Friday, 29 August 2014


Probably because of the heavy heavy rucksack I carried a mile yesterday, last night I developed back pain and in the interest of being able to train consistently, skipped this morning. And... Wait for it... I felt depressed all morning because I hadn't trained. I don't enjoy feeling like that, but have no problem with the idea of me being a habitual training person - I've been trying to get back there for ages. It didn't help that I'm having well deserved stomach issues from eating gluten on holiday - I'm telling myself that it's my body clearing out the toxins. As quickly as possible. As a result my weight this morning was 167 lbs. Still not good but below the 12 st psychological barrier.
Lunchtime I intended to walk but decided against getting too far from the bathroom, so instead felt it was a better idea to eat crisps & a bounty.
Sigh. Again.
Ah well, at least I stayed well away from the gluten...

Food today:
Breakfast: chocolate banana mylk shake from Ani's fat blast
Lunch: curried cilantro cucumber raw soup, Bounty, Ready Salted crisps
Dinner: massive chicken salad
Snacks: cashews & dried mango

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Back to earth with a bump...and how much do I wish I'd taken the rest of the week?

Ah well, it's got to be done I suppose. The real downside of holidays - especially the really good ones - is definitely the return to normal life.
So where am I? Well, before the holiday I was afraid of the scales because I was giving in to the urge to binge too much and was about as far from low carb as it is possible to get. This morning I did weigh myself, and while I wasn't happy to see a big and unlovely number (full disclosure: 169 lbs) I think that actually reflects a smaller weight increase than on past cruises (maybe even half as much as usual) which makes me a little happier. There were definitely a few changes for the better on this holiday, though I didn't stick to my pre-holiday plans.
1) low carb till dinner - I started out doing this but (my theory) due to not low carbing in the month or so prior I found training fatiguing that way. I always feel better - less bloated and blobby - when I train on holiday so I deliberately chose to up the carbs earlier in the day by allowing myself pays at breakfast and some potato / rice at lunch
2) gluten free - nope, not really, but I only knowingly ate gluten on approx 40% of the days, and nowhere near every meal on those days, plus I was mostly moderate (excluding the day I ate pizza)
3) training daily - only skipped twice and one of those was due to an early starting full day trip - there simply wasn't time
4) avoid cakes, cookies, and desserts - I did avoid these things most of the time during the day, and didn't force desserts when I was full, but they're really good on a cruise so I didn't pull that one off
5) avoid pizza - had it once
6) drink less. Ummmmm. Well. Ahhh... I never got drunk / was hungover
7) don't stuff yourself stupid - only failed that one twice

Hey, I was on holiday, and I loved it, so eh.
The travel days I don't think I'll bore you with, especially if you've managed to work through the 10,000,000 posts I uploaded yesterday. I would have tried to stagger them but that way I tend to lose interest and peter out, so I (obviously) didn't.

This morning I intended to get up at 4:45 to train but woke up irrevocably at about 4am. So I got up and trained slightly earlier than planned. Then ate a low carb breakfast and drove to work. Where I discovered lots of slightly scary stuff had happened in my absence - a reorganization & some redundancy - that appears not to immediately change my situation but does leave me feeling a tiny bit insecure.
At lunchtime I walked 2 1/4 miles (the second half with a heavy rucksack.) It was pleasantly sunny & warm after a wet start to the day and allowed me to get a break from the not very happy office, so it was well worth it.
Outside of work & training I'm fairly busy trying to catch up with the unpacking & laundry and making up for a stupid screw up I committed on the 14th - namely accidentally switching off a fridge freezer before going away for two weeks. Luckily it was a small fridge freezer and we have another bigger fridge and freezer that were left switched on with much more stuff in- but you can probably imagine the delightful aroma we came back to (and the lovely cleaning job I came back to) not to mention the loss of some leftovers I'd been planning to use to get us through to the weekend for my proper shopping trip....

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with tomato,onion & red pepper, then topped with a bit of grilled bacon finely chopped
Lunch: salad with ham (bought salad mix because there's only what fresh food I could carry in my rucksack yesterday in the house)
Dinner: grilled beef burger served on & with salad

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Tuesday: Le Havre

This was a port I wasn't really interested in before we went - or bothered about while we were there. Le Havre isn't a destination port,it's just the most convenient port for Paris, and as Paris is a 3 hour coach trip from the port (that's each way, not round trip) it makes a very long trip for actually not that long in Paris - so we didn't bother. In the morning we intended to walk to the centre of Le Havre - primarily for something to do - but that was about it. In fact when we left the ship there was a little 'train' boarding outside the terminal buildings - a few trolleys with benches that was being pulled down the road by a small motorized vehicle - and we ended up going into town on that, mainly for the audio tour that was played, so we could find out a bit about the town along the way. Sadly the train was uncomfortable and the tour pretty sparse, so we just walked back. I understand that Le Havre was massively damaged by the bombing in the Second World War, and that they basically rebuilt from the ground up, but to be honest the architectural style they chose didn’t appeal to me – lots of prefab squares made from concrete – so it wasn’t an appealing town to me. But it was the only real walk I got on this holiday (unless you count xxxx miles walked on board the ship, up and down stairs and along endless corridors (by cruising holiday mantra: Too many f**king stairs!!!) so that alone was a bonus



We got back at lunchtime, and narrowly escaped a torrential rain shower. The rest of the day consisted of a few walks round the ship, two visits to the buffet (lunch & dinner) and lots of relaxing in the cabin to prepare for returning to the real world.
All meals: buffets

Monday: at sea again

We were travelling from Edinburgh to Le Havre all day today. To be honest I'm not fussed about going to Le Havre so I would have preferred an overnight in Edinburgh.
The clocks went forward an hour in preparation for France. As a result I didn't get up until 8:17 this morning, and by the time I'd finished training the morning was half over. We always spend sea days lounging around doing very little, and today was no exception. TV watching, wandering around the ship, eating, watching more TV, wandering around the ship…

Food today:
Breakfast: Bircher muesli
Lunch: club sandwich with potato crisps
Dinner: tian of crab, scallop & prawn

Chilled goat cheese soup with tempura grapes (the soup was gorgeous but the tempura grapes were odd)

Lobster tails & prawns

Sugar-free chocolate tapioca


Sunday: Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a beautiful, wonderful city - and one day is not enough to see it. Especially if you make a mistake and book a full day tour that doesn't allow exploration, as we did. Don't get me wrong, the tour was excellent, but it focused on Edinburgh Castle & the royal yacht Britannia - with lunch & a city drive included - and we only had about 45 minutes on the Royal Mile. We never even made it to Princes Street! I really didn't want to get back on the ship at the end of the day - and I WILL be back again!
The castle was very interesting but horrifyingly overcrowded with tourists (yes, I know I'm a tourist too, but I'm the right kind of tourist so I don't count :-))
Lunch wasn't great, but it also wasn't terrible and it was convenient. Plus we spent lunch talking to a lovely pair of ladies from Michigan, which was very enjoyable.
Driving around the 'New town' - Georgian Edinburgh - and the Old Town - 15th & 16th century Edinburgh I saw so many streets I wanted to explore, so many whiskey shops to visit (ok, other shops too)... I really want to go back, can you tell?




The yacht Britannia was very interesting. M got a bit Marxist about the excess of running a yacht with over 240 crew - including a full admiral commanding them - for one family on the tax payer, but it was a fascinating insight into the politics & diplomacy of the history of the yacht.

The Queen’s bed chamber & Prince Phillip’s:


The honeymoon suite:



Sadly once we left the yacht we had no time for anything but returning to the ship. Due to the size of the Ruby Princess we couldn't dock and had to travel to and from the ship by tender, which is slower than using a gangway, eating further into the time we had there. Although the trip back, when we managed to get seats on the top, was actually pleasant in itself.

Food today:
Breakfast: buffet
Lunch: melon with red & black currants followed by chicken in Bonnie Prince Charlie sauce with veg, then Cranachan

Dinner: Pacific scallops


followed by goat cheese, beets, and heirloom tomatoes


followed by a filet mignon with tiger prawns in a whisky, chilli marinade, with vegetables & potatoes (served family style all over the table). I asked for the steak & prawns (which were a separate dish on the menu) expecting a kind of surf ‘n’ turf dish, but she brought the prawns as a whole separate dish


and lemon meringue pudding tart