Birch, alder, hazel and hornbeam trees are related

The birch family (Betulaceae) is the first one I learned about, because birch used to be my favourite tree, and so it’s first plant I learned the scientific name for.

Oak, beech, chestnut and walnut trees are like cousins to birch family trees

Anyway, if you ever want to talk about trees or botany with me, feel free.

I’m enjoying that there are more online learning resources lately. This week I stumbled across Ben Montgomery on YouTube, a biology professor at the University of South Carolina Upstate, because I was looking for videos about Rosid plants.

Plants & Fungi Virtual Symposium in October

Kew Gardens has its State of the World’s Plants and Fungi Virtual Symposium online Tue 13 – Thu 15 October 2020, and you can join for free.

Also, if you love trees and haven’t seen The Tree Conference for this year, check it out.


I’m continuing to create recipes for my book: Eating Without Spoons. So excited to be doing this again. So far I’ve baked banana bread and cookies. No added sugar, oil or salt, gluten-free and, of course, vegan. Boom. 💥

Saturday, 12 Sep, I baked the cookies. Preceded by Saturday, 29 Aug; I baked the banana bread. And, in between, a dalliance with chocolate chip pancakes on Thursday, 3 Sep. And, before all of that, aubergine fritters.

I’m pleased that I’ve worked out ways of baking & cooking that require less energy. Like, that’s the whole premise of this book. (If you don’t know of spoon theory already, check it out.)

Enjoying writing up what I learn about nutrition and applying it to recipes and stuff. Yay!