Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Wave bye bye...

The husband returned to work yesterday.  My house is festooned with virtual bunting, and I have been quietly going about my business putting everything back to where I like it.  In fact, I've gone the extra mile and changed some other things round.  Let's see how he likes it when he opens his office door and finds I've converted it to a Prosecco fridge.  That'll teach him to mess with my semi skimmed...

Another two pounds of ugly fat disappeared this week, which set me thinking.  My BMI?  What would that be now?  Having stumbled across various pages including one offering me flights to Oslo and others flogging gym membership, diet club membership etc etc, I finally went with the voice of reason and accessed the NHS site.

It all looked rather incongruous, and I did really well with the sex/date of birth information, and then it went onto my height and weight.  The word 'metric' initially put the fear of God up me,  (do you know how tall you are in centimetres?) but having realised that by pressing another button, I could convert it all to old money, it was all systems go, and that was weight and height done.

And then the killer question.  'How active are you?'  There were three options, ranging from slug to Usain Bolt, so erring on the side of caution I settled for the middle option, which basically includes anyone with a pulse who can walk for more than thirty minutes without needing mouth to mouth.

Waiting for the results, I convinced myself that I'd done enough this year to get me into the green healthy weight measurement, so you can only just start to imagine my horror when the results came through.  Without sounding too dramatic, according to the NHS I shall probably die by Wednesday unless I lose another two stone.  Now I don't know what these figures are based on, but if I lost another two stone I would resemble 1980's Mr Muscle and could hire myself out as a broom handle or tent prop.

But if I lose another six pounds or so, I'll be in the upper echelons of satisfactory, which I shall be more than happy with.  Where do they get these calculations from anyway? There was almost a three stone variation on a healthy BMI for me which is just loopy.

I'll keep plugging away though.  And maybe, just maybe, I might get into that green bit on the scale instead of languishing in the yellow.

But at least I'm no longer in the red...

Monday, 23 April 2018

She's the boss...

What a lovely weekend.  Isn't it amazing the difference a little bit of sunshine can make to an otherwise ordinary couple of days.

After the debacle of the fridge this week, the husband decided that Saturday would be the perfect day to pressure wash the patio.  Now I have done this for the last three years, completely breaking the 'blue job' rule, so I was quite impressed when the husband said that this year, he would be doing it himself.  This is all very well, but when the husband pressure washes the patio, a complete clean of the whole ground floor of the house is required.  His aim is not too precise you see, and after seven hours of cleaning the patio, he then moved on to the house which by now resembled something which Cruella de Vil would have designed.

Naturally, having pressure washed the walls, the windows now all need cleaning, which I'm sure will fall into pink job territory.  Oh whoop-de-doo...

Of course, once you start doing outside 'end of winter' jobs, you tend to get a bit carried away, and while the husband was out on his mountain bike this morning, I started the weeding and general clearing up of all the crap which seems to procreate under my raised bed.  I don't know why I'm surprised about this - you only have to look under my own bed to see that the same thing happens upstairs.  Although it's more holdalls and carrier bags than flower pots and a half chewed plastic turkey wearing a polka dot bikini.

By Sunday afternoon, the garden looked lovely, and ready to welcome daughter number one's new beau.  I haven't decided on a pseudonym for him as yet.  My initial thought of 'Here's One I Made Earlier' (he looks a little like Matt Baker from Blue Peter) doesn't really trip off the tongue, so I'll hold fire till I know him a little better.  Early indications are good though...

Yesterday afternoon, daughter number one and I were chatting about replacing the solar lights which I drape round my fence in the back garden, as the current ones had just about given up the ghost, with and without the sunshine.

So this year, I am going slightly off kilter, and buying some coloured lights.  On hearing my decision, the husband, who is still in the doghouse, piped up, 'I don't like coloured lights.  What colour are they anyway?'

Giving him one of my infamous 'don't mess with me' stares, I said, 'Pink'.

'Pink?' asked the husband.  'Why pink?'

'To remind you who is in charge on this house, that's why they are pink'.

Enough said...

Sunday, 22 April 2018

No milk today...

The husband is in trouble again.

The last two weeks have been a warning as to what I can expect when he finally hangs up his mole grips for good.  It all started last Monday, when he informed me as I walked in from Binland, that he had 'organised the fridge'.

Although this rankled, I managed a tight smile, and asked him what he'd done. Turned out he'd made an executive decision about the milk in the fridge, as he wasn't happy with having a couple of cartons on the go with a couple to spare.  He had looked at the use by dates, and decided that the newer cartons should be frozen.

All well and good (although I hate drinking milk which has been frozen, preferring the 'just out of a cow' kind of white stuff).

So let's fast forward to Friday.  I decided to have cereal for my breakfast.  This is a rare occurrence for me, as I always have fresh fruit, but I had no bananas, and can't entertain a fruit salad without one, so an alternative had to be found.

I settled on Rice Krispies and sat down at the kitchen table after the husband had left the house to pick some stuff up.  It tasted a little bit odd, but I put that down to not having cereal for at least four months.  Putting the milk away, I just happened to glance at the use by date.  Monday 16th April.  The day the husband 'organised the fridge' which meant that the milk was four days out of date.  His semi skimmed was much the same, having expired as far as shelf lives go the day after my skimmed milk.  I got the two frozen cartons out of the freezer and decided that words would have to be spoken on the husband's return.

So he's had a verbal warning.  As I tried to explain to him, it has taken almost thirty five years to get my level of fridge management to the giddy levels I now have.  And he thought he knew it all after five days.  Our conversation ended with something along the lines of, 'Just keep away from my fridge, sunshine', so I hope he's got the hint.

I actually had to call Miss R on Friday and ask her to bring some milk over for a cup of tea.  As you know, we were planning an afternoon's sunbathing (a mini daycation) so tea was vital.  We ended up having a very lovely time together, and as she left she was moaning about the lack of white marks after three hours in the sunshine.

Now I have a slightly different skin to her, and had picked up a little colour which was good.  At least I didn't have legs the colour of milk anymore.

Oh, don't mention the milk....

Friday, 20 April 2018

Hot stuff...


I have been looking forward to my afternoon in the deckchair all week, and yesterday, I finally made it.  A quick walk for the boys (they hate this heat, preferring the snow. I put this down to the fact that as a breed, they hale from Germany ) and it was bikini on (yes, I know I'm 54 and a half, but I was alone, and therefore no apologies were required), sun cream applied to all the bits I could reach and I stretched out on the perfectly positioned deckchair, and let out a big sigh.  A snooze was planned for half an hour or so, and I started drifting off as the happy birdies sang around me.

My peace lasted approximately four minutes.  The dogs, completely incapable of being parted from my side for longer than a nanosecond, had slid under my deckchair.  A small fight was ensuing underneath as each of them fought for position in the 14" square of available space.  After some calm pleading ('Will you two pack it in before I completely lose my temper!') which then evolved into some rather ripe language, a trip to the kitchen and two dog chews,  I settled back down in my deckchair with a sigh.

As I have got older, I've become more aware of the damage too much sun can do to you.  I have very fond memories of the husband and I having a weekend away in West Wittering, where we laid out on the beach like a couple of stuck pigs for an afternoon.  Although it was hot, there was no sun whatsoever, so we didn't need sun cream.

Or so we thought.

The husband suffered from heat stroke for forty eight hours.  This coincided with the drive home which was interrupted seven times for unscheduled comfort breaks.  I didn't have heat stroke, but did resemble a over ripe split tomato.  In was so bad that the B&B owner asked me if I'd stand outside in the evening as it meant that he could save some money on the patio heaters.  Oh, how we laughed.  Well we would have done if my skin could move and the husband could get his head out of a bucket for more than fifteen minutes.

Anyway, as I was saying, I now apply layer after layer of the factor whatever to avoid that ever happening again, and having reapplied after sorting the dogs out, I had settled back into my chair.

And then the husband came home.  He wanted to mow the lawn (I can't complain as I had made the request yesterday morning) so with safety helmet, goggles, shorts and work boots, he started with the strimmer, moved onto the mower, and finished off by vacuuming the patio.

It was at that point I gave up, and opened the Prosecco...

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Three times a lady...

Oh ladies.  Yesterday was a bad day on the knicker front with two changes before leaving for work.

It's my own fault really.  I'd put my clothes out the night before, favouring a new blue skirt and cream top for work.  Partnered with big drawers to avoid a VPL (husbands, ask your wives what this means) I was prepared for the following morning.  I like to be prepared.  Let's be honest, at our age the fewer shocks we get the better for everyone.

The trouble was, when I looked at the lovely weather, I decided that I would wear my blue ankle grazer trousers with the cream top.  I'd already put the larger than an undiscovered planet knickers on, so just pulled the trousers on.  But horror of horrors.  These trousers are quite low cut, and there was a good 4" expanse of knicker hanging over the waistband.  I looked like I should be 'in da hood' calling everyone 'bruv', so the trousers came off and the voluminous drawers swapped for a smaller pair.

I then took the dogs out.

It was half way round that I realised I had a problem in the knicker department. (Why is it always bloody half way round?  Why can't these things become apparent before the end of my drive?)  The blooming things  had worked their way down until they formed a 1cm ridge all the way round my hips.   Never mind the VPL I'd been worrying about earlier that morning, this made me look like a sausage smuggler, and there was some interesting walking techniques used for the remainder of the walk.

Running back up the stairs (legs at a 90 degree angle) I whipped the trousers off with the offending knickers following suit.  Looking at them, it would appear that my derriere has shrunk because these drawers were just too big.  I did consider a small knot at each side of them to keep them up, but then remembered that I am a grown up woman, and have a choice of knickers which will fit me.

So it was third time lucky this morning.

Which is why I was later than usual for work...

Wednesday, 18 April 2018


So ladies.  Are you ready?

Deckchair cushion brushed free of spiders and any other winter lodgers
Deckchair placed in optimum position
Legs shaved (this after hacking back with machete to trim down winter growth necessary to keep hypothermia at bay)
Sun cream located (at back of bathroom cupboard with other items I'd rather not discuss)
Sun cream checked - still smells slightly coconut like, therefore fine.
Shorts brought out of long time hiding
Shorts don't fit, so buy more (See yesterday's ramblings)
Flip flops found - one slightly chewed by the Tasmanian Devil I share this house with

So yes.  I am ready for the threatened mini heatwave as the week marches on.  I always think that getting your legs out for the first time each year is something which needs to be done alone.  You need to get your legs past the colour of curdled milk (more Stilton in my case with the added benefits of of a Spaghetti Junction of veins) before revealing them to an unsuspecting public.  In my case, it's Miss R who will be seeing them on Friday, so Thursday afternoon is dedicated to improving my legs' hue and putting a rosy glow on my cheeks.  Before you start jumping to conclusions, I will be keeping my new shorts on....it's not those cheeks I'd like to see glowing.

Miss R is coming over on Friday afternoon for a mini 'daycation'.  The deckchairs will be set out.  There will be a bottle of something chilling in the fridge and some good background music blaring out of the kitchen window.  I might even push the boat out and buy a couple of Magnums to pop in the freezer for when our terribly British skin feels it's had enough (fifteen minutes should do it).  Whatever happens, it will be lovely to spend the afternoon with her talking nonsense and having a fine old time.  

There is only one thing which might spoil our little afternoon holiday and that is the husband.  He has a habit of plonking himself down on my deckchair after I've just applied my sun cream and positioned myself for maximum sun exposure.  And then he wants to chat...

Men just don't get the whole sunbathing thing do they?  

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Don't speak...

Now I have recovered from fighting for the Free World on Saturday night (well, the part of it which dyes its roots, wears varifocals and likes a sensible shoe) I have had to admit to the children what I was doing.  Reactions varied from 'Oh.  Dear.  God', to, 'Mumpty, you're a legend'.  (My personal favourite).  Will I do it again?  Well of course I will, just as soon as the corns on my left foot have subsided and I can walk to the car without wincing.  

The husband is still loitering around the house waiting for his next job to start.  It's a bit like an actor, turning down the advert work because it's beneath him.  The husband hasn't got to the stage where he's saying to Mrs Clutterbuck down the road, 'A blocked sink Mrs C?  But darling, I am an artiste', but should he, then there will be hell to pay....

As he was around yesterday, and only having to put up with the usual verbal castigation from his eternally patient bookkeeper, Mrs B-T, he offered to do all of the dog walking so that I could have a bit of an afternoon off after work.  This was great news, as I have been wanting to go into Reading and look for some clothes to fit my more streamlined figure.  Not loads of stuff, you understand, but just a couple of 'bits'. ('Bits' is a  phrase which implies that the items bought are small, insignificant and cheap, whereas we ladies know that 'bits' normally means having to buy more hangers and hiding the bags for several weeks.  'Bits' are always about timing, as we all know).

So my bits were three pairs of shorts, one pair of work trousers and a pair of yoga pants (the ones I am wearing at the moment are very baggy, and as they are grey, they make my legs look like they belong to a wrinkled old elephant.  So pretty meagre really.  I suppose I'm being cautious as there is still a little way to go, but I erred on the side of snug (ever the optimist) and parted with my hard earned pennies.

Getting back into the lift, there was a lady already in there.  As the doors closed, she started pressing all of the buttons, tutting, and then starting over again.  This is just what you need after three hours in H&M, someone with OCD in charge of the lift buttons.  The lift finally stopped and the doors opened and I leapt out like a Thomson's Gazelle, shouting 'thank you' behind me.

So I was back to where I had started, on the ground floor and no nearer to my car languishing on the second. The other lift turned up, and I got into this one with a man and two boys.  They were incredibly badly behaved (and I quote, 'I'm going to s**t on your head when you do your laces up next), and the dad told one of them off for sticking his feet in the gap between door and floor, 'They are Burberry for Christ' sake Eric, so just stop it.  This lady doesn't want to see you ruin your best shoes'.

How I stopped myself from saying that I would have loved to have seen Eric with his head stuck between the doors, the two of them repeatedly banging against his daft upper class ears is anyone's guess.

There is a risk that I might be growing up I suppose...