Thursday, 30 May 2013

dietdevil: Road trips, quizzes and drinks with my name on......

dietdevil: Road trips, quizzes and drinks with my name on......: So I haven't blogged for a couple of days - I have been swamped mentally but feel ready to put finger to key again and get tapping. My ...

Road trips, quizzes and drinks with my name on....

So I haven't blogged for a couple of days - I have been swamped mentally but feel ready to put finger to key again and get tapping. My ten Moldovans have scarpered and I'm not sure that this blog will win them back. There will be nothing vaguely Moldovan about it, but I may have to throw in  something to keep my new reader from the United Arab Emirates.
So far this week I have done the following -
My first quiz at the lovely camp site bar just outside of St Ives.
My daughters both work there in the summer and the people that run it needed someone to write the weekly quiz so I thought 'why not?' It was packed, the holidaymakers were all very nice, there were a few locals ( including a team of ladies from book group ) and a good time seemed to be had by all. I couldn't believe how many prople were there on Tuesday and it's only going to get busier. I managed to avoid being heckled, only one sour puss had a moan and by the time I got back my voice was hoarse from all the talking. Roll on next week for more of the same......
Oh, and my book group ladies won! I did not give them the answers beforehand so any suggestions of cheating is just downright wrong.
Road trip with Leanne
I had things to do in Plymouth. I was stressed and weepy ( as ever ) and I asked my friend Leanne to take me as she has a calm and placid disposition. Two of her kids came along and while I did my 'bits' she took them to the aquarium. We had a laugh. We talked about life, death and the universe, we quoted lines from 'Friends' and I am not sure which one of us was Geena Davies and which one was Susan Sarandon and we didn't meet Brad Pitt but it was a good old Thelma and Louise road trip. We also didn't drive off a canyon at the end, obviously.
Drinks with my name on
I know it's not good for you, but I do like a nice icy diet coke. Since Coca-Cola have started making them with people's names on I have hunted high and low ( a bit like A-Ha) to find one with at the very least an 'Elizabeth'..............and BINGO today I found it!
I drank rather a lot of voddie last night with friends so will not be adding anything to this as , although I am not feeling hungover, my liver definitely needs a rest.
My non-diet update!
I am skipping fat club for the second week on the trot. I have not eaten any chocolate ( apart from last night and that was only a bit ) , I have not eaten tons of bread, I have not been especially hungry, I have eaten fruit and I haven't laced everything in lard so it's all good so far. I would love to jump on my faithful scales but they are not here so I can't really obsess about if I have or have not dropped a few pounds but I am feeling ok so that's a good sign.
Getting a bit overwhelmed for the weeks ahead.
It's funny when you seem to do nothing for months and then everything happens at once isn't it? I do not have a calendar as I have a fairly sharp brain and I am glad I do not have a calendar as there would be many writings and crossings out and more writings in different coloured pens on it and that would make me think 'oh shit'. The first 3 weeks of June are busy busy busy, but I appear to thrive on stress so I shall just get on with all my plans as usual.
I definitely need more of it.
I am still trying to do one a day but sometimes life gets in the way.

Monday, 27 May 2013

dietdevil: Stress and Depression? Kiss my arse!

dietdevil: Stress and Depression? Kiss my arse!: So I have applied cream to my burnt bits and have sat indoors all day. Probably because it hasn't stopped raining. The most exciting th...

Stress and Depression? Kiss my arse!

So I have applied cream to my burnt bits and have sat indoors all day. Probably because it hasn't stopped raining. The most exciting this that has happened today is that there was a fire at the Tate Gallery and I have counted lots and lots of umbrellas going past my window.How the hell can 2 days be so different.
And speaking of different, I'm not just referring to the weather .
My mood!
I am stressed, I hardly slept a wink last night and due to the bags under my already baggy eyes, I am also depressed . Not just a bit down in the dumps, but really low. I have a lot to contend with at the moment and as soon as one problem is solved then another one seems to appear right before me. I feel like an overflowing pot today and I don't like it.
To those that know me very well - they know when to give me a wide berth, a hug or a kick up the bum.....thank you, you know who you are x
To those that think  they know me very well - you really probably don't.
And to those that think I am just a 'good laugh' ? Well your illusions would have been well and truly shattered today. I have been a blubbering wreck and I'm not ashamed to admit it.
I have a busy few weeks ahead and all sorts of nasty things to tackle, thankfully there are a couple of nice things too just to balance it out. So it's not all bad. Not quite.
And to use a few cliches - tomorrow is another day, the only way is up, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger etc etc.
I'll write about the dogs and my non diet and the weather tomorrow.
Or maybe not.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

dietdevil: Sunny Sundays and some clank.............but no do...

dietdevil: Sunny Sundays and some clank.............but no do...: So today is hot! When the sun shines there is no greater place to be than St Ives Cornwall. It's cracking, lush and just perfect. It is...

Sunny Sundays and some clank.............but no dolphins.

So today is hot! When the sun shines there is no greater place to be than St Ives Cornwall. It's cracking, lush and just perfect. It is especially all of those if you have a spare couple of hours and you want to indulge in some afternoon banter.
I did this today and I am glad that I did this.
Sundays are a strange day for me as they are technically my day off but there is always work still to be done. Realistically I am usually drained after the goings on of the weekend so I never do very much but today the weather was too nice to do nothing. I had planned to so a social experiment interractive type blog today ( get me! ) but as soon as my friend Debbie mentioned a spot of dolphin watching from the roof of The Pednolva Hotel I thought ''sod the blog, I'm out of here''.
It was bleddy lovely there and it was great to see so many local people too, taking advantage of a bit of 'me' time.
This was the view from our prime rooftop balcony table.
And this was the view when I looked back at the table
And very nice it was too.
We saw no dolphins but we were too busy talking to look properly, my social experiment interractive blog will have to wait for another time and I have gone a bit orange it has to be said.
Happy Whitsun everyone - cheers!


Saturday, 25 May 2013

dietdevil: Big Cars + Narrow Roads = Tourist Rage

dietdevil: Big Cars + Narrow Roads = Tourist Rage: So they're on their way. When I say 'they' I am referring to the hundreds and hundreds of tourists flocking to the town. There ...

Big Cars + Narrow Roads = Tourist Rage

So they're on their way. When I say 'they' I am referring to the hundreds and hundreds of tourists flocking to the town. There has been an accident on the M5 so they will all arrive tired and grumpy and tensions will be high. As high as the wine that will be in my glass in about 3 hours.
Most of the tourists that come here are nice, but some of them need a slap.
This is my thoughts on it all.
Family hoo ha's
Mum and Dad are normally out at work and are  then forced to sit in a car with hyperactive kids and possible derranged in law squeezed in the back too. It's a bit like Christmas, where we all put such huge expectations on a holiday thinking that everything will be hunky dory just because you are away from home.
Any family has its' squabbles - so why should that be any different just because you're in a different location?
This is a favourite moan of mine and was infact the subject of one of my poems, 'The perils of the trolley'. You do not need an entire family to stand around gawping at the baked beans in an already small supermarket. There is also the Asda curse. No, we do not have an Asda on the harbour front love, no we do not have a gigantic shopping centre either, do you really need a multi pack of 36 bags of crisps for the first night of your holiday, and yes, it is expensive down here and yes, the shops probably do put their prices up, but think what we have to put up with 52 weeks of the year before you curl your lip at our pathetic selection of frozen potato products please.
Our roads are small and windy and there are no motorways in Cornwall. In the brochures it actually describes St Ives as being quaint and having 'old fashioned narrow cobbled roads'. This will probably make it really difficult for you to manoevre your massive Chelsea tractor around some of them but there is no need to beep your horn or swear or shake your fist as all this will do is make the other person angry, will offend a local and will only add to the already bubbling pressure cooker of family emotions as mentioned in the 'family hoo ha' section.
You are in Cornwall and it is in the same country but they may not know exactly what you are on about when you go in a chippy and ask for a 'pea mix' or demand of the local retail outlet why they dont have bread like 'what they do in Manchester'. There is a a Macdonalds at Hayle and all of the restaurants are very nice but you wont be able to buy a meal for the family for £20 like what they do in Benidorm. Get over it.
In St Ives we have pavements and in all fairness these are probably the best places to walk when you're in town. Cars generally go on the roads and by shouting loudly that it should all be pedestrianised is not going to make it happen. Walking in the middle of the road and glaring when you have to move for a car will do you no favours either, and by pushing your helpless child into the middle of the road in front of a car is just plain downright irresponsible.
We like it when it's sunny too and it's not our fault if it isn't.
Try and keep it down please. I live near several pubs and am a light sleeper and I do not wish to hear you singing or arguing in the early hours of the morning. My friend Debbie that lives near me heard a brilliant exchange one night ( she lives in town too ) along the lines of
''For fack's sake Tarquin, you were the one that facked up the ISA''.
I haven't heard anything this good but I do believe that some of them think nobody else lives in St Ives apart from those that are on holiday.
I've got a lot of my chest now and am feeling calmer. I just know that I will get some phone calls tonight from lost or starnded or just stupid guests but after a hearty swig of merlot it will all be good.
And on that note - have a jolly holly everyone!

Friday, 24 May 2013

dietdevil: Let's swap the suntan lotion for a nice warm jumpe...

dietdevil: Let's swap the suntan lotion for a nice warm jumpe...: So it's another bank holiday and it's Whitsun and there are hoards of people chugging down the A30 as I write and it is bleddy free...

Let's swap the suntan lotion for a nice warm jumper.

So it's another bank holiday and it's Whitsun and there are hoards of people chugging down the A30 as I write and it is bleddy freezing down here! My freckles have retreated, my healthy orange glow from last week is now a jaundiced yellow, I am hunting for warrm socks and my hand is hovering over the 'on' switch on my central heating boiler.
I really shouldn't be surprised should I?
It's just that we have all been lulled into the promise of summer, determined by the month and sucked in by all the disposable barbecues lining the shelves of the supermarkets. I want to buy multi packs of seasoned meat, I want to dip pringles into humous, I want to slosh  pimms and chopped fruit around my big plastic pink jug and I want to risk life and limb by nibbling on a black crispy sausage that I am not 100% convinced is cooked inside.
Well barbecue my arse!
 If I, as a Northumbrian such as myself,  living in the sub tropical county of Cornwall am feeling a bit nippy, then god knows what my southern friends must be feeling.
I always get a hint of the weather by the general demeanor of the passers by in front of my window in the morning. Today it didn't look good when I saw someone with an umbrella and mac battling against the icy wind and imminent rain. I thought I would be optimistic so I took my sunglasses with me, and even wore them for half an hour. I did get a few odd looks ( more than usual anyway ) and am sure that a few people in town probably thought I had a hangover ( I didn't ) or I was really cool ( I'm not, I'm a geek ) or I had a black eye.
After 5 minutes outside the glasses were tucked in my pocket and the coat was buttoned up.
So all in all I reckon it's not going to be a sizzling scorcher of a few days. Tonight I will light my log fire, may even make a stew and my electric blanket will be switched on to number 4 before I climb into my bed.
That's what bank holidays and the summer is all about - innit?

Thursday, 23 May 2013

dietdevil: Pass me the Anadin , I'm in my mid forties.

dietdevil: Pass me the Anadin , I'm in my mid forties.: So I like alcohol.  Not all types of it, infact I only really like 4 types. 1. Red Wine 2. Vodka 3. Cider 4. Bubbles - but only r...

Pass me the Anadin , I'm in my mid forties.

So I like alcohol.
 Not all types of it, infact I only really like 4 types.
1. Red Wine
2. Vodka
3. Cider
4. Bubbles - but only really at Christmas
I also quite like the odd gin and tonic, occassionally a Pimms ( has to be drunk outside though), whisky with honey and lemon if I have a sore throat and I will force a white wine spritzer down if there is absolutley nothing else. So I'm easily pleased really.
My favourite drink is merlot - not French, but a nice one from Australia or South Africa or New Zealand. If I didn't get headaches then I would drink it all the time but I can't have any more than 2 large glasses now and function the next day.
Back in the good old days we all started drinking when we were about 14. We would drink anything that had even a splash of alcohol in it - literally anything. Cider was the easiest to swig down as it was fizzy and almost pop like and remember this was before the invention of the alcopop. Bulmers or Woodpecker were the best and would be drunk greedily before school discos and nights out.
ID wasn't an issue then either. We didn't need older brothers or sisters to do the dirty work, we would simply go in the shop and buy it and sometimes the conversation would go like this -
''are you 18?''
to which we would reply
My friend Denise would have wild parties and there would be all sorts of classy alcohol there. Babycham, Pony, Cherry B, Don Cortez, Thunderbird etc etc and it would all be thrown down our necks and would invariably come back up a few hours later.
But we survived to tell the tale and then do it again the following weekend.
At college the whole culture revolved around drinking and my favourite tipple then was a lovely icy pint of cider and blackcurrant . My bladder knew no bounds - I could drink gallons of the stuff and when I could physically drink no more then I would shove a vodka in it for that final pre kebab on the way home kick.
Getting older means that the mystery has gone a bit from it. We can drink it whenever we want and virtually all my friends have a drink every night to wind down and relax.
I like to think I now know my limits and there is a reason for this.
I am a puker.
I overindulged in the wine a few weeks ago and spent the following day projectiley vomitting every couple of hours. It wasn't nice and my oldest daughter witnessed it and laughed long and hard.  I think she may even have tried to take a couple of photos of me in full hurl to put on Istagram but she thought better of it.
Hash Tag unfit momma.
A vodka hangover I can handle though - I have got one today. I don't feel sick and I don't have a headache. My eyes are heavy and I want to sleep but I can't. I am a grown up and I need to go to work so I have to grimace and bear it.
Incidents that stand out in my memory regarding drink related illness are the following.
I was 17 and on my second date with a fella I really liked. He was a bit older than me and he took me to the pub and asked me what I wanted to drink. I said whisky and lemonade as I thought that would taste nice. After 5 he asked me back to his house to meet his parents and within 10 minutes of making their acquaintance I ran to their loo and brought all the whisky back up . One of my earrings also went in the pan with the sheer force of my lunge and the fells retrieved it for me. I knew then it was true love.
On my 21st birthday I was at Leeds Poly and someone said that to celebrate I should have 21 drinks. No worries I managed it but I don't think I was very well for a few days later. I blamed it on the dodgy curry we had at the Islamabad Curry House on Woodhouse on the way home.
It was the first Christmas in the first house I bought and as I was working Christmas day my in laws came round on Christmas Eve night with our presents. I thought brandy and ginger would me a nice festive drink so I consumed lots of it. I went from lucid to just plain loose within a matter of minutes and the following day was spent at work when all I really wanted to do was shove my head in a bucket.
My gay best friend Simon asked me to the house he shared with his ex partner for a barbecue.  It all  got silly. I played Jenga, Simon wore leather thigh boots, I fell over in their drive and smashed my head against their car and I wasn't invited back for a while.
There have been dozens more and I am not going to rattle on as it's not grown up and it's not clever and I am now a clever grown up.

I am happy to say that because of this I now know my limits .

Am out again tonight, but will be a little more moderate.


Wednesday, 22 May 2013

dietdevil: Relaxed is the new black

dietdevil: Relaxed is the new black: So when I started this blog it was meant to be about my 'diet' hence the title of it.   Shall I let you all into a secret?   ...

Relaxed is the new black

So when I started this blog it was meant to be about my 'diet' hence the title of it.
Shall I let you all into a secret?
I've had anough of being on a diet.
I have had enough of organising my life around that one day a week when I have been weighed and when I feel that I can eat chocolate as I have got another week to get rid of it, I have had enough of doing 2 lots of shopping, I have had enough of saying 'no thanks' ( maybe if I had said it a bit more then I wouldn't be writing all of this), I have had enough of being asked out to lunch and being ripped off by being given a huge bowl of lettuce with a couple of prawns in it and I have had enough of constantly stressing that I may not lose on those scales on a Thursday.
As the Abbey National??? advert used to say - Life's complicated enough - without me having to weigh out 40g of low fat cheddar for my jacket potato, without me gazing lustfully at the olive oil but using the synthetic spray oil instead and without me throwing more money into the coffers of those that play on our weaknesses.
The reason that I came to this decision last night are listed below -
1. I often don't want to eat 3 meals a day but feel that I have to.
2. I've sort of gone off chocolate
3. I can't drink as much wine as I would like to so I don't.
4. I quite like salad.
5. I can live without butter.
6. Bread is just a food - I don't need to eat lots of it.
7. I never buy crisps.
8. I can take or leave cakes.
9. I'm not stupid.
10. None of the people at fat club particularly inspire me.
So that was that really.
I am sat here at the moment and I am not hungry. If I was sticking to my 'diet' I would feel the need to eat something for the sake of it. Is this right or wrong?
We do not live on a diet of chips and fish fingers and I'm not a bad cook when I put my heart into it. I have given my scales away ( again ) to Leanne - she was overjoyed when she found them on her doorstep and her little boy was even more overjoyed with the 2 homemade choclate truffles that were placed in a sandwich bag on her door handle.
I can live without those scales. Many 'normal' people do and I'm sure somewhere in me somewhere is a slim and normal person just struggling to get out.
I like to analyse and the psychologies of slimming that get to me every time are the whole hopping on the scales in the morning and seeing I have gained a pound and then thinking oh sod it, I'll have a pasty. Or there's the whole 'well there's no point in doing it this week because I'm out for a meal on saturday' mentality or the worst one ever, the feeling of missing out and not knowing how to control moderation.
So day one today - I have planned dinner, I may have some breakfast soon, or I may not...........Oh I am throwing caution to the wind here aren't I?
Of course, this time next week I may be banging on Leanne's door demanding my scales and returning to fat club, the land of the not free, with my head hung low. My thighs may rub together and I may have grown an extra chin....but there again I may not.
We shall see.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

dietdevil: Talk about...................mmmmm pop music

dietdevil: Talk about...................mmmmm pop music: So yesterday's blog was a great success. It would appear that everyone liked my horrific hair and letters to myself over the years. I a...

Talk about...................mmmmm pop music

So yesterday's blog was a great success. It would appear that everyone liked my horrific hair and letters to myself over the years. I asked the Facebook crew again this morning...............and the winner of the best suggestion was my friend and self proclaimed 'Welsh fitty' Mark Denton from Cardiff. I liked the boyo's idea................
My friend Debbie reckons I have the musical taste of a gay man and I am forced to agree. I make no apologies for any of these songs, they are just ten I have picked from memory that will always take me back to a different time or place. And they are in no particular order of how much I like them.
1.Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep by Middle of The Road
This was apparently in the charts in 1971 so I must have been 3. Back in those days everybody listened to the radio a lot and one of my first memories was of my mother singing along to it whilst doing the housework. It was catchy and fun and I would join in too. I have just listened to it again on YouTube and I have no idea whatsoever what on earth it's about.
2. Do They Know it's Christmas? by Band Aid
I was 16 and in the first year of my 'a' levels in Alnwick. The tv news had been flooded by reports and stories of the famine crisis in Ethopia and the outspoken Irish singer Bob Geldof decided to do something about it. Every pop star that was anyone at the time was involved in the song and the video is still a nostalgic treat to watch. It reminds me of being in the pub and at parties at Christmas and the opening drums and bells takes me instantly back to those places. My friend Joanne and I particularly liked Bono's line sang in true rock god fashion -
''well tonight thank god it's them instead of you''
and would sing along to it, each of us taking it in turns to be Bono.
Stock Aitken and Waterman did a naff version in the mid 80's and there was one 20 years later in 2004 which was also very good but despite a fab rap from Dizzee Rascal halfway through, the first one is most definitely the best!
3. I Guess That's Why They Call it The Blues by Elton John
I was 15 and I had been in love for the first time. My boyfriend was 2 years older than me and we had an intense 4 month relationship and it had come to a natural end. I was gutted. I was devestated and this song summed it up for me. I sat in my bedroom at 26 Bailffgate, Alnwick and slapped the single onto my trusty record player, sliding the arm over when it dropped so it would play constantly. I cried, I dabbed my eyes and then cried some more. He was the one that had initiated we 'finish' and I think my pride was broken as much as my heart.
4. Let's Dance by David Bowie
I was a little bit young to fully appreciate David Bowie when he was in his Ziggy Stardust stage, plus, my mother thought he was a freak and would turn the radio off if he came on. He did re-emerge in 1983 ish all clean cut and absolutely gorgeous. I was smitten. The girls and I had a big night out arranged at the tennis club disco which was to be held at The White Swan Hotel. I had a cord long gypsy skirt and white frilly blouse and headband but best of all...............some red shoes - this meant when David uttered that immortal line ''put on your red shoes and dance the blues'' then I was literally too cool for school.
5. Vogue by Madonna
My gay best friend Simon is Madonna's number one fan. He insisted that we go and see her live in London 2004 at Earl's Court. Simon is not a quiet man, he is the loudest queen you could meet and a bit of a snob so we obviously had to have VIP tickets. This meant, we got a free programme and a special badge to hang round our necks and were allowed into an exclusive lounge before the show where there was unlinited alcohol and nibbles. We were bladdered before we took our almost at the front seats and there was lots of celebrities there. Her opening song was this one and I will always remember thousands of other gay raving queens practically bursting into flames and doing their vogue moves. One of the funniest nights of my life.
6. Baker Street by Gerry Rafferty
This song was originally in the charts in 1978 but for some reason was playing on the radio on October 5th 1992 at 5am when I had gone into labour with Hattie. My husband was driving up the Hayle bypass to Truro while I had convinced myself that was going to give birth there and then in the passenger seat. According to my labour manual I was 100% ready and he had to drive really fast and all that we saw on the roads was wagons delivering bread. Turns out when I got to the hospital , my cervix was about a quarter of a centimetre so I think I may have peaked too soon with my childbirth expectations.
7. Ignition by R Kelly
Martha's best friend is Billie and they have been best friends for 12 years. This song was in the charts when they were about 6 and they knew it word for word. It reminds me of driving them to school in the mornings and was always on the radio. It used to tickle me that 2 girls of 6 would like such a song when all their friends were probably listening to S Club 7.
8. Eidelweiss by Captain Von Trapp
The Sound of Music was, is and always will be one of my favourite films ever. I went to the pictures to see it with my Dad when I was about 9 and I was transfixed by it all. Alps, singing nuns, handsome captains - this film had the lot. This song , sung at the Vienna Music Festival by Captain Von Trapp made me cry as he was singing the song about his favourite Austrian flower but the nazis were waiting to take him away afterwards. He breaks down halfway through so Maria, ex nun and new wife comes on stage along with the 7 children to help him sing. My dad had fallen asleep at this point but I buried my tear soaked face into his arm next to me as I was by now hysterical.
9. Pump up the Volume by Marrs
I had finally left home and gone to Leeds Polytechnic! House music was in and acid house music was soon to happen.The Poly used to hold a disco every Wednesday and Saturday where all of us homesick kids would drink far too much, dance and then drink a bit more. We were all getting to know each other but this song brought us together on the dancefloor. I loved it then and I love it now although none of it really makes sense.
10. Always on my Mind by The Pet Shop Boys ( 12 inch version)
I am a fan of The Pet Shop Boys and I am proud of it. I know they are slightly naff but I dont care. They are also from the north east and I sort of knew the lead singer's brother many years ago. This song was also recorded by Willie Nelson and Elvis but The Pet Shop Boys one is the best. The lyrics are beautiful and so is the sentiment of it all. It takes me back to Leeds again and being at a nightclub called Confetti's where this song was played all the time. I had lovely hair, it was blonde and it was straight, I was 20 and I loved every minute of my life at that time.
I also want it played at my funeral .
I could do another ten but I wont!

Monday, 20 May 2013

dietdevil: Letters to Elizabeth,Libby, Lizzie, Mabes, Liz, et...

dietdevil: Letters to Elizabeth,Libby, Lizzie, Mabes, Liz, et...: So I feel the need to blog but I haven't done anything today that warrants writing about .  It's 5 years on Wednesday since my Da...

Letters to Elizabeth,Libby, Lizzie, Mabes, Liz, etc etc

So I feel the need to blog but I haven't done anything today that warrants writing about .
 It's 5 years on Wednesday since my Dad died and I woke up with an overwhelming sense of grief which I have found difficult to shake off. I miss him lots and this time of year is particularly difficult. I have a huge photo of him on the wall in my lounge and today, I can't even look at it.
But I want to write so I threw a comment on Facebook  asking for suggestions on a subject and the best one ( some were very silly! ) was a....'' letter to my younger self''
Dear Elizabeth,
You are only 10 - stop worrying about stuff. You've only got one year left at junior school and make the most of it. Mr Beardmore, your teacher is lovely and please ignore the fact that he goes into the store cupboard for a crafty Woodbine - he's only human. You may want to think about saying no next time your mother wants to cut your hair though. There are a couple of hairdressing salons in Alnwick and I am sure that they will do a better ob than her and the trifle bowl. Lighten up a bit - it's 1978 and you'll have a blast in the 80's.
Dear Elizabeth,
Why did you buy that 'Hint of a Tint' hair dye. Did  you not for one moment think when you locked yourself in your bathroom whilst your mother was banging on the door that people at school would call you 'Duracell - the battery with the copper coloured top'? You've had a lovely time at middle school - only 120 pupils in a beautiful gothic building but remember - the 'big' school is very different. Stop thinking that the Russians are going to blow us up - they're not, Adam and the Ants are a good band but they wont last, and you really must try not to have a crush on Sebastian Coe - he turns into a tory weirdo. Oh and enjoy your first snog.
Dear Libby,
Your fashion sense has improved and your hair has settled down - a bit. Frilly collars suit you and your arty pics taken by a friend are very nice. You may want to lay off the cider at parties and lovebites are not cool even if you think they are. Have a bit more repsect for your parents - they're not perfect but they're still your Mum and Dad and one day you may have teenage daughters and karma can bite you on the arse. Oh, and also, you are in your last year of school - revise a bit harder for those 'o' levels. Seriously.
Dear Liz,
The blonde looks good so stop messing with it - the plastic earrings don't so you may want to try distressed silver when you're older. Your 'a' levels are important if you want to go to college -  so stop messing about and buckle down. By missing one pill you will not get pregnant, Libya is not going to blow us up ( only aircraft ) and the person with you here will still be your friend in nearly 30 years time.
Dear Liz,
EAT for god's sake! You may enjoy being skinny but you will never ever be truly skinny without starving yourself. It's not worth it and when you are 45 you will spend your life trying silly diets but will secretly be happy that you have a bum and boobs! That perm is going to take years to grow out - really - years and years but your taste in earrings is nearly there. Keep going - you're going to be having babies and buying houses soon so you need a bit of meat on those bones.
Dear Lizzy,
ok, so life hasn't been a box of chocolates but you've certainly tucked into a fair few. Embrace yourself as you are here - a few rocky times ahead but you do look happy. Life has its' ups and downs and you are surrounded by funny and lovely people that like you for what you are. Oh and don't have that last glass of wine tonight - you know where it will end.
Dear Mabes,
the two young ladies either side of you will be your pride and joy but also the cause of many a hormone fuelled scrap, a sleepless night and pleny of tears. They are both half of you and you will see things in them of yourself that you like and other bits that you think, 'karma' - as mentioned above. Remember you were a teenager once so cut them a bit of slack and also bear in mind that they will be the ones looking after you when you are old and wrinkly.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

dietdevil: Royal Queens and Eurovision Queens....which do I p...

dietdevil: Royal Queens and Eurovision Queens....which do I p...: So it's been a busy weekend in St Ives Cornwall.   Firstly there was a visit from HRH Elizabeth 2nd and the whole town came to a st...

Royal Queens and Eurovision Queens....which do I prefer?

So it's been a busy weekend in St Ives Cornwall.
Firstly there was a visit from HRH Elizabeth 2nd and the whole town came to a standstill. Roads were closed, streets were swept, scaffolding was taken down and everything stopped. The harbour was lined with hundreds of people and the sun was out. The weather was infact, perfect, we couldn't have asked for better for Maj.
I'm not a fan of the royal family I'm afraid and never have been. As soon as I was old enough to formulate any sort of opinions I used to think it was wrong that some were born with such wealth and others were born with nothing. Seeing poverty and homelessness in our country on the front page of the papers next to a story about how much Diana or Fergie or Kate's dress cost is not good. That's the way I have felt for a long time and as I am 45 now I doubt very much that I am likely to change my mind.
I got sucked in.
I moaned and groaned and grumbled but yes, I did stand there in the flag waving and cheering crowds. I was rebellious and kept my hands in my pockets so I didn't wave anything by accident and I was right at the front and I didn't even see her!
 Silly me was stood at the wrong side of the road, so I only got a fleeting glimpse of Phil the Greek, who I secretly hoped would do a right royal faux pas 'slitty eyed' style out the window.....................but he didn't .
And I'm not going all soft on everyone here, but I will admit that the town certainly did have a feel good factor yesterday morning and anyone visiting here would have seen it for the beautiful place it is. I personally still think it would have been beautiful with the odd chip wrapper and scaffolding but there you go.
Now onto more important matters!
Tonight is Eurovision!
I bloody love it!
I am a Euro geek and have been since I first watched it in 1976 when The Brotherhood of Man won it for the UK . With their matching flared trouser suits, their cheeky little dance routine and horrendously cheesy song about a little girl waiting for her Daddy to come in from work to kiss her goodnight -
I know it's not high brow and I know it's not even vaguely intellectual and I know that since Russia and Yugoslavia and Czechoslavakia became about 53 different 'countries' that we have 'nil' chance of winning ..............but I still can't stop myself from watching it.
Every year on a Saturday night towards the end of May at around 11pm I will huffily rant
''that's it! I'm never watching it ever again''
But of course I do and in around 5 hours I will be saying the same thing.
This year our representative is Bonnie Tyler, the croaky voiced songstress from Wales, Famous for a huge hit in the 80's and I think, being Catherine Zeta Jones cousin or something, she recorded a song once called 'I'm holding out for a hero' .
Well Bonnie,  I am not holding out much hope for any heroes or douze points probably because  the song is naff and quite frankly so is she.
But my optimism will prevail and my hands will be out of my pockets and I will be waving the flag for the United Kingdom.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

dietdevil: Pure white trash hoes

dietdevil: Pure white trash hoes: So today my friend , fellow blogger and self taught gardening expert Leanne came down and whipped me and my overgrown front garden into to...

Pure white trash hoes

So today my friend , fellow blogger and self taught gardening expert Leanne came down and whipped me and my overgrown front garden into touch.
 I have never seen such an speedy weeder - she was on fire! Slugs, worms and other creepy crawlies didn't bother her. She just threw them into the road - regardless of who happened to be passing by.
It was great!
We gossiped, weeded, gossiped, weeded, laughed, and then weeded a bit more. I do admit that she did do a bit more weeding than me but she let me throw down the slug pellets after she had planted some lovely 'things' that she had grown from seeds.
A couple that parked their car outside said we both ''looked lovely'' and admired my lilly bush. I'm not sure that lovely is the correct word as our perfectly rounded rears were in the air most of the time and it has to be said that my chest was on fine form too. But still, it was a nice thing for them to say.
There was banter galore. We said we were doing it for Her Royal Majness who is coming to St Ives on Friday and people laughed at our joviality.
Nothing brings people together more than a spot of weeding in a very busy street.

We talked about the tv show Friends and our favourite episodes.
Ah, but they don't know we know they know
Joey being the janitor's dancing partner
Phoebe not being allowed to sing songs to the children
Fat Monica
hey buddy, put the mouse back in the house - this is a family place
and generally had a fabulous day.
And as we sat on my doorstep drinking builder's tea and having a cheeky ciggie, in the words of Chandler Bing -
''could we be any more white trash''?
I now have to maintain the tidy and blossoming space that she has created as I know she will walk past and yell at me if I don't.
Have to go now - and do some watering.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

dietdevil: Howling spaniels and cocky Derek.

dietdevil: Howling spaniels and cocky Derek.: So Mutley survived the night in his cage. In all fairness, he was totally off his chops last night so I think he would have slept anywhere....

Howling spaniels and cocky Derek.

So Mutley survived the night in his cage. In all fairness, he was totally off his chops last night so I think he would have slept anywhere. It was this morning when he woke up that the howling began.
It was not a good sound.
In response to the howling, Freddy decided he would howl too and then Maddie joined in by barking and then my internet crashed and I couldn't do any of the things that I intended to do as I was  technically isolated from the 21st century. It sucked. 
Isolated and in a house of howls and woofs. All I wanted to do was have a quiet coffee peace and silence. Ah well.
The wounded soldier is a bit perkier today and even managed to hobble off with one of my shoes so he is obviously on the long road to recovery.
He was back at the vets first thing and even managed a brief wag of his tail towards those that had inflicted pain  on him yesterday and he now has one of those lampshade type devices to stop him licking his stitches. I predict it will last less than an hour - and it cost a tenner!
Now on to the internet bit - it was gone, I had none, nothing, zilch.
I rang BT and they assured me it was working and I assured them that it wasn't and they asked me to turn it off and switch it back on again and I did and I said it still didn't work and they assured me that it should and I assured them that it still wasn't and I think you all get the gist! I think I preferred the sound of the howling to the sound of 'Derek' getting a wee bit cocky with me. I reckon Derek isn't his real name anyway and I know he knows that I was not happy.
It's a good job I have the patience of a saint. I'd hate to see me when I was grumpy or angry..........

Monday, 13 May 2013

dietdevil: My dog still has 4 legs but he has to sleep in a c...

dietdevil: My dog still has 4 legs but he has to sleep in a c...: So Mutley went off to the vets this morning. I wished him luck and didn't look too deeply into his big sorrowful brown eyes. I bit my t...

My dog still has 4 legs but he has to sleep in a cage!

So Mutley went off to the vets this morning. I wished him luck and didn't look too deeply into his big sorrowful brown eyes. I bit my tongue and gulped back the tears and spent the whole day dreading the news that his leg would have to go.
 Three o clock could not come soon enough for me and when 'Steve' the vet said that his operation seemed to have been successful that I finally breathed a sigh of relief.
He is on his way home now and has to be caged while he recupirates. This should be fun.
According to Wikipedia, English springer spaniels are -
 an affectionate, excitable breed
and dear Mutley is more so than most.
If I go out he shakes and whimpers when I come home, he is a big boy and likes to sit on me, he never gets tired out on his walks so I am sort of guessing that the cage is going to be a bit of a challenge.
Maddie doesn't like the boys dogs so souldn't give two hoots that one has been missing today - it's one less for her to snarl at. Freddy however, has been pining for his big brother and I think that it may be a problem keeping them apart.
He is now home and I could screech. he could not look more fed up if he tried.
And now I have to build a cage.................

Sunday, 12 May 2013

dietdevil: Seven double vodkas , no STP and a lovely view

dietdevil: Seven double vodkas , no STP and a lovely view: So last night I went out. I needed a night out badly. As well as the dog and his leg I have had lots of other 'issues' and basicall...

Seven double vodkas , no STP and a lovely view

So last night I went out. I needed a night out badly. As well as the dog and his leg I have had lots of other 'issues' and basically needed to chillax and forget about stuff for a few hours.
Luckily I was able to do this with the aid of some lovely company and lots of double vodkas. As I was sipping the first one outside The Sloop I thought 'wow' when I saw the view and decided to take this picture.
I dashed over to the wall of the harbour to do this and my friend Leanne yelled 'TOURIST' as I was doing so. She's from Bristol so she's a bit like that.................
It did make me think though, why people love coming here to St Ives on holiday as it is a beautiful place to be and there's no denying it.
Another beautiful place to be is Peppers Restaurant. I bloody love it!
My horoscope yesterday said I would flout convention, and indeed I did - not only did I not have sirloin steak with mushroom sauce ( I had meatballs instead) but I also - ahem, cough cough
Well that will be a tale to tell them at fat club on Thursday and I sincerely hope that my resistance pays off.
And on that jolly note I am going back to bed with some headache tablets....and to dream of salad.

Friday, 10 May 2013

dietdevil: Poorly boy

dietdevil: Poorly boy: So Mutley has been limping for a few days now. Since breaking his right front paw last year he has always been a bit sensitive on that side...

Poorly boy

So Mutley has been limping for a few days now. Since breaking his right front paw last year he has always been a bit sensitive on that side of his body but last night he was awful. He was shaking, he was whimpering and he was definitely not happy. We thought that he had maybe disllocated his shoulder and so took him off to the vets at lunchtime today.
It was not good news.
He has infact broken his elbow and we had 2 choices -
1. Send him to Newquay where he would stay overnight and a specialist doggy surgeon would sort him out .............for the tidy sum of £1200.
2. Wait til the senior vet gets back from his holiday at our own surgery and he would do it ( cheaper ) although it may not work and he may have to lose his leg!
This has upset me greatly.....and that is probably my biggest understatement of the year.
Anyone that knows me knows that I love my spaniels more than life itself and I can't bear to see them in pain ( or any animal really ) - so tonight I am even more glum than usual.
He is on his way home from the vets now and I am going to keep him warm and quiet over the weekend and then he can go in on Monday and fingers and paws crossed they can sort him out.
And on that jolly note, I am off to have a huge vodka.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

dietdevil: Everybody needs a Hector

dietdevil: Everybody needs a Hector: So last night  was the first Tuesday of the month and that means it was Book Group!   The book that we were discussing was this one  an...

Everybody needs a Hector

So last night  was the first Tuesday of the month and that means it was Book Group!
The book that we were discussing was this one and we all liked gob we did, especially Hector the randy farmhand with the speech impediment and his fondness for going up cock lane.  Some characters in books just jump off the page and smack you in the face and there was several in this story that did. I had already read one of this writer's other books last year and she is definitely now up there with my favourites.

Now you may recall that last week I had the dilemma of choosing the next book. I had whittled it down to - The Wasp Factory, The White Family, or The Dumb House. All three of them are quite nasty and as much as they are all good, what I really wanted was one that would provoke a discussion - a heated discussion would be even better.

I had a flash of inspiration on Monday night when I remembered a book I had  read a while ago and decided there and then that it would be 'the one'.

For those of you that are interested - it's this!

It's not a pleasant read and it is obviously based on a very famous crime that happened in this country and the aftermath of it....but I guarantee if you read it then you will question your ethics and how you feel. It's gripping stuff.

The only thing missing from it is a Hector.


Monday, 6 May 2013

dietdevil: Leaves or Sand and Sea? It's all pretty.

dietdevil: Leaves or Sand and Sea? It's all pretty.: So it's been a bit of a scorcher of a bank holiday here in St Ives and by the looks of it, almost everywhere else in the UK too. I had ...

Leaves or Sand and Sea? It's all pretty.

So it's been a bit of a scorcher of a bank holiday here in St Ives and by the looks of it, almost everywhere else in the UK too. I had to work but managed to get home and enjoy a bit of quiet time ( see yesterday's blog ) in the garden with only the cat to bother me.
Hattie is busy revising and has spent most of the day in Cardiff in the librabary. I am very impressed by her dedication and I also loved the photo she sent me of the beautiful trees in the park just next to the university building.
The view I had today was this one -
and it is of Porthmeor Beach and Clodgy in the distance. An almost deserted beach and not something we will see much of down here in a few weeks.
When you live in a town with lots of beaches like I do, then you almost take it for granted sometimes. Friends from 'up country' always presume that you're at the beach whenever it's sunny or a bank holiday but all of us that live here will know that's not quite true.
And as much as the beaches are gorgeous, I also like trees!
In Northumberland there are thousands and thousands of trees. And huge trees at that! Big , tall, old, established trees with all sorts of leaves and blossoms in the spring. In Cornwall there are also trees but smaller ones and lots of palm trees suited to the sub tropical (!) climate.
And before anyone corrects me, there are beaches in Northumberland too! Stunning beaches, but very different to the ones in the south west.
When I went with Hattie to her open day at Cardiff in April 2011 it was a warm sunny day and we sat in that very park for an hour or so. I was obviously my near hysterical self at the prospect of my eldest flying the nest but I did think at the time - at least she is going to live in a nice place, which is very important for us near hysterical mothers isn't it?
So which scene is prettier?
I suppose it depends where you live really.
The trees are always greener and the sea is always bluer.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

dietdevil: All I want is a bit of shush

dietdevil: All I want is a bit of shush: So I think I am speaking for most of us women out there when I say that there comes a point in every day when you want everyone to shut up,...

All I want is a bit of shush

So I think I am speaking for most of us women out there when I say that there comes a point in every day when you want everyone to shut up, pipe down and leave us all alone. Mine invariably arrives about 2 hours before it actually happens and today I am as crabby as a crab and just want SILENCE!
The words 'Liz' and 'Mum' are used far too much in this house for my liking and on a sunny Sunday all I really want to do is potter sround , do some cooking and read my kindle. Now  is that really too much to ask?
 Is it?
My issue is this - when I need to talk about stuff  - nobody wants to listen. I can't distract them from what they are doing but when they want to speak to me it's usually after dinner or when I am busy or when I really couldn't give a rat's arse about what they want to talk about.
Sky News for example - I check in on the news once a day so I can keep relatively up to date with what's going on around the world. Once a day is enough for me. I do not need every headline talked through, I am not interested in football in any size shape or form and I do not like being told which tv programmes on later that evening I will 'like'. I am actually going to not like them on purpose.
Here's a few more snippets about me while I'm on a roll.........
I like cooking. I don't like being told that my beef curry is a 'bit thin'. It was bloody perfect.
I talk a lot ( as those of you who know me in real life can vouch for ) but this does not mean I want to talk all the time.
If I go upstairs to be alone and read - guess what?? I want to be alone and read.
I do not like people using the kitchen and not putting things back where I left them.
I do not like going to use my fancy posh camera and finding that the batteries have been taken and put in the wii.
I get sick of being the only person that seems to put a new loo roll on the holder.
I am aware that we have 'no food' in the fridge - actually we do have lots of food, just not food that other people necessarily want to eat.
I am not totally miserable - well I am , but that's because I want to be.
Sorry everyone - will try and cheer up tomorrow.
Or maybe I wont.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

dietdevil: The hairs on the back of my neck.........

dietdevil: The hairs on the back of my neck.........: So who believes in ghosts? Hands up! I bet most of you do!  I do - I think........ and although I have never seen one as such I do firmly...

The hairs on the back of my neck.........

So who believes in ghosts? Hands up! I bet most of you do!
 I do - I think........ and although I have never seen one as such I do firmly believe in the presence of spirits and bad vibes and atmospheres etc.
Going into lots of old houses on a regular basis I often wonder about all the people that have lived there over the years and what would they think of somewhere that now claims to 'sleep 4' when years ago there would have been at least 10 of them living there. Would they like the tasteful refurbishments or would they be turning in their graves and feeling the need to come back and make an appearance to let their feelings be known?
I have had a couple of spooky encounters over the years.
1. In a house not far from where I now live I was standing in the kitchen and looking into the freezer and the door out was to my left. Something hit me on the side of the head and dropped to the floor and when I looked down it was a piece of gravel. I turned my head, almost expecting to see someone I knew standing there but there was nobody. I got my coat and bag and left promptly and have never been back there on my own.
I am friends with the owners and once , over lunch , and a couple of cheeky glasses of wine, I mentioned this incident to them. Lou, the lady owner said ''my god, I know what you mean, the kitchen gives me the creeps'' and then proceeded to tell me all about how the tv in the bedroom would often switch itself on and off throughout the night and things would be moved around.
THANK YOU LOU! I am not mad after all.
Personally speaking, I would have sold up and looked for somewhere else but Jeff her husband poo pooed our nervous chatter and laughed about it.
I didn't.
2. A few years ago I had to walk down this alleyway
and I was on my own and somebody shouted 'Liz' just behind me. There was nobody there but me and I carried on walking ( more quickly obviously ) and now every time I go down there I think about that day and who the hell it was. It's also not a very long alleway but it genuinely makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end and whenever I have to go down it I literally stand at the end and think ''deep breath head down''
It's funny what our imagination can do to us isn't it? Growing up I subjected myself to all sorts of scary films - The Omen, The Exorcist, The Entity and so on and would lie awake in bed under the blankets too scared to go to sleep and too scared to push my head out and check there wasn't a headless corpse loitering by my bed.
My kids do the same thing these days - Paranormal Activity is a truly terrifying film ( well to me it is ) and they have both watched it and all the subsequent ones and they too get so afraid that they can't sleep.
I now live in a big spooky old house and so far I haven't heard any clanking chains, ghostly howls or have found anything untoward but even if I haven't seen anything I still don't disbelieve that there are more than us flesh and blood humans out there................

Friday, 3 May 2013

dietdevil: What do we want? Juggling Midgets! When do we want...

dietdevil: What do we want? Juggling Midgets! When do we want...: So yesterday there was elections all over the country. It was all very exciting.  I voted. Twice.  As well as the county elections the...

What do we want? Juggling Midgets! When do we want them? NOW!

So yesterday there was elections all over the country. It was all very exciting.
 I voted.
 As well as the county elections there was also one for the local town council. All good stuff to cheer up an otherwise dreary Thursday the way, it wasn't dreary, it was really hot and sunny.
My friend across the road, Morag was standing for the county election and was part of a group called Community First that was standing for the town. I had a poster in my window and I tweeted them good luck and they were the only ones who knocked my door, so even if I didn't know her, then I still would have voted for her anyway.
It took me back to being a young bairn up in Northumberland and when there was any form of election it would always entail cars ( probably Cortinas) driving around the streets of Alnwick with a bloke with a megaphone yelling out the window who we should vote for and why.
We also had a lot more door knockers back in the day - my mother used to love the Conservative ones and would chase away the commie Labour ones with a flea in their very red ears.
I also remember my Dad saying he was going to put up 'a couple of posters' and my Mum , not really listening didn't realise what he had done until she went shopping the next day and our front fence was festooned with 'VOTE LABOUR' placards all along every available bit of wood. Oh how she didn't laugh.
In our country we are very quick to moan about whichever government is in power, but very few of us are prepared to do anything about it. I personally adore moaning, it's one of my hobbies, and I do quite like a bit of a political rant too, but I do always vote - even when the election is a relatively small fry one like yesterday.
I always marvel at the Americans elections and the pure pomp and ceremony of it all! Can you imagine, hoards of screaming fans and balloons and music and adulation for David Cameron? Or Nick Clegg? Or Ed Miliband? or any of them for that matter.
It's just not cricket and that's not what we 'do' here. We Brits need to keep a stiff upper lip at all times.
Personally speaking, if I were ever to stand for any form of election then I would go pure white trash all the way. There would be prancing ponies with plumes, there would be brass bands, there would be fire eaters, fireworks and of course some of these ........

nothing says more about a wannabe politician's sincerity than a juggling midget.
My spaniels would have 'vote momma' dog t shirts, I would kiss babies, I would help old ladies across the road and more than that I would be a person of the people. Honest.
And can you imagine what a great blog and subject matter for some poems that would be?
Maybe it's time to start plotting and planning..............