Thursday, 18 January 2018

Fixing a hole...

I had a bit of a dilemma yesterday.  I was on my way to meet my lovely sister in law Mrs H for our monthly coffee and catch up, when I chanced to look down at my leggings and tunic, just to check that my vast behind (this said in broad pirate accent if you'd be so kind) was suitably covered.

Horrors.... I had a hole in my leggings half way between my knee and my HRT patch, revealing a small island, so white that you'd think I hadn't seen the sun since 1976.  I didn't have time to go go home and change, nor did I have one of those handy sewing kits in my bag which you can nick from upmarket hotels, so I did what any sensible woman would do, and went back to my car to consider my options.

First of all, I tried pulling the leggings further up my leg so that the hole was hidden by my tunic.  All well and good until I realised that my Harvest Festival Knickers (named thus because 'all is safely gathered in') were now bunched up around my Sheepdog Bra ('round 'em up and point 'em in the right direction') with the ensuing wedgie causing me to walk like John Wayne with piles.  The legging slid down to its original position after five paces, so it was back to the car for Plan B.

Pulling the leggings downwards slightly, I dragged the holy leg down till the offending part was tucked in my boots.  Yet again, this worked well till I started walking, at which point the gusset of my leggings worked its way down my legs so that my walk was very reminiscent of Danny de Vito as The Penguin.

I then tried twisting the leg around, so at least the hole would be on the inside of my leg and less visible from the front, but this also failed miserably.  It would appear that leggings have a set position and will not deviate for any reason.

By now, I had resorted to sitting back in my car, and staring at the hole I suddenly had a light-bulb moment.  Rifling through my bag, I found a black Sharpie pen which I'd used yesterday morning to address a rather large parcel, and I simply coloured in my skin so that it blended in with the leggings.  Hoorah!  Success was mine.

Interesting trying to explain to the husband why I had a marble sized ink blot in the middle of my leg last night though.  It would appear that the ink from a Sharpie pen is extremely resilient and short of getting out an industrial sander, I think it will be good company for my HRT patch for the next few days. 

Looking at my right leg before bedtime last night, with its sticker and abstract colouring in, I was reminded of something which one of my kids might have 'made' for me while at nursery school many years ago.  The husband had the same idea, and started humming the theme tune from Vision on, while frantically waving his hands around in an extremely poor version of the sign language they used to accompany the famous last line each week.

'We're sorry we can't return any of your pictures, but there is a prize for those that are shown'.

No prize for my leg, I'm afraid, just a good scrubbing with a scourer...

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

The chase...

There was a shocking revelation at Binland yesterday.  I stumbled across the other members of the Binland Diet Club, discussing what we'd lost in weight overall the last week.  A most impressive twenty two pounds.

'Wow!' I said, 'That's amazing.'

Then Mrs S looked at me over the top of her glasses and raised her eyebrows, and I suddenly felt a rush of guilt wash over me.  On Monday, I did the equivalent of the bloke on The Chase who takes the really low figure of £200 'just to get back to the team', fully knowing that the prize fund was £10,000 before he bottled.  

If they hadn't taken my weight gain into consideration, we (and I don't include me in that) would have lost twenty four pounds.  I'm not saying that I felt really guilty, but it almost put me off the five Quality Street left languishing in the bottom of the tin yesterday afternoon...

Anyway, onward and upward.  I have a beach holiday less than five months away, so need to get a wriggle on if I'm going to be happy being seen in anything less than a Demis Roussos cast off. (Think bell tent if you're too young to know who I'm referring to).

Now as you all know, I have asthma, and yesterday I went for my annual asthma review.  This is like having an MOT and involved me puffing down various bits of cardboard.  But my favourite bit is when they check whether you can use your inhaler correctly.  One year, while waiting for my review (the appointments were running around half an hour late, and in my defence, I was bored senseless) I calculated roughly how many inhalers I had got through since I started using them back in 1971.  I managed to work it out at around 2000 without the use of my calculator on my phone (this was in the car, hence the boredom).  

'Would you like to demonstrate how you use your inhalers?' she eventually asked.

Do you know how much willpower I needed not to stand on one leg, waving a sock in the air while squirting the inhaler up my nose, all the time singing 'Long-haired Lover from Liverpool' with my eyes crossed?  

But I am a sensible old bird, and I demonstrated very beautifully how well I can take my medicines.  Having proved how responsible I was, she then decided that I was to be put onto a new inhaler, one which did the same job as the two I currently take morning and night.  

My first thought was the saving in costs, swiftly followed by the excitement at the extra space on my dressing table, and then the question as to what I could do with the eight extra seconds I would get each day popped into my brain.

Mustn't eat cake...

Mustn't eat biscuits...

Mustn't eat chocolate...

Just mustn't eat anything really...

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Dead weight...

There was a lot of activity in my house yesterday before I left for work.  This was mainly because I knew that despite a whole hour and three quarters of dieting this week, the Binland scales would not have good news for me at the weekly weigh in.

As the husband is back to working in London, I was up with him at 5.30 yesterday morning.  I should mention at this point that it would be more than possible for me to get up at 8.00 (especially as son number two is still here and on dog walking duty) but I like to send him on his merry way with a loving kiss and wave from the front door.  This ensures that he is reminded each day just how lucky he is to be married to me.  No harm in reinforcing this on a daily basis I feel.

So, he was out of the way by 6.00 and having showered and got dressed (same outfit as last Monday so that it would be a true reflection of my face filling week) I approached the scales with some trepidation.  Alright, I admit it, if I'd had a loaded revolver, I may have shot my scales through its black hearted battery pack, but instead, I tiptoed up to it, saying out loud as I approached that it should 'be nice to me, or I might start wearing my stiletto heels when I climb aboard'.  Stepping up onto it as gently  as though it were a bed of nails, I prised my eyes opened and looked down.

Oh marvellous.  A pound heavier than last week, and I didn't even have my shoes on. On the plus side, my hair was still wet and I'd had a cup of tea.  Surely that would be enough to tip the scales back in my favour over the course of the morning.

The next two hours were spent drying my hair, running up and down the stairs with various armfuls of washing and ironing, vacuuming the lounge and getting rid of that cup of tea (without being too graphic).  Popping my shoes back on and approaching the scales like a fifteen year old who's been told to tidy their room, I climbed on.

Isn't the human body an incredible thing?  All that running round, hair drying  and a comfort break, and all I'd managed to do was to gain another pound (still no shoes on at this point I should say). Resigning myself to abject humiliation and scorn from my Binland Diet Club colleagues, I went into work and waited while Mrs S got the scales out and ushered me on.  

Well it wasn't as bad as I thought.  A one and a half pound gain on last week, and I vowed to be a better dieter this week (or just a dieter full stop, never mind a better one).

Did I mention that I went without breakfast as well yesterday?  

Oh boy, it could have been so much worse...

Monday, 15 January 2018

Feed me...

After Saturday night's curry at Miss R's, followed by a large slice of Colin the Caterpillar, I said to the husband on the way home that I 'must not eat anything tomorrow to balance out all the food I've eaten today'.  

This lasted until Sunday morning, when I woke up feeling like I could eat a scabby donkey.  Throwing a bowl of Special K lookalike cereal down my neck, I remembered my comment from the night before.

'Must not eat anything tomorrow', had be be downgraded, with the new mantra now being:

'Must not eat anything else today'.

I was back to dog walking this weekend after being grounded by the husband for fear I might get ill again, so I had dusted off my Fit-bit and attached it about my person.  Those of you who have been with me for some time will remember the two glorious days back in 2016 when I was leading the Fit-bit Weekly Step Challenge.  This was because I had attached it to one of the dogs, thus achieving enough steps to imply I'd walked to Cardiff and back over two days.  Anyway, I got rumbled, and the damn thing was relegated to the Drawer for Everything in my office, where it remained until Saturday.  

As you know, the husband had planned a dog walk yesterday, ending up in one of our favourite eating hostelries.  'I'm not having any lunch', I said.

The husband then came out with one of his favourite sayings when faced with yours truly on a diet.  'You've got to eat something'.  Part of me wanted to tell him that like a brown bear, I'd probably eaten enough over the last couple of months to take me through to Spring, but I backed down.  'OK.  But I must just have a small sandwich.  And no alcohol'.

So for the second time that day, the mantra was downgraded.

We had a great walk, accompanied by daughter number one, and son number two met us at the cafe for lunch.   By the time we got there, I was ravenous, and I stated, rather too loudly, that I was just going to have something from their Light Bite section.  A vegetable based soup perhaps, or a salad.

Roast pork was what ended up in front of me.  Roast pork with green veg and roasted carrots and potatoes.  All washed down with a tasty glass of Malbec (no Dry January for me, ladies, December was dry enough).  This was then followed by a piece of White Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake with clotted cream.

'Mustn't eat anything else today', I said, releasing the top button of my jeans, and then I had a light bulb moment.  Reaching inside my t-shirt I released the Fit-bit from my bra strap (the best place to clip it apparently, especially when there is no chance of any extra curricular jiggling to distort the step count).  10,094 steps.  Pretty impressive.  But it was the calories used up for the day which I liked better.  1,845.  More than enough to allow for those roast potatoes I reckoned.

Of course, it's weigh in at Binland Diet Club this morning.

Wish me luck.  A hollow leg might be useful too...

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Keep on running...

Aah, Date Night...

Conjures up a lot of images, doesn't it?  Possibly not one of sitting in the smallest cinema ever (five rows of eight seats) nursing a fistful of junk food (nachos for the husband, ice cream for me) watching a film about a megalomaniac and the removal of an ear.  Yes, we went to see the film about John Paul Getty on Friday night.  It was a bit of a last minute decision, and I'm sure that the husband ran the gauntlet through at least three speeding cameras between home and High Wycombe, but it was worth going to see.  

The trip to the cinema was just the first part of the Date Weekend (the husband likes to play big), and as I write this, there is still much more to look forward to.  He has planned lunch at my favourite pub today, which is to be preceded by a damn long walk with the dogs in the woods.  As they are allowed to sit with us in the pub while we eat, the theory is that they will both be so knackered that they won't bark at any other dogs in the restaurant.  This could be applied to the husband also, come to think of it.

There is another reason for walking first though....

Some months ago, the husband and I went for lunch and did the walk after eating a rather impressive Sunday lunch, followed by a very unnecessary pudding, all washed down with a pint and a half of cider.  The first twenty minutes of the walk passed me by in a blur as I was slightly puddled.  The husband likes to remind me about this on occasion, as I was enthralled by a rhododendron bush and refused to walk past it until I'd taken several photos and pocketed a cutting (which I found in my coat pocket three days later, completely dried out and of no use to anyone).  As the fresh air started to mix with the cider, the next twenty minutes were spent giggling around the wood, while the husband smiled apologetically at anyone who had the misfortune to be coming in the opposite direction.

And then disaster struck...

The last half hour was spent needing the loo, and coming up with excuses as to why I couldn't possibly go behind a tree.  Have you ever tried to have an emergency comfort break when you are walking dogs?  I have had to do this just once, and I will never forget the look on my dogs' faces.  I'm not sure who was more embarrassed, to be honest.

Anyway, I wasn't stopping for anyone or any reason, so the last half hour was done at a smart trot so that we could get back to the pub and make use of their facilities (and have another cider to reward me for making it back there in one piece).

It's good to be doing some exercise this weekend, as it's the Binland Diet Club weigh in on Monday morning.  Whoever has lost the most weight gets £6.00, being the total amount that the six of us put in last week.  

Unfortunately, there is no prize for the person who has managed to put on three pounds this week.

Did I mention the curry takeaway on Saturday night?

No, I thought not...

Friday, 12 January 2018


Someone hit my car today. Not a massive 'I didn't see you there' kind of hit, nor was it a 'Oversized Bag Attack', or 'Jealous Lover Key Scrape.  The damage looked like it had been left behind by an eighteen inch hobbit pushing a shopping trolley with a wonky wheel.  If it had been one inch lower, it wouldn't even have touched my car, so to say it's a little frustrating is an understatement.

The good news is that with a bit of T-Cut (not too sure how long that's been in the garage, but an element of assistance with a chopstick had to be applied to get the green gunk to leave the sanctuary of the plastic bottle) and an old duster, I managed to polish most of it out.   I also managed to T-Cut my hair at the same time, which became apparent just as I was leaving for Pilates last night.  Green hair...nice...

Bearing in mind I managed to do this in semi daylight, hunkered down on the gravel with the two fur-balls thinking that sitting on my head would be a grand wheeze, I was fairly impressed with what I achieved with my old duster and a bit of elbow grease.  Unless you are under two feet tall, you'd never know it was there. 

So a good day was had at Binland yesterday,  I am now completely back to normal (ahem, ahem) and really enjoyed the banter with my bin buddies.  You'll remember from Monday that six of us have embarked on a weight loss regime courtesy of the Binland Diet Club.  

Yesterday, I happened to notice that a couple of them are pulling out all of the stops to ensure that they achieve the greatest loss on Monday when we weigh in again.  Mr G was wearing shorts and looked rather rosy, so I had to assume that he'd either been out running at lunchtime, or he'd come out in sympathy with every other middle aged lady who works in the building.  Mrs S, who I was relying on to keep me company at the bottom of the weight loss league told me that she was going to the gym for two and a half hours after work.  Talk about letting the side down...

So I may have to raise my game.  Lying on the floor and huffing and puffing for an hour at Pilates each week may not be enough, and I shall have to look at alternatives to achieve a solid weight loss on Monday.  These could include:

Taking my shoes off when I get on the scales
Wearing a bikini to work for weigh in
Having a drastic hair cut
Not wearing a bra (this will mean having to wear deeper knickers, but may work
No food for the next 72 hours
Donate a kidney
Lose a leg

Desperate times, and all that...

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Through the barricades...

So as another day of recuperation dawned bright and early yesterday, I suddenly realised that my breathing wasn't akin to an acting extra on Jaws (watched this again at the weekend...just how much shallow breathing is acceptable?)  Perhaps, just perhaps, I was getting better...

As yesterday wore on at Binland, I started to feel like a butterfly, emerging from its chrysalis and unfolding to reveal its full beauty.  OK.  Let's be honest, it was more like the slimy creature coming out of John Hurt's stomach in Alien, but it was a real improvement on the last ten days, that's for sure.

The trouble with feeling better, is that you feel you are now well, which as we all know, couldn't be further from the truth.  A short sojourn into town for vacuum cleaner bags (it's just one long glamour-fest in my shoes) and it was necessary to stop at the cafe for a cup of tea and a piece of fortifying Bakewell Tart.  Suitably revived, I then headed off to the hell which you might know as Waitrose, where I shuffled round slowly picking things off the shelves.  I must confess to spending a most pleasant five minutes at the 'Special Buy' section, where all the unsold expensive Christmas tat resided.  It took some doing persuading myself that a pack of four coffee frothers wasn't really necessary, but, I digress..  

Some years ago, I came to the conclusion that Waitrose is merely a meeting place for 'women of a certain age'.  This wouldn't be my age, you understand, but a couple of decades older.  Small groups of round, elderly ladies standing in the middle of the aisle chatting, with no thought as to who might need to get past them.  There's usually a barricade of brightly coloured wheeled baskets parked up next to them like a row of floral Rottweilers, while they discuss one of the following:

1. Who died over Christmas
2. Who might die now it's getting colder
3. Ethel Rogers' varicose veins
4. The price of everything (pre-war, post-war and future)
5. Parking (most of them walk into town so not relevant, but always worth a grumble or two)

So.  There I am, hyper ventilating with a basket of Big Soup (the husband's lunch of choice), with a formidable wall of formaldehyde and support stockings in my way.

'Excuse me, ladies,' I panted, 'could I just get through?'  

Nothing.  They just carried on regardless, and not wanting to interrupt their lovely chat regarding Florrie who had gone away for Christmas and not told the newspaper boy, I gently squeezed past the ringleader (chest like a bolster and legs like Red Rum) and made  my apologies.

Then our eyes met.  'No need to push past me', she said.  'That's the trouble with you youngsters' (this was the cue for general nodding and mm-mmming), 'you're always in such a hurry'.'s all relative I suppose...