Cutting back on dieting

At present I’ve got a schedule and lifestyle that bounces all over the place. The research shows that this is the worse possible way to stay well or slim. So, I’ve asked for and just been given a copy of the Hairy Bikers dieting book.

The Radio Times interview that sadly hasn’t been repeated in the book had about why they did it. Both had become overweight, one ran out of tablets (statins or betablockers) and went to borrow one from the other. At which point the wife of the other went… loud.

As she pointed out, there are now too many people, including those she loves, whose lives depend on taking tablets every day, when the damage has been done by themselves and can still be undone, but instead they go on taking the tablets. Do they think there will be an inexhaustable supply? Do they think a tablet will always be able to stablise everything? Cos with the damage already sat there, one day they’ll have something new that can’t be…

So they wrote a dieting book. And being the Hairy Bikers who take food seriously, this is a book that doesn’t use sweeteners. Or skimmed milk. Or blandness.

Instead they use sugar and cream, with chapters each on pies, puddings and ‘fakeaways’.

Now that is a diet I can get behind!

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New things

We should always try new things.

And in this spirit, I have just finished reading my first Jeffrey Archer novel. Actually, it’s his memoir of time spent in Belmarsh high security prison. I flicked through a copy and decided to buy and read it when I saw that it had proper statistics in about how much is spent on food a day etc. Don’t think I’ll read the next one – would spoil the positive feelings about this one. Especially after the named researcher has apparently been hauled up since for plagarism.

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There’s trouble brewing

The household has acquired a ‘make your own wine’ starter kit for Christmas. Sold with everything needed and complete instructions apparently. This was in retaliation to hints that someone wanted to start distilling things, which if it goes wrong besides being illegal will take out the optic nerve of the drinker. I felt that this was not a good idea.

First step was to download the real instructions from the company as they’d forgotten to include them, which in hindsight didn’t bode well.

Either we could follow the steps required or the volumes required. As we’d never done it before we decided on a combination of the two…

…We now have a living room that smells of fermenting alcohol (think student loos after a heavy drinking session) and it is a good thing that we already had a dark red carpet as the bottle isn’t quite big enough to contain all the bubbles. Timings are a bit off as the wine will only ferment between 20-30oC which in the icy blast of where we live means that instead of 24/7 it’s only doing something for a couple of hours a day then stops and sulks.

Will let you know the results. Next we’re trying pear cider, if we ever get the colour off.

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Happy New Year!

Back from time away, renewed, refreshed and laiden with detritus from a tip to Ikea. We don’t have one round here, so when we passed one up north we popped in (10am) before the fighting started (3pm) and got a bunch of cabinets that are now cluttering the living room while we work out which plasterboard walls will hold them. Elsewhere the new ‘shoe racks’ that we have stacked to 2.40m are doing stirling work as smaller shelves. All part of the New Year’s Resolution to go through stuff and tidy things up a bit.

The bathroom is back on the agenda. The plumbing all now works and it’s gaining a huge cabinet to stop us tripping over what’s piled on the floor. The current intrigue is the soap which arrived in a box marked ‘fun’ and turns out to be a luridly-dyed non-newtonian fluid when wet, so the harder it’s scooped the faster is stays. A lesson in physics to start the day!

And a lesson to southern drivers. When entering Yorkshire, make sure there’s antifreeze in the windscreen wash. Otherwise the windscreen goes opaque. I even extracted an offer that next time I could bring Dragon, as a hardened car of experience and not one of these soft comfort things used only to warmer climes and urban driving.

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Merry Christmas!

This year, for the first time in a long time, if ever, I now have free reign over a kitchen at Christmas.

Merry Christmas!

GingerbreadHouseFront2014

Not bad for my first effort…

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Renewal

Renewal this time round has actually been about considering which of the clubs and societies I belong to I wish to renew and stay a member of.

For the past few years I got British Museum ‘friends’ membership as a Christmas present as I do make a habit of visiting the exhibitions. But what with serious time constraints and the train ticket to get there requiring £20 and advanced planning, I haven’t been often enough this year to make it worthwhile. But a few days ago I unexpectedly had a some hours to spare in London and after lunch in the members cafe I ran round all three exhibitions quick before they shut as membership gets you into exhibitions free.

First I went to ‘German history’ which included a porcelain rhino, the Bauhaus cradle, original maps and paintings, and a multistorey gilded automaton clock where death strikes the hour as a hint, and an automaton galleon that sails across the table saluting as it goes past. Very weird. Then to the Chinese exhibition stuffed full of ink paintings, porcelain and a host of gravegoods that haven’t been seen outside China. Then on to Ancient Lives which had the 8 CT scanned mummies showing interesting (usually tooth-related) pathophysiology (hence why they’re dead), with other information about them. Saw that one last because I knew if I didn’t I’d never get round to the other two.

Staying part of English Heritage so far – have had many jaunts round castles.

But after many years, I’ve resigned from exec of my local Ramblers Association and don’t plan to renew nationally. The ethos has drifted since I joined. It was a difficult decision, but doing something you love shouldn’t cause stress and unhappiness. Perhaps when the current cycle has run its course and returned back to how it was it’ll be worth rejoining.

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Consolidation

At this time of year most people have chuck-outs. I’m consolidating.

Over the years things have accumulated and this year I’ve spent a lot of time sorting through what I’ve actually got. The little things brought home then put to one side to be used one day are actually being used. I’m finally on to my last piece of soap and right now the bath is running with the last bottle of bubble bath. The last of the ‘German’ coffee, that in transit moved northwards and distilled into the tar-like ‘Swedish’ coffee, has finally been drunk. I hope that’s what it was – couldn’t tell, it was in German. It stayed in the coffee pot after I hit it repeatedly with a spoon anyway.

This all makes room for Christmas. DVDs are featuring heavily this year as they are small, light, portable and don’t go off. I have made the discovery (listen up British readers!) after years of Amazon, that HMV is now actually cheaper for half of the items. HMV’s website is useless, which means that I also get the bonus of a poor pink-clad soul who’s paid to be nice to me ambling round on my behalf doing the more difficult reading under all that bright glare. Given the stack I left with I don’t see them complaining.

In more domestic matters the saga of the bathroom continues. The sink had blocked, probably with hair, so we unblocked it. All this did was highlight that it was blocked further down and now the plug hole seal leaks. All washing and teeth cleaning is now done in the kitchen, to the surprise of the neighbours. It turns out that the mould was structural and that ‘plumbers mate’ should not be messed with. I’m tempted to just cover the entire bathroom in the stuff in the hope of creating some water-tight seal inside the door.

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