We are back in Manchester and life is slowly settling into familiar routines. Well, almost! Tomorrow is the day when I am planning to officially end my long holiday (at least part time since I did work on The Money Principle) and get back to the relentless rhythm of writing, preparing for the new academic year, travelling for my ‘day job’, giving presentation and teaching executive courses. All good fun and I am surprised by the difference that a good, long break and a clearing out of my head makes – I don’t dread the hard work ahead; quite the reverse, I am looking forward to it and am eagerly welcoming any challenge that no doubt will come my way.

No more reading silly novels, though; which is a pity since this is my favourite way to relax and clear my head. May be I should have a go at writing one of those – something that is both accomplished and sells. Well, who knows!

Today, however, is just another Sunday – the day when I write about blog articles that made me think.

Until couple of days ago, whenever somebody told me that blogging is hard work I wanted to scream ‘Yeah! Try working in a supermarket; or picking strawberries nine hours a day.’. Lately, however, I have identified an aspect of blogging that can be rather unsettling – the fact that to be a good blogger one has to become a ‘seeker’ and becoming a seeker inevitably makes us question many things that we have accepted as given. I, for one, have started questioning my assumption that I am a fairly open minded person. Fortuitously, Leo Babauta published an article setting out the conditions of being open minded; and though I am not sure I fared very well if these are used as a check list at least now I know what to develop and what to watch for. If you wish to do the same go read the article – well worth it.

You all know that I am almost half way through my marathon training? And that is one of the main things I did whilst in Bulgaria – I ran; I ran on the beach, up and down hills, I ran long, fast and hard. All part of the ‘run like a cheetah and look like Venus’ programme that Chris Clark (my trainer) has provided for me. Sometimes it is fun. But exercise and life are very similar in one thing: when they become easy it is not worth it because you are not developing. Apparently Chris Guillebeau is training for a marathon as well and last week he published an account of a hard run – and, Chris, I do agree that, tempting as it may be, it is not OK to quit. One has to have the courage and determination to run through the pain threshold – this is what makes an endurance runner in races or life.

We are just back from slightly over four weeks away – Britain has been rather gloomy this summer so all this time is sunny and hot Bulgaria was a blessing that will serve us well in the winter. This didn’t cost much – even including a week at the sea our time away cost us as much as a week package holiday. Of course, we are very lucky to have bought an apartment in Sofia and use it as a base for other adventures. Jay at the Sterling Effort published an article about holidaying on the cheap – have a look even if camping and country side is not your cup of tea. Some really lovely pictures!

Karen at Help me To Save, published an article that not only made me think – about services, business models and what not – but also made laugh at the audacity of some organisations; and, of course, the blatant bad writing and clichés. Recently, Santander’s intention to start charging for bank accounts was announced by the BBC. And Karen, who is one of the ‘lucky customers’, received a letter telling her that the bank’s ‘…aim is to build the bank we know our customers want’. How ridiculous! What a way to tell people that instead only playing with peoples’ money they will have to start paying you for the privilege.

I always knew that love, loving and money are related. You want to know how? Go on the Monevator and learn How talking about money is like French kissing. Splendid piece!

And finally, I think that we all worry about money at least some of the time. But if you want to know why read Why do we worry about money. Very thought provoking article by one of my favourite bloggers.

Finally, it is time for some great news. Last November I started the Yakezie challenge – this involves consistent blogging (which I was already doing) and achieving an Alexa rank of below 200K in six months. My Alexa went below 200K on January 1, but I had not done my six months in time for the previous intake of full members. Have a look at my Yakezie badge! I just got a message that I am a full Yakezie member. So, I am off to write my member article!

This is it for now! Speak soon.