Wednesday, April 16, 2014
I was away in Kurdistan for a fortnight recently and in spite of all the wonderful fruit and veg on offer,
I did succumb to more than my share of the local flat bread - the little bakeries use wood-burning ovens and the thinly rolled-out bread is thrown onto the sides of the adobe walls until it is baked - it looks, smells and tastes wonderful! But after all is said and done, unfortunately it is plain pure white bread.
Hard working bakers in Urfa
A baker`s supply of wood stored nearby....
So hot and crispy ......
On the exercise side of things we walked a lot most afternoons and in the morning I did a bit of gardening and some stretching and gymnastics so I kept on track there, thank goodness ....
At the end of the fortnight I looked and felt bloated and very flabby around my midriff. Anyhow, when I got back to Bremen I didnt dare go near the scales until I had cut out all bread and cookies for the last four days. This morning I looked hard in the full length mirror and saw that my arms and legs look more toned and tanned than before the holiday and that my blobby, wobbly tum was just its usual lumpy self. So I pulled myself together and hopped on the scales - and "Ta Da" - (drums rolling etc. please) - I had lost half a pound instead of the dreaded, imagined gain of a couple of kilos! Sometimes it is all in the eye of the beholder!
Just now my hubby (who is still in Kurdistan) gave my a Skype call to say he has discovered a local bakery that uses whole wheat flour in its flat bread dough - well now, it looks like that little problem is solved for my next trip!
Sunday, April 13, 2014
On our latest travels to North Kurdistan we went for a day to see the sights of Urfa. We got caught in a sandstorm blowing in from the east in the late afternoon, but managed to see most of the highlights! This is part of the waterways set out near Nimrodīs fortress Many pilgrims from the Muslim, Jewish and Christian faiths come to Urfa as it is one of the cities where Abraham may have been born. The temperature was already about 28 degrees celcius and in summer 45-50 degrees is the norm!
We cooled our steaming feet at one of the shady tea-gardens beside the ornamental ponds full of sacred carp and watched all the fascinating people walking by.... Afterwards we explored the bazaar which has been in existence for hundreds of years - Urfa was an important oasis along the Silk Road where trading caravans rested and got new supplies. The region is famous in the Near East for itīs red hot paprika!
After a delicious lunch of salads, spicy beans, flat bread and yogurt we climbed up to the moat at the foot of Nimrodīs fortress .... Then we sat for a while in the gardens and watched a group of Kurdish villagers decked out in their finery having their photo taken. On the way home we went to "Gold", a shop specializing in sweetmeats made of nuts, raisins, grape-molasses and coconut - mouth-watering to say the least, but after 20,000 steps on my tracker we had earned a little treat!
Wednesday, March 05, 2014
After a winter of too much work, an injured achilles tendon and not enough fun, I decided to go away for the weekend instead of blowing a fuse! My youngest daughter is helping restore an old farmhouse near the Baltic Sea in north-east Germany, and I had a standing invitation to come and have a look. I jumped into the car on Friday afternoon with a box full of organic goodies and whizzed up the autobahn for 3.5 hours. It was a relief to just keep my eyes on the road and have a rest from manic multi-tasking!
The farmhouse was divine - old beams, red bricks and the smell of newly sanded pine floor-boards paired with young people full of enthusiasm - just my cup of tea!
Hannah was in fine fettle and we sat in the huge kitchen eating polenta and fresh veggies, chatting for hours.
I slept for 9 hours solid and woke up feeling like the new dawn! After breakfast I "inhaled" the historic atmosphere of the little village and then we went for a lovely walk along sandy paths between the salt marshlands. My foot felt fine and when we got back to the house I even had a little afternoon snooze for the first time in donkeyīs years!
On Sunday we made Irish scones for old times sake, swapped recipes for green smoothies (avocado, cucumber and mango is amazing....) and then headed off to the seaside. The Baltic was a vast expanse of calm clear water and the air a delight.....
Just for the sheer thrill, I balanced out along to the end of this wave-breaker (ha, just testing my fixed foot...)
In the evening I drove home along the scenic country route and my soul soared like a lark!
Now I am ready to tackle those last few measly kilos - Resilience reigns!
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