Wednesday, March 20, 2013
By building garden furniture in the snow. How else? LOL
No, it wasn't that bad. It was more sleet and the occasional hailstone. And barely above freezing, which chilled me to the bone. I'm still feeling cold, even though I have been indoors with the heating turned up for the last three hours.
Still, it was worth it...
Now you see the bramble...
and now you don't...
My lovely gardener started work in earnest today. First I dragged him to B&Q for a garden bench and a table, which we then brought home and built, then he took his hedge trimmer to the bramble, cleared it, and saved both my Rowan and my Bay. He even gave the Bay a trim before he left! Incidentally, the table has a hidden surprise... First it is a table...
but if you get cold, you pull on the ring in the middle, and voila! You have a firepit instead...
Now that's what I call multi-tasking! :-)
Oh, and the garden bench was supposed to be just a cheap wooden bench, but when I spotted this little beauty, I had a change of plan...
Now I can be out there in all (well, most) weathers, all comfy on a seat that can rock me to sleep, with a nice fire to keep me warm. :-)
Next stage, off to Kent Blaxill to choose some paving on Friday, all being well. :-)
Meet our resident Blackbird! He is keeping a close eye on proceedings. I hope he approves.
Maggie is also watching us carefully for signs of noms and shinies:
Incidentally, if you can find the Young's Gastro range in your local supermarket, I can heartily recommend the Basa cooked in a lemon and herb tempura batter. It truly melts in the mouth! It is only 252 calories, and is substantial enough that you don't need anything except some veggies with it. Utterly delicious!
Happy Alban Eiler, everyone (that's Druid for Happy Spring Equinox). :-)
Sunday, March 03, 2013
Well, no harm done. I'm still at 12 1/2 stone ish, even though I've not been accurately measuring food or water, and I haven't specifically exercised ourside of shopping expeditions.
The beauty of this is that it proves something to me. It proves that much of my lifestyle is now geared towards healthy living. OK, so I didn't do ten mins minimum aerobic exercise, but I have done a lot of walking in the course of the week, even though I could have caught buses, or taxis everywhere I went.
My food has been good on the whole. Plenty of fish and veggies, and no meat to speak of, outside of the two sausages I ate as part of a toasted sausage and cheese sandwich the other day. Well, it was a craving, and I enjoyed it, but now I'm over it. LOL
I'm also finding that with the fish I often don't need potato with it, just veg, so that cuts the calories down further.
Water has been pretty good. even choosing sparkling water over coke when I've had to eat out. I've had the odd glass of wine, which has been nice, but nothing excessive.
There was that pint of lager that came as part of a meal deal the week before...
And the chicken korma it came with was vegless.
But hey, nobody's perfect, right? LOL
Anyhoo *ahem, cough, cough*
And the real awesome bit? I am officially a size 16! Not in between 16 and 18 anymore. I went to try on six pairs of Marks & Spencers jeans, and two of the three size 16s were so comfy, even seated, that I bought them! And one of the pairs was a 'slim boot'! So I didn't even bother trying the three size 18s on!
I have thrown out and/or donated all my old scruffy comfortable size 18 jeans! You would not believe the state some of them were in! LOL
And a chap in charge of the changing rooms at the big Sainsburys told me I looked slim!!! :-)
I am so pleased! To get back to a comfortable size 16 was my goal. I don't think I will ever get much smaller because I want to still enjoy my food, and I can't enjoy margarine, sweeteners or salad. :-)
Oh, guess what I bought to wear while boxercising:
And in other news...
We had a surprise visit from a flock of Waxwings yesterday:
I spotted them as I was seeing the gardener out. He came round to measure up my garden and quote for some work I have planned, and they were feasting on the neighbour's cotoneaster. Then they flew into the tree opposite, which is where they are in the photo.
Never seen them here before! Awesome sight!
So, I'm back on target:
Today I've done 30 mins exercise with Kendall Hogan. I love this routine:
I'm on target with my water, and heading that way with my freggies as well.
Well, the dishes are beckoning, so I'd best head for the kitchen.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
Thursday, February 21, 2013
So, We Sing Robbie Williams arrived in the post today, and we excitedly plugged in the microphones and had a good singalong to such classics as Kids, Somethin' Stupid, Bodies etc
Then we decided to switch to Guitar Hero, so Tara could play guitar and I could sing. Also good fun, belting out Jet (Wings) In The Shadows (Rasmus) and Losing My Religion (REM). Then my throat decided it needed a rest, leaving Tara wanting me to hold the microphone so she cound sing and play guitar at the same time!
Well, I love her dearly, but I have better things to do than be a microphone stand, so it was time to figure out an alternative. We needed something free standing, and tall enough to attach a mike to.
I think I've got it
Enter my Christmas pressie!
Remember my new mop?
Well, it already has several uses with all its attachments - mop, glass cleaner, garment steamer, carpet cleaner, etc.
Now it has another use...
as a microphone stand...
It just needed a little parcel tape to hold it in place!
Happy Kidling, and a happy Mummy!
Who could ask for more?
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Well, I have to start this collection with a most exquisite piece of kit! This it THE car! The vehicle I would buy for myself if I was ridiculously, insanely rich, and could get in and out without the aid of a giant shoehorn!
John (my godfather) and I were in Oxford, admiring the architecture at the time. We walked round the corner from the Castle/Jail/Hotel and there it was...
For those who are unfamilar with cars, this is a Lamborghini...
*bows in worship*
And as if that wasn't awesomeness enough, it is my favourite colour - bright orange!
What do you mean, I can't have it!?
Well, can I have Inspector Morse's car instead?
It's a classic, and it looks good for driving in Oxford!
Can't have that either, huh?
Thing is, I'm greedy. I really want both!
Oh well, suppose I'd best get back to the pics of Oxford then.
Well, the weather was pretty atrocious for most of the weekend, so I didn't get a lot of pics, but here's a selection...
This is the Castle Mound with the only original part of the castle - the keep - visible in the background. You can walk up it, but it was so wet I didn't fancy trying it. Maybe next visit. :-)
A quick history from photos of the timeline outside the castle...
c.700 AD - St Frideswide founds a monastery by the River Thames.
1071 - Robert D'Oilly begins building the castle.
1239 - Earliest recorded use of the castle as the County Gaol.
1388 - The castle is in poor repair and prisoners are able to escape.
1675 - The castle walls and tower have gone, and the keep is in ruins.
1780-1860 - The prison is rebuilt and expanded with the new wings added.
1863 - The last public execution takes place on the site.
And most recently, the building ceased being a prison, and it was sold and turned into an hotel - appropriately named Malmaison (Bad House). LOL
They have kept it quite prison-like as a theme.
Christchurch University's Tom Tower, named for the bell inside it:
The entrance for members of the paying public (not including us. Because both Dad and John are Alumni, we get a free pass). :-)
For those who don't know, Christchurch was used by the makers of the Harry Potter films, for things like the main staircase (where the new kids are met by Professor McGonagall in the first film), the Great Hall (they actually built a replica of the Christchurch Great hall in the film studios), and the delightful spot where HP diehards will remember fondly Malfoy was transformed into a bouncing ferret! LOL
This is the Great Hall:
And this is Bouncing Ferret Cloisters:
On the last morning, after rain all weekend, we woke to this:
View from my bathroom window:
View from my bedroom window:
John and I had a wonderful weekend, and Tara and I have an invite to visit in the summer, when hopefully the weather will be more congenial - this being England, however, nothing is ever guaranteed weatherwise. LOL
John will be visiting us in Colchester in the interim, we hope.
I learned a great deal about my Dad during the visit. Lots of things I didn't know, like (and I am extraordinarily proud of him for this) when the Hungarian Revolution happened in 1956, Dad quickly learned enough Hungarian to make himself understood (he studied languages at Oxford - had a real gift) and he drove to the Hungarian border to help refugees to safety!
He was also instrumental in encouraging my godfather to start the Eckersley School of English in Oxford, and he taught there in the summer holidays.
This link takes you to a page with my Godfather's picture on it. Just scroll down a tad to see him:
As a result, my Godfather is eternally grateful to my Dad, and has never forgotten all his kindness and encouragement. :-)
It was a wonderful gift, to have been told so much of my family history.
Enjoy your day!
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