Friday, July 06, 2012
I reached the end of my road about 7am, and there were already a lot of people lining the pavements. Seeing some space on the opposite side of the road, I crossed, passing behind my neighbour, there with her son and grandkids, tapping her on the right shoulder as I walked past. She fell for it! LOL
It was already lightly raining at this point, and as I stood chatting with a couple who had already grabbed a spot, we put up out brollies and leaned on the rail that was conveniently there.
The way they have arranged the route is so that the traffic can keep moving, with police there to stop the crowd from blocking the road. What we didn't realise though, was that the traffic wouldn't even be stopped when the cavalcade came past.
Just as the critical few minutes approached, a bloomin' great juggernaut stopped right in front of us, totally blocking our view! So all of us on the right side of the road had to charge round the juggernaut, to the central line, effectively narrowing the road for the cavalcade, and giving the poor policeman palpitations as he tried to keep us far enough apart from those on the left hand side to allow the various coaches and lorries through.
And it was a massive cavalcade! So many police on motorbikes! And they were high fiving the crowd as they drove past! I got a High Five from a Motorcycle cop! LOLOL
And I took photo after photo, which will give you some idea of how close we were to the vehicles.
Here's the juggernaut on the left, and some people dancing and singing on top of a bus!
Then I noticed that something was going on to my right...
As the crowds were asked to step back, I realised that there was a torch bearer standing there, ready to receive the flame!
Could the torch bearer finally be arriving?
and as I waited frantically for my phone to reset after the last photo, the Torch Bearer ran past me. I snapped a shot, and got the most amazing picture of the flame!
The curls in the flame are just beautiful.
Then we had the privilege of watching the hand-over...
And the new Torch Bearer runs off down the road...
And the crowd immediately began to melt away, and by 8am, I was back in my house, a drowned rat with a terrific memory to cherish. :-)
Enjoy the rest of your Friday!
Thursday, July 05, 2012
I just wanted to share that tomorrow morning, around 7.30-7.45 am, the Olympic Flame will be carried past the end of my road. I am not much of a sports fan, but I am looking forward to seeing the flame carried by for one reason.
That reason is that this flame originated in Greece, and as I have a passion for the Greek gods and goddesses, I am looking upon this as an opportunity to be in close physical proximity to a symbol not just of the Olympic Games, but of the Greek history and Mythology I so love.
So, tomorrow morning, as I watch the flame passing me by, I shall be thinking of Prometheus reputed by the Greeks to have given fire to humankind, of the fires sacred qualities and its relationship to the Sun, and of the Temple of Hera in Olympia, Greece, and the skaphia used there mere weeks ago to direct the suns rays to light the flame.
I shall also think of Zeus, to whom the games were originally dedicated, and last, but most definitely not least, of Athena namesake of Athens - whose gift of the olive tree supplied the wreath of olive branches that was placed upon the head of the winner.
This will be a once in a lifetime opportunity for me. :- )
In other news...
I have walked an Olympic marathon distance this week, I kid you not! Well, darned close anyway. In three days (Mon,Tue,Wed) I walked a total of 24 miles, which is close enough to a marathon in my book! And my constant leg ache, sore toes, and seizing up of my hips will attest that it was a tricky amount of walking to handle.
But I had to do it.
You see, Tara was offered the opportunity to attend a three-day Preview Course at the Colchester Institute, with a view to starting there in September on their Foundation to Work Course.
We only made enquiries last Monday, and were really surprised to hear so soon, but apparently we were rather late applying so they had to bypass the interview stage and have her attend the course sight unseen.
The initial trepidation on my part was squashed immediately by Tara, who leapt on me in delight when I told her about the preview course. But we were batting on a financially sticky wicket that week, so we had no choice but to walk there and back every day. A four and a half mile walk in total for Tara, but a nearly 9 mile walk for me as I had to make the trek twice each day!
Those of you with good basic maths skills will have noticed a discrepancy in my figures, but not to worry. On the third morning, Tara decided she had memorised the route there and wanted to walk it alone, so I went to Waitrose instead, cutting a good couple of miles off that day, otherwise I would have beaten the Marathon distance for certain! LOL
Anyway, it was worth every ache and pain, and still being stiff today, because not only did she LOVE the course, but she has definitely got a place in September!!!
AWESOME or what!!!
On the way home yesterday, seeing as the finances were in slightly better shape, and seeing as it was the only place selling food between the college and our home, I treated us to our first MacDonalds meal in more than 10 years! Tara had a chicken nugget happy meal, and I had a cheeseburger and fries. I was pleasantly surprised to see the calorie count for the meals prominently displayed on the menu. A good step forward for them, I thought, and given the amount of walking I did, I doubt I did any harm eating what I did. I really enjoyed it too. :-)
Enjoy your Day!
Friday, June 22, 2012
I love Waitrose, and their own brands are generally excellent, but they suffer from one issue which seems to be universal among supermarkets. Their cooking instructions on wholewheat foods suck!
Follow the instructions on their organic Love Life wholegrain rice, for instance, and you get a partially mushy, partially hard, chewy mess that does nothing to whet the appetite.
So I went online for a solution, and I found it!
It is so simple.
Measure out the portions of rice you need. I measured 100g, which for me is two portions.
Put the rice in a big saucepan, and pour in a lot of cold water - two thirds full or thereabouts, so the rice has plenty of water to swirl around in while it is cooking.
Bring the water and rice to a boil, and leaving the lid off the pan, boil on a mediumish heat for 20 minutes.
Strain the rice through a sieve for ten seconds, then return the rice to the now empty pan. Shake it a little to spread the rice out, and place back on the same cooker burner, but with the heat now off. Put the saucepan's lid firmly on, and leave the rice for ten minutes.
Remove the lid, and stir the rice with a fork before serving.
That ten minutes of steaming on top of the cooking time makes the rice comes out separated, as fluffy as brown rice can get, and with just enough bite to be perfect. No mush! :-)
I ate half of it with some Slow Cooker chinese pork spare ribs cooked with onion, leek, red bell pepper, and courgettes, and using an Amoy Chow Mein sauce for the liquid and flavour.
I froze the other half, and defrosted that yesterday to eat with sweet and sour chicken.
Really tasty! I think I feel secure enough about eating brown rice instead of white easycook rice now.
Over the weekend I am having some more experiments. Making two leek and courgette risottos in the slow cooker. One with the Arborio rice I normally use to make risotto in a saucepan, and the other with the Organic wholegrain rice. I'm intrigued to see how those turn out, as there seem to be conflicting opinions as to how well different types of rice cook in a slow cooker. :-)
In other news...
TOM did not play ball, and arrived too early for the scheduled appointment at the hospital, so BE-Day is now Friday 20th July instead.
However, the walk-in clinic finally got back to me about the ultrasound scan, and that is scheduled for Monday 2nd July. If that shows up the problem, I may not need BE-Day at all, but that remains to be seen.
In the meantime, I've tweaked my eating, and the smaller meals seem to be helping because I haven't had a bad attack since Sat 9th. A few twinges, but that's it.
TOM kicked in Wednesday, but it doesn't seem to have unduly antagonised anything, so I am doubtful that endometriosis is the issue.
I am a little irritated by TOM though.
I really am not looking forward to the barium enema, and just wanted to get it over with, not have it hanging over my head for another month. Bryony had managed to get the days off to be here for me and everything, so its kicking in early has been a real nuisance all round.
But hey, what can you do? Nature is nature is nature, and it is in my Nature for my bod to do its own thing! LOL
I'm getting my exercise in every day, being completely obsessed with Exerbeat to the exclusion of all other games and exercise options currently. I am working to increase the number of gold medals I have at the moment. Now I have all 20 golds in the Aerobics section, and all 20 in the Boxercising section, plus 19 out of 20 in the Karate section, and hoping to make that 20 tomorrow. The rest of the areas still need work.
So, the weekend is about here, and I need to get some work hours in. Been slacking this week, due to being more stressed than I care to admit, so I have some catching up to do. Fortunately I have a ton of TV shows saved on Tivo, so I'll grab my wool and settle down to some viewing and hooking. :-)
I'd sit outside, but it's threatening to plother down!
Enjoy your day! :-)
Monday, June 18, 2012
As we Brits splash, paddle, wade or swim our way to the end of what is probably going to be the wettest June on record, we are all apparently getting fed up with the limited vocabulary they use in our weather reports. Not fed up with the rain, you understand, just the descriptive failures.
Yeah, right... That's what's causing our disgruntlement! *shakes head*
So, after extensive research, some bright spark from the Beeb has come up with a chart that he hopes will be adopted for future use.
1. Not Raining
Outdoor furniture is erected cautiously in gardens and on balconies.
Light to moderate rummaging takes places in rucksacks for cagoules and pac-a-macs. Women on way to hairdressing appointments proceed apprehensively without umbrellas.
Overseas players on county cricket teams are surprised to discover that they're required to continue playing.
4. Woodfiddly Rain
Outdoor furniture is brought back indoors.
Lips are pursed.
6. Tippling Down
Garden furniture is returned to garden centres in hope of getting money back.
7. Luttering Down
Fingers drummed on indoor furniture. Eyes rolled. Tuts tutted
8. Plothering Down
Irritating displays of supposedly barbecue-friendly foods are removed from the entrance areas of supermarkets.
9. Pishpotikle Weather
Rain intensifies.Women with newly-done hair find aggressive hawkers have disappeared when they take defective umbrellas back in search of a refund.
10. Raining Like a Cow Relieving Itself
Cows relieve themselves. (this needs illustrating LOL)
11. Raining Stair-rods
Any garden furniture not taken indoors floats away. Reporters on 24-hour news channels began using words like torrential and holding their hands out with their palms upturned.
12. Siling Down
Hardy British holidaymakers are finally driven from the beach at Herne Bay. Garden furniture begins appearing on eBay. Water companies introduce hosepipe bans, pointing to dry spell five years ago.
Hope this clears things up a bit.
Today in Colchester, it has been Tippling Down overnight, but is currently Not Raining. However, I suspect it will be Grizzerable before the end of the morning! :-)
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Just substitute your own town/city/back garden for London, for an instant and accurate forecast pretty much anywhere around the globe, it would seem!
I promise, on my honour, that I have NOT been raindancing!!!
And anyway, it isn't that bad...YET... *gulp*
However, having received three months free subscription to Spotify's Premium service courtesy of Virgin Media, I will admit I've been dancing to a lot of songs I haven't heard in years!!!
And I was a HUGE Grease fan back in the day...
The dancing, etc, plus my shrinking meal portions as the attempts to minimise my pain continue along the lines of feeding myself small amounts at a sitting (I think it is called 'grazing') has resulted in a 2 1/4 lb weight loss this last week. Awesome!!!
"I'll take Silver Linings for $500 please Alex!"
So, who do we have here who is a Billy Idol fan? I'm currently listening to his Vital Idol album on Spotify. I bought the album on tape back when Bry was a toddler, so well over twenty years ago, and it still has me dancing round the room to all the songs, specially this one...
and this one...
and not forgetting this one...
Enjoy guys and gals! :-)
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