Baking Away the Day

My favourite time of day is the morning. Knowing that I have the potential of a new day ahead of me is always motivating and makes me feel optimistic. I don’t like sitting in bed for very long, which frustrates Anna. She enjoys sitting in bed with a coffee and relaxing. I want to get up and start doing stuff. Today was a good day on this front – I got up, got myself straight to the shop to buy a few things that I needed, and then put my baking apron on. The newest apron I have acquired was a birthday present from my friends Dan and Em, and it reads ‘Dan Godley Baking Queen’. They got it for me for my birthday, and it is very fetching. I was determined to live up to the title today.

Dan Godley Baking Queen

On the baking schedule today were some cookies, and a sponge cake for a local estate agent business called Stephenson Browne, who donated £100 to my Run 40 campaign. I had intended to do something to show my appreciation sooner, but I got caught up in all the cancer chemo blah blah stuff. Now that I have been elected as THE baking queen, it seemed a no brainer as to how I could show my appreciation. I also thought that if anyone from Stephenson Browne reads the blog, they may have wondered if I am actually any good at baking. The answer? Well, I’m not sure. I dropped the cakes off, complained about having cancer for a few minutes, then left, conscious that they all have jobs and it was the middle of the day on a Monday. Of course, I had to get in a few minutes complaining about the cancer. Some things are not only confined to the blog – I really do moan about it this much in real life too. But I hope they like the cakes! I didn’t take pictures as they are both recipes I’ve made a few times and have definitely posted pictures of on here already. I don’t want to bore anyone off by repeating the same images of the same cakes I am trying to master… Similarly to the topics up for discussion on this blog, which I ensure never centre on repetitive themes. I mean, sure, I like to talk about cancer, baking, chemotherapy, Lucy and positivity, but that isn’t all I talk about, is it? Anyway, back to the baking.

I was up and throwing together the ingredients of the cake first thing in the morning. 8:30 I had my first cake in the oven and was starting on the cookie dough. It was great; my music was on, the cake was smelling good and I had actually got a good night’s sleep for once. I know so because I have a handy little device that can’t help point these things out to me…

My smartwatch records data on sleep, such as sleep quality, amount of deep sleep, sleep time etc. Until this morning, I had woken up the previous 3 to my watch telling me that I slept like shit, that I’m going to be knackered all day and that I should consider relaxing because my stress levels are too high. It berated me for having 2 nights in a row where I actually managed to get 0 minutes of deep sleep. The most annoying part is that I think the watch is right – I felt crap all weekend and like I hadn’t rested at all. The annoying thing is that the watch just sits there smugly regurgitating data at me but offering no practical ways to implement its ‘solutions’. I can’t reduce my stress levels just because the watch tells me it is beneficial to do so. I haven’t even been that stressed – the watch tells me that I feel more stressed than I realise I am, which makes me stressed that I cannot detect my own stress levels. I can’t stress enough how stressful the stress data can be to consume. It even has the cheek to arbitrarily assess my sleep with a numerical value. I’m not sure what the number is out of, but last night it was ’71’. The night before it was ’18’. You’d think I was out clubbing but I was in bed by 11. I now feel under pressure to try and impress my watch by sleeping well, never being stressed and exceeding my step count every day.

I am sure that this higher quality of sleep is why I felt good as I flew around the kitchen at 8am today, though. I’d finally scored a day-lifting 71. The summary still read ‘Long but restless sleep’, but I can live with that. The ‘sleep quality’ reads ‘Fair’. I imagine the watch shrugging as I read the word, indifferently providing an assessment and wishing I’d just go running again so it could be put into activity mode. That’s where it really gets its kicks. All this other stuff is just white noise to a sports watch. Ok, I’ll move on from this now…

The staff in the Stephenson Browne seemed appreciative. They also seemed amused that I made vegan cookies as well, just in case any of them were vegan or had an intolerance to dairy. I don’t think there were any such restrictions, but I wanted to be safe.

After such a productive morning, I crashed out in the afternoon. An innocent 20 minutes of sitting down to regain some energy resulted in me waking up with Lucy in my arms. I checked my watch to try and establish how long I had fallen asleep for…an hour and a half. After a further 30 minutes of trying to fight the fatigue, I managed to get myself up and motivated to walk Lucy. My mum came along. We went on a route where we pass by a large pen of pigs. There were 2 babies throwing each other around in the dirt with an older pig occasionally barging them with its snout. We were very amused but Lucy couldn’t care less. She’s too busy searching the earth for quite literally anything to eat – from cow poo to plastic, she has a boundless and eclectic taste when it comes to ‘food’.

I intend to continue baking cakes for all the people who were extra generous with their donations, so long as they are close enough to me to allow me to do so. I’m still coming to terms with just how successful the Run 40 fundraiser was. It makes me nervous to ever try and raise money for anything again – quit while you’re ahead and all that! My oldest sister has recently decided to run the London Marathon for The Christie. Once she has a fundraising link, I will be sure to share that on the blog. The Christie really is an amazing place, as anyone will tell you who has been there for treatment. I’d like to raise some money for them too in the future, but I think I need a cooling-off period for now.

11 thoughts on “Baking Away the Day

  1. Damn those smart watches – they are so smart. I hate it when I get a bad reading. My husband asked me the other day, “why are you doing?” “Just checking how I slept last night” he cackled in disbelief but when I have had a truly awesome sleep I like the high five from my app – and when I know I’m drained, it’s a bit of a vindication for feeling like crap. Happy baking and enjoy your day.

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    1. They’re scarily addictive aren’t they? I swore I wouldn’t wear mine all the time when I first got one about 7 years ago but, of course, I wear it all the time. I just got the newest Garmin Fenix so it records even more data – it’s all a blessing and a curse! Hope you’re doing well, Kate!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. kevreid69 says:

        You have really excelled the humour with this post Dan. I am still laughing about the human smart watch and how much it annoys you. Absolutely hilarious. I am sure that you will write a book eventually and I will be rushing out to buy a copy. You combine every human emotion there is into these posts and your determination to make the best of every second and beat this diagnosis at the same time as being compassionate and generous to those around you shows what kind of man you are. I so look forward to your posts and the range of emotions that I feel when reading them. I wish you everything that you wish for yourself in life. Take care Dan. x

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      2. I love my Fenix – I just got one this year too – it was supposed to be a reward for fitness goals attained but then I figured I could use it to motivate me every day towards said goals instead – which it does – such a beautiful smart watch.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. My husband just got a smart watch like that too recently. To get accurate data you have to wear it all the time. Like you, the data will stress me out and probably lose sleep.
    It even calculated BMI. lol. That’s stressful.
    Happy baking and hope you get some good rest!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes unfortunately I fell into the trap of wearing it constantly as soon as I got my first one a good 7 years ago now. Haha having something on your watch nagging you about your BMI definitely sounds stressful! I got another “restless sleep” rating last night. It’s just never happy 🙄 (I did have a very restless sleep though… foiled again!)

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  3. re: watch– i actually remove mine at night. i’m not sure i could handle a watch that was smarter than i am in regards to my own sleep. i’m perfectly fine with it telling me i need to run faster or longer (that’s what i really bought it for!). oh, and you do tend to also write quite a bit about running (in addition to the other topics you mentioned). i adore running, which is probably how i came across your blog in the first place. i also like positivity and practicing gratitude– which shines through on your blog as well. and of course, i’m rather fond of lucy!

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