Category Archives: #12DCP

And the winner is…….


I know I’ve been tardy in sorting out the winner to the #12DCP competition but now and with a suitable drum roll [Click here for drums] I am very pleased to announce that the winner is……………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Goodshoeday! You can catch Linda on Twitter as Brightblueskies too or via her blogs: all neatly listed (*as you’d expect from Linda who is a list expert) at



Extension to deadline for #12DCP

Important announcement

I have extended the  deadline for 12DCP to the end of next week ie a week today, to allow some late arrivals to catch up. I hope those of you who have already put your comments in place will be OK with that.  Still time to write some Ghost Stories too as I’ll add an extra week to that deadline.

7th Day of Janathon, 3rd Walk/Run, 2nd swim for China

Spotify Playlist of the Day– Janus Blowing in the Wind

The 12 Days of Christmas Party is over and whilst my good friends are rushing around trying to fill their comments in for the draw I am reflecting whilst looking forwards, starting a New Year with challenges. The first is the weather, after the raw cold of last year it is unseasonally mild and very windy, the catkins are fully out.  I’ve just checked back to last year’s photos and it was 25th January last year when I was taking similar pictures. Whilst it’s great not to have the ice underfoot for learning to run, the very stiff winds have put me off cycling. Hopefully I will do much more on the bike next week.

Yesterday I failed to do a Janathon activity so have made up for it today with two.  This morning I did my final walk/run in my couch to 5K with the Get Running App on the iPhone. Then this evening I went to Framlingham College Pool for a swim and did an 800m swim to help team China on their way to Olympic gold (we are currently ahead!).

Tomorrow I will announce who has won the mystery prize in the #12DCP, which then gives me a week to try and write my Ghost story. The lovely @Jaydubblah has alread written hers and you can read it here.

Today I attended my second local writing group, I’m really enjoying these sessions, the current focus is on dialogue and dialect. We have been discussing the extent to which the text should accurately reflect dialects or just indicate them. We had been set homework, which was to write a piece where the dialogue tells what is going on. I decided to take this both literally and figuratively with a bit of an Argentine Tango, see what you think: –

The Professional 

The tablecloth was tied around her waist to indicate a skirt and his shirt was open to the bottom button.“Lean in to me, your hip should make contact yust here on my pocket,” he said.  “Our noses should be touching – and look at me.”  She looked.  Garlic sweat poured from his forehead.

“What next? I’ve got bloody cramp from these heels.”

“Retht your left leg on the back of your right leg; now as my legs cross I will drag you to the side.  Good, now we rise; your weight transfers back and your right leg is free.  Whip your knee up into my hand and when you drop it back plathe your foot between my feet like a thandwidge. Now giro; turn.”

“Did you have to pinch my knee then?” she winced at her own reflection in the full height mirror, flushed skin and a frizz of hair.  The village hall smelt of damp, there were lumps of soil scattered by the football team’s boots earlier in the day.  She wondered why she had agreed to this ‘treat’ from her boyfriend, who would now be propping up the bar at the Parrot and Punchbowl.

“Lean back, your hair should nearly sweep the floor.”

“It’s covered in crap,” she sighed.

“Just do it, trust me; I’ll support your weight.  As you swing come up and look at me again; fix my eyes.”

“Less of the weight, cheeky. Christ that hurts,” she pulled herself up to her full height and attempted to stretch out her spine.

“Then we walk, figure of eight ocho, at the end, rest, lean and quick flick or your leg around mine, gancho.  Perfetto, then I push you back upright, I stroke your face then lock my eyes on yours.  Now back away.  Thrusting your hands down to the floor like I shewed you. OK, I put the music on now.”  He pressed the iPod in the huge boombox and started the track.

“Ready?” he breathed.

“So; lean on my pocket, look at my eyes.”  She looked, they were deep and dark, with a glint where the light reflected on his contact lens.  He fixed on her eyes, their noses almost touched.

“Oh. My. God. You’re strong.”

“Good, you should trust me, fix my eyes.  Ok rethst your left leg, I drag, rise; Knee up, I grip.  Thandwich feet, giro, lean back, I pull you up towards me.  Ocho, then rest, lean and now – gancho, flick your leg around mine.”

“Like this?” she asked.

“Si, yes, but firmer, then away quickly like it was too hot not slow like a dodman. Now, upright, I stroke your face, lock your eyes, you back away thrusting your hands towards the floor.”

The damp of the hall was melting away, the music suffused her sinews, the air was slowly being exchanged with the atmosphere of  Plazzo Dorrego, Buenos Aires.

She took a swig from her water bottle and looked across the room at him.  The music restarted and he put out his hand, as she moved towards him, she murmored.

“I lean on your pocket; just here, our noses touch, your eyes are dark, deep chocolate.  I retsht my left leg, you drag me, I rise; knee up, you grip. Giro, I lean back, you pull me up, you are strong, I trust you.  I love your eyes.  Ocho, then rest, lean and gancho, I flick my leg round yours, it’s hot, too hot. You push me upright, you stoke my face, I like it when you stroke my face, your hands are cool.  I lock your eyes, you lock my eyes.  I’m supposed to back away, I can’t back away, I am locked.”  She choked briefly on her words, her voice drying.  He flashed a mischievous grin.

The hall door swung open, Clive staggered in.

“You all right then?  How’s it going Fred me old fox?”

“Pretty good bah, she’s probably in love with me by now!”

“Fred?  What ‘appened to Alfredo?” she asked colouring as she did so.

“Ah, that’s my professional name.  Same time next week?”

12th Day of Christmas – 5th of Janathon #12DCP

Tree with Christmas decorations

It’s over for another year. This is the last of the 12 days of Christmas. Thank you for joining in. I know it’s been a low-key affair this year, no fabulous dresses or extravagant food, no quiz questions and importantly no legs! Talking of legs, where are yours right now? If you close your eyes could you touch your knee cap without missing? The last stage on our sensory journey is:


The sense of knowing where one body part is in relation to another – without looking, can you type at your keyboard for example – if not try this little bit of fun Dance Mat.

So for now the most complicated bit of leaving the party, a social kiss goodbye, it’s all to do with positioning of those zygomatic bones but one, two, three pecks on the cheek, right or left first or just kiss the palm and blow – which to do?

I’ll give everyone until the end of Saturday to complete their comments and then run the draw – if you are not sure what this is about go back to day one.

Hugs and Happy New Year to you all


Today is a non run day, so I decided to go for a swim.  800m mix of breast, crawl and back stroke; a gentle re-entry before swimfit classes restart next week. I have signed up to do the latest Framlingham Sports and Fitness Centre challenge and am swimming for China in the Olympic challenge. Launched today they already have 16 people signed up in the first hour but just me and the team leader swimming for China so far. The aim is for the team to hit 15,000m by the end of the month.

The Spotify playlist for today is a collaborative list, please add your songs to go with the kinesthesia theme, body parts, positioning, songs to test your body position awareness.  the list is HERE

11th Day of Christmas and 4th of Janathon – #12DCP

Snowman Christmas tree decoration

The penultimate day, this little guy dangles from a string, but I suspect if I place him on the floor he would fall over.  That’s the trouble with snowmen, no sense of today’s theme:


This is definitely a sense you don’t know you have until you lose it, sounds even fancier if you all it equilibioception. Having had inner ear problems a few times I know how horrible it feels when the sense of balance goes, clinging to walls like a drunkard takes some explaining. I used to love doing twizzles as a kid though and that feeling of loss of control as you spin to the floor was quite exhilarating. If you like the challenge of impossible looking buildings you could always stay in Suffolk’s balancing barn. Do you have any memories related to balance or possibly the related feeling of motion and acceleration; speeding down the hill into Sudbury as part of the Dynamo is probably my most recent one.


I’ll come back and fill this in once I’ve done it.


The Spotify Playlist for today is here

10th Day of Christmas and 3rd of Janathon – #12DCP

Tree decoration - tree in the eye

Today the decoration seems to be poking himself in the eye with a tree; befitting for today’s theme which is:


I’m wrapping several concepts into this one, rather than drag out the quest for pain which would be foolhardy. Pain from sharp or blunt instruments, heat, cold, hunger, headaches, kidney pain, acute, dull, throbbing, exquisite, emotional pain. Oh so many cans of worms and bad memories that could come to the fore. Plenty to stimulate the writers brain – any you are prepared to share? As I’m currently doing the detox thing [yes I know nothing is proven for it but it gives my body a rest and a horrible headache; the Puritan in me tells me this is a good thing] I am able to tune into pain quite well today. However, this can be as nothing compared with those who suffer hunger or chronic pain conditions. Strangely though we need pain and the absence of pain, neuropathy, can be equally damaging as those with long term diabetes and leprosy may discover.

Shall I share a story with you?  As it involves a slide with a wooden run off board – perhaps I’ll let you join the dots for yourself.


Bit of a muck up on my part. As the weather was horrendous this morning I didn’t run and decided to go to the gym later and attempt the treadmill. When I got there though the gym was closed (remember to check the opening times next time). So I came home and got out a yoga dvd instead. Half an hour of Geri Yoga it was actually very pleasant and stretched out the aching back and has left me feeling good. Not the pounding of the streets that many Janathoners will have done, but something I wouldn’t have done otherwise; so I’m happy.

The Spotify playlist for today is here

9th Day of Christmas and 2nd of Janathon – #12DCP

Today’s tree decoration has a different feel to the others, made of felted fabric he is soft and as a tree decoration I’m not that fond of him. However, he fits the theme for today:


From the soft socks given for Christmas, kittens fur or the rough rasping of a dog’s tongue to the personal aspects of human skin against human skin what does touch mean to you? I was looking for images of a sensory homunculus to share when I found Colganology with some images created for QI.

So today I’m out to identify how things feel, from these hard, smooth plastic keys on the keyboard to everything I do today – how or what do you feel today?

Janathon – today I took the dog in a basket on the bike, out to a track across the fields. Only just over 4 miles but hard work due to the weight and needing to concentrate hard.

The Spotify Playlist for today is here

8th Day of Christmas and 1st ofJanathon – #12DCP

The 8th day on the sensory journey, time to start stepping away from the food don’t you think? However, I appreciate you may be a little jaded after a heavy night of New Year’s celebrations, so if you could just open your eyes a little the theme for today is:

Visual Experiences

Do you remember that moment when someone first challenged you with, ‘How do you know that you and I see the same things? Is what I see as blue the same as what you call blue?’ visual experiences may be unique to us as individuals, how will we ever really know, and they are rarely visual alone but involve all sorts of additional sensory and emotional context. There is scientific work going on to try and re-image brain activity but I’m not sure that this helps the paradox that when I see a pipe you may say it is not a pipe.

Many of my favourite visual experiences relate to nature, particularly plants and animals or views.  Surprise View above Derwentwater, or looking down at Rievaulx Abbey from the Terrace or some of the planting at Abbey Gardens, Tresco which I use as my image for my other blog.

However I also love man-made visual experiences from fractals to sculpture such as Scallop on Aldeburgh beach.

Then there are the images in our heads, part of the purpose of the sensory journey is to stimulate the imagination. I struggle when I’m writing to know how much description to give, or if like radio I should let the pictures form in the reader’s mind. If you are an Archers fan, what do you think of seeing the likes of Linda Snell in Borsetshire Life magazine?

So for today’s comments what are your strong visual experiences?

Your Spotify Playlist for today is here


Now a quick Janathon catch up.  Today marks the first day of Janathon. I did this for the first time last year and it was certainly a great way to get moving after the Christmas and New Year slump. My personal challenge is to try and learn to run, which has never been my strong point in the hope it will give me extra strength and stamina for the 2 mile Great East Swim.

This morning I downloaded the Get Running App and did just that.  Out the door 5 minutes quick walk warm up then 8 sets of 1 minute run 90 seconds walk then 5 minute cool down.  The app should get me up to 5K after 14 weeks.  Today I totalled 2.2 miles. I am impressed with the app, it is very clear when to walk, run, turn around and come home and nicely encouraging in tone; it is very easy to set up and use.


If you came here from the Janathon site a quick catch up on the 12 Days of Christmas Party. This year it is taking the form of a sensory journey. Each day the focus is on a different sense; for those that want to there will be a ghost story writing and sharing opportunity at the end. In the meantime each comment posted is an entry into the prize draw, you can go back and do previous days any time up to the end of the 12th Day. From today my posts will also include my Janathon blogs.

7th Day of Christmas – #12DCP

Day 7 of the sensory journey; the last, but in my view the best of the taste days.  This also marks the time of year where we look back and then forwards in the style of Janus.  what have we achieved, what do we hope for next year? I was pleased with my achievements of my personal challenges for last year, the Great East Swim and the Dunwich Dynamo both went well but boy oh boy did I drop off the throttle afterwards.  So, yet again I’m approaching 2012 in the officially overweight category.  To that end I have signed up for the 2012 Great East Swim at 2 miles, as the Dynamo is earlier I doubt I will do it this time, too close to the swim.  Instead I will attempt to learn to run, I’ll use Janathon 2012 as my start point and sign up to a plan possibly with Take to the Streets which has served me well in the past or if anyone can recommend an iPhone app that takes you from not running to a 10K distance that would suit me very well.

Back to the 12 Days – today’s theme is:

Taste – Umami

Today I am in search of savouriness, regular readers will know that I am a proud member of the Marmarati which pre-declares me as a fan of all things savoury from Marmite, to rare meat and strong cheese.  Umami has only relatively recently been added to the list of taste senses how did we manage before?  I wonder what your favourite savoury things are, any strong memories, things you hope to achieve in a savoury style in 2012?


To keep you thinking here is today’s Spotify playlist

6th Day of Christmas – #12DCP

Who can believe it we are half way through the 12 Days already? Still resolutely stuck on taste sensations on our sensory journey. Please remember you can keep adding comments right through the 12 days and they will count towards the draw. I am thrilled with the ones received so far and hope later today to go back and respond to any I’ve missed. Today the theme is:

Taste – Bitter Things

Dark chocolate, the pith on lemon peel, the bitter flavours in beer – what floats your boat? Perhaps you bit your nails as a child was the paint called ‘Stop-it’? Today I will be in search of bitter things and see what memories they evoke.

Having read this article though perhaps I should be careful what opinions I give afterwards:  New Scientist – Bitter tastes make you more judgemental, having read the comments following it though I think the author may have been tucking into a glass of Victoria or Bob and running to rash conclusions themselves.

To help you along with your thinking – here is your Spotify Playlist

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