The Great Outdoor Playmo Challenge

I awoke at 6.30 in the morning on the last day of the year with an inexplicable desire to get moving. It’s now seven, and I have just finished bouncing around my kitchen singing ‘What’s New Pussy Cat’ with the ever-ready Tom Jones. Now I’m alone with my coffee cup and Ryvita contemplating the year that is drawing to a close.

If life is a journey, 2014 was a road pitted with potholes, slathered with mud and booby-trapped with challenges I could not have imagined in my wildest dreams. Monumental changes and challenges that drained me emotionally – the loss of a loved one, and seeing the first baby fly the nest. My family was there to quietly set me back on my feet. So huge thanks to my parents and siblings for their support through a difficult period. You guys rock, and I love you all to planet Zorg and back. I’m back on track now, but life has changed – and so have I.

Potholes suck. But in winter they can contain unexpected surprises. Does anyone else see the Miro dog?

Potholes suck. But in winter they can contain unexpected surprises. Does anyone else see the Miro dog?

So I’m on the starting line for 2015. As resolutions are being made across the globe, MM’s shoes are prepared and she’s ready to put her best foot forward. You run a high risk of tripping over if you spend all your time looking in the rear view mirror, yet our past experiences irrevocably shape who we are, and being conscious of what has been can help build a better future. But similarly, when you’re pedalling furiously through life, it’s important to lift your head from time to time and look over the handlebars to see where you’re going.

So what does all this rambling mean, MM? Are you going to tell us what your resolutions are? Good question. Resolutions are made to be broken. So there will be no resolutions. Although there are many things I could resolve to change, nobody would recognize me any more. An organized MM who went to the gym, refused the bowl of peanuts as it was passed around the room and didn’t talk non stop would no longer be MM. Llife’s too short to pretend be something I’m not.

However. I am going to test my resolve. The last time I tested my staying power was two and a half years ago, on the great cholesterol challenge. Since then, I have had all the resolve and self-control of a four-year-old forgotten in a Cadbury’s warehouse. I am a pacifist when faced with temptation – I willingly lay down my weapons, and surrender to whatever is on offer.

Open air photoshoot of Mrs Playmo wearing Chanel handbag, John Wayne's hat , Batman's cape and Madonna's corset.

Open air photoshoot of Mrs Playmo wearing Chanel handbag, John Wayne’s hat , Batman’s cape and Madonna’s corset. Why this photo? Read on….

So here is the challenge, laid out here on the blog as a further commitment: I have signed up for Dry January. The Rosé Queen is going to lay off the booze for 31 days – not because I feel I am a rampant alcafrolic, but simply to prove to myself that I have the willpower to decide and stick at it.

And that’s not all. I vow to drag my trainers on, stick some music in my lugholes and get outside for one hour with Smelly Dog every single day, come rain or shine, for the same month. Why? To clean out the cobwebs and visually gobble up the tons of beautiful nature on offer on my doorstep. To admire the gob-smackingly blue sky. To take photos. In short, to enjoy the best and simplest things in life. They are free, yet priceless. This will be my mantra for 2015.

In fact, I’ve already started. Mrs Playmo kindly offered to keep me company with her scaled-down version of Smelly Dog. She’s even given me permission to post compromising photos of her every day to prove it. (Gosh, that was a rash decision.) Here she is on today’s walk, being an inappropriately dressed top model on a tractor bonnet  and trying to spot a potential sugar daddy from a scarecrow’s pocket.

Mrs Playmo climbed into the scarecrow's pocket for a better vantage point. Alas, there was no Playmo Hunk to be seen in the vineyards...

Mrs Playmo climbed into the scarecrow’s pocket for a better vantage point. Alas, there was no Playmo Hunk to be seen in the vineyards…

As the day draws to an end, I’d like to thank you all for being there for me this year. It’s a privilege to know you all, and your support eight months ago made me realize just how lucky I am to know you all. I wish you all a safe and healthy journey through the coming year. May the blogging force be with you.

Love n Hugs, MM xx





46 thoughts on “The Great Outdoor Playmo Challenge

  1. Best of luck with those nonresolutions. I tried that hour walk thing, myself. My eternal gratitude goes to my own wee smelly dog. On about Day Three, by which time he figured out that if we were walking it could be a long way, he’d let me get to the corner. Then he’d lay down, right there on the sidewalk. If I wanted to go anywhere, even back home again, I’d have to carry him. There was a Day Four, just to see if he meant it. He did, and that was that. My exercise resolution for 2015 is to listen to the dog.

    • Hi there, miss yella 🙂 I think your dog should meet my dog for a talking to. Our dogs don’t seem to live in the same environment – Smelly Dog is a country girl, and is terrified in town. She glues herself to my leg and actually BEHAVES HERSELF. She even sits at the kerb until told to cross the road. At home, the story is different – she barks herself senseless when she sees the lead and my trainers, then drags me to the point where I can unleash the beast. If I listened to Smelly Dog we’d do 30 km a day – she’s a golden retriever who would spend all day rolling in badger poo and muddy water if I gave her half a chance 🙂

  2. Have a joyful january, but – as your youngest sibling would say – “Good luck with that!”

  3. Happy New Year MM! It sounds like you are back, with your game face on, ready to tackle the adventures ahead that this year has to offer.
    Best of luck with your Dry January Challenge 🙂

    • New Year’s greetings right back atcha, girl xxx I do indeed have my game face on – with added snot because I have my first cold of the year. But that ain’t gonna stop me, no sireee. (Cue Calamity Jane stance with packets of Kleenex).

  4. Compromising photos!!! Every day!!! You’ll be outselling The Sun….

    I do so enjoy your honest and self deprecating blog….a blog to laugh with rather than at ….and, hallelujah, a blogger who can damned well write!

    Good luck with the resolutions, the dog will be pleased at any rate, taken for walks and lapping rose from the drinking bowl…

    Best wishes for the year to come….and more power to your blogging elbow.

    • I had great fun for the First of January’s photo, Mrs Playmo was a REALLY bad girl. 😀
      Thank you, I am honored to be held in such esteem by someone who uses clever words with lots more syllables than I have in my collection. I’ll try to get a few new ones in there this year by adopting a few expatriate ones from your blog.
      Not sure i’d like Smelly Dog after a bowl of rosé – she behaves like a two-year-old as it is…

  5. I look forward to sharing your 2015 escapades and triumphs right along with you! Happy New Year!

  6. As a new follower, I don’t know what you are referring to in the loss department, but it was a year of loss for me too — my father — the moment everybody dreads, but perhaps expats more than others, and perhaps very far-away expats more than other expats.

    Here’s wishing you a happy and healthy 2015. I have started to look forward to your posts…

    • Hello there, Betty 😉 I’m sorry about your loss – It must have been awful for you. And still be so. I was referring to my father-in-law, who died of cancer in April. I’d known him for 25 years, and we saw each other a lot, so it was hard to say goodbye. We still haven’t filled the huge hole that remains.
      I suppose that what we have to do is keep on living for them – not a day goes by without thinking about Papounet and sending him thoughts if I see something he would have liked. Huge hugs to you, and may 2015 be kind to you and yours xxx

  7. Mrs. Playmo sounds like a bad influence. Perhaps she should meet my Pigpool? 😀

    Seriously,good going on the challenges and we’ll be cheering you on!

    • Oooh, yes ! Can I meet your Pigpool too? Or would I be a bad influence? 😀 24 hours down. Mrs Playmo was exceedingly badly behaved on New Year’s Eve. She still has a hangover today and is wanted by the police.

  8. Good luck with the challenges – I have every confidence in you! I am doing Dry January again, so we can toast each other with mugs of tea. Not as much fun as glasses of prosecco but at least no-one has to put up with my rude jokes and inappropriate flirting when I stick to tea 🙂

  9. MM, as always, you inspire. I am taking your lead and signing on to an 8-week challenge, because 12 months is far too long. I figure that percentage-wise, I can fail 4 weeks into a 2-month challenge and still have been halfway successful. This knowledge alone may well stop me from falling into a big black pit of despair and self-pity. Kudos to you to holding yourself and Mrs. Playmo accountable. I love it! Happy 2015 🙂 xoxoxox

    • Good on you, Gypsy! I’m sure you’ll hang in there – after all, you’re the one who leaps onto concrete blocks when you’re running. I have a concrete block on my walk, and I think of you every time I climb onto it. I’ll take a pic of it soon so that you can see where I think about you. Wacky, huh?

  10. Love and hugs to you MM. Well done for getting through 2014. Here’s something to remember, ‘Don’t look back. You’re not going that way.’
    BTW Due more to a snotty cold than any kind of resolve, I haven’t had a tipple for the whole of this year! Yet.
    Happy January. And 2015.

    • ‘Don’t look back. You’re not going that way”. I like that. Congrats on the alcofrol-free week. Great conks obviously think alike, because MM has been full of snot this week too. Snot fair. Happy New year to you too – hope to read more about your antics in Perfidious Albion 🙂

      • You make my brain hurt sometimes MM. I had to look up Perfidious Albion. This is what Wikipedia had to say: Perfidious Albion is an anglophobic pejorative phrase used within the context of international relations and diplomacy to refer to alleged acts of diplomatic sleights, duplicity, treachery and hence infidelity (with respect to perceived promises made to or alliances formed with other nation states) by monarchs or governments of Britain (or England) in their pursuit of self-interest and the requirements of realpolitik, often as not employed by the loser in geopolitical affairs.
        That might just as well be in French!
        On an idiom website: England is known to some as perfidious Albion, implying that it is not trustworthy in its dealings with foreigners.
        Do I need to be suspicious of England now? Because I’m the foreigner here.
        Do I need to go into hiding in France? :-/

  11. Playing catch-up now I’m back from Blighty. Good luck with the challenge – it’s already Day 5 – how’re you doing? 🙂

    Happy New Year and best wishes for a healthy and less stressful 2015.

    I also hope we can get together again soon. 🙂 xx

    • You lucky thing, getting home for Christmas. I hope that you did the cheddar shelf justice for me.
      Still going strong on day five, although my knees were giving me some gyp last night because they can’t keep up with the pace.
      Too right – we’ll meet up to raise a celebratory glass of carafe-priced wine when my challenge is over. Unless I’ve turned into a teetotaler by then, that is. Highly unlikely, though.

      • I was gasping for a cosy, comforting Bristol Cream last night, but the booze cupboard is bare. 😦

  12. Happy New Year, MM, and good luck with your two non-resolutions. If I had a dog and some blue sky, I’d join you in the second, but as a virtual non-drinker the first would be too easy. Is there a chocolate version of Dry January, by any chance? 🙂

    • A very happy New Year to you too, Miss P. I’m doing well for the moment – ‘one day at a time’ appears to be the best attitude for success. Why give up chocolate? It’s a necessary source of magnesium, everyone knows that 🙂

  13. Pingback: Day 10: Roxanne. | Multifarious meanderings

  14. Happy new year, MM! And good luck with the dry January and the getting outside. Sounds like a pretty decent way to start the year! (And by the way, I don’t think Rose officially counts as wine, so you’re fine to have a glass or two of that every now and then. Nobody will mind… ;-))

    • A very happy new year to you and yours, too! I am having a ball, and Smelly Dog thinks she’s won the poles with all these long walks. As for the glass or two, they will wait until February. I’m not cheating.

  15. Good luck with the dry January… I did the same in October last year so decided to give this one a miss! 🙂 I’m sure Smelly dog and Mrs Playmo are loving the long walks and compromising photos… My Mutley tends to shove her nose in compromising places if the day is turning into evening and I haven’t yet taken her for a walk!!! 😀 Merry New Year to you and yours MM! xxx

    • Mutley is quite right to do so. Smelly Dog has twigged and now gets hysterical as soon as I pick up my camera bag.
      SO you did a dry October? Hmm. I note that you didn’t try in September – every mum needs her rosé in September.

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