Wednesday, August 24, 2016



Pouring rain today so I stayed at home. In the afternoon I sat in front of the TV catching up on America's Next Top Model (the end of cycle 21) and did my editing, snuggled under my lap rug while the rain beat against the windows. Rather nice.

Another good day of heathy eating. I am eating enormous amounts of vegetables. When you can't eat processed junk you have to replace it with something, and I am trying to eat moderate amounts of protein and fat. So the gaps are filled with vegetables. I think I had nine "servings" of vegetables yesterday. I find they are much nicer when covered in something tasty... garlic cream sauce... satay sauce (home made of course). Not exactly low calorie but delicious! Or at least lots of spices. I have not yet learned to love vegetables for their own flavours except for a few.

Tim's father goes to poetry nights where you can get up and read your own poems, there is one tonight near Tim's work so he has gone to it to support his dad. The things you do for family!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Book Club


I finally made it to book club! After going once then missing three months, no one remembered me. But that is ok. The book was "All the Birds Singing" by someoneorother, it starts with a young woman living in fear as a recluse, with something or someone killing the sheep on her farm. It interweaves her lonely life now with flashbacks going further and further back, as she constantly flees from her past, until we finally get back far enough to see how it all started. Depressing book. Lots of sad sex as a prostitute, being held captive by a psycho customer, sheep on the farm being mutilated, hiding knives and hammers all round the house so she have a weapon to hand if she needs it. Everyone in the book club hated it. I at least thought it was well written, although I didn't like the subject matter any more than anyone else. It was nice to get out for a chat with other adults.

Yesterday we had icy rain, it was a bit warmer today so I walked up to the meeting then did some editing in the library, but by the time I walked home it was overcast and cold again. Well, it is winter still! And nothing like so cold as Canberra was. A jumper is enough over my shirt, don't need singlet and shirt and jumper and overcoat with gloves and beanie and scarf! So it's really not that cold.

I've eaten very cleanly for two days in a row, I know this evening and tomorrow will be the danger times as I suddenly go into sugar withdrawal/carb flu/starvation when my body realises I'm filling up on vegetables. But I will be strong! I'm eating plenty of fresh healthy food, just not the processed junk my body currently craves.

Saturday, August 20, 2016



Tim went over to his father's place to help him pull down a fence while I took the kids shoe shopping. It was a successful expedition, but there was a moment I found myself in a shoe shop sitting in front of the mirror. And realising (yet again) that I am so much more overweight than I think I am. I know I am overweight, but in my head it's maybe 10 kg, not 25! Mirrors at home somehow aren't as blatantly cruel as the ones in shopping centres. Or photos.

It didn't stop me having doughnuts with the kids.

We joined Tim for lunch with the family at his dad's place. It used to be that my sister-in-law Ping and I took it in turns to cook Sunday lunch (or dinner, depending on schedules), and for a while I was cooking every week because of Ping's early pregnancy all-day sickness, but now extended family are joining in and it's a much bigger gathering, and everyone is taking a turn. This is sometimes a problem for me as I don't always like what they cook, I was glad when it was bought rotisserie chicken and salad today! It's not just that I am a fussy eater (although I am) but several times the food has been inedible and not just by me. Burned, or curdled, or a huge pile of stone-cold mashed potato. Some can cook, but some can't. Or maybe they can cook for their little family but can't co-ordinate for so many people - that takes practice. Which I suppose they are getting now! Oh well, I can enjoy the company and pick at my food and try not to worry about my children starving. They are usually filling up on sugary fizzy drink.

I didn't get out for exercise today, I'll make sure I do tomorrow. My foot is no longer an excuse! It has turned colder again with sporadic rain but if I can't get out to walk there are plenty of active games at home on the Xbox or VR.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

A walk by the sea


The coast is about 35 minutes from here, close enough that I could go often but far enough that I don't. There were plenty of other things I could/should have been doing today but I saw from the weather forecast that this was our last day of beautiful weather for a while so I decided to go! And it was lovely.

I thought on a Friday in winter it would be easy to get parking, but not today! It was 24C, perfect sunny weather. Every man and his dog was there walking along the esplanade. I had to park a couple of blocks from the coast, a long way down from the main beach. I turned my face away from the centre of town and walked along the seaside path for about 30 minutes, then walked back and even further until I got to the restaurant area where I had lunch. 1 hour 20 minutes walking without a break! And I enjoyed every minute. The path goes right along the sea, sometimes up a cliff, and every kilometre or so there is a park area with a little beach, maybe a pool (with waves crashing into it and sloping sand to walk in gradually), public toilets and benches.

I got back to the main beach and had fish and chips with a view of the ocean, but in the shade, and lingered at my table. Then decided to have dessert. Maybe not my best decision ever, but they had deep fried Mars Bar on the specials board... I'd never tried it and was curious... and my body is not used to so much exercise and wanted to replace calories! They brought it and it looked pretty blah but it was delicious. If you don't know, a Mars Bar is a sort of whipped chocolate fudge confection with a layer of caramel covered in chocolate. They coated this in a thin layer of batter and deep fried it so the middle was all warm and gooey. Surprisingly good. But very sweet of course.

I had planned to do some editing, indeed I'd been carrying my manuscript in my backpack the whole time, but now I'd run out of time as I still had to do the grocery shopping before the kids got home from school. So I walked back to the car - another 35 minutes, making close to 2 hours walking in all, this from someone who could barely walk at all two weeks ago! - and drove back to my own shopping centre. I was very tired at this point and feeling all that sun. I'm not burned, but I forgot my hat so I got a lot more sun than I'm used to. I did the grocery shopping and got extremely thirsty (I'd had juice and water at lunchtime) and was also craving vitamins or something so I bought a lot of fruit and made up a fruit salad as soon as I got home.

By the time I got home from the shops it was starting to cloud over and cool down. I'm glad I got out and enjoyed the sunshine today, indeed all this week, it is going to be much cooler next week.

PS maybe a little bit burnt

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Days in the sun


I got out to the park and did some good editing in the lovely winter sunshine. Then I walked around a bit. It's a shame that there are no paths along the river, houses are right next to it or else it is native bushland. The roads are set further back and have only very narrow footpaths. I did a lap of the park and over the little footbridge and back. The ground wasn't muddy today so at least I was able to walk on the grass right to the other end of the sports field. It was lovely to be out and I also felt that I got some work done and achieved something for the day.


You wouldn't think this simple piece of furniture could be the cause of eight months of phone calls and annoyance, would you?
Well it was. But huzzah! This morning the handyman arrived with the correct piece (they ordered the wrong one twice) and it took 5 minutes for him to put the last drawer together and Aiden now has a complete chest of drawers! Yay!

It seems that Skinky has learned to read. I was about to pick up a book from the floor when I saw a little brown head poking out from under the front cover. I lifted it up, and there he was. He has an interest in science fiction apparently, it's Asimov's The Robots of Dawn.

It was another warm sunny day and my foot was feeling good so I decided to go on the longest walk I've attempted for ages. There is a Thai restaurant opposite Jasmine's dance school and I fancied trying it for lunch, so I walked there. Nearly 30 minutes. I took my takeaway to a nearby park and ate it, then escaped from the heat into the nearby shopping centre for a while, then walked home again. All up it must have been an hour walking, with a break in the middle.

My foot was fine but I don't know about the rest of me! My legs and hips are aching! Just not used to all this movement. And it was so hot! I could hardly believe it was still winter. Everyone else seemed confused too, clothing choices ranged from shorts and T-shirts to heavy winter coats. I always get hot walking, I was suffering in my jeans and light-but-long-sleeve top.

I took my backpack with my manuscript, planning to sit in the park and edit after lunch but there wasn't a table with shade available, I ate my lunch (which was delicious) on a bench with a tiny bit of dappled shade under a small tree.

The shady way home...

An amazing array of plants seemed to be in bloom considering it is still winter here, I took photos of wattle, roses, violets, iris, lavender, and other things I have no name for.

What on earth is this thing?

A more recognisable camellia.

A rather exotic and aggressive bird of paradise.

I've been having a bit of pain in my left hip for some years now, it never occurred to me it was arthritis (I'm not old!) until I had that recent scan. I'm not sure I like knowing, I think it was easier to dismiss as transitory and unimportant before I had a name for it. But today I was researching a bit about it especially regarding diet and they talk about avoiding foods that trigger inflammation. Guess what number one is? Sugar. Sugar, then saturated and trans fats, refined foods, gluten. They recommend increasing fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, olive oil, dairy... sound familiar? Sound a bit Mediterranean? I keep getting shoved towards this same healthy diet that will apparently cure everything wrong with me, so why can't I stick to it? How come other people can? Is there a switch somewhere I can flip to turn on the will power?

Monday, August 15, 2016



My weight this morning was 83.2 kg, slightly down from last week.

I want to acknowledge how well I am feeling right now. It is "that time of the month" when, especially since this fibroid thing started, I often feel miserable and achy, and pain keeps me awake at night. But this month, apart from a little pelvic discomfort and backache, I feel fine. Happy, even. My sore foot, which for months had ranged from very painful to uncomfortable has, after a couple of weeks of vinegar treatment, settled into a range of uncomfortable to barely noticeable. The difference! I can walk without limping, with a brisk stride if I need to. Such a change from my cringing hobble. I still have to wear my supportive sneakers every day - I've tried other shoes, or slippers around the house, but they are much less comfortable - but I hope for continuing improvement.

Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and 22 C, which should feel like spring (not really spring for a couple of weeks yet). I will be out and about it in!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Dessert and Skinky


We had extra people over for our family Sunday lunch today, and one offered to bring dessert. I said yes, of course, it is always lovely when people help out if you are cooking for 14. But I was secretly thinking I would make something myself as well, to give people a choice (ok, in case I didn't like what she brought) and to make sure we had enough. But literally as I was looking through my recipe folder she texted me to say not to make anything, she would make plenty. How did she know? It's almost like she'd met me before lol. I thought it was funny, but also a teensy bit annoying because now I couldn't make an extra dessert without hurting her feelings.

So she didn't actually get to our house until well after lunch as her toddler was napping, but sent her husband over with her contribution. As I expected, it was something I didn't like - trifle. Oh well, it's not like I need dessert! I honestly wasn't bothered and I had the satisfaction of being right! (And there wasn't really enough, either.) But then most people barely touched theirs, Jasmine said to me quietly that it tasted burnt. Apparently it was practically inedible. I just hope everyone knew I didn't make it. I really wished I had made that lemon tart I was planning.

The other drama was Skinky, the little skink lizard who has been living in our bathroom for a while now. I saw him today in his usual spot and considered mentioning him to our guests but didn't bother as they don't usually use our ensuite bathroom. But I should have! My sister-in-law and her family seemed to be taking a long time to leave, standing outside the front door for ages. So I went out. And was told they'd found a lizard in my bathroom and were putting him in the garden! Little Emma was fascinated. I couldn't tell them he was practically a pet, but I was a little upset. He likes living inside in the warm. I've tried putting him out before and he comes back in, but that was the back door and I wasn't sure if he'd find his way back in this time. Family eventually left and I took a little box outside. Skinky was still sitting exactly where they had put him, and he let me scoop him into the box, he is very tame, and I brought him back indoors. He is happily back sunning himself under the heated light and eating the tiny bugs that fly around the indoor plants.