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Friday, 31 January 2014

And . . . relax

I wanted to share a small story that made me chuckle.

You may know, from previous blogs, that we in Scobi towers have a rather unhealthy love of Reality Shows, the crack cocaine of modern televisual delights.  Our latest iteration, presumably as a taster for the upcoming Winter Olympics, is Jump.  Jump is a show where six men and six women of varying levels of fame - from Anthea Turner, (who surely has a full-house on reality attendance awards) to some guy who is a designer - compete at various winter sports, such as giant slalom, luge and bobsleigh.  The slowest two each night then have to compete to stay in the competition by doing a ski jump, on what has become known as the three bears, with baby bear being the 15m run, mummy bear the 24m run, and daddy bear of unknown length, because no-one has tried it yet.

The show is hosted by Davina McCall and Alex Brooker.  The first I am assuming is someone of which you have heard, the second perhaps not.  He was part of the Paralympics presentation team, and also on The Last Leg, with Adam Hills and Josh Widdicombe.  We find him a very amusing presenter, genuine and funny; perhaps not as polished as Davina, but all the better for it.

Anyhow, on one part of the show, the winner each day gets to share a shot of Schnapps with Alex.  On the evening in question, the winner was Kimberly Wyatt, a former Pussycat Doll*.  The humour around this section is that Alex feels a bit of a fraud getting the shot with a winner, they having done some kind of miraculous thing, he just presenting.  On this night, he picked up his shot and proclaimed "how lucky am I, drinking Schnapps with a pussy girl . . . er, no, sorry, I mean a Pusscat doll".  Oh how we laughed.

We have a fairly quiet weekend.  Clubs, stuff, and we are out at a fiftieth birthday this evening.  Sunday has not been planned yet, but it will be just what is needed.

Hope you have a good weekend, and speak next week.

* A popular pop combo girl group from the early noughties

Thursday, 23 January 2014


I have to admit, that from 1 January 2014, it would have done me good to be on an effective diet, to help me to lose the weight gained since about the Summer Holiday.

Good schmood, of course, coz that is easier to write than it is to do.

Consequently, the old* weight has not done much in the way of shifting.

I had a long, hard talk with myself, and have redoubled my efforts, and by way of a kick-start only, coz there is no way I could continue forever like this, I am trying the new, and very fashionable, Five-and-Two Diet, where you eat normal, healthyish for 5 days, then on 2 days you eat very low calories, down around 600 for a male.

To be honest, I am behind the curve on the science, but Uncle Google informs me that:

The science behind its theory is compelling - even if it’s been subjected to extremely little clinical testing. The diet’s potential lies in the affect it has on our genes. Regular, intermittent fasting activates a gene called SIRT1. Often referred to as ‘The Skinny Gene’, it is involved in the repair and maintenance of cells to promote survival during times of dietary scarcity. Conveniently, SIRT1 also inhibits fat storage and is thought to deliver anti-ageing benefits. Not a bad package - especially when combined with the DAF 16 (or ‘Sweet 16’) gene, which has been shown to switch on during fasting tests on animals, keeping them younger for longer.
I have not read it anywhere, so therefore it is unlikely to be true, but I also ponder the thought that usually, if you just stop eating, your body says "uh oh, better hold on to the fat coz we don't know when this sucker is gonna eat again", so maybe stopping then starting ensures your body never enters defence-mode on fat retention.

There is also more woo-woo science** around how fasting can give your body a rest or something, but that is nothing I would want to utter in public.

Anyhow, this is only the first week, and I have probably taken my "2" as two-thirds over three days, but on those days I have been pretty good.  It is therefore no great surprise that I feel a bit less bumpy in the gut region.  Friday is weigh-day, so I can confirm then whether it has actually had any effect on the weight as well.

What is nice is that I am in the zone now, wanting to put good things in to my body.  What I don't need is a Saturday night with friends probably having a takeaway.  That, is appears, is what we have planned for this Saturday.  Doh!

I will let you know how it all goes.

* Old is used advisedly since we do feel like long and old friends
** therefore not science at all

Monday, 20 January 2014

And . . . relaxed

So relaxed I forgot to blog.

Life is good, though I am pretty tired at the moment, and while my drive back to fitness (fitness being a journey not a destination with me) is going OK - my knee is holding up well - I am rather finding the idea of eating less calories to be easier to define than it is to implement.  There just seems to be too many of those nasty little temptations.

Have a good week, and speak soon.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Good service

If you want to know what good service looks like, then go no further than Keuco.

We have a bathroom cabinet from them, a pretty good quality one that we bought from a bathroom shop about nine years ago, a shop which has recently gone out of business.  It includes 2 lights with a pull switch on the underside, and the switch had broken.

I wrote to Keuco just to see if they could advise where I could get a replacement switch, having taken it apart to identify the problem.  I was expecting perhaps a supplier or part number of something that would enable me to track down the part.  What I got was an offer from them to provide the whole switch part at no cost.

It arrived today, and has been fitted and successfully tested.

What fantastic service.

Friday, 10 January 2014

And . . . relax

The first full week under the belt* and things are starting to feel like normal now.  I am still not totally convinced this working thing is for me, but I am keeping that to myself as I re-double my efforts to make this the "year of the career".  Having been driven in to last place by Brad, I really need to pull something out the hat lest I become the lonely old career spinster with the cat and the shopping trolley.

I bumped in to an old colleague from the <<Public Sector account name removed>> days, and we spent a very convivial lunch together catching up on the last 4 years, and talking about our plans for the future.  Interestingly, for us at least, our thinking has all been going in similar directions, so I have made a mental note to keep in touch with him lest he find the illusive "next thing" that has so far eluded me.

What I am clear on is that I need to be more decisive, in as much as I need to make a bl00dy decision, and I need to stop prevaricating and wafting round telling everyone that I want a change.  I need to make a change happen, and my plan, still in its infancy, is to cast my net wider, but at the same time have more focus on what it is that I am looking for, since a vague "I think I am maybe looking for something" is not cutting any ice, mustard or, frankly, getting me anywhere useful.

Having given myself that stiff talking to, I plan to take it easy this weekend.  Perhaps a bit of DIY and general house-shaped stuff, and the Maggots have their various sporting activities Saturday morning, but other than that, nothing very specific planned.

Have a great weekend, and speak again next week.

* which must be the explanation for the tightness of the trouser

Monday, 6 January 2014


Just need to share a slightly amusing tale.

Maggot 2 and I went to a local Co-Op (seems to be lots of these mini-marts opening up round our way at the moment) to get some cash and a paper.  As I was approaching the door, I noticed an elderly woman in a mobility scooter.  She had parked against the front wall, nose in, and when I saw here she had returned to her mobility scooter to go home.

At the point I joined her story, she was preparing to reverse out of the space so she could head home.  She was obviously a nervous driver since she took several looks behind her, over both shoulders, to check all was clear, before fiddling with her controls and then, after another couple of checks behind, she pressed the go button, only to go straight forward in to the wall.  Luckily it was a low-speed accident that required no intervention, so I was able to chuckle to myself guilt free.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

And . . . relaxed

What with the holidays and all, time really has become an abstract concept, and so here I am on Sunday doing my end of week write up.

First two days at work were fine.  Slowish, but fine.  I know that this coming week will be nearly up to full speed, with a rare visit to the capital on Wednesday, when I will have to try and remember all those things us country folks need to stop doing, such as mumbling to ourselves, saying hello to strangers and eating raw meat with our hands*.

We have put away the Christmas decorations for another year, and in doing so we have also given our loft a much-needed tidy up, since it was messy and disorganised, just like everyone else's loft.  After a couple of hours it looked half decent, with us having cleared out a bunch of rubbish, tidying up the rest and ear-marking several items for eBay*.  There is something cathartic about a clear out, probably some Feng Shui thing.

Today, with Maggot 1 away at a birthday sleepover, the rest of us will be batch-cooking (mostly LO) and probably going swimming (Maggot 2 et moi).

Enjoy the last of your weekend, and gird your loins for a full week next week.

* Actually, having worked in the "square mile" for a while this bit is probably still allowed.
** In these austere times, sometimes the only disposable income a chap has.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Happy New Year

A happy New Year to you all.  I hope you had a great break over Christmas, and have not made too long a list of New Year's resolutions.  I have decided not to have any resolutions, but rather some strong thoughts, since I feel the pressure can impair one's performance in pursuit of any such resolutions. 

I am also planning not to document any of my strong thoughts this year, again to ensure that there is no unnecessary pressure on me, so that I may be free to perform at the highest level.

Well, that's this year's excuse perfectly laid down, so let's get on with the year.

I am back at work today, and that is not a good feeling.  I have decided, after much market research and the ingestion of large amounts of mince pies, that the real world can be pretty busy.  Maybe we should be chilling out a bit more.  That may well be one of my strong thoughts.

I hope you are as ready as I am for the onslaught of a new year and all that it brings.