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Happy Pancake Day!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I'm not sure how widely Pancake Day is celebrated - certainly not here in Belgium. Last weekend saw the local carnivals take place, we missed them due to my daughter's illness but I caught a couple of floats making their way home .....

Not exactly Rio, but fun nevertheless!

Today is what we Brits call Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Day. Shrove comes from the old word "shrive", meaning to confess. Traditionally, the Shriving Bell was rung to call parishioners to church to confess their sins in preparation for Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent. Pancakes were made to use up the eggs, fat, sugar and butter that were prohibited to be eaten during Lent. Pancake Day is still upheld right across the UK and there will be much tossing going on today!

In some places, Pancake Racing is still very much part of the festivities. These races are said to have originated when a housewife, on hearing the Shriving Bell whilst she was cooking her pancakes, immediately raced to the church, frying pan still in hand. Nowadays, races are held around the streets. Competitors must wear an apron and headscarf and toss a pancake whilst running to the finish line. All good fun!

(photo borrowed from a London tourism advert)

So now you know a little about another quirky British tradition! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TCANNO 2/14/2013 6:13PM

    Well done on the research, even I did not know some of this

Have a good weekend

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LOLABLACK69 2/13/2013 1:24AM

    So, you have Pancake day? Aren't we lucky to be part of nations that celebrate food that way? No wonder we have weight problem. emoticon
But seriously, nice to find out something new about British tradition! Hope you enjoyed pancakes. emoticon And to be a little party pooper - don't forget to get back on track. emoticon
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DR1939 2/12/2013 6:31PM


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BARBARASDIET 2/12/2013 2:52PM

    I have never heard of Pancake Day, but it sounds great! I was actually surprised that it is already Lent!!

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LIS193 2/12/2013 11:34AM

    Thanks for explaining Shrove Tuesday to me. I knew about the pancakes being traditional but never knew the story behind it.
Yum - pancakes with lemon and sugar :)
(and I don't mean the dough-y thick american pancakes! I love the thin crepe like ones we make in Europe)

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BLUENOSE63 2/12/2013 10:04AM


Yep it is a big deal here in the Catholic schools, in fact we are serving up pancakes to the kids at lunchtime!

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WILSONWR 2/12/2013 9:52AM

    Another interesting tradition! Thanks for sharing!

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1CRAZYDOG 2/12/2013 8:55AM

  NOW I understand Shrove Tuesday. Thanks for the explanation!

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I_WILL_ROCK_125 2/12/2013 8:54AM

    Neat. Way cool.

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Grumpy Old Woman

Monday, February 11, 2013

Daughter is home from her hospital stay and has cabin fever. It's snowing outside and reeeaaaally cold, so I didn't want her to go out in it until she's built herself up abit. Compromise - I agreed to take her to the local mall so she could stretch her legs but at least stay reasonably warm.

*Rant Alert* .....

What is it with teenagers and designer shops? There is one in particular that makes my blood boil and my teeth clench. Of course, ALL of daughter's friends love it so she does too. I won't name it but it begins with H, has carrier bags featuring scantily clad males and it's an American export. It's like being in a disco. It's dark (too dark for me to be able to read price tags ), it's noisy (music too loud for me to hear what the cashiers are saying) and it's always packed out so I spend the whole time being jostled by teenagers. And it's blimmin expensive and there's always a huge queue to pay. I decided today that I won't be going back again - if she wants to shop there in future she'll have to take her dad.

In other news, despite it being bitterly cold I managed a little run today which makes me happy. Open countryside, peace and quiet, perfect for letting my mind wander and stresses dissipate. 3.1 miles done in a slow and steady 34 minutes 32 seconds. All is good once again.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOLABLACK69 2/12/2013 4:52AM

    Ahhh... open country side... I'm going to my cottage this weekend, and even though it's really cold again, I hope that I'll get a chance to walk a little. Miss being in the nature, to be quite honest.
Hope you'll enjoy run in the country side soon again. emoticon

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1BEACHWALKER 2/12/2013 2:01AM

    Nowadays, well at least in the past 15 years or so, it has all been about teens wanting designer this and that. My brother was that way and about bankrupted my Mom and Dad when he was a teen! Don't know why they gave into him so much. But, I never had kids, so I guess it's hard to say no sometimes. Glad to hear your daughter is doing better!
Good for you on your run...and even in cold weather!!! emoticon

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ALIHIKES 2/11/2013 9:06PM

    Glad to hear your daughter's recovered enough to enjoy shopping! I agree, it is painful to go into the shops that are geared toward teens. Your run sounds very nice, glad you got out!

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WILSONWR 2/11/2013 8:02PM

    I'm glad my daughter is grown and I don't have to deal with that. Although she had her eccentricities as a teenager, she took it pretty easy on us...

Glad you got a good run in!

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PRINCESSAMY 2/11/2013 3:23PM

    I am glad that was you and not me!

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STRONG_SARAH 2/11/2013 1:10PM

    When I read the blog title I thought you were talking about me! LOL, I feel that way too.

You might find this interesting. A friend of mine in the clothes industry said that H&M and ZARA have found a sneaky way to avoid both labor laws and taxes. They take their chinese employees out on boats into international waters and have them there for weeks at a time making clothes on the trip over to Europe where the clothes are distributed.

Sneaky, huh?

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UNSWEETMAMA 2/11/2013 12:33PM

    I'm so glad that your daughter is on the mend and that you got your run in despite the cold.

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BIGTHINKER_HD 2/11/2013 12:32PM

    Very glad your daughter is home and doing better. I bet that run did a lot to clear your head after going to the mall with a teen. Keep up the good work.

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LIS193 2/11/2013 12:05PM

    Teenagers and shopping... those stores are an assault on your senses not to mention your wallet.
Glad she is feeling better and well enough to get out and about.
Way to go on your run - nothing like some fresh air to blow the cobwebs out!

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I_WILL_ROCK_125 2/11/2013 11:43AM

    That's why I don't buy what my teenager wants for things like that. I told her when she can buy it all on her own, she can shop at those places. Sounds like you had an awesome run.


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BROOKLYN_BORN 2/11/2013 11:15AM

    My sympathies on the shopping. I'm glad my daughters are grown with their own families so I don't have to deal with this kind of thing.
Nice happy run!

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MYUTMOST4HIM 2/11/2013 11:01AM


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Comfort eating

Sunday, February 10, 2013

It's been quite a week. I had a call from my daughter's basketball coach last weekend, whilst she was away for a tournament in Luxembourg, to say she wasn't feeling too well. By the time she got home on Saturday evening she was quite poorly. For many years now she has suffered from Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome. We thought she had grown out of it as she hadn't had an attack for over 3 years, but no, it had hit again with a vengeance.

Long story short - she ended up in hospital for a few days whilst they tried to stop the nausea and get some fluids into her body. Once she got the care she needed, she recovered very quickly and is now home again as if nothing had happened.

I, meanwhile, have managed to put on 4 lbs this week, which disappoints me. I know exactly what went wrong. I am a comfort eater - the first sign of stress and I reach for the chocolate. It's more than a craving - I physically feel hungry, with proper tummy rumbles and all! Factor in that I was trying to eat from a hospital cafeteria menu combined with what they'd got in the gift shop, no tracking, no chance to exercise, very little water and poor sleep and it's no surprise the weight crept on. I'm sure that I could have made better choices but I had other things on my mind.

SO.... back to basics this week. It will be a challenge. We were supposed to be on the ferry to England last Friday evening for the midterm break which obviously didn't happen, but I have managed to change the booking to Tuesday evening. So we will be staying with my parents for a few days. My mum is a feeder - and she will see Amy's hospital stay as the perfect excuse to "build us up". But it will be manageable and I can get out for some good walks. My sister is a runner and has already mentioned us going out for a wee joglet together. And Lent begins on Wednesday, which will be an extra source of motivation to stay off the sugar.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIS193 2/11/2013 12:03PM

    So happy your DD is feeling better and is home again. Ah.. those stress pounds.
When you get to your mum's relax and go with the flow, go walking and jogging with your sister - let's hope the weather will be nice (as nice as it can be this time of year...)
Have a safe trip!

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WILSONWR 2/11/2013 9:02AM

    I know what you must be going through, Dawn. I also don't do well with stress -- I'm working on it, but I still have a ways to go to change life-long habits. But, like me, you're a fighter and won't let this get you down.

I'm definitely glad your daughter is doing better. Good luck on the visit with your Mom - it will definitely be fun, but with that fun comes a lot of temptations. Sounds like you have a plan, though! Take care.

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LOLABLACK69 2/11/2013 5:37AM

    Ahhh... Know exactly what you're talking about. I'm a comfort eater also. And it's been the biggest source of problems for me during college, finding the job, and now when I'm working also because I have a student loan to pay off and I'm working on a contract, signing it literally month by month. It's a struggle most of the time when life hits me not to reach for chocolate, or sandwich, or anything. But I'm trying to work it out now. Hope you'll make it, too! It's not easy, so if you need any support - just ask! emoticon
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BLUENOSE63 2/10/2013 6:20PM

  Oh what a week you have had....thank goodness your daughter is doing better! As for the weight, it is from stress as well -- when a person is great deal of stress, the old cortisol goes right to the stomach and voila weight gain. It will go as fast as it came once you are back to your normal routine! Stress also makes you either really hungry or the opposite -- you don't want to eat at all.

When you get back send me a sparkmail and I will send you my 18 week training plan for the half marathon (if you still want it) as I am doing the training through our local running room

Have a good holiday with your Mom

Hugs emoticon

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DUTCH1811 2/10/2013 5:48PM

    Good for you for having a plan. I thought I was the only one that had those all out feeling hungry symptoms with the grumbling tummy during Stress/Emotional eating episodes. I can eat a full healthy meal with carbs, protein and fiber and fell like I have had nothing to eat all day.
I also have figured out that if I do not eat a decent meal within an hour of waking I feel hungry all day (this just hit me within the past few days... DUH...LOL)

Your plan sounds great. emoticon emoticon

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Saturday, February 02, 2013

Time to get back to it. I have bunkered down for the month of January, I'm not a fan of being cold at the best of times - and the dark, wet days of January certainly don't constitute the best of times in my book. But enough is enough. Time to throw off the blanket, switch off the daytime tv, give away the last of the Christmas treats and start living again.

This morning I went for a 5K jog. Looking out of the front door, it was grey and windy and I began imagining how muddy and unpleasant the trails would be after all the rain of the last week, and I very nearly didn't bother going. But I pushed myself out anyway and I'm pleased I did. It didn't seem quite so grey once I was out in it. The birds were singing, the goats were scampering and the first buds of spring were appearing on the trees. I returned home feeling invigorated and slightly proud that I'd done it. A quick bike ride to the shops (4 mile round trip) and my legs are feeling satisfactorily weary, if there is such an expression! This afternoon I'm baking some snacks for a Salsa Party we're going to tonight - sounds fun! - then watching the kick off of the 6 Nations rugby on the TV.

I'm back tracking food, with a goal of 6lbs to lose this month. I have a good feeling about February!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUNGRL2013 2/7/2013 2:32PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LIS193 2/4/2013 1:36PM

    emoticon getting out there!

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LOLABLACK69 2/4/2013 2:01AM

    Time to start living again - I agree... Have to do it myself, also! Good luck to you, and keep at it! emoticon emoticon

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1BEACHWALKER 2/3/2013 2:36AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Good for you!! Keep going! Hope your party was fun!

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WILSONWR 2/2/2013 2:01PM

    You've got a great start to the month! Keep it up and those 6 lbs will disappear quickly!

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JACKIE542 2/2/2013 10:52AM

    Sounds like a good day. emoticon

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DR1939 2/2/2013 10:44AM


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I_WILL_ROCK_125 2/2/2013 10:33AM


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UNSWEETMAMA 2/2/2013 10:00AM

    I definitely understand "satisfactorily weary."

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Attempted mugging

Thursday, January 31, 2013

My son, who is at uni in London, casually mentioned on skype yesterday that he'd been attacked whist walking home from lectures the day before. Close to his home, around 8pm, a man pushed him against a wall and demanded his wallet and phone. Son said no and the man punched him in the face. Son's response? He punched him back emoticon At this, the attacker ran off and son carried on home. He didn't phone the police because he didn't get a look at the man, other than he was dressed entirely in black wearing a hoodie with a scarf tied over his face.
I told him what he should have done - ie handed over his stuff and contacted the police. Then I spent the rest of the evening worrying about what might have happened - what if the attacker had pulled a knife on him? What if he'd come back with a gang of his mates? My maternal instinct was/is to phone him up and tell him to come home immediately, where it's safe. My common sense tells me this is a bit of an over reaction emoticon
I'm wondering how long it will be before I feel happy for him to be living there again....

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUNGRL2013 2/7/2013 2:28PM

    Your son impresses me with fighting back. Terrifying though! emoticon But you must have raised him well for his instinctive reaction to be standing up for himself!! Sending you a comforting hug emoticon

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LIS193 2/4/2013 1:36PM

    Good for you son for standing up to a bully and glad that he is ok.
I worry about my DD cycling home for 30 mins in Cambridge after a late shift but she is not worried at all (kids!)

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UNSWEETMAMA 1/31/2013 5:05PM

    Oh my! You're right, it could have gone badly. But I'm also impressed at him standing up to the mugger.

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POOKASLUAGH 1/31/2013 4:57PM

    Yikes, that's terrifying!!!

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I_WILL_ROCK_125 1/31/2013 2:45PM

    That's horrible that he got mugged, no parent can help worrying about the what if's. Sounds like he got lucky the guy didn't have a weapon or anything. But he definitley should of called the police. I'm sure he'll be fine over there, no matter where you live in this world there will be good and bad people. You just got to do what's right for you. *HUGS*

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ALIHIKES 1/31/2013 12:52PM

    So glad your son is okay. Yes it is scary! And you are right to worry. He is independent and building his life; and seems to be dealing with challenges very well!

And thank you SO MUCH for your kind comments on my blog, and the spark goody. I appreciate your sympathy and support!

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JACKIE542 1/31/2013 10:33AM

    I do know how you feel. So happy everything turned out well. Take care of yourself! emoticon

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WILSONWR 1/31/2013 9:37AM

    Sometimes you just react. Several years ago, on a business trip to Washington D.C., I was walking in the "mall" (the big grassy area between all of the monuments), and I observed a man pulling some money out of another man's pocket (the other man was sleeping on a bench). I told the man to give the money back. He said he didn't take anything. I reached into his pocket to get the money he had taken, when suddenly he said, "I've got a gun." At this point, I put my arms around him and held him as tightly as I could. While holding him, I somehow searched him for weapons and found nothing. I pulled the money he had taken out of his pocket and the man ran off. After returning the money to its rightful owner, I was walking away and started visibly shaking. What had I just done? How close had I come from being seriously injured? To this day, I don't know what I would do if confronted with the situation again. I'd like to intervene, but the world is pretty dangerous also. I know I couldn't just ignore it though. Sometimes you just act.

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SILENTDAISY 1/31/2013 8:47AM

    You're a mother, you'll always worry.

It's not easy to think on, but the situation could have gone numerous ways. Thinking on what could have been will only make you feel worse. Your son did what he thought was best. Honestly, I probably would have done the same thing and then some, but my mother would probably smack the crap out of me afterwards.

It really sounds like your son is a firecracker. And I mean that in a good way. I'm really glad that he's safe. That's what matters. But it would never hurt to give him a quick visit. Sometimes giving him a hug and telling him you love him will help more than saying it over the phone/skype. It's really your mind that needs to be eased, and I think having a nice sit down meal with him would help with that. I just don't know how big of an expense it would be to do that though.

Anyways, many hugs. emoticon

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TOMWAMP 1/31/2013 8:39AM

    God was surely watching over him. Happy he is safe and unharmed.

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LOLABLACK69 1/31/2013 8:06AM

    what an awful thing to happen... hope you're all doing well now!

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BLUENOSE63 1/31/2013 7:15AM

  OH my gosh, that is scary....no matter how old the kids get, the Mom in us always takes over! Glad to know that he is just fine....you obviously raised him well as he handled it well.

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