Monday, 25 November 2013

America - we are so OVAH!

Well, not quite,  But I’m seriously having to re-think my imminent Americanificiation.  You see, I had an email from my American godmother, saying that they have mashed potato with their Thanksgiving meal.  MASHED POTATO!  When any civilised nation would know that the roast potato far exceeds the mashed with a turkey (or any joint of roasted meat).  This is the 2nd culinary faux-pas I’ve discovered about the USA – after the plastic cheese selection that so appalled me on my honeymoon (including – and the sensitive should look away now – aerosol cheese).
Amy: would you like to defend your nation here please? ;-)  I have to say I’m intrigued by the sweet potato and marshmallow thing.  It sounds vile but everyone I know who’s tried it, loves it.  Seren – next time you’re in London we should find somewhere that does it and go and try it.  I was dubious about blueberry coffee and pumpkin spice coffee in New England but both were amazing.  I didn’t have a decent cup of coffee in my whole time in California but New England knows a thing or two about coffee.  Actually I’d happily live in New England.  Although I’d have to persuade them of the merits of roast potatoes obviously.
Also I’m prepared to throw gingerbread M&Ms in for consideration too - delicious and emphatically not available in Blighty.  Not sure if it’s lucky or not that a colleague has just gone to the US and I’ve told him not to bother coming back without a private stash for me.
We had a pootling weekend.  It’s nice to have one every now and again but the weather was sunny and crisp and I would have liked to be off hiking.  But P was still a bit delicate so we pootled.  Sneakily hitting him when he was weak and vulnerable, I got agreement for an electric blanket in the tinhut.  I bought and installed it before he could recover his health and judgement.  Bliss. 
This week looks like degenerating with speed from Thanksgiving (did I mention the Apple Pie Martini?) into the weekend.  We have my mum and her pack of mutts up to celebrate her birthday and although this means a walk a day, it’s a bit shorter than P and I would do.  And then we’re looking at fish and chips, a pastry from the nearby excellent bakery for one breakfast, Raclette for a supper , a three course birthday lunch at our excellent local pub and another supper of cake and Asti.  Spread over three days I hasten to add. 
So today I am looking sadly at a mini Babybel, an apple and 3 clementines which, together with my “skinny” soup tonight, make up my day’s food intake.  Grits teeth and ignores rumbles of stomach…

Friday, 22 November 2013

A w(h)iner of distinction

Well another week has disappeared.  Whilst I’m in the middle of it, it takes forever but there’s so much work that other stuff – like writing this blog – just gets pushed back and back.  And it’s a shame (for me) as writing, no matter how drivelly, does help me focus on what I want and what my tactics might be.

At the moment my life feels random and without strategy.  And when I say ‘life’, I mean ‘diet’.  The extreme busyness at work is massively detrimental to me dieting: it shouldn’t be but it is.  Having said that, I have been more careful on non-starve days this week but of the three starve days, only one was absolutely perfect.  The other two I have had more than I should without that slipping into a free-for-all.  All in all, they’re probably reasonably low calorie days but I don’t think it works like that – in order to dupe your metabolism, you have to have the proper starve days.  And my metabolism is a wily, wily creature.  It's certainly smarter than me.
We won’t manage a hike this weekend as P has been ill and is still not up to it.  It will be a pootling day.  Oh, and a day (read: evening) for a bottle of fizz as I got a distinction in my intermediate wine exam with 86%.  It was rather subsumed by protracted fighting with BT and Plusnet over the engineer turning up to sort out our phone line which made me furious and stressed and took up most of my energy and time.  But it is worth celebrating – and the weekend is the obvious place for that.  Advanced starts in January!  Just as everyone else gives up drinking….
We did about 7 miles last week – less than we meant to but our walk essentially went through a swamp.  If it hadn’t been so flipping freezing, I would have expected to see alligators.  So a certain amount of slithering, leaping and partial tree swinging was necessary – it all got a bit much and we took the shortest route.
Next weekend we have a long weekend and my mum and her pack of 3 (3!) dogs is coming up for her birthday.  This means a 5 miler, a 4 miler and an 8 miler at least.  But also fizz, cake and birthday lunch.  And next week looks bad for starve days - there's only 1 I can manage so Tuesday and Wednesday need to be pretty lean.  Thursday is Thanksgiving and we've booked the American experience.  If such a thing is possible in London.  With our recent Americanophilia, we had to give it a try.  As I believe is tradition, Thursday daytime will essentially be about starving myself in readiness for the meal.  In between that is an apple pie martini!  Go on, read that again!  An apple pie martini!  Which I am immensely excited by but will probably render me instantly very drunk indeed given the paucity of food planned for up to that point.  It won't stop me.  An apple pie martini!  How ever will I wait that long.....

Friday, 15 November 2013

At a loss to get a loss

It’s been one of those weeks where I only catch my breath for long enough to SCREAM with frustration.  All due to work of course.

So I’m very ready for the weekend.
But first, last weekend: was low-key but lovely.  Thank you everyone for the anniversary wishes.  We did one of our favourite hikes of 8 miles on Saturday with a pub at the halfway point where we had a lovely lunch and they brought us a free glass of fizz each and a decorated mini cake thing to share.  We didn’t even get that when we got engaged!  Then more fizz and blinis that night (too full for dinner).  Another walk on Sunday in the sunshine before going home and cooking Chateaubriand to have with a really nice bottle of wine.  Monday I got a cold and felt dreadful but we were only travelling back to London in any case.
This weekend the weather is allegedly nice on Saturday so we plan a longer walk to make the most of it.
And the diet?  Ah, I feel quite dispirited.  I don’t know what to do really.  I don’t think the starve thing is working and I do find it very hard.  Of course, the non-starve days are really easy.  Maybe too easy.  I don’t know, maybe I try to carry on with the starve thing and be more disciplined on the non-starve days until Christmas and re-evaluate in the New Year?  I can do 3 starve days next week but only 1 the following week.  I’ll see how I get on next week I guess.  It would help if work could be less busy, frustrating and lonely.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Looking for the light

The bad patch continues.  That means that the good stuff is just round the corner, right?
I have sinusitis.  The GP sees no reason to do anything about this as “it will go in a few weeks”.  This is after 12 days of headache.  The pharmacist snorted when I told her and said “By a few weeks, does he mean summer?”.  I really hope not.  I actually think my GP is incentivised on what he doesn’t prescribe; I am all for antibiotics not being over-prescribed but I only go there about every 4 years – and when I go, I really need help as I hate going.  Weirdly, I never do get that help.  I'm simply not going to bother with them any more, they just take up time and energy for nothing.
Although the doctors are not remotely interested in the reason I went to see them, they are keen on testing me for diabetes and heart problems, both of which they seem to have convinced themselves I have.  I assume again this is due to an initiative from the Department of Health.  They took a little blood there which showed ‘borderline’ blood sugar – and now I have to do a 12 hour fast, followed by a blood test, followed by Lucozade, followed by another blood test.  Now doesn’t that sound fun.  Also my cholesterol levels were slightly up – I am of the firm opinion that cholesterol is governed almost entirely by stress which, as I said, a) I was and b) I was even more because of having to be at the surgery.  But because I also finally got round to mentioning my extremely cold feet, they’re now convinced that my arteries are furred and my heart is in danger.  How very cheerful. 
You know where all this will end up, don’t you?  With the sage advice that I should try and lose weight, I imagine, and the instant ensuing sky-rocketing of my blood pressure as I explain forcefully that THAT’S WHAT I’VE BEEN TRYING TO DO FOR YEARS THANKS VERY MUCH.
I’m still miserable about the lost job.  Intellectually I know this is ridiculous but emotionally I can’t seem to buck up.  I was going to start my three positive things that happen each day list again but I genuinely cannot come up with three for yesterday – it was just an awful, awful day.
I’m looking forward to a slightly longer weekend this week though – we’ve taken an extra day off so we don’t have to spend our wedding anniversary in a car.  We can’t afford to actually do anything other than take a bit of extra time and probably pop a bottle or two but that will be nice.  I had originally wanted to stay in another Hotel du Vin as we stayed in one for our wedding night and another for the first two days of our minimoon but had to scale down to dinner out and then down further to dinner in!  I think a wedding anniversary in November may always be fraught with financial peril somehow!  But we will enjoy it nonetheless.