POLSKARENIA's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=POLSKARENIA POLSKARENIA'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/ Exercise and rest, my BFFs, yes really!! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6367955 As I was growing up, I also grew outwards. You see, I was never that sport-loving child. I wouldn't say that I hated sport, but our parents never had lots of time to give us; Dad worked in an office by day and often did decorating for others evenings, as well as being heavily involved in the local Polish community, both of them more so after my brother died from cancer at the age of ten, when I was almost four. Mum had the huge house and garden to take care of. They encouraged us to eat well ... Mon, 29 May 2017 04:05:21 EST RHS Chelsea Flower Show completed and back to France http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6367547 Tuesday was a pretty full on day at the Chelsea Flower Show, specially as we had booked to fly back to France on Wednesday... luckily the weather was a bit cooler than Monday as otherwise we would have wilted (note the flower reference there) well before the day was out... <BR> <BR> Once we had done the main marquee and BBC Radio 2 gardens, that left us with the floristry displays and artisan gardens that I really wanted to see. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/6a2... Sun, 28 May 2017 03:26:52 EST Our first visit to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6366907 Every year in May, the Royal Hospital at Chelsea, home of the famous Chelsea pensioners, is taken over for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Every year, I watch some of the highlights and dream of going myself. This year, that all changed. I became a member of the RHS last year and booked tickets for Laurie and me to go on the first if two members' days. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/29d49bee-0640-45fc-9352-f9a7fe88c9d8.JPG"> <BR> The first gardens were sponsored by ... Fri, 26 May 2017 12:54:27 EST Afternoon tea with DD, visit from Laurie's DD, the Chelsea Flower Show, a busy few days... part one http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6365887 Sabina and I have our birthdays in March. This year, my oldest niece bought us afternoon tea as a present. Well, what with us being in France a lot and Sabina at theatre school and working part-time, it was no mean feat to organise, but I booked it for Saturday, at 3pm. It was a local coffee shop which is fairly new, but we go there now and again. We dressed up and arrived early - I do hate being late anywhere! <BR> <BR> Well, we had a great time, but maybe next time a weekday afternoon woul... Wed, 24 May 2017 03:19:05 EST Laurie's birthday http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6362952 My DH, Laurie celebrated a birthday yesterday, no. 63 to be precise. The day before, as is usual, he was grumpy pre-birthday; he does admit to being a grumpy old git, so no surprises there lol. <BR> <BR> In the morning, I got up early to work out; gotta let the Birthday boy have his lie-in after all.... well, that was ok, except his daughter rang at 7:50 to wish him a Happy Birthday- oops, pre 8am doesn't exist for Laurie unless we're travelling, and even then, never before an espresso!! Nev... Wed, 17 May 2017 04:31:27 EST Finally, Long weekend part 2, and a trip to Béziers with friends... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6362519 I kept meaning to blog, I really did, but life somehow got in the way, as it invariably does. <BR> On the Sunday, we went for a drive in search again of car boot sales. Well, we didn't buy much, but it was good weather and as usual the views were stunning, including a gargoyle on a house ( usually very common on churches in the area, but less so just on houses). <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/0825df6a-6bf9-4ddd-853a-69ef1a52a585.JPG"> <img src="http://photosaws.sp... Tue, 16 May 2017 03:32:44 EST Long weekend Part 1 - Saturday http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6355427 So this weekend is a holiday weekend in most of Europe, celebrating Labour Day on Monday. In France, most shops and businesses are closed, so as we have friends round for dinner on Monday, I had to make sure I had everything in. Otherwise, a pretty normal Saturday, except the French love their carboot sales or Vide Greniers, so we set off to Lezignan Corbières, in the heart of the Corbières wine region to find some bargains. <BR> <BR> It was a beautifully sunny day and we were full of expec... Sun, 30 Apr 2017 03:28:08 EST It won't happen overnight... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6355033 It didn't go on overnight, no REALLY, it didn't, so off it comes S-L-O-W-L-Y...... <BR> <BR> Yes, I know my target dates are being adjusted, but hey, life is real and gets in the way..... <BR> <BR> and....... <BR> <BR> I'm still HERE and here I STAY!! <BR> <BR> Target 1 <BR> <BR> 217 pounds, (the weight I was at our wedding, 30 March 2013) almost there, that's for 8th May, VE Day, a great date as we're in France at the moment. <BR> <BR> Target 2 <BR> <BR> 208 pounds, by 31 May 2017 (9... Sat, 29 Apr 2017 03:12:39 EST Blood pressure tablets? No thank you!! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6353944 Last year, about the time of my hysterectomy, my blood pressure shot up. I was going through a very stressful time, with two cancellations and just the stress of major surgery and what I felt was slow recovery - I wasn't able to get back to the gym for eleven weeks, and boy, was I champing at the bit!! <BR> <BR> Anyway, the nurse at my gp's surgery decided I needed further testing, and probably meds, as it was so high - I told her I would lose weight and exercise - she gave me 'that' look an... Wed, 26 Apr 2017 17:23:12 EST If music be the food of exercise, play on... apologies to Mr William Shakespeare!! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6350783 I usually exercise to music. <BR> <BR> It makes the time go faster and often I get so into the tunes that I exercise for longer too. I love a wide variety of music and have a 'gym playlist' but it is longer than my workouts, so I just let my music carry on into the next day, and as a result I actually listen to a wide variety over a week. I love exercising to Aerosmith a lot, but also the Beatles, the Killers, Simon & Garfunkel, James Taylor, lots of others too. Some of it focuses me on exe... Wed, 19 Apr 2017 18:43:57 EST Procrastination is the killer of success! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6349529 Procrastination, something I'm really good at. If they did classes in it, I'd be top of the class! <BR> <BR> I've always been the 'last minute Lucy', school assignments in on time, by the skin of my teeth. Doing my degree thesis, I did all my research, then..... weeks went by.... and more weeks.... then a week to go... I wrote for twelve hours in rough on the Saturday, then took twelve hours to write it up on the Sunday... done, last minute again! <BR> <BR> I guess that's why it's taken me ... Mon, 17 Apr 2017 03:39:31 EST More doesn't taste better! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6349279 I love my food. In fact, I've always loved my food. When my sister was born, she fed poorly, then, nine years later, I was born, the good eater and people pleaser... <BR> <BR> People gave me food... I ate... they were pleased <BR> <BR> They gave me more... I ate more... they were more pleased <BR> <BR> I was good..... I got given sweets... I ate them <BR> <BR> I kept being good... I got more sweets... I kept in eating them...... everybody happy <BR> <BR> THEN......?? <BR> <BR> I became ... Sun, 16 Apr 2017 12:00:21 EST Decorating finished, room dressed and ready for Air b'n'b..... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6348885 These last two weeks have been taken up with decorating a spare bedroom and its ensuite bathroom, ready to make a little extra cash while we're here in France with air b'n'b. Although it's not a large room and there was no major work planned, the seemingly small amount of work took about two weeks nevertheless. This was because the tile grouting had been done rather badly in the bathroom and the bedroom floor had years of ingrained dirt. Stripping out the grout was a mammoth task, which also ... Sat, 15 Apr 2017 12:58:15 EST I'm not doing that again! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6344944 What's that, you ask.. <BR> <BR> Some new diet? <BR> <BR> No <BR> <BR> A complicated exercise regime? <BR> <BR> Nope <BR> <BR> Some weird act best kept behind closed doors? <BR> <BR> No, not at all <em>198</em> <BR> <BR> Let me explain... starting at the beginning... all will soon be made clear.... <BR> <BR> Yesterday, I got up at about 7:00. 6:30 just seemed too much like the middle of the night. I went through my usual morning ritual: toilet, weigh, dressing gown on, pick up pho... Fri, 7 Apr 2017 03:14:27 EST To finish, you have to start and keep restarting. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6344249 After all, you wouldn't leave the car behind in the middle of a road trip just because the engine stalled! <BR> That's me, starting, then restarting, again and again, because once I get the bit between my teeth,..... <BR> The first 'serious' bout of losing weight was fore my first wedding, 11 months to lose 42 pounds and get to goal with WW, then I lost more, as brides often do. I was making my own dress and had to take it in three times. If only I had maintained properly, but life got in th... Wed, 5 Apr 2017 14:47:41 EST Meatfree Monday almost started out as Exercisefree Monday..... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6340042 So on Sunday the clocks went forward. Now, usually I get up early and work out. I Spark, have my lemon and ginger tea and banana, then exercise. But yesterday, the alarm clock went off, I shut it off and went back to sleep until 8:10, then I started my daily ritual, including getting breakfast things ready too. Then I sat down..... <BR> <BR> Do I exercise? Hmmm..... well my joints are aching and I do feel sleepy..... so I started with a timed 20 minutes on the desk cycle. Well, as long as I'... Tue, 28 Mar 2017 05:44:58 EST Weight gain is like a visit to the loan shark.... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6339793 A good SparkFriend BUTTONPOPPER1 wrote an excellent blog yesterday about food being the enemy. I always enjoy her blogs and agree with so much she writes. I wrote a comment in reply, which she in turn complimented me on (I do love those mutual appreciation clubs lol). <BR> <BR> Anyway, the original blog was about food being the enemy. This was my reply... <BR> <BR> 'You have put that so succinctly- I know exactly what you mean about food being the enemy. It reminds me of those loan sharks,... Mon, 27 Mar 2017 15:46:06 EST 40 things about me! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6339257 Borrowed from MISSDORKNESS and ONEKIDSMOM: Learn 40 things about your friends and let them learn 40 things about you. <BR> <BR> 1. Do you like blue cheese? <BR> Yes! <BR> <BR> 2. Have you ever smoked cigarettes? <BR> Yes, gave up over 12 years ago <BR> <BR> 3. Do you own a gun? <BR> No chance <BR> <BR> 4. What is your favourite sweet drink? <BR> fruit juice <BR> <BR> 5. Do you hold any diploma(s), degree(s) or certification(s)? <BR> BA (honours) in Business Studies, PGCE in Primary... Sun, 26 Mar 2017 14:41:57 EST Just over 10 years, 2 months on SparkPeople - what have I learnt?? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6338376 Ok, so after over 10 years sparking and sparkling here, I'm still here. Admittedly, I haven't always been consistent, but I have learnt a lot about myself and I'm still learning... <BR> <BR> * Tracking my food and exercise properly does result in weightloss <BR> <BR> * Drinking lots of water helps me lose weight <BR> <BR> * Drinking alcohol regularly is disastrous for my weight loss, unless it's once to twice a week, and in minimal amounts <BR> <BR> * High sodium and high fat foods stop m... Fri, 24 Mar 2017 14:19:27 EST Time to blog about those NSVs... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6329029 Travelling back to the Uk, we stopped in a town in central France, Auxerre, for two nights. But more about Auxerre later. <BR> <BR> It rained and rained and rained, and the internet was, at best, intermittent. I struggled to track and gave up as everything took so long, BUT I didn't give up sparking, just logging on properly. It did give me some thinking time and, in getting back to the UK on Thursday night, things here got busy too. <BR> <BR> Friday morning I got up early to go to the gym ... Tue, 7 Mar 2017 01:02:47 EST Beside the seaside at Mèze... still Saturday http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6321886 Having enjoyed Bouzigues, we decided to carry on round the lagoon, to Mèze. This had a busier quayside, but also lovely, and no doubt very crowded in the summer too. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/0d431885-2e99-4be1-bbd9-98b91c007b2e.JPG"> <BR> <BR> As it was later in the afternoon, we were ready for a coffee. For once we found the perfect spot, just at the front of a brasserie, in the sun, but not too hot and within 2 metres of the water. As I said, perfect! <BR... Sun, 26 Feb 2017 17:01:55 EST Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside..... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6321634 Yesterday, it was a beautiful sunny day, too good to waste by not going to the coast. Being so close to the Med and out of tourist season, it was the perfect combination for a drive out. <BR> <BR> Laurie and I both love seafood of every kind, except for rubbery whelks, so we often venture to Leucate, to an inlet where we can buy fresh oysters and mussels, or sit down to a seafood meal, right by the water. <BR> <BR> Yesterday, we decided to go some where new, Bouzigues, one of three oyster ... Sun, 26 Feb 2017 05:46:24 EST Lac Cavayere - a lovely sunny 3 miles in an hour.... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6320406 Our house, in France, is a few miles outside Carcassonne, a 40 minute drive from the Mediterranean Sea. In the summer, we hunt out new beaches on the coast and different places to eat oysters and mussels, which are found along this coast. <BR> <BR> We're pretty lucky to live so near the coast, but we also have another beach closer than the Med, namely Lac Cavayere, just a 15 minute drive, the other side of Carcassonne. As well as a lovely family beach, there are water slides, an adventure p... Thu, 23 Feb 2017 14:37:59 EST Thank goodness for homemade soup! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6319954 Today I went over my calories and fat.......... <BR> <BR> We're trying to empty the fridge of food before we go to London next week. Anyway, dinner was to be gnocchi with ground pork, lunch a Mediterranean fish pie and soup, homemade chicory soup. <BR> <BR> I made the soup before we went for a walk, more about the walk tomorrow... <BR> <BR> Chicory Soup, 100 calories per serving, 4 servings per recipe <BR> <BR> 400grams chicory, thinly sliced <BR> 1 large onion, thinly sliced <BR> 4 garli... Wed, 22 Feb 2017 16:45:20 EST Early workout, to Mirepoix (market) and back by midday, Laurie cooking pigeons, tracking everything! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6318900 Mirepoix market takes place every Monday. It's the best local market around for fresh produce and a host of other things too. The thing is, French markets start early and pack up early too, BUT my darling husband Laurie loves Mirepoix market, but positively HATES mornings. <BR> <BR> PROBLEM!!! <BR> <BR> LUCKILY, Laurie likes Mirepoix market more than he hates mornings, well marginally anyway. <BR> <BR> I, on the other hand, like mornings and late nights too. Did I mention? Laurie also like... Mon, 20 Feb 2017 14:56:41 EST A fun filled week and 2 pounds down http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6318350 So we've had another good week in France.... <BR> <BR> Tuesday was a romantic Valentine's Day <BR> <BR> Wednesday was dinner at home with friends <BR> <BR> Thursday we started to plan for a few trips, playing tourist at home. Since buying our house here, in the South of France, we have decided to make it our permanent home. We love discovering new places and getting a culture fix, so we decided on two day trips. <BR> <BR> Friday we went to nearby Saint Hillaire, on the way to Limoux. Her... Sun, 19 Feb 2017 13:17:02 EST I have skinny ankles; where did they come from? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6316803 Now I know that if my height was at the optimum for my weight, yes, I know I'm far too short for my weight, but if I was stretched to my optimum height for my weight, I would have awesome legs... the other day, as I stretched out my legs on the recliner, I looked at my ankles..... <BR> <BR> They're looking positively skinny! (Note the sexy slippers lol) <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/17fda44c-ca72-4606-b414-3ea53d380398.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Not only that, but my calv... Thu, 16 Feb 2017 04:29:06 EST Valentine's Day morning do I get up at 6:15 or turn off the alarm and go back to sleep? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6316077 That was my question to me today. <BR> <BR> What did I do? <BR> <BR> I shook my pre-workout self and got up, because: <BR> <BR> * I love my 2-3 hours of me time <BR> <BR> * Once I start pedalling, I soon get on with the rest of my workout <BR> <BR> * while I pedal, I catch up with emails and SparkPeople <BR> <BR> TODAY: <BR> <BR> Kettle on for my herbal tea, I prepared our lunchtime soup. <BR> Once my tea was drunk and banana eaten (on order of PT), the soup was ready <BR> Pedalling, ... Tue, 14 Feb 2017 15:39:03 EST Back to bite size pieces... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6314996 <BR> <BR> Last month I set some targets. Now I need to modify my target dates, now that my mind is in a better place and the stresses have subsided, i.e. We are in France, Laurie's gout is getting better, the central heating is fixed. <BR> <BR> Everything can (and will) be tackled in bite size pieces. <BR> <BR> I still want to lose 50-70 pounds. <BR> <BR> This will not happen overnight!! <BR> <BR> I need to tackle this in manageable stages, in many bite size pieces. <BR> <BR> 1. St... Sun, 12 Feb 2017 16:23:43 EST Pipe fixed, we have central heating again, after 6 days..... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6313544 So last night, I went to bed early in the hope of an earlier than usual workout, as the plumber was due 8-8:30..... <BR> <BR> Then Sabina texted to say that she had had a panic attack on the way home from the theatre, on the tube, so had hailed a cab... <BR> <BR> Well, as we're in France and she's in London, I told her to text when she was home. That was at 11:00 pm our time, an hour ahead of London. By the time she was home, I had dozed fitfully, but it was 11:30 in London, so well after ... Thu, 9 Feb 2017 16:15:25 EST I started 2017 in February... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6312918 January was just awful... I had most of my blog written, then it disappeared, so I will just bullet point it: <BR> <BR> 1. Towards the end of December, FIL asked to go into a home for respite care to build up his strength. <BR> <BR> 2. New Year's Eve we took him in <BR> <BR> 3. We went home, in preparation for our trip back to France, ready to make monthly visits to FIL for as long as needed (he had terminal cancer) <BR> <BR> 4. 4th January, after a phone call, we made the 230 mile journe... Wed, 8 Feb 2017 14:48:04 EST Bite size pieces http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6297765 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/4696ea9f-a8f6-41fb-bde7-80587e2dbc19.PNG"> <BR> <BR> I was sat there this morning, reading a blog by AUTIEJ, and it came to me... <BR> <BR> I really must blog again and I must blog before I forget what I was going to blog about, again.... <BR> <BR> I was thinking about goals and targets and how they all seem insurmountable at first glance, whatever it is we are facing. <BR> <BR> This week, we had the sad task of saying goodbye to FIL at the... Sat, 14 Jan 2017 04:55:57 EST Wobbly week... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6292081 Monday 2nd Jan, drove back from Devon in horrendous traffic. The journey took 5 1/2 hours, not good! So glad I did a workout in the morning. <BR> <BR> Tuesday 3rd Jan, properly home, getting ready to go back to France on Saturday, went food shopping, gym workout first thing. <BR> <BR> Wednesday 4th Jan, gym workout first thing and met up with PT, who complimented me on getting through last year following the hysterectomy and persisting with my health goals. In the afternoon, got some shoppi... Thu, 5 Jan 2017 18:12:13 EST Busy Festive season to end 2016, now to move positively into 2017! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6287781 Over the last 2 weeks, I haven't been on SP, as it just becomes too hectic, <BR> <BR> BUT ... <BR> <BR> I was careful with eating, without feeling deprived, <BR> <BR> AND... <BR> <BR> I did continue exercise, going to the gym Monday to Friday; luckily Christmas Day fell on the weekend, so there was no break in my exercise routine, except that the gym opened at 10am on Boxng Day, so that was a late start to the day for me. <BR> <BR> On Thursday, we drove down to see FIL. He's been gettin... Sat, 31 Dec 2016 03:56:34 EST A workout is a workout, wherever and however... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6280023 In London, at home, I go to the gym for my workout, up to 5 days a week, in France I have a rower, weights, a desk cycle and resistance bands, so I workout at home. Now I'm at FIL's for a week and there is a treadmill and I have brought a resistance band, so I use the treadmill and have modified my workout to fit in with my environment. <BR> <BR> Who'd a thunk that I would be in my 50's and actually actively pursuing ways to exercise?? <BR> <BR> I've even been considering, very tentatively,... Mon, 12 Dec 2016 17:04:58 EST Plateau busted by sheer determination.... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6277669 I always remember an old WW quote... <BR> 'Little pickers wear big knickers' <BR> And that was certainly me, although now I avoid eating between meals - it's a killer! <BR> <BR> I was hoping to get back to where I was, in March, by Christmas. Up until 2 weeks ago, I thought, 'Fine, I can do this, no problem.' <BR> <BR> Then everything was going backwards, I was still exercising and eating within my range, BUT, the weightloss started to reverse. <BR> <BR> Ok, I thought, how best to handl... Wed, 7 Dec 2016 14:27:10 EST Less fat = less fat! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6275372 So I really should be an eating expert. After all, I've been on this earth for over 55 years and have spent many years losing those same pounds, over, and over, and over again. Yes, I'm a true recycling champion. <BR> In 1985, the year before my first wedding, I took the plunge, not for the first time, but certainly the first time, with WW. I lost 54 pounds to get to goal (150 pounds at age 24). I then lost a further 10 pounds or so by the wedding. I ate well, exercised and tracked my food.... Fri, 2 Dec 2016 14:44:59 EST Stress hurts... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6270349 Whenever I have a high level of stress in my life, it hurts! <BR> Stress goes straight to my stomach, bladder and bowels. <BR> This weekend, we heard that FIL was rushed to hospital after falling from his bed. He is 87 and has had oesophageal cancer (treated), which is now in his stomach. We are in France still, so have been getting daily updates from SIL. We spent a long time just waiting to hear if we would have to dash back as the prognosis was not good. On Saturday we were told to wait ti... Mon, 21 Nov 2016 16:44:37 EST I am so lucky! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6268775 I am so lucky! <BR> <BR> Yes, I've had a myomectomy and a hysterectomy in the last 6 years, but I've healed well and come through them successfully. <BR> <BR> Yes, I was in an abusive and violent marriage till 2004, but then I got away with my daughter and haven't look back since, despite early financial difficulties and years of court battles. <BR> <BR> Yes, I lost my mum too early, in 1990, but I had 29 years of an amazing mother, who was also my best friend. <BR> <BR> Yes, I'm not ... Fri, 18 Nov 2016 05:44:44 EST Back in France, back to working out at home and a new yummy recipe... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6268224 On Tuesday, I travelled back to France. Sabina seems happy enough in the knowledge that there are still educational options open to her this year, and we had a lovely week of quality time when she was home from school, so all good. <BR> <BR> Yesterday, I woke up still tired after my trip, so decided on an extra hour of sleep, before my hair appointment at 9am. Luckily, the salon is only a 2 minute walk from home, so I had a cuppa, caught up with emails and off I went. I had booked originally... Thu, 17 Nov 2016 04:53:34 EST No workout, just a lo-o-o-ong walk... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6266322 I was supposed to help my BFF with some translation for her interpreting course, go to the gym, then carry on with hemming my curtains. Well the day started out well enough, but Sabina was let down by a friend who was supposed to meet her to go to the Tate Modern art gallery for some research, so, translating done, Supermum to the rescue! <BR> <BR> We went to the station, no trains, replacement buses instead, and re-emergence of the friend, who we met at the other end. So, we walked along t... Sun, 13 Nov 2016 17:55:45 EST 'You're pretty capable' http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6264905 Not what I would ever have thought would be said about me with regard to exercising, but that's what my trainer at the gym said yesterday when she saw me. First of all, it was, I hate you, a standing joke because I am able to spend so much time in the South of France, but then we got on to discussing my next gym review date, which will be at the beginning of December. She said that about me because she knows that she can prepare a new program for me before we meet up, as , so far, i have been... Thu, 10 Nov 2016 17:43:05 EST 2 long days... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6264440 So yesterday morning, we got up at 4am and drove to the airport. The night before, my 16 year old daughter, Sabina rang and said she was going to stay with my sister, because she wasn't happy at school and wanted to be further away from it than just across the road, for a few days; I decided to come home from France and be mum for a few days, as even worldly wise teens sometimes need their mums.... so I caught the 7:15am flight and got back here 4 hours later, 10:15 local time. <BR> It's be... Wed, 9 Nov 2016 16:53:25 EST Chestnuts roasting on an open fire..... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6263819 The weekend ended thus, as we're putting back turning on the central heating as utility bills are horrendously high in France and a real fire is just cosier and more romantic. <BR> We had a largish breakfast on Sunday, filling rather than stupidly calorific, so in these occasions we usually skip lunch, but had chestnuts roasted on our open fire a while before dinner. Dinner was a paella cooked by himself, also filling, but kept me within my calorie range. <BR> <BR> The fire looked so pretty,... Tue, 8 Nov 2016 11:09:50 EST To do is to be.... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6261971 This morning started s-l-o-w-l-y...... <BR> <BR> We went for a Chinese buffet last night as a treat for Sabina before she flew back to London this afternoon. Tasty food, and I was careful not to go crazy with amounts, preparing well by having a light breakfast and lunch, ordering jasmine tea to help fill me up calorie-free. <BR> <BR> But, I really noticed the MSG this morning at 7 am. I was parched and had a stomach ache, not conducive to exercising. So, I lay there for another half hour,... Fri, 4 Nov 2016 16:35:02 EST Half-term in Lavalette with my daughter visiting for the week - time for autumnal walks http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6260956 During the week, I do a 65 minute workout every day, so at weekends I try to drag the family out for walks. Last Saturday, my husband came willingly. Since we have had the house here the last 2 years, we drive to a lot of places, and he talks of cycling, but we do little to explore locally. We are close to the Canal du Midi so, on Saturday afternoon, we drove over to Caux et Sauzens and parked by a bridge. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/fb5b1aca-769f-4279-b82a-a9... Wed, 2 Nov 2016 14:35:14 EST Ironing = cardio. Well it does for me.... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6259667 No seriously, I've found a way to include cardio with my usually very stationary ironing. <BR> <BR> Take this morning... <BR> <BR> I had a small amount of ironing to do: 4 t-shirts, 2 pairs of trousers, 1 king size bedding. That equated to 10 flights of stairs and over 1000 steps on my Fitbit.... <BR> <BR> How, you say? Easy!! <BR> <BR> Every time a piece of laundry is ironed, I take it straight up to be put away in its place. <BR> Each item = 100+ steps and a flight of stairs. <BR> <BR... Mon, 31 Oct 2016 08:17:42 EST Numbers, numbers, numbers... they don't matter http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6258310 Most of my life, I have been fascinated by, and probably dominated by, numbers. <BR> <BR> Ever since I could count, I have been interested in number patterns and everything else to do with numbers... how many stairs to the top? How many multiples of two could I go up them, multiples of three or even, stretching to capacity, multiples of four? <BR> How many months to my next birthday? How much older/younger was I than another friend/family member? How tall? How much taller/shorter? Am I wear... Fri, 28 Oct 2016 08:40:15 EST 'French women don't get fat', so the book title said! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6246055 I read a good book this summer, or rather I found it at a French carboot sale and re-discovered it. It was written by the CEO of Veuve Clicqot, a French woman, living mainly in New York. <BR> <BR> I enjoyed the book again, because it reaffirmed what I already knew - that you can eat anything and everything and NOT get fat; it's a matter of portion control and attitude. A small portion is ok because it is NOT the last time I will be able to sample that food. Waste is letting greed increase th... Tue, 4 Oct 2016 04:04:22 EST Moving to France permanently, gradually..... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6245450 Over the last 2 years since we bought fthe house in Lavalette, a sleepy village not far from Carcassonne, we have been coming over here regularly. In June, Brexit happened after the UK referendum. The result shocked us both, in fact so many of us in the U.K. <BR> <BR> Our decision was made - France will become our new permanent home over the next 2 years!!! <BR> <BR> At the moment, we are living here 4 weeks out of every 6. Luckily, we are in the position of not having to find work here, a... Mon, 3 Oct 2016 02:21:17 EST