Day Twelve

It’s not working 🙁  I’m not eating any less, in fact, the stress of this house build is making me eat more.  I’m still listening faithfully every night.  Twice last night in fact, as I couldn’t get to sleep and Trevor’s voice is soothing, as is that bit of music at either end.

My own mind derails things though.  It over analyses the structure of the podcast.  It desconstructs the sentences, wanting to move the pauses and spaces, swap what it perceives as commas and full stops around.  There’s a part where he says “Your/You’re losing weight” and it drives my  mind mad as neither sentence really makes sense where it falls in the spiel and so I miss the next minute or so trying to make it fit logically.  There are pauses in odd places, which I understand are all part of the wordweaving thing and I guess for the majority of folks who try it, it works fine, but for my OCD, proof reading, English grammar obsessed self, it’s not working.

I’m starting to wonder if I’ve chosen the right Slimpod too.  I chose Drop a Jeans size, because I live in jeans and it seemed the sensible option.  Upon reflection though, it’s not jeans I want to get into.  I want to abandon the size 14 Coast dress that’s on the outside of my wardrobe and get into the size 10 ballgown that’s hidden away on the inside.  Drop Two Dress Sizes would have been a far more practical choice.  I’m not in the position of being able to spend another £30 on a whim at the moment though.

I understand the whole cognitive hypnotherapy premise.  I understand how it’s supposed to work, and have seen lots of positive reviews of it.  It’s just my mind doesn’t respond well to hypnosis.  I did a Self Hypnosis class when pg with my third girl, and exasperated the poor chap who was taking it.  I was the only member of the class who, instead of accepting what he said and doing it, questioned each and every command.  You want me to walk down some steps into a garden?  Sure.  How many steps?  Are they wooden or stone?  Is there a handrail?  This garden, is it a vegetable garden or a grassy one?  What pond?  A mill pond, a koi pond, a bullrush home for frogs?  He admitted at the end that he’d only had one other person who questioned everything in the same way I did, and that man had been a former SAS soldier!  Doesn’t say much for my state of mind, does it?

So, conclusion?  I’m not quitting, as that’s not my style.  I will continue to listen.  I will resist the urge to audiotype the whole podcast out and go through it with a red pen correcting the dodgy punctuation.  And I will keep my fingers crossed that something, somewhere, starts to work as well for me as it has for so many other people, because I’ve got twenty pounds I need to shift and so far, ordinary diets just haven’t made the grade.

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How not to make Xmas pudding

Day 1 – Put fruit to soak.

Day 2 – discover missing Bramley apples.  Resolve to buy them.

Day 3 – forget apples.

Day 4 – ditto.

Day 5 – realise there are still half a dozen big fat apples on the Bramley tree at the bottom of the garden.  Go scrumping for apples and return with a couple of beauties.  Then discover there isn’t any stem ginger in syrup.

Day 6 – forget to buy stem ginger.

Day 7 – discover local shops don’t stock stem ginger.

Day 8 – finally remember to ask DH to buy stem ginger in town.  Commence assembly of xmas puddings.  Peel apples, add to ginger and bread crumbs and flour and sugar and fruit that’s been soaking in probably a touch more brandy than originally called for for over a week.  Mix it all up whilst singing ‘we wish you a Merry Christmas’. Smile at eldest’s complaint of “Mom, you never let us sing carols before December!”.  Ladle odd looking mixture into one large pudding basin, one medium pudding basin and discover there’s enough left over for four little ramekin basins.  Do fiddly irritating bit with concertinaed baking paper and some dishcloth knitting cotton as the string has vanished.  Put large pudding in pressure cooker (only pan tall enough) and medium pudding with three orbiting small ones in wide pasta pan.  Begin boiling.

Twenty minutes later, go to make a cup of tea and ponder briefly on the existence of six eggs sat in a bowl on the counter.

Panic.  Haul steaming hot pudding basins out of hot water, tip warm mixture back into large mixing bowl (which thankfully hadn’t ended up int he dishwasher) from large and middle sized bowls, as well as single small bowl that never made it into a pan, stir like crazy to cool slightly before adding the beaten eggs.  Stir some more, discovering that the mixture actually looks like it’s supposed to now. You know, kind of, well, cake like.

Repeat irritating fiddly bit with baking paper and string/yarn stuff and drop pudding basins back into hot water.  Make tea and congratulate self on getting out of that one with nothing more than a few minor scalds.  The three little puddings will be taste tests, ie, eggless xmas pudding.  Will cook the small one avec egg and do a blind test on unsuspecting bloke.  🙂

So yeah, tea.  And chocolate.  And no more bloody Christmas carols until December, okay?

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Day two

Whilst I don’t seem to be consciously aware of eating differently, I appear to be thinking about food differently.  Or rather, not at all.  Both yesterday and today, it took the combined efforts of all the children to nag me into making lunch.  I wasn’t that hungry, although I ate sandwiches and fruit with them, but then at dinner last night, I only ate two slices of pizza.  Now that’s not normal!

It’s only day two, so we’ll see how the rest of the week goes before I comment any further on it.  Don’t want to confuse coincidence with concrete results now, do we?

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Thinking Slimmer

Those who know me will probably roll their eyes when I announce I’m going to lose some weight.  I don’t have much to lose in the great scheme of things – about a stone (14lbs/6.3kg) – but I’m just about 5’3″ (1.6m), and my BMI is 27.  Which is definitely in the overweight catagory.

Add to this a back problem, a love of food and cooking, especially baking, and the fact I seem to spend most of my life in the car ferrying kids and running errands for the house build in progress, and you see why I need to do something to get a handle on my weight sooner rather than later.

That, and I’m 40 next year.  Whilst my age doesn’t bother me, I’m thinking it’s a milestone I can aim for.

Last night, I spent a while on Twitter, asking questions and receiving some good answers from different folks, namely @liveotherwise, @cosmicgirlie and @themoiderer.  Then I went over and read The Moiderer’s blog, specifically her Thinking Slimmer tagged posts and was rather taken aback at how this system does genuinely seem to work.

Yeah, I’m a sceptic.  Always have been, and cynicism is one of my defining traits unfortunately.  But I read her blog, looked at the photographic evidence, then went and trawled through the whole Thinking Slimmer website.  It takes some doing, they’ve got a lot of stuff on there and as DH was downloading a movie, it took a while to load each page.  But I persevered and in the end, bought their ‘Drop a Jeans Size’ Slimpod.

The concept is almost ridiculously simple.  You listen to a short reading each evening, about 10 to 11 minutes long depending on which slimpod you buy, and it sets up your subconscious mind to lose weight.   Yes, seriously.  And whilst I was inclined to take the testimonials on the website with a pinch of salt, when I suddenly spotted Jay Mountford/@cosmicgirlie’s name in there, I did a double take.  I knew her name through @liveotherwise and read her blog on occasion.  This was a real person who’d done it!  That’s what lead to the Twitter Q&A session.

Last night was my first night listening to Trevor’s voice.  Very soothing, very relaxing.  His sentences are slow enough, but he says the odd word a bit quickly, which is peculiar.  But then, that’s just my brain over analysing things, as it has a habit of doing.  Note to self, do not dissect everything you read or hear.

Staring weight? Go on then, it’s 10st 13lb.  Which is a lot on a short-arsed little frame like mine.  Ideal finishing weight? I reckon somewhere about 9st 8lb would be good, but I’m aiming to shift a stone first and see if the extra 5lbs are really necessary.  My main weaknesses are Starbucks caramel lattes and their toasted fruit bread, and nibbling after the kids are in bed.  Oh, and toast and Marmite.  And dark chocolate digestives.  Uh, yeah, you get the picture.


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Return of reading

At the start of the year, I promised myself I’d read a book a week.  Right up until I had children, the thought of only reading a single book in a week would have filled me with horror.  It wasn’t unheard of to read three or four per week.

But then, life started to get in the way.  The interwebz began to develop and grow and I was oh, such an enthusiastic voyeur into this amazing virtual world which was opening up before me.  Windows 95 and AOL 2.0.  Children appeared and began demanding my attention.  I learned to nurse one handed so I could type or hold a book, but inevitably, a mouse was easier to manipulate single handedly than pages were to turn.

And suddenly, my youngest is four and I’ve fallen out of the habit of reading so much.  Don’t get me wrong, I still read more than most of my peers.  A lot of stuff gets read online (Google library, omg) but I began to yearn for the feel of paper and the smell of a new book.

To cut a long story short, I’m reading again.  I’ve downloaded a bunch of books onto the iPad and have gone through a few shelves in my mini library and dug out all the ‘to-reads’ that migrated onto there and were forgotten about.  So I have about a dozen books sat right here 🙂

First one devoured was Rivers of London (Rivers of London 1) by Ben Aaronovitch.

Absolutely loved it – the writing style, the POV, the way the protagonist introduces himself gradually (no mirror scene here!) – and the whole premise was brilliant.  And he never quite does what you expect him to which is always good.  The voice is fresh and amusing, and I admit to laughing out loud on more than one occasion.

So, next is the sequel, Moon Over Soho, which I’m hoping is going to live up to expectations.

And after that, this is my to read pile:

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Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls (Buns) Recipe – *Tested Recipe*.

This is the recipe I used to make cinnamon buns at the weekend.  I tweaked it, as I always do, but it worked really well.  Notes are as follows:

  • Made the dough in my bread machine.  Hugely easier, kind of averaged out the flour required and threw it all together.  Came out brilliantly soft and well risen (may have added a pinch more yeast than called for…)
  • For the average English family, I would halve the recipe.  This made me 12 huge cinnamon buns – roll that dough out into a long rectangle. A 12″ square is laughable when you see the quantity of dough.  I did mine about 14″ by 20″, and cut 12 fat rolls.  Next time, if I don’t halve the dough recipe, I will make two largish rectangles and two pans of buns.
  • The filling was okay, strange not to brush with butter then sprinkle on the cinnamon, but it worked.  Next time will omit flour, melt butter and do the ordinary way.
  • Halve the recipe for the glazing, and a tablespoon of milk does the job rather than cream.

They were very tasty though, and the dough cooks up to a deliciously soft bread.  Not on any diet sheet that I’ve come across, however!!

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Dinner and watches

Had a fabulous (late) dinner out this afternoon, once himself had finished rewiring the electrics for my ovens at the new house.  Went to the Mayflower in Austerfield and whilst we were too late for Sunday dinner, we ate off the regular menu instead.  Absolutely gorgeous it was too.  DD3 and DS had the kids’ steak and ale pie, DD2 had a child’s portion of thai curry and DD1 had the adult’s chicken caeser salad.  DH had the mixed grill – no surprise there – and I had slow roast saddleback belly pork with mustard mash and cabbage in a gorgeous cider gravy.  OMG I am so full.  All the food was excellent, and the portion sizes are on the generous side of perfect.

Of course, it may have been better had himself not pulled his back shifting a cast iron bath from a neighbour’s house into the new garden.  Not entirely sure what I’m going to plant in it, but I’m sure I’ll think of something.

DD1 (who I think we’ll go back to calling Myf as that was what she was known as on the previous blog, and it’s so much nicer to use a proper name than DDx) asked me before she went to bed if I had a watch like my cousin.  After a moment’s thought, I realised she meant a pocket or fob watch.  Cousin has a lovely bronze coloured, steampunk effect one on her handbag and Myf asked if she could have one, because she wanted to keep it in her inside blazer pocket.  And then, when she needed to know the time she could just flip it out and look at it, instead of using her phone like everyone else.

How many twelve year olds want to use a pocket watch instead of their smart phone?  I think she is beyond awesome and forgive her for not washing up after lunch today 🙂  And yes, I’m currently looking at pocket watches on eBay…

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Dr Who!

Well, there’s probably a plethora of blog posts that are titled such tonight, but hey, what can I say but squeeeeeeee!  Never really got into David Tenant’s doctor, but I love Matt Smith.  And the whole Melody Pond/River Song thing is twisting up nicely.

Then when you add in Torchwood (OMG, still reeling over Thursday’s episode 7), and I’m kind of surprised to find I’m watching tv on a regular basis.  I know two programs a week doesn’t really count as a couch potato, but for someone who loathes the idiot box, I’m most taken with these two series.

Oh, and did I mention Sherlock?  They’ve just finished shooting the next series (thank you Mr Mark Gatiss, via twitter) and I can’t wait for that too.  Three sterling programs, all with a common denominator.  Maybe that’s why I like them so much.

Would very much like to see Matt Smith and John Barrowman square off.  Although imagining the off screen idiocy is half of the entertainment. 🙂

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Bad mother

Just scared the living daylights out of DDs 2 and 3. Kicked their door open and it banged off the wall with an almighty crash, then proceeded to bollock them soundly about being complete and utter idiots when getting ready for bed. They’re 8 and 9. They should not need me there in the room telling them to put their dirty things in the laundry, their jeans on the dresser to wear again tomorrow, to put their pyjamas on and stop bloody god-damned fricking well messing around and squealing like stupid idiotic toddlers. DH is out doing house stuff and I’m having to do bedtime on my own. So whilst doing the boy, the middle two are winding me up. I was scolding them in a reasonable voice, and damnit if they weren’t still giggling at me.

Cue Momma losing her rag and kicking the (fortunately) solid wooden door. If it had been one of the veneer ones with the egg box filling, I think my foot would have gone through it. I think it did finally register that I was more than ticked off.

So, bad mother, yeah. Grumpy, grouchy mother, which is sad because I was actually in a good mood until I had to do something with those bloody lot. Still, they’re all in bed tomorrow at 7pm, and if we have a repeat, it’ll be 6.30 on Sunday night. Hopefully it’ll sink in before they’re going to bed after lunch!!

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Old blogs and new plans

Have been looking back through old blogs which, by some miracle, are still on line and readable.  It’s quite neat, actually, how that snapshot of my past is there, for anyone to see should they bother reading a blog that was last updated in 2005.  Not even I could get away with doing the ‘sorry for not posting for a while’ blog post on that one!  There are two others linked off that old homeschooling blog – a gardening one and a reading one.   The gardening one has had one post since 2008 and that was because I was going to use it as my ‘house’ blog.  Yeah right, got really far with that one.  The last one I found is the Blogsome version of Mud & Mischief, which has a couple of adorable pictures of my little boy, who now isn’t quite so little.   Bless.

The extension is up to the eaves of the original house, which is exciting.  Heavy rain forecast for tomorrow which isn’t so good.  Then it’s bank holiday and the delays are really starting to chafe now.  Roof trusses arrive in a fortnight – two bloody weeks!!  *head/desk

However, they’ve got a ton of stuff to do inside, not least start on the rear dormer windows, so at least we should still be making progress.  Hoping to get the windows in the south side so we can finish my music/library/sitting room.  Still don’t know what to call it – the architect put it on the plans as music room, which is quite twee.   Here, have a nice big picture of the downstairs.  The original stuff is on the right, the dark heavy grey outlined bit is the extension – dining room, study and garage.


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