Monday, 30 April 2012


Did you know you can get T-shirts with this on - check out ebay
So I took to the streets tonight armed with my Ipod, rucksack (circa 1997 from backpacking days), asthma inhaler and £2 to "pick up some squash whilst you're out"!  This, as you know, is in preparation for The Race for Life that I am running with my friend and, at the last count, 14 others to support Cancer Research and to give Breast Cancer the middle finger.  I have done what is required of me on the clothing front - I have duly ordered a pink neon tutu, gloves in the style of Madonna, pink legwarmers, pink beads and a pink headband. I would ordinarily cringe at the sight of ladies en masse wearing this get up - funny how things change. Not only that we all have T-shirts which say "Oh Marvellous"- the title of my BF blog. By the way Cath, Roald Dahl spells Marvellous like this in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory so it must be okay.

Now as you also know I do work out but running, my friends, is in a different league. Running is proper hard core as far as I'm concerned.  I read in the paper today that the latest thing for people to talk about is, not new bags, flash cars etc but how fast you can run and what marathon you are running in this year. Yes, by all accounts dinner party conversations across the land are full of "I'm considerably fitter than you". Now if you really want to top your neighbour - how about running a marathon in the Sahara?! Or how about getting new neighbours and never ever attending any poncey dinner parties again.

So I head on out after doing bottle, spellings, reading to me and reading to them.  The last time I ran was probably way back in the 80's and that was probably to catch a bus or to flee a security guard (a friend of mine was a bit of shoplifter in her day).  I think a little jog around the block up by the kids school and back - its no more than 1/2 a mile.  I've got my Freya sports bra on - I'm good to go.

My selection of running music was a mistake. A big mistake. Huge. I took off down the back straight very fast to Love is Noise by The Verve. Its a thumping track and being an Indie lover I thought this was ideal. Wrong.  I was flying but by the time I'd done about 300 metres I was knackered. I limped and gasped my way into the Co-op to "pick up some squash". Yes the extra weight really helped my cause. My bum was at least 30 seconds behind the rest of my body - maybe a support harness is required? I jogged up the hill, then walked, then saw some people so thought better run, walked, ran and then walked again.  Total time including squash collection was 15 minutes.

Oh how the hubster laughed when he saw me - even doing a little jog to open the door for me. Piss taker.  Anyway, I will not be defeated and will go out again tomorrow and I hope to get to Co-op without stopping.  I will also have a slight change of music - Frank Sinatra perhaps?

Finally this bikini arrived from Debenhams today aka big knickers and a bra that goes in the water. My husband loved it - but he would. Only a husband could say that. It looked okay but much more work to be done.

The Bikini and in the voice of Forrest Gump "And that's all I've got to say about that"

Monday Weigh In

Zero. God Damm it!! Sorry but I did lots of exercise last week.  My stomach definitely has gone down as I could feel less of it whilst I was working out to the Wii dance yesterday. The Wii dance 3 with wrist weights and 4,400 odd sweat points if you please.

I was slack last week on the food front. I know it. You know it. The food diary that has blank spaces for the days knows it.  No excuses really. Tomorrow is May. I am now officially dieting to order. I hate dieting to order i.e for a wedding, holiday etc. But I have left myself with no choice. 

So without further ado I am off to work out to The Biggest Loser and tonight and I'm going to 'jog' around the block and see if I can get further than the post office (I shan't be stopping 1st class gone up by 14p!) this time.  I have ordered a pink tutu and pink headband for The Race for Life which is on 23 May 2012.

Of course I will be posting pictures, no pressure then! Until next week my lovely, lovely followers Ta Ta.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Old School Swimming

Whilst watching '1972' on BBC 2 the other night this came on.  It is an old swimming advert - I love these old adverts. Dave can't swim so the girl goes off with Mike "who swims like a fish!" There were lots of these adverts around at the time - the government were keen for everyone to swim. I don't believe it could have been like today's equivalent of eating your 5 a day and exercising.  I'm not aware there was an obesity epidemic in the 70's.  So it must have been purely for safety.  Many youngsters would swim in any bit of water given half the chance. My husband, who was born in 1964, recalls swimming in the pit cooling towers in Leigh. He was a Y-front swimmer not a speedo man. He couldn't tell his parents what he was doing with his little friends so they used to swim in their underpants.  How dangerous is that! Later he would go swimming with the school at the local 'baths' and they all got changed in wooden single cubicles which had swinging doors. His fondest memories were gaining the oval badges for his swimming prowess and getting them sewn onto his speedos - he had now graduated from the pit cooling towers and his old Y-fronts were consigned to their more conventional use.

One person that didn't swim in his Y-fronts was Mark Spitz who won a massive 7 Gold Medals in the Munich Olympic Games in 1972. Amazing. So no shortage of swimming role models for my husbands generation and as for my generation there was our very own Duncan Goodhew. 

Mark Spitz with all his medals - this isn't my husband's body super imposed with Mark Spitz head although he would like to think it has! - picture from ebay

By coincidence I came across this linky via BritMums Joy of Swimming Competition, sponsored by British Gas asking for people to blog about their earliest childhood memories of swimming.

Well I can remember the excitement of going swimming in the 70's and this may come as no surprise to you all but I just loved frequenting the vending machine afterwards. We always came out "starving" - only coming out when our skin could take no more. You know all wrinkly and cold. A packet of crisps was normally my vending snack of choice. 

As I was born in 1973 I can recall swimming in the 80's more. We used to all go to the local leisure centre with friends on a Saturday for the Crazy Splash - basically a load of inflatables were put in the pool and it was a mass free for all.  I don't suppose they would allow it today, too many health and safety rules. There was also an outside paddling pool which you could run out to in the summer. Although the transition from pool to outside was mighty fresh. And who can forget the swimming rules sign? No petting always got a chuckle.

This has to be the best thing about swimming in the 70's/80's - I mean we all read it. Who needs Saatchi & Saatchi?!

Swimming lessons are the only after school club I drive my children to. I really want my children to not only be able to learn to swim but to swim with the proper techniques. Not like me and my husband who swim with the turtle neck thing going on.  I would love to swim properly one day and it is on my bucket list but in the meantime, I'm going to hand over the swimming baton to my children and hope that they too have as many wonderful memories.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Saturday Chit Chat

Okay so it would appear I am hung over.  This is quite unlike me as I don't actually drink that much at all these days.  You see this glass, well its very small and I normally have just one of these a week if that. I'm becoming decidedly French in that I can make it last all night. And that's just the wine - boom boom!

Small glass of wine

Last night I had 3 of these filled with some lovely red wine which invariably made me crack open the pistachios.  Me and hubster watched a John Candy film "Summer Rental" which was quite funny and got me thinking about the big man. He died aged 43 whilst on location in Mexico. By all accounts he'd cooked up a lasagne for the crew, went to bed and died in the night of a heart attack. Probably brought on by his obesity. He was very overweight in the film we watched last night, but for him he was relatively slim as in his later films (e.g Uncle Buck) he was massive. 

So exercise wise this week has been very good. I've done 3 workouts and I plan on doing the Biggest Loser later on today and the Wii dance tomorrow. The food diary has been absent though and I have been in high spirits all week which makes me less focused. Why the high spirits? Well rain stopped the hubster working which meant he did my ironing, had the little fella whilst doing the school run, made wooden names for the kids and a fantastic Mr and Mrs one for me. Not only that he made a giant cupcake queue stand for the PTA and in general being a real love and he's not even having an affair!   I did get nominated for best writer in the madblogs awards - total shock, had a catch up with my friend in Hong Kong and had a nice week with another friend who reminds me of my honkers friend in that you can just call and say "what you doing?" "pop over". They are few and far between.

Oh nearly forgot buddy is sleeping through properly and I have to wake him at 8 am on a school day - this morning he woke at 9.45 am! So back to lie ins - I can hardly contain my excitement at the prospect of having a lie in at the weekend. My other two wake between 7-9 am and know that on a Saturday they are to go downstairs - do not disturb is the order of the day.

Then I found this piece of paper. On one side was a hand drawn map of Great Britain which included the Orkney Isalnds no less and on the other side was this:-

I am a robot from the 1470's. I travelled the world. This is my adventure.

Day 1 England

I crash landed in England. Their flag is (draws picture). I invaded a house and a couple of shops. I found some paper and a pen and wrote all this. Morning - have batteries charged and have a hunt for money called pounds and buy it on books and batteries. Afternoon - visits London Zoo and finds out facts about the country. The population is 60 million (the whole of the United Kingdom). The food is mainly fish and chips. I liked the lizards the best.  Evening - I visit London attractions like the London Eye and Big Ben.

Day 3 - Wales

I read some of my Roald Dahl books when I've invaded a plane and made the driver drive me to South Wales. It was a five minute drive. The people speak Celtic languages. I got caught up in a war and fought the Romans.  I kindly changed the future and defeated the Romans.  I used a weapon that is not to be wield by a human. It's where I suck some of the planet and throw it at the Romans. Under the ground are groolies that I like to put in.  One bite from one and your dead.  The next day I read all of James and the giant peach, recharged my batteries which took hours and played chess with the chief of the army. I won.

My husband is such a great writer! Oh I am a wit aren't I. I did hesitate about putting this on my blog - bit of an album filler I thought and would anyone other than the parents find this funny?  You decide!

Have a great weekend.

Form an orderly queue

Thursday, 26 April 2012

I shall go to the ball

Oh er missus who'd have thought little old me would be nominated for a Mad Blog Award and in the Best Writer category.  So I was merrily scrolling through my phone this morning at Chill n Chat and I saw The 1970's Diet in this category. I couldn't believe it. 

Actually this morning I had written a short and bitter post about how I never get nominated for anything but hadn't hit the 'publish' button. It was sitting feeling sorry for itself in the 'draft' section. The amount of twitter blog type people I follow that keep saying "I've been nominated in not 1 but 50 categories!". I was happy for the ones that I like and follow but not for the ones who never blog about anything in particular - you know the album fillers of the blog world. I was beginning to feel a bit dejected and all self pitying like Cinderella - did she really need to go to the ball I mean she had all that cleaning to do?!

I was about to examine the reasons why no fucker had put my name forward - being a tad aggressive may have been a reason do you suppose? I think I may well have nominated myself (yes I have no shame and am a sad individual - see previous couple of posts to get the picture), however, I'm unsure as to whether or not that would have seen me through to the next round.  So I can only assume then that someone else nominated me too.  Maybe it was when I had a twitter attack and said something along the lines of "vote for me you bastards" as one person did say my intimidation tactics worked and rushed off to nominate me!

Anyway, all's fair in love and blog war and I am not going to worry about how I got there - I just got there!

Did she really have time to go to the ball? Was she selfish for leaving all the cleaning to the animals whilst she tried to bag herself a Prince?

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

My Inner Larry David

I often refer to Larry David in my posts (as I have done today) so for those who haven't got a clue what I'm on about this one is for you. Please have a look its only 1 minute 31 seconds and will give you an insight into how my mind operates. Larry David is the guy calling the other guy a "pig parker".  I am Larry David. That is all. As you were.


Recently I keep experiencing these types whilst going about my day to day business.  Never heard of one before?  Well that would figure as I've just made it up. Take yesterday for example, I was at the garage picking up our papers when an old boy (probably nearing the end of his good innings) opened the door for me.  I said, in what I thought was a loud voice, "Thank you". This may come as no surprise to you all but I do have a loud voice. My friend always says to me, when we're chatting on the phone, "turn it down for goodness sake, you're shouting".  I just get a bit excitable when talking. I don't get out much what can I say. So you can imagine then, that I don't do quiet, hushed or whispered tones.  My voice can boom given half the chance especially if alcohol has featured.  My voice is at its finest hour when I've had a few and I've found something rather amusing. I repeat that something louder and louder and louder.

So as I passed, the old boy says all huffy and puffy, "Thank you!" as in - I am demonstrating to you young lady that it is customary to say thank you when someone opens the door.  I immediately shouted back so he could hear good and proper "I did say thank you" but he was on his way.  I bit my tongue and didn't finish the sentence with "cocksucker" which I'm sure he would have heard.

I was so annoyed at this, my inner Larry David kicked in, I was so tempted to bang on his car window and tell him to - not wind it down as that would make me sound very old - open the window and lets have a chat about this.

He drove off, I suspect, muttering about the state of the country and I left thinking how loud do I have to shout "thank you" these days?!

I had another incident of this but the "thank you" was in dispute. I was in the bank with all my offspring (3 at the last count) and the youngest was in the buggy.  The bank doors are designed so that a robber will have to wait to exit. By that I mean the first door has to be shut before the second opens. So I have one leg opening the door and have pushed buggy and gestured the other 2 to stay in the holding bay area.  The woman is outside in the street and I open the second door with my bum, 2 children go out and I push the buggy out. The woman does the "thank you" Huffer because she's waited for me to exit the building.  Now I had already made a decision not to say thank you as she watched me struggle with 3 children, a buggy, a locking door system and an arse hold open door manoeuvre! Why should I say thank you for not helping and waiting your turn which is expected of you?  If the roles had been reversed I wouldn't expect a thank you. On this occasion she was in earshot and I said "what's the problem, you've just watched me struggle to get out and I'm meant to say thank you"? Wasn't so quick to be vocal now was she.

The thing is the Thank You Huffer doesn't expect a retaliation of any sort. They really believe that they can huff and get away with it.  Well not if they do it to me!  I will happily stop even swerve my car in front of someone to chat about the merits of their huffiness (I don't do this as I have children but probably would if I was single and didn't have a family that I would leave behind).  And half the time the huffer has already decided they are going to say this as they anticipate that the person won't say thank you. In fact, I'm pretty sure the Thank you Huffer actually enjoys it and welcomes the opportunity to do this.  They probably just hold doors open purely for Huffer fodder - a bit like entrapment.

So next time you're out beware of the Thank you Huffer and make sure you give a huff back!

Monday, 23 April 2012

Monday Weigh In

-2lbs. Okay so am back in the 12's. Let me stay in there heading down towards 11 if you please.  I am now on a new 12 week fat burning programme (I have completed my other one) on The Biggest Loser workout and I did it today.  When I first did the programme I did 20 mins so will be interesting to see what 50 minutes 3 x a week will bring.  I didn't do any set exercise at the weekend and I need to make sure I do at least one workout, otherwise that's 8 days a month that I won't be exercising just because its the weekend. I cannot afford to do that.

Nevertheless I think I worked out 4 x last week (see exercise log 2012 on right hand side). I have pretty much kept up to date with my food diary.  Still room for improvement but was so much better than the previous weeks. 

All and all I've had a pretty good day as Monday's go. My son is representing his school in the UK School Chess Championships which he is very excited about. He has the possibility of winning £25 and a trophy. My friend had some great news today - looks like her critical illness policy is definitely paying out which is fantastic. I didn't get trampled on at the school book fair and my husband did my ironing whilst I completed my workout. Nigella tweeted me on my newsfeed (love her!!) and Jenni Murray said she didn't mind the mention in my Dukan Donut post.

After my workout I decided to jog to the post office with my parcels for posting (extra weight and all). Its only about 800 metres and it was tough! My bum seemed to be about 5 seconds behind the rest of my body! It was playing catch up and felt mighty heavy! I was panting away in the queue and am thinking how and earth can I jog 5km? I really don't know what the appeal of jogging is although I do know running is the best thing for shedding weight.  I think at my age its not great for your bones, your face or your boobs. My friend quite rightly said "gravity is working against you".  And my arse it would seem.

Until next week..

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Dukan is for Donuts

Yes I do mean Dukan and not Dunkin - the sugary waist expander kind.  I am talking about that latest diet of the moment - The Dukan Diet.  A few years back The Atkins was all the rage now its the turn of this French twist on that diet. Invariably it has made Mr Dukan a massive fortune. He is the latest person to come up with the definitive solution to losing weight. A man who has never, ever, had a weight problem.

To be honest I didn't know a great deal about it, so I had a little gander on the internet. There are four phases to the diet by all accounts and it seems that protein is the order of the day with a bit of bran thrown in for good measure.  You lose lots of weight straight away and it appears to be the answer to your weight loss prayers.  As always, carbs are enemy number one and are not to be trusted.  Poor old carbs they do get a bad press don't they? I think they would have a good case for food discrimination if you ask me. 

As you know I have never attempted any faddy diet except Slimming World and yes I do consider that to be a faddy diet (see my first ever post). As do I consider Weight Watchers. They are all faddy but just dressed up in different guises. The thing they all have in common is that the dieter believes they can only diet if they follow their chosen faddy plan. They don't believe they can just do it by being sensible. That would be...well.....sensible wouldn't it? It would mean that you don't hand over your hard earned cash to someone else and we've gotta do that! My husband once said to me give me £5 and I'll weigh you every week. I was like "its not the same silly".  No I had to give my money to someone else and be weighed every week. Madness.  

I have a friend who, without a trace of irony, says "I can only ever lose weight with Weight Watchers". She has been at least 6 times.  I would suggest then that it doesn't work if you have to keep going back. I've also said this before - I truly believed they are designed to make you fail after you have lost your weight.  The percentage of people not putting on any weight, ever again, after leaving the big players - Slimming World, Weight Watchers are nominal.  The returning customers (its all about the business) must be a far greater percentage.  It is not in the interests of these companies for you to lose weight and keep it off. They want you back time and time and time again. How many people do you know that have lost significant amounts of weight - I'm talking stones here, on Slimfast, Lighter Life etc and have put it all back on.  I rest my case.

So is it for doughnuts (couldn't wait to spell that properly!) aka Muppet's, silly people? We used to say this at school "you doughnut!" if you thought someone was being stupid. But most of the people who do these diets are far from stupid. Many are very well educated and intellectual.  Maybe that's why they can't lose weight in the first place because they have so many internal well reasoned arguments as to why they cannot say no to food.  Take Jenni Murray for instance. An intelligent woman who has struggled with her weight all her life - a writer and presenter and no doubt well educated - so she opts for the latest faddy diet loses 5 stone and promptly puts it all back on again?! She is now on the Weight Watchers journey - a faddy diet in disguise. 

There are no miracles in dieting. If its taken a long time to put on, its going to take a long time to get off.  I truly believe that my diet will eventually make me lose all the excess weight. There is no finishing line - it will always be on going.

By eating 3 x reasonable sized meals a day with my family, cutting out the rubbish (not specific food groups) and having the occasional treat plus exercising is the only way to lose weight properly.  You have to make it normal again.  No pro plus points, no red days, no green days, no attack phases, no shakes for breakfast, no diet pills, no syns -  just plain and simple.  Back to basics. Back to the 1970's.
Play food - maybe that's all we should be doing with it!

Friday, 20 April 2012

Do as I say, Not as I do

I read this post yesterday. It was about children's manners - I don't know why I read it as they are ten a penny, normally self righteous and invariable just want a confirmation that they parent better than someone else.

Essentially the crux of the post is the mother is having a party for her child. One child is invited but his mother has mucked her around as to whether or not he's going. A clear case of bad manners. This is not in dispute or doubt.  The writer is in the right.  The boy isn't the best behaved boy in the world, again, it is accepted that this is down to parenting and not the boy's fault.  So what's the problem?

Well naturally everyone that comments, the back up brigade, says how awful, the mother is in the wrong blah blah and they are all right. However, one refers to the child as the little ******!. Charming. How very adult and well behaved of you. But what jumped out at me asides from the sheer contempt this woman had for a 5 year old boy, was that she had failed to see, ironically, that her actions were just as rude.

She says in the post she just ignored the boy and walked away (after he came bounding up to her to say he was now attending the party which his mother had previously declined on his behalf). How is that setting any kind of example pray tell? A child is born into this world a beautiful, innocent blank canvas, and it is the actions of the carers that decide whether it will be spoilt or will be a wonderful work of art.  Here is the boy - the innocent as far as I'm concerned - not only being shown bad manners by his own mother but a quick lesson in rudeness by other adults he comes into contact with. Furthermore, may I suggest instead of ignoring, resenting and complaining why not just say I'm sorry I've finalised all the arrangements now? That way the mother may think twice about doing this in the future.

The writer said no ones perfect - correct. But I know for a fact there is no way I would ignore a child if it spoke to me. For me this woman demonstrated so much that frustrates me about modern society, of which I have spoken before in previous posts and a lack of compassion and understanding of others.

When my eldest, my precious first born, started Reception there was a boy much more troubled than the boy that was spoke of in this post.  Within the first term he punched my son in the face, kicked another boy in the head and was a real danger to the others. He had come from a very troubled background.  I spoke with the teacher and the head. I also spoke with the mother to let her know I had complained. She was fully aware of what was going on and apologised for his actions. He was eventually expelled - at no time did I blame the boy as far as I was concerned all the adults around him had failed him massively.

I appreciate my comment will be in the minority and be seen unfavourably by the writer but I think I do have a valid point and I like to think I expressed that politely.  I would also like grown up women to act as such and not use language towards a child which would be better suited for an adult.

That is all.  Now back to my diet!

Thursday, 19 April 2012

The Gingerbread Man Weight Loss Tool

Every home should have one
He has made a comeback.  When dieting its best to take one day at a time but with an eye on the month also. So enter my Gingerbread Man - rather dapper don't you think? He's even got a bow tie.  As you can see by my scrawl I have put the dates that are remaining in April. The cross indicates a job well done on the dieting and exercise front.  He is behind my main kitchen work surface and I feel his presence when I am making up my lunch.

Right, off to do the Biggest Loser workout.....

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Starving? I think not.

This is a diet blog. It is about my weight loss journey. It is about losing my body fat and reducing my weight. I've eaten my fair share of the food that is on offer to us all. And on offer it surely is. It's plentiful in our western world. I have consumed more than my body has wanted or needed.  Quite simply put, in layman's terms, I have been greedy.

Now most people (myself included) bemoan the fact, after they have over indulged for many years, that dieting is 'hard'. There's so much choice, we have no will power and we are unable to refuse the delicious foods available to us such as the treats for....well.....just because we deserve them.  Some even complain that when they're on a diet they are 'starving'.  I wrote about this before and will say it again - no one in the western world is starving.  I would suggest that when on a diet we may be hungry. 

Definition of Hunger
a. A strong desire or need for food.
b. The discomfort, weakness, or pain caused by a prolonged lack of food

Well for some, dieting to lose weight is a luxury that, sadly, they will never experience.  For far too many  option 'b' above is what they experience on a day to day basis. 

I have written this post as I am supporting the ONE campaign and would like you to do the same.  If you feel sadness and guilt that so many people in this world, our world, are starving then just sign the petition.
The key aims of the campaign are that by 2015:--
  • We could see 15 million fewer children chronically malnourished and 
  •  50 million people lifted out of extreme poverty

That's it. No money. Just a quick log on, log out - job done. What's the worse that could happen?!

Monday, 16 April 2012

Monday Weigh In

2lbs gain.  Why has that happened? Oh yes, I exercised less and ate more not rocket science.  I am now under pressure to lose weight for my hols and as you know I'm not great at dieting to order.

I accidentally missed weigh in last week - the first time since I started this blog back in October 2011.  Now given that it was Easter which is now resembling Xmas time in terms of the encouragement to stuff yourself silly with chocolate and the kids were off I'm not that unhappy about it.

I am very happy that buddy is more or less sleeping through the night. Anyone that reads my blog regularly know that this has had a huge impact on my exercising and diet regime.  If he wakes crying now, which he does, he gets himself back to sleep within about 20 mins. I no longer go into him and we are all getting a good nights sleep.

It has been proven that lack of sleep is really bad for your metabolism and dieting in general. It also makes you very run down and lethargic.

My kids are still off school - for some reason our school always seem to have the holidays and then an extra day. I don't mind though, by and large they have been really good and we have been out and about but for the most part we have just had a lovely relaxing time.  I have been getting up gone 8 am and yesterday left the bed at 9.30am and this morning also. So I feel lovely and rested.  I really am not looking forward to having to get up, book bags and everything else that goes on with school life. 

This afternoon my daughter fell off her scooter. I think they are a bit of a death trap and I shouldn't have let her go down this hill. She was hysterical but I had my hands full with the shopping I was carrying, buddy on his scooter and my eldest on his bike. I knocked on a friend's door as we were closer to her house to our own but she was out. Anyway she seems fine but she did sprain her wrist.  Grrr we were having a nice day prior to that. My husband was a bit like well what do you expect going out with 3 children on different modes of transport - he doesn't like the scooters but he's also one for saying they have to have accidents to gage risk etc. Can't win!

It will be nice to get back into a routine though and I can focus on my exercise regime again as the Race for Life is looming large.  I suspect lots of mothers are now on diets again - its easy to start a diet though isn't it when you've been eating crap during the holidays? Just like its easy to say I'm on a diet the Monday you've had an over indulgence weekend.  I've said this before and I'll say it again there will always be school holidays so the trick is to treat it as any other day otherwise the pounds really will pile on over the years. I wrote a post a while back called Slim mums I salute you and this still stands true. Sorry if you have a child in nursery I went off on a tangent and I don't mean to upset anyone but I feel very strongly about them.

Whilst i do like writing various posts on my opinions on matters I'm going to concentrate on completing my food diary, my exercise log etc. It is a diet blog after all!

Until next week - if you can all stick with my blog that is!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Poncey Names Alert

The Waterbabies
Okay I have to admit this and I know its not right, its not clever but it is what it is.  I am not a snobby person by nature, I am not racist, I am not bigoted, I am not malicious and I am not a Tory. I like to think I am a 'Doasyouwouldbedoneby' type of person. I've pinched this from the book and film of the same name - The Waterbabies. I think people would say, generally speaking, I am a good egg. 

But and it is a big BUT I do make an immediate assumption on the mother that calls out the name of her child in public. I can't help it. I'm sure I'm not the only one and its not very right on to admit that I name judge. Yes I will judge you purely on what you have chosen to call your child. How warped is that?!

Take the other day for instance. I am at the check out in Sainsbury's, my two are sitting waiting at the end of the check out and buddy (that's not his real name before you say "you can bloody well talk!") is in the pushchair.  The woman behind me calls out "Penelope, "Penelope please come here my darling". Penelope is not a day over three years old. My first thought asides from thinking I was in Waitrose was  "oh for goodness sake not another poncy middle class name!"

There all the rage aren't they? You know the type of name I'm talking about - names like Monty, Arabella, Prudence etc. I've just thought of that one - it will probably top the charts some time soon.  When I was pregnant with our third I said what about "Constance?" I like Connie Booth who plays Peggy in Fawlty Towers and was married to John Cleese.  My husband just looked at me. I then imagined shouting out "Constance" in the supermarket and I quickly put it in the poncy list together with Austin.

In the same week that Penelope was shopping in Sainsbury's my friend and I were in the park when a man came up - oh no that's Charley and I were in the park! The mother was calling out (they don't shout like a fishwife like me) "Victoria", "Alexander". We both chuckled that there's no way their names would ever get shorten to Vicky or Alex anytime soon.  So what's it all about?

Are the poncey names any worse than the aspiring to be a celeb names i.e Destiny, Chanel and the like? No not really. They're all trying to make a statement. The statement is about aspiring to be something. What that something is I suspect is to do with material aspirations.  Most middles as they're called now started out life in working class territory (except my husband who's family aspired to live in a council house - he jokes!).  I would be deemed as middle class I'm sure.  We live in a nice spacious house, I am a stay at home mum and my husband is self-employed. But I'm not. I hail from a working class background and I'm not looking to be poncey and pretentious which I find a lot of middles are.

The irony is that the Uppers have far less poncy names and are a lot less pretentious in general. They usually have the same 4 or 5 names that frequently appear down the family tree - John, Edward, Harry, George and William.

My sisters are into horse riding and they say that you can always tell the new money, the show boaters who want to let you know they've spent thousands on a horsebox but the seriously wealthy turn up in old battered boxes. The point being is that even if you've made it you can tell someones class a mile off. The seriously wealthy probably have more in common with the working classes than they do with the middles.  Wouldn't it be lovely if there were no class divide but that's never going to happen is it.

Or maybe I've got it all wrong and by giving your child a poncy name as I would call it - the parents would call it a classic name - it means the child will live up to the aspirations of their parents and will do even better than them. After all how did the uppers become uppers in the first place?

Now I must go and put Tarquin to bed......

Friday, 13 April 2012

The Ghost of hoildays past.

Now for the good bit. Part 2 of my holiday post - this time pre-children.

99' ice cream style cup cake made by yours truly

I have been on many holidays that's one of the benefits of getting older - clocking up holidays. My early childhood holidays were caravaning or camping in not so sunny parts of the UK (is there such a thing sunny part of the UK?) like Bognor Regis and Lyme Regis.  My Granny and Grandad had a little shop there and I can remember helping myself to the ice-cream.  They also ran a B&B and we got to ring the bell to let the guests know breakfast was up. I can remember lots of Tupperware and Granny making home made food for her guests.  She was a dab hand at the old domestic stuff and would probably give Nigella a run for her money. I mean she made us personalised Easter eggs for goodness sake!

Later we would travel to France as my parents were sick of the costly dull holidays in the UK. I loved France from the moment our car landed on French soil.  I loved the road signs, the adverts in the fields, the weather, the French accent and of course the French boys.

I couldn't stand the ferry crossing mind and I still get sea sick even if its 'calm'. My husband reckons its a state of mind - I reckon he needs a slap.  I've even got sick whilst on a pedalo. I had to hang off the side whilst my boyfriend at the time peddled me to shore.  I have had well meaning folk (an ex-navy man I used to work with who I originally named Captain Birdseye) tell me to look at the horizon and eat something.  I tried this in Malta with my husband in the early days of our courtship. These are his words - he is 48 and he says things like 'courting'.  We hired a speed boat because I was going to conquer this you see. I did exactly what Captain Birdseye told me to do - I  looked at the horizon and munched my way through a whole tube of Pringles (ready salted). I'm a catch don't you know. Anyhow it didn't work. 

Girly holiday check out those white jeans!

Later there were the girly holidays in the Greek Islands. It was all the rage in the 90's.  Go on a cheap package holiday and travel at hours that would now make you stay at home. Smoke ridiculous amounts of fags (I gave up age 25 another blog post which involves Firestarter by The Prodigy and A&E) get up at 1 pm have brunch, lie on beach, have nap 5-7pm, get glad rags on, dinner 10pm - return back at 4 am. Repeat for 2 weeks.  I have much more to say about these holidays but what goes on in the Greek Islands stays in the Greek Islands.

Then there's the memorable couple holidays. One in particular which involved my best friend, her ex, my ex and the hiring of a jeep. My ex decided that the little sign that says "do not go off road" need not apply. Even when he blew the tyre and we had ample time to turn the sodding vehicle around and go back he chose not to do so. We go up a dirt track the width of our vehicle and climb what can only be described as a mountain which has a sheer drop to our right and took 3 hours to climb. There was even a shepherd's hut at the top for peat's sake.  Never before had I seen my friend shout at her boyfriend but when he decided to take a snap at the top she let rip.  We reach the top and by this time have run out of petrol so the ex knocks the car into neutral and free wheels down the mountain. My hair resembles dreadlocks by the end of this off road experience from the dust that has gathered up in it. That incident is much like the Italian hellish journey only its me and my friend's equivalent.  We still can't really talk about it even though it was 17 years ago. Again the scars run deep on this one!

Then that same friend and I backpacked our way around Europe which really is a post for another day. As is tales from Cuba and the most terrifying air plane journey I have ever encountered.

One girlie holiday that stands out more than most was my near arrest in Crete. I am obliged to share this with you purely for blogging fodder. Now the story goes that my best friend (yes that same one) had been jilted by her husband to be. This was, most inconveniently, after the wedding dress had been purchased.

I decided the best cure for a broken heart was 2 weeks in Crete self catering - £300 jobs a goodun.  The night before we went clubbing in our hometown and had our usual 2 am snack - a kebab. We got in line at the taxi rank but some gobby girl started accusing us of jumping the queue!  My friend much smaller than me explains no we weren't.  I take one look at the girl and say something along the lines of "shouldn't you be at home studying for your GCSE's?" For some reason she takes umbrage to this and punched my friend in the face who was merrily tucking into her kebab.

I was about to retaliate when a bloke much older said he'd punch the lot of us. Time to get the hell out of there me thinks. We jumped into a taxi whilst booting the man with one leg out the door and got back to her maisonette.  Frozen peas sorted out the mark on her face and the next day we boarded our flight to Crete.

Enjoying our dinner pre arrest

On this holiday we had nice accommodation and I have to say I have yet to sample a seafood pizza quite like the ones we experienced on that holiday. They were amazing - lovely and fresh made in one of those open pizza burners with fresh ingrediants. We are both partial to a bit of seafood.  We were befriended by 3 French guys - nothing untoward going on I had a bit of crush on one (I had a boyfriend at home albeit a bit of a nutter - see above) but he liked my friend. They hung out with us as we had hired a car. 

In the offending bar

We would go drinking in the various bars and clubs. One (we later found out was an English run one that was at odds with the Crete mafia - pah hah hah yes you heard right Crete Mafia!) The lads behind the bar were jobbing like many English back then and were friendly enough.  The young lad says to me I've got a trick with an orange.  Okay. He hops over the bar puts the orange in his mouth with the skin on the inside and the flesh on the outside. I'm to suck the flesh all a bit kinky really but a 18 I was game for a laugh it was kissing but orange kissing.  Before I could get get stuck in a feel a tap on my shoulder. I turn around and there's this small, fat Cretian police officer saying "come with me to the police station". I'm thinking that Crete isn't in the EU, I'm fucked metaphorically and literally and the film Midnight Express. Thankfully my friend and the 2 chaps behind the bar say they are coming too and weren't going to let be led away on my own.

The station is like a 2 minute walk away. So we get there and I'm told to empty the contents of my bag. This big fat greasy sleazy copper who really wouldn't look out of place in the film Midnight Express looks me up and down, pulls up his belt and says I have lovely green eyes! I'm thinking oh shit! Anyway, he questions us all about the orange incident and we have to present our passports (we are going home in the early hours) and we get let off with a caution.  After we were released the two lads say this happens all the time as the bar owned by the Cretian (I don't think this is the correct term but I like Belgique for a Belgium person also) and he pays the police to scare the British customers at the British bar! 

Anyway, it certainly did the trick as I was paranoid from the moment we got on that plane.  I was convinced that the fat PC Plod was going to arrest me at the gate or plant some drugs on me to get me back in the cells.  I only relaxed once that flight was in the air.

Now when I wrote the first post about holidays past and present I was positive that my pre-children holidays would be much more relaxing.  However, since writing this second post I am of the opinion that travelling with 3 children is a far more relaxing way to travel and indeed safer!

Happy Holidays!

Monday, 9 April 2012


Yes that is my holiday mantra and has been for as long as I can remember.  Repeat after me.  I WILL NEVER EVER SEE THESE PEOPLE AGAIN! I got my good self thinking about holidays both pre and post children having commented on another blog I enjoy @farfromhomemama. This lovely lady speaks of travelling with her little one on a flight.  This is the first of a 2 part blog - you lucky devils! This one is dedicated to holidaying post children. The next is pre-children and involves an orange, the mafia and an arrest. So stay tuned.

Here are some classic examples of when my mantra has come into force.  You can also apply it to day trips and shopping. Okay this may be wishful thinking if you're at your local shops. In any event, I suggest that all shopping trips are limited to my 1 hour 30 minute rule for the under 2's.  The key is precision planning.  This involves strategic mapping of the shops you need to visit.  You must not dilly dally. You must not get side tracked. Any chance encounters with friends and the like must be limited to a brief "hi" "bye". This is not like the old days. This is extreme shopping.  When the 1 hour 30 minutes is drawing to a close, alarm bells should be ringing together with voices shouting "get out, get out, abandon mission!"

Back to the mantra. My mantra. The mantra you can borrow and take where ever you see fit.

I WILL NEVER EVER SEE THESE PEOPLE AGAIN!When my eldest was 6 months old we decided to drive to Fort William in Scotland.  Why we thought this was a good idea I don't know and.....erm.....I still don't. 


Anyway, a well meaning friend says "go straight after his tea - that way he'll sleep all night". Oh will he now. So as instructed we set off at 6pm and he wakes about an hour into the journey. We are on the M25.  He screams the whole way and we have to divert to Manchester and bed down overnight.  We continue the next morning - he screams the whole way but by now I'm holding him in my arms not the car seat. We took a decision on the likely hood of him dying if he was out of his car seat or the likely hood that the hubster would crash if he wasn't comforted by me. A crash was avoided.  So not wanting a repeat performance I fly back with him on my own (BA Glasgow - Gatwick £250 - 2004!). Yup, he screamed the whole way.

Mantra kicks in "I will never ever see these people again, I will never ever see these people again" got me through the dirty looks, sighs and general evil thoughts coming my way. If you are one of those people, generally childless or so old you've forgotten, then please bare in mind we are fully aware our child is crying and if we could do anything to stop it we would.  In addition, if we really didn't have to make the flight we wouldn't. Unless you're middle class and your life will not change just because you have kids (Muppet's) and you actually pretend that this is all fine - for the rest of us - needs must. There is no pleasure in travelling with children. So fuck you too.

Furthermore, smug first time mum's with newborns and the like your time is a coming. That little perfect newborn will be throwing his food, pushing others, not sharing and biting to name but a few in a blink of an eye. Fact so it is.

My sister (sans children), god love her, decides to get married in Italy. Because, well because she wants to. That's what the childless do. Her husband is English she is English. They like Italy. The wedding is there.  Fanbloodytastic!  Okay, we have to go. I can't miss my sister's wedding even though to get there I'm going to lose the will to live. So we combine it with a holiday of sorts - there's no way I'm going on a plane and coming back in the space of 48 hours.

Meridiana not taking off

Our eldest was 18 months (another shit age to travel with a young one) and I'm now 5 weeks pregnant with second and suffering bad morning sickness.  We book a dearer flight with an Italian wanker airline called Meridiana (you bastards) instead of the cheaper BA flight. This is because the airport is nearer to the Villa and we figured we have a bad car traveller (see above) lets make it as short as possible.

The times were perfect for my little ones schedule. I'm a first time mum - he has a schedule. The flight time is ideal for his afternoon nap etc and I have it all worked out beautifully.  We queue for 3 hours at Gatwick. Okay stop and think about this for one minute if you please. Entertaining. toddler. in. a. queue. for. 3. hours. This is as horrific as it gets.

Get to the check in. The flight is over booked. What? Come back at 11pm. So we drive home and drive back to board our 11pm flight. Get on flight - guess what? He screams the whole way - I'm now out of bottles of milk to pacify him with. He's beyond tired, beyond pissed off and his bedtime has been and gone. I don't want to live anymore.  Even the little UHT mik cartons the air hostess is plying me with to fill up the bottle is doing nothing. He finally falls asleep when we land. We wait over an hour for our luggage and an hour for our car.  Trying to drive on the wrong side of the road with Italian drivers so close to your bumper you can see their dental fillings, in the early hours of the morning with precious cargo = could sob, scream and murder someone all at the same time. Then we get stuck in traffic - TRAFFIC! At 2 am in the morning?! We arrive at the Villa at 3 am. We've missed a whole day of pre-wedding mingling and we have been up for nearly 24 hours. Mentally I'm not in the best place.
You need a lot, and I mean a lot of these to fill up a baby's bottle

Return journey fairs no better. Flight is cancelled. We wait over an hour to collect the baggage that didn't go on the frigging flight in the first place. Get taxi to train station. Train to different airport. Book flight with another wanker airline (Ryan Air who charge £650 - 2005) to get us oh no not to Gatwick but to Stansted. Fucking Stansted! We then queue to check in. Just when you think it can't get any worse -we are told to take our bags and pay £100.00 excess because we are over our allowance. Guess what we have to queue to do this. Its a different airline you see - a shittier one than the last. I officially don't want to live for a second time in a week. We get on the flight he screams the whole way (3 hours I think). He stops on landing and we get home at 1 am in the morning. We have been up for nearly 24 hours.

My husband will never fly again with very young children. In fact, I'm not sure he'll ever fly again. In addition he will never go back to Italy. Let me tell you the wounds run deep. Only now we can just about mention (not talk) about that holiday. We are too scarred, too traumatised and still fragile even now 6 years on.

You see with very young ones you can't explain what's going on or why you're delayed. You can't reason with a baby or toddler that their ears are hurting because of cabin pressure. Personally I think flying is the shittiest way to travel even if its just adults only. They get away with murder and everyone is grateful.  So you can understand that we have holidayed in the UK with a maximum 3 hour car journey limit. We had a lovely time in Great Yarmouth, West Sussex and Kent and the trauma is lessening now as the years pass!

Teenagers are very similar to these

So you'd think we'd learnt our lesson. Oh no. We decided when buddy was 3 months old that we would drive from Calais to Brittany. This time the eldest 2 are fine but we now have my step-daughter who is a moody teenager with an Ipod. Chocolate teapot spring to mind. Buddy breast fed the whole way - 11 hours on and off - yep pretty much.  Sill least I was in the confines of our car and the mantra wasn't needed as such.
Last year we decided on Normandy and paid for the fast boat (2 hours or so) to Cherbourg and one hour drive to our holiday home. I am pleased to report back this is a far better way to travel.

This year the fast boat is fully booked. An omen?  We now have a 7 hour journey from Calais to the Vendee with buddy (the other 2 are now travelling pros) who will be 2 years 3 months and doesn't sleep in the day. A blog post for another day I would say.

So why travel with children or why have children at all?! Well once you've accepted that the holidays of old (i.e relaxing by the pool, book, meals out) are long gone there's nothing quite like seeing a hoilday through the eyes of a child. We will have those holidays back, albeit it older and greyer, but I will have my lovely family memories and the getting there and back will be long forgotten.

I love our family holidays even if it does take a week to pack and a list as long as a mortgage contract.  I can even tolerate my husband saying "this lot is never going to fit in the car". Yes it is cocksucker get packing. Why do men always say that? Keep quiet - this has taken weeks of planning and a week to pack. If I thought I could get away without packing something don't you think I would? It all needs to come with us.  Keep quiet and just put the stuff in the car. That is all that is required of you.

I think the mantra can be applied at all stages of your holiday life.  For starters when you're at the teenager deadly self conscious stage. You're actually pretty hot but you think you're fat - the youth is truly wasted on the young as they say.  Then when you're travelling on a flight and your baby/toddler/child is screaming, running riot or throwing a tantrum the mantra is invaluable - I WILL NEVER EVER SEE THESE PEOPLE AGAIN. And when I strip off to what is essentially my bra and undies (aka bikini - bikini suggests skimpy we're talking big knickers and bra which can go in water here) for the first time, looking whiter than white, my mantra is a god send. I WILL NEVER EVER SEE THESE PEOPLE AGAIN! 

And do you know what it really works. Go on give it a try!

Friday, 6 April 2012

What Ever Happened To The Likely Lads..

"Oooh what happened to you? Ooohh whatever happened to me? What became of the people we used to be?"

Remember these chaps?  It wasn't an overly rip roaring funny show but it is great to watch if you're just looking for a 1970's period piece. I love watching shows like this to see the clothes, the furniture, glass milk bottles, teapots and pub life and the like.

You can see from the opening credits the North East was hardly glamorous (nor was the South let me tell you!) and for many the 70's were bleak but it was a much more simpler way of life. It has a charm and nostalgic feel to it don't you think? Or if you were born post 1985 you'll probably thinking what are you on woman?!

Onto normal chit chat matters which normally take place on a Saturday but today feels like one. Well I haven't been stuffing myself with chocolate following on from my what's it all about post.  I have been slacking with the writing of my food diary with the kids being off and all so will try to get that sorted out.  Exercise wise nothing structured like my Wii dance and The Biggest Loser - I have just about managed to shake this cold off and buddy cried it out again last night for nearly 2 hours with occasional visits from me and the hubster - so mighty tired today. I'm going to crack the sleep if it kills me which it probably will do.

I am planning on doing a jog with my step-daughter today I have informed St John's ambulance and they are on stand by.

I am currently waiting for the "cable guy, oh cable guy" - remember that film with Jim Carey?  He plays the psychotic cable guy who wants to be Matthew Broderick's best friend. This is his second visit and when I see the Sky man my head is saying "oh Cable Guy" - does that make me nuts? The Sky man isn't quite as intense and I don't think he's going to give me free cable (and I'm not about to do anyting untoward to get it!) but he needs to change our dish as Cbeebies in the kids playroom keeps playing up. I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't go out but I do have SKY with all the trimmings and multiview - its one of my luxury items and it needs to be working. Give me that people. Give me that.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

By Jesus, its Cadbury's not Judas!

Have you noticed Easter is just one big, fat feeding frenzy? Its starting to resemble and has been for quite a while now, another danger zone for anyone on a diet. Or, indeed, just looking to coast along at their normal weight.  It is heading perilously close to the Christmas self indulgence and weight gain territory.  As far as I can tell its about stuffing yourself senseless with chocolate (preferably the Cadbury's variety) than it is about that bloke. What's his name again? Oh yes, Jesus!

Easter summed up in a basket - chocolate eggs, bunny, Cadbury and cake - anyone seen Jesus knocking about?
I'm sure Jesus is most proud. Not only does he and Papa have to watch whilst we continue to kill men, women and children and money is still number one at the top of the root of all evil chart thousands of years down the line. They now have to see us celebrate Jesus type matters by gorging ourselves senseless with food and drink. I mean lets all have an orgy whilst we're at it. This, whilst vast parts of the world scrape around like dogs for anything that resembles a mere morsel, to stop themselves starving to death. Quality people.Quality. 

As you know I am not overly religious and I explained previously that if I were to partake in a bit of church going then I'd be a Mormon (see this post ).  My husband said "I can't believe you're taken in by that lot!"A lot of people see it more as a sect than as a religious group.  The Mormons can't seem to shake the history of polygamy which hasn't been practised for over 100 years.  They also ask that you give 10% of your earnings to the church which makes my husband even more sceptical.

When Hot Cross Buns go bad
Anyway, back to stuffing your face. Yes, I'm sure Jesus didn't for one minute anticipate that to celebrate his Resurrection we would all be scoffing Cadbury's creme eggs and other versions in great quantities. Let us not forget the other Easter offerings shall we - Hot Cross Buns offered up from January onwards, Simnel cake with the 11 little balls representing the Apostles (minus Judas of course), chocolate Easter cakes and then there's the huge roast that we are meant to cook. You only have to look at the supermarket adverts advertising all the food you must simply buy to have a great Easter. 

Now I understand all the significance of the eggs (representing the boulder), the Simnel cake (the Apostles), the hot cross bun (the cross), the end of lent and the feast etc etc. Don't get me wrong I like to enjoy celebrations and occasions with the next person and food and drink will always be used for doing this. But there is a line that needs to be drawn and consuming tons of chocolate Easter Eggs is that line. Its disgusting when you really think about it.  Its not big and its not clever.

Step away from the chocolate. Think about the significance of Easter, think about the people who can't gorge themselves silly, think about whether or not you want to be the next contestant on The Biggest Loser.

If none of that stops you then think about your waist line and then think about thanking me!

Happy Easter!

Simnel cake - picture from Nigella's Feast

Monday, 2 April 2012

Monday Weigh In

No loss. No gain.  All in all a pretty poor few months weight loss wise.  Not being well didn't help but at the end of the day they're just excuses. If I put my mind to it I can lose weight. So let's hope April brings better weight loss results.  I am sure it will. This spring like weather does make you think about ordering clothes, holidays etc and I still have the Race for Life to run in May. I will, of course, post pictures to document the mess I look at the end.

Talking of which, yesterday we took a walk to the park en famille.  The eldest had his bike, the other 2 had their nifty scooters.  I ran most of the way trying to keep up with buddy and to stop him meeting his untimely death on the main road.  So it got me thinking of doing this (with appropriate clothing of course) during the Easter Holidays.  However, the children had other plans today.

Buddy was coughing a lot last night - so feel and probably have been awake since 1 am. My daughter (age 6) woke at 5.30 am and promptly threw up - she hasn't managed to keep anything down today and is currently asleep (its 2pm).  My eldest is about to be portaled out (if Skylanders feature in your house you'll know what I'm talking about) to his friends whilst buddy is like the Duracell Bunny - keeps on going!

So not the best start to the Easter holidays - the weather is meant to turn tomorrow and I have been unable to leave the house. I have, however, been able to clean all of it - in between clearing up sick so a pat on the back if you please. 

My friend just asked "how do you manage to clean with the 3 of them?" Its actually quicker in the school hols as you don't have to faff with the school run. Also my children, from an early age, accept that mummy has to do this and I'm not here to purely entertain them.  Its okay for them to be bored. They have enough stuff to keep themselves occupied.  I see no reason for the house to descend into chaos just because its the holidays and besides it'll make me grumpy.  It was clean and tidy now its just clean. I was all finished by 1 pm.  Quick weekly shop tomorrow in the morning and we're all set.

Furthermore, we have play dates this week, library books to take out, hot cross bun making, the film Pirates in 3D (I had to cover my eyes and just hit the pay button - I was bending over at the time!), the step-sister coming for the weekend and London Zoo.  So a little boredom isn't going to kill them - I might if they play up but boredom certainly won't!

Until next week...