Sunday, 30 June 2013

We've been away . . .

. . . for a week, in North Wales, but we're back now, and I'm slowly working my way through editing and resizing the 361 photos that I took!

Here are just a few from the first day

We stayed in Betws-y-Coed, in the Snowdonia National Park

in this little converted stable

which was called

Looking out of our door we could see the farmhouse opposite

and just outside the gate was this lovely river, the Afon Llugwy

As it was about 4pm when we arrived, and getting on for wine o'clock after we had off-loaded, we headed back into town for a drop of the local brew, this one was called "Dark Side of the Moose" and was pretty tasty.

Fish and chips from the local chippy for tea and we are ready to take on the role of tourists tomorrow.

How to find me . . .

. . . if you currently use the one that wont be there tomorrow!

I'm fairly sure I've put myself on bloglovin' so you should be able to find me there, or if not then just "follow" me here by clicking on my follow button down below, then each time you check your blogger dashboard, you should find any updates.

Would be sorry to lose you, I'm following loads of you, a couple of hundred I think, and I just check into blogger dashboard each morning and there you are.

Wanda isn't on bloglovin' but you can find, and follow, her here.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Summer Scavenger Hunt

Just a little update for Rinda's Summer Scavenger Hunt.

No.6. Someone taking a nap (please dont tell him you've seen this, he would not be happy!)

No.8. A tower, at Old Wardour Castle

No.12 A cloud in the shape of something (I can see an elephant's head here, can you?)

No.13. A fence. This fence goes all the way down one side of our garden from the front boundary to the rear boundary

No.14. Stained glass. I just love the way the chairback echoes the shape of the window frame.

If you would like to join the Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt, you can find the details here

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

First Fast Day Diary

Rather than wait for the full 24 hours to pass and then write about it, I thought better to write as I go along, so the experience is still fresh in my mind.

10.30 I had breakfast as usual at 7am, we nearly always have a cooked breakfast, GM is in the chair. I had explained to him my intentions for the day, so he quite happily cooked my request of grilled potato waffle (approx 100 kc), portion of low sugar baked beans (approx 80 kc) and half a grilled tomato (virtually zero calories), with a glass of fresh orange juice (approx 50 kc), I'd already had two cups of tea with milk in bed and another cup of tea after breakfast, I'm guessing the milk in the cups of tea is approx 15 calories per cup, so thus far I've had a total calorie intake of roughly 275, which is about half of my anticipated daily total.

I decided to walk to the supermarket (Morrisons, for Mrs. Dancing) quite early this morning just in case I felt a bit weak later in the day, and I bought myself a few low calorie items to enhance my lunch and tea - a pack of beanshoots, a red pepper, a tin of mixed bean salad - and I've just got back home and put the shopping away. Normally at this time of day I would have a banana or a cracker or two with cream cheese, but so far I dont feel the need.

I dont feel hungry, but what I am finding is that I cant stop thinking about food, it is uppermost in my mind, and I cant shake it off. I really need now to find some displacement activity to focus on. Ironing maybe? I dont think so. Perhaps I'll sit down and start writing to my penfriend.

14.00 Had lunch at 12.30, a huge plateful of calorie free salad, with a small amount of cold left-over potato (carbohydrate) and a desertspoonful of the mixed bean salad (protein) - all this for only roughly 50 calories, look

It doesn't look a lot different to the lunches I have most days, but usually there would be some ham, or tuna, grated cheese or hard boiled egg, plus coleslaw and some branston pickle. I ate it all very slowly and chewed every mouthful 27 times (well that may be an exaggeration, but you know what I mean.) Total calories so far today 325, which doesn't leave me very many for tea!

I'm quite pleased that I dont feel at all hungry, even though I'm still thinking about food. A lot. I wrote for about half an hour this morning, and I've just spent about half an hour doing some photo editing - basically so I could show the above photo! Today hasn't been terribly active, but its a very cold day so I dont feel any desire to spend time in the garden. Not quite sure what I'm going to do this afternoon, there's still the ironing waiting, and that shouldn't be too active, so maybe its time to tackle that. I quite often suffer a 4 pm droop, so will have to wait and see how I feel in a couple of hours time.

16.00 So far so good, no droop, I'm not feeling hungry and I've managed to stop myself from thinking about food all the time, but never-the-less I think I'm going to have an orange now, 40 calories, which will leave me the grand total of 135 calories for tea.

17.15 My tea is very carefully measured out. I'm cooking homemade burgers in buns for GM and GT, with spicy potato wedges and ratatouille, and I'm having a few wedges (weighed on the scales) 60 calories, a serving of ratatouille, about 10 calories, and some more of my tin of mixed bean salad, roughly 80 calories. This will take my total for the day up to 515. I think I'll call that a result! I'm just about to start cooking now, and I still dont feel hungry, which really surprises me.

I've just chosen my breakfast for tomorrow morning (bacon, egg and hash brown), which is now only just under 14 hours away, 8 of which I'll be asleep.

19.00 and I've finished eating for the day. I'm extremely pleased that I've done it without feeling hungry at any time at all, although how I shall feel by breakfast time tomorrow remains to be seen!

I'm delighted that, apart from the milk in my tea, its been a vegan day, and also an alcohol-free day, so that's a bonus.

Tuesday 8.00

I slept well and woke at the usual time, and still didn't feel hungry, much to my surprise. So I'm feeling happy that I coped with my first fast day. It purposely wasn't a highly active day, as I didn't want to risk burning up a load of calories I didn't have to spare and then feeling hungry, I just did all the usual everyday things, a bit of laundry, bedmaking, a bit of light shopping, paperwork etc.

This morning I had a proper breakfast

and now, would you believe, I am feeling peckish, not hungry hungry, but just as if I need a little bit more in my tummy. The challenge for today will be to not overeat to compensate for yesterday!

When I start this regime in earnest, on 1st July, I shall, for the most part, designate Mondays and Thursdays as fasting days, but as we are driving to North Wales on Friday of this week and I usually share the driving, I dont think it would be a good idea for me to attempt that with low blood sugar levels, so instead I'll have my next fast day tomorrow, Wednesday.

Monday, 17 June 2013

5/2. Will it work for me?

You've most likely heard about the 5/2 weight loss regime, but if not you can read about it here.

I watched the original Michael Mosely programme on TV last year, and thought that I "might give it a go" at some time in the dim and distant future. In the mean time I've heard about several people I know who have tried it, and it seems to be working for them. Then, last friday, my friend Janice, who hadn't mentioned anything about it, suddenly announced on Facebook that her trousers nearly fell down in Tesco. Now, I'm really not interested in seeing her with her trousers down, just in case you are getting the wrong idea, but merely the fact that she is losing weight (following the 5/2 regime) sufficiently quickly to make it happen made something click inside my head. That dim and distant future time had arrived.

The timing isn't wonderful, we are off on holiday on Friday, and I'm not interested in fasting on holiday, so my official start date is Monday 1st July, but I decided that this week I would have a practice run, to see how I cope. Today is my first fast day. Watch this space and I'll be back tomorrow morning to let you know how I get on.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Horizon : The Secret Life of a Cat

Last night, on BBC2, 9-10pm.

Did you watch it?

We did.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Just a random post to show off some pictures of various stuff

The first radish from the garden

ditto strawberries, from the conservatory

I've just bought this yarn to knit the granddaughters a pair of matching jumpers for the winter.

This was my deck yesterday morning after some overnight rain

On Monday we went to Bristol to help GO move from a single room to his new flat, he says he wont miss any of his house-mates, but he will miss Nanook, who is gorgeous.

A couple of very unusual looking trees opposite GO's old digs

And lastly, here's one for you to puzzle over

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

All Change

After ages and ages of things just sedately ticking along, suddenly it seems that a quantum leap is taking place

No.1 son (DO, the dark one) and wife are buying a new house, there is no chain so they hope to be in sometime in August.

No.2 son (FO, the fair one) and his partner are new parents, to my one month old granddaughter, and are slowly getting used to parenthood.

No.3 son (GO, ginger one) has just moved from a batchelor room in a shared house to a flat which he is sharing with his girlfriend's brother and partner, and, eventually, his girlfriend.

No.4 son (GT, ginger two) is just waiting for CRB check to be completed before embarking on a whole new career.

Exciting times. Good luck to all my sons.

Ten on Ten

Ten photos on the tenth of the month - linking up with Rebekah at A Little Bit of Sunshine. To view other entries, click here.

From sunrise to sunset, a glimpse of my day. Early morning reading, the en-suite shower room, a morning glory flower, tomato growing, behind the PC, set of coasters, wisteria, and a strawberry.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Another Scavenger Hunt

I do love a good Scavenger Hunt, so I was delighted when I came across Rinda's Summer Scavenger Hunt (here). The added incentive to join this one is that there will be a couple of prizes at the end!

There are 21 subjects to find between now and 21st September, they can be posted at any time and in any order (or, if you prefer collect them all and post at the end). Anyhow, having made a start, here are my first three.

No 2. A Theatre for Performing Arts

No 3. A Civic Building

No 10. An outside bench

I usually attempt to take all my scavenger photos within easy walking distance of home, and these three fit the bill nicely. The Athenaeum is at the far end of the High Street, the Civic Centre is just the other side of Morrisons' car park, and the bench is in the park at the end of my street. Some of the subjects will, I suspect, require me to go a little further afield, but heyho, its summer, so why not?

Friday, 7 June 2013


Having recently celebrated our Silver Wedding Anniversary, I would say that 99.9% of the time, the Green Man and I have a great relationship, based on love, trust and communication. But every now and again something happens (and believe me I have absolutely no clue as to what it is) to make him go all quiet on me. I've tried, in the past, to wheedle out of him what the problem is, but to no avail, and his only response is to stomp off to his "cave" and be alone until he recovers his ?? whatever it is that he's lost!

This happened a few days ago, and even after all this time it really upsets me when he blanks me  - I know it shouldn't, because he always works his way through it and if I can just be patient everything returns to normal. But for some reason, this particular morning I found it difficult to handle, and I was really upset, not knowing if I had inadvertently upset him, or if it was something completely nothing to do with me what-so-ever, his silence cut me to the bone.

I decided to spend some time blog-hopping to try to lift my mood. I couldn't tell you how it happened, I just read a couple of blogs, followed a couple of links, and suddenly I found myself reading a blog written by a young mum, with 4 young children and a husband who had been brain-damaged in a surfing accident. She was left with a blind husband who was completely unable to communicate and who spent most of the day crying. She had fought hard to be allowed to have him living at home with her and the children, only to find that instead of helping him, it seemed to make him worse, and she was seriously contemplating sending him back into full-time care so that she could raise her children without them having to witness his despair, and without the constant worry of also having to cope with his complete and utter lack of communication.

Boy, was I humbled.

From now on, whenever GM feels the need to cut off and hide in his cave I shall let him go without question, leave him in peace until he is ready to emerge, and thank my lucky stars that his non-communication is only a very short temporary glitch, and that when he is ready to return, everything is back to normal.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Once a month for a whole year, Month 10, June

View 1. The garden

with May's view for comparison. At long last things are starting to grow.

View 2. The Park

again, with May's view for comparison

Everything so much greener after the coldest spring in over 30 years.