Firewirks over Sydney Opera House

Firewirks over Sydney Opera House

Sunday, 26 February 2017

The dreaded "slide"

What is it that they say you should not do?  Let an understandable diet and exercise challenge like a holiday or Christmas extend beyond its actual duration.  Well, the panto definitely counted as a challenge to my diet and exercise and I managed to limit the damage it caused to a measly 2lbs on (16.8) but, did less well in getting back to the routine last week.  Indeed, a full week had passed and I'm still trugging along at 16.8 and doubt very much that I will see any drop tomorrow morning.

You may have guessed that I was not doing much by the lack of posts. It is usually telling.  I think I was tired and a bit "after the Lord Mayor's Show" and didn't get stuck in quickly enough.  The week has just drifted by with little in the way of proper exercise - dog walks and one run - slightly too much in the way of food and not sufficiently rigorous logging of steps and calories.

It has not been bad exactly but, given what I was saying a week or so ago about being conscious that I am treading water, it is not what I needed.  So I'm posting this to stiffen my spine and give myself a stern talking to about next week.  Things must change!!

The plan is to start with a weigh-in, good calorie logging and a run tomorrow.  We have dancing in the evening so steps and exercise should be no trouble at all.  One good, mindful day under my belt should set me up for a decent week.

Anyway - do you want to see some panto pics??  I was so chuffed that my sister and father managed to come over to see me on the Saturday matinee performance and my sister took loads of photos, going heavy on me of course.

Here's me as Deano Martino the sidekick rat with my boss, King Rat.  I didn't know how creepy we looked with the green lighting...we were good baddies if you know what I mean.

Here we're in sunnier climes, on a ship headed towards Morrocco.  King Rat is plotting the ship's downfall.

This scene was hilarious on the Saturday afternoon - it should be brightly lit as we are rowing away from the sinking ship wearing Hawaiian shirts and shades and singing "I can see clearly now the rain has gone".  Unfortunately the lighting chaps put up the murky green lighting to comic effect.  We quite obviously couldn't see a damn thing.  Anyway, we got a good laugh when they did eventually bring on the right lights!

Then off with the damned heavy boat and a quick change into the camel costume.  Her I am in the old classic "It's behind you!!"

And here interrupting the "romance" between the ship's captain and the dame, Sherry Trifle.  Much hilarity, especially on the Saturday night when the dame told me to really go for it...he got his wish....

All in all,it was brilliant fun.  The wrap party on Saturday was fantastic- the pub put on a good spread and we all went up in our costumes and sang all our songs over again.  A young couple on holiday staying in a cottage in the village who had been sitting in a disappointingly quiet pub suddenly found themselves trapped sitting among us and had a wonderful if surprising night chatting to everyone. Their phone is full of photos of them with various heavily made up oddities.  They were so taken with it all they have vowed to come back next year and see our performance as well.  The girl is doing fashion design at Uni in Sheffield and has offered to help out with costumes next year!!

Sunday was up early for clearing out the hall and dismantling stage and lighting etc (improved by many brews and communal bacon sarnies) and then later in the afternoon up to the other pub in the village for a Sunday roast with all the families.

And then back down to earth with a bump.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Nearly a week has passed since my last post. It has flown by. My weight has NOT flown anywhere. However I am still there or thereabouts at 16.6 so the extra panto-related exercise is counteracting the extra panto-related calories. I'm managing to keep my daytime intake to the norm but am then adding: some sort of cake or biscuits during the show, sandwich and chips at the pub afterwards and 3 or 4 pints too. Gulp. 

I don't care though. It's fun. The show is going down well, good audiences and lots of laughs. I'm making some new pals and feel part of something special - it'll be the group's 50th anniversary next and that is a great achievement in a relatively small village. I've had some lovely compliments too. All in all, I like panto very much. I have not been nervous, which is strange, and have remembered all my lines (so far). 

The pics below were taken on a glorious walk on Monday lunch.  The snow had stopped but the remnants still dusted the far hills. So pretty. I think I'll go and see what I can see today. 

I was so tired yesterday I decided to take today off and it has been a fabbie, lazy day so far. Just need to walk the pooches and make supper before tonight's show. I might be a bit nervous for this one as Rich, his dad and Carolyn and a load of friends from the pub are there tonight. Eeeeek!!


Saturday, 11 February 2017

Surprise View

It was a glorious day one day last week and Surprise View popped into my head. Off we went and it did not disappoint.  I love it up there; you feel as though you're on top of the world or at least the Peak District. I'm standing on a rocky outcrop looking over the Hope Valley. 

Since that day, I'm pretty sure it was Friday, the weather has deteriorated steadily. Today we had near constant snow showers and the roads out of the village are grim. That made no difference at all as I spent most of the day in the Panto technical rehearsal. It was exciting - first time in full make-up, first time in full costume, first time onstage going through the whole show, songs'n'all.

It threw up loads of issues - my make-up sweating off for starters and a very tight change from rat to camel and back. In one case 4 of us rats were in a rather large wooden dinghy singing "I can see clearly". We got to the line "I can see all obstacles in my way" as we were trying to "row" off the stage - we couldn't due to a large wooden obstacle which we were unable to see!! Had to sing an extra chorus while the stage ├╣hands shifted it....he he he

Anyway, there has, just for today, been no stepping and no calorie counting. We have had cake and wine and a wonderful day and a lovely relaxing evening with my boy. 

Here's me in full face:

Pre-Panto catch up

Basically I've been doing pretty much the same every day or so: work, panto rehearsals, other appointments (french, dancing, darts and dominoes, etc) run or walk, repeat.  So I have no idea when I took these pics.  I'm guessing last weekend.  Whenever it was, it was real puuurrty.  This is probably my favourite run at the moment.  4.8km and quite hilly.  Although much of the route is in a wood alongside a giant cement factory so not desperately scenic it is lovely at the beginning and the end.

This is the beginning:

And this is the middle.  We've just emerged from the wood and are heading down towards the golf club.

I've been meaning to take a pic of the building below. Nowadays it is part of a campsite aimed at childrens' and youth groups but it used to be an old lead mine.  Historic stuff litters the Peak District and is seldom remarked upon.

Here we are on the golf course. It is part of the cement works so the chimney is visible but it does not spoil the vistas.

Now, weight.  It is very frustrating.  I think it is heading downwards and then it bounces back.  I am still bouncing between 16.4 and 16.7.  The parameters are heading microscopically slowly in a downwards direction but I'm not hitting fresh fat with any great regularity.  I'm beginning to wonder if my chimp is fooling me into thinking that I'm doing well, when in fact, I'm not really.

It was something Steve Peters told me to watch out for.  He said my chimp was extremely clever and quasi-rational (unlike most which tend to the emotional and childlike) and could fool me into thinking I'm doing well when I actually treading water (my chimp's aim being to avoid change and discomfort of any sort).  His advice was objective evidence - weighing every day, keeping records etc.  Well these show that I've been hovering around the same weight for ages but I am sort heading in the right direction.

I've thought about the dilemma and have decided not to change anything until after the panto (so another week) and see if I have genuinely dropped into proper fresh fat (16.4).  If not, then I need to tighten up my calorie intake and make more of an effort with the dieting side of things.

And to that end, I had better get out for a run (in the cold and snow no less) before I meld into the sofa!

Monday, 6 February 2017

Exotic Lincolnshire

These are some pics from my visit to Lincolnshire to see Dad.

I walked into the dining room at my dad's to set up my laptop and start work and what do I see sitting there, totally undefended??  Only my favourite chocolates!!  Aaaargh.  I had to hide them away in the absolute classic of a Hostess trolley.  Out of sight and out of mind, at least until lunchtime when I had a couple for dessert....

I love running in the flat of Lincolnshire so we went out before lunch.  It was gloomy but cool and dry.  I had not allowed for the strength of the wind though.  Ruinous.  Luckily I was running out against the wind so had it at my back on the way back.

As we ran down this stretch of road, we were preceded by a kestrel.  It swooped from branch to post to hover just 20 or so yards ahead of us for a long distance.  Spellbinding.

This is an exotic sight to me alright?  A huge stockpile of beet (or possibly turnips).  No idea why it sits there just one of many agricultural mysteries to ponder over as I run along with the wind pounding against me.

I didn't intend to take this photo, it was a pocket pic but I quite like it as the dogs look so busy and engaged.

Another exotic sight to me - we don't have pylons in the Peak District!  They might be seen as eyesores but they are quite impressive to me marching across the countryside.  Maybe because the land is so flat and featureless, the pylons themselves assume a sort of grandeur.

It has been a full-on weekend.  Friday night learning my lines.  A lovely run of Saturday morning followed by a shopping trip to buy Rich's birthday present (golf gear, natch) and finished up with lovely meal out with Rich's dad and stepmum to our local.  Too much food and lots of drink may have scuppered a good drop this week....

Rich didn't have a dessert as he said he was too full and he would have been eating for eating's sake.  I realise that this is exactly what I did, but sadly AFTER I tucked into a sticky toffee pudding (which wasn't quite good enough to justify the extra calories).  Don't get me wrong, I'm not regretting anything or beating myself up about having a dessert once a week; I'm just noting that I would have enjoyed the meal just as much, possibly more, if I had NOT had the dessert.  Future self, take note.

Today has been bang, bang, bang.  Up, run, home, shower, lunch, friend over to counter-sign her kid's passport application (being a solicitor I get this a LOT), panto rehearsal, home, supper, drive to the quiz, home for 11pm having not sat down for more than 30 minutes all day.  We lost the quiz....

The panto is GREAT.  I love being a rat.  I nailed it, thought I say so myself and am having to be a lot more modest in real life than I am here, chatting to you lot!  Got lots of compliments from the cast and heartfelt hugs from the director and his wife.  I get the feeling I am saving some serious bacon by stepping in and being okay (well, brilliant, obviously) in the role.  To be fair, just learning my lines would've been enough...

Here's me in my ratty-ear trilby.  It really helped to wear it and get into the ratty body language.