Health & Appy-ness

Oh, I do love a pun, me.

I thought I’d share some brief reviews of health related apps I’ve been playing with. This lets me indulge three of the things I enjoy:
1. Health related behaviour
2. Apps/tech
3. Me talking about my views, because it’s my blog, gosh darnit.

So let us begin.

First off: Google Fit.

OK, on first use, I was excited about Google’s “Fit” app, because you need to do very little to get started, there are minimal features (sometimes this is a really good thing – I don’t like an overly fussy app), and it has good potential to seamlessly fit in alongside all of my other Google…stuff.


But the honeymoon period was swiftly over. Google Fit is still pretty buggy – when it’s tracking and saving, hurrah! But it randomly dumps info: today I might see “oh cool, I’ve done 12,000 steps today” and then tomorrow? the record for the previous day has mysteriously disappeared. Also, it doesn’t always sync properly. I was over-joyed to find I could sync my RunKeeper account, which I’ve used since 2011, but it’s not perfect, to say the least. For some reason, even though I ran over 3 miles yesterday (dutifully tracked with RunKeeper), Google Fit still hasn’t realised…

The Google Fit app is pretty good in principle – it’s pretty accurate at judging when I’m walking or running or cycling (no, I don’t tell it – it guesses based on average pace!!). However, the syncing problems are really frustrating and pretty unforgivable.

That said, Google Fit’s read-outs can be pretty insightful (when everything works properly!!) – you can see a good overview of your activity over the month, both in terms of active time, and in total steps taken. You can see a total for all active time, or separate out data for walking, running, etc. You can also manually input other activities, e.g. weight training, yoga, etc. so you can get a good overview of whether or not you’re getting enough physical exercise over a week.

At the moment, it’s a measly 2/5 for Google Fit. Fix the bugs, Google, and then we’ll talk!


Is there a doctor in the house..?

Hello, blogosphere!

It’s me again (yes, I’m still here!)

Phew, it’s been a busy month! You may remember that I recently whinged about not getting funding for my PhD at Surrey. Well, turns out that’s fine because I interviewed at UEA to do a PhD and… Well, I’m now a fully funded PhD student at UEA!

That all happened pretty quick, right? You’re telling me. I interviewed on the 23rd Feb, they emailed me the next day offering me a place, I handed in my notice at work the day after, and I officially enrolled on April 1st (and it turns out it wasn’t just some elaborate prank)! I am very excited but also utterly terrified. I’m sure it will all be fine. It feels a lot like this all over again, though:

Bungee! On our honeymoon in Scotland in September 2013

Bungee! On our honeymoon in Scotland in September 2013

Only this time, it’s more to do with the effort I put in, rather than a statistical chance, that it will all go off without a hitch (and it might take longer than 30 seconds for the experience to be over).

There’s a lot to be done – aside from the obvious (doing a PhD) I’ll first have to work out HOW. Plus arranging a Stage 2 supervisor, reading a lot, socialising with my new peer group, graduating from Surrey (2 weeks from now), and the list goes on… Oh, and the garden has burst into life! Which is lovely, but also means it needs serious work doing…

what I’ve been listening to:
Disciples – They Don’t Know Oh lord.
Everything Everything – Distant Past All about this track. Love the Star Trek sample right at the beginning, there’s something very satisfying about the diction. I just loves it.
A lot of ragga/dancehall Blame Ben. Also, we invented something called “raggadance”. Which is basically riverdance, but to ragga. Which is even more hilarious than you might imagine.

what I’ve been reading:
Lots of journal articles – There’s no getting away from it, I’m full throttle back into it again. I was kind of dallying with journals the past 6 months, but now they’re 100% back on my radar.
Books, websites, articles about how to be a Ph.D student – because frankly this is real, and this prospect I find unsettling.
Who am I kidding? Nothing else gets read.

what I’ve been watching:
Game of Thrones
– ok, I realise I missed the boat on this one. But with fibre broadband finally coming to our area, plus a new Vodafone contract giving me 6 months free NowTV, I thought “what the hell” and caught up on 4 seasons. Thoughts? It’s definitely fun, but I’m a little miffed that the general population is acting as though it is GROUNDBREAKING. i09 even ran a list of authors who were writing this sort of thing before G.R.R.Martin, just none of them ever got their books made into big budget tv series. And now I want to go and read some Gemmell, damn it.*
Gardener’s World – I’d like to collect my pension now, please.

Until next time, folks! 🙂


*My online alias for a long time was Dace, a demon which possesses the main protagonist of Gemmell’s Dark Moon novel. It is still one of my favourite fantasy books of all time, to the extent that when I was a teenager I painted the cover art as a mural covering a whole wall of my bedroom. I still have a couple of friends who refer to me as Dace, which is odd, sweet and nostalgic.

Liebster Award

Thank you… bipolarlifebalanceliebster-award

..for the nomination for a Liebster Award which, for the uninitiated (like me), is an award that bloggers give each other, and by doing so get people to connect and interact with other bloggers.

The basic rules:

  1. Thank and link the person who nominated you.
  2. Answer the questions given by the nominator.
  3. Nominate 5-10 other bloggers, who have less than 500 followers and link them.
  4. Create 10/11 new questions for the nominees to answer.
  5. Notify all nominees via social media/blogs.

Questions – My Answers:

  1. What was the last lie you told? This morning I looked in the mirror and went “huh, I might have lost some weight”…?
  2. Who is your favourite super hero? Tricky! It’s either X-men’s Wolverine, or Iron-Man, I reckon. The former because “rargh testosterone fueled grizzly mutton-chops but also I am so tragic”, and the latter because he doesn’t have a super-power, he’s just rich and clever (like Batman, but less annoying)
  3. What was the first book to have a lasting impact on you? Oh wow, I have a pretty poor recollection of anything that happened more than a week ago, and now you want me to remember what I read as a kid? I remember reading a children’s encyclopedia that was given to me when I was about 4 or 5, that was pretty awesome. I guess that started my love of science.
  4. What do you see when you look out your bedroom window? On the one side, a beautiful view of my garden. On the other side, an equally lovely view of the A12 and the fields beyond it.
  5. What was your goal in creating your blog? I had designs of making it all proper and sciencey and
  6. EDIT: thank you, Beth, who pointed out that I clearly got distracted and wandered off at this point. However, I think that is a pretty strong metaphor about what my blog is about. I had good intentions but OH LOOK YARN AND A PUPPY…

  7. What has surprised you most about having your blog?
  8. How hard it is to post consistently. I thought, oh yeah, blog, I’ll just ramble endlessly and people will think I’m great, but unlike with other stuff (where you practice and get better), blogging is one of those things that seems to get harder the more you do it. For me, anyway.

  9. Do you have a best friend? What’s their name? I think it’s safe to say my husband Ben is my best friend. We spend soooo much time together, have rather a lot in common, make each other laugh a lot…I know it’s a really cliché choice, but it’s true, so what else to say?
  10. Who is your Hollywood crush? Eh, I’m not big on celebs. Hugh Jackman is just lovely though. And I love Gemma Arterton (are they Hollywood? Jackman’s Aussie and Arterton is British… I don’t understand the parameters)
  11. If you could choose to be famous OR successful…which would you choose? Successful. 
  12. How do you feel about answering questions like these? Fine. It’s a way to pass the time, and they’re not particularly invasive, so it’s kind of fun!

I nominate:

I toyed with this for a long time. I found 3 blogs that I could potentially nominate, and then hunted around for ages trying to find others, and then thought I found some, and instantly felt guilty about thinking about nominating them, because this concept didn’t seem to fit their blog. And then I thought, well maybe it doesn’t fit the blogs of the other 3 I had initially thought of.

In the end I circulated and argued myself into a corner, and deleted the list of three I had initially thought of.

And now I’m stuck.

Basically what I’m saying is: nominate yourselves. If the questions below appeal, inspire or intrigue you, come forward. Claim them. Announce yourself in the comments section and show me your blog. I’m all ears.

EDIT: thank you to The Beth Project for nominating yourself! It just so happens you were one of the Original Three I had in mind… 😉

My Questions

  1. What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
  2. Do you have any siblings? Tell me a bit about them. If you don’t, do you wish you did?
  3. Did you have any hobbies when you were a child that you miss doing now?
  4. I like a lot of things that begin with B. What’s you favourite thing that begins with B?
  5. What’s your favourite book, band/artist, film and TV programme right now?
  6. Tell me about the best holiday you’ve ever been on.
  7. What’s your dream job? Why?
  8. If you could change one thing about your life right now, what would it be?
  9. What is your proudest achievement?
  10. Who inspires you?



🙂  Enjoy!