Firewirks over Sydney Opera House

Firewirks over Sydney Opera House

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Sunny day

I was in a sunny mood as I walked into town from the office this lunchtime and this lovely view of the Yorkshire Heart of Steel in front of the Minster caught my eye as looking particularly pleasing.  Somewhat ironically today when steel is very much NOT at the heart of Yorkshire, sadly.  It would be so sad for Rotherham and Sheffield to lose what is left of that once great industry so I hope and pray that a solution to Tata's departure can be found.  How much more must towns like Rotherham suffer?

Anyway, on to something that I CAN influence - my weight.  I was extremely gratified by  yesterday's weigh in - 1 solitary lb on.  That is really not bad after 5 days off the diet in Dublin of all places. The walking and general restraint must have helped but I think the most important thing was not going off the diet until the last minute and getting straight back on it once we got home.  It is so easy for justifiable departures from a diet to expand from the event you've decided to eat at to the days around it and it is these extra days which usually do the damage.

I have been hungry today but stuck to my guns and managed a couple of brisk walks as well.   It was always going to be a tough day after a few days' leave anyway with the explosion of emails to cope with! Tomorrow, when I'm working from home, should be easier.  I'm aiming for a swim, a quick dog walk and a longer dog walk with my pal Kerry after work.  It's great now that you can do stuff after work!

I'm struggling to resist the diet maths - those siren sums and calculations working out how much you can drop if you lose X per week and what size you might be in X weeks etc etc.  Generally I can resist the call of the maths but this time I have a long way to go and the eternal calculations seem to help me 'fast forward' a bit.  I'm a bit gutted how big I had allowed myself to get to be honest.

But, as I'm sure I say in comments to various folk, regrets don't do anyone any good so enough of that.  Hope you're all having good weeks and enjoying any sunshine coming your way.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Sore from golf...

I'm taking an extra day off work to ease back into it after our lovely break.  I have made a mess of things though.  I should have remembered my laptop then I could have worked from home tomorrow as well.  Now, I'll have to go to Rotherham tomorrow and work from home on Friday instead.

Also, Rich told me ages ago that the first Golf Society away trip of the season was this afternoon.  I meant to go with him but totally forgot and signed up to play in the medal at my club.  Gah!  So, instead of a nice lie-in and an afternoon stableford round of golf at a course I've never been to with Rich and the lads, I dragged myself up at crack of dawn to play in a medal.  To start with it seemed to be working out; I played the first 9 holes like a Goddess.  It all fell off a cliff after that and I played the second nine like an idiot who had never previously touched a golf club!  But hey, 9 holes is better than none and even temporary Goddess status is not to be sniffed at!

I'm back on the packs now and it is not too bad.  I know tonight's weigh in will bring a gain but hopefully only a few lbs and my resolve to continue for at least another 6 weeks is undiminished so that break did not derail me.

The hardest thing has been reading this month's Delicious magazine!  Rookie error.  The recipes look so tasty and interesting this month where recently (pre-diet) I've been too lazy to try anything different. Typical, my energy and enthusiasm returns once I can't give effect to it!

Anyway, here are a few more pics from Ireland:

The Millenium Needle, GPO and statue of Jim Larkin on a gloomy O'Connell Street.

The Halfpenny Bridge over the Liffey.

The Famine Memorial figures.  Heartrendingly sad.

Oliver St John Gogarty pub in Temple Bar - a total tourist trap.

 We drank elsewhere!

I liked this building and was impressed to see that it houses a firm of solicitors.

Rich being annoying on the Halfpenny Bridge!

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Home (bringing a few extra lbs back, tut tut)

We had a great time in Dublin and did loads.  Trouble is we also ate and drank loads too....sigh.....

I had every intention of trying to diet at least a bit through the holiday and, although I didn't go mad (no chocolate whatsoever or eating between meals), I did eat plenty and drink a fair few pints and glasses of wine.  On the plus side, we didn't go out for any extravagant evening meals and cooked at home in the evenings instead so those meals were not bad at all.  We only had a couple of cake incidents and they were after long walks.

I did not, however, have any packs instead of meals or do much swapping of spirits and diet mixers for beer or wine.  Ach - dieting, schmieting.  Also, although I dieted right up to setting off, I did eat on the ferry which I said I wouldn't do.  I just wanted to get on with my holiday!

However, despite being sorely tempted to "just have a normal supper tonight and start back on the packs tomorrow", I am NOT doing that and will shortly be tucking into my first pack for 5 days. Oooooh, I can't wait......

I'm going to go and get weighed tomorrow evening and it is unlikely to be pretty but hopefully I can take what I've gained off by next Tuesday evening so no damage will have been done.

So, do you want some Irish piccies??

We went for a walk in the Wicklow Mountains with my aunt, who has been a keen rambler for decades, on Good Friday.  As you can see it was a stunning day.  In all those years of visiting Ireland with D, we hardly ever went for a proper walk in the hills.  There was always an excuse.  It was great to spend lots of quality time with my aunt and go for a really good ramble with her.  I think she appreciated it and the 4 of us had a lovely time too.

This is the forestry leading up to Djouce Hill.

A great view of Powerscourt Waterfall across the valley.

Barbara and Rich - she's in good nick for 82 eh??

A very characteristic scene in the lovely Irish countryside.  Rolling GREEN hills with gorse, Scots Pine and rocks everywhere.  I have missed its beauty.

The Sugarloaf Mountain just south of Dublin.

The view back towards Dublin Bay.

Me and my lovely auntie.  It was such a nice visit.  She can talk for England (or Ireland I suppose as she has lived there for decades) and we talked a lot about her family (she's my dad's younger sister) and my mother too.  Barbara was friends with my mum in her own right from school and they shared a house in London while they were at teacher training college (my mum) and university (Barbara) respectively.  I knew lots of the stories but heard some new ones too.

I think Barbs was a bit nervous about having the dogs to stay but she loved them and even looked after them for us for a couple of days while we were doing touristy things and golfing, taking them for walks and introducing them to the neighbours.  They seemed sad to leave this morning so I'm suspecting some treats were given.....

My lovely boy who was so patient with me and Barbs chattering away and was happy to stay in chatting each evening even though there was no telly so no England game or golf!!

Minty defending her stick....

Being back in Ireland was bittersweet.  It brought back many memories: some good, some bad.  I'm fond of the country and the people in the main but it also reminded me of some horrid times.  However, the main thing I take away from our visit it how much happier I am now.  How I'm allowed to be me and don't have to bargain or apologise for wanting to do something which might not be exactly what my partner wants to do.  

There is no way Diarmuid would have stayed in with my aged aunt for even one night, let alone 4; we would have HAD to go to a pub or for a meal every evening.  There is no way Diarmuid would have been happy visiting my aunt's closest friends (also well into their 80's) who have done so much for and with her over the years.  But I wanted to meet them again and I know she was pleased and proud to take us over there for coffee and a chat (and some gorgeous homemade shortbread....whoops didn't mention that in my confession above).

I wouldn't have gone for the lovely walk above.  I wouldn't have played golf and, when it rained and the buses stopped running and the Luas went on strike forcing our plans to change, I would have had to sort it all out while apologising non stop or risked a meltdown.  There is none of that rubbish anymore thank God!!

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Tired but looking forward to the hols

You would not think that you would have to work so hard to prepare for 2 paltry days off work.  Surely things will hold on for a couple of days??!  But apparently not so I have had a torrid few days covering for colleagues on holiday and getting things out so that I don't get slagged off while I'm gone.  Not pleasant but quite satisfying when I completed my self-appointed list of "must do's" this evening, snapped the laptop shut and locked it away for 6 whole days!  They have had their pound of flesh until next Wednesday now.

And speaking of pounds of flesh, will I manage to drop another this week?  Not if my pesky chimp has her way.  She has been mithering me that "It's holiday time now - we can EAT!!!" since I left the office this evening.  The petrol station was a nightmare.  Making a pack up for supper when I got in was tricky too, "I want wine"!  I've still got another 24 hours of this ahead as I'm not going off the packs until we hit Ireland.

I wonder what it'll be like when I can eat?  Hopefully she'll settle down happily to knaw on a bone or something and leave me alone.

It doesn't look as though we're going to have great weather this weekend but I'm hopeful of at least one decent walk in the Wicklow Mountains and one round of golf as well as the usual tourist trail.  It's may tricky dodging the no-doubt somewhat (and understandably) nationalistic celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising but we'll give it a go and try not to get in any rows!  I've had lots of practice over the years but it'll all be new to Richard.  I'm not sure whether I'll be able to post while we're over there but, if not, have a great Easter break - not too chocolatey - and see you all later!

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Week 2 weigh in

Thank you Peridot - the scales of doom were NOT doom-laden.  In fact they were positively charming.  I have dropped another 6lbs this week taking me to a total drop in a fortnight of 17lbs!  I am so pleased I took the plunge and gave it a go.

My next challenge is this coming weekend in Dublin.  I had previously been determined to go off the diet completely for the 4 days but may be having a re-think.  Partly because the LL saleswoman "counsellor" said she "wasn't allowed" to sell me only 3 days' worth of packs and partly because I'm doing so well that I don't want to undo my hard work.

I'm definitely going to eat real food and do some drinking but I'm also keener on the idea of dieting for at least part of the long weekend.  If we're just having a bog standard breakfast why not have pack instead?  Make sensible choices when we're out and about. Substitute spirits and mixers for pints of beer (not all of them because I am going to have some Guinness).  Only 2 courses, avoid desserts and empty calories.  2 full days of packs before we go and 1 when we come back (and that includes travelling).

I don't expect to drop much or anything really but I really don't want to have a gain and go backwards.  To be honest any food and drink will be such a treat that I'm hoping dieting eating will still feel like a good holiday.

We did an interesting exercise in class today.  You had to write instructions to someone who is looking after your body - rather like instructions for the dog-sitter!  Of course you say that she shouldn't have too many treats, have lots of walks, lots of sleep etc.  You think - bloody hell, I look after my dogs so well and look at them - they are slim, fit, healthy!  Why not follow your own rules??

So this week's target is to treat my body how I think it should be treated by the finest body-sitter money can buy!!

Monday, 21 March 2016

Sunday's walk piccies, at a cost

My usual Corel Paint Shop software has malfunctioned.  It just would not work in any way I tried.  I thought, okay I'll re-install, that'll do it.  Nope, no go.  Okay so I'll uninstall and then re-install. Excellent idea - I had not first checked that I have my Corel Paint serial number.  I cannot now re-install so must now acquire some new photoshop software.  At great expense no doubt.  Grrrr  Ach well, I had had it for years so I'll probably have a better product when I do eventually get round to replacing the one I chucked away.  Sigh....

I had a go with the generic Windows paint programme but frankly it is rubbish.  Not happy with the results.

This was our walk from Sunday.  We stayed local, just nipped round the corner and then up Bradda Edge.  It started out sunny but became a bit overcast pretty quickly.  A good walk though.

Halfway up the hill, still feeling fine.....

The mighty Win Hill - love it.

The industrial village of Bradwell - quarries, factories, shops and houses - all nestled in the heart of the Peak District.

Minty sulking because we weren't heading on to Abney....go on Muuum....

Today has been no drama, LL plan all the way.  I'm pretty hungry but no biggie.  Which is a good thing as it is my second weigh in tomorrow and I'm hopeful of a good solid drop.  I'm fairly confident that I'll manage at least 5lbs so fingers crossed that I'm not disappointed and for a good drop taking me past that crucial first stone.

I'm also looking forward to our Easter break in Dublin and EATING for a few days!!  I'm going to work on NOT going crazy but nor am I going to diet excessively.  Fun food and drink and a good time for all.  Yay!!

Before then, work is mental and no food or drink - Boo!!