Friday, 5 May 2017

What's in my bag: holiday edition

I must admit that occasionally I enjoy it when people do a 'what's in my bag' photo or blog post. Maybe it's a weird thing to enjoy, but I guess it's being nosey and taking a peek into a slice of someone else's life. I have done one of these before as a guest post on Imysworld, back in 2011. I no longer own that bag or Filofax, but amusingly still do have the same umbrella, wallet, phone and iPod!

I've recently been on holiday for a week to Paphos, Cyprus and took a quick photo of my carry-on bag before I properly unpacked everything. My bag is a 12 litre Deuter Race X rucksack, which I initially purchased for cycling and running with. It was perfect for my travels as 1) it's very light and compact 2) holds lots for its size 3) lots of interior pockets to keep valuables safe and 4) good for visiting hot countries due to the back design, so you don't get too hot and sweaty when wearing it.

Click on photo for larger version

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Book of Sudoku
A5 Leuchtturm notebook
Spare glasses
iPod touch
SoundMAGIC E80 headphones
Kindle paperwhite
Winchester Filofax
Passport and boarding pass
All-inclusive wristband from hotel
Bottle of water - already in recycling.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Aikido in a coffee shop

Photo by Kari Shea
I gave myself a treat the other day, and took my Filofax and Zen Habits book to a coffee shop in town to have some chillout time. After sitting for a bit, I felt a bit warm so stood up to remove my hoodie. As I slipped it off my left arm, I felt the slim fitting sleeve catch hold of my wooden elasticated bracelet and had a moment of perfect clarity about what would happen next. Uh oh, I could see the trajectory was going to perfectly place it into the face or neck of the man sitting opposite me! I dropped my hip and rotated the arm slightly downwards, and it instead shot with surprising speed between his knees and onto the floor. He was a bit startled and I apologised when I went over to collect it. In that moment before the event happened, it almost felt like when time slows down in a car crash as I felt able to make a decision before my jewellery turned into a projectile... It was such a trivial thing, but it's helped me understand further that my aikido training means that I'm more aware of how I move than I realised.  

When you practise martial arts, eventually someone will ask, "So, have you had to use it in real life?" or something along those lines. They're obviously asking if I've needed to use my training in a self defence situation, but it occurred to me that it's actually quite a fascinating question. Application of martial arts training in every day life is a topic that I'm quite interested in, so I will be posting more about the subject in future.