Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Hot hot hot

OK, I'm ready for things to cool down a bit thanks very much.
Travelling home on the train today was extremely unpleasant - particularly given that the train kept stopping for interminable periods at the various train stations along the line. OK we actually arrived about 7 minutes late so not really interminable but it certainly felt like it at the time...
By comparison the temperature in the office was wonderful as the air conditioning is pretty good on our floor. But it was 29 degrees by the time I left work and I would have been happier if it had been maybe 8 degrees cooler. Luckily that's supposed to happen by Friday!

Food today 
Breakfast : zero carb pancakes spread with Aldi soft cheese with smoked salmon and dill
Lunch : chicken leg with vegetables 
Dinner : bacon, leek and mushroom scrambled eggs with green salad 

Monday, 19 June 2017


I guess summer finally got here... Sweltering is the only word for this weekend. And today was even hotter.
My father in law spent this weekend building us a deck in the front garden - his idea. I was really worried about him - it's in a corner that is basically a sun trap all day long - and according to an ornamental ceramic thermometer I have out there it was about 105 out there. I spent the weekend in and out taking him bottled water from the fridge and asking him to come in to cool off. In the process despite factor 50 sun cream on his face and factor 30 everywhere else he got sunburned in the places he missed. It isn't finished but we're hoping it cools off a bit in a few days so he can work on it some more without taking his life in his hands.
On Saturday morning I walked into town to test my foot (still plantar fasciitisy) and I felt pretty damn rough by the time I got home - and for the rest of the weekend -with the heat. I did however sleep better than I managed last week.
Today I was quite happy to be at work with the air conditioning, although my day was frustratingly bitty. Travelling on the train wasn't the most fun I've ever had,and when I got home I had to mow the lawn. See if you can guess who forgot the sun cream despite all the moaning about the heat...? I wasn't out long enough to burn badly but I did pick up what I try to call a healthy glow... Must remember that tomorrow...

Food today 
Breakfast : hard boiled eggs and ham mayo 
Lunch : roast chicken leg with vegetables and Caesar salad dressing 
Dinner : roasted chicken wings and Brussel sprouts 
Snacks : tiny bag of pork scratchings 

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Still not sleeping brilliantly

I think it's simply because it's so light in the mornings. To block the light out I'm wearing an eye mask but it shifts while I'm sleeping and that's enough to disrupt my sleep. Especially if it shifts enough for the plastic piece you use to adjust the fit to dig into my ear. I'm sleeping more restlessly - I used to wake up in virtually the same position as I fell asleep, now I wake up with my bedclothes wrapped three times round me. I'm sure I'll get used to it eventually.... Right?
The project I've worked on most of the time since starting my job went live today - and so far went very smoothly, for which we all have been getting lots of positive feedback, which is really nice for us. Today we were brought celebratory Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Once again I held my atkins position and turned them down. They felt smug for a while, which was also really nice for me.
Add to that the fact that I made some good progress on the training that I'm doing and I had a pretty good day really, although as is the way of testing I did have some very frustrating times as well. Not boring though!

Food today 
Breakfast : naked boring hard boiled eggs 
Lunch : ham and vegetables
Dinner : homemade beef burger with broccoli 
Snacks : cheese of course 

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Still knackered

I fell asleep in about 3 minutes flat last night but woke up early again. Around 3am. So frustrating! I sat in on a demo this afternoon and my struggle to stay awake was epic, even though the demo wasn't particularly boring. I made the mistake of sitting on a window seat, the sun came out and warmed my back and... zzzzzzzzzzzzz
The morning I spent not achieving much, and the afternoon was a mixture of frustration and boredom. The honeymoon is definitely over... but its still not a bad place to work.
now I need to try to sleep again....

Food today 
Breakfast : hard boiled egg and bacon mayo (forgot to mention I made homemade mayonnaise at the weekend)
Lunch : tuna mayo (I like homemade mayo, can you tell?) with mixed veggies 
Dinner : tofu, mushroom and spinach stir fry 
Snacks : cheese of course 

Monday, 12 June 2017

Monday. Why????

I've been awake since 2 this morning and I'm absolutely knackered. I spent the whole afternoon yawning cavernously and holding my eye lids up with both hands. And the day lasted 206 hours. Just the work part.
So I didn't do anything exciting and have nothing really to say...

Breakfast : hard boiled eggs and a leftover turkey burger
Lunch : chicken and vegetables 
Dinner : lamb chops and vegetables 
Snacks : rather too much cheese 

Friday, 9 June 2017

Well that was a great big mess

Massive anticlimax too, even though it should really be an enormous upset. I think I'll just give up on the whole politics thing, it's not worth the effort. It just leads to brexits, Trumps and division. Boooo hiss.
Of course very little else was talked about in work today or yesterday - a strong argument in favour of unemployment /retirement if you ask me.
Nothing happened of any interest yesterday and not much today either. I'm still sticking to the Atkins thing - I even looked at a box of doughnuts at work without being tempted and gave M some chocolate muffins baked by his mother without feeling any struggle whatsoever so yay! Although I'm constipated and run out of energy earlyish in the evening - understandable enough at this point I think. 

Food today 
Breakfast : eggs. You know what kind of eggs 
Lunch : pork chop and broccoli 
Dinner : chicken breasts in lemon-butter-cream sauce and spinach 
Snacks : precooked bacon and a mini cathedral city cheddar snack.
Not really enough veg, especially salad, but I was rebelling against the food prep thing 

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Peculiar day

Or peculiar evening anyway. Work was fine, the weather was a bit better - dry apart from a shower just as I was getting home, but sunny most of the day. Unfortunately still that strong unpleasant and cold wind most of the day as well.
This evening now I was terribly inefficient and muddled. I was in the kitchen prepping food allergies day and continuously forgetting things, mistiming things... M claims his oven chips (yes, cordon bleu cooking) nearly broke his teeth because I forgot to put some veg on until the chips were technically cooked... It was ridiculous! I think I eventually managed to cook dinner for today and prep breakfast and lunch for two for tomorrow but I wouldn't be surprised if I missed something altogether. I really need to come up with some serious short cuts for all this, which so far escape me...
Food today :
Breakfast : hard boiled eggs and mixed salad leaves (no kale)
Lunch : pork belly with mixed salad leaves 
Dinner : pork shoulder steak with broccoli and cauliflower 
Snacks :homemade pork rinds and precooked bacon 
Oh my God, so many pig products!!!

Tuesday, 6 June 2017


Windy cold and damp morning today.
Windy dry and cold by lunchtime. 
Basically windy all day, with occasional sunshine breaking through and mostly grey skies. I was glad to be indoors. Except when I had to go out at lunchtime, when I just wanted to be back indoors.
Work was fairly busy, I started a new piece of work and just as I was deeply involved in wrestling it into submission the last project grew fangs and tried to bite us in the bumper. Interesting times...

Food today:
Breakfast : hard boiled eggs with salad leaves, Cucumber and mushroom 
Lunch : roast chicken thigh and drumstick with salad leaves 
Dinner : pork shoulder steaks with vegetables 
Snacks : precooked bacon strips (bought not precooked by me)

Monday, 5 June 2017

Inconsistency is my middle name

I'm still not doing brilliantly at the whole daily blogging thing am I? Luckily I'm doing better at the consistency of sticking to the Atkins diet - and it's going well so far. Also I'm enjoying it so far (apart from today's breakfast - see below) although I can't say I'm feeling the benefits of cutting out the inflammatory foods yet. It's early days though I suppose.
I fled Cardiff at 3-ish on Friday and was glad of it since the city was already filling up by then. I then ignored the football (as I have spent years perfecting my technique) and just spent the weekend doing weekendy things. I walked a couple of miles Saturday morning in my usual experimental way and was disheartened again about the lack of measurable improvement in my foot. Or in fact feet - the right one has been getting worse, presumably due to doing more work when the limping sets in. On Sunday I did hardly anything. Except reading the horrible news of yet another terrorist attack on London. I saw something earlier that described terrorist attacks on 'soft targets' as the new norm and it does feel horribly like it...
Today I wrote approximately 100 test cases. I'm not even exaggerating - except when I say 'wrote' since it was more like 'copied an existing script 100 times and tweaked them all in annoyingly nitpicky ways. It was both tedious and frustrating / stressful but now it's done anyway.
This evening I had a lovely hot bath while reading an excellent Sci fi novel and now I'm going to have an early night. It has rained most of the day and I can hear it still hammering down - lovely!

Food today:
Breakfast: hard boiled eggs with spinach (so far so good) and... Kale. Kale. I don't care if it's a superfood, it was disgusting. I guess it needs slathering with half a pint of dressing to make it taste good - which I didn't 
Lunch: roast chicken thigh and drumstick with spinach, Cucumber and mushroom salad. Plus quite a bit of dressing that I bought at tesco and the last few bits of the kale because I don't like wasting even horrible food.
Dinner: roasted belly pork with a big pile of veggies.
Snacks: homemade pork rinds.

Thursday, 1 June 2017


Cardiff is closed for the weekend - unless you're one of the 320000 people expected to show up for the match on Friday. The level of disruption is amazing, some quite major roads have been closed since yesterday and the police are out using facial recognition units on Queen Street today. As a non football fan I intend to steer well clear of town from the minute I can escape work tomorrow until Monday morning. With all the excitement going on it was easier than usual to resist going out and about today at lunchtime. My feet were still painful when I got up this morning although it did wear off quite quickly, so I was very motivated to take Joy's advice today. 
I've decided to give The Atkins Diet a try as I am more satisfied and comfortable on a lower carb diet. I didn't decide that early enough to shop for it last weekend so this week I'm just trying to reduce my carbs down from the excessive levels they have reached even though I can't follow it religiously just yet. I started lowering my carb intake a couple of days ago and I'm feeling better already. Except that as part of the change I'm cutting back on caffeine and I'm yawning my way through the day...
I did a bit of overtime today working from home. It went well apart from connection issues that meant it took about 40% longer than it should have. Now I'm knackered and ready for bed...

Food today (I didn't forget)
Breakfast: hard boiled eggs (yes, I know...) with cherry tomatoes, red pepper and sauerkraut 
Lunch: homemade broccoli and cheese soup 
Dinner: chicken wings and sautéed Kale with garlic and smoked bacon lardons 
Snacks: homemade pork rinds, smoked sausage and cheese 

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

My feet hurt

Both of them!
Self pity rules 

Monday, 29 May 2017

Where did the Bank Holiday go?

I had a 4 day weekend and feel like I only just left the office at the end of last week.
I didn't do a great deal over the weekend - Saturday I got my hair cut and bought a pair of incredibly unsexy orthotic trainers. I walked to do these chores and spent the rest of the day in pain from the foot as I once again overestimated it's recovery. Yesterday I went to visit my mum for the day. The drive was fine because most people were still away for the weekend. We went out for a Sunday lunch and chatted a lot (OK I talked their ears off) and my brother popped over as well, so it was great. After I got home though things went a little wrong with a takeaway, beer and chocolate.
Today was quieter. My foot was pretty good but my ankles were bothering me for a change - part of getting used to the trainers I guess. I did some shopping but drove rather than walking. And we spent the afternoon watching a marathon binge of the last series of How to Lose Weight Well. Now I'm so motivated you wouldn't believe it! Today my food has been angelic and no alcohol either. No exercise either of course, but that's OK.

Friday, 26 May 2017


I wasn't in work today. I had a doctor's appointment just before 10 to discuss my foot and decided to use a day's leave rather than rushing to catch the first available train after the appointment. He confirmed that it is plantar fasciitis and his advice was all along the lines that I've been trying so far - which was both a good thing (reassuring me I was neither making things worse nor wasting my time) and a bad thing (no magic wand being waved to fix it instantly). He did prescribe me an anti-inflammatory to take for a couple of weeks though. Also he pressed and squeezed my foot to check it wasn't anything else and it complained for the rest of the day.
I had decided to make the most of having a 4 day weekend so I got a Tesco delivery first thing and decided to go to the library and get my hair cut while I was out. Sadly when I arrived at the hairdressers - one of those 'appointments not always needed' places - it was packed, so I'm still limping around looking like a shaggy dulux dog. I'll have to try again tomorrow.
After all that I forced myself to mow the lawn for the first time in almost a month. It was bright and sunny and baking hot and we've now decided to get rid of the lawns altogether - so tomorrow I'll be ordering weed suppressing sheets and tonnes (literally) of gravel or similar to cover them. It will be a nightmarish job, but I'm very sure we'll be glad we did it. I only wish I could snap my fingers and it would be done. If anyone knows any cheap suppliers of gravel etc by mail order please let me know! It's going to cost a fortune!

Food today:
Breakfast: eggs scrambled with spinach and mushrooms (yes scrambled, not hard boiled!) on GF toast 
Lunch: leek and potato soup and some of those pea snacks 
Dinner: salmon and new potatoes 
Snacks: too Damn many! A raw cashew bar from Aldi, some melon chunks, some dried fruit and nut mix 

Thursday, 25 May 2017


Beautiful summery sort of day today and very warm. Unfortunately I'm big enough at the moment to be less comfortable in the heat, but I'm taking that as extra motivation. I wore a skirt to work instead of my usual jeans and felt rather self conscious all day, which was a little depressing but probably served me right. Maybe if I'd worn more skirts over the last year I wouldn't be this heavy - I only owned one skirt that I can actually get on and be able to go outside without getting arrested until I bought a very cheap rather hippyish long skirt at lunchtime today, and I really resent spending any money on clothes at this size as you know.

Food today 
Breakfast: have a guess, go on...
Lunch: today's tinned soup was tomato and basil. I've never been a fan of tomato soup but wanted to give it another go. Yeah - nope. Also a cashew nak'd bar 
Dinner: roasted chicken wings and butternut squash noodles with red pesto sauce 
Snacks: I had a small amount of Aldi lighter granola sitting around so I finished it off with a little semi skim milk. And fruit. And pea snacks and a small ice cream lolly because they were being given to us in work and it would have been rude not to.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017


Bit of a headache so...

Food today:
Breakfast: hard boiled eggs, tomatoes and fruit. I'm not as obsessed with eggs as you might think, they're just the most portable and precookable breakfast protein I can think of and I don't want to eat at home before I leave for work 
Lunch: a tin of beef and vegetable soup and another hard boiled egg
Dinner: a homemade burger (no bun obviously) with broccoli 
Snacks: fruit and pea snacks of course 

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Because I said I'd track my food

Breakfast: hard boiled eggs and cherry tomatoes; fruit 
Lunch: tin of carrot and coriander soup with 0 % total Greek yogurt and some fruit 
Dinner: ribeye steak with garlic Spinach and broccoli
Snacks: the same baked pea snacks. And a solero ice cream lolly because I was starving when I reached the train station. It fits into my calories so no regrets.
No alcohol.
Still too much fruit...

Sad Tuesday

Its difficult to think of anything to say after the horrific attack in Manchester last night. I certainly don't feel like moaning about being bored or having a pain in my foot! 
So sad. So terrible.
I went to university at Salford and spent most Saturday mornings in the Arndale Centre when the IRA was still bombing English targets, including Manchester. I was in the Arndale once when it was evacuated due to a bomb scare. 
I will never understand extremists or terrorists. I don't want to I guess. 
So sad for the victims and their families and so proud of the people who are trying to help them.

Monday, 22 May 2017

An almost painfree day!

My foot has been much better today, which is nice. Especially considering that I realised yesterday that my 'resting' of it has still been averaging 2-3.5 miles when I go out at lunchtime (the two miles is when I only walk from the station to the office and back, so I can't do anything about that, they won't let me move the station and refuse to open an office next door to my house 😒)
You might have guessed from the above that I am no longer driving to work. Yesterday I drove to Cardiff early in the morning so I could actually buy a 12 month season ticket at immense expense (but still very good saving compared to buying daily) so now I'm committed. Today on the way home I was punished by the 'mysterious 10 minute sitting ona train in a train station without explanation or apology' phenomenon that all train commuters know well.
At the weekend I realised I was becoming a bit depressed again. Through some together time with M and a little sunshine (it's finally stopped raining) I think I've managed to stave it off for now, though I don't know how long for of course. The early warning sign was the apathy that led to me not bothering to post for a few days last week. So clearly I am feeling better today despite being thoroughly bored with the specific testing I am STILL doing at work.
I am also now feeling much more motivated to lose my weight. I want to start tracking my food on here again though I don't know if I'll stick to it.
Here goes:
Breakfast: Egg salad (hard boiled eggs, a little new potato, red onion and smoked pork sausage with mayo)
Lunch: tin of chicken veg soup (I'm ashamed not to be cooking all my lunches but I'm going through a stage of being fed up with all the food prep for work)
Dinner: baked chicken breast with roasted broccoli & asparagus
Snacks: Aldi baked pea snacks (malaysian curry flavour); fruit; cold meat
I'm eating too much fruit at the moment because the office buys fruit by the crate 4 days a week and I can't resist it when it's right in front of me. But there are worse faults. I wanted chocolate and didn't have any.  Not even stealing M's protein brownie supposed healthy low carb snack.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Uneventful days

Haven't had much to say the last couple of days - work was OK but not exciting, it has rained constantly for days so I haven't been tempted to leave the office during the day or the house in the evening. So at least my foot is getting lots of rest. I've been traveling by train instead of driving to Cardiff, which has been less stressful. I've been making more effort to eat more healthily - without obsessing over weight (even though I'm still enormous). Mostly I'm just ticking along.

Monday, 15 May 2017


And a very Monday-ish sort of Monday too...
I haven't been feeling very well off and on all day  - just physically, no depression. I went for my first slightly longer walk since deciding to rest my foot yesterday; when I got back it was sore and it has been bitching at me this evening but it was pretty good most of the day, which is a relief.
This morning M woke me up as always ridiculously early and I was up by 4. He was on the road by then though so I was luckier. It was drizzling this morning, pouring when I went to the post office at lunchtime and hammering down when I stopped at the doctors surgery after work to collect my prescription. It was cold too, so I guess we're into summer now after a rather lovely April. Hard to believe that the weekend before last I caught the sun.... Anyway, I'm falling asleep so I just popped by to say hello..  Time for an early night!

Friday, 12 May 2017


I was busy with real work yesterday after the training course. The testing we're doing is quite intense but boring so although the day doesn't drag the way it did before I started working on it, it doesn't fly by like it did on the course either. We are making progress though, which is the main thing I guess.
I drove to work and back and my drive home was really quite annoying. Minutes after I left the car park I was stuck behind a bus and that really slowed me down through the Cardiff bit - there was never room to go round it so I had to stop every time it did, and wait for the passengers to do their thing. I don't know if traffic was heavier for some reason or if I was just later reaching the key points of the journey because of the bus, but there was something slowing me down pretty much across the whole journey after that, with several points where I was definitely in much bigger queues than usual. So when I finally got home the last thing I wanted to do was cook or spend more time in front of a pc / laptop. We ordered a takeaway and watched fairly mindless TV until bed time.
And now it's Friday!!!!

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Day 2

Day 2 of the training was better than day 1. When we finished yesterday I hadn't completed the days task, but given I got to work at 7:15 and the training didn't pick up again until 9 I was able to fight my way through at my own pace - very much slower than the training course pace - and get there in the end. Then today's topics weren't as hard - or possibly he'd dumbed it down when he realized we were struggling with it. In addition I had a chance to discuss it a bit with the two other attendees on this session and another colleague who did it some time ago. One of the people doing it this week was a developer, so technical, and had worked in that programming language in the past; the other two people I spoke with were testers and both agreed that it was going right over all our heads. Just knowing I wasn't alone in my bafflement made me feel better! And the day flew by again.
I'd gone in on the train in case the course overran because I really didn't want to fight through even heavier traffic than normal, so my journey was fairly stress-free. I realize that's not a common description of travelling by rail - or public transport generally - but I was lucky. So all in all today was definitely a better day!

I'm so thick

My training session yesterday kicked my ass and there's more to come today. The day flew by with me in a constant state of fear and panic trying to catch up. I can't remember anything, but intend to refresh my memory before we start again at 9.
Wish me luck!

Monday, 8 May 2017


Binged this evening. I was tired and tired of my stupid foot and I comfort ate until I had stomach ache as well.
Very smart, Chrissie, you're a genius!

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Friday (late)

I was very busy at work yesterday and gave myself a headache by the end of the day. My own fault but I wanted to get something done, didn't quite manage it but did get a lot done anyway. I only took 20 minutes for lunch too, which I spent racing to a Tesco express for a few bits.
My drive home yesterday was the best yet do I'm somewhat more hopeful that I'll be able to continue driving most of the time - especially while I'm resting my foot as much as I can. I bought some orthotic inserts for my walking boots this week and while they still feel a bit weird, not as comfortable as the boots were before my feet started crumbling, after wearing them for just two days I'm already feeling less pain. Of course that could just be down to all the resting. But God! I'm bored with not walking! This better not last for months!

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Wednesday and Thursday

Sorry again guys, I'm finding myself struggling to find the time to post at the moment. I leave the house just after 6, get home just after 5, and spend my evenings on cooking and food prep (when I'm not doing outdoor hoovering) before crashing because I find the drive home quite stressful and tiring. (Also inspiring drinking a bit to relax) 
However the journey has been improving through this week - I haven't taken the same route twice - and I hope I'm getting more used to it generally as well, after months of barely taking the car out of the garage.
Work is still going well although after spending the last five (work) days on the same repetitive and intense task I've had enough of that and am ready for a break. How do people keep going for years???

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Back to work

I drove to work today - and back again, obviously. Like last week the drive in was pretty great and the drive out... wasn't. It was much better in Cardiff and then went to crap, forcing me to decide to try a different, ostensibly longer route tomorrow.
Apart from that today was pretty good. As much as I hate to admit it after my virtually inanimate weekend my foot felt a lot better today.
At work I was busy all day and the day whizzed by. And I got an opportuntiy to register for an internal training course that could be very useful to me.
At lunchtime I had to go to the post office to send off a couple of items I sold on Amazon marketplace. That was probably the low point of the day since the post office was typically packed and I was queueing for aaages....
When I got home I mowed the lawn. Didn't really want to, but it was overdue at the weekend and I used my agonising foot pain to justify putting it off, and it had gone 2 weeks unmowed by today. It wasn't as horrendous as I expected after the delay, because for a change the grass was genuinely dry and didn't clump up in an attempt to kill my mower.
And then I had some wine
Not a bad day all in all...

Monday, 1 May 2017

Holiday weekend

Well, I followed advice and didn't walk all weekend . I went to the library on Saturday (about one mile each way) and DROVE to the Aldi car park rather than walking. Aldi is less than 5 minutes walk from the library (albeit up a fair few steps on the way, down a fair few steps on the way back). My foot hurt. Less than a quarter of a mile and my damned foot hurt. So yesterday and today I didn't leave the house. Today I didn't get dressed! And I am officially in danger of going stir crazy. According to a site I read about plantar fasciitis earlier '95% of people recover in under a year without surgical intervention'. In UNDER A YEAR??? Not only would I go insane if I didn't walk properly for that long, but I will weigh slightly more than a double decker bus if I lose the only form of exercise I have been taking. I suppose that means its time to find some other form of exercise. Non weight-bearing. Not walking or running or hiking or mountain climbing.

Friday, 28 April 2017


After my drive home yesterday was so much less good than I hoped I got home to bake a cake for today's bake sale. Did I briefly consider buying one instead? Maybe... Very briefly. But I resisted and made the flourless clementine cake. It wasn't my best effort due to hurried stress baking but still went down quite well at the sale. After baking the cake I went to bed and tossed and turned all night; I was so sleep deprived that I had a splitting headache all morning.
I took the train today because I didn't fancy adding bank holiday traffic to the rubbish traffic I experienced yesterday. Because of the headache and lack of sleep I abandoned my original intention of driving to the station and just hitched a ride with Min the morning. The train ran like a dream, but walking home after work was pretty painful - my left ankle and foot are acting up big time at the moment. I think I may have plantar fasciitis but that's a self diagnosis based on googling my symptoms so it could be something else altogether.
During my first two weeks at work I have been eating appallingly due to a combination of the uncertainty of a new position, the novelty of the shopping opportunities in Cardiff, and the fact that I keep messing up my food planning - hardly surprising after being free to improvise my meals for so long. For once I'm not inclined to beat myself up over it as it has been just part of the adjustment process, but now I need to get things under control. Especially as my current weight can't be doing my ankle / foot any favours. Wish me luck!!!

Thursday, 27 April 2017


One hour 10 minutes to drive 16 miles.
16 MILES!!!!


Sorry I forgot to post yesterday. At work I actually did some work - for the first time in almost a year! It made me tired :-) It also made me hungry. As I walked home from the station I emailed M to demand a takeaway and stopped on the way home to buy some beer to accompany said takeaway. I still spent time in the kitchen prepping lunch and breakfast for both of us for today, and shortly after eating dinner I collapsed - which is why I didn't post.
This morning I drove to work since my concessionary pass for the car park came yesterday. The drive in was fine, though even leaving home at 6:15 the roads weren't as quiet as I hoped they'd be, but driving home this evening will be the real test.
In other news winter is definitely back - yesterday it was so cold I couldn't bring myself to go out at lunch time (the contrast between the heating in the office and the temperature outside was just too much) and this morning the car informed me it was -1.0 degrees. It's come with beautiful sunny spells interspersed with total cloud cover so it's really unpredictable and annoying. At least I now have an option to cut out the walk from the train station (assuming the drive isn't too horrendous)

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Bad start to the day

I use an iPad apologize as an alarm. Last night it crashed and as a result didn't wake me up. Usually I would still wake up pretty much as early but I'd had some wine and some Night Nurse so... I had been planning to walk to the train station but when I finally woke up it was already time to leave, so I had to rush around madly getting ready and drove to the station instead. It was so cold I wasn't entirely sorry - even less so when I looked out of the train window at the hailstones bouncing off the train.
Today I was running some tests - rerunning really, with no pressure other than the desire to get ready for the real work. It made the day pass much more quickly and I enjoyed it (novelty value!)
I had a very short walk at lunch but mostly my exercise was just the 7 minute walk from the station to the office and the 7 minute walk back again. Ah well...

Monday, 24 April 2017

Weekends are too short

And Mondays come too quickly.
I had a fairly quiet weekend, watched a movie I liked - called Oblivion - and tried to watch another, which was boring so I didn't bother watching it all. I walked only a short distance each day - less than 3 miles each day - and just relaxed a lot.
I appreciated the advice from Joy and Diane and I decided to do as you suggested in terms of baking the cake rather than making muffins. I did boil and puree the clementines and froze the puree since that takes such a long time.
Today was officially tedious. I need to get to work! Just reading docs is boring and feels pointless given how hard it is to take things in that way. Sigh. I should just be happy to be earning again - and grateful for being eased in to things - but I'm not actually as lazy as I sometimes represent myself and I need something to think about. I'm sure I'll change my mind tomorrow though...

Friday, 21 April 2017

Catch up

Yesterday and today have both been pretty quiet for me - no revelations or upsets at work, no problems with the train, M took me to the station both mornings to reduce the effort of the commute for me a bit.
I have decided to try driving in instead but parking is obscenely expensive in Cardiff do I'm waiting for a discount card offered by my company before I start. I'm sure you won't be surprised if I complain a lot about the state of the roads and the amount of traffic once I get going :-)
Next Friday is the first charity bake sale I've agreed to take part in at work. So I have a few questions for you ladies who bake or indeed just eat cakes :-)
I'm planning to make Nigella Lawson's flourless  Clementine Cake. It's a doddle and it's brilliant, although last time I made it into used oranges instead of clementines. I'm using clementines this time. 

So 1) given that I'd rather bake at the weekend than on a school night, do you think it will freeze OK? It's made with almond flour and pureed fruit so it's quite dense and moist.
2) would I be better making one large cake according to the original recipe or using the batter to make muffins instead - the muffins provide instant portion control but I'd have to adjust the baking time which could lead to it not being properly cooked and it is less flexible in terms of deciding how big a piece is appropriate for a £1 charity donation. On the other hand if I decide against freezing it this weekend muffins would bake more quickly in the evening.
And 3) the original recipe doesn't use any icing and for my taste it doesn't need it, but I wonder if it might look a little plain. Any thoughts as to icing or creamy toppings that might go well with a very citrusy cake? Or if you agree that it doesn't need it that would also be good to know!
The blogger app won't let me add a link to the recipe properly  but if you feel like researching the cake here it is: https://www.nigella.com/recipes/clementine-cake
I don't know how to do a poll - especially on the extremely basic blogger app - so please pretty please advise me in the credits and thank you very much in advance xxx

Thursday, 20 April 2017


Working full time - even when you're not doing anything really productive - takes up a LOT of time! And if you decide to walk to the train station (resulting in almost 3 hours total travel time on top of the working day) well, you're likely to be knackered by evening, at least if you are as out of practice as I am. Something tells me that public transport is not going to be my long term solution - even though it's cheaper than driving in to and more importantly parking in the centre of Cardiff.
Yesterday was quite good, dull of course since I still spend most of my time ploughing through documents at the moment and the lady who sits next to me is working from home at the moment. I met some more nice people, ate some 'last day cake' and signed up for a baking group who hold a bake sale every so often for charity. I've almost stopped walking the wrong way to the kitchen every time I want a cup of tea as well. I spent my lunch break racing around town in search of miso paste, only to refuse to buy it when I found it because it was so incredibly expensive. My eating wasn't great but between the great miso hunt and the commute I walked 6 miles so that was good. 

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Newark on Trent

First day of work

The above photos were taken from behind my new office. I won't have much trouble walking around there in my lunch break!
Before I talk about today I should mention that a post from last week failed to publish and I only just realized. I'll try again shortly, if I manage it don't be confused by a post from Cardiff being immediately followed by one from Newark on Trent ;-)
I had to start at 9 this morning, which to me is the middle of the day. As I felt it was very important not to be late today of all days, I caught a fairly early train and arrived in Cardiff just after 8. That's when I strolled around outside the office and took the photos above.
Once I got inside I was made very welcome, and based on the admittedly superficial judgement of just one day they are nice people, who should be good to work with.
At lunch my manager invited the team to lunch to welcome me, and that was very enjoyable. The actual worky bits of the day were rubbish - mostly reading documentation about their processes, and filling in paperwork. Unlike on a contract - where contractors are typically employed approximately a week after they're really needed and immediately set to work - this company expects a fairly gentle introduction over a week of two. That's quite novel for me, and should give me plenty of time to think about what I want to get from this job. Should be good!

Monday, 10 April 2017

Sorry I disappeared again

I wasn't having another crisis, possibly coming out from the last one still, I just kept falling asleep in front of the TV without finding the energy to write a post or to click 'Publish' if I did. Probably due to all the interrupted sleep. I'm still not sleeping brilliantly as I keep having vivid weird dreams that wake me up feeling whatever feeling applies to the subject of the dream. Which is why I'm still tired a lot, but not, happily, depressed.
On Thursday and Friday last week I didn't do anything particularly worth mentioning. Saturday was a mixed day - lots of sunshine, a massive 7.5 miles walk up and down a mountain and along the Rhymney Ridge Walk, but a totally sleepless night due to stress.
The walk was amazing though!

Although difficult to photograph due to the incredible scale of everything.
On Sunday I was off again, walking along the Sirhowy Way beside the Sirhowy River. It's almost like I have a feeling I need to cram in as many miles as possible before I start work...

This morning I was up at the crack of dawn to drive 200 miles for a visit to my Dad's house in Lincolnshire. I arrived around 10 and relaxed and chatted till after lunch, when we went to my beloved Woodhall Spa. I keep showing you photos taken there every trip and this is no exception!

After THAT we went to RAF Conigsby and watched planes a bit - Conigsby is the home of a Lancaster, Dakota, Hurricanes and Spitfires - and we saw a Hurricane taking off, performing a series of rolls, loops, and other maneuvers I can't name before landing again. I'm not a plane fanatic but my dad was in the RAF for years and had many memories of acting as ground crew on similar flights, so it was really interesting. Now however I am knackered, shattered, exhausted... Going to bed!

Wednesday, 5 April 2017


Sorry I went awol yesterday; I meant to post but we were celebrating my job offer (M was away for work on Monday) and I got a tiny bit drunk on prosecco...
It's official now; I've e-signed my contract and agreed to start on the 18th. So now I can start having a confidence crisis over having to remember how to work!
This morning I went to Cardiff to shop for work clothes. The office has a casual dress code so I bought some new jeans. Unfortunately they were MASSIVE jeans - which I expected but still didn't enjoy. Ah well, they weren't too expensive so when I finally do lose the weight I won't lose much money! And I walked 6 miles (including mowing the lawn after lunch) without even noticing.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Well well well

I was offered a job today. An actual real job. A permie job in Cardiff.
I'll be accepting it tomorrow and hopefully starting work pretty soon.
When I came back last week to tell you about my horrible rock bottom day part of the problem was that I had an anxiety attacks ten minutes before being involved in a telephone interview, and due to lingering anxiety/agitation I felt like I'd babbled like a maniac, screwing my prospects. In the event I clearly wasn't as manic as I thought because they invited me to a face to face interview on Thursday last week, and then a final stage interview today, which resulted in a job offer. As it happens I was invited to another face to face interview (also for a permanent role in Cardiff) next Monday but I won't be going to that one now.
I'm not going to be unemployed much longer and right now I'm really happy about it!!! (I expect the panic to set in tomorrow ;-))
Should I enter the lottery now that my luck has finally changed???

Friday, 31 March 2017


I slept badly last night and have been tired all day. I shopped this morning - I gave Lidl another try and once again was disappointed not to be able to fill my shopping list so I ended up going to Aldi again. After that I went home and lounged around all day so I have nothing really to report. But I'm OK!

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Blogger ate my post

I wrote a not very interesting post and then it disappeared without a trace.
Suffice it to say that I am doing OK, having an OK day, and not doing anything really worth reporting. But I don't want to worry anybody by disappearing without notice again!

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Chugging along

Another quiet, mostly angst-free day today.
I walked a few miles this morning (before the rain arrived) and did a little shopping. After lunch I got briefly rained on while wrestling with a rotary clothes line that had fallen over in the back garden - I think the soil was really soft so the side of the hole it was sitting in collapsed. Now I need one of those spike things you slot the pole into if I want to use it again. Not that using an out door clothes line looked like a viable option this afternoon.
Apart from that I mostly studied some boring IT stuff. Amazingly that didn't plunge me back into a suicidal depression - but it does leave me with a whole lot of not much to write about today. Still alive though!

Tuesday, 28 March 2017


I feel kind of peaceful today and I like it!
I slept quite well until about 4am, but I have been waking at 3 a lot so that felt like a lie in!
This morning I walked into town and got my hair cut - you all know how much I love doing that - but I was looking a bit like a monkey peering out of a bush so it was needed. I did a little shopping as well while I was out and when I got home I'd done about 9400 steps so I decided to make sure I got it up to 10000. I'd mowed the lawn yesterday so I settled for hoovering today and easily achieved the goal. Small things obsess bored minds! As I also got some laundry done I managed to make myself feel quite productive. And I finally heard back from KeepWalesTidy - a non-profit organization that unsurprisingly works with the council to deal with litter, fly tipping etc. They provide volunteers ('litter champions') with the kit but don't organize the actual picking expeditions so I will be able to do what and when I want. I have to meet up with him in a week or so to get my equipment and chat about health and safety.
I also called my dad today. I've been neglecting him horribly lately and it was really nice to talk to him. All these positives helping me feel better! Plus sunshine this morning (then rain this afternoon, then sunshine again). 

Monday, 27 March 2017


So it's been a while. Straight off I should say I'm doing a bit better now. 
On Wednesday last I hit what I hope is rock bottom. I'm was, I think, in a bit of a manic state - nervous, anxious, aggressive, babbling like a lunatic - earlier in the day, followed by a collapse that had me spending the second part of the day lying in bed seriously wishing I was dead. I'm not exaggerating when I say that if I habitually kept sharp knives in the bedroom I might have done myself some harm, but luckily I don't, and was in a state of such apathy physically that I couldn't even get up. 
Before you call the Samaritans though, I woke up on Thursday feeling at least a third of the way back to being human and apart from a few short lived slips between then and now I have been climbing up from the depths ever since. Maybe I had to sink that far down in order to get my feet under me so I could push back up? I don't know. (I do know I hope I never feel like that again  and I don't want to dwell on it, especially as there were terrible things happening outside that bedroom, in the heart of London, that put things into perspective.)
Yesterday I didn't just feel better, I felt good - I went to see my mum for Mother's Day and we chatted and set the world to rights and hugged a lot; my brother popped in as well so I had a real family day and it was GOOD.
Today I'm a bit knackered but feeling quite positive. I've even been catching up on several days worth of blogs and Facebook and I want to say I'm sorry I've been worrying you Diane and Joy - so sorry. I can't promise I'm really back but at the least I feel like I'm nearly back and so much better than I was last week. And thank you so much for caring xxx

Monday, 20 March 2017


I think I have the loveliest bloggy friends in the world and I want to thank you for your comments since I last raised my head above the parapet. I can't imagine ever being offended or feeling patronized by your expressing concern and caring and wanting to help... I do hope that you aren't offended if you offer suggestions and I don't immediately follow them... The fact is I absolutely agree that volunteering would probably help me but at the moment I can't face the pressure of anyone depending on me... However large or small the expectation, just thinking about it paralyzes me with dread of failing people as I already feel I'm letting down M by not contributing financially, my family by not having the strength to be more available to them, and you guys for not finding the energy to even post regularly. It is just on hold for now though, and I do intend to do something about it when I start feeling stronger. I have however enquired about my voluntary litter picking idea - it should give me a reason to go out when I'm ready, and will probably lead to some superficial human contact from passers-by if I work in public areas, but I should be able to set my own hours and no one else needs to be working around me and my weirdness. Watch this space.
I also have some stuff going on in the job search that I'm not ready to talk about yet, so there might be a tiny flickering glimmer of light a mile above me as I look up from the bottom of the abyss... 
I know how melodramatic that sounded.... It is how I felt on Thursday when I last posted. Later that day I splurged on chocolate and felt even worse. Saturday and Sunday weren't great - small uplifting moments followed by crashing back down and hiding from life in the bathroom... The one saving grace is that I'm still in control of the drinking. I'm not not drinking, but I'm not drinking every evening and not getting anywhere near buzzed even when I do. And I'm not giving up on that. I'm certainly not doing as good a job of controlling the food. 

Thursday, 16 March 2017

I am becoming a recluse

As my job situation is unchanged I'm getting more depressed, more frustrated and more desperate. I'm sleeping worse than ever, have very little interest in going out and about, lack energy and feel physically crappy.
Although anyone who's read this blog for a while - or looked at the archives - will have plenty of evidence to refute this statement, I don't actually enjoy writing the same self pitying stuff over and over again, which is why I haven't posted for over a week. I know that not posting - and as a result not getting comments that might help - only makes me feel worse but that hasn't seemed like a good enough reason to do so.
Thank you Joy for your comment, I really do appreciate you taking the time to check up on me. I'm sorry to repay you with all this complaining, but it's all I have at the moment - I just want to 'take to my bed' and hibernate until my life stops sucking.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017


I am bereaved today. This morning, at approximately 11, my washing machine died. It was a little melodramatic in its dying - I opened the door after washing some bedding to a smell of scorching, and as I pulled out the sheets I spotted multiple burns on the duvet cover - large holes, each surrounded by a brown scorch mark. I've had that washing machine for over a decade and it's moved all over the place with us. Now the drum moves backwards and forwards as well as spinning around, and there's a clonking sound as it does so. Given its age we'll probably replace it rather than trying to get it repaired, so I spent some time this evening looking at various websites trying to decide which one I fancy. Is it just me, or are there actually 457636884 different models of washing machine with virtually no  significant difference between them? And is there anything more ridiculous than the language used by hyperactive advertising people to describe what is basically a boring kitchen appliance? M found one site which encouraged the shopper to get excited about a tray in the door allowing you to add a dropped sock to the load after starting the washing. The mind boggles.
Apart from the suicide of my washing machine it was a quiet day spent mostly trying to learn to write basic code that could be useful for automated testing. I never spent any time in development due to getting sidelined into testing very early in my career and I don't expect to make a change now but I am quite enjoying the challenge.
I woke up at 3:30 this morning (well earlier really, that's just when I pried my eyes open wide enough to see the clock) and realized I'd forgotten to take last night's antidepressant pill. It felt too late to take it then as sleepiness is a side effect and I didn't want to disrupt my sleeping patterns any more, but I did spend the morning battling a headache while doing housework and had no energy. I walked up the hill to the local shop this afternoon and as I plodded up the steepest bit, cursing every step, a young boy (probably 8-ish I would guess, which given my experience of kids really means somewhere between 5 and 14) ran - RAN  past me up the hill. RAN. Little monster, how dare he make me feel so old??? I'm pretty sure he did it on purpose. I'm so unfit...

Tuesday, 28 February 2017


I actually forgot to post yesterday - literally never even thought of it all day long. I spent the morning working over my CV since it was obviously broken, and I enjoyed that so very much, with its reminders of how long I'd spent doing something I don't like, and how much I have to want to do it again... I basically stopped using all IT after that for the rest of the day.
The weekend was also pretty rubbish based on the appalling weather which imprisoned me indoors apart from a couple of very quick dashes to the nearest shop.
We did watch The Angry Birds movie which was the best movie of all time and was thoroughly robbed in the 2015 Oscars selection process. Robbed I tell you. Plus I'm now hooked on Angry Birds again after losing interest years ago. I'm so suggestible it's embarrassing.
Today was better though. I woke up at 3:30 which was lovely, and expected the whole day to sucks. But I forced myself out to go to the library, and through getting lost slightly on the way back (no, it wasn't my regular library, my sense of direction isn't that bad) I walked over 5 miles. And only got rained / sleeted on for the last 10 or 15 minutes of it!
However my eating was rubbish. But I talked to agents who were positive about my employability so that cheered me up. Plus watching some Vera and QI XL. The early start is catching up with me now.

Friday, 24 February 2017


The sun came out today! It's due to be the only nice day for the foreseeable future so it was lovely to see.
I started the day with a trip to Aldi which led to trips to a Tesco Express and Londis because Aldi let me down on a couple of bits. When I got home I did some exciting laundry and my father in law popped round for a chat, so we discussed healthy living, weight loss etc. He was making valid points that Diane, Joy and every one has been making here - about moderation, not total restriction, and about consistency and patience. I do listen to everyone, honestly - I just find it hard to put into practice. 
After he left I got on the climber for 20 minutes, followed by some online training and then a late walk.

I also watched Shop Well for Less to see if I could pick up any tips. I felt the family was so extreme - £12000 of shoes, for goodness sake! And I'm not a brand buyer anyway so it wasn't as useful as I hoped but it was interesting. I also had a look on the Net at a bulk buying website to see if I might be able to save money there and plan a price comparison exercise to see what I can do - not processed foods, but toiletries, cleaning and laundry products for instance. Does anyone use any of these sites? The one I'm looking at at the moment is called Eatbig.co.uk.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Hello Doris

With Storm Doris passing through Wales it's actually not raining today. I know - amazing! But we do have 50+ mph winds howling around the house, waking up innocent would be sleepers and putting would be walkers off as well.
I had to nap briefly this morning due to a splitting headache that took a while to respond to painkillers, but I also managed to watch some IT training videos on the Net and search for some jobs (not very successfully). While the headache was at its peak I had trouble getting my eyes to focus well enough to read the website - hence the nap. It cleared up by lunchtime thankfully and then I spent some time looking wistfully out of the window at the plants thrashing around madly in the back garden and trying to find the energy to brave the storm. Which was nothing more than a bit of wind, but I'm a big wimp when it comes to the wind, especially if it's cold as well. So I didn't leave the house all day. I can't carry on like that, I'll go nuts! The wind seems to have died down now so hopefully tomorrow will be better...

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

More dreariness

It drizzled all day again today. I did pop out to the nearest shop in the afternoon but didn't enjoy the dampness. Cabin fever had attacked and I had to get out, but I basically cut it as short as I could then tried to burn off some energy by spending 26 minutes on the climber - plodding along like a walking antiquity. Now I'm knackered so don't feel like I have much to say...

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Long dreary day

It was drizzling at 4 this morning. And at 5, 6, 7... get the idea?
I literally never left the plot on which our house sits. At 4 am I took our food caddy up to the rear access lane for collection this morning; at 2 pm I put the recycling bag out the front for collection tomorrow morning. If recycling didn't make me feel less guilty for running a dishwasher and tumble dryer I wouldn't have left the house at all.
I spent the day searching for jobs to apply for, watching tv (QI XL and Vera, if you're interested) and doing laundry. And grazing. I was awake at 2am and am so tired that if it had been a nicer day I probably would have cracked in terms of chocolate at least, possibly booze as well since that's still a temptation every day. But it wasn't nicer so I didn't. However I had some toast this afternoon, not gluten free, and not part of my plan.
At the moment I'm watching Griff Rhys Jones tramping around the Scottish Highlands, reluctantly admitting that the weather could be worse... just looking at it is making my feet cold despite my warm socks and central heating.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Is it Monday today?

Well, I'm still not drinking or eating sweet stuff. I don't feel like I'm losing weight and that may be because I'm pretty much constantly hungry. Probably my body trying to remind me it's time for a big chocolate bar or something, in which case hopefully it will soon realise that isn't happening and I'll be able to stop snacking on all the cheese, all the cold meat, and all the Greek yogurt. Hopefully. Still. Not giving up.

Thursday, 16 February 2017


Thanks for not telling me I'm copping out with my new plan. I worry when making that kind of decision that I'm going to end up on a six month bender involving eating till I die.
I was snacky today but not sweet stuff and I inadvertently walked 7.5 miles so I think I earned it. 
This morning I walked to the doctors surgery to hand in a repeat prescription form and intended to carry on into town afterwards. Then it started to rain so after depositing the form I headed for home. Then it stopped raining so I turned around again. If I had a stalker he would have thought I'd gone mad. I made it into town without more rain and went to a hairdressers I'd spotted where you don't always need to book. They fitted me in straight away and would you believe it, the stylist was a keen walker who forages for wild mushrooms! Never enjoyed a hair cut so much before. Not necessarily the best cut ever but a good experience. And way less stressful than trying not to get drawn into a forced conversation about whether I have a holiday coming up. Then I went to the library, returned home for lunch, and popped out for a little shopping. That's when the snackiness kicked in, I reached the shop and like a flick of a switch my energy was gone. Walking home I felt like my spine was compressing under the (not that great) weight of my rucksack. Yep, still a bit run down. Rest day tomorrow.

Food today:
Breakfast:  eggs scrambled with mushrooms and bacon 
Lunch: cauliflower and leek soup with a garnish of diced bacon 
Dinner: chicken and vegetables - Sunday dinner on Thursday 
Snacks: cashew nuts and pork scratchings 

Wednesday, 15 February 2017


I'm in a cycle I mean - not on a cycle :-)
My cycle is something like this: get depressed over job situation -> comfort binge eat (or drink, but I'm doing well at resisting that at the moment) -> feel sick -> get run down -> get depressed at job situation AND weight no-loss -> comfort binge eat 

Repeat ad nauseum. If today is the 46th day of the year I've had approximately 40 new starts so far, and having one or two 'good' days in that period is not enough to fix the bad. 
I'm not coming at this in a self hating or blaming way, just an attempt to work out a way out from the cycle. I'm not looking after myself properly by replacing healthy (or even just normal) food) with crap that lacks any real nutritional value. I'm not feeding my brain what it needs to fight depression, not feeding my immune system what it needs to fight infection or heal. 
On the plus side I've only had one drink in a week and a half, and most days, weather permitting, I make it out of the house and generally walk 2 or 3 miles.  
So I'm planning to continue with the not drinking and the walking - ideally increasing the distance as I go. I can't magic up a job before one becomes available so I'll just have to find a better coping mechanism. In the short term that is going to be not tightly watching my calories but endeavouring to cut out the crap. Basically no processed foods. If I can get out of that habit my body should thank me but getting stronger if not thinner. If I can manage that I can then start cutting back on the calories - but slowly so I don't push too far too quickly and end up bingeing again. 
It's a plan, even if it's not the best plan. Did you think I can do it? I'm not sure I do but I guess time will tell...

Food today:
Breakfast: pan-fried cold smoked mackerel with a slice of gf bread 
Lunch: homemade leek and cauliflower  soup with a small garnish of diced dry-fried cooking bacon and a hard boiled egg
Dinner: homemade lamb and cumin burger with broccoli 
Snack: Total 0% Greek yogurt 

Tuesday, 14 February 2017


Full on binge today. I don't know why, I just know I feel slightly sick and very silly.
It could be because I've always hated Valentine's Day I suppose, which would be pretty pathetic. 
Or maybe because my upper lip is covered with very painful cold sores. Whatever the reason, I'm not a happy bunny.

Monday, 13 February 2017


It's still cold here even if the risk of snow was greatly overstated. We had none on Sunday at all - but it was so bitter I cut my walk short - the cold wind was bringing tears to my eyes.
Today I managed to walk a few miles. It looked pretty good - bright and sunny - this morning as I went to the library, but again with the bitterly cold and later in the morning the wind picked up and it clouded right over so I wasn't inspired to go out again. 
I did some training - the boring professional kind not physical exercise - and quite a bit of food prep and cooking but that was about all. Apart from lazy reading and TV watching. And searching for new jobs to be rejected by. 

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Sorry guys

Sheer exhaustion wiped me out. On Thursday little bruv and I only walked 5 miles because we were both knackered - plus it was sooo cold. The rest of the day was spent chatting and TV watching in the warm.
Yesterdays interview was quite good in every respect except the getting a job offer part. The job was for a manufacturing company and although I felt I got on well with the IT director who interviewed me she didn't feel I'd necessarily fit in with the users I'd have to work with. I'm not sure I couldn't get on with men in hard hats and high-vis jackets myself, but I wasn't that keen on the job based on the salary anyway. M suggested the real reason might be a fear of a drop in productivity due to my distracting boobs in the warehouse, but I think that reveals more about him than the guys in the warehouse. Ah well. Still unemployed.
On the way home from the interview I popped into Aldi's and then drove home planning a walk; but it was sooooo cold I didn't bother. I put my dressing gown on at 12:20 - at that point I was taking off my suit to get lunch and planned to dress again after eating, but I lay down for 5, fell asleep, and never got going again.
This morning I woke up to snow. A thin coat on the roofs and gardens and more falling. I don't like snow. Plus it was sooooooooo cold... I haven't left the house. I wanted to go to the library but. No. Just no.
Years ago we discussed emigrating to Canada, obviously eventually deciding against. In retrospect that may have been the best decision we ever made. I would have to stay home for MONTHS and then I'd get cranky and melt down. At least I know it will probably be (relatively) warmly raining in a few days here in South Wales...
Last night I had a whisky - the first drink since Monday - and ate some extras to console myself on the job front; consequently I didn't weigh myself today

Wednesday, 8 February 2017


My brother walked my feet off my legs today. He arrived bright and early and we walked to the train station (1.3 miles) and caught the train to Cardiff. We walked around all day from 9 till 16:00 apart from a couple of shortish breaks, then reversed the journey home. According to my phone I walked just over 13 miles in total though I find that hard to believe - but it is hard to judge when you're more involved in conversation than traveling.
As well as wandering all over town we also visited Cardiff Castle for a couple of hours of self guided exploration.
I had a brilliant day despite sleeping extremely badly last night, and I managed not to go overboard on the food, plus avoiding all booze!
Happy sigh.

(Falconry at the castle - such beautiful birds - and such bad photos!)

I know Cardiff Castle as it stands today is mostly a 19th - early 20th century flight of fancy with little of the Roman and Norman structure remaining, but that Marquess of Bute had some excellent flights of fancy!

Weight : 178 lbs

Tuesday, 7 February 2017


I've been so tired and so hungry today. No binge, but probably maintenance calories. I managed a walk and a very little housework but that's it in terms of the physical.
Tomorrow is another day.
And no booze!

Weight : 179 lbs 

Monday, 6 February 2017

Monday again

Saturday I tried on my second pair of walking shoes from Amazon and had the same result - too small. The manufacturer - Merrell - seem to make up their own sizing system and it's not even internally consistent. I was frustrated and annoyed so I decided to go to Sports Direct where I could try some pairs on. It's only a mile from the house so you might think that should have been my first resort, but I find the stores aesthetically unpleasant, the staff fairly useless - and who can blame them, working there must be soul destroying - and the corporate ethos unethical and disgusting. Having said all that, the shoes I found fit, were cheaper, and I was able to wear them back home - which somehow overcame my objections. I'm not proud of it, but I walked there with wet feet again so meh.
Sunday I walked about 3 miles for shopping purposes but otherwise had a quiet day apart from watching the new Ghostbusters movie (loved it - although I felt a bit sick when I realized the first one came out over 30 years ago) and drinking half a bottle of red wine. Although I did eat well, I'm still drinking too often though not usually very much at a time.
Today was a better day. I walked 3.5 miles (I'm breaking in my new shoes nicely), ate well and drank no booze at all. I also tracked everything I ate in MyFitnessPal, so I'm feeling pleasantly virtuous right now. One day down, hundreds to go...
Oh, and a busy week ahead - my brother is visiting Wednesday and Thursday and... wait for it... a job interview on Friday!

Weight : 179 lbs

Friday, 3 February 2017

Ow Ow Ow ooh

Something very horrible happened to me yesterday - something I volunteered for and inflicted on myself, but if anything that just makes it worse... I decided a while back to get a coil fitted so I wouldn't have to keep with the pill. Yesterday was the family planning clinic session to get it done. OMFG short of child birth which I haven't and don't plan to experience that was the horriblest thing ever. I have (apparently) a tight cervix with an awkward tilt and needed local anaesthetic (why does a local anaesthetic have to hurt? Seems illogical), dilators and multiple attempts at insertion, all of which were on a spectrum from uncomfortable to excruciating. I arrived at the clinic around 17:20 and didn't get home till almost 20:00 because of all the hanging round in the most uncomfortable moulded plastic chair ever 'designed', I had a million opportunities to leave... so I have no-one to blame but myself, but it was dreadful at the time. Luckily I'd bought some powerful paracetamol and codeine painkillers earlier in the day so I was able to get some sleep eventually. I really hope it lasts the advertised 7 years!
This morning I tried Lidl in my ongoing attempts to find the cheapest shopping options. Both my own mother and M's father prefer Lidl to Aldi but I disagree - I think I'll stick with Aldi from now on.
It poured with rain all day so I wasn't even tempted by a walk - instead I did some studying and reading - I'm enjoying a biography of Josephine Tey at the moment. Pretty dull day really but I needed a restful one as I'm tired and still cramping off and on.

Weight today : 179 lbs

Thursday, 2 February 2017

And rain

I'm currently waiting for the delivery of a new pair of walking shoes. The comments on Amazon make it really hard to be sure what size I want as the manufacturer apparently runs small so I ordered a half size up for now from a supplier who does free returns, just in case.
I have some stuff to pick up from town today but it's poured down all morning so I'm waiting for the forecast improvement this afternoon. Hopefully I'll have the new shoes by then, if not the leaky but non-crippling ones will have to have a last outing before the dustbin.
While I'm waiting the studying continues. 
I actually forgot to have breakfast today - unheard I of!
After starting to write this the walking shoes arrived and were too small - so now I'm wearing the still wet leaky shoes for my errands and have added a stop of at an amazon collection point to the list. At least it's finally stopped raining. Except in my shoes 

Weight today : 181lbs 

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Rain. And Rain. And rain

Fortunately this morning at least I had to wait in for a couple of deliveries so I wouldn't have been able to go out even if I'd wanted to. I did a little sketching, some studying, some housework and some TV watching - it was a productive morning. Both my deliveries arrived around lunch so after eating I decided to pop out for a short walk to test the boots I'd found the day before.
Oh my god I almost instantly knew exactly why I stopped wearing them! They didn't give me any blisters but they were so heavy and rigid that my ankles in particular were almost immediately wrecked. I was limping and wishing for a teleport system in no time at all and cut my walk short so I could rip them off my feet and swiftly order some new boots from Amazon - as close as possible to my favourite boots of all time, which died last year. My ankles were aching and tired for a good while afterwards but eventually stopped screaming at me. By that point it was raining harder again and I was glad to be home in the dry.
My food today was good, my morning was productive - the afternoon a bit less so - and my exercise, like this mornings weigh in (the first for a few weeks) disappointing 
Weight today 182 lbs.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

No more drama

So far so quiet thankfully. I don't know if my neighbour is feeling better or if he's holed up in his house staring out at the rain going stir crazy like me, but I haven't seen him at all. 
I went to Sainsburys this morning as I was completely out of dishwasher salt (how much do you envy my exciting life?) and regrettably bought a bit of chocolate and other carby things. No binge though, so no big deal.
After I got back I went into hibernation hoping that the rain might eventually stop so I could take another walk. It didn't. Bit I had to go out anyway as I got a phone call from the health centre offering a cancellation. On the way, as I stomped through the rubbish wet weather, I discovered the hard way that my walking boots have sprung a leak. I squelched most of the way there and all the way back home again. I've resurrected an old pair of hefty leather walking boots to hopefully break back in. I have to say they aren't as comfortable so far as the lighter trainer style boots I'm used to.

I also spent some time today sketching after getting completely out of the habit over the house move and Christmas - it felt good even though all I did was repeat some earlier exercises in the book I'm using. And trying to study and trying to job hunt. I accidentally applied for a permanent role back in Berkshire this afternoon thinking that Jobserve.com would have searched for jobs based on my criteria rather than random inappropriate guesses. Perhaps I should suggest that they hire me as a tester to help them fix their website. Sigh.

Monday, 30 January 2017

More peaceful

First up, thank you Joy and Diane for your advice on Saturday. I haven't needed to follow any of it yet as yesterday I was away all day - visiting my mum - and today I've only seen my neighbour from a distance. On Sunday M went out after I left to drive to Mum's and he says he saw the neighbour's father next door - so hopefully a visit from his dad has helped him get onto a more even keel.
Sunday was lovely. The weather was poor so we didn't go out, but my mum cooked a lovely roast lunch, we talked till my throat was sore (guess that tells you that 'we talked' means largely 'I talked') and my brother popped over for a couple of hours so we had a chat as well. The drive home was pretty nightmarish because it absolutely poured - and with the usual spray on the M4 visibility was very bad. I left quite early to ensure I wasn't driving in the horrible torrential rain and the dark as well, and was home by 5. It was still worth it though!
Today started with a trip to the council recycling site - hopefully the last for a while. I got there a little early but the gate was already open so I just went on in and finished unloading my recycling before I should even have been able to start - always like it when that happens!  A little later my father in law came over to pick something up and we had a chat, then he gave me a lift to the library in the next town from him. I didn't do badly but it wasn't great so I may well have cleaned it out in terms of books for me. The walk home - just over 3 miles - felt arduous because it was cold and dreary, and not long before I got home it started drizzling. Drizzle is the natural state in Wales (possibly even worse in the more mountainous areas than it is here in the South East). It doesn't pour all that often, though yesterday was certainly the exception, but it can drizzle for days and days and days and...

Saturday, 28 January 2017

I need some advice

I just spent 20 minutes writing a post only to have the app on my phone crash and lose it all so I'll have to try again.
Does anyone reading this have experience dealing with the mentally ill?
I'm not talking about me. This time.
Here's the big picture, not too many details because I don't want to disrespect the relevant person's privacy.
A neighbour of mine approached me a few days ago when I was heading out for a walk and asked if he could talk to me for a minute. (I'd only met him once before.)
He told me he has mental health issues and was really scared after lying awake all night worrying that everyone famous or powerful is turning to the dark side. Also that Satan wanted to harm his dog, who he clearly clings to as a lifeline since he lives alone.
I have no experience of such issues so I just tried to be positive (and you know that doesn't come easily to me) in a sympathetically noncommittal kind of way.
Today he came to the front door and asked if he and his dog could come in to talk to me more about it.
I didn't let him in, I did go out and chat with him outside. He was basically in the same place - we're all going to hell, and what will happen to the animals? After about 5 minutes M came out to see where I'd gone, and he just said hello, greeted the dog, stood there looking friendly but big and strong for a few minutes, then pulled the front door almost closed while staying in the porch to keep his ears open as I'd told him about the earlier conversation.
Again I did try to just be friendly but non advising (apart from saying that maybe it would help if he were to join a group so he had someone to talk to) keeping not too emotional, and basically being nervous that I might say the wrong thing. Either in terms of making him worse, or in terms of making him believe I'm some kind of solution to his problems.
So. How do I deal if this proves not to be a one off?
My mother in law thinks I should essentially tell him to find professional help then shut the door in his face if he comes to the door again. M thinks I should be a bit more polite and friendly, but always be too busy to talk in the hope that he will realize I can't be relied on - that approach is a better fit to my inclinations.
I don't think for a minute he's dangerous, although I know I might not pick up on signs other more experienced people would. What I feel is that he's a gentle, harmless, lonely and frightened person. He's well enough to live alone - if that means anything in these days of care in the community. He's doesn't look malnourished and his dog looks healthy, happy, well adjusted and friendly with no signs of nervousness.
But the idea of my trying to help someone who is ill see the good in life is very much the blind leading the blind, and I need to keep some distance for both our sakes.
So I would really appreciate advice, suggestions, anything at all. Because if he comes to me for help on one of my bad days there's a good chance he'll be knocking on my door while I hide under the table, and that wouldn't be good for either of us.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Hold on please while I have a quick heart attack

This morning I had a few chores to do - a trip to the council recycling site, filling up the car ready for popping to visit my mum on Sunday, borrowing a drill from M's father so M could do some DIY... and while I was out I thought I'd also check out Lidl to see if I wanted to try to do my main shop there this week. I did the recycling bit, filled up the car at Tesco, and then drove to Lidl - literally next door. It was when I got out of the car at Lidl that I realized my handbag was too light... and then remembered shoving my purse into my jacket pocket at the petrol station after 'paying at the pump'... and then realized it wasn't there either...
I quickly checked inside the car and still nothing, and that's when I figured out that I must have dropped it at the petrol station. You've never seen anything like it... I ran, then walked a bit, then ran again back to the petrol station, by the time I got there the running more like staggering, basically chanting under my breath 'be there, be there...'  It was still on the ground by the pump I used. The guy filling his car at that pump looked quite nervous seeing me staggering over but luckily realized I wasn't a crazed maniac when I picked up the purse and was very friendly, and then I was able to get back on with my day more or less as planned... 
When I got home I helped M with his DIY during his lunch break, which might not have been the best idea.
In the afternoon I took a walk to asda - about 1.9 miles away. Literally at the furthest point - in asda - I started feeling uncomfortable and by the time I was half way home my back was acutely painful. I don't know if it was the stress and unaccustomed exercise first thing, the DIY, or just an unwary twist in asda but my back is still killing me now... Dammit 

Wednesday, 25 January 2017


I had a small bingeing episode later yesterday. I bought some Prosecco (cheers Diane!) and while I was in the shop I also bought some food from the chocolate food group. Not gluten free and they'd never heard of low carb.
It's the first time for a while so I'm moving on from it in an OK fashion and haven't had any problems in that line today thankfully.
No idea if it's connected to the less than ideal eating yesterday but I've been very lacking in energy today. I'm also quite congested and a little breathless so it could just be the cold bug hitting me again. I did walk to town this morning to put some shoes in for resoling and I was very aware that I was walking more slowly than I generally do.
Now I'm lying on the bed trying to find the energy to deal with a laundry load 

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Tuesday morning

After I posted yesterday I had a busyish day, making two trips to the doctors surgery I've registered with here - the first to take in the boxes for my medications so I could request a refill for my antidepressants, the second for a 'new patient' check up with the nurse. Which was horribly traumatic because it included being weighed, in the afternoon, fully dressed. I was forced to stick my fingers in my ears and 'la la la I can't hear you' till her lips stopped moving at that point. 
I also met some people walking dogs and, more importantly, the dogs they were walking with. I love meeting friendly dogs on walks, they're so happy and enthusiastic!
The rest of the day was quiet. I was home alone and just watched TV and read my book. It was an autobiography by David Jason - 'My Life' - and I thoroughly enjoyed it, so I recommend that. It also inspired me to start watching A Touch of Frost and I enjoyed the pilot episode. 

Monday, 23 January 2017

Catch up again

Friday I didn't do anything. I only popped out of the house once - straight up the hill to the corner shop so I could top up the booze, apart from that nothing at all.
On Saturday M's parents came over. He picked them up at 11 so I had time to make a couple of trips to the council recycling site first (it's one of those centres where I'm pretty sure they dump everything into the same landfill when everyone's gone home 😒 but you can only do your best). I had picked up lots of stuff for a buffet style lunch which went down well though I'd over-catered as always. After that my father in law and I went for a long walk in the hills so that I would be exhausted again. 

And I was, despite a small break in a pub for refreshment. But the good side of that was I slept like the dead Saturday night - usually I really don't sleep well when they come over because of all the activity and noise.
Sunday was another do nothing day. I spent the majority of it lying on the bed reading a library book or watching Midsomer Murders. Really relaxing and a good recovery time from the walk the day before. Also eating loads of carbs because I 'had' to eat up some of the buffet ingredients. The rest I will bin even though I don't link throwing food away - but if I don't want to eat it, forcing myself is no less a waste. Next time I'll try to buy less.