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Showing posts from January, 2017

Elastic love...

I am pleased to report that after two and a bit weeks of moving a bit more and eating a bit less (sounds so easy when you say it like that) my trousers are starting to feel a little looser.  Saying that they are a 'little looser' implies that there was an element of looseness before I started, so let me rephrase that.....my trousers are no longer cutting off the circulation around my waist.  For the last few months, I have had a great hourglass figure (one where all the sand has dropped to the bottom) but at last I can see tiny harbingers of a reappearing waist.  You know, one of those which goes in and out rather than just round and round whichever way you look at it.

I have a favourite pair of work trousers which spent most of yesterday afternoon being hoisted up to avoid making me look like the Penguin in Batman (the Danny de Vito one).  I like these because they have a half elasticated waistband.  I'm not old enough to reach out for full waistband elastication just yet…

Stone cold...

The husband is in trouble.
Several weeks ago, I asked him whether he could check the levels of the oil tank as I was concerned it was getting low.  This is the sole source of any heating or hot water in this house, so as you can imagine, it's quite vital that it's fuelled up at all times.  To give you some idea, this was about the same time that I asked him to pump up my tyres, and refill my washer bottle in my car.  Both of these jobs were done by me two weeks ago, so perhaps I should have checked the oil tank at the same time?  Mind you two leaking bathrooms and a boiler service were also on the list of 'things to do' so there is no way I was expected to be the one ticking them all off the bloody list.
On Sunday, I reminded him again - now I know that there are some of you reading this who would call this nagging.  I would say it is more of a gentle reminder, as I fully appreciate the stresses of his normal workaday life... Yes, alright, I was nagging, but this time…

Tomorrow will be kinder...

I took the husband to see the sequel to Trainspotting on Friday evening.  This was a long awaited film, but I'll be very honest with you, apart from the obvious scenes (carpet, toilet) I couldn't remember much of the first one.  Now's let's face it, in 1996 I had one two year old and another almost on the way, so a film about Scottish drug addicts wouldn't have been high up on my list of preferred viewing.  I would imagine that Teletubbies would have been wall to wall in our house around then.  I am sure that they would have been much funnier if they had been nurturing a habit of some sort (rather than just carrying a red handbag) but as I say, Trainspotting was never right up there for me at that time.

As years have raced by, I have caught up with the film, but as I sat in the cinema with a very giddy husband (who had managed to eat his way through half his bodyweight in ice cream before the trailers finished) I realised that none of what I was about to watch was …

Where I am...

I am a broken woman.

This is what four hours of retail therapy in Milton Keynes does for you.  Not only were my feet killing me yesterday, my poor ears had also narrowly escaped being chewed off by daughter number two.  This ability to talk non stop is one she inherits from my side of the family, as the husband often tells me (when he can get a word in edgeways), so I shouldn't be surprised really.  I had gone there with a short list of two items, one of which I managed to buy, but I managed to supplement my meagre planned purchase with various other bits and pieces, none of which were necessary, but hey, since when did 'necessity' become a requirement when buying something pretty?

As I predicted in yesterday's blog, sure enough we both had bags coming back to the car, and yes, I paid, as all good mums do when they visit their offspring.  But it was so lovely to see her, and catch up on everything (even the stuff I don't really understand as befitting a woman of 53…

April fool...

So it was scales day yesterday.......another 2lbs gone this week (I am seeing a pattern here) so if this carries on, I should be at my target weight in another six weeks or so.  To give myself the chance to tumble off the biscuit-wagon a couple of times, I am setting myself the aptly named April Fool's Day to reach my happy weight.  When this day arrives, nothing much will change on the clothes front, other than they will be a little longer as they are no longer stretched to their limit horizontally.  My jeans will have turn-ups, my jumpers will become sweater dresses and my swimsuit will be illegal and immoral...

With all this dieting and exercise going on, I was thrilled when the husband told me this week that he was going out mountain biking with the other 'man boys' who live nearby. This was planned for Thursday night, and I had assumed that by the time I got back from the pool, he would be gone.  Imagine my surprise then, when I crawled across the threshold, a broken …

Walking on a dream...

Poor old Percy, the older of the two fuzzballs is feeling rather sorry for himself.  He had to have a claw removed yesterday, and I'm not saying that the vet over-bandaged his paw, but his leg looks like a tent mallet and is causing him to list slightly to the left as he walks.  Even funnier, is that Reg, the younger fuzzball who can count the Tasmanian Devil amongst his relatives, has taken to limping too, and runs away if we try to touch his paw.  This is sibling rivalry at its worst, and is providing daughter number one and son number two with much entertainment. 

Unfortunately, Percy's injury means that I have had to cancel my walk with Schnauzerfest on Sunday.  This charity need lots of extra donations at the moment to pay for some difficult treatment for two new arrivals who have had a hell of a life up to now.  All the money raised on Sunday will go to help these two in their first steps toward a life without fear, pain or suffering.  If you have anything to spare, her…

Splish splash...

The husband has been back at school this week, reminding himself how to be a gas engineer.  It's been lovely seeing him skip out to his car in his grey shorts, gaily swinging his satchel and holding a polished apple for the teacher.  OK, back to reality.  He's headed off each morning this week muttering about the 'bloody London traffic' under his breath, and something about teaching your grandmother how to suck eggs. Coming home each evening, he's not been much better, still moaning about the traffic and the pedantic teacher.  By the sounds of it, the apple should be replaced with half a pale ale, bag of pork scratchings and a magazine subscription to Pomposity Weekly.

So for the last few nights he has been squirrelled away in his office studying, desperate to show the aforementioned teacher how good he is.  This has been accompanied with a few bottles of beer each night, which is most out of character for the husband who rarely drinks Monday to Friday.  As long as…

Waterloo...

I was a bit rushed getting into work yesterday.  This always happens when I get up earlier than usual as I feel as though I have loads of time so can do all those little jobs which pile up.  In reality, what actually happens is that I do one or two small jobs (put the washing on, change the bed) and then spend more time having my breakfast and chatting to the dogs.  It was spending more time with my meagre breakfast which proved my downfall yesterday morning, as I had an extra mug of tea...

Having walked the dogs around a chilly, pink skied field for forty minutes, I was already needing the loo before I got back home.  Unfortunately, there wasn't time for the required comfort break, so I headed off to work, telling myself as I held myself aloft going over the sleeping policemen that I could take advantage of Binland's facilities before starting my morning's work.

Getting to work, I flashed my pass at the entry pad.  Nothing.  Flashed it again, just more slowly this time, b…

Blurred lines...

Looking in my mirror (the magnifying one which blows my face up to the size of the Isle of Wight so that I can put my mascara on without ending up looking like the Bearded Lady) I pondered on how long it takes me to get my face ready to greet the day.  Almost ten minutes of scraping, smoothing, cleansing, drying, moisturizing etc etc, finished off with some colouring in.  It wasn't always like that you know, and I have worked out that as every decade as passed, so has it become necessary, if not vital, to introduce another layer of skin care to stop me looking like one of those Shar-Pei dogs (see picture below for clarification). 

If I go back to my teens, it was just Clearasil.  Not the modern one you get now.  Oh no, this was just like paint stripper, so moisturizer had to be applied almost immediately afterwards, before the face got an almost papyrus feel to it.  I always used to nick the Mother's face cream.  Oil of Ulay as it was known before the marketing department got…

Move over darling....

Well. it's been an interesting week.

Son number two dropped a small bombshell into the conversation on Monday which would have stopped me in my tracks, had I not been driving down the A4155 at the time.  Having been successfully employed in a great paying job for a couple of months, he has decided to go back to university.  My initial reaction of 'WHAAAAAAAAAAT?????' was tempered down somewhat to 'Oh.  What's made you decide on that then?'  Turns out he wants a degree and to just try again, and, in his words, 'experience the whole university thing'.

Now I have just recovered from the premature exit from Brighton University, five weeks after dropping him there amidst the detritus and squalor as befitting university accommodation, so I have to confess, I was slightly concerned to think of him going back after such a bad experience the first time round.  I was very relieved that he wasn't thinking of returning to Brighton, choosing instead, a universit…

Bare...

Did you watch Mr Trump make all his promises on Friday?  One things bugs me about him.  Well, obviously, there are many things which bug me about him, but there is one matter which is a clear winner in the bugbear stakes.  It's his hands.  Not that they're small (we all know how this can be a good thing some times), it's more the colour of them. 

I appreciate that like many of us Mr T likes a tan as it makes him look younger and healthier (I'm not convinced).  However, why stop at the shirt's top button?  Surely it would make sense to tan anything which might stick out of clothing some time in the day, such as feet and hands.  When he applies the tan to his face, he must wear gloves to apply it.  If I were to give Mr T one piece of advice, it would be to leave the gloves off. After all, if his hands and face were all orange, we might at least wonder whether he's been away somewhere, rather than just shouting 'Fake Bake!' at the television every time we…

Who's laughing now...

I think that my stomach, mouth and derriere have joined forces to make dieting as difficult as possible for me.  I have this theory that two of them believe that the more the mouth does in the way of eating, then the less the stomach and derriere will be forced to do exercise, for fear of the elastic giving up the ghost in my yoga pants.

But I am fighting my corner stoically, and have said 'No' to so many things this week.  Mainly joy and happiness, but I mustn't get bitter, just fitter and less wide.  Now I always weigh in on a Friday as it means that if I have a foody weekend, then I have at least four days to claw my waistline back.  So I was genuinely quite excited about getting on the bathroom scales yesterday morning.  Stripping down to the altogether (don't hold that image too long as it will put you off your breakfast) I gingerly stepped onto the scales, one foot at a time, slowly and carefully, exhaling as I did so (every little helps).  I did this three more …

Fire and water...

Since I have tamed my curls into some level of obedience, I seem to have spent a disproportionate amount of time in the hairdresser's, parting with sizeable amounts of money to keep me on the straight  and (not so) narrow.  I came to the conclusion last week that I frequent the salon far too often, and I think it's because of two reasons.

1. I'm afraid that I will damage my hair with the lava-heated straighteners which the sales lady in Boots told me were the best ones. 

Yes, I can imagine they would be the best ones for that price, but you have to bear in mind that they have other uses, such as tattooing a third degree burn on your forehead just below the hairline and melting the bedroom carpet, making a furniture move necessary.  These straighteners also defy all common sense as they have a water tank attached.  Now forgive me if I remember this incorrectly, but mixing water and electricity is not meant to be very clever, is it?  I know that science and technology have …

La la means I love you...

There are some days when everything goes right.  Yesterday was one of those days.  It started well, with the husband offering to do the early morning woofer walk.  Now I never mind doing this, and it sets my day up really well.  But this is as long as it's not raining, when an array of headgear has to be worn to stop me looking like a psychopathic stick of candy floss.  Because he did this for me yesterday morning, it meant that I could scoot into town before work to buy fresh bread for my tea party later in the day.  I also had time to grab a coffee before heading up to Binland for another morning in the world of waste. 

Everything went to plan at work, and I finally stuck my head over the parapet which is known as my email inbox for the first time this week.  Master P has started calling me 'mate'.  In some ways I quite like this, as it makes me feel 'down with the kids', but on the other hand, as a woman of 53, it does seem a little odd.  Perhaps Ma'am migh…

Short people...

So Day Two of the 'Got to Get Back into My Jeans' challenge went rather better than Day One. There was a mid afternoon close shave, but I managed to stay on the straight and narrow.  When I tell you what was on the tricky road I travelled, you will understand why I needed a bloody medal.

Later on today, I have some lovely friends coming for afternoon tea.  These ladies and I have history stretching back over fifteen years, with our sons, who are all now 19, being the common denominator.  Now these ladies knew me when I was making two hundred cakes a week, so their expectations are high with regard to the baked goods on offer.  Let me tell you what I prepared for them yesterday afternoon...

Lemon Drizzle Cake - I am famous for my Drizzle, at least I think that's what people are talking about

Chocolate Fudge Butterfly Cakes with White Chocolate Stars - enough said...

Iced Sponge with Buttercream and Raspberry Jam - this combination is the best ever...in the world

Homemade Fr…

Red...

Before going out for my nephew Wormy's birthday lunch on Sunday, I spent a most unpleasant hour facing up to the truth.

I have put weight on....

Now we all expect to put on a bit over the Christmas holidays, don't we ladies, but this far exceeded anything acceptable to the clothes in my wardrobe, which very kindly laughed in my face as I took them from their hangers.  In fact in reminded me of Michael McIntyre's sketch about the herbs and spices...'Ever been out of the cupboard?'  'No.  You?'  'No.  Never...'

I have clothes in there which are labelled my 'One Day' clothes, referring to some time in the distant future when they might fit, and then there are the old faithfuls, which never let me down whatever I weigh.  These are the clothes which tend to have 5% Elastane or 100% Spandex on the label - always a winner.   

Looking at the rails, I mulled over the amount of things which actually fit me right now, and it was pitiful.  Having given…

Divine wind...

It looks like my cold has decided to restrict itself to my throat and chest area.  This is a great relief to me, because past experience has shown me exactly how red my nose can go, when subjected to vigorous wiping from a box of tissues.  Aloe Vera or not, it could still double as a landing light for Heathrow given half a chance, and my nose blowing is so loud, that people have been known to ask whether the QE2 is in town...

But I'm soldiering on, as we women do, finding the strength to go to yet another local hostelry for more celebratory munchies.  This time is was for my nephew Wormy's birthday.  He was 27 this week, and although now a strapping young man with a gorgeous girlfriend and a place of his own, I still remember those lovely days when I was very involved in his very early years.  I used to babysit for Miss R on occasions when Wormy was very small, and I have fond memories of teaching him to point out a rather large gorilla in a book after I'd asked him which …

Cold wind blows...

You will be incredibly concerned to hear that I have succumbed to the common cold.  This is courtesy of the husband, who will insist on giving me a hug and a kiss every morning before leaving for work.  He had promised me that he was germ free after his 'I may not make it to the weekend' cold over Christmas, but it would seem that, as they used in say in the old Saturday Westerns, 'white man speak with forked tongue'.

So I am feeling very sorry for myself, and spent yesterday afternoon stretched out on the sofa with a Schnauzer blanket (this is a real Schnauzer, and not one of those odd looking fleecy things you can buy on the internet) watching a very odd American boxset with daughter number one, whilst multi tasking with a spot of internet shopping.  This is always guaranteed to make me feel a little better, and took my mind off the razor blades currently residing in my throat.

Of course I am blaming the husband, but there are a few others who I could point the finge…

Off and on...

I had an interesting walk with the furballs yesterday morning after Thursday night's 'blizzard'.  Suitably attired in enough clothing to make bending at the knee almost impossible, I headed out just as it was becoming light.  Now I need you use your imagination here a bit.  To get to the field where I walk the boys in the morning, I need to walk across the lawn, over the wasteland where once my hedge grew, over the road and into the field.  The first two bits were fine, a little bit brittle underfoot, but nothing too worrying.

However...it was the road which caused me the most trouble.  I tend to keep the dogs on their lead until I get to the field, as even with their collar torches (terribly middle class aren't we) I worry about the early birds leaving for work in their cars.  As we got to the road, the two dogs, so excited to be out in the snow, dragged me across the road.  My wellies, not the grippiest of footwear gave up at the first bit of ice, and I traversed acr…

Snowflake...

Well I was wrong about the snow.  It was fleeting and pathetic, but if I had to argue a point, as I did with Mr W at Binland yesterday afternoon, then yes, it snowed.  One of my neighbours, ever the optimist, was outside building a snowman with his children.  Looking at the amount of snow out there, I would imagine that the end result resembled a snow gnome rather than a beautifully round-tummied snowman with a strategically placed carrot. I would imagine that a couple of raisins and a used match would have been all there was room for...

I had cause for son number two to follow me in the car today.  Nothing too serious, but I was forced to travel at 30mph with my hazard lights on while he followed me with his on.  When we reached our destination, he thanked me for being so thoughtful and going so slowly.  I didn't have the heart to tell him that I was travelling at my normal speed, and had forgotten he was behind me.  I like 30mph, about as much as I like 27mph...well you can'…

Wooly bully...

Apparently, at some time today, all hell is going to break loose on the weather front with gale force winds, thunder snow and wall to wall disruption across the county.  Drivers are being advised to pack shovels and a Thermos in their car, just in case they get trapped in the expected blizzards, and people are being told not to drive unless absolutely necessary.

What is more likely to happen is that there will be a feather like dusting of the white stuff, and the little old lady who lives down the road will skid on an ice puddle outside her house as she turns out of her drive, steering her car into a nearby hedge at around 5mph.  She will then slowly reverse out of the hedge, and continue her onward journey.

Am I a cynic?  I don't think so.  It's just that 53 years have taught me that this time of year is called 'winter' and appropriate weather should be expected.  What we all seem to suffer from is 'contagious weather syndrome'.  Just because Scotland and Wale…

Move that body...

Well I did it....

I almost didn't, driving around the village looking for another village hall, having gone to the only one I knew, I nearly despaired of ever finding it, but eventually the penny dropped, and village hall number two was found.  It's called the Youth Hall, mainly because it doesn't have a licence for alcohol.  I must say, there were times last night when a swift gin and tonic would have gone down well, but, let's not get too far ahead.

So Pilates....how was it?

Well I looked the part and blended in quite nicely with the other ladies who were there.  Only one of them had done Pilates before, so I felt confident that I wouldn't be the worst in the room.  I bagsied a mat at the front - all the other ladies were on the back row, and I did wonder if this was similar to the back row on the school bus.  Would they be flicking the bird at casual walkers by, or singing lewd songs all the way.  Sadly not, but the lovely Alex who was our teacher, had to walk p…

Some sunny day...

Having carted me around the UK over the last three years to various holiday hotspots, most of which have been spend in waterproofs and wellies, the husband shocked me by saying that he felt I deserved a week in the sun, and that I should start looking for somewhere to go. 

Well this was a turn up for the books.  The husband, who fancies himself as something of an Action Man, loving the challenges that a week in torrential rain can bring when accompanied by a mountain bike, a wife and two dogs, hates anything which revolves around a deckchair.  I, on the other hand, relish a week lying horizontally, rolling over every now and again like a hog on a spit to ensure an even tan.  Couple this with a good book, a pool and a friendly waiter and I'm in heaven.

Over the last three years, the husband has encouraged me (this is me being kind, as there is rarely any question asked as to whether I want to climb a 1:3 hill in a gale force 8) to do the following:

Walk the cliff path between Bran…

Bounce it...

When spoken about, the first weekend after the Christmas and New Year hedonism is always preceded with the assumption of, 'Quiet one, this weekend?'  To which the answer is usually, 'Oh yes, nothing organised at all which is lovely'.

The husband and I had arranged a quiet one this weekend, with a quick visit to the cinema on Friday evening being all that was planned.  The rest of the weekend had been allocated to 'jobs'.  The husband's main job for the weekend was to fill in the large craters left by the remains of the massacred hedge which he yanked out last week.  I was getting more and more concerned that we might lose one of the dogs down the deeper one, or worse still, one of the neighbour's smaller children, so I had been pushing for this to be done. 

Several large bags of topsoil had been sitting on the drive for three days, looking like a badly sited cheap rockery, so all that was needed was to unload the soil, and push it across the part of la…

War...

On Friday night, I finally succumbed to agreeing to go and see the latest offering from the Star Wars lot.  You may remember the difficulty I have faced over the years with the husband, as to the explanation of which set of films came first.  When they released number seven last year, there was a lot of muttering from the husband in the cinema as to who was who.  So you can imagine, that when I saw that they had released yet another film, I was a little anxious. 

'It'll be fine', reassured daughter number one.  'It's a stand alone film so it won't matter even if you haven't seen the other films'.  Well this sounded rather promising, so the husband, who is still trying to get into my good books having criticized my Christmas cake for having too much fruit in it (I ask you...) said we should go out for dinner first, then on to the cinema.

We headed down to the The Red Lion (www.redlioncholsey.co.uk) our new favourite hostelry, for dinner. The food was br…

If I could turn back time...

So Fat Friday is no more at Binland.

I have to say, there was a sniff of revolt yesterday as the morning hit the hunger zenith also known as 10.45.  Mrs S (whose idea this was, if you remember) called me to see whether Master B or Master P  were going out for munchies as she was starving.  I did remind her that this was the whole point if you were on a diet (I've been hungry since Tuesday, so I do sympathise).  Unfortunately, the two boys had made New Year's Resolutions to bring lunches into work rather than spending their pocket money on food, so their desks were piled high with goodies.

'Do they want to sell me anything?' asked Mrs S.  Well I'll give Master B his due, he did scan his stash, before saying that he didn't, so poor Mrs S had to go without (or so I thought...)

As I left the office yesterday, I headed down to the Transport office to say goodbye to Mrs S and the rest of the crew.  There was a very disgruntled Mr M down there, looking very crestfalle…

Way down...

Now I have mentioned Pilates to my friends, the floodgates of opinion and wisdom have opened from all and sundry.  Everyone has a story. Everyone is an expert. 

Yesterday, the lovely Mrs L who I work with at Binland, whipped out a box from under her desk.  'This might be useful at your Pilates class next week', she said, handing the flat cardboard box over to me.  I thanked her, and headed back to my office to see what was in there.  Taking it out, it was a round plastic ring with side grips.  I did wonder whether this was one of those instances when someone had used an old box to wrap a new present (I do this all at the time at Christmas and my gifts are a constant source of disappointment to the recipients) and perhaps it wasn't Pilates-related at all.  It looked like a steering wheel from a Mark III Ford Escort to be honest, soI don't think I'll take it to my first lesson.  I can just imagine the teacher taking one look and telling me that the 'car maintena…