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! :-)
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Plenty of that. :-) For example, I have had my Exerbeat game for a month now, and I have played it every single day. Apart from one day when my abdominal pain caught me out, and I was only able to do 15 mins as a result, I have done at least 30 minutes of exercise with it every day, and usually more like an hour!
*pauses to see if trainers are smokin'*
So, according to the game, in one month I exercised for a total of 25 1/2 hours, went round the world very nearly three times, and burned a total of 17024 calories!!!
I've done hours of Aerobics, Hip Hop and Latin Moves. I've boxed and karate-chopped my arms off. I've attempted yoga and pilates moves that stretched my body as well as my stamina (made easier by that bargain of a mattress I picked up to lie on). I've done amazing stretch routines to complete my efforts, and I've played some very daft games, like swimming standing up in my sitting room, pretending to be John Travolta's dance partner, tossing pizzas topped with such diverse foods as whole roast chickens and burgers, smashing walls down using boxing moves, and wielding a sword to smash melons, boxes and barrels.
It is a really awesome, diverse and fun game, that I look forward to playing every single day.
As you work through the game you have to unlock a lot of the exercises, and in the month, I have succeeded - just - in opening all 60 Aerobic, Hip Hop and Latin Workouts, all 20 Boxercising Workouts, all 30 Karate Workouts, all 20 Yoga and Pilates Workouts, and all 10 Stretching Workouts.
The only bits still not unlocked are some of the games levels. I reached Intermediate in the Pirate Game and the Wall Smasher, but I am still something of a beginner in the other three still, and Advanced is a long, long way down the road I reckon for all of them! LOL
I will say that there are one or two minor niggles with the game. For instance, the World Map is lovely the first time around, and the second time they give you new facts about each place so that takes the edge off a bit, but after that it gets boring. It just repeats the second trip info, and although I now have a 3 over my Mii's head to show I've been around the world three times, the little animated note character, doesn't acknowledge it.
Also, you can't cut corners with the map, or stop the game from running the (very long) credits EVERY time you complete a world tour.
However, as long as you aren't trying to improve your medal scores on individual workouts (you can earn gold, silver and bronze medals for each workout) you can use the My Exercises section to build the routine of workouts you want to do that day, and it will take you through them all without interruption, so that you only have to visit the map once at the end of your session, instead of after every workout.
That really is the only complaint I have about the game. There is so much variety that you can exercise your upper, lower, and core, and stretch at the end - it really is an all-in-one game. :-)
Another good is that I bought my first reusable water bottle today.
It is made by Thermos.
It is BPA free, has a 700ml (25oz) capacity, and the icing on the cake is that it has a core that you can fill with water and freeze, so that when you pop it back in the bottle it keeps your drinking water nice and cool for longer. :-) That'll come in handy if we ever see the sun again! LOL
And it was only £5.50, which compared to a lot of much more basic models I've seen is quite the bargain in my view. :-) Specially as Thermos - on their OWN website - are selling the exact same bottle for £8.95!
It has a nice big opening to drink from, is easy to fill from the brita jug, and the whole thing comes apart for easy cleaning.
Very user friendly. :-)
I don't know what is taking so long, but the ultrasound scan appointment applied for by my doctor more than three weeks ago still hasn't come through, and I rang the hospital this morning to chase the appointment up, only to get an answer machine! I'm still waiting for them to call me back!
The Icky: (Warning - may be TMI for some people. If so, scroll down to END OF ICKY)
However, the hospital appointment I'm really NOT looking forward to came through the post this morning. I was so excited at first, thinking someone had sent me a pressie, because a jiffy bag with an interesting bulge dropped onto the doormat. Thinking my eldest had sent me a wee something to cheer me up, I ripped open the bag, only to have a Turbo Laxative fall out of the envelope!!!
It was accompanied by a letter and a booklet of instructions for before, during and after my *gulp* Barium Enema!!!
I am going to have to go through three days or more of unpleasantness in order to have this procedure, and to stand the best chance of it going well.
Two days before the BE, I have to drastically limit my diet - Absolutely NO ... high fibre cereal (bye bye porage), bran, fruit, vegetables, red meat and dairy products (bye bye cereal and cups of tea)
I can eat rice krispies IF I am willing to eat them with coffeemate stirred into water! Ugh!
So, my diet will consist that day of boiled or poached egg, plain boiled potato, macaroni, spaghetti or noodles, plain boiled white rice, chicken or fish, stock cube gravy made with water only, white bread or toast (no butter), white or brown sugar, clear jelly, clear soup/broth.
The day before the procedure, I take two helpings of Turbo laxative 8 hours apart, and eat a very specific minimum food diet until 8pm, then no more food until after the procedure. However, I can drink and must drink plenty of liquid - water, bovril, black tea or coffee - to make up for all the fluid my body will lose, and that's it. Oh, and for the evening meal I can have a cup of clear soup (no solid food), and some jelly.
To be honest, after all those hours of, um, emptying out my system, I doubt I'd have the energy or the inclination to eat anyway!
Then, on the day, nothing at all until after the procedure. They suggest bringing some biscuits with me so that I can eat once it is all over. I think I'm going to want something nommier than that after going through all that hassle! I think, if I feel up to it, I'll head for the hospital cafe for a little something and a nice cup of tea! :-)
I am very much not looking forward to this. I am going to feel pretty rough, not eating properly, and hardly at all for the best part of two days. Never mind the rest of it! I get horrible headaches if I don't eat properly. And with the anaemia, it turns headaches into migraines, and I won't be able to take my usual migraine relief because I can't take codeine for those three days - or my iron tablets!
On the positive side, as long as I do exactly what they want me to do, they should be able to take some beautiful photos of my innards! LOL Maybe I should ask for an album of my own to take home as a keepsake. *kidding!!!*
I know that I want this to be a one-time thing, so I need to give them the best shot at getting the best shots, so to speak, so I would be silly not to follow the diet to the letter.
I found a book at the library the other week, called Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway, by Susan Jeffers. I'm hoping that there might be some wisdom in it that will help me through this, because I don't mind telling you guys that - joking aside - I am scared stiff!!!
The only reason I am even considering going through this procedure is that the pain is so bad when it hits, and makes me feel so ill, that I am more afraid of that than going to the hospital!!!
So, tomorrow, hopefully, I'll have the revised date and time of the BE appointment, which has to be changed to fit in with my body cycles, and maybe even the ultrasound appointment people might ring me back and let me know when that is planned. :-)
END OF ICKY
We went to the library again today, and this time I came home armed with some books to keep in the bathroom to aid my extended stays in there. I have a couple of Pam Ayres books, The Cricklewood Tapestry by someone called Alan Cohen, and one of Jeremy Clarkson's books - Driven to Distraction. That should keep me entertained, and if we run out of toilet roll, Clarkson's book could end up serving two purposes!!! LOLOL
Oooh, a couple of out and about pics...
Sophie's "Well, are you coming to throw the ball or not?" look...
Proof that the sun has come out occasionally...
"Hey! Mum! Look! I have a shadow for a change!
Wish me luck guys!!!
A Double Dose today because laughter is the best medicine!
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