Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Food and No Food.

Family feud is on the box. I like Grant Denyer. He is Funny.

Or perhaps it's the fact that I am fasting today that is making me more easily amused.

This is my third fasting day. It's easier when I am busier. It is ok up till around 4 or 5 o'clock, when the headaches and nausea start coming in waves. I try not to eat much during day, then have a light dinner later; that seems to be a better way of using the available calories.

My friend says it gets easier after a few weeks of having the 2 fasting days a week. She says to keep busy and drink fluids. That helps.

The science is quite solid behind it; I recommend you download/buy the book or go to this website if you want to know more.

On fast days, this is most definitely not allowed.

Have you tried this? It is the dog's bollocks and the bees knees. The chocolate icecream part is rich but not too sweet, and the salted caramel is caramelly and salty.
It is the icecream equivalent of world peace, and may well solve all your problems.
I could probably eat a whole tub of it. Most of it in a sitting. But I haven't and I won't.

I am also thinking a little bit about this vegemite spaghetti recipe. It looks awesome.

But enough about that, the drool is pooling in my gob.

I am hanging out for my show tonight, Offspring. The premiere of the Bachelor is on before and the start of Offspring is delayed till 9:10. I am not right impressed about this.

Next week, I am throwing an Offspring party for the finale. I am having some ladies around, and I have commissioned the baking of a spanakopita for the event. My trainer is an expert baker. What talent!

Otherwise, things are good. The stress of last week has settled.

That is it from me.

How are you guys going?
What is your favourite icecream?

Sunday, 27 July 2014

To jog, perchance to wine.

Happy Sunday evening to you all.

I spent a lot of the weekend talking myself down from Friday. In retrospect, the tasks (work and non-work) of the last month or so have built up a bit of stress; it's been creeping up on me. I've made a very active effort to de-stress, be mindful, ie stop building up situations in my head that are in all likelihood not going to happen.

A large proportion of what we worry about never actually eventuates, am I right? And if it does eventuate, we deal with it often a lot better than we imagine we will. Or at least, we get through it.

To this end, I did my usual Saturday morning boot camp with my group and trainer. A good bit of sweat builds up a good bit of happy.

The fella then decided we would go for a traipse around the new hood in the drizzle. I put some glad rags on, and we lunched.

Dinner was at a Greek restaurant. If you don't walk out of there without rubbing your inflated belly and murmuring "foooood baby", you aren't doing it right. We did it right.

Today we took the dog for a walk out to a cafe. She is quite difficult to walk on the lead as she pulls and gets overwrought at the sight and smell of other dogs, and has slipped out of her lead and chased cats before. The fella was very stressed out, and I had to be firm and calm with them both.

I had a hipster breakfast. GF bread, avocado, fetta, seeds and asparagus. Was healthy and yum. There was a lemon slice there and did I eat that too? You had better believe it!

We have been doing, to quote Faux Fuchsia, some hard core decluttering.

I went for a jog. Now I can have wine.
Cheers to what will hopefully be a successful week.

Ooooh, speaking of glad rags, I won a dress, which I took possession of this week. It is made by Ann at AudreyLane, and the competition was at the blog of the delightful iCurvy (who I believe is very soon to give birth.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Non-traditional debriefing.

Happy Friday, Peeps!

My fella is blowing off a weeks worth of cares, in the traditional way, at the Pub, with beer and chips.

I have taken inspiration from Nikki and am giving the 5:2 way a decent crack. I decided yesterday. So today, I fast. Usually I want to do it on a non-Friday/Saturday/Sunday, but I thought that I would start today. I got on the scales the other day and thought hmmm.... that new mirror that makes me look taller and thinner is a dirty lying bastard.

Unfortunately, some work-related nastiness occurred today.

The week has been plagued work related self-doubt, irritation and frankly a bit of resentment. It's just sucking the life out of me a bit at the moment. I am sure many of you can relate to this. It's been quite full, these last few weeks.

Such a week with this ending would usually culminate in quite a few drinks. And deep fried morsels. In fact, I was invited to the pub by my fella for these very things. My response to the invitation was "Nup. I am fasting".

The fasting has forced me to be mindful. My default response to stress is to eat or drink. I've made inroads into this, but old habits die hard.

The thing is, you still have to go through the stress, the anger, the frustration. Nothing will stop that.

I had to consciously plan a nice evening.
I was very grateful for the chance to debrief with my fella.
I am consciously trying not to think about stressful events, as they are done now.

After a hectic morning, I went to have an ultrasound. See, I went to do the pre-pregnancy obstetrician visit, like all the other nice uptight professional women. She just wanted to make sure that all the bits of the oven were in good structural order.

There was a long wait, apparently the fetuses were not behaving themselves (!?). I saw the preggy ladies, and was a bit.... I don't know...envious?

Also, my colleague bought in her little bubba to work today. Those chubby wubby cheeks! Hearing the baby squeal and gurgle and even do hungry moans from my consulting room - that was the highlight of my day.

I am ready for a change, I think. I have no illusions that my child(ren) won't severely try my patience, but the joys of it will far outweigh them, and I am just finding work a bit joyless at the moment.

Re: the intermittent fasting, I am not actually a great deal hungrier than I get on a usual day. I feel a bit more alert. It was not too bad. And apparently it gets better.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

New House. The art of making do.

So we moved into the new house on Tuesday.

We have a kitchen unpacked and meal-cookery-capable, a habitable bedroom with a new bed, and most of our clothes unpacked. We are no longer tripping over boxes (much).

We are really enjoying the new place. The proximity to the pool (where I had a swim just a few hours ago). The house has a nice feel to it - it is very much a home. We know the history of it, and we have added our own touch to it already. It is also warm, courtesy of the ducted heating!

And check out this light fitting in the lounge. They are not made like this anymore.

Thankfully we have a shed, because inside the house we are a bit short on storage space.

And think! Last generation, this house was home to 5 or 6 people! We are two! Why is it that we have so much stuff? We probably only use a third of it regularly.

With this in mind, this morning we made our trips to Bunnings and Ikea.

What would a trip to Bunnings be without one of these?

Food of the Gods, I tell you. It matters not how recently the last meal was eaten, this never fails to stir up the appetite.

We got some little bits and bobs - brackets to put the spare bed together, little claspy things to put the telly cables over the doorway rather than on the floor, a new dunny roll spool, and a new shower head.

We then made the long journey to Ikea. It is easy to go berserk there. But we were jumping the gun a little; we had not done a lot of the measuring required to fit the genius storage solutions sold there.
We came out with only a few little things - a new dish drying rack and a rug to stop the pale carpet from getting too dirty.

We will live in the place and see how we get along before we spend any substantial amount of cash or start putting holes in walls. To see what we need, but, perhaps more importantly, what we can do without (or what we can sell at a garage sale).


I've been trying to get my head around the MH17 disaster. Perhaps appropriately, I can't.

I dread hearing the news now. How the insurgents won't allow the proper investigations to be undertaken. The mortal coils of the deceased not given due dignity.

I've dealt with quite a lot of death in my time. It is hard for everyone, but it is usually at the end of a long illness.

It's quite another thing to see photos of people who, up until 48 hours ago, were living full and vital lives - even the littlies.

And those who are left - their friends and loved ones. My heart breaks for them.

This, the losses in Gaza, Allison Baden-Clay. Other atrocities.

It's easy to switch off the news, not becasue I want to be ignorant, but because I fear I will be desensitised.

I hope that we, collectively (but particularly the powers that be) can continue make decisions based on compassion, doing good and being our best, rather than out of fear or hatred. 

I hope that this disaster in Ukraine does not escalate into a broader conflict.

But more simply - I hope you all had a good weekend, and focussed on the small joys. I did.

Friday, 18 July 2014


There is a lot of talk about the senseless loss of life. In the Ukraine. In Gaza. In our own cities.

I really don't know what to say about it all, but the lyrics of John Lennon say it best. Written 43 years ago, it has never been more relevant.

I will leave you with these lyrics.

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

May you all have a blessed weekend. Hugs to you all.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Nearly there...

I don't really like the word "busy" - for me, it has too many negative connotations. I feel uncomfortable at the word "busy. It's used too often to shirk quality interpersonal time, or as a badge of superiority.

Having more things to do than usual - that's a bit more descriptive. I feel lucky to have lots to do. The time goes too fast though. I try, however, to smell the roses. Value-add to the day, add some pleasantness to the rat race. A good coffee in the scarce sunshine. Lunch between appointments at a place I've never before visited.

The fella and I are in the throes of moving. Always loads of things to do. It can get a bit stressful. Everyone has to take in their stride at least one thing going wrong (for us, it was a hired professional cleaner doing a crappy job and charging a premium).

I've also had a crook back - not so good a time to have one, with all the bending and lifting required. I am thankful to my trainer that my arms, legs and core are strong; I can squat right down, handle a big box, and stand up without bending. Ability to squat deeply and strongly is super important. I recommend you practice, if you don't already.

But I digress.

My dear friends M and R helped us do some of the initial moving today, as R has a big van. We got quite a lot across to the new house. M and R also got to see our new digs for the first time. They loved the new digs, and their enthusiasm helped us to remember to be excited!

I've already done some important things. Dusted the skirting boards (the Fella gets uptight about such things, I don't notice them). I've unpacked some kitchen utensils, laying out a very logical kitchen arrangement. It would appear that the little lady that owned the house had a bit of a souvenir teaspoon collection; it was left in one of the drawers. Every time I see that sort of thing, I am reminded of my nanna. The box had "Spoons" written on it, in copperplate handwriting. Bless.

The fella and I put our new bed together. It only took us about 25 minutes, and the fella only cussed a few times, and there were no cross words between us. 

The neighbours' cat, whose name I later discovered is Lebowski, paid us a visit while we were unpacking. It just waltzed on in like it owned the joint. I suspect it got feeds and pats from the previous owner.

I do not think Bella will take kindly to Lebowski invading her territory.

Poor little Bella has been a bit confused. She does not know what is going on. Having visited the new digs, we think she will like them - she rolled about on the carpet to make it smell nice, and did some happy laps in her new backyard.

So the actual moving day is on Tuesday. Tomorrow, I have to work. A manic couple of days, followed by what I suspect will be a protracted period of unpacking, trips to Ikea and Bunnings, and imagining renovations.

How was your weekend?

Saturday, 5 July 2014

On soup, solitude and opportunity.

Sunday. Wide, wide open. Open to waking up slowly. Taking your time. Having a think.

'Cept I can't do too much of that, as we are moving house in 9 days. 9 days!

I have been up and about and out for a walk in the 'hood, saying goodbye, in a way. Had me a cute little coffee in a cute little cup. Strolled through Piedimonte's supermarket. Checked out some new lines (Maggie Beer Soup? I think I shall). Wandered back and took in all the stately architecture, the people, the bikes, the plants and the dogs. In amongst all the packing, I feel like I have to visit my favourite places of the neighbourhood. Pay my respects.

Today, a run. Then packing. It's a daunting task. Also, a time when one doesn't want to make too much mess in the kitchen, or fill the fridge up with too many perishables. Hence the posh prepacked soups are convenient (but also healthy and nourishing) way to go. I look forward to eating them, in a way that I don't look forward to humbler canned soups. I look forward to getting creative with the Thermomix in the new house. But now, economy of time is important.

The fella was off to work early today. I am alone. There was a time in my life, not so long ago, that I could not stand to be alone. Now I enjoy some solitude. Of course, I have the dog silently watching, and I can talk to her if I feel the need to speak. These alone times will become scarce, with any luck! I am mindful of them, and cherish them.

I especially enjoy these oases of quiet when things get busy. In addition to the packing, the last gasps of grunt work with the PhD, and starting some private work, I have been offered some more public work. As the PhD winds down, I had given some thought to how to gainfully fill the working week, without compromising the PhD completion. A senior colleague (and friend) somebody asked me to cover some maternity leave. My initial thought was no (for a number of reasons), but this colleague persisted and offered me something I could not refuse. And I thought "you fool, don't knock it back, the jobs market is tight, carpe diem etc etc". So here I am. It's great when things fall at your feet; sometimes they are not exactly right in terms of timing or form, but important to see the opportunity in them regardless.

Anywho that is enough navel-gazing from me. I look forward to moving into my new neighbourhood. Some of the ladies from my exercise group will be living right near me. There are nice new cafes and nooks and crannies to discover.

What are you up to? Today? This week?
Any new things you want to tell me about?