Five Things I’ve Been Doing Without The Internet

I moved house at the end of March.

It was all a tad stressful as it was more of a ‘have-to’ than a ‘want-to’ move of house. However fate was kind and my new place is right down the road from the old (same bus stop so I don’t get too confused stumbling home at night – sweeeet) and my new flatmate Lisa is significantly better house trained than my beloved boys of old. (RIP the era of 443 K-Rd. Them were some good times.)

443 flatmates

The main hardcore issue I’ve had to face was that the new flat had no phone line or internet – so it’s taken nigh on 2 months to get it sorted. Ok so I spend all day every day 5 days a week  ‘playing’ on the internet as a job but still. It was some serious cold turkey shiznit for an internet addict like myself.

Good news is, I’m back in business! Le broadband est de retour chez Hodges. W00t! The bad news is that I basically haven’t done any of the useful internet-related ‘stuff’ I was planning on doing, such as updating my blog regularly. I tried buying a dongle – and the only effect that had was turning me semi psycho-panda violent as it lost connection every 10 mins and was unbearably slow.

However it has meant that my laptop has barely been opened for a couple of months and I’ve gone back to doing stuff the old fashioned-way. So, in celebration of my return to the world of broadband and in time-honoured blog tradition,  here’s a top five list of things I’ve been doing without the internet at home.

  1. Reading waaaaay more. Particular recommendations:
    Burying the Bones by Hilary Spurling. The biography of Pearl Buck – A now runaway successful writer who was born to American missionary parents but grew up more Chinese than Western in early 20th century China.
    The Walking Dead Compendium Vol.1. A collection of the first 8 volumes of this comic book series, I bought it on recommendation ahead of it being turned into a movie imminently. It is genius, gory and thought-provoking. Unfortunately I read a lot of it late at night, and being the sensitive soul I am, managed to give myself some major zombie-relatednightmares.
  2. Doing the stuff I normally read about on the net.
    I have a whole bookmarked folder and twitter favourited list of ‘Things that cool and free to do in London’. All too often I never quite get around to doing them – but I’ve managed to squeeze quite a few in over the last 6 or 7 weeks. Main recommendation for this one is:
    Magnificent Maps – Power, Propoganda and Art. A free exhibition on at the British Library, I absolutely loved it. As the title suggests, it shows maps being created and used for a whole variety of purposes throughout history – from intimidating potential rivals to being made with gold leaf and silk as art. Also includes Grayson Perry’s Map of Nowhere, which I was a big fan of.
  3. Bikram Yoga
    I wouldn’t really have ever thought of myself as someone who would get into yoga particularly, but when a friend suggested I try it – I figured I might as well. Got to be better than sitting in front of my comp after work. Bikram yoga consists of the same 26 positions done in each class, in a (seriously) hot room. I’ll hand over to Wikipedia at this point:

    Bikram yoga aims toward general wellness and claims the heated studio facilitates deeper stretching, injury prevention, and stress and tension relief. Bikram yoga is claimed to systematically stimulate and restore health to every muscle, joint, and organ of the body. According to [Bikram] Choudhury, many people only use up to 50 percent of their lung capacity, and just like any muscle, the lungs must be stretched in order to (through practice) withstand holding more oxygen. When one is practicing pranayama s/he will eventually be able to enhance oxygen conversion and absorption, as well as improve blood circulation. (Choudhury, 2007) This is true of any cardiovascular activity.

    So far, I’ve managed to not puke or faint despite coming close – and although I find it seriously hardcore (especially if you foolishly position yourself in front of the heater), I love it. It’s about 6 weeks later and I’ve managed to make it twice a week on average, and I’m definitely an advocate. (Image: www.bikramyogarichmond.ca)

    One day...

  4. Running to/from work
    This one may be a tad more wishful than true as my running training has not been quite as in-depth as it was meant to be. I’ve been running to or from work once or twice a week (about 7k-ish) and this is pretty much only because I said I would take part in the Beast in the East Grim Challenge with some ridiculously fit workmates on May 22nd, so I’m utterly petrified. GULP. The course is described thus:

    This motocross circuit is awesome. The circuit itself is 1.8k around so after a lap we’ll take you off on to the wooded trails and grassy tracks surrounding it. This really is a pretty run but a tough one and hilly throughout. Did we mention that you will be running a second lap of the circuit at the end?

    Watch this space to see if I make it out alive.

  5. Cooking & Baking – like YUM stuff
    All this extra sport and lack of time spent in front of a computer has meant that I have extra appetite and more time to actually make something nice – both for me and for mates popping round for food. I’ve not really 100% followed any recipes, mostly basing them on ideas I’ve read. But so far my main successes have been based on these:
    - Creamy Salmon & pea tagliatelle – I LOVE this. I have salmon in the freezer a lot and the rest of the ingredients can be bought in your local Dalston corner shop. Cook up a batch after running around like a loon & devour.
    - Smoked Mackerel & Horseradish Fishcake – You mash the potato up for these with horseradish cream. YUM.
    - The fishcakes were served with Minted Pea Puree. Super quick, easy and really tasty.
    - Hot and Sour Soup – nuff said. One of my fav things ever and really really easy to make – I loosely base mine on this Delia recipe. You can also use it as the base to then make noodle soup.
    - Pad Thai. I make a lot of Asian food in general as I prefer it to most other cuisines. Pad Thai is pretty simple to make, and great when cooking for others as you can have it all ready in advance then just whack it in the wok when you’re ready to go. There’s a million different recipes and mine’s a mixture of all of them, but here’s a rough guide from Delia again. Goes great with the hot & sour soup!
    - Banana & Chocolate Cake (Based on a Nigella classic but I added choc frosting which was definitely a winner)
  6. Ok so it was officially a 5 point list but then I thought of all this other stuff that I’ve done whilst not sitting in front my beloved laptop, so in no particular order:
    - Actually made the most of my Cineworld membership and been to see a whole host of movies in recent times. A Prophet and Kick-Ass on my recommendations list.
    - Spent way too much money on gigs though this is not unusual sadly.
    - Been a really excellent daughter and invited Ma Hodges down to London to see Jersey Boys (it was awesome btw) and gone up for the weekend to hang out totally technology-free discussing allotments and the like.

The end. Moral of the story – not having the internet at home can be good for the soul. Although I wil now probably undo all of this by trying to catch up on all the internet related things I told myself I would do “when I get it back”.

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