Stuff and that.

Stuff. And yeah. That

Tag: Ramblings

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.

 

 

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Welcome back.

Oh hello there, fancy seeing you here, hiding down the back of the couch with all the dust bunnies, the half chewed lollies, one broken pen, a marble, and oooh, shiny at least $5 in coins. Nice. It’s dark and cosy down here…

Where was I? Oh, that’s right. Blogging. I’ve had a hiatus of sorts. The kind of hiatus one has when all the wheels fall off *and* you break an axle. Now, way back in February 2017, I though 2016 wasn’t as shit as I thought it was, and I was sort of complaining a bit about nothing much. It’s now (almost) February 2018 (might even be by the time I post this. I’m digressing. Again.) and I look back on 2017 and yes. Well.

2017 was indeed a bit fucked up. Conga-line of clusterfucks from about Easter onward. Nice one, 2017. Just after Easter, I was blessed with a virus. Not a bad virus so to speak, I just lost 20 IQ points and my brain got filled with custard for a couple of weeks. Then, not long after my last post, I hurt my back. Now, hurting my back is something I do moderately regularly – apparently I have a slightly irritable disc and it ranges from a teensy bit testy to really fucking cross. It objects to the most trivial of motions – generally a slight bend and twist, usually involving picking up a featherweight item at the periphery of my reach. This time was no different. I was unpacking the dishwasher. Back went “oi, you there”. I went “o fuck off, mate. Shizz to do”. It went “alright then. Hold my fucking beer.” My back decided to bypass really fucking cross and venture into absolutely apoplectic territory, and it was welcome to physios and copious muscle relaxants and pain killers. Noice one, mate.

Not satisfied with physically torturing me, I decided a nice dose of man-flu was on the cards. Proper temperature and everything (39C or something. I had the delirious). I was home from work for three whole days. Crikey. I have *never* been that sick before. The kids decided to get in on the action and between them tag teamed the gastro (invincible mother-guts meant I missed that one – although, working from home… in the middle of a telephone hook up and I’m all “erm. Can you call me back in 20 minutes” while Mayhem chucked his guts up. That kid threw up more times in one day than in his entire life.) Then, because gastro wasn’t enough – let’s have some boy-flu. In Mayhem’s defence, I think he had actual flu. He was a sick bubby for a few days. Didn’t even ask for his ipad til day five.

So, you’d be thinking that was enough of the illnesses, right? Well. I would have thought so. But I didn’t really get over the Man-Flu… I just had epic apathy that got worse and worse until I was really struggling to do more than go through the motions at work every day and collapse on the couch at night. Of course, I consulted Dr Google to see whether it was the Ladypause (the shop did appear to be shut) or a depression (I really did not give a fuck about anything. Except that I did give a fuck that I didn’t give a fuck) and was I going to take to my bed with the vapours for the next few years? Except I’d need to change the sheets, and that took effort and yeah… you got it.

I finally hit up a trained medical professional  and whadderyou know. My thyroid, which had a history of taking little naps, decided to shit the tin completely. Now, it’s stopped functioning optimally before, but I’ve never had symptoms. Here are some symptoms (I stole them from here)

  • depression, feeling withdrawn and a lack of motivation
  • inability to concentrate
  • body fatigue, muscle aches and low energy levels
  • needing more sleep
  • intolerance to cold temperatures
  • unexplained weight gain
  • dry skin and /or pale skin and facial bloating
  • hair loss or thinning out
  • constipation
  • heavy, irregular or prolonged menstrual periods
  • goitre (enlarged thyroid gland that is visible)
  • slower heart rate.

Had a couple of them. Or ten. My heart rate is pretty slow anyway. I’m naturally slightly warmer than dead. Little white pills entered my life and things have improved dramatically. I’m still not what I was, though. Albeit fairly close. And the fucking shop had a grand reopening sale. That was a tale in and of itself. I’m away from home, presenting at a conference, and it was like the gates of hell had opened. Suffice to say that while I am mildly disappointed the shop is not in fact shut, I’m glad we’ve returned to business as usual.

Now, you’d think that would be enough for one year. But no, 2017 wasn’t quite finished with me.

I had a fall.

Yes, I am an old person. I have Falls now.

I tell people I fell about a metre. This is not a lie. It is indeed about a metre from my arse to the ground. Which is also indeed about how far I fell. I just left out the bit about slipping on some wet leaves and landing on my arse, spraining my ankle, skinning my knee, and tearing a tendon *and* a ligament in my wrist.

Fuck. Me. Fucking. Swinging.

Yeah, could have been worse. I could have broken my wrist and ankle. Normal people break their bones when they fall. I have sort of hypermobile joints, so I sort of suddenly fold in peculiar directions and gravity takes it’s toll. I’m getting better – eight weeks down the track, the skinned knee has finally healed up, the dodge ankle is fine as long as I don’t jog (pfft) or go down stairs, and my wrist is letting me know what I can’t do by letting go of things randomly. Interesting times.

Anyway, 2017 wasn’t all shite. Just health-wise, 2017 belongs in the bin. I did do some reading (about 25 books, so not much reading), I cooked a bit (poisoned the family with a few new recipes and they didn’t die.) More or less kept up with my steps, too – 4.7 million of the fuckers. We had a couple of cracking family holidays that added Stories to the family lore, which is what it’s all about. I stood up at not one but two conferences in 2017, which was actually fun. I am an ok presenter and come off super calm and composed. Which is nice, considering I am a puddle of sweat from the ankles down. I got bombarded with questions after both presentations, too. And I got to catch up with family and friends after one of them.

And I decided to do something about my stupid back, and took up pilates. This has been one of the best things I’ve actually ever done. I go more or less once a week, it’s a structured class run by physiotherapists (rather than aerobics instructors) and despite my epic Fall with all the other related injuries, back was completely fine.

Anyway. 2018 goals…

Not as shit as 2017.

And I’ll leave it at that!

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)

Housekeeping (or Kon Mari 12 months later)

Think I mentioned last time I plopped ma fingers on the keyboard that I would maybe have a wee chat you youse alls about the houseworkings. Now, I am at best, an ordinary house keeper. I have staff to deal with the basics – the ironing disappears on Monday morning and comes back on Wednesday all smooth and delicious. The dog hair and dust disappears in a similar fashion on a Friday. Crinkle free clothes and a clean house – what more can a lassie desire?

Well.

A lassie might like a gourmet chef to prepare delicious, nutritious and calorie free meals, someone to hunt and gather free range and organic ingredients for aforementioned meals; and someone who will transform the slightly grubby and well-worn clothing into a suitable state for de-crinkling. Yeah. Like that’s ever going to happen. There are also those rotten little jobs that fall outside the bailiwick of the cleaning fairy and the ironing fairy, like cleaning the oven, and murdering the dust bunnies behind the bed, and washing the fucking shower curtain so it doesn’t go mouldy.  Oh, and cleaning the damn coffee machine. Sour milk and coffee smell so attractive. Not. There’s a whole heap of other little jobs that – while you know the earth won’t fall off its axis if they’re not done – make the earth rotate a lot more smoothly when they are.

Hence my dalliance with the Flylady and the KonMari business – I’ve also dallied with a few other ‘cleaning systems’ in the past as well, with similar amounts of (ahem) success. I keep going back to Flylady because she does keep track of those Little Jobs; and I keep breaking up because the twee and mundane and the fucking hell, I can feel my blood pressure rising. Lordy.

Now, I gave KonMari’s Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up a red hot go last year. I looked for joy in all the right places, and I culled and I cleaned and I sorted. Bags and bags of stuff got sent to the op shop and the school fete and to friends with needs for random things that I had but didn’t need. Then I got to a point where I a) didn’t want to spend all my free time tidying up and b) reached a level of ‘clutter’ I can more or less live with. I live with three other people and a hairy little dog, and we all have our own level of mess. Obviously, mess times four is not sustainable (the dog also contributes hair and leaves her toys around the house, so it’s really mess times five), but a girl has to have some light in her life. So, I stopped tidying for a bit to see what would happen.

And this is what happened…

Clothes – well. I have gone back in to all our clothes every few months and culled a bit and culled a bit more and culled a bit too much (oops) to the point where I had to replace a few items with “it will do for now” rather than actual joy sparkers, because public nudity is still not an acceptable thing. On the plus side, some joy sparkers I did keep are now in rotation after the diminishing bosom diminished enough I can do up buttons. There’s nowt like shopping the wardrobe for a wee bargain or ten. BUT, in saying that, the last cull was a wee shopping bag between the four of us, rather than 5-6 garbage bags it was the first time and 3-4 the second time; and to the best of my knowledge, nothing was new with tags. Also, in the past, sorting clothes was a FULL day’s job for the four of us. Now, it took me less than an hour to sort Reg and my wardrobes, and maybe 20 minutes each for the kids. Win.  I have become a more discerning shopper – I know that I do not like certain cuts of t-shirt, I don’t like some fabrics, and I prefer dresses with no defined waist lines. I will go shopping for a precise item of clothing and only buy that item. (And if someone knows where I can replace a pair of butt-ugly walking shorts with pockets, I will be eternally grateful) I’m saving a fortune! Even with the kids clothes, I am buying half what I would have bought them in the year.

Oh, and when I fold the clothes, I can’t help but mutter to myself about Ms Kondo’s folding theory being alright for teeny tiny Japanese lady clothes and underpants for teeny tiny Japanese lady bottoms, while I wrangle the suitable for a six foot plus cuddly Anglo Saxon man’s clothes into submission so they’ll fit into the teeny tiny 1950’s style cupboards we have at ours. Mutter grumble. I did re-jig the folding techniques somewhat to accommodate the relative size differential (in comparison to those tiny Japanese Lady Things) of Man sized (and tall lady sized) items of clothing . Sweet folding spots are over-ridden by the gravitational pull exerted by a XXL hoodie.

Books and paper – I did a massive cull of books last year, and while I’ve had to resort to buying the odd paper book again, I’ve not bought *that* many. I’ve even backed away from the cook books. I have actually exchanged cold hard foldings for e-books as well since my previous source sorta dried up, damnit. And I have always been pretty good at paper – I keep what I have to and cull a year’s worth at a time.

Komono – As far as crap goes, that’s even been kept to an acceptable level. And, again with the discerning shopping… Not buying shit because it’s pretty is a good way to save a load of money and not necessitate an endless cycle of pulling out all the things and putting them all back again to squeeze in the new pretty thing that you are 98% sure you’re going to use once. Oops. There’s a couple of places I need to re-visit, and I still need to get an Old Person to sit down with me and name names in the photo albums, but aside from that – all good. When I look into cupboards, stuff is still more or less where I left it a year ago, if it’s been used, it’s gone back, if it hasn’t been used, it’s still Weird Shit you can’t actually throw out, because it’s all stuff that you’ll need it when you need it and not before, and the effort to procure said weird shit outweighs the minor irritation of keeping it in the damn cupboard.

So, at the end of the day, realistically I am not a minimalist and I never will be. I am never going to end up with bare walls and one artfully placed blossom in a gorgeous vase. While it’s nice to look at, it’s totally not my jam. I like to have nice things around me, and the people I live with also like to have their things out where they can be admired and enjoyed. (And where they can reach them, assuming there’s going to be a shortage of zooper dooper wrappers and chip packets in the future. But that’s mess that can be dealt with by the perpetrator in eleven seconds flat).

My house is tidy enough.

 

 

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.

 

Deck the halls with something something

In the six months preceding November 20th, our calendar was blank. More or less. There was the odd afternoon here and the even odder evening there. BUT in the five weeks leading up to Christmas…

  • One epic family party
  • Two children’s birthdays
  • Two Christmas parties we are both invited to
  • Another two individual parties (each)
  • THREE children’s Christmas parties
  • Some random Christmas thingy we do every year
  • Two end of year events for the kids sport.

In five weeks, we had not one or two but FIFTEEN individual events. Of course, I do take full responsibility for the two kids birthdays – they’re my kids, and hey I should have twigged at some point that doing married people stuff nine months before Christmas will only lead to one thing. And doing it again? I am an idiot.

All the rest of the stuff, though? Fuck. We ditched three events that aren’t even on the list, and there’s another thing that I was invited to  but gave that the arse because fucking hell, fifteen things in five weeks.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t actually hate Christmas – there’s a few aspects of Christmas that I really like. Things like Christmas cake and pudding and mince pies and shortbread and Baileys. Mmmm Baileys. And there’s the other matter of three days off once you get over Christmas Day. That bit is awesome, and best spent with cake and Baileys. I digress.

However, there is a HELL of a lot of stuff I don’t like… like the way the day itself is imbued with the whole borderline hysterical false importance when, particularly when you’re a secular soul such as my good self,  the day itself is basically all about a fancy lunch with presents. Every aspect of the meal gets smeared in significance – it becomes THE Turkey and THE Ham and THE Pork, instead of a selection of cooked meat (which is what it is) plus an assortment of side dishes and puddin and cake.

Don’t even get me started on the whole New Years Eve thing. As soon as the last dish is done from Christmas, it’s all “so, what are you doing for New Year?”Party here and party there… New Years Eve is just staying up late with fireworks and beer. And quite frankly, I think I’m a bit past all that. We got invited to a party on the other side of town – noice. But I have to drive and therefore not drink (don’t even go there. I drive. Reg drinks. Or we taxi. Not happening on NYE.) And to be honest, I don’t think I can be bothered staying up til stupid o’clock on a hot night.

Ok, I got started. But it wasn’t all bad – there was plenty of Baileys and mince pies and all manner of delicious things. And I spent (a little too much) time with my family. And read books. Because what else does one do when one has THREE DAYS OFF WORK!

Down the rabbit hole…

I may or may not have been procrastinating at work the other day, and I definitely didn’t have a deadline or anything, when I got a wee bit side tracked by an article about left/right confusion. Now, saying I’m confused by left and right is – well. I am aware of the concept but my grip on the two directions is a little tenuous and subject to change without notice. That whole north south east west rubbish – well, that’s like the Easter Bunny. Alleged mythological directions that may or may not mean something to somebody else, but are best described as lalalalalalalaaaa to me.

I was visiting a friend in hospital and her mum was very helpfully giving me directions – go in the south door, turn right then go north for about 100m then take the west exit. Pfft. Give me the address. I’ll find it. After more than two directions, it all blurs into itself and stops making any kind of sense. One thing about my degree of directional challenge is that I am not afraid of asking someone to point on a map to where I am right now. Then I can work out where I need to go to be where I’m supposed to be which is usually nowhere near where I think I am. I got lost walking down Russell Street in Melbourne one day. I didn’t turn off anywhere and still ended up two streets away, travelling in the opposite direction. And seriously, I need to go somewhere half a dozen times before I can get there again without relying on the shouty lady in my phone. I had to take one of the kids mates home on the weekend, and I’ve been there at least a dozen times. I go one way, come home another. And I cannot reverse the trip!

Now, while I am definitely no good with directions on a horizontal plane, adding in the up and down axis is um, slightly fraught with danger. I have an issue with heights. Nope, not scared of them in the slightest – quite the opposite in fact. I’m the one pressing my face up against a twentieth story window, looking down on the wee ant people below. But if there’s not an edge or a barrier, I stand well back because I forget where I am. Painting the house, I went to step back to look at my handiwork and realised I was actually 20′ up a ladder painting a gable. Suffice to say, I’m not allowed up ladders without adult supervision.

Anyway, once I get down a rabbit hole, I like to see where I end up, and particularly if I have a deadline, that mysterious little bunny hopping in front of me is totally too tempting for words. I came across this article and ZOMG crikey, man. There’s big bits of that where I’m thinking hrrrm. Yes. Well. Ok. Maybe. No, I don’t do that. Yes, sometimes I still stop and say drum then drumstick (this is only a problem if I’m printing in lower case) and my handwriting is shithouse. I still have flashbacks to learning to tie shoelaces. IT TOOK ME HOURS AND HOURS AND HOURS before I finally worked it out (ok, it wasn’t really that long, but I do remember dad yelling at me that we weren’t going anywhere until I tied my laces. By myself. Or else.)

But it was the last section that got my attention. I am not by nature an organised person. I mean, when I lived by myself, everything got paid, and if I didn’t have a clean shirt, I’d buy one, so I was never bare nekkid at work or anything. There were so many cafes near my house that I could go out for dinner if I’d forgotten to shop (or cereal. Cereal is good for dinner).

I am very organised because someone has to be. I have two children, a dog, a bloke and I work full time. People need to be places with stuff on a daily basis and if I don’t remind people, they wouldn’t. Nor would they have food or electricity or clean clothes and this organise-y business has fallen to moi. I’ve always been a fan of the pile, and moving the pile into a box, and moving the pile filled box to somewhere else (you can actually make a lovely pile of boxes, too). But the thing with having kiddies, is they have a detrimental effect on piles. And they move stuff. And put their stuff in your piles. That is very disturbing.

But the very last bit is what totally cracked me up. My darling mother in law has been doing my ironing for me reasonably regularly, and while I am eternally grateful and really appreciate it – she puts my shirts on hangers any which way and it does my head in! I spent half an hour on the weekend turning all the hangers around so all the shirts are facing the same way in my wardrobe. They’re also organised by sleeve length and colour/pattern. I look in my wardrobe and I sigh with pleasure. Chaos abounds everywhere else, but goddamnit, my wardrobe is a thing of beauty. This has been breaking other people’s brains since 1977.

I really should confess though, that since I’ve got a bit more organised, the order I demand of my wardrobe is spreading to other areas of my life and my house (not my desk at work… that degenerates til it reaches critical mess then I sort the piles out and start again). I like to regard order. It’s soothing, strangely enough. And I am finding as I get older and more mature and that, that order is becoming more important to me. I don’t like ‘missing’ stuff and letting it fall through the cracks. I’ve gone back to analogue – and have a paper calendar and diary. AND I nag other people incessantly about putting their stuff BACK WHERE IT BELONGS SO THEY DON’T HAVE TO ASK ME WHERE IT IS, OK?!?!?!

(Breathe in, breathe out…)

But yeah, might just be a teensy bit dyslexic my good self, maybe. And I met my deadline.