CHICCHANTAL's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=CHICCHANTAL CHICCHANTAL's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SparkPeople.com http://assets2.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/logo_spark.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/ Grappling hooks http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5835961 I've been off Sparkpeople for a while. Well, more than a while. Several whiles. I didn't decide to lapse, it just happened. More or less in the way Snow White drifted. So this week I had a few days off work and was clearing some stuff out and spring cleaning (Yes, I know. Not spring. So I've been told) and I thought I'd look up Sparkpeople again. <BR> <BR> Still there. A few new faces, and a lot of old ones - a few extra wrinkles here and there, haven't we all? <BR> <BR> Although wrinkle... Sat, 20 Dec 2014 16:34:40 EST Any way you do it http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5631630 I have a habit of losing small things. You could call me the Goddess of Lost Small Things. In the past month, I've lost my breadmaker recipe book which has resulted in all kinds of weird and largely inedible concoctions from the bread machine, my aunt's diamond ring (ouch) and, a week or so ago, my nearly brand new Fitbit One. <BR> <BR> Argh. It cost £70, that Fitbit, and I've only had it for three weeks. Yesterday evening I did some serious hunting for it: no joy. This morning, ditto. I w... Sun, 23 Feb 2014 13:13:28 EST Long, hot summer http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5438773 Saturday I decided to go for a little walk. I can't really call this one a hike, because it was a nice flat path all the way with only one tiny hill. I started just north of Harlow, in Essex, at Harlow Mill. I pick this because I can see from the map that the path is only about half a kilometre north of the station and it is by the river Stort so even I should be able to find it without difficulty. <BR> <BR> And so it proves. Nip over the bridge and down on to the path by the river. <BR> <... Tue, 30 Jul 2013 15:43:07 EST Too hot to handle http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5426570 Not hot in the good sense, I don't mean. Not at my age. It's been about 30C (mid 80s F) in the UK for a week and we're suffering. Well honestly, we're not used to it. For the last three years we got no summer, just extra rain. This year, however my garden's like a blasted heath. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/3/0/l308040534.jpg"> <BR> <BR> In the bit of Epping Forest that I walked in the blog called 'Mud, mud glorious mud', the muddiest walk of many very muddy wa... Fri, 19 Jul 2013 14:47:44 EST Life without Percy http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5352762 My large cat, Charlie, is missing his recently deceased brother. Not in a howling, sort of way. Or even a prowling sort of way. He did not (as I'm told some cats do) spend days looking for Percy. In fact since they were always both very outdoors cats, they weren't often in the same place at the same time. That, and the fact that Charlie always found Percy irritating because he wanted to snuggle up. <BR> <BR> Now, however, something in Charlie's cat brain is missing Percy. This is manifestin... Sat, 11 May 2013 05:11:06 EST Facilities http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5346365 This is the blog of someone who's having an UnSparkly weekend. I'm eating rice salad (containing three times as many vegetables as rice) Always the sign of food sins to expiate when you catch me eating rice salad. <BR> <BR> I have just been reading another Sparker's blog and she's talking about a hot tub. Well, I've seen one on telly so I know what they look like, but as to trying one out . . . Maybe I'll book one somewhere for my next big birthday. <BR> <BR> It's very clear though that I'... Sun, 5 May 2013 15:12:12 EST Not a proper blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5343425 From thinking of Twitter as something for people with too much time on their hands, I've recently become a bit of a fan. <BR> <BR> A lot depends on who you follow. Being English, I follow the BBC. (I can just hear you thinking 'jolly good chaps!' and trust me, they don't talk like that any more except on Radio 4). <BR> <BR> For people who don't use Twitter for news purposes, all the news sites tweet when they put up a new feature and put in a link. Well this evening, as I'm curled up on t... Thu, 2 May 2013 15:51:28 EST The big M http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5339611 I was sitting at work today, hunched over my computer and feeling very Mondayish. If you don't know what I mean by Mondayish, run away and play in the traffic, do. The only thing on my mind was concentrating on the 'to do' list (first getting it written and then getting it done). <BR> <BR> Suddenly, I started to feel Not Right. Even by Monday's standards, not brilliant. Bit of a temperature developing, etc. I mentioned this to the colleague next to me who suggested I might be going down wit... Mon, 29 Apr 2013 14:47:16 EST Tea and milk, no sugar http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5337237 Yesterday Stonecot and I went for a nice little walk (all 11 miles of it, yes). <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/0/l603860936.jpg"> <BR> <BR> We saw billowing clouds of the kind that would have made Constable gibber and reach for his paintbox, and pretty little bullocks whose beauty was enhanced greatly by the fact that they were the other side of the fence. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/9/6/l965235511.jpg"> <BR> <img src="http://photos... Sat, 27 Apr 2013 11:17:03 EST Parking space http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5330635 I've been in Regent's Park this afternoon. My sore foot was not actually sore this morning so I treated it to another short walk. <BR> <BR> London's parks are always full of people on sunny weekends, especially when the weather's been lousy. It's so nice to see everyone out and doing their own thing. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/7/l1755534097.jpg"> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/3/2/l321835861.jpg"> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkp... Sun, 21 Apr 2013 13:25:11 EST Frisky http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5322466 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/5/1/l519721804.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I understand how my ancestors felt <BR> <BR> This morning I got up at 8.30 (Sunday = lie-in chez ChicChantal. If you usually get up at 7am, 8.30am is a lie-in, right?) and opened the bedroom window, bracing myself for the icy blast. <BR> <BR> It didn't happen. Instead, a scent with all the qualities of good wine curled in and started to explore the dusty corners of the room. <BR> <BR> I sort of choked and heade... Sun, 14 Apr 2013 06:33:30 EST She's rubbish, you know http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5320994 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/5/6/l560803786.jpg"> <BR> <BR> This female human we live with. She forgot to start spring this year so we went back into hibernation. She's also useless at remembering to feed us. Just how difficult is it to open a can of Whiskas when asked, hm? No we can't do it ourselves, we haven't got the thumbs. If mice had ringpulls, we'd have evolved with thumbs. Natural selection. As it is, we've trained humans instead. <BR> <BR> Her behaviour wants som... Fri, 12 Apr 2013 15:14:54 EST What they say about the English is true http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5318490 We have really got a thing about the weather. Take me, for example. When I got home from work this evening, I went to look at the weather forecast. I've been doing this twice a day for six months. This is what the Met Office said for Sunday: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/8/l18755555.jpg"> <BR> <BR> For a moment, I genuinely did not take this in. I sort of thought the forecast for Sunday was part of the page border or something. Then I looked again. Then I went t... Wed, 10 Apr 2013 13:42:20 EST The best drink of the day http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5314784 When I started on SparkPeople, one of the things that surprised me was how much talk there was of tea. I was surprised because this is an American site, and in my yoof, Americans were well known - and pitied, in the UK at least - for not drinking much tea. This was when compared with the Brits, who drank very large quantities, up to a gallon a day. <BR> <BR> Times have clearly changed. Brits now drink about equal quantities of tea and coffee, I think, perhaps largely due to the rediscovery... Sun, 7 Apr 2013 15:25:51 EST Down at the doctor's http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5313791 I took my foot to the doctor's yesterday. In fact, it insisted on coming. It also made its presence felt with every step. <BR> <BR> The doctor held it in her lap and looked it over carefully and said the problem is probably a strained ligament, and as ligaments in general have a poor blood supply, it will take a while to heal. <BR> <BR> However, she was definite about one thing: I should not under any circumstance give up exercising. She was quite congratulatory about my revised lifestyl... Sat, 6 Apr 2013 15:52:59 EST Out of my box http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5308538 I like to think of myself as a fairly adventurous sort of person. Not adventurous as in white-water rafting, shark-fishing and so on, but someone who's always willing to do something different. This is how I originally came to be hiking on my own - I wanted exercise and fresh air, and didn't know anyone else who wanted to go hiking, so I bought a map and the rest is history. <BR> <BR> And mud. <BR> <BR> At the weekend, though, I realised just how much a creature of habit I really am, when ... Tue, 2 Apr 2013 08:36:33 EST The perils of alcohol http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5307036 On Saturday evening I had 11 nice bottles of wine delivered to my door. I had been along to the bottle shop and picked them out two weeks previously, then managed to forget they were being delivered so when at length I remembered I was due a delivery I phoned the shop and rearranged the delivery. My memory is not what it was, as you will see. <BR> <BR> I took the 12th bottle home with me to have something to drink that evening, and then didn't feel like it so didn't open it till Friday just ... Mon, 1 Apr 2013 06:34:52 EST Pottering about http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5306204 I've had the sort of three months you want to expunge from your SparkMemory to be honest. Like nearly everyone in the northern hemisphere, I've endured a cold, late, wet, grey, snowy and miserable spring. Like a lot of people, I've suffered from slippage. Slippage is what it's called when you get behind schedule, often to the point where you throw Plan A out of the window and go for Plan B. <BR> <BR> So, I decided yesterday, I'd concentrate on having a sort of clearout (that reminds me, is... Sun, 31 Mar 2013 11:07:00 EST Howl, howl, howl, howl! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5302307 Poor naked wretches, wheresoe'er you are, <BR> That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm. <BR> <BR> Actually that's enough of King Lear. I'm not naked, in fact I wore my new frock to work today (it's now officially an almost-new frock cos I've worn it eight times) but the weather makes it seem so. Amazing the way the wind whips round your nether regions when you're wearing a frock. <BR> <BR> Have I mentioned the weather before? Oh yes, last blog and a lot of you seem to think you are wo... Wed, 27 Mar 2013 17:32:54 EST The winter has stolen my mojo http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5295222 'What winter?' I hear you say, 'It's spring!' <BR> <BR> Hah. Not in the UK it isn't. We were promised 10C (50F) this weekend and I made plans to go away, and instead it's absolutely appendage-freezing, and the forecast is down to 2C for Saturday. 2C is 2C above 0C which is freezing in Cs. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/4/l1428467617.jpg"> <BR> <BR> So I was planning all kinds of things for the weekend including being very careful about what I eat and taking ple... Thu, 21 Mar 2013 16:04:38 EST Bean brilliant http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5288437 There's not much chance of a hike this weekend. The weather has warmed up a bit, we now have a magnificent 8C (46.5F) but of course it's also got wetter. So I'm doing housework and advance cooking. <BR> <BR> I've recently developed (much to the dismay of the cats) a bit of a thing about beans and lentils. An interesting point about beans is nearly all the beans we eat these days are new world beans, indigenous to the Americas. In Europe, the only indigenous bean was broad beans which you ca... Sat, 16 Mar 2013 04:48:40 EST Back in the Ice Age http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5281198 Can't make up my mind where to go for a hike today. In the end I take the train to a place called Tring in Hertfordshire which is not a synthetic fibre although it sounds as though it should be, but a small town, inconveniently situated 1.5 miles from its own railway station (what do they think this is , France or something?). Just how inconvenient this is becomes clear when I enquire about a lavatory at the station. <BR> <BR> 'No, sorry. Only if you go into town.' Peruse the bus timetables... Sun, 10 Mar 2013 13:30:34 EST Fortitude http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5278332 Ah, an interesting quality and one in which I am lacking. Fortitude involves the courage to keep trying even when you've filleted your flat and you can't find your mojo. <BR> <BR> And when things you can't control get in the way. <BR> <BR> Take this week. This week I was planning to start a gym streak. The weather's warmed up a bit, spring is here in a washed out and feeble sort of way, and so far 10 people have mentioned how nice my new dress looks on me (I've put notches on my desk at wo... Fri, 8 Mar 2013 03:56:45 EST Verknackulared http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5270026 We all like a bit of a challenge, don't we? The important thing is to quantify the word 'bit', before you get started. <BR> <BR> So . . . a few blogs ago I remarked that one day I wanted to join up some of the walks I have done, because the ones up the Lee river valley and the ones in Epping Forest are on the same Ordnance Survey map. I had observed that the Three Forests Way does the joining up bit nicely. The next step (pun!) was to work out how far. <BR> <BR> Well, a long way. Using th... Sat, 2 Mar 2013 17:16:57 EST Almost sprung http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5268822 Spring, that is. And I for one am pretty dam' glad. I have completely lost my SparkMojo the last few weeks and I am very sure it will reappear as soon as the temperature outside gets up to 10C (50F) and stays there. <BR> <BR> This, we have been promised as of Sunday. Do not speak to me of further possible cold snaps: I am not prepared to countenance them. I don't remember such a prolonged cold spell in years but that may be because for the last 14 years I've had reliable central heating and ... Fri, 1 Mar 2013 16:43:34 EST The shape of things to come http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5259567 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/9/3/l932451768.jpg"> <BR> Well, not quite, because it looks a bit shapeless hanging up there. But yesterday I went shopping for some work clothes and bought the first dress I have owned in 20 years. <BR> <BR> So, me in a changing cubicle. I took in with me two skirts in two sizes and two dresses, one size each. Tried on the first dress and it was enormous so asked for a smaller size which fitted. Examined the dress at some length but the style o... Fri, 22 Feb 2013 06:20:11 EST Mistresses Overdone it http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5253305 Well, I'm writing this before the trauma of yesterday's events blanks it from my mind. So here goes. <BR> <BR> Stonecot and I meet up at 9.05am (I'm five minutes late. This is normal practice. Stonecot is usually half an hour early except when she's an hour late. Look, shall I just get on with it?) and take the train to Merstham, a village in Surrey. I've been buying maps in Stanford's again, and have discovered that the North Downs Way goes along a ridge of hills all the way to Box Hill, wh... Sun, 17 Feb 2013 07:17:53 EST Cheap as chips http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5244904 Every time I'm down the gym (where I should be right now), there's a skinny 20-year-old blonde on the next machine to me. It's never the same one twice, you understand - the gym has an unlimited supply of them. <BR> <BR> She'll be wearing one of these sleeveless vests that looks like a harness, spandex leggings, girly trainers and a thin film of sweat, just enough to proves she's really working at it. <BR> <BR> And me? Fat, fifty-something and brunette-out-of-a-bottle, that's me. I wear a... Sun, 10 Feb 2013 10:02:07 EST A 30-year personal best http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5234665 Today Stonecot and I walk from Chingford via a village called Upshire, to Epping. We set off at a brisk pace (set by me: we're meant to be taking exercise after all) up the hill to Queen Elizabeth's hunting lodge (ref previous blogs by both of us) and turn left on to the common. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/7/2/l729611970.jpg"> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/9/0/l905975225.jpg"> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/4/l1433245... Sat, 2 Feb 2013 15:58:56 EST Emerging from hibernation http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5227456 I seem to have been asleep for most of January. Apart from occasional forays to the front door to let in gas engineers (RIP my boiler, it finally died completely on Thursday last), I seem to have spent the month having colds and sleeping them off. <BR> <BR> This wasn't helped by the weather, of course. You saw my last blog? Well believe me the snow looked pretty for a day, after that I wanted to return it to the shop and get my money back. It's a bit overrated, snow. There's a limit to the n... Mon, 28 Jan 2013 16:21:04 EST Emergency blog - snow joke! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5213914 London is reeling under at least three inches of snow. Your intrepid reporter was at Sainsbury's yesterday night in the last flurry, stocking up on non-perishable foods and toastable bread in case she was unable to open the door this morning. So were a couple of hundred other people. Ah, the siege mentality. <BR> <BR> And what a sight met Londoners' eyes this morning. We drew back our curtains on the same three inches of snow that fell yesterday and not a flake more. Pretty . . . er, well, j... Sat, 19 Jan 2013 07:11:49 EST The magic blog wand http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5191941 I've been meaning to post this one for a while, ever since I put up 'Why don't people blog more?' <BR> <BR> <link> http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_j<BR>ournal_individual.asp?blog_id=5107086 </link> <BR> <BR> I've been blogging since I started on SP and I'd never blogged before I found this site. So I started from scratch, and that was why I wondered why so many people don't blog much when there's a lovely blogging function ready and waiting to use. <BR> <BR> I've just had a lo... Sat, 5 Jan 2013 17:41:57 EST Elastic limits http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5190373 Down the gym tonight, half hour workout and nearly as long under the shower. Blimey it is wonderful to have a shower when it's your first for two days and you are normally a two bath a day girl. To quote Queen Elizabeth the First as personified by Miranda Richardson I felt 'a bit SMELLLLY'. I doubt I was actually smelly, as I do know how to use a basin full of hot water, but the truth is there's nowt like scrubbing up proper, is there? <BR> <BR> So, there I am damp and clean as a whistle, pu... Fri, 4 Jan 2013 16:55:56 EST A funny thing happened down the gym http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5186560 Actually it was a bit odd I was AT the gym, the reason I got there this evening instead of having the evening off that I'd promised myself is that they have hot water down the gym, something I haven't got at home at the moment, owing to my defunct boiler. <BR> <BR> 'Defunct boiler'. It sounds like a very offensive description of a woman of a certain (in other words my) age doesn't it? In this case it's a worn out gas appliance. <BR> <BR> Anyway, while at the gym, before I allowed myself in... Wed, 2 Jan 2013 16:19:39 EST Best foot forward http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5183727 Well, new year, best to start the way I mean to go forward I reckon. So instead of a lie in this morning, I'm off to Loughton to go for a walk in Epping forest (for a change). <BR> <BR> But worry not, for I have a plan. This is going to be a different walk, because I'm heading off toward Beach at which point I normally turn right and walk to Upshire. Today I'm going to turn left, and pick up the path to Chingford. This path ultimately takes me to Queen Elizabeth's Hunting Lodge, and would (... Tue, 1 Jan 2013 11:52:09 EST An end and a beginning http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5181965 Well, it's mid-afternoon on new year's eve as I write this. I'm going to a ballet later, which is a good choice for someone who's trying not to consume unnecessary calories cos I can't afford the champagne at Covent Garden (£12 for a SMALL glass. For £12 I expect to get sozzled and have enough money over for a bag of nuts). <BR> <BR> I've just fulfulled an ambition. For the first time ever this afternoon, I did an hour-long workout at the gym. Half an hour on the elliptical, 15 minutes eac... Mon, 31 Dec 2012 10:13:08 EST Landscape under water http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5178741 I meet up with Stonecot for a walk up the river Lea today. To be fair, this is a landscape that is mostly under water all the time, consisting of a river, a canal, several streams and a series of fishponds. However there were lots of extra pools today too. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/5/5/l551264586.jpg"> <BR> <BR> The first thing we see when we get to the canal, having missed the cycle track because muggins forgets to say 'turn left' at the salient point, is a... Fri, 28 Dec 2012 11:49:54 EST New toy http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5177725 This morning I open the front door to put the rubbish out (too late as it turns out, the dustmen have already been) and there is the postie, with a parcel for me. <BR> <BR> Me, in my nightshirt and dressing gown. <BR> <BR> I gulp and clutch at said dressing gown and I hope say thank you nicely for the parcel. <BR> <BR> The parcel, ah. It contains a new toy for me in my role as a kitchen denizen. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/9/7/l970006838.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Le... Thu, 27 Dec 2012 13:03:09 EST A walk in the park http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5176666 Limited options for exercise today. The gym's closed (open again tomorrow, I absolutely can't wait!) and public transport is scanty so getting to the outer reaches of London for a nice walk would be awkward. The weather's looking nice but the forecast is for rain. You'd think the sky would have run out but we just keep getting more and more. <BR> <BR> I decide on a bus to Kensington High Street, and a walk through Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.spar... Wed, 26 Dec 2012 12:26:35 EST Post-Christmas lunch reflection http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5175907 Well, that's that so far as I'm concerned. A day and a bit expunged from my SparkMemory and as of this moment, I'm back on the wagon. Won't be eating anything else today - the mere thought of food makes my stomach feel a bit unruly. <BR> <BR> It was nice while it lasted . . . though to be honest, it wasn't quite as nice as I expected, I really can't eat all that much at once any more, not without indigestion. Started feeling a bit like a forcefed goose myself. The 200g bag of bombay mix was ... Tue, 25 Dec 2012 14:40:11 EST Cabbage soup http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5174496 Today I decided to branch out and got out the as yet unused map of northwest London that I bought in the summer. It covers an area not known for beauty, including Watford and Harrow. I tick off part of the London LOOP (London Outer Orbital Path) and head to Carpender's Park station with a flask of coffee, a bottle of water and a hopeful expression. <BR> <BR> Plus boots, natch. <BR> <BR> Half an hour's walk sees me pick up the LOOP (this sounds like a knitting pattern). Walk up a nice path ... Sun, 23 Dec 2012 14:33:46 EST Sparked at the gym http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5173739 The gym I use closes at 4pm on weekends in the winter. This is irritating, but so long as I remember to leave home by 3pm I can get my workout in. <BR> <BR> So today, this is what I do. Arrive, sling coat in locker, get on treadmill etc etc. Keep an eagle eye open because I want one of the two elliptical wossnames that are in pole position, right under the telly. After ten minutes, the person on one of them feels my eyes boring into the back of her head and hops it. I grab. <BR> <BR> This i... Sat, 22 Dec 2012 14:16:20 EST Everything under control http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5173004 Today I went shopping to get some things for Christmas lunch. <BR> <BR> Originally I was going to have two days' SparkHoliday, to eat in a gluttonous manner but unfortunately I ate more than I ought in Cornwall. On the plus side I did two days of hiking, but anyway I make the rules so I'm forfeiting one of my days of eating what I want. In my house the 24-hour Chrimbo celebration starts at 4pm on Christmas Eve and ends at 4pm on Christmas day. That means Posh Afternoon Tea with as many trim... Fri, 21 Dec 2012 15:16:58 EST Rain stopped play http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5171082 That's the announcement you get when cricket matches are rained off in summer. I mean 'summer', this is England after all. Today I was going to treat us all to another long walk, but when I looked out at the weather it was drizzle. The met office forecast said dry by lunchtime but by lunchtime I'd intended to be in the middle of nowhere on a footpath. <BR> <BR> So, change of plan. I get the bus to the south coast, and get off at Long Rock near Marazion and walk along to Marazion, which is t... Wed, 19 Dec 2012 12:32:19 EST From the bite to the kick http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5170169 It's very annoying when you're on a holiday where you'd planned to do a lot of walking and you go and sprain an ankle. <BR> <BR> Best thing to do? Pretend you didn't sprain it. Works for me. <BR> <BR> So this morning, quarter to ten, I set off along the coastal path I took yesterday. St Ives looks more or less the same as it did yesterday, but a bit greyer, so I won't post the pic . . . ok, ok only joking. <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/1/l2125897984.jpg"> <BR> <im... Tue, 18 Dec 2012 13:07:22 EST Coasting along http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5168970 Ah. 9am in St Ives, the sun is shining, the sea is blue and the birds are making yark yark noises which is the best that a gull can do in the singing line. <BR> <BR> I'm walking along the coastal path from St Ives to Lelant with a SparkFriend. We meet on time, set off comparing notes on St Ives and the coastal path and stopping every so often so that I can take photos and catch my breath. <BR> <BR> Interesting point, boys and girls: while I still need to stop to catch my breath, it doesn'... Mon, 17 Dec 2012 10:34:39 EST Sentimental journey http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5168221 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/3/l134652254.jpg"> <BR> Today I take the train to Cornwall. No, scrub that, I actually take the train to Plymouth. I won't write about the first bit of the journey because it's boring. For me. Anyway the train buzzes along till it gets to Exeter (the county town of Devon) and just beyond Exeter slows down and stops for a bit. <BR> <BR> Mixed reviews for this situation. On the one hand, we are sitting looking at the sea and it's gorgeous. On t... Sun, 16 Dec 2012 15:48:02 EST Simple pleasures http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5166512 Well I promised myself a good solid exercise streak so I have just been to the gym although I didn't feel like it. And I'm glad I did. <BR> <BR> It's a funny thing, my visceral response to the gym. Sometimes I get on the treadmill and the whole thing's a chore and I'm counting the minutes. Other times, after about ten minutes my body forgets I wasn't in the mood and takes off on its own, leaving my brain saying 'What happened? What happened?' like Vince van Gopher (I have just had to look ... Fri, 14 Dec 2012 13:14:05 EST The eternal optimist http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5165682 Starting tomorrow, I've got 19 days off work. <BR> <BR> Wowee! How on earth will I fill the time, I thought to myself. <BR> <BR> Hollow laugh. <BR> <BR> I want to spring clean my flat, dig the garden (a month-long task in itself, even if it weren't the middle of winter and boggy out there), repaint a couple of rooms, CLEAR OUT all my cupboards, get rid of some stuff, make a skirt, knit two woolly hats, watch all my Allo Allo DVDs and get my mindset ready for a great 2013. <BR> <BR> And... Thu, 13 Dec 2012 16:57:20 EST Effort in, results out http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5164507 Today I am eating lunch in the work canteen when a colleague I haven't seen for a couple of months comes in. <BR> <BR> She more or less pounces. 'Wow, you look thinner. I wasn't sure it was you!' <BR> <BR> She has an ongoing struggle with her own weight, so of course she wants to know how I've done it. <BR> <BR> Difficult. I mean, what do you say? I told her about SP but I also say there's no magic wand. The SP principle is you count calories in, you exercise plenty of calories out, you ... Wed, 12 Dec 2012 15:04:51 EST