Friday, 30 October 2015

Wet and dreary but it's Friday!

No letter postponing my eye appointment yet :-). No letter confirming it either mind you :-(
I decided to work from home today because of my back. I've been neglecting the stretches horribly, but it's because they are painful to do at the moment and I don't want to aggravate it again/more. Will it never stop???
I was bored rigid with the work I was doing and frustrated by the weather - but as it turned out later when the rain finally stopped, I wasn't comfortable walking anyway. I haven't had a proper walk in forever, it feels like.
I'm now lying on my bed listening to fireworks going off. They sound pretty close and it's the third or fourth night in a row. I miss the days when it really was only on bonfire night... I guess it's the price you pay when you want to live somewhere with mod cons instead of the middle of nowhere rural Wales...

Food today:
Breakfast: buffalo chicken wings 
Lunch: pork scratchings and cream cheese pancakes 
Dinner: 'soupified' pork mince 
Snacks: cream 

Thursday, 29 October 2015

When the fury dies down

What's left is apparently depression, which is a bit weird. But I do feel really down today. 
I went into the office and it was actually quite quiet due to a lot of permies being out for a training day, including most of the managers in the department. My recent surge in work that was making me feel more productive ended as there's a problem needing investigation so I was stuck with tedious paperwork today - that probably contributed to not feeling great, as did the excessive quantities of coffee I drank this morning. But there was also a general air of malaise in the whole office, and the extremely dreary weather didn't help either.
Whatever the reason, today just sucked. In yesterday's rage fuelled tantrum (by the way, apologies for my language, I do try not to go crazy with it here (you should hear me in real life!)) I didn't mention that as soon as I read the letter from the hospital I rang up to try to get some help from the consultant's PA who in the past has been able to find me a slot when the main appointments team couldn't; I was promised a call back today and surprisingly that did happen - and now I have a new appointment booked for Dec 3rd instead of the 24th. I'm very unconvinced, hoping it does happen while basically resigned to not having my check up this year. Resigned but not happy about it. I'm seriously considering making a formal complaint if it gets moved again but I'm a little bit concerned about whether that might just make me unpopular enough there to get no care at all. Admittedly the way things are going that looks a lot like what's happening already... If I'm lucky my file has a massive red flag on it saying DO NOT RESCHEDULE, since I left the poor woman I spoke to yesterday in no doubt as to the strength of my feelings!
I was too grumpy at lunchtime to inflict myself on my walking buddy - and way too grumpy to go out alone while stewing inside in my own head - so I stayed in the office, at my desk, and escaped into a novel instead. The walk might have been a better choice but almost certainly would have involved buying extra food, which is undesirable both in diet terms and in terms of having a budget to stick to now - so staying put was a good second best. At least I didn't let my own crazybrain talk me into eating off plan, even though it was a very hungry day. In fact I had nothing extra with me, and not going out prevented me from rectifying that, with the result that I ate exactly what was on my plan with no extras - a rare thing, I can tell you!
This evening was actually OK - I've been having a lot of computer trouble lately and (fingers crossed) an update I installed this morning may have improved the situation, in which case I won't have to throw my laptop out of the window any time soon...

Food today:
Breakfast: (not very satisfying) crab salad (tinned crab, mayo, dijon mustard and lemon juice - just a splash)
Lunch: meatloaf 
Dinner: lamb burgers 
Snacks: cheese 

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Incandescent with fury

The F**cking Royal f**cking Berkshire so called Hospital have just postponed my appointment for another 6 weeks. That's the third time THEY have changed this appointment, which was originally supposed to happen in the first week of September at the request of one of THEIR consultants. Oh yes, and the new appointment I've been offered is on Christmas Eve  - I'm sure THAT'S going to happen. They might as well have put another postponement letter in the same envelope to save postage.
Good job there's nothing wrong with my eyes, right? Right....

Tuesday, 27 October 2015


I'm doing so much better today :-) The digestive issues all through the weekend and most of yesterday seem to have settled down thankfully. And even though I had too little sleep again last night my brain seems to be adapting to function with what it can get, so I don't feel as foggy. Also I was pretty depressed over the weekend - slight meltdown in which I basically felt like the fattest, laziest, most unfit slob that ever lived - and the clouds seem to be clearing on that front too.
I was really busy at work today and though the specific work I was doing was fairly tedious it was nice to feel more useful and productive. And I was finding issues, which is always nice :-)
The sun came out (literally, not a metaphor) in the morning and it looked quite pleasant out - and it actually stayed that way long enough for my lunchtime walk. It was even quite warm! Very nice for a change.
So today is a better day...

Food today:
Breakfast: meatloaf (beef, lamb and lamb's liver)
Lunch: meatloaf 
Dinner: egg drop soup 

Monday, 26 October 2015


My weekend was lousy as I had an upset stomach both days that prevented me from going anywhere or doing anything except lying on the bed / sofa and sitting on the loo. And it was self inflicted too - too much fat eaten too fast to stave off the carb cravings on Friday.
More than TMI I'm sure. 
So I slept badly again last night - I tried a new hypnosis routine that had me falling asleep in a heartbeat but as always only gave me about 4 hrs sleep before I was waking up again. Then I dozed off for a while but didn't get enough quality sleep to feel particularly good today. I considered working from home but figured that I wasn't bad enough to genuinely need it, so dragged myself in. I'm probably glad I did as I went for my lunchbreak walk and enjoyed it, and enjoyed chatting with a couple of colleagues. Work itself was quite frustrating but there were no reports of things going wrong with the code we deployed on Friday so that was reassuring.

Food today:
Breakfast: pork scratchings 
Lunch: leftover burger and homemade broth 
Dinner: meatloaf 
Snacks: cheese 

Friday, 23 October 2015

Friday overtime

Its hard to be excited for Friday when you finish work at 4 then start again at 5:30...
Ah well, overtime = extra money so think positive Chrissie!
Actually I can't because today has been horrible. I still have back pain so I stayed home instead of going in to the office. I still struggled to get comfortable though. And all afternoon I had cravings for many slices of white toast. Not even gf toast, or artisan worth the pain toast, just slices of cheap white toasted bread. At one point I found myself heading towards the kitchen to give in - but at the last minute stopped myself. Considering how long I've been gf apart from the occasional stumble you'd think that I wouldn't even give bread a second thought but no... I resorted to drinking a diet ginger beer. I'm trying to give them up, but regardless of criticisms of artificial sweeteners I can't help feeling it's better for me than a shed load of gluten laden carby crap. However the effect wasn't particularly long lasting and I then tried some cream, and some cream cheese... Clinging to the thought that these are all mostly fat with protein not what I consider to be junk food. 
At lunchtime I didn't go far a walk, I tried to do my stretches instead. Some of them felt good, some not so much. One quite painful so I quickly backed off on that one. 
Given the above I'm sure you can understand why I'm feeling a fair bit of self pity right now. The forecast storms and below freezing temperatures coming up over the weekend are really not helping. I had plans damn it! OK they require the ability to walk further than the end of the drive, but I'm kind of hoping that's not beyond reach. Hmph.
The overtime work started half an hour late (didn't the same thing happen last time?) and therefore finished half an hour late as well but with no major issues on my end that I'm aware of - I won't know for sure till maybe Tuesday as people use it in the real world. And now I am tired of today so I am declaring it officially over.

Food today:
Breakfast: smallish rump steak with fried eggs 
Lunch: hot pickled beef 
Dinner: bacon 
Snacks: cream and cream cheese 

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Why don't therapeutic massages feel as good as recreational ones?

Well, it didn't rain this morning so I managed to walk to my appointment dry which is good. He's pleased with my progress and added another new stretch to my repertoire for the next couple of weeks. That's all good. Less good was the lower back pain an hour or so later that led to me comfort eating about 1000 excess calories in pork scratchings and cream. Ah well. He tried to mobilise my lower back muscles by basically kneading me like a loaf of bread (you're probably more gentle with your loaves  Joy). It will be good if the mobility does improve but at the moment it sucks. After work I had a hot bath in hopes it would help and it did while I was in there - but the effects didn't persist once I dragged myself out. I had been planning to go for a walk at lunchtime and couldn't even face that - apart from popping to the nearest convenience store otherwise known as pork scratchings and cream shop. 
I cheered myself up a bit by watching Back to the Future while I worked (am I the only one inspired to rewatch them all by the recent 'what did they get right / wrong ' stories on the news websites this week because yesterday was the date they went forward to in the second movie?)
I had a Tesco delivery due between 3 &  4 pm and worked on a little later than usual to make up the time for my appointment earlier. Then it was a pyjamas evening with a lavish serving of self pity....

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Only Wednesday???

Last night wasn't quite as encouraging as the night before though still better than Sunday night and most of the last few weeks. I fell asleep soooo quickly - that part was brilliant - but it's the waking time that is still an issue. Definitely carrying on with the new routine though to see how things develop. I wonder if my reluctance to get up had anything to do with a subconscious reaction to the horrible weather? Bad enough that it's dark in the mornings without rain as well. Especially given that I loathe driving in the rain - not just because of the rain itself but more because of the spray from other vehicles and lorries in particular.
It was hideous pretty much all morning but miraculously dried up in time for my walk - although it stayed very dreary and miserable. 
After work I had a very very brief stroll to the local shop. I couldn't do more because I had things to do, but it was enough to remind me that it does me good to get out after work when I can.
Tomorrow I have a physio appointment and I will be working from home. I really hope for dry weather at least in the morning so I can walk to the clinic without getting wet! 

Food today:
Breakfast: beef heart 
Lunch: meatballs 
Dinner: hot pickled beef 
Snacks: cheese, cream 

Monday, 19 October 2015

Tuesday and (fairly) well rested

I did find and try a sleep hypnosis programme yesterday and I did fall asleep quite quickly - the programme lasted 29 minutes and I have no idea how it ended. I also didn't keep waking up, though I did still wake in the morning at about the same time as usual. Still, that's a big enough improvement to persuade me to continue trying it. I didn't do that in isolation - I also spent the time before bed doing word searches in a paper book instead of reading a backlit kindle (since exposure to that kind of light is blamed for poor sleep) and used a magnesium supplement that is considered to help with sleep - a spray that's absorbed through the skin. I'll be  continuing with all these things for a while to see how I get on as I think a lot of these things cause a gradual improvement rather than working optimally on day 1. Definitely off to a good start - and I wasn't groggy in the morning the way I am if I take Nytol. Usually I wake before my alarm goes off then lie in bed praying it's not nearly morning until the alarm does go off, then I swear and stumble out of bed. This morning I got up before the alarm because I wasn't desperately trying to squeeze out a few more minutes sleep. Of course it is possible my exhaustion simply peaked yesterday and I would have slept better and therefore woken easier even if I'd done none of the above. I can't test that possibility easily and don't mind continuing for now anyway so I'll see how it goes. I did get tired after my lunch time walk - around 2 - but that was so much better than yesterday!
I've been having laptop problems recently and haven't caught up with my blogs or been very productive lately. I'm rubbish with hardware for someone who works in IT - I'm not proud of it but it's true. I just decided last night to reinstall an operating system upgrade from a couple of weeks ago and the damn thing took all last night, was still saying it would be another  6 hours when I left work, and was waiting for me to press a button when I got home from work  - absolutely ridiculous! Sometimes I hate computers. Then I read a blog / order an ebook and love them all over again ;-)

Breakfast: eggs and smoked sausage 
Lunch: pork, Italian herb and parmesan meatballs in homemade bone broth 
Dinner: hot pickled beef (SAVANYC MARHAHUS) - something I've wanted to try since a passing mention in a Sue Grafton book, and it was as good as I hoped despite my non-traditionally cooking it in a slow cooker. 
Snacks: cheese and smoked sausage 

Monday AGAIN???

Saturday night I woke up about 2am (with agonising cramp in my right leg so extreme I leapt up in horror and promptly nearly fell over because the leg and the attached foot didn't want to straighten enough to hold me up - that was restful) and never got back to sleep. Then Sunday I walked 13 miles with my brother... (25 miles in total for the weekend)

You'd think last night I would have been out like a light but unfortunately at some point yesterday my back started bothering me, I guess because we were walking on uneven surfaces (and slippery in places) rather than nice firm pavements, and it was hard to get comfortable when I went to bed. And then I woke up before 4 am again. It's hardly surprising my eyes are sore (both of them not just the crappy one), my head is both fuzzy and buzzy from caffeine, and even though I had a perfectly good breakfast I had also eaten my intended lunch by (I can't believe I'm admitting this) 8 am!!!
Insomnia sucks big time.
This morning I woke up stiff and aching pretty much everywhere although a good stretch sorted most of it out and a hot shower helped too. But I was massively unhappy with the fact that it was Monday already and I was expected to work!  I wanted to work from home but was afraid I'd fall asleep if I did so I dragged myself into the office.
And started eating... I stuck with acceptable foods but portion control went completely out of my head. And stomach. It is hard to overeat protein and fats but I'm quite capable of rising to the challenge...
I was torn between trying to get a few minutes good napping time at lunchtime or going for a walk. The walk won because regardless of how appealing the idea of a nap may be I always feel groggy and thick headed afterwards. Plus sleeping in a car is not my thing but neither is sleeping at my desk and waking up to find people pointing, laughing and photographing my drooling sleep face. Did I say napping was an appealing idea??? Anyway, I walked, it was good because I didn't fall asleep although it was grey and uninspiring (and the sky was much less dramatic than the one in the pictures above) and I had a good chat. Although I almost refused to go back to work, when faced with walking up a steep bridge over the M4. And almost ran away when we walked back into the car park. The downside of the walk was that it allowed me to buy more unnecessary calories - which I then consumed.
After work and food prep jobs I sought out and downloaded a free sleep hypnosis thing to my iPad. It's poised to play as soon as I turn off the light and I'll fill you in on how it goes tomorrow. I am hopeful - a while back I bought Paul McKenna's I can make you thin book which came with a self hypnosis cd; it didn't make me think obviously but that could be because I listened to it in bed and always fell asleep before the end - which I hope is a good sign! Thanks for the suggestion, Diane!

Food today:
Breakfast: homemade sausage patties with fried eggs 
Brunch/morning snack/Lunch: pork scratchings at 8 am. And bacon at 1 pm.
Dinner: the last piece of meatloaf 


I am so tired I can't even imagine or remember not being tired.
I need to sleep for a week.
Sadly life does not permit 

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Saturday in London again

So we went to London today on impulse. We got off to a poor start when we accidentally got on a stopping train instead of a much faster one - adding an hour to the journey time :-0
By the time we finally got there we were both starving so we started looking for somewhere to eat - we had a bbq place in mind but halfway there decided it was too far and turned back to a place we'd passed along the way. 
After lunch we went for a coffee before finally starting to walk properly. It was a fairly dull day but mild and dry, and we covered a reasonable distance - back and forwards along The Strand and Fleet Street, then through Trafalgar Square, along Pall Mall, past Buckingham Palace, through Green Park, Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens and then on to Paddington.

After the (much shorter) train ride back again we walked along the river a bit before heading home. About 12 miles in total and I felt good about it!

Seriously, does anyone know how to resize photos using the blogger app for iPhone? Does it require buying a paid app or something? Apologies for the massive and intrusive size of all my photos since I started adding them again...
Food today:
Breakfast: 3 bacon rashers 

The Almighty - I only ate the 2 burger patties with cheese and a piece of bacon
Dinner: tandoori mixed grill from the takeaway. (Of which I ate about half - so I have some left for tomorrow!)

Thursday, 15 October 2015


Well, as predicted I didn't sleep well last night. I actually got up about 4:15 because it seemed pointless to just keep lying there with my brain running in circles. I didn't feel as tired as I expected once I got up though, something of a miracle.
I was really hoping for something quite challenging at work so I could distract myself and stay awake, but it was not to be - I was regression testing, AKA rerunning tests I've run a thousand times before in case new development has broken older pre-existing functionality. It's always boring, sometimes the mindlessness is useful but not today.
I found the energy for the mandatory lunchtime walk and even managed to buy some stuff. Which I refused on principle to buy a plastic carrier bag for, even though I had to stuff a kilo of rice into the inner pocket of my fleece and walk back to the office looking slightly deformed. 
Soon after we got back I started feeling less than well - a bit wobbly; luckily I'd also bought some precooked bacon and was able to eat my way out of wobbliness! I felt fine after that which was fortunate because I had an appointment to donate blood this evening and didn't want to cancel it. It was fine and now I'm so tired all I can do is have the most ridiculously early early night ever - switching the lights off... Now!

Food today:
Breakfast: beef burger sliced in half to form the 'bread' for a cheese sandwich and a cup of homemade bone broth 
Lunch: cold meat sandwiches - made using a couple of the pancakes I made yesterday evening.
Dinner: bone broth and pork scratchings 
Snacks: bacon 

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Work is tiring

Even though all I do is test software. Actually it's really not sleeping well that is tiring, I'm just feeling it more because people frown on taking a nap at your desk. I wish I could have a decent nights sleep - I've now tried 1) taking an early night with no chemical assistance 2) staying up a bit later to hopefully readjust my body clock 3) taking Nytol and 4) (oops) a little whisky last night to help me relax. Nothing is working! And it's probably beginning a cycle of drinking more caffeine because I'm so tired and sleeping less because of all the caffeine. Aaarrgghhhh 
I did have the energy for a walk at lunchtime, in fact I desperately needed it to get away from the desk. I think I'm getting old - I walked to the supermarket then couldn't remember what I wanted. I still can't remember what I wanted! I wandered around the meat section briefly hoping to spot something that would jog my memory then went back to the office empty handed.
This evening became an emotional time due to family drama and upset. I was in the position of mediator of sorts - yeah, I suck at that and relying on me to help with this stuff is more likely to result in a homicide investigation than hugs all round. I'm all worked up now (look at the way I'm making it all about me when it's not) - I hate conflict and people hurting my family, and most of all my family hurting each other :-(

Food today:
Breakfast: meatloaf 
Lunch: meatloaf 
Dinner: burger, bone broth, and a cheese sandwich made with a pancake from a recipe I found on a forum. I can't really link to the recipe but you blend mayo with eggs and a little flavouring - in my case salt, garlic powder and onion powder - then fry them as a normal pancake. Really good!
Snacks: cheese 

Weight today: 11 st 3.8 lbs / 157.8 lbs / 71.7 kgs

Tuesday, 13 October 2015


I slept a bit better last night although I still woke up too early. Still, nice not to be completely knackered before the day even starts. 
My walking buddy worked from home today so I had to walk alone at lunchtime.  I also needed a  couple of bits from various shops in the village so I didn't go to the supermarket, instead I did my errands and then just walked enough to fill the available time. It wasn't as satisfying as the usual walk OR the walks I take when working from home, but it still got me out of the office and moving so it was worth it. And I remembered to take a carrier bag to avoid the bag tax.
I found a sort of park more or less across the road. As you can see its not exactly maintained, designed, or from the look of it, used much. I saw it more as a 'we couldn't get planning permission' gap in a housing estate than a proper Park. But at least it is green...

You can also see the weather was a bit gloomy, as the weekend is forecast to be. Shame given that my brother is visiting and already put in an order for 'lots of fresh air'
This evening I baked! I've felt zero interest in baking since deciding to go low carb, much less animal only, but I still have some ingredients left from my previous life in the cupboards and freezer and I suddenly decided to start to use them up while I can take them in to work. I found a recipe for (gluten free) cocoa brownies and was all set to make them on Sunday when I invited my brother over for the weekend - he's an ardent chocoholic and tomorrow is his birthday! How could I not make them for him? They turned out well, don't you think? Not that I can eat them, so I could be wrong....

Food today: 
Breakfast: meatloaf with a little cheese 
Lunch : meatloaf 
Dinner: homemade pork sausage and eggs 
Snacks: bone broth, prawns 

I need a nap



I took a nytol last night because last week I slept so little and I was a bit concerned that my body wasn't really letting me catch up. So this morning I woke up quite early, made myself stay in bed till my alarm went off, and despite the prolonged waking up period still felt groggy as hell this morning. Blech. Thank any and all gods for coffee!!! Lots and lots of coffee....
Being in work Is now back to being boring, which is kind of my comfort zone as far as work goes. But I'm still enjoying being around people and chatting, which is not like me - I'm more inclined to sit in a corner reading a book generally.
It was cold again today, quite sunny so I managed a nice walk at lunchtime (apparently I didn't scare my walking buddy off yesterday - and today I let him talk too:-))
I had a fright coming home today when my car declared that the tyre pressure was low and I should stop carefully... I was nearly home so I carried on the  last half mile or so very cautiously and not only made it without problems but when M helped me check the pressure was absolutely fine. You know you're in trouble when your car is lying to you...
After work I briefly popped to the local shop - still quite nice weather if cold. All together 3.4 miles, less than I'd like but not bad for a work day while the mornings are so dark...

Food today:
Breakfast: homemade Scotch Eggs 
Lunch: meatloaf 
Dinner: burgers 
Snacks: homemade Scotch egg (leftover from breakfast)

Monday, 12 October 2015

Back to work

Its sort of nice to be back (if I don't think too hard about not liking working in IT) Very nice to see the people I like here, of whom there are several. And people seemed pleased to see me - even people who wouldn't have had to do my work if I'd stayed gone. I had forgotten / overlooked my hatred of driving in the dark though. Ah well, I will have to get used to it again.
Lunchtime of course I went for a walk. Compared to hiking through forest for two hours it was not an exciting route, just the normal trip to Sainsburys, but as always the company made up for that. I was a little bit lonely last week and today on the walk I barely stopped talking... I don't think I scared my walking buddy off, but I guess I'll know at lunchtime tomorrow if he has more important things to do :-)
Mid afternoon we had a fire drill and that was another opportunity to catch up with people in the sun - although, bloody hell that was a cold wind today. I think I may have to stop wearing t-shirts to work and accept that despite the sunshine it is definitely autumn now.

Food today: 
Breakfast: meatloaf 
Lunch: pork scratchings 
Dinner: pork chops

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Lost in the woods

I went exploring this morning in the heath near here that I think I mentioned last weekend. When I first discovered it I thought it was just a relatively small  stretch of woods filling in the gap between two busy ish roads, but last weekend I discovered a new area I hadn't tried before and today I found another expanse. If I'd ever looked on a map it wouldn't surprise me so much - but this way is more fun! Most of the time that I've spent in there up until today has been very much restricted to clearly marked footpaths but today I was in a wilder section right among the trees with no real track to follow - it was great, so much more natural and requiring much more attention to direction and what was underfoot.

I could have spent a lot longer in there but suddenly realised it was nearly lunchtime, I'd promised to pick something up for M, and I had no idea how far from the edge I was! Luckily although you can walk for miles parallel to the road it's not very deep so I was able to aim for the car noises in the distance and find my way out without any problem - apart from extremely muddy shoes thanks to all the rain on Monday and Tuesday.

Food today:
Breakfast: scrambled eggs with sautéed chicken gizzards 
Lunch: halloumi and gammon, both lightly fried in a tiny bit of butter 
Dinner: 5 spice chicken wings 
Snacks: a little cream

Weight today: 11 st 4 lbs / 158 lbs / 71.8 kgs.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Day off #7

AKA duvet day
Yep, no big walk today...
I intended to go out after my telephone call with the new company I was talking to, but I slept about 3 hours last night and after all the excitement this morning I just didn't have the energy. And exciting (within the context of my life) it was... I got up this morning and instantly checked for an email from my old boss, from now on known as A, telling me I had a job. There was nothing.
At 8:25 I was resigned to that job not working out and considering taking the other one rather than continue being stressed about the unknowns. And then literally 5 minutes later my real agent called to say the powers that be had signed off on my extension (if you can call it that after a week off).
Then all I had to do was let the other agent know and the rest of the day was my own. Which was nice, but I truthfully couldn't figure out what I wanted to do with it.
So I got back into bed and curled up with a book until lunchtime.
After lunch I sat on the sofa with a book instead of going back to bed, which I consider relatively dynamic of me all things considered.
The high point of the day (apart from a long chat with my Dad and his wife on the phone) was a relaxing hot bath mid  afternoon.
You could call it a wasted day, particularly given that it was mostly sunny, but I really enjoyed it and have no regrets!

Food today:
Breakfast: belly pork slices
Lunch: scrambled eggs with bacon and a sautéed lambs kidney 
Dinner: Chicken gizzards!!! Slow cooked in water with seasonings for 6 hours then pan fried with various spices
Snacks: a slice of gammon, a little cheese 

Job news

Starting back at my old job on Monday!!!

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Day off #6

Aka haircut day / physio day
I have to admit I've neglected the stretching a bit the last couple of days because it's been aggravating the lower back pain from lugging furniture around. I told the physio guy about that and he advised me not to do one of them anymore, and to treat with heat to help with that. A prescription for hot baths!
Also I still hate getting my hair cut. M uses clippers on his own head, and every time I decide I have to get shorn again I consider (briefly) borrowing his clippers with the longest settings and doing the same thing. That would probably reveal that my head, under all this annoyingly thick and fast growing hair, is shaped like a squashed potato or something so I've resisted so far.
It was freezing cold but sunny this morning so after the hair cut I went for a two hour walk. It was nice, and almost pain free. Then I added a couple more miles in the afternoon going to the clinic for a total of just under 9 (no pictures today I'm afraid.) Add in my Tesco delivery this morning and I had my busiest day off so far!
I didn't hear anything from the last contract I was on or the agent associated with it so I'm pretty much resigned to that not working out. Or not in time anyway. I'm still agonising about the other job - I'm due to discuss it with the test lead at 9 tomorrow morning.

Food today:
Breakfast: bacon and eggs 
Lunch: homemade beef burgers 
Dinner: broth 
Snacks: cheese 

Weight today: 11 st 4.6 lbs / 158.6 lbs  / 72.1 kgs 

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Interview day

I slept well until about 3, then dreamed that I forgot to call for my interview until 10 minutes after it should have started, then when I remembered couldn't find the phone number.... My subconscious is paranoid and not very subtle about it... Luckily in the real, awake world none of that actually happened! Although there was a mix up where the agent told me that the interview was at 9 this morning (I've double checked the email) while the client believed my interview was 9 am on Friday - so I basically joined someone else's interview conference call) They did fit me in at 9:30... Unfortunately I decided I don't want to pursue this one. I'm a hands on manual tester and they want a hands off supervisor type role. I did that sort of thing for 2 months back at the beginning of the year and hated it - on that job it was just part of my role whereas in this job it would be all I did. Not me at all! (Not to mention that the role was not being compensated at supervisor / team leader rates) And guess what? I emailed the agent to say I didn't think it was the role for me (slightly presumptuous but I didn't want to waste his time) and he comes back to me to say they were so impressed by me they want to put a hold on the other interviews they have planned!!! Why do I have to be so amazing?!?!?! Of course I now feel terrible for turning away a contract, but I can't be what I'm not.... The agent then went off to ostensibly talk to them about my concerns. The idea was that if they were able to reassure me we'd have another phone call on Friday morning - why do I feel sure he'd tell me everything is fine and then on Friday nothing would have changed? I confess though that at the moment I'm talking to them again on Friday morning....
And then as I was writing the above paragraph I got an IM from my boss at my last contract asking if I'm available to go back on Monday.... Errr, hell yeah! Except after asking the question he didn't come back to me so I don't know if he meant will you come back on Monday? Or if it was more of a ner ner you don't have a job yet... My life is chaotic and it confuses me.

After the interview I went for a walk to relax. I bet you're surprised to hear that! It really didn't work though. I did manage to hurt my back on Saturday with the furniture removal and after about a mile I started feeling like someone was gently stabbing me in the lower back. And then it started drizzling. And I came home. 

Am I the only one who thinks that the lake in the top photo looks like the world's biggest chocolate milkshake? If it is just me I might be revealing more than I intended.... :-D

Food today:
Breakfast: homemade beef burgers 
Lunch: broth
Dinner: beef burgers 
Snacks: cheese, consolatory cream 

Weight today: 11 st 4 lbs / 158 lbs / 70 kgs.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Day off #4

Torrential, almost biblical rain this morning...
The forecast said it would start off lightly around 8 and when I realised, around 7, that it hadn't started yet I went out for an early walk. It wasn't exactly delightful weather but I managed an hour and a quarter give or take without getting wet apart from a few brief showerings when I walked under overhanging trees. 

Like these.

I did stay on pavements to avoid the slippery mud caused by yesterday's non stop drizzle so the walk itself was a little less satisfying, but it burned off some energy and left me perfectly happy to curl up with a book afterwards. It's amazing what a difference managing to get out early and dry made to my spirits - yesterday the early frustration set me up to overeat for the rest of the day even after I went to Tesco, whereas today I wasn't at all tempted by excess. Yesterday I spent a lot of my time reading and watching TV, both of which I do a lot through choice, but resented it because I felt trapped indoors; today I did the same things and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I love reading, always have - my Kindle is surgically attached to my hand - and I love trying new authors. Lately I've been using Bookbub to try out new authors before deciding if I like them enough to buy. I've found quite a few new series that way, and expanded from my long term murder mystery habit to revisiting my rather neglected love of science fiction and fantasy.
One other thing that is making me a happier Chrissie today than yesterday - I have a telephone interview tomorrow morning! Please keep your fingers crossed for me around 9 am....

Food today:
Breakfast: T-bone steak 
Dinner: leftover roast lamb from yesterday.
Snacks: cheese 

Weight today: slightly regretting my claim I wanted more accountability, but I'm not stopping now... Fluctuations are common regardless of type of diet, and seeing the effect of eating more or drinking less is useful anyway... I guess 
Weight today: 11 st 6 / 160 lbs / 72.7 kgs 

Monday, 5 October 2015

Day off #3

I feel cheated and betrayed by the weather today. How can it rain today on only the 3rd day of weekday freedom?

I got up at my usual time - I don't want to start sleeping in later and then have to readjust when I go to work again - and it was already drizzly and miserable. I popped out to the post box around 9 and it was drizzling some more. Then I realised I had run out of dishwasher tablets and had no choice but to dash to Tesco. OK I could have driven but it's only just over a mile and I have a fundamental problem with driving such a short distance. So I took my hated umbrella and walked. The umbrella did keep my head (especially face) dry, which is the thing I find most important when walking in the rain, but my jeans and the shirt I wore loose over them were both drenched, even though the rain looked really light. I must admit I had been bored sitting in the house and considered going further, that's why I bothered taking the umbrella, but it was just too unpleasant. I did just under 3.5 miles between the two trips and was relieved to get home and immediately strip to my underwear. Doesn't it seem unfair that I only got 2 sunny days last week before being trapped inside today? I think it is. And tomorrow looks awful too.... If it's going to stay like the I need a job. Even more than I already did.
So today I did some laundry, read blogs and forums, photographed the dreary view from my bedroom window (see above), cooked a small boneless lamb shoulder (in the slow cooker - so that involved flicking a switch - not exactly exciting), watched some TV.... You get the point. If I'd slept all day it probably wouldn't have felt like I missed anything.

Food today:
Breakfast: bacon and eggs 
Lunch: pork scratchings 
Dinner: slow cooked lamb shoulder 
Snacks: double cream I know, I know 

Weight today: 11 st 5.6 lbs / 159.6 lbs / 72.5 kg 

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Sunday too???

Good grief it's cold in the morning these days! When we get up in the morning we have to open the bathroom window before showering / bathing due to inadequate ventilation and you really feel it if you're the second one using the bathroom after that!
It was a beautiful sunny morning despite the low temperature today and although I had some aches after my furniture removal antics yesterday I was feeling a lot more like taking a walk today than yesterday. So I went for a good 8 miles - most of it along the side of the local river, through 4 different parks constructed (if that's the right word) along the river bank plus a local heath that isn't in the valley. It was excellent and as most of it was not along smooth tarmaced pavements but through fields and woods, it was probably better exercise too. 

I would have been out longer but I was starving and didn't want to trust to buying food out, so I abandoned my intention of walking home again and caught the train back instead. Distance wise though I'd happily do it again, leave earlier so I could be back by lunchtime and / or take a snack (and some water  - I forgot AGAIN and felt quite dehydrated towards the end) and go for a proper round trip.
Lately I've been a little bit in a rut of walking while reading when covering the same ground all the time. One of the things I've definitely enjoyed this week has been taking my time, exploring a bit, and not reading because I'm not on auto pilot. Take the picture above of the toadstool looking all lethal and red (it probably isn't, but you must admit it's a sinister colour) - on a normal weekend walk by myself things like that could have been growing all around me and I wouldn't even have noticed them!

Food today:
Breakfast: scrambled eggs with cheese and bacon 
Lunch: defrosted 5 spice pork mince 'souped' with homemade bone broth 
Dinner: buffalo chicken wings 
Snacks: creme fraiche 

Weight today: 11 st 5.2 lbs / 159.2 lbs / 72.3 kg 

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Saturday post?

Today our house decluttering took a fairly major stride forwards when we donated two large bookcases and a dining table to the British Heart Foundation. We've tried to sell them online I admit, but because we can't deliver and they're really heavy, very good quality solid wooden furniture (no veneers!) we couldn't shift them, or not without pricing them ridiculously cheaply. They all cost a fortune when we bought them but for the last few years we've been paying movers to ship them around the country and then sticking them in the designated storage room until the next move. Not any more - and though I always loved the bookcases I'm not sorry to see them go to hopefully find a better home. And make some money for one of my favourite charities at the same time.
The British Heart Foundation collect from your house so first thing in the morning M and I were lugging furniture from the depths of the bedroom to the front of the house. He took the lion's share of the weight but couldn't move them alone, so that was no fun and I expect my back will be telling me off tomorrow. We were given a collection slot between 8 and 1 so I had to stick around until they came - which meant not getting my favourite walk time of the weekend, in the morning while it's quiet because most people don't get up / go out as early on the weekend of course, whereas I have trained myself never to be able to sleep past 5 am. Even on holiday. Even at Christmas. Or unemployed. Because I'm ridiculous.
Anyhow. As soon as the furniture was moved to the front door I collapsed on the bed for a rest and stayed there until the BHF men came just after 12. Once they had released me I was able to get my walk in but by then my back had started protesting so I cut it short and took a hot bath.
My food was mostly good today (mainly because I couldn't get in the kitchen until the furniture was collected, but whatever works) and I walked just under 3 miles.

Food today:
Breakfast: scrambled eggs and bacon 
Lunch: meatloaf 
Dinner: beef burger 
Snacks: creme fraiche 

Weight today: 11 st 5.8 lbs / 159.8 lbs / 72.6 kg - that's what happens when you don't eat a carton of double cream and a large quantity of bacon :-)

Friday, 2 October 2015

Day off #2

Today wasn't as nice as yesterday. I had a few chores to do and it was good to be able to get them done early while the post office etc were quiet instead of having to cram in at lunchtime with all the working folk. But I wasn't feeling 100% - I had a bit of a nagging headache - and I was stupid enough to try fixing it by going for a walk in the sunshine - without thinking about how bright the sun was. It aggravated things of course, and I ended up cutting it short so I could go home for some painkillers. The pills helped, but I didn't really feel like doing much after that.
So the rest of the day was spent lounging around mostly. 
I planned to make today an egg fast day and breakfasted accordingly, but once I started feeling crappy the idea of eating more eggs made me feel a bit nauseous, so I broke it very quickly. However feeling dodgy off and on for the afternoon meant I was absolutely not tempted to overeat  or drink any alcohol, so I suppose that was a  positive after the last couple of days. I'm not sure if feeling dodgy was down to overindulging (very small indulgences compared to past efforts, but I suppose it's all about tolerances), whether it was a cumulative effect of many bad night's sleep, or a reaction to the recent work stress hitting after my body relaxed - but whatever it was - blech.

Food today:
Breakfast: cheesy scrambled eggs
Lunch: meatloaf 
Dinner: lamb chops 

Weight today: 11 st 7.2 lbs / 161 lbs / 73.2 kgs. Yesterday proved to be the first day of TTOM and combined with the water retention that implies I also wound up overdoing both pork rinds and cream (go on then, slap my wrist!) Luckily it feels like it's out of my system now and the effect should be temporary. Bloody typical that it happened right after I decided to start reporting my weight on here.... I have to admit I was thisclose to pretending to forget....

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Day off #1

Well, still no news about going back and working back for the same company. Could just be inefficiency, could be significant. While waiting I am applying for other jobs, keep your fingers crossed for me one way or the other please!
This morning I celebrated my day off with a 6 mile walk in the sunshine along a local river and through a park. I didn't know the park was even there before today - it was really good to explore a bit!

I feel so relaxed I hardly recognise myself today - peace and quiet, time to do my back strengthening stretches without interruption, TV watching and reading. A mini holiday :-) Hopefully it won't last long enough for the shine to come off...

Food today:
Breakfast: bacon and eggs
Lunch: beef heart
Dinner: meatloaf
Snacks: pork rinds

Weight today: 11 st 6 lbs / 160 lbs / 72.7 kgs. So that's what eating peanut butter carbs, excessive sodium and too much meat does...