Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sales? Meh!

Went shopping yesterday to see if there are any bargains to be had. Caame back with three pairs of tights and a dozen Christmas gift bags for next year. Needless to say, I will put them somewhere and forget where that place is when I come to need them in 12 months. Wonder if there are any yarny bargains out there.

Finished knitting this polar bear as a test knit for another raveller. The yarn and pattern aren't a great match, but he kept my hands away from the crisps for an evening or two!

Have now cast on for Nuss in a merino silk tweed aran yarn. It's hard on the hands and difficult to visualise what it will look like when finished as the yarn blooms like mad after washing.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Belated Christmas Greetings!

We have enjoyed a relaxing Christmas here. Even though J's father was with us for Christmas day, j and I still wore our pyjamas and we ate on our knees! It's what we do, after years of striving for Good Housekeepingesque Christmas perfection, and I feel much better for it.

My Christmas eating routines have felt odd. well, they would, wouldn't they? Christmas was always a period of total excess and sugar-induced sedation. I don't do that anymore, so my holiday has been different. I think I may have gained a pound or two, which feels frightening and slightly out of control and Betty-the-Bypass-Pouch feels very tight and restricted. I think I've been eating larger quantities than I would usually and it all feels a bit bruised, so I'm on fluids today. I've been thinking about the Five Day Pouch Test. Maybe now is the time to try it.

We've been trying to get out and about for a daily walk, but the snow has made that difficult some days and plain unappealing others.

We have made it down to the beach several times this week - well wrapped up, of course.

It has been so cold that the sea froze on the beach and icicles formed on the rocks.

This is as close as I have gone to work ;) It's nice to have a rest.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Knitting update

Finished test knitting a slouchy hat for another raveller:

Completed Katrina Ballerina Lace Layering Cardigan (Ravelry link).

Made some mobile phone socks for the school Christmas fundraiser:

And a River Island-esque Panda Hat for A, who wears it on the walking bus!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas night out

If look rather like I have been stuffed, it is because J took so long to get me in focus.

Just wanted a record of myself wearing a 'little black dress' that wasn't a contradiction in terms of sizing!

I'm about 150lbs down now.

Friday, December 17, 2010

An ostrich in a pear tree... two dozen turtles nand some porridge in... ...and a partridge in a pantryyyy. ... And a part of a jenna pear tree...

Well, the (how many?) days of Christmas have brought to me:

- 12 dress rehearsals
- 3 Nativity performances
- 2 infant parties
- 1 junior disco
- 1 Christmas tree service in church
- 1 evening carol service in church
- 1 daytime carol service in church
- 1 pantomime
- 1 governors' party
- 1 Christmas Fayre
- 2 days of snow closures
- 1 visit from Santa
- 1 staff night out
- and a much longed for end of term!

Here's to a good rest :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Sweet bells

Starting to warm up for Christmas by going to see Kate Rusby doing a Christmas concert at The Sage last night.

Another snowy drive up and some really precarious parking were compensated by a lovely evening (although the parking situation made us too late to get a coffee or anything to eat beforehand.)

The band were great and her voice is gorgeous. Our seats were on the front row. Really enjoyed myself singing along!

We've been listening to this in the car:

Very festive!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Hits And A Sides

Marc Almond at The Sage last night. He's doing his 30th Anniversay tour. I saw him back in the day at The Kirk (early 80's?)with Soft Cell, so it sort of feels like an anniversary for me too.

A snowy night. Drove up in a blizzard. The Sage is a lovely venue, but all seated. Enjoyed a latte beforehand, but driving, so I couldn't enjoy a glass of wine at half time :(

Marc's voice is still good; he's still a showman and I had a really good night.

This isn't my video - downloaded from YouTube.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Better late than never!

I haven't updated my blog all summer! I meant to post all our summer holiday adventures here, but decided to post that somewhere separate. (Link to come).

Anyway - what's new?

We're halfway through the Autumn term already.
We've had the first frozen windscreens first thing in the mornings. Not amused!
The Wintersmith is definitely on his way. Just ask this fellow, who has spent all week emptying J's bird feeders with his family and friends.

We don't really mind. They're so entertaining.

♥ ♥ ♥

I started knitting again. This week I finished my second version of Mr Greenjeans.

If you've read this blog before you might have noticed that I'm still shrinking. I'm very happy about it, too.

♥ ♥ ♥

One of the things I'm really enjoying eating as the weather gets colder is Slow Cooker Porridge. My version is sugar-free because that's how I eat. You could add sugar, honey or syrup.

Put 1 cup/measure of porridge oats in a pyrex bowl or jug
Add 2 cups/measures of water and 1 cup/measure of milk
Stir in some cinnamon, a teaspoon of Splenda
Add a chopped apple.

Stand the bowl in the slow cooker and add water to the slow cooker dish until it comes halfway up the sides of the pyrex bowl.
Set on low for about 6 hours. (You could set a timer so it was ready for breakfast)


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Non-scale victories

The last two weeks have been a bit sluggish on the scale-movement front. Hormones and a busy time at work resulting in not eating and drinking enough, I think.

I'm trying not to be hung up about the scale, however, and see the bigger (smaller?) picture.

Today I led a party of 120 primary school children on our summer trip. We went to The Forbidden Corner. If you're ever in our part of the world, you should try it.

Last year, I led the same trip. I stressed about the small spaces, the climbing, the speed at which the kids could move around, what I should wear - everything.

This year I wore combats and a sweatshirt and ran, squeezed and climbed along with the kids. I got soaked, pushed them in water, got pushed in too and laughed all day.

On days when the scale isn't moving as much as i would like, I have to remember that this is what I really wanted it to be about when I started out.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I've been quite upfront about my WLS with most people I know, but today a colleague of mine had a phone call from the Head of another school, concerned about me.

I gave a presentation to the Special Needs Coordinators' Forum last week and there were a number of people there who I don't see that regularly. Apparently, after the meeting some of them were quite worried that I might have a serious illness (cancer?) that had caused my rapid weight loss.

My colleague reassured caller that I was very well indeed and had been working hard at this.

I'm wondering if I should take out an ad in the council newsletter or post something on the intranet.

Nevermind. It could be worse.

♥ ♥ ♥

Rock-hard (and indeed contains various rocks such as gravel), never goes stale, and is terribly sustaining, because a traveller will try anything rather than start eating the dwarf bread in his pack.

I've been experimenting with eating various forms of bread. This weekend I tried Food Doctor Multi Seed and Cereal Pitta Bread I'm usually safer with flat bread than other types and have more trouble with white than anything else.

Betty didn't like this much.

And, to be honest, it reminds me of Dwarf Bread.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Like buses

No posts for ages then two come along at once.

I'm having a small, personal celebration today. I am 101 pounds lighter today than I was when I started this malarky back in January 2009.

Me today:

Some other woman I don't really recognise from the past:

Sand castle virtues are all swept away

A crisp, cold day and I'm wearing a hat for our walk on the beach this morning. Quite often do.

Only problem is, it's 20th June! Where is the Summer?

&hearts &hearts &hearts

Jethro Tull are playing Gypsies Green in South Shields on 17th September this year. It's part of the run up to The Great North Run.
Haven't seen them play for years so bought some tickets last night.

So, today, as a very early warm up, we're listening to this:

(Bought as a download from Amazon for £6.93)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Morning in the garden.

Well, I'm now 95 pounds down and I thought I'd post a new photo:

&hearts &hearts &hearts

These Siberian irises are lovely:

There is something rather Aubrey Beardsley about this unfurling bud:

And something decidedly Georgia O'Keefe about this:

&hearts &hearts &hearts

Good luck, England!

Saturday, June 05, 2010

We've had a week's holiday and have actually seen some sunshine for a change. We've been able to get into the garden and out for a few walks.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Bank Holiday

Late May, a Bank Holiday and finally a little sunshine.

Walked on North Gare in the early morning, watching the kite surfers.

In the afternoon, J and I optimistically cleaned and tidied the deck ready for Summer use. We chopped down a jasmine that had started to go feral and threatened to take over the whole structure. It smelledwonderful, but cut out such a lot of light. I struggle with spiders, so hated to sit under it as huge, believe me, enormous wolf spiders made it their home.

In the evening, I let myself get suckered into a girlie evening at the movies. Saw Sex and the City 2. What a load of...

Sunday, May 30, 2010

I want to knit something for me.

I'm not really complaining, but I'm not loving all the baby stuff. I'm almost snow-blind from the white hoodie I'm working on at the moment and if I do another one, I'll make it a different colour.

What I really want to do is knit something for me. I want to make this:


or this:

Que Sera

or this:

Audrey from Unst

There is no point starting something yet - my size and shape is changing too rapidly to justify investing the time and yarn. This time next year, however...

Friday, May 28, 2010

What I will be doing on my holidays:

Emergency baby knitting. I planned this as a gift for my teaching partner's new grandchild, due in 6 weeks. However, another colleague has found out she is to become a grandmother in the next two weeks - it's complicated, and I admire her coping skills. So this will have to be diverted (and knitted!) this week.

I was planning to make this for my neice, but it will have to go into the queue.

And I'm going to put this in the bin and start again. It feels like heresy, but I've had two goes at this and it isn't happening for me. I've also run out of wool with only one sleeve completed. Time to cut my loses, I think.

We survived an inspection at work this week, and did I received some very positive, encouraging personal feedback that should keep me going through the next lot of tough times. So, as half term starts today, I'm going to be putting my feet up a bit, exercising a bit knitting a bit and chilling out.

Currently listening to: The History of Fairport Convention.

Another teenage crush:


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I've lost the world's largest ball of tape

1 pound = a Guinea Pig
1.5 pounds = a dozen Krispy Kreme glazed donuts
2 pounds = a rack of baby back ribs
3 pounds = an average human brain
4 pounds = an ostrich egg
5 pounds = a Chihuahua
6 pounds = a human’s skin
7.5 pounds = an average newborn
8 pounds = a human head
10 pounds= chemical additives an American consumes each year
11 pounds = an average housecat
12 pounds = a Bald Eagle
15 pounds = 10 dozen large eggs
16 pounds = a sperm whale’s brain
20 pounds = an automobile tire
23 pounds = amount of pizza an average American eats in a year
24 pounds = a 3-gallon tub of super premium ice cream
25 pounds = an average 2 year old
30 pounds = amount of cheese an average American eats in a year
33 pounds = a cinder block
36 pounds = a mid-size microwave
40 pounds = a 5-gallon bottle of water or an average human leg
44 pounds = an elephant’s heart
50 pounds = a small bale of hay
55 pounds = a 5000 BTU air conditioner
60 pounds = an elephant’s penis (yep, weights more than his heart!)
66 pounds = fats and oils an average American eats in a year
70 pounds = an Irish Setter
77 pounds = a gold brick
80 pounds = the World’s Largest Ball of Tape
90 pounds = a newborn calf
100 pounds = a 2 month old horse
111 pounds = red meat an average American eats in a year
117 pounds = an average fashion model (and she’s 5’11”)
118 pounds = the complete Encyclopedia Britannica
120 pounds = amount of trash you throw away in a month
130 pounds = a newborn giraffe
138 pounds = potatoes an average American eats in a year
140 pounds = refined sugar an average American eats in a year
144 pounds = an average adult woman (and she’s 5’4”)
150 pounds = the complete Oxford English Dictionary
187 pounds = an average adult man
200 pounds = 2 Bloodhounds
235 pounds = Arnold Schwarzenegger
300 pounds = an average football lineman
400 pounds = a Welsh pony

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Chilly weekend

The weather is still cold and windy. Makes me want to put the heating on and curl up at home.

Ventured out only as far as the supermarket and into town for a much needed haircut this morning - it's been over eight weeks since I had it cut and I have been putting off.
This is because: a)I hate going to any hairdresser (hate staring at myself in the mirror, can't speak the same language as them and have a history of not getting the cut I want) b)My last haircut was horrendous and I've been trying to grow it a bit longer before I get the damage repaired c)I'm having a bit of an image crisis at the moment - my shape is changing, my face is changing and my clothes have had to change too.

Well, I've been now and had the back shaped. I've decided to grow it back into a bob (ish) shape.

&hearts &hearts &hearts

I've beeln experimenting a bit with my diet now that I can eat solid foods. Betty (Betty-the-bypass-pouch) still doesn't like crispy, crunchy foods, but will tolerate a poached egg, toasted WW bread, chicken breast, vegetables, rice in small quantities and salad.

Today I have roasted a pan of veggies with garlic, chilli and olive oil. They smell delicious. I've also tried crustless quiche made from eggs and cottage cheese with a bit of crispy bacon. Might be a good thing for my lunch boxes in order to get some variety from wafer-thin wiltshire cured ham with cottage cheese or chicken breast slivers with green salad.

&hearts &hearts &hearts

I ventured out earlier this morning, when it was brighter, but still cool. The tulips are taking a bit of a battering:

&hearts &hearts &hearts

These are all over the garden. We have been picking them up since we were children:

We always called them Devils' Toenails, for obvious reasons, but they are actually fossilised Gryphaea oysters from the Jurassic period.
Amazing what we take for granted, isn't it?

Friday, May 07, 2010

What happened to Spring?

This week has been freezing! I think we even had a ground frost overnight one day. I suppose I should heed the old adage: Ne're cast a clout 'til May be out! I'm still wearing a vest for work :)

The Spring flowers are trying valiantly:

We got hundreds of new tulip bulbs at Gateshead Flower Show last year and they are coming up really well. I'll try to catch some better pictures over the weekend if the light is better and the wind drops a bit!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Slightly off colour

Haven't been too well this week. Yesterday my colleague asked me if I was ok. I had to say 'Not, really.' She smiled and said, 'Thank $%*& for that - you look like death, but I didn't like to say!' That cheered me up.

There's a tendancy to blame every little ill on the surgery at this stage. I'm 5 weeks out so every gastro-intestinal thing must be surgery-related, right? I took today off, sick, and when I rang work to see if everything was ok, there are lots of us ill, all with similar symptoms. I've said it before, but it's a penalty of working in the bacteria soup that is a primary school.

So, taking it easy on the food and drinking more today.

I'm doing well, generally. Managing to tolerate a wider range of food and nearly died in ecstasy when I managed a poached egg on a slice of toasted Weight Watchers malted danish bread Took ages to eat, though...

Struggling with my clothes a bit now. I have shrunk below a lavel where I can wear any of my old suits, and I refuse to spend lots of money on what I think of as interim clothes. So, I'm going to work in wide-legged linen trousers and tops from Asda. I like it, but it's a bit of a departure for me for work. They'll get over it, I guess!

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Progress pictures

This is the bit that makes me feel really uncomfortable:

Picture 1 is summer 2007 - probably my heaviest ever.
Picture 2 is front view at start of pre-op diet.
Picture 3 is front view 1 month post op.
Picture 4 is side view at start of pre-op diet.
Picture 5 is side view 1 month post op.

I'm trying to remember to take monthly comparison pictures, wearing the same clothes.

Must do something with my hair!

&hearts &hearts &hearts

It's a 3 day weekend!
I'm trying to get my work (school prep and marking, plus some studying I am doing for the Masters degree that seemed like a good idea a little while ago...)over with today so that I have a day free to knit, walk (well wrapped-up - it's down to 8 degrees again here)and catch up with Grey's Anatomy on Sky+)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Towards the end of a rather tiring week.

Matching socks and phone cosy... it's all a bit sad really.

Still, it keeps my handbag stuff from scratching the screen of my nice, new, but-not-an-i phone.

A rather trying week at work. Nevermind. The garden is nice and we have a 3 day weekend approaching.

j is in London and it feels so odd without him around. What am I going to do in October when he goes away to university? How do people cope?