Stuff and that.

Stuff. And yeah. That

Category: Random thoughts are random

Kon Maudy reaches the end of the wardrobe

I am currently wearing the last long sleeved shirt in my wardrobe. It prickles and is stiff and a bit scratchy. And the collar goes in my mouth so I chew it. I don’t chew my clothes. I think that’s why it was the last shirt on the rack. I think it’s been stiff and scratchy from day one. And I’m also pretty sure I’ve only worn it maybe twice. Probably because of the scratchy.

It was interesting when I got to the last five or so shirts – there had to be a reason why they were the last ones left, and it got really hard each day to pick what I was going to wear. Aside from El Scratcho, there was another linen shirt that was a”needs must” purchase. Not something I’d usually buy, but I got rather wet on the way to work one day and had to buy a new skin out outfit (seriously, it absolutely pissed down for about five minutes, I got saturated to the skin. Wet t-shirts aren’t work appropriate attire). It did the job, but it’s short in the sleeves and, well just about everywhere else to be honest. Not a favourite.

There is another shirt which is best described as a top. It has raglan sleeves. I really don’t like raglan sleeves. Why do I keep buying stuff with raglan fucking sleeves, then? One of the mysteries of the universe I do believe. I also don’t know whether I like it or not. Eh, I think it might go. Or it might not. I’ll decide when it’s dry. The last two shirts are ancient oxford cloth shirts from Sportscraft. One is maybe eight years old, and the other one is pink. I don’t wear pink. Which is an abject lie. I don’t wear a lot of pink, and I don’t know if this shirt is a pink shirt that I will wear. Confused now. Will stop. I like some pinks I don’t know if I like this pinks. Ok. Backing away from the pinks.

I’m keeping the pink shirt and its purple mate for the time being. Basically, my requirement for a shirt (aside from it fitting), actually my requirement for all my clothes is to wear them and not be aware of them while I am doing so. If I’m aware of my clothing, that means there is a 99.89% chance it fucking shits me and I should probably do away with it. The pink shirt and the purple one don’t shit me, even though they were in the bottom five. I didn’t wear them earlier because the two pairs of trousers I had left clashed with pink and purple (it’s really lilac). Neither really went so well with ocean blue or brown stripes), so I had to wait until black trousers were available again. They’re staying. Well, definitely the purple one. Maybe not the pink one.

AND I FOUND A PAIR OF JEANS!!!

Aaaaaages ago, I bought two pairs of jeans, then promptly put on weight and didn’t wear them. I did pull out one pair but they were a bit jeez, I don’t know exactly. Suffice to say I was aware of them when I wore them, and I don’t enjoy that in a garment. And I assumed that the two pairs were identical. I don’t know why. Anyway, the too big ones were dirty, the nqr pair were also dirty, so I dragged out the other pair. And O.M.F.G. They fit. They’re flattering, go in where I do, out where I do, and they’re really really nice. Unbelievable. (Levi’s 312s, if you’re interested)

Now I have reached the end of my wardrobe, I have:

  • Worn 32 different long sleeved shirts, five short sleeved t-shirts and three long sleeved t-shirts
  • Worn six pairs of work trousers, two pairs of cargo pants and three pairs of jeans
  • Worn two skirts
  • Worn one dress

And I have…

  • Culled five shirts
  • Culled one pair of trousers
  • Threw out one cardigan (I stuck my thumb through a tiny hole. Now it has a yuge hole)
  • Potentially re-homed another pair of trousers and a shirt
  • Probably culled the NQR jeans
  • Realised I have Issues with polyester trousers (particularly when a) there has been an unseasonably warm autumn, and b) one has a window seat)
  • Ditto re tights. Not pleasing.
  • Also, I have a lot of clothes

I do have an effective immediate “Do Not Buy” on long sleeved shirts, and a smallish shopping list of:

  • Jeans (ordered a black pair of the 312s. On sale, too)
  • Navy blue cardigan to replace the one I stuck my thumb through
  • Non-polyester work pants
  • Black shoes
  • Work friendly jumper/cardigan(s)
  • Unicorn Pants (full length exercise tights with a reflective strip and full sized pockets.)

I reckon there’s a fair to middling chance I can accommodate my shopping list without completely destroying my bank balance. I just need to remember legs are only one really long. And I need to back away from the shirts for the foreseeable future. Maybe longer.

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Kon Maudy

I’ve just had a wee hiatus. A fortuitous alignment of public holidays meant three days of annual leave gave me ten consecutive days off work. I did spend some of the days off doing family things with the family (as one does) but spent the rest of the time doing those pesky little (if you call five fucking hours of filing little) jobs that you blow off because they’re going to take five hours and when do you ever have five hours that you don’t have to spend at least two of them driving people to places and the rest of the time doing washing.

I also managed to watch the entire Kon Mari telly series on the Netflix before I went on leave. I didn’t know what to expect from the show, and I didn’t expect to discover what I did. As you probably remember, I did the half arsed KM business a couple of years ago, and stopped when I decided my house was tidy enough. So, when I watched the show, I think I was expecting everyone to be the full minimalist and super zen at the end of the experience. What I found was a lot more people like me.

The main thing though that I took out of watching the series, was that for the process to be a success, it had to be about “we” and not “she” (or “he”) – a joint process with everyone in the family taking their share of responsibility; and it wasn’t until that moment where responsibility became a “we” thing that something clicked. The other thing was it’s not about choosing what to discard, it’s choosing what to keep. Which is a different thing all together!

And I also discovered that my level of half arsed-ness really is/was enough.

Of course, when the series came out, all these self righteous wankers latched on to the “first world privilege” aspect where chucking stuff is the privilege of those who can afford to replace it with more stuff. While this might be true for some, eh. Not so much for me. I got rid of about a squintygazillion things, and didn’t really replace them. The process made me a much more discerning shopper, not just in relation to clothes, but to just about everything. And Lordy, the faux outrage about only keeping ten books. Now, I am a book lover. I am almost a book hoarder. I love my books. I love patting them and looking at them and reading them. BUT if I didn’t have the space that I have for books, say, I moved into a tiny house in a paddock somewhere away from everything that’s shitting me at the moment… you know, I reckon I would probably keep a couple of cook books, my recipe book, and maybe half a dozen other books that I really couldn’t live without. So, the idea of keeping only ten books is not as outrageous as it seems.

Which leads me back to the start – doing those pesky not so little jobs that I’ve been ignoring. When I did Kon Mari two or three years ago, I did in fact “do” paper, but like when you clean out the pantry and find that mysterious bottle of something that used to be green, and was past its prime five years ago… This time, I did “paper” properly. And decided I could in fact live without my mobile phone contract from 2002. And the one from 2004 and pretty much every second year between then and 2018. Much paper. Many piles. Several trees. Perhaps a forest.

And the pantry, fridge and freezer – only a bag and a half of rubbish – half used bottles of this and that, ingredients for recipes that nobody liked. It was a thing of beauty until I did the groceries. I cracked the shits when I threw out a bag full of meat from the freezer just before I had my week off. I meal plan on Saturday morning, go to the butcher and get meat, things change, meat didn’t get eaten when it was supposed to and got chucked in the freezer. And some of it shouldn’t have gone in the freezer. Nowt quite like defrosting a lump of meat that’s past it and having to re-write dinner plans on the fly. This week, I have delegated responsibility for meals to the other grown up in the family, so he’s had the fun of coming up with a delicious and nutritious meal for four people, none of whom like the same things. I’m loving it. Not sure whether the other grown up is loving it quite so much.

And I looked at clothes again. But that’s a story for another post.

Far out, brussels sprout

**Just a little something I prepared earlier…

I have had a week of it this week. Nothing major that I can point my finger and go “A-HA. THIS is why my week is a bit shit.” Nope, it was a whole lot of teensy tiny little irritations that all managed to pile up and up until I was looking for a needle of hope in a haystack of irritation. Yeah, I’m a bit woe is fucking me and engaging in quite a lot of bridge building. But the icing on the cake was yesterday.

Lunch.

I got in to work really late, after a couple of appointments; then I had a meeting to go to that started not long after I arrived. I had an hour to grab a bite, eat it and prep for the next meeting, so I went downstairs to the cafe in the building I work in to get something to eat. Now, you’d think that a cafe with 800 captive punters on site, and a couple more hundred across the road would not only be extremely experienced at making all the things, but would also be quick and efficient.  All I wanted was a cheese and tomato toastie and an iced coffee, so down I went.

  • Girlie: Hello. Can I help you?
  • Me: Yes, I would like a skinny iced coffee with ice-cream but no cream, and a cheese and tomato toasted sandwich. Here is my fancy take away cup for you to make the iced coffee in.
  • Girlie: Looks blank. So, that was a skinny latte?
  • Me: Um. Skinny iced coffee.
  • Girlie: Oh. Ok then.
  • Me: and a cheese and tomato toasted sandwich
  • Girlie: Oh. Ok then. That will be $4.50
  • Me: Um. Iced coffee and a toastie?
  • Girlie: Oh. Ok then. $11

I sat down to wait while the Girlie made my lunch. Please note that at this point I am somewhat peckish and really quite under caffeinated. And I am on a very tight time limit.

After a couple of minutes…

  • Girlie: Um. Excuse me. What salads did you want on your sandwich?
  • Me: Um. Just a toasted cheese and tomato sandwich on white?
  • Girlie: Oh. Ok then.

At this point, I am ever so slightly concerned about my lunch. But hey, she must have mixed me up with someone else. Cheese and tomato toastie, iced coffee, all good.

Then the Coffee Girlie appears with my cup in hand…

  • Coffee Girlie: Iced chocolate for Maudy?

Ummmm….

Explained to the poor Coffee Girlie that I actually ordered iced coffee and she looked horrified and ran off to the kitchen with my cup in hand. Another bloke came out and helped her make me a coffee, then handed it over – I asked about my sandwich, and suggested that I was potentially a little bit concerned about what I was going to be eating. He went and investigated.

And there was investigation of a sandwich bag and investigation of a docket and a discussion with another chap and then there was some making of another sandwich – one that didn’t have ham in it. Many apologies and a voucher for a free coffee later… I made it upstairs with some food. And some trepidation.

Fortuitously, it was delicious.

 

 

Existentialism for the modern woman.

I am in the throes of an existential wardrobe crisis.  How on earth can my life be expected to have meaning if I can’t even manage to dress myself in the morning without the putting on and taking off of eleventy bazillion individual items of clothing on a daily basis? Apparently, this is not the first time I have fallen prey to this level of ennui – one of my friends reminded me of this when I was bemoaning my lack of enthusiasm in the wardrobe department. In this instance, at least, I have not been unable to go to work because I have nothing to wear.

It’s come close.

I believe there may be a couple of reasons for this (at least five, to be honest. Maybe as many as eight). The main one being that I am currently a bit fat. Not yugely fat – just that point of fatness where I either need to slam on 10kg so I can go up a size or drop 5kg (or 8kg) and fit in all my clothes. While this may seem to be a no brainer, the existential nature of my crisis means that this summer, Pimms became my Official Summer Beverage of Choice. It is now autumn. And yes, Pimms has now become my Official Autumn Beverage of choice. I am not sure what will happen come winter. Actually, I know damn well what will happen come winter. Who am I even kidding? You can drink warm Pimms. Fuck. I am doomed.

As well, there has been chocolate. Quite a lot of chocolate. And even worse, quite a lot of the chocolate I know I don’t actually like. Oops. One may have to reconsider the consumption of my bodyweight in crappy chocolate on a weekly basis.  Adding to the existential nature of my crisis is, well, I have been a tiny bit overwrought lately. And self-medicating with alcohol and chocolate and ice-cream.  As one does.  The overwroughtness is slightly out of my control – well, there was the conga line of shite that piled up to make 2017 from which I am yet to fully recover (memo to self – two weeks leave in January would have been a better idea); plus there have been a few other bits and bobs that are making my day to day life best described as Interesting.  I did a check list thingy to see if I was heading towards burn-out. Just moderately stressed. Okay. Thanks. Useful to know.  Still struggling to get dressed in the morning.

The other thing that is making getting dressed in the morning a fucking godawful chore is well, you know how I KonMari’d the piss out of my clothes a couple of years ago? Well. What happened then was I got rid of everything I hated and only kept stuff I actually liked. That was all well and good, but I ended up ditching probably ten* or so shirts that I did wear despite not liking them all that much. End result was I didn’t have quite enough clothes and couldn’t find anything I really liked to replace the stuff I got rid of. So, I bought a heap of el cheapo fast fashion cotton tee shirts. This would avoid the dreaded public nudity situation and tide me over until I (hopefully) found some more stuff I liked.

I also really struggle with fast fashion from an ethical perspective (don’t get me started on fast homewares as well. Is so cheap, I can afford to replace all the doodads in the lounge room because that {insert latest colour} is soooo cute. And next thing you know, the local oppy is full of gold pineapples). The t-shirts I bought were seriously dirt cheap. Buy ten t-shirts, and get enough change from $100 to buy another t-shirt, a gold pineapple and a cup of coffee. They’re generally poorly made, so once I’m done with them they’re barely good enough for rags. It’s no wonder I’m fucking existential about my damn wardrobe.

Anyway, two years down the track, and the collection of el cheapo t-shirts are well. Trifle shabby really. I just culled said ten t-shirts, all with weird-arse stains and/or holes in them and with freaky out of shape necklines; and I’m back to where I started from two years ago, sobbing into my wardrobe with nothing to wear.

I did have a little bit of an epiphany when I was culling the trashy t-shirts – I have a couple of half way decent ones that I spent more than $10 on. They’re still in the shape they started in, they’ve kept their colour and they fit. So I procured a couple (ok, four) more non trashy t-shirts; and I did do a slightly wild slightly hormonal shop where I attempted to acquire another pair of shorts I can wear to work (epic fail. My legs are very long. The shorts? Not so much.) Also discovered things eat your lovely woollens when you don’t get them dry cleaned before you pop them away for summer.  This is not pleasing, and will necessitate some mending. At least they’re both dark colours so my dodgy stitchery will be less obvious.

So, here I am at the end of autumn, still mildly stressed out of my brain, still struggling to get dressed in the morning, and still eating too much damn chocolate. Although, I have cut back on the drinking and am a trifle terrified of the idea of heating up my Pimms. Probably should do something about the bits that are within my control…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*I live in Victoria. It is not unreasonable to have two weeks’ each of summer tops, winter tops and trans-seasonal tops because one day it’s 40 and the next day it’s not. Plus, the ironing fairy only comes fortnightly.

 

 

 

On the wagon again…

A few months ago, I decided to declutter some of my um. Personal baggage. So, how’s it coming along then, this mission to be a bit less fat that I was? I started in November, it’s now May and I have lost eightish kilograms (actually, I have lost more than eight kilograms, but I am less than eight kilos lighter than I was when I started. Confused? Yeah. So am I.) But still, I am lighter than I was when I started. That’s the main thing, right? But there have been a couple of kilos that’ve come and gone a couple of times, what with one thing and another. There’s been a couple of holidays, and the lady bidness doing its level best to thwart me (hey, you need this extra kilo and ALL THE CHOCOLATE IN THE WORLD) but I know I have slipped off the wagon a little bit lately (did I mention ALL the chocolate in the world?) I’ve noticed I have been doing a lot more scoffing and there’s been a lot less savouring going down.

Like, sitting at Bouncy Land, allegedly supervising my children; with a bag of mixed lollies “for the kiddies” in front of me while I nutted out a particularly tricky bit of crochet.  I suddenly realised as my hand snaked into the bag, pulling out a couple of delectable jelly pieces, that I had NO idea how many times I’d actually done that in the hour I’d been sitting there. I’d basically been sitting there, crochet in one hand and a jelly in the other while I muttered to myself for an hour (…83…84…85…86…what do you mean 86…fuck it. Repeat).

Not to mention finding myself heading toward the poxy charity chocolate box again. Now, I established a while ago that I don’t actually like the stuff. It’s cheap and nasty and slightly warmer than is pleasant, and for the last well over a year, I have dipped in the box maybe three or four times (hormones seriously have a lot to answer for) but in the last couple of months, it’s been almost daily. Also, there’s been wine. Much wine. And cheese. I love cheese. And maybe cake. There could have been cake. At least once or twice. And Baileys. I am partial to a Baileys on a cooler evening, and the evenings have been getting cooler.

Ok, I confess, I know exactly where that stray couple of kilograms keeps coming from, damnit. The lady business, well, I’m not sure exactly what’s going on with that – but I am of an age where the shop should be shutting up. However, it appears that, like the rug shop on the High Street, this shop is in no hurry to make up its mind. Grand Sale, Grand Sale, everything special price, you make me an offer… Please. Shut. The. Damn. Shop.

Yes, well. That bit is out of my hands. The wine and the cheese and the chocolate and the new ice-cream shop around the corner from work and the stuffing my face with chippies when I get home from work, however. That bit is in my hands (literally *in* my hands. Ahem. See what I did there.)

So, I have taken the first steps toward being mindful again. Starting with a week of calorie counting. There’s nowt like measuring every mouthful to make one reconsider its worth. Snacks are now served on plates like I’m a Lady or somesuch. If I really want the snack, I am happy to do the extra dishes. And I’m not just restricting the mindfulness to food. I have also been making a conscious effort to go to bed at a reasonable hour (ok, reasonable is up for debate, somewhere before 11.30 is fairly reasonable) because (der) getting a decent amount of sleep at night means I don’t have that crash in the afternoon when I go looking for a little something something that leads to another something because the first something wasn’t the something I was looking for because I was tired and what I needed was an extra half hour of sleep. Plus, my steps. Getting my steps up solves a multitude of problems – it stops me turning into the Dragon Queen, helps me sleep better, and, if there’s enough steps, they compensate for the odd cheese platter and bottle of wine.

And I do like the odd cheese platter and bottle of wine. (And cake)

How’d 2016 treat you, mate?

Well, well, well. For most of 2016, I really felt like I was lurching from one near catastrophe to another, that I was one small step away from disaster at any moment. But, when I looked back on the year from the safety of 2017, it  wasn’t all Drama! Crisis! Calamity! It was merely a string of mild hiccups interspersed with some actually awesome moments. Pretty standard year, really. I read 35 books, I finished my Harmony blankie, I cooked a heap of new recipes, and I made a conscious decision to lose weight (which I have already banged on about).

I also got well over my “fear” of driving our hot rod. To be honest, I was never actually scared of driving it, just when you have someone in the passenger seat sucking in their breath every time you do anything they disapprove of… Pinched the keys from Reg and drove it like I stole it. Epic. And now, don’t even think twice about stealing the keys from Reg and yeah, Driving is ace. Also, now I have my *own* car, I like driving that, too. Ok, cannot/will not back it out of the driveway, but hey. “Reg, get the XP out, I’m going for a KROOZE”. Hotrodders cannot spell for shit. I also like the term “fat-arming” which is exactly what it sounds… driving around with the windows down with your arm hanging out. Makes you look like you got muscles. Also, truckie tan and sunburn if you forget that your arm is normally inside the vehicle.

Reading has been a thing again – I’m reading a book about every ten days. This is ace. I am nowhere near my BC reading rates, but after spending more than a few years barely managing to read 15 or 20 books, you can sense my excitement. I’ve come across a couple of new writers (Charles Stross, Elly Griffiths, Denise Mina) that I really like. I’ve revisited some old favourites, most of whom haven’t disappointed. Most importantly, I AM READING AGAIN. I have even lolled on the couch and read in daylight. Although sometimes I have to decide between crochet and reading. Can’t do both at once. I decided I wasn’t that jazzed with colouring in. It’s nice enough but I get bored *really* quickly, and hey, at the end of the day, I can make something tangible and snuggly warm if I colour in with yarn. (Can’t blog and crochet at the same time either. I am going to work on time jugglement in 2017). I also decided that life’s too short and gave a project I was hating the arse. And started another that I love. That I sort of want to do now, but I want to blog and um, my book’s at a good bit. Two heads are better than one.

And cooking. I love cooking a lot. It’s like chemistry you can eat. Although I srsly need an actual dishpig at mine for cooking extravaganzas. Chaos does do the dishes, but because I have to clean the bench so we can eat dinner, I do my cooking dishes. Snot fair. Chaos is also expressing an interest in learning to cook. He’s requested I teach him how to make muffins. Of course, this means I will have to actually write down the proper recipe for him. I base mine on the Stephanie Alexander muffin recipe from Cook’s Companion, then it goes a bit free-range and if this then that and I double bits and not other bits. However, if he wants to learn, I shall write it down. Another thing I noticed if I cook with my son is that as long as I don’t look at him, we have the most interesting chats about all manner of random things. I also discovered Chaos has maths homework when I creepy stalked his maths teacher to see if I knew him (I didn’t.) I’ve sort of got housework under control ish sort of if you don’t look too hard ish. Ish. But that’s possibly a blog post of its own. (While I haven’t taken Flylady back, I’ve invited her around for coffee. Ditto with KonMari))

I learned something about myself that I probably already knew. For me, the endorphins from exercise stop me from being a psychotic hose beast with a short temper and a snippy tongue. I sort of already knew that, because when I had a Madness after my dad died, it was exercise and sleeping tablets that pulled me through, and once I had one under control, I didn’t so much need the other. But that’s what works for me. Walking is enough, too. I don’t need boot camp or running or endless bloody gym sessions. I am not a team player, I honestly think boot camp is fucked up (hence my not doing it, good for you if that’s what pops your cork). So I walk every day. 11,000 steps because 10% extra is good.

Music is another thing I started to enjoy again. Like, I’ve always enjoyed music and having it on and around, but for some reason, I stopped listening to it. This year, I revisited my yoof (like, I’m talking 14 or 15 angsty teenager yoof here) and I’ve started listening to 3RRR and I subscribed. Sort of payback for all the years of enjoyment I got from RRR in the early 80s. I discovered bluegrass/hip hop fusion and rekindled my love of blues music. ANd digital radio. Crikey. I’ve now worked out how to use my digital receiver and there are quite a lot of interesting stations out there. Like, um. Aussie for indulging the inner bogan, and there’s a couple of stations that just play 80s and 90s music. Tunes and LOUD if you please. Also, can I pls have stereo for XP, ok thx. One with a remote.

OOh, and streaming. I have watched So. Much. Telly. Loads of stuff. Mostly half watched because crochet and writing (and playing silly games), but watched enough to say yeah, watched a lot of telly. Love the Netflix and the Stan and yeah, cannot wait for new episodes of my shows. Give me a good serial killer and I am happy as a clam. Although Netflix, I needs you to pop sub-titles in the blurb because I only half watch and do something else, I really need the talking to be in the englishes. Please?

So yeah, that’s a whole lot of not actually sucking going on in 2016. Dunno what I was complaining about really. Bring on the 2017.

 

 

Thinner…

Riddle me this, Gentle Reader. What kind of idiot decides that the very bestest time in the universe to take up a diet would be in the couple of months before Christmas? Yeah. That’d be me. Crazy person from Crazytown, Population one.

I had one of THOSE revelations a little while ago… Mum was organising some pants being made for me in far flung parts and she needed some measurements. Fuck me, that was a confronting experience. There were quite a lot of numbers involved in them thar measurements, and whilst Mrs McGee insists she “doesn’t do numbers”, she’s a fucking dressmaker. She knows damn well what *those* particular numbers mean. Her daughter is a fatty boombalaka (and also a foot taller than her so she’ll pretend she knows nuffink if she knows what’s good for her. Good mother I have there.)

Anyway, I made a decision that right then and there – I was going to start watching what I eat and attempting to move more. I weighed myself and measured myself and wrote down those confronting measurements one more time and started (or stopped. Something). I could have waited til after Birthday Season finished, or after The Christmas Season, or the beginning of January, or after we got back from holidays or after I went back to work or even after I finished my second lot of annual leave.

Or a random Tuesday in 2018.

Nope. No time like the present. Basically, even if December and January are a little rocky, there’s a good chance I won’t be starting from an even shitter place than I would be starting when I did. Ok, that didn’t make much sense. Long story much shorter – Start now, lose some weight now, lose more after the Silly Season.

I’ve been officially fat before, and last time, the wake up call came in the shape of a photograph. I didn’t recognise myself. In the picture was a fat old besom, bursting out of her shirt, snarly face being stuffed with something or other, and that’s not how I looked in my head. Ok, the snarly face probably was as I imagined it. It was Christmas and I’m not good at Christmas. Anyway, long story short, got a fright, pulled my finger out and lost 20kg. I kept it off, too. Well, most of it (give or take a couple of kilograms), for about five years. Then, my thyroid shit the tin and I stacked on ten kilos in a relatively short period of time (trained medical professional was involved in the diagnosis. My thyroid wasn’t bad enough for medication, but bad enough that losing weight was a fucking yuge effort for minimal result), then there was the knee thing, turning fifty and getting an enormous CWA bosom overnight, and whadderyou know, I hit the ton just over twelve months ago.

Now THAT was an eye opening number. I Did Not Like that number one little bit, cut back on the cake and forced the knee into a trifle more exercise than it was comfortable with and clawed my weight back to a relatively less repulsive number than I saw on those scales… But time moved on and while my weight didn’t really shift from said less repulsive number, I wasn’t really all that super comfortable with how I looked and felt, and how clothes were fitting me (or, more to the point, not fitting me). That damn CWA bosom was playing havoc with the line of my clothes. And the generally rather well padded arse was um. Substantial. VERY substantial. Then came the aforementioned measuring and the realisation that, despite my internal denials, I was actually a Bit Fat, and I wasn’t very happy about it.

So, I decided I wanted to be thinner.

No number-y goals or anything, just less fat than I was. For me, a relatively low fat diet is the way to go. I don’t follow any particular diet as such – less in than out, move more than I sit, and don’t deny myself anything (because that just leads the very mature 14 year old who lives in my head to just yell “fuck yers all” and stuff her face with whatever has been popped on the “you can’t have that” list). I just know that too much protein makes me spew, and too much fat makes me, well, fat. And I also refuse to eliminate entire food groups like cake and pizza from my life. So, since the end of October I have been considering what I shove in my gob before I stuff my face with whatever is laying around.

And, despite two birthday parties, six Christmas parties, Christmas itself, and going away for a week where I managed to consume about six months worth of alcohol in the space of eight days… I am just a little bit thinner. Not quite noticeable to anyone else unless they look *really* closely, but enough that I need a belt with some pants and the bosom is a little more cross your heart divide and separate and a little less CWA. I’ve also been able to do a spot of shopping in my wardrobe and extended my repertoire of attractive frocks by several. And really, if I think about it, in the last year and two months  I have lost 10% of my starting body weight, and that is a pretty good thing. I still don’t know what I’m aiming for… just a bit less than I am.

 

 

Eh wat?

Apparently, it’s been a good couple of months since my last blog post. Not sure how that happened, I think it was a couple of months between last drinks as well but hey. Life and other shenanigans have a wee habit of getting in the way of well laid plans. I have to say the last couple of months have been a bit fucked really. I usually floof about a bit like a duck, all calm and serene on the surface and pedalling like mad underneath, but always with my head firmly above water and pointing roughly in the right direction. Lately though, bit more waving my arms in the air cos drowning. Lots going on, some in my control, a fair bit not, and something had to give for a while. That thing was this.

But I’m back for a wee bit, and the Cosmos seems to be smiling on me (the credit card company seems to have been infested with polite, friendly and helpful space aliens. This is not a bad thing, but srsly, they answered my questions and FIXED things. That never happens. And the health insurance mob is giving me way more money back in exchange for a relatively small amount of cash in return. Also, never happens). So, you never know, duck like serenity could well return. It would be nice if it did.

So, enough of my moaning (I am actually moaning quite a lot about everything because Things is Haaaaaaaaard, man) and what else have I been doing since last I wrote? I have been reading, I have been journaling, I’ve not been tidying up and I’m still broken up with Flylady. In fact, I am so broken up with Flylady that I even snatched housework for the afternoon and went fat-arming in the Early Bird (tr: driving around with the windows down in a 1966 Falcon) and I didn’t even care. Ok, I cared a little tiny weeny bit when I had to go grocery shopping with a hangover on Sunday. That wasn’t fun. I also spent nearly $300 and none of it was on actual food. Oops. Don’t be recommending grocery shopping after a crappy night out. Oh, that was another thing that happened. I went out at night. Ended up in a shitty pub listening to a shitty coverband and fending off middle aged men making goo goo eyes at me and pinching my arse. On the one hand, hey I’ve still got it, but on the other hand, fuck off mate.

Books – Another Ellie Griffiths, but not a Ruth Galloway one. Smoke and Mirrors is about a police detective and a magician. Weird. Sort of works, set in the early 50s with all the mores of that era. I sort of liked it I think.  I dunno. Jury’s out. I also read Bad Debts by Peter Temple. I read it mainly because I’d watched and enjoyed the telly series (as an aside, I don’t particularly like Guy Pearce for myriad reasons, mostly not to do with his acting, but he’s  good in this series) and because my usual source of books has erm been arrested or something, I gave them a whirl. It was good. I’ll read more. And the other one is The Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly. It was a bit different and a bit convoluted, but at the end of the day (or weekend, actually) it was a cracking read. I read most of it over one weekend on a road trip.

Now, that’s a story in itself. Proper country, middle of nowhere, spasmodic at best telephone service (unless you’re lucky enough to be with the other carrier who had a tower less than a kilometre away. Nobody was, because they’re generally shit in the country and we were hanging with country people). Anyway, no interwebs meant a lot of lolling about reading when I wasn’t learning about Mallee Fowl and the eating habits of the lesser Bettong. Lot of reading time. Which I did put to good use.

Oh, and I finished my blanket! And gave the other one I’m making not so much the arse as a mild reassessment. The Harmony blanket  is bloody well gorgeous. It took me just over a year to finish (ok, I did do other stuff in between and one cannot crochet in summer due to sweaty paws) and I love it. It looks amazing and it’s super snuggly and warm. I love it. The other blanket – well. Now, this blanket has a lovely story behind it and the pattern was created with love in honour of a regular crocheter. But here’s the thing. While I am not an amazing crocheter, I am not bad. I can’t really read a pattern, which is problematic, but there were videos, so I was getting along ok. BUT I realised that at the end of each square I wasn’t so much yay look what I’ve done and more fuck, I’ve got another three to do. So, yeah. Snatched it. Sort of. I will be making the squares, but doing my own patterns and dancing to the beat of my own slightly recalcitrant drum.

Anyway, that’s about enough for one night.

 

Right. Um. Where was I?

Down the back of the couch, obviously. I’ve been busy. No. Seriously, actually busy. For the last month, flat out like a dead lizard  – we’ve been away a couple of times and had a fair bit of Family Time as well, the Hound had to have an operation on her knee after a badly timed ute-jump (she’s not dealing with convalescence well – while it’s nice to see she’s lost none of her ridiculous personality, ninja jumps to the top of our very high bed are Not On, Puppy. Can’t quite manage another $1,600 to re-fix your knee) Had a bit of a technological disaster with the old laptop that (of course) hadn’t been cleaned out yet. Someone clicked something. They will NEVER do that again. Or I will possibly have to revoke interwebs privileges. That took a bit of sorting out, but I’ve now found a lovely computer guy for stuff that’s out of my league. AND the printer died (or didn’t want to talk to the new laptops, one or t’other) – tried living without BUT that was more annoying than I would have thought. Email to work, print, scan, send home, email to destination because private. Argh.

Plus, the kids have been tag teaming lurgies – Chaos’s turn this week. Mayhem was last week. Reg and my good self have been taking it in turns. Today is my turn. Coughing til you spew =/= going to school. Anyway – it’s probably time for a bit of a half time catch up on stuffs seeing as we’re half way through the year (and I owe about four posts that are all stumbling over each other in my brains). Half time it is then…

Firstly, the lard arse. I’m down about five or six kilos, depending on which way the wind is blowing. I’m going to pull my entire hand out of the cookie jar though and stop with the face stuffing, because I suspect that 5-6kg will revert to 3-4 kilos if I continue with the biscuits. I need to find a biscuit that is pleasing without being more-ish. (Chocolate Ripple, Scotch Finger, anything wafer-y, Tic Tocs and 100s and 1000s are all in the more-ish category. Teddy Bears are not so much). I could stop entirely with the biscuits, but there’s something about a cup of pretend tea that calls out for a matching little something something to go along with it. So the singular biscuit stays. Just need to cut out the plurals.

I’m doing excellently with the non-buying of lunches. I buy something maybe once a week (pretty keen on chicken karaage from one of the food court joints. It’s really tasty, and because it’s rice and chicken and salad, I can easily kid myself it’s healthy. It’s fried chicken. It’s probably not.) And I have succumbed to the siren call of the charity chocolates twice in six months – when I was reaching for my third packet of chippies, I was all just have the fucking chocolate. So I did, it was as shit as I remembered and eh, didn’t do it again for another  month (theme? Maybe there is.)

I did discover something related to my exercise (such as it is) and my mood though – if I get my steps in, I am pleasing of demeanour. If I  miss for more than a couple of days in a row, I range from slightly shitty to absolutely incandescent with rage. Small irritations are magnified by all the other small irritations and I end up best described as A Bit Fucking Cross. For three weeks. I can’t remember the last time I sustained a bad mood for three weeks. There were legitimate external influences on my mood, but seriously, my reaction to some of the really small things that happened? Good thing I don’t work with pointy objects.  I was starting to think it was the lady-pause because I am of an age; and I do remember Mrs McGee’s phases of less than impeccable rationality from my yoof. Three days of solidly hitting my step goal and PFFT!  Bad Mood was gone. Correlation co-efficient positive one. Steps up, irritations are irritations. Steps down? I’ll fucking run you through with a javelin or something. If I had a javelin. Which, in and of itself would be a source of further irritation. So, next time I’m that cranky…send me out for a walk well away from the pointy things.

On the topic of walking – Pokemon GO rocks. Also, anything that means I can go for a two and a half hour walk with the kids and no whining or fighting has to be totally awesome in my book. I’m not sure about the gym thing yet, although Mayhem is bursting at the seams to get me into a gym (he’s playing on my account because well, he’s 10. No phone for him). When he earns technology back, I might let him have a go (long story – tl;dr version = three strikes and no tech for two weeks). All those people with their po faces and sneering about the Pokemons can pretty much get stuffed because it’s fun. Just because I now walk the long way in through the front door of work because there’s three extra poke-stops compared to the back door… eh, it’s a couple of hundred more steps for me!

I’ve officially broken up with the Flylady (again), I’m still not tidying up BUT I am still bullet journaling. I had to step back a bit when I got carried away with the decoration and the pretty and best handwriting all the time. Couple of deliberate scrappy do lists and eh, she’ll be right. I stopped tracking goals because well, setting myself up for fail isn’t fun. But as far as keeping things on track, I’m doing pretty well. (The Hound got *all* of her injections on time because written down. Although Reg didn’t like me keeping the dog’s anti-inflammatories next to the kid’s antibiotics. NO idea why.) Tracking spending shit me because I can’t remember and hello, accounting for $3.80 for a coffee every day when I really do have no other vices… So now I am trying to SAVE $100 a month instead. Much more sensible.

My blanket is coming along nicely – it’s too big to be portable now, and I only have a strip and a bit to go (plus the border). The other project is also ticking along. I took it away with me and did two squares in two days. Actually, that’s probably the most legitimate reason I’ve not been writing – the bucket of time I have for writing is the same as the bucket of time I have for crochet, and crochet is winning. Because time is a finite resource subject to change without notice. And that is a topic for another day.

Happy Democracy Sausage Day

I missed out on a Democracy Sausage today. The sausage sizzle at the primary school where I voted had a Sausage Emergency at 10.30, necessitating a run by my good self to Coles for a selection of their finest mystery bags and tasteless white bread. Strangely enough, the blandness of the home brand bread, coupled with the mysterious content of the sausage compliment each other. So, while I did my duty for the school (my kid goes there, I’m not *that* altruistic), I missed out on a sausage. Bummer. The queue to vote was enormous – when I got there, the queue was just past the end of the multi-purpose room, by the time I went in, it was half way across the school yard, and when I came out – curling around past the gate. No wonder they ran out of sausages. There was a bloke who wasn’t from round these parts (judging purely on a) his accent and b) his total bemusement) who kept saying “I can’t believe it” and “it’s supposed to be serious –  there’s kids and dogs and sausages and cakes”. Which is as it should be. And yes, he had a sausage AND a dog while he waited for his friend to vote.

Anyway, politics is NOT what you’re here for. Nor are you here for the sausages. Well, I assume you’re not here for the sausages or the politics. If you are, sorry about that*. I write about books and housework mostly, nothing too deep and meaningful.

Orright. Books or housework? I think books, seeing as I’ve just finished two. I set myself a goal to read (and finish) two books a month, and I am taking this as June’s two, even though I finished one of them today! Now, I was struggling a bit with reads in June because I was being a moody fucker and trying to read something that was a Bit Deep. It’s good, don’t get me wrong, but when one is being In A Mood, one is better off leaving the challenging shit to a better day. Technically, I read two books in two weeks.

Book the first was Nightshift (Book #3 in the Midnight, Texas series by Charlaine Harris. She of the Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire series. Please don’t judge me.) It is proper Trash – the kind that comes with a capital “T”. It’s light, fluffy, angsty, weird as fuck and I’m pretty sure there were issues with the continuity, although that could have been down to my falling asleep reading it and forgetting what I was up to. Suffice to say, it all worked out in the end and they lived happily ever after until Book #4 comes out, anyway. It’s supposed to be a trilogy, so we’ll see how that pans out. I wonder if Ms Harris would consider writing one decent length book instead of three bits of books? If you took out all the re-capping and ‘splaining, there’d probably be a decent 450 page novel. Although, if she did that, I’d only get one book instead of three. As you were.

Now, Book the second was a bit LOT better – this one is called Written in Dead Wax by Andrew Cartmel. I picked it up from a review from Ben Aaronovitch who wrote the Peter Grant series (wizard detective. Win.) when I was sniffing around his website looking for the publication date for the next installment (September, maybe. Or not. Depends. Ahem.) Anyway, I have liked a few other books Mr Aaronovitch has thrown out as reading suggestions, so I gave it a whirl. I am glad I did. It was fun. It’s about a bloke who makes a living buying and re-selling rare and interesting vinyl records, who goes off on a mission to find a particular exceedingly rare 1950s jazz pressing. There’s quite a lot of derrings do, a bit of sexy times and a few drugs. It’s a cracking read and I definitely recommend it. I still have my vinyl record collection (I can’t seem to get rid of mine. They’re very alluring. And I spent a LOT of pocket money on that collection. I don’t think any record collectors with valves on their record players will be looking for my selection of Hits Hot 1977 and Ripper 1978 to pay me a lot of money though. My musical taste was (and is) a little eclectic).

I’m also reading Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (that’s the one that was too deep for my cranky arse), John Birmingham’s How to be a Writer and a book about lying (The Honest Truth about Dishonesty – for work, it’s about behavioural economics which is quite fascinating. About how people basically do a quick cost benefit analysis on every decision they make, and that lots of little lies are way more costly than one big lie. I’ve only read three chapters. It’s probably more complex than that).

Anyway, there’s books for the last month for you.

 

(*If you’re interested, I cast my vote with a mind to making my very safe seat marginal and for a feral senate to keep the bastards on their toes. See what happens when I miss out on ma sausage!)