Saturday, August 29, 2009

Food Focus

I've been having a good long look at my eating and I've realised that, although it's 100% better than it was, I'm eating too much.

I've signed up for a month of Weight Loss Resources so that I can use the food and exercise diary. It's going to make me think about what I have eaten and be honest.

I debated this for a while.Why don't I join Slimming World or WW? I have been asked. I've tried these in the past and I'm afraid any 'diet' or 'plan' has me so focused on food that it just feeds my sick relationship with the stuff. I find myself thinking about food - free choices, green days, treats, sins, calories etc - constantly. This just makes me worse. I'm much better thinking about food as little as possible.

I'm happy with the way things are going at the moment as I'm quite relaxed about food. I'm making (for the most) low fat, healthy choices. I'm not banning any foods as that makes them, instantly, all I want to eat.

Historically, I've had lots of issues with menu plans and diet clubs. Anything where your focus on food is intensified is bad for me. I'm not good with having to think about food all the time. It makes me hungry, deprived-feeling and prone to making poor food choices because 'a mars bar is only... calories/points'.

However, I think I need to accept that some days I eat too much or the balance between food groups is poor. So, we'll see how it goes for a month.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Over the hills and faraway

Not, technically, that far really. Only 108 miles but a two hour drive in torrential rain.

Up early this morning to drive j across the Pennines to Lancaster University for their undergraduate open day.

Lancaster is his first choice for next Autumn, but the application process begins now. The entry requirements seem fairly steep. (AAA/AAB for English)However, he is undaunted and will no doubt get the grades needed. The apect he finds most attractive is the Creative Writing element of the course.

The aspect we find least attractive (even less attractive than the cost of it all) is the prospect of this drive in the winter months:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Windswept and interesting

It's 26 degrees outside and windy. Everything is dusty and dry feeling. The garden is suffering a bit and J is manning the hosepipes as I write. It's not even particularly sunny, just overcast and hot. I went shopping with j earlier and we turned the aircon off and had all the windows open so my hair looks like a walnut whip now, having been lashed around my head.

We've been doing our 'back to school' shopping. We're both smaller than we were and there are some bargains to be had if you're lucky.

There are some lovely colours around for Autumn: plums, purples, teals, mustard and that dark lime colour I love but never know how to describe. I've just googled it and, apparently, it's lime.

I'm reminded of Victoria plums. Lovely.

It's AS results day tomorrow. j has to go to his college to see if he got the necessary grades to register for his second year A2s. We've already got two open days lined up for universities he's considering. It all seems so early. I'm sure we didn't even apply until the spring of the year we went. Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Is it an age thing?

Mars bars were bigger, summers were longer and hotter, football boots weren't like slippers and you could hear the words in (some of the) songs...

I'm feeling my age.

The seasons seem completely out of kilter. When I was a girl we used to squash rowan berries under our feet with our brand new Clarks shoes on our way to school in September. Now the rowan berries start to appear in July. The farmers have already harvested the hay and all the golden fields are full of round haystacks. Some fields have been reploughed.

The elderberries are starting to ripen to a dark purpley black and J and I are thinking of going brambling tomorrow.

All of this belongs to Autumn, not days when it's still 25 degrees C.

Nevermind. I'll embrace the changes and enjoy the sunshine.

We went to Danby Show today. It's a hit and miss affair - sometimes glorious sunshine and sometimes flooded out. Today was sunny with just a hint of bogginess in the car park.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Well, it looks shawlish

I've been working on my first knitted lace shawl. Unfortunately, I've been mostly working on it in the evening, while half asleep and watching TV. Good job I'm not a perfectionist. Bits have been tinked and bits have been fudged but I'm happy with the finished thing.

I'm a heretic and don't usually block finished objects 'properly'. I usually just give them a quick steam or wear them unblocked. However, I thought I would try it with this. Now, I don't have a blocking board at the moment (although I am thinking of getting some of those children's jigsaw piece mats from the Early Learning Centre so, I'm using a couple of old towels as a stop gap.

Look, nupps, points and everything:

I found the nupps really challenging, but coped by using a 2.5mm sock needle to purl through 5 stitches and then transfered them back onto my working needles.

The Malabrigo sock yarn is lovely to work with and I love the semi-solid shading. I have about 25grams left from the skein.

Saturday, August 08, 2009


As an antidote to the stress that we seem to have been experiencing recently, I spent the afternoon knitting on the deck. Enjoyed the flowers, the sun, time to talk to J and finishing my Swallowtail Lace Shawl.

We've all (including the pigeons) become quite base about this chap.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Not the highest waterfall in England

apparently. I thought it was, but Cautley Spout is 9 times higher.

Drove out to Teesdale today, stopping at High Force.

We live near the mouth of the River Tees, where the beach is that features so heavily in this blog, but this is up near the source of the Tees at Cow Green.

Nice walk and the waterfall is quite impressive as a result of all the rain we've had recently.

Turner painted it in 1816, when there were two less impressive falls.

We rounded off the trip by calling in at Bowes Museum, founded by the family of the late Queen Mother who was part of the Bowes-Lyon family. To be honest, the experience was decidedly underwhelming, although the scones in the cafe were nice. The collections are not particularly well-displayed or interesting. £7 entrance, £6 for students.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Don't say anything and we'll get along just fine

J got a new car.

Haven't got rid of his old one yet so we've taken to referring to the drive as 'the forcourt'. j suggested balloons, bunting and an inflatable giant gorilla to complete the second hand car lot feel we've got going.

I drove it today. It's very big, low, powerful and black. I'm not small but I feel quite dwarfed in it. The sports seats are very low and the angle of the back window gives you just a slot to look out of. I feel a bit like Bob Falfa.

Finally made some progress on the knitting front and finished a pair of socks.

These are Aurelia, knitted in Twinkletoes sock yarn. Although the pattern doesn't show brilliantly here, they're a nice mix of cable and lace.