Wednesday, 31 August 2016


After reading Diane's comment I'm typing this while hiding under the bed in case of bird eating spiders... Thanks for tonight's nightmares :-)
No sign of the spider today but I did hear a mysterious crash earlier that could have been an armchair getting thrown at the wall and there was no one home but me....
The true horror today was housework. The hoovering and scrubbing bathrooms wasn't the worst, in fact the worst was technically outside the house... I realised (several weeks ago) that the tenant before us clearly didn't use my 'pouring cooking fat into a jar and binning it' approach to maintaining the plumbing. This was clear from the fatberg in the drain outside my kitchen window. I tried using a drain unblocker but the mess just laughed at it so I ended up hacking at it with a knife and lifting out the chunks. I may have thrown up a little in my mouth. I wouldn't mind if it had been my mess (well I would, but less so) but having to do it because he couldn't be bothered is kind of galling. Blech bleurgh. One of the worst things about renting houses is realising that even my decidedly unhouseproud standards are way way way more demanding than most tenants...

Apart from that I went to the library and Tesco. I'm currently alternate day egg fasting with a low carb diet on the other days and I keep underestimating how many eggs I need. Tomorrow I'm going to be 35 again and it's made me feel a sense of urgency about the weight loss. But since its not the first, second, or even 5th time of being 35 the results aren't really reflecting my efforts. I'm not giving up though, even if it is 30000000 times harder than it was when I was actually 35....

Oh yeah, no job yet. And tomorrow I have an eye test booked so that should be fun.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Attack of the killer spider

The most exciting things that happened today was early this morning when I walked towards the kitchen door after breakfast and was stopped in my tracks by the sight of the biggest spider I ever saw in the hall. We both stood there trying to stare each other out for a while... I think it planned to trap me in the kitchen all day but I was armed with a large book and after I waved the book at it a few times it made a dash for the study and vanished under a filing cabinet (I'm pretty sure I saw the cabinet lift up in the air as it squeezed under there... Seriously, we're talking big big spider)
The creepy thing is I think it's still under there waiting until I lower my guard and then.... well, let's just say that I don't plan to miss any posts this week so if I disappear I'm probably stuck in a Web up in the attic and you should call out the army....
Apart from that little drama my morning consisted of a hot sweaty trip to the post box while the sun rose,

A hotter sweatier trip to the Library (sorry librarians), a long overdue mowing of the lawn - which was horrendous and I almost wished the spider would come out so I could harness it to the mower while I stayed in the shade - and week 4 of the Financial Markets course on coursera. Apparently I get my best scores on the end of week quizzes if I watch the video while playing candy crush. I don't know why but it could just be I fall asleep less that way. I also did half of week 4 of the Ancient Greeks course (that one I have to actually watch, listen and think about if I want to score well, guessing at the answers doesn't work as well)
A little housework was done as well, not too much because I went a bit wobbly after the mowing and felt that was a good enough excuse to choose more sedentary activities for the rest of the day. These activities included TV and peanut butter.

Monday, 29 August 2016

Nice quiet Bank Holiday weekend

On Saturday I visited my Mum, and we had a lovely chatty relaxing day. We didn't go anywhere because the weather forecast was dodgy and also I was feeling lazy. Apart from popping out for a pub lunch. 
Driving home again I passed through a torrential downpour at one point with hardly any visibility but most of the day, in the end, regardless of the forecast, was mainly overcast yet dry, so we probably could have gone out... but sometimes it's nice to visit the house you grew up in, which still feels like home, and just sit and chat and feel at home - right?
Sunday I did very little again, just a short walk to Tesco followed by watching the movie Goosebumps - silly but fun :-)
Today was a day of TV watching, reading, and again just a short walk to Tesco. I now feel relatively relaxed and revived - hopefully I'll sleep ok tonight and not lose all that :-)

Friday, 26 August 2016

Still too hot, but not as bad...

I did indeed have a very lazy day yesterday after overdoing things on Wednesday. I made it to the library but it wiped me out and I didn't mow the lawn. It's quite possible that I still haven't mowed the lawn... But I did 2 lots of laundry. And a little shopping.
I spent a lot of the day fighting to stay awake as I'm still sleeping about as well as always. I did do another segment of my Ancient Greeks online course as well so I wasn't completely unproductive... I didn't manage to last through a 33 minute lecture on Real estate investment for the other course though... I spent an hour in a cold bath in the afternoon. It was so good... It was a struggle to persuade myself to get out if I'm honest, I was so much more comfortable.
Tomorrow I'm going to visit my Mum for the day. Naturally showers are forecast and for a change I'm hoping that the forecast is correct. Not that we walk a lot these days as my mum has a problem hip and her OH how two dodgy knees. I've taken a Nytol and hope to get some more sleep today.

Thursday, 25 August 2016


I don't know about you, but I found yesterday horrible. The BBC said the top temp was due to be 28 but I have absolutely no doubt it was hotter than that. It didn't stop us being out and about but both my brother and I suffered the consequences a bit later on.
In the morning we walked to Ascot and around the High Street a bit- about 4 or 5 miles I think. It was all alongside a busyish A road so we waited till just after the rush hour to start off, mainly because he slept badly during the night and then slept in. I think it would have been better to start out before the rush hour, and if I do it again I'll probably leave around 7, then if necessary camp out in a coffee shop till other shops start to open. Because we were so hot we took a train most of the way home then popped into a Tesco for some lunch makings (I had sushi for the first time in ages and enjoyed the change)
In the afternoon we went into town so he could treat himself to an ipod shuffle, and then collapsed at home watching 8 out of 10 cats does Countdown reruns until we cooled off a bit. That's when my brother got a bit sick and had to drink some salty water to rehydrate. I realised that I'd forgotten something when at Tesco earlier and went back out, leaving him lying down in front of a fan, and that was my big mistake - when I got back I felt pretty awful too, although a drink did set me to rights quite quickly. We'd both smothered our visible skin in suncream so there was no burning, just (for me anyway) a short term yuckiness. But I had managed to walk 10 miles in total so I guess it's not surprising it took some toll.
He headed for home around 9pm and I collapsed into bed as soon as he left. I woke up around 3 am but surprisingly still feel fairly well rested, possibly because I just lay in bed reading a book instead of going through the frustration and stress of lying there trying to get back to sleep and clock watching.
Today I'm hoping to mow the lawn (it rained briefly last night but I don't think enough to make it a nightmare of a job) and go to the library but apart from that I plan to take it much more easily since I know from past experience that even if you think you've recovered that sort of feeling can come back and bite you if you're not careful. I enjoyed the day a lot so I'm not sorry we did any of it - just wish the weather had been a little more co-operative

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

My God it's hot

Yesterday it was about 28 degrees and I was hoping for a cool off overnight but the forecast for today is the same. I love seeing the sunshine, but when my brother visits we want to walk - a lot - (7 miles yesterday between 3 walks) and the heat was really draining.
My errand yesterday morning took an hour longer than it should have because I had to drive into Reading and the road system in Reading was designed by a PSYCHOTIC CHILD. Even with sat nav I got lost and drove in circles around the town centre so it took me an hour and 5 minutes to get to a destination 13 miles from home without much traffic. I hate driving in Reading.
Today we have no appointments or errands so we're hoping for a longer walk. Not sure how pleasant it will be given the temperature, but he's going home tomorrow so it's our best chance to get a good walk in.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016


So behind on posting...
Friday I was tired again from not sleeping well, I binged a little bit (which I'm prone to do when I know something is going to happen that will take away my control over food, as when I go visiting someone or in this case they visit me). I drank a couple of beers in the evening as well, as M's parents were visiting and I hate being the only sober person at a party.
Saturday was a mixed day, it got off to a bad start when my glasses fell apart around 6 in the morning. I couldn't mend them so at 9am I was in Boots (drenched from walking through a downpour) while someone replaced a tiny screw for me. Until they were mended I was wearing prescription sunglasses which I'm sure looked perfectly normal in the middle of a MONSOON. Later we were taken out to lunch by my father in law and went to The Crown at Bray, which was wonderful but definitely not low carb. After lunch my FiL and I went for a long walk and I had a minor meltdown, possibly because of beer with lunch, and bashed his ears for hours - poor guy. He was a very sympathetic listener though and it was cathartic for me. We stopped at a pub for another beer on the walk and I made a friend:

It was very soothing and lovely to have a cat sitting on my lap for 10 minutes making a fuss of me ;-)
No-one wanted much food in the evening after our massive 3 course lunches so I just made some sandwiches for the men and then collapsed into bed.
Sunday M's parents left quite early and the rest of the day was very quiet (much needed after socialising). I had an upset stomach from ignoring the gluten issue and eating bread for a couple of days (why do I do it???) so I didn't want to go for a long walk, all I did do was stroll to Tesco for some lunchy bits.
Yesterday my brother came to visit for a few days. He arrived mid afternoon and we fitted in a few miles walking before dinner. I'd already been to Tesco and the library so I was fairly active. I'd decided to barbecue for dinner but due to gusty winds I couldn't get the cheapo disposable barbecue lit so we ended up ordering Chinese - and I had egg noodles, which were made with wheat, which is why I still have an upset stomach. (Seriously, WHY do I do it??? Actually I know why I keep doing it once I start, because it really does almost immediately set up specific wheat cravings in me. SO DON'T START IDIOT)
Today I have an errand in the morning then we'll be walking again, and I will be cooking a gluten free dinner. I can get back off the wheat. I CAN.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016


I've had a very active (not productive - that's a different thing) day today. It started at 8 when I headed to the clinic to pick up a prescription and carried on to the pharmacy to get it filled. The pharmacy took 15 minutes to tell me they were out of stock - which was helpful - so I then had to head into town to find another pharmacy. Luckily we have 4 or possibly 5 so that wasn't a problem and I succeeded in my second attempt. It was so hot that when I got home I just wanted to collapse - but after 5 minutes of collapse I felt restless and a little bit lonely so after expending some energy ripping ginormous cardboard boxes down to a size that might fit in the recycling bin I headed out to the library.
In the afternoon I did week 3 of the Financial Markets course on my phone - there's a coursera app and it's excellent -  and then M asked me if I could pop to the supermarket for something so off I went again. Altogether I walked almost 8.5 miles, and because it was spread over so many shorter walks instead of one big one the heat wasn't absolutely unbearable.
In other news, there is no news on the job front.
My food was mostly good and for once I'm quite satisfied with the amount of exercise I got. If only every day went that way.
PS I have to confess that during a 40 minute video lecture on debt and leverage I nodded off and had to repeat part of the video. I don't think I can be blamed for that.....

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Hot again

Today I had a delivery to wait in for - due between 12:30 and 16:30. As it was furniture I had to hump some of our current furniture around to make room for the assembly - and I'm choosing to call that weight lifting. For a change i didn't let the delivery keep me penned indoors! I managed two short walks in the morning plus mowing the lawn, and another short walk after the delivery arrived at 15:00. Because of the heat and humidity they were very short walks - the whole lot combined to 6.3 miles. Still worth it though!
No news on the job front - no jobs to apply for and no feedback on the one yesterday.
Also in the morning I tried to make a treat for M in the baked goods arena. It was a disaster and ended up in the bin. Luckily I know where I went wrong and plan to try again tomorrow - if it works out I'll post a photo. If not I'll keep trying (despite the waste of ingredients) until it works out. And then I'll post a photo.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Didn't get the job...

Ah well... Apparently they were prepared to offer it to me when they discovered a past employee was available. If that's true they would've been daft to lose his experience for an unknown... So no nice walks along the toll path just yet. I have another iron in the fire now though I'm not relying on anything.
Before I found out I didn't get the job this morning I spent some time on housework in case I got it and they wanted an early start. M's parents are visiting at the weekend so I didn't want to risk not having time to do it properly - although if I'd known I was likely to be off all week I would have left it till the end of the week, now I'll have to do a freshener on Thursday.
After the housework and rejection email I took a walk to the library for a change. I meant to take a second walk in the afternoon but it was too damned hot and humid so I stayed in and read my library books instead. I finished week 2 of my online courses yesterday so I took a day off today.
My exercise was obviously lacking again today but my food was good - I'm feeling better about my eating generally, especially when I lost several hours sleep last night and didn't eat for short term energy boosting.

Friday, 12 August 2016

Interview and stuff

I was ridiculously nervous this morning when I realised that this was the first face to face interview I'd had for about 4 years due to several jobs arising from phone interviews and going back to the same company several times. I don't know why I was more nervous about that than a phone interview but a part of it was probably all the hassle around having to drive to a new place. Because I don't trust traffic ever I allowed an hour and a quarter for a 40 minute journey - and arrived over half an hour early. The office is in a really nice position backing on to a very well maintained and used canal - possibility of nice lunchtime walks if I get offered the job, which I should find out about on Monday. The job sounds OK, possibly high pressure but for so short a time it doesn't matter much.
My new interview suit fit well but was far too warm for such a hot day. When I got back home afterwards I had a quick lunch before going for a short walk - I wanted to go further but it was just too hot and humid. 
Food today was good, not much exercise and I confess I had a little whisky as a reward for making it to my interview. But I also finished week 1 of the Financial Markets course so my day was... Mostly good.

Thursday, 11 August 2016


Is there anything more depressing than having to shop for bigger clothes for an interview? All the time I was complaining about not getting anywhere with my applications I probably should have been quietly sighing in relief that I had time to lose some weight before it became a problem. As it is I spent half an hour trying on my old suits and then had to go shopping because none of them fit me. Some aren't a million miles away - but some are - and I had literally nothing I could wear for the interview tomorrow morning.
I did find something, I don't like it particularly but that's to be expected under the circumstances I suppose. I'm just clinging to the hope that I won't be wearing it for long; most offices accept more casual clothes once you have the job and I'm told I may be able to work from home some of the time (although you never believe what an agent tells you).
So there I am moaning on again. Do you get as sick of me as I do? 

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

I have a job interview

Its only for a 4 week contract but every penny helps... The interview is at 11:30 Friday morning so keep your fingers crossed for me!
Of course it's typical that I actually quite enjoyed today thanks to Diane's friend Anne mentioning Coursera yesterday in a comment on her post. I went on the website today and completed week one of a history course - Ancient Greeks - and started a course on the Financial Markets as well. One for fun (although reading a large chunk of The Iliad wasn't really fun as such) and one more practical. I'm not planning to pay for certification in either of them at the moment, but I'm impressed so far.
I also went to the library (of course) and mowed the lawn. And I totally and completely stuck perfectly to my diet. But  I only walked 2.5 miles because I was too busy watching videos and reading Homer. So my brain is possibly more grateful than my body :-)


I meant to post yesterday but in the end felt too tired and bored by my day to bother. While I'm not earning anything I'm trying not to spend anything, so every day ends up looking the same: I walked to the library, borrowed some books, read the books. A little cooking but not much because I'm finally losing some weight and don't want to tempt myself. Sometimes I mow the lawn, sometimes I do housework, sometimes I don't, and none of it is very interesting. Always I look for jobs, sometimes I apply for jobs, nothing ever comes of the jobs.
If the above reads as self pitying that's an accurate interpretation. If it reads as depressed, so is that. If it sounds frustrated that is also correct. I could really enjoy being off if I wasn't feeling guilty (which is ridiculous since I didn't quit my last job and I am trying to find another) for not being fruitfully employed. M thinks I'm nuts. I think I'm nuts. The problem is because I'm trying to find a job and want to get on with it I'm not doing the kind of thing I'd like to do if I was retired - I'm not starting classes or volunteering at charity shops because if something comes up I'd be abandoning them at short notice in order to make a living. Basically I'm in limbo and quite often find it hard to force myself even to take a shower. (I'm embarrassed to admit I don't always succeed)
So if I disappear for a day or two or three or four... it probably means I didn't bother getting out of bed and don't want to write about another day imitating a vegetable.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Another catch up

On Friday I felt like absolute crap. I was really tired after waking up early again, headachy, nauseous and miserable (hardly surprising that I was miserable given the above) and I had no energy, none at all, just nothing.
I managed one tiny walk to Tesco in the afternoon and spent the rest of the day lying down. Saturday was the same... Then I felt somewhat better on Sunday and mostly fine today thankfully.
Over the weekend my diet continued perfectly, mainly because I didn't want any other food, and today was good but not perfect - I was hungrier, possibly as a result of how low I'd been.
I went for two walks today and did a house tidy - all my 'favourite' jobs - hoovering, scrubbing toilets etc. But going to the library was nice (even if it was baking baking hot) and I was called by an agent while I was there - I'm being put forward for another, really local, job!
After all that I'm quite tired now....

Friday, 5 August 2016

Maybe day 11

Another perfect food day - yay me!
But after falling asleep early last night I woke up around 1 am, so I'm knackered again.
No training today as I want to train every other day for now rather than wearing myself out at the start, although my back was fine today. Instead I mowed the lawn and took a couple of walks - about 5 miles again. I would have liked to go further but between adjusting to restricted calories and poor sleep I didn't have the energy.
And now I'm about to nod off as I type....

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Probably day 10

No job update I'm afraid :-(
This morning I woke up, annoyingly, at 3. But weirdly I woke up all motivated and on most fronts it was a good day...
1) not only no binge, not only no overeating, but a perfect weight loss food day
2) 20 minutes interval training on the climber 
3) 2 walks, not miles and miles, but getting out and moving around 
The only cloud in the sky - apart from no job update - I have some upper back / neck pain this evening. Hopefully my ergonomic pillow will sort it out tonight.
And tonight will be an early one as my poor sleep last night is catching up with me....

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Day 9?

What dreary, dank, dark weather we've had today.... I went for two very short walks today in between drizzle and showers but it was less than 4 miles in total and not very satisfying. I also was really hungry all day... I didn't binge but I did over eat, though I managed to steer clear of refined carby crap so I don't feel too bad about it.
This afternoon I brought a little bit of colour into the day by digging out my adult colouring book, which I hadn't touched for months, and I did find it calmed down my usual frustration over the weather. Apart from a few depressed periods the day turned out quite relaxing, especially the bath I took this morning to help my back.
Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day...
Oh yes, I'm being put forward for a couple of jobs at the moment, please keep your fingers crossed for interviews and job offers!

Monday, 1 August 2016

Weekend catch up

I have to say I had a great weekend! My brother visited us and he and I attempted to walk each other into the ground! 
On Saturday we went into London (where else?) and walked everywhere - from Waterloo to Soho to Oxford Street and back - over 13 miles pounding the streets of London plus a couple more going to the station and back. We had a delicious barbecue lunch and nearly melted in the heat. I think we would have walked further but there were lots of hold ups due to the Ride London cycle festival. The city was very crowded - particularly St James Park and Oxford Street - but we still enjoyed ourselves.

Sunday we stayed local and walked a mere 9 miles around town including exploring a park about a mile from the house. 

It was bright and hot so we stayed indoors between 12 and 2pm watching The Bridge of Spies - a truly excellent and compelling movie, brilliantly acted by Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance.

Today I had to go to the clinic for a smear test. Lucky lucky lucky me! Always my favourite thing to do - but I was a year overdue so had to get it out of the way. It went OK and then I had to stay in the rest of the day for a collection. I didn't actually mind since it was chilly, ultimately wet, and I needed to rest anyway. And 3 binge free days!