Wednesday, 30 May 2012

The future's bright...

...the future’s orange. Clockwork Orange in fact. And by future, I mean now. I had some of those lash extensions put on last week with a Wahanda voucher, to see what they’d be like for the wedding. I thought they were totally OTT but no-one actually noticed so clearly they weren’t. And the effect without having to wear mascara was so pleasing that I actually found myself musing over having them infilled when they needed it – 3-4 weeks, I was told. Except after about 4 days of kid glove treatment, they started to come out and now they’re falling like Autumn leaves – but mostly from my right eye. My left is still adorned with long curly lashes, my right must have lost over half. I look very odd. It’s not a good look, even without the bowler hat.

I would give myself a B for effort in managing my food over the weekend. I turned down more things than I had – I do think I managed moderation. But it wasn’t perfection and so of course I am beating myself up about that (trying not to but I’m acutely aware how long it takes me to lose any weight). This is my full crime list:

• Ice cream (in lieu of lunch on a very hot drive down to Devon. Not sensible)
• Glass of wine
• Decaff latte (am wary of milk so this is a semi-cheat)

Saturday (party)
• 2 glasses of fizz
• 2 glasses of wine (pretty restrained for a
• Pudding – lemon curd Eaton Mess as part of the dinner at the party

• Flat white (caffeine AND milk)
• Cream tea (had promised myself and it was delicious)
• 3 glasses of fizz
• Piece shortbread (no excuse: very bad)

• Piece of toast (the B&B makes their own bread and it’s delicious – I skipped the breakfast I wanted in my defence)
• Pasty (DREADFUL of me but very delicious – midway on a very tough 9 mile hike but really no excuse)
• Ice cream at end of long, tough, hot hike
• Dinner out – I only had 1 glass of fizz and 1 of wine and ordered carb-free starters and mains but had a piece of bread and a small pudding (vanilla pannacotta with 3 pistachio meringues the size of 10ps and some fruit)

• Blueberry pancakes! The only breakfast I ordered that was a) what I wanted and b) utterly, utterly forbidden. And a piece of toast.

It’s not a list of glory is it? But I promise that this was very restrained behaviour. Not least when I had to run to the shops after we got back yesterday, hungry after no lunch and knowing that today I had to get back on the diet. If that’s not a trigger to eat, I don’t know what is. I literally wandered along thinking “I want a Starbucks frappucino, I want a chocolate frozen yoghurt” as I went past the various shops. I didn’t. It nearly killed me.

But of course, Scales of Doom has no interest in what I resisted, it’s a cold, hard, cruel entity. 2 ½ lbs on. Which, okay, doesn’t sound like much – but remember I lose at an average of 1lb a month. And I’m still not back to my pre-Christmas weight.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Chasing skirts

Should it really be this hard? I ordered this dress:

Really I would have preferred navy but they only had red. I actually measured myself and sulkily ordered up a size. I bought shoes and a shrug, I agonised over nail polish options. I was good to go.

I tried it on this morning. It was not nice – not nice material, not a good red for me and too flaming big! Whilst the too big thing is good, it’s frustrating that I went to the effort to get the tape measure out and it STILL doesn’t fit. The last dress I ordered, I measured myself and it was too small. I guess that’s worse.

I’m taking this afternoon off to try again but I’m running out of shops to interrogate. And I have very painful shoes on. But a pair of shoes and a shrug does not an outfit make. Unless you’re a coquettish burlesque dancer which, alas, I am not.

AND I now have a mound of things to take back – always a horrible chore.

I probably won’t be able to post now until next Wednesday. That will be 2 WIs in between – one pre-weekend away and one literally the next day upon return to the Smoke. Eeek. I’m planning on being very restrained but I know that the merest hint of something other than protein or veg seems to send my weight rocketing. It is not a joyful prospect.

Still, the sun is shining, my hair is freshly washed (having had keratin in it for 4 days until I was so skanky I was concerned lest I be offered 50p to get a cup of tea) and Devon (suitably clad or otherwise) beckons with my lovely P by my side. I refuse to turn this into an ordeal. Even though I’m so pre-menstrual that I cried at a complete stranger’s wedding video online. Twice.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Armless 'fun'

Okay, I am mathematically challenged. Or more optimistic than anyone had thought, myself included. And certainly more forgetful than I should be at my age. Either I wrote down my weight incorrectly or I did not in fact lose nearly 2lbs but actually ¾ lb and thus not back down to the pre-cow WI. Very disappointing.

I’m hoping for a more satisfactory result on Wednesday – I’ve managed to do a couple of walks during the week and we’re planning a long hike at the weekend. Then if the weather’s okay, I should manage to walk in a couple of times next week before WI. This is all particularly heroic as I’m massively over-tired at the moment so setting the alarm earlier and (and this is key) actually getting up, is pretty damn impressive.

I tried on the dress last night. P’s first words were “Arms” which he refused to elaborate on, only saying in a rather weaselly way that he knew I didn’t like my arms. But I think he meant my arms didn’t look good (I mentioned it was sleeveless, right?). Of course I could be being paranoid – but that’s not say I’m wrong! He did say he liked the dress. I think to be honest that it was a bit of a shock to both of us as it’s so different to anything I usually wear. But it’s going back. Not because of the arms thing because I think I might get away with that, but because it’s really a cocktail dress and this is a party in a bar – I’d be overdressed. Back to the drawing board. But I’d buy the dress in the sale because – arms aside – it’s actually rather flattering. I think.

Unfortunately I’ve kind of run out of time to produce a party-worthy outfit for next Saturday. Not quite sure from where or when I’m going to magic a new outfit from. I have one lunch hour next week free and no evenings free. Hmmmm.

Thanks for your supportive comments re Evil Boss.  I doubt she'll leave but I'm always hoping.  It's nice of Lesley to fear for her child but personally my fears are all around the fact that the evil has spawned and brought new evil into the world.  Possibly.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Sweetening a pill

I’d forgotten my urge to panic/comfort eat at work. Whilst my boss has been on maternity leave, the whole office has become a nicer place to be. But now she’s back. She’s been promoted and is now my boss’s boss which means I get a little breathing space but she pollutes the whole office. The thing that I find particularly objectionable – actually repellent – is how excited and hyper she gets when she has to tell someone off/slap them down/ “put them back in their box”; she actually can’t sit still in her glee and has to jump about, skip and wriggle, with a huge grin, talking at 100 mph. There’s something sick about that. Yesterday it was me being slapped down and I didn’t like it – I felt slapped, I felt belittled and nervy. The office is changing back again to a place where people seek out mistakes and gloat and mock; I don’t like it. So much so that I ate a brownie. Not a big one but it’s not a healthy response. Sugar can’t sweeten this – it’s toxic with or without a big dose of my own personal toxin.

So I really didn’t want to go dress shopping last night. I was feeling squashed but knew that I’d feel expanded as soon as I tried anything on. I bought something – I think it’s nice but it’s very different to what I’d usually wear. And it’s sleeveless and I do not love my upper arms. And a cardy, wrap or similar just won’t work – I tried it – my arms would be out. But not proud. I’m putting it to the P test tonight – I told him to be brutal which he’s a bit hurt about – ‘honest’ is what we’ve agreed on. I’ll let you know if I’ll be wearing it.

Good news: I lost weight. I lost almost 2lbs which made me terribly excited – until I realised that from avant-le-beouf, it’s only ½ lb. Which is less impressive but still heading (s-l-o-w-l-y) in the right direction. Only 2 ½ lbs to go until I’ve lost my Christmas weight. It’s pathetic isn’t it? Really one of those not sure whether to laugh or cry situations.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Dress to distress

It was a bit of a roller-coaster of a weekend. It started with me trying on this dress:
I love it but it was too small. Or I did. I went in to see P to see if he could do me up. He couldn’t.
“It’s a shame” I said lightly, “It’s a pretty dress, isn’t it?”
There was one of those awful pauses.
“It doesn’t do you justice” he said slowly “It makes you look....broad”
Blatant avoidance of the F word there.  And it was a RHETORICAL QUESTION.

And with those words (the ones spoken and the ones not) I was thrown into a complete crisis about everything I wear. Now, I don’t love very much of what I own – I buy most of my clothes from ebay and I’m grateful that they cover and conceal. But of course I would like to feel great – I’m just never sure that’s possible, given the raw materials. In this instance, I had bought quite an expensive dress for a party at the end of the month because I wanted to feel fabulous. Feeling “broad” does unequivocally not equate with fabulous. But you knew that, right?

It led to a rather heated conversation, okay, row, the following day. And me scanning the Gok Wan books to try and work out what would suit me. I have always thought I was an hourglass (okay a short, fat one) because I have a, erm, substantial bust, depressingly large hips but I have a disproportionately small waist. So I wear full skirts or a-lines. But P reckons I look better in a pencil style skirt (I don’t actually own one, but still). I did try a relatively gentle fishtail wedding dress on – it was not pretty. That is, it was pretty, I was not.

From the book I narrowed it down to 3 bodyshapes: hourglass, pear or bum-heavy (can’t remember what slightly nauseating term he used). I ended up very confused. I seem to have too much bust for a pear or over-arsed. And I don’t have tiny shoulders like my mum – she’s clearly a pear. If I were all about the bum, then a tulip/pencil skirt should look best (tying in with P’s perception). If I were a pear, then an a-line, if I were an hourglass, a very full skirt. But that’s what the dress has, and also what my denim skirt is like and P (and others) hate that and claim it’s very unflattering. And when I went and got my wedding dress, the genius fairy godmother said something along the lines that there was a temptation to show off my small waist but it actually threw my proportions out – my dress has a very gentle a-line, almost like the offspring of an a-line and a straight skirt.

So now I need to find a dress to wear the weekend after next that will suit me and look good – and I don’t have the FOGGIEST what to look for. I tried a personal shopping appointment in Debenhams but you have to take a day off (which I can’t do). I have one evening this week in which to pull this off and no Plan B.

Friday, 11 May 2012

This is my beef

The hand – or perhaps the hoof – of that boeuf bourgignon still casts a shadow over SoD as the unofficial WI revealed that I’d still not lost the mysteriously gained 1/2lb nor any additional blubber this week. Or I’ve put weight on and not gained it for some other utterly inexplicable reason.

The next couple of weeks look pretty blameless. I walked in today, we’re going to squeeze in a couple of hours on the bikes on Saturday and assuming that the monsoon doesn’t re-start, I’ll be back to doing more walking again next week. I have no social events in my diary except a week on Monday when I’m going to the cinema with a friend – a pretty safe night out.

But then. We’ve got a long weekend away the last weekend in May. We’re going to Devon for a friend’s party and then to the really lovely B&B we have been to the last couple of years (and where we got engaged) for a couple of nights. All kinds of peril lurk here.

1) Two nights in an hotel and two in the B&B. The latter of which does amazing blueberry pancakes for breakfast. My plan is to have this one day and stick to non-carby options the rest of the time (sob).

2) Party: I think this should be okay. I don’t drink a lot and that’s where there’s danger here I imgaine. Not sure if they’re planning on feeding us – a buffet is usually pretty carbtastic so could be dicey but I’ll have to handle it. If not eat it.

3) Devon. Land of the clotted cream tea (yes, yes, I know, Cornwall too). I might have to have one.

4) We’re going to dinner at this amazing country house hotel. I’ll choose wisely but I will want to enjoy it.

So how much weight can one breakfast, one cream tea and one dinner put on? On me: a lot I fear, given the impact of one small boeuf bourgignon.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Girl on film

The week has gone too fast.  Work has been crazy.  This is partly because my Barbie-esque assistant has gone to Vegas for a hen do with her Essex mates, The Plastics.  She's sent me gloating texts about her flourescent pink nails she's had put on in readiness and the fact that it's hot ("tan me up, baby").  She has never knowingly been anything other than varying shades of orange, bless her.  Sometimes she seems to glow in a scary way reminiscent of radioactivity.  She's adorable but almost a pastiche of herself.  Vegas will not know what hit it.

We did a gruelling 2 hour, mostly off road cycle ride on Saturday in an icy headwind.  Even P confessed that in the first 20 mins he wondered if we were mad.  So I was hoping for a good loss from SoD on Wednesday - but alas, it was adamant that I'd put on 1/2lb since last week - and 1lb since the unofficial WI on Friday.  I am hoping that it was a bum reading - nothing to do with my lardy arse but I'd been out to dinner the night before and although I chose Boeuf Bourgignon and rejected the mash and wine, I wonder if there was a bit of flour in the sauce which caused a glycogen backlash.  That's what I'm hoping.

I was out to see Top Hat.  Much as I enjoy these musicals they do make me slightly resentful that no-one ever does seem to burst into song and tap dance, resplendent in evening wear.  I also realised that I absolutely need to trade my tatty t-shirts in for glamorous satin floaty negligees with matching wrap.  All I have to do is find a designer of 1930s style nighwear.  In fact, the costumes were so beautiful that I kind of missed a bit of plot towards the end, due to the dazzling evening dresses in the end scenes.  In particular a bronze pleated dress and a chartreuse dress that I coveted so much that, had I thought a dress made for a dancer might fit me, I would have sprinted up to the stage and ripped from their leggy frames.  My plan is to win the lottery and persuade the costume designer to branch out into cladding the dumpy.

The latest in Operation Bride was my inaugral facial tonight.  Assistant Barbie was horrified that I would contemplate binge on public transport without make up; hell, my fellow tube sufferers may have felt some of this horror but my pursuit of a glowy complexion was selfishly relentless.  I'm not currently glowy.  I have some mild reaction around the sides of my face where I sometimes have irritation (physically - my irritation is much more extensive if you look at it less literally) but that's more raw than glow.  Postponed glowiness perhaps?  Anyway, I have one booked for next month and the month after - all Wahanda deals and all with different places.  I am becoming high maintenance.

I also had a row with P over a wedding film.  We both really didn't want one.  Then we watched some cine films from his childhood and decided that we did want one.  I've carried on with that whilst he has come to the conclusion that they are intrusive and expensive.  Both true.  And yet, some aspect of personality is brought vividly to life in moving image that is not there in a photo - no matter how beautiful.  And I'd like to see the bits that I might otherwise miss.  Films seem to vary a great deal - some are pretty, well, naff, whilst others are beautiful.  There is an ongoing debate chez P&P on this.  I need to convince P - first step is showing him an example of a lovely film.  He sees them as chavvy - and of course, some are.  Even some of the beautiful films are - it's the subject matter.  Ours wouldn't be.  What do you think?  Worth it or just another expense?

Friday, 4 May 2012

Happy families

I am fed up with this weather. It’s spoiling my weekends. We want to cycle this weekend – and we probably will – but it’s not the same cycling under lowering clouds. We’ve already had to take shelter during two hailstorms on our previous two rides. It’s about time for some sunshine! Alas, the long-range forecast predicts cool and damp for the next three months. And we’re not going away this year – just a week in Northumberland (probably) after the wedding – as we’re concentrating our funds on next year’s honeymoon.

SoD was unamused by my frugal cake eating activities and scored me a STS; could have been worse I guess.

This week’s not been a great one – brother #2 (he of the Chav-wife) got into one of his legendary strops with me where he bombarded me with furious and nasty emails. I was proud of keeping my cool and remaining reasonable despite extreme provocation but I went home and cried all over P last night. I think the wedding brings it all home even more – I’d read about the wedding of a girl with happy and proud parents and two adoring older brothers. My father is a liability and a complete screw-up who I am no longer in contact with; one brother behaves like a toddler with a tantrum segueing into extreme lofty, moral high-ground (and has the Chav, attached like an unpleasant wart – or other parasite – to him) and the other is distant both physically and emotionally (although he rang me with sympathy and support after the diatribe from brother #2, having been on the receiving end himself). I wept my mascara all over P who was very sweet. He said that I had him and my mum (who I am very close to) and the 3 of us were family; with brother #1 sometimes making a (usually virtual) appearance. I am greedy enough to want more and yet I am satisfied with what I have. I read P a wedding reading I’d found and we agreed it was very pertinent to us – it cheered me up a bit.

This weekend will see us paying a fleeting visit to Suffolk – we go early on Saturday (much earlier than I like to get up at the weekend) and come back Sunday in time for the final Homeland. I’m working Monday, sigh. Still, it’s all money towards those shoes. Oh yes, my pretties, you shall be mine.  Who needs siblings when you can have shoes, eh?