Monday, 30 September 2013

dietdevil: Jamie and Anthony - and all for a sausage cassero...

dietdevil: Jamie and Anthony - and all for a sausage cassero...: So today I decided to cook something. I was going to do a prawn curry but M has eaten all the prawns. I then thought about a nice chilli co...

Jamie and Anthony - and all for a sausage casserole.

So today I decided to cook something. I was going to do a prawn curry but M has eaten all the prawns. I then thought about a nice chilli con carne, but my mince has disappeared. That left me with some sausages ( low fat! ) and I thought I would make a sausage casserole. Not a Colman's packet mix, thank you very much, but a proper one with chopped up bacon, garlic and shallots, the lot!
And to make it I am using my 'Jamie Oliver' large casserole sauce pan type thingy. I am also using my Anthony Worall Thompson smaller saucepan to do some cauliflower to go with it. I have 2 giants of the catering world on my hob at this very moment.
Before I go any further though, I feel I should point out that I do not like Jamie Oliver. I have even used the word despise when referring to him. Anthony I can take or leave. His pan handles always overheat and burn me and I obviously wouldn't want to go shopping with him or leave my purse unattended with him, but he's not quite so annoying.
These are the reasons I 'dislike' Mr Oliver..... done in list form. A list only goes to prove my true feelings.
I will say first of all that I did used to like him when he first appeared on the telly. He's been around a while and I recall Hattie asking me when she was about 4 if we could 'watch the man that goes thhhh and sticks his tongue out when he speaks please Mummy'. She was a very astute child even then........
1. He tries to be all street. He isn't . He is from a middle class family but thinks by calling everybody 'bro' that he is wiv it. He is nowt but a mockney!
2. He says things like 'yeah bro, trout and dill are like best mates, man'. No Jamie, they are a fish and a herb. Fishes and herbs don't have mates.
3. He is a condescending idiot. Yes, his school meals campaign had the right sentiments blah blah blah but it makes my blood boil when he goes to working class areas and tells parents on benefits to feed their kids couscous when it's cheaper to buy junk. I am not disputing that he is right , but it's easy for him to say when he is loaded and never experienced poverty when growing up or raising his family.
4. When he was doing one of his many tv shows he took the film crew along to his wife's hospital room minutes after she had given birth. He craves publicity. He is needy.
5. His meals in minutes? I am not a bad cook but they do not take the length of time to cook that he claims. And I'm sorry , but I don't know anybody at all that would choose to go and make winter coleslaw in their garden.
I do however, like some of his recipes. I do things to my turkey at Christmas that Jamie has suggested and it always tastes delicious. I also remember a little knack he gave us all about our roast potatoes so I do that too. He is not all bad.....and I have just typed that very begrudgingly.
His pan is very good too. M made a chicken thing in it last night which I didn't taste due to the copious amounts of double cream and oil but it really did smell lush.
So fingers crossed tonight's dinner is as good...........
Tomorrow is my least favourite day of the week.
I am having a lot of fish to make up for the lack of potatoes and rice and pasta.
I am getting weighed on Wednesday morning and a loss for the fourth week on the trot would be fab.
I have measured myself and I have lost 2 inches off my waist, one off my hips and I have found an inch on my chest. This will not stop me in my quest to fit it into that special dress for Saturday. I know it's only 5 days away and I know I have lunch out and book group Cornish buffet before then but I can do it! I can have something salad like for lunch on Wednesday and I can eat the inside of a pasty and leave the pastry at book group .
What the hell has my life come to?
And yes, my hob does need wiping.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

dietdevil: The best laid plans.............but at least I hav...

dietdevil: The best laid plans.............but at least I hav...: So today I was going to do everything! Work stuff and nice stuff and I only did the former.   I was up just after 6 as I was wide awak...

The best laid plans.............but at least I have Patrick.

So today I was going to do everything! Work stuff and nice stuff and I only did the former.
I was up just after 6 as I was wide awake and wanted coffee. Lots of it. I invoiced lots of people, I paid lots of people, I swore at my bitch of a printer, I had a nice breakfast, I waited for M to come back from her friend's house so we could go off to M and S and then................
Only the sockets though......... and so began the boring but necessary task of unplugging everything to identify what was the naughty appliance or socket. This is a 5 bedroomed house and there are a lot of things to unplug. None of it made any difference and my loin of pork in the freezer started to defrost.
Good job Superman , aka, Ian the electrician came to the rescue and while he made himself busy I went to hell on earth , yes, Tescos ...............on a Sunday.
One hour later and £143 lighter I returned home. And watched my chilled falafels get warm along with all my other shopping that needed to go into the dark and quiet fridge.
Superman soon worked his magic though (Freddy nearly got electrocuted during all this )  and by then I had had quite enough so I retired to the calm and tranquillity of upstairs with Patrick bleddy Gale. M was making something totally fattening in the kitchen. It involved chicken, a can of cider and some oil. It smells nice but I shall resist. I am having either a ham salad for dinner or a lettuce .
Now on to Patrick bleddy Gale.
 Local author, very credible and award winning etc and I have now got 249 pages left of his book 'Rough Music' to read before Wednesday night at 8pm. I have been procrastinating somewhat and am now fighting against time a bit. I have promised the ladies at book group pasties for the Cornish buffet and I want to go but I am struggling. It's not that I am not enjoying the book, I am, I just seem to keep finding other things to do instead. Like blog, and shout at my bitch of a printer, or buy falafels or just anything really.
Maybe I have lost my reading mojo?
How ironic would that be? Me that tries to encourage everyone to read.............and not being able to see it through myself. That's a sad thought. Even my Kindle is out of battery and thrown unloved  in the bottom of a drawer. I need to address this sad situation and pretty damn quick. I have 73.5 hours left. I am clock watching. I am getting worried.
I work best under pressure. I have prosecco in the fridge. I may reward myself with a glass for every 50 pages. It can be the carrot to my lethargic donkey.
Or I may just drink it anyway and read all day tomorrow?
Suggestions anyone?

Saturday, 28 September 2013

dietdevil: My favourite steak combo and having a word with my...

dietdevil: My favourite steak combo and having a word with my...: So I didn't have a great night's sleep. H phoned me and I spoke to her at 4am. It was something and nothing but a mum's ear is ...

My favourite steak combo and having a word with my chest.

So I didn't have a great night's sleep. H phoned me and I spoke to her at 4am. It was something and nothing but a mum's ear is always open. I fell back to sleep at 5.30 am and was rudely awoken by the alarm at 7am. I hardly ever use my alarm as my sleep pattern is already so erratic that I am always awake when I'm meant to be anyway.
Lots of coffee propelled me into my day and it is cold and there was more than a few spots of rain to dampen my already grumpy spirits. Proper big fat raindrops too.
I was talking last night to a friend about food and what food we like. I happened to mention that I always had a steak with a Greek salad when I go for lunch with Leanne. Who needs chips when there are feta and olives involved? My friend is unconvinced as to the merits of olives but I flipping well love them. They are delicious. Anyway, about halfway through my morning I decided that that was exactly what I was going to have for dinner this evening - after a long hot bubble bath and before my weekly dose of rubbish telly. I also decided that I would do what I think we all should in a small town and I 'shopped local'. I already have leaves in my fridge ( oooh check me out ) and I got a red onion from the greengrocer and some gigantically sexy olives stuffed with garlic from the health food shop, along with some feta cheese. I then ventured next door to the cheeky chappy butchers where my friend Kev works and he allowed me to take a picture of him in action for this blog.
Now readers, let's be honest, would you buy a steak from this man???
Anyway, I am sure it will taste delicious!
Tomorrow is a slightly less busy day than Sunday normally is and I am having some mother / daughter bonding with M. Marks and Spencer overcharged me for my car insurance and have not only refunded the money but have sent some vouchers as an apology. M has snaffled them away and when tidying my office I found some left from Christmas that I hadn't spent.
We don't have many big shops down here so it's not exactly a shopping expedition, but it gets us out of the house.
A fun 2 weeks begins very soon and I am looking forward to all sorts of social butterfly type adventures.
The first one is book ( vodka and nibbles ) group and I am going to have to get my arse into gear if I want to attend. I am enjoying the book but I have been busy and distracted and I still have 287 pages left to read. This means that I need to read on average 71 pages a night for the next 4 nights. I am not worried. I am the leader of book group and I am a puller offer of most things and I work best under pressure and they need me there to keep order. I am a bit ashamed though, as really I have no excuse for not reading it sooner but I have every faith in myself. Honestly.
My health kick is going well. I have a gorgeous couple of dresses in my wardrobe that fit me lovely, just not in the chest region. I want to wear one of these dresses to H's 21st meal next Saturday. Both of them make my chest look massive. My chest is massive so that's why. I have every type of bra known to man and I keep looking to see which one will give me the best chance of
1. Fitting all of me into the dress
2. Enabling me to breathe once fitted in said dress.
It's a woman thing, and like the whole book malarkey, I will do it.
I also have a couple of guests staying in one of my properties that I am afraid are going to plague the hell out of me all weekend. It would be unprofessional for me to disclose why, and it's actually quite sad but I have got their number written on the back of my hand ( as the song went ) and may be avoiding any further calls from it.
I'm too busy for all that anyway. I have books to read and chests to have a word with.

Friday, 27 September 2013

dietdevil: Less of the C word please.

dietdevil: Less of the C word please.: So today is September 27th. I make it precisely 89 days until December 25th. I am not going to say the C word as it's ages away and I t...

Less of the C word please.

So today is September 27th. I make it precisely 89 days until December 25th. I am not going to say the C word as it's ages away and I think it's downright wrong that it is being pushed in our faces already. Enough,  people! Please!
Ok I am notoriously humbuggish* with regard to 'that' time of the year but even if I did have a little bit of joy in my cold heart for fluffy snowmen and advancing wise men and fat old men in red suits getting stuck up my chimney, I certainly wouldn't be letting it show just yet. No way.
And at the danger of sounding even older than I am and turning all of these blogs into some sort of nostalgia fest, when you're a grown up, it just isn't the same as back in the day.
I did used to like the festive season when I was a little girl. Of course I did - all I had to do was rip open the presents that I had been given so what's not to like?
But when you're the one having to buy and wrap up the said gifts then it's a different matter entirely.
I want to go shopping for food that isn't mince pies and nibbles.
I don't want to see adverts on the telly.
I certainly don't want to see statuses from people on Facebook saying that they have 'nearly finished' their shopping when I am wearing flip flops and trying to keep my feeble tan alive.
I do quite like it the week or so before, and I am not completely miserable but it's just all too soon.
One day out of a year will not make you like family members that you can't normally sit in the same room as without palpitating , and showering your kids with hundreds of pounds worth of gifts will not turn them into nice balanced people.
It hit home about 10 years ago, when the pile of pressies under my tree threatened to take over my whole house. It spread like an advancing mud over the floors and almost into other rooms. It disgusted me a bit. The reason that it disgusted me was that....................and I know it's a cliché, but some kids and adults have nothing , not even food or water and it's just wrong.
Every year I say that the following year I will do something worthwhile and every year I get sucked in. I will say that it's less and less as my family grow older and I don't have to jostle outside toy shops etc, but I still feel slightly dirty at the whole greed / expense thing.
BUT - I shall revert to list to tell you what I do like.
1. Brussel sprouts
2. Chocolate
3. Champagne for breakfast
4. The film 'Love Actually'
5. New pyjamas
6. Cold meat and pickles
7. Christmas carols
8. Peace on earth etc
9. A cheeky karaoke session
10.  Lidl's turkeys - they have a little pop up plastic thing stuck in their breast which shoots out when it is cooked.
So I do get into it when I try, just not 89 days beforehand.
And here are a few more of the things that make me growl
1. Useless gifts. I do not want bubble bath in a pretty bottle with a teddy bear clutching it koala style.
2. Trees going up too early.

3. People like Delia and Kirsty bloody Allsop telling you how to make it perfect by making sure your stollen cake has enough yeast and entwining sprayed twigs to hang from your mantelpiece.

4. Rowdy drunks outside my window.

5. The inappropriate older relative who will always throw some controversial comment into the genteel chit chat of dinner

6. Earrings that light up

7. The marzipan bit on Christmas cakes

8. People bulk buying nuclear war style in Tescos

9. Tescos in general

10. Noisy toys

I could add more but I wont.

89 days to go and I reckon I shall maybe start shopping in about 70 of them.

I will be going out to lunch with my gay friends Butch and Princess the day before, I will come home and peel all my veg and the following day I will stare lovingly at the plastic thingy on my turkey.

I will see the people going to the church next door to me, the proper fire will be lit through the day, my dogs will have special jumpers that only make them cuter than ever and the girls will love whatever I have bought them.

Hopefully there will be a film involving Hugh Grant, Leanne will give me some lovely chutney and  some of the presents that I buy from World Vision ( chickens for families, vaccinations for babies ) will be received with the love and care in which I sent them .

I'm not all bad.

* Humbuggish is not a word but I feel it should be.


Thursday, 26 September 2013

dietdevil: Oily t-zones and a lorra lorra fizz.

dietdevil: Oily t-zones and a lorra lorra fizz.: So we had the spa day and I would be fibbing if I said that I wasn't feeling a little tiddlypops!   I genuinely think that for ladi...

Oily t-zones and a lorra lorra fizz.

So we had the spa day and I would be fibbing if I said that I wasn't feeling a little tiddlypops!
I genuinely think that for ladies in a similar business that a spa day is recommended at least once every 2 months and that it would be very rude not to indulge in one or two bottles of prosecco. I am not an unfit mother by the way - I only have one child left at home and she is independent and at sixth form so a few bubbles wouldn't  hurt, but my head may  tomorrow.
Let's talk about the spa though.
It was formerly the Porthminster Hotel in St Ives but is now called the Harbour Hotel and Spa. It was odd going there, as it was the very first place that I worked in when I came to this town many moons ago. We checked in and I have to say their attention to detail and the finer points of boutique chic were faultless. Low lighting, a lot of marble and subtle music all added to the ambience , in fact -  wow is the word I will use.
We got given fluffy bathrobes, slippers and were pointed to the pool and the Jacuz zi.  They also showed us the gym and we laughed.We didn't swim but we did sit in among the bubbles for ages and had a general moan about the world of holiday property lettings and our mutual dislikes.  
Lunch was at 12 and we ordered prosecco. Like a tramp on a sandwich we glugged it quickly and then I may have dribbled a bit of seafood linguini down my robe and then we made friends with Maria the waitress who adored us and then we both resisted pudding but I did have 2 slices of bread! My lunch was somewhat flimsy and all of you knowthat a flimsy meal and alcohol is not the best combination for me.
Ordering a second bottle of the fizzy stuff seemed like a good idea at the time but by the time we finished lunch and had to go for our treatments we were flagging and quite possibly wavering about a bit. We went back to the low lighting place and were met by 4 girls of around 16 who did not look amused or impressed by these 2 x 45 year olds all pink and flushed and carrying a half full wine bottle. I tried not to laugh at this point.
I was booked in for a facial with Helen. She removed the bottle of prosecco from my hand and made me lie on the bed thing and be quiet. I told her my skin was dry and she told me I had an oily t-zone but a dry neck. She slathered on some stuff and gave me a head massage and then tried to flog me something to tackle my oily t-zone and dry neck but I resisted but then booked in next week to have, well I would rather not say what I am booking in to have but let's just say........ouch.
We then staggered back to the pool and faced the dilemma of both needing to go to the loo. We were still wearing our swimming costumes under our fluffy linguini stained robes and both decided that to wee then we would shift it over as opposed to peeling it off.
Ladies - you will get this.
 Men - you won't.
So all in all it was a good day. I would definitely go again and came away feeling suitable pampered. I keep touching my t-zone and my neck and wondering if I should have succumbed to the outright exploitation of my flaws but these days I am strong. Roar.
This is what we looked like before the prosecco.
I had my hangover specs on. It must have been prophetic of me to wear them.
This is me showing a bit of leg and the top bit of what could possibly be the most horrific swimming costume ever made.
Thankfully you cant see my dry neck or oily t-zone.
Not that I am obsessing about them of course.................

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

dietdevil: Lorries don't scare me, bubbles at lunch in a bath...

dietdevil: Lorries don't scare me, bubbles at lunch in a bath...: So I didn't blog yesterday as H returned to uni. I was not sad, I was brave. After sitting in a car with her for just over 3 hours an...

Lorries don't scare me, bubbles at lunch in a bathrobe and memories on a card.

So I didn't blog yesterday as H returned to uni.
I was not sad, I was brave. After sitting in a car with her for just over 3 hours and being forced to listening to Les Mis I was actually quite happy to unpack her and leave her there. Of course it's all different now. For one, she is in the same house so apart from taking her clothes up to her room, we didn't have to do much else. We did a Tesco shop and I sniggered at some of the new found friends ( obviously just met and hadn't seen each other drunk and emotional yet ) pushing trollies around the place. Two girls, for instance, had several bottles of WKD type booze and were having a very in depth discussion as to the merits of Tesco's own brand crunchy nut cornflakes. Ahh, I thought, that is sweet - all these young adults starting out and trying to put a smile on it when all they really want is their mums to say ''they taste the same - if you put the Kellogs back you can buy a packet of Anadin). We saw lots of freshers and Hattie commented that she felt old as all the new ones looked so fresh faced and so small. We both said 'awww' when we saw one young fella leaving the shop with a solitary bottle of Lenor . I bet his mum told him to use it or he was using it because it was something that would remind him of his mum.
Whatever happened to students that never did their washing from one term to the next? Whatever happened to taking home a bag to mum at Christmas with encrusted with god knows what sheets? These days students are just so............civilised........ish.
Anyway, I bit the bullet and I drove home alone. This was a huge deal for me but I feel I excelled myself. It was easy. Drive along H's road up to the big roundabout, take the third exit and keep going until you see the sign for the South West. I zipped it in Sylvia. For an old girl she can certainly go. Fifth gear was the gear and I was fast lane Liz.
Buses? - get out of the way!
Lorries - pah, you don't scare me.
Tractors? - well oddly enough I didn't experience Farmergedden until the A30 but by then I was nearly home.
I did it!
Today I went to the most glamorous location in Cornwall on a Wednesday, aka, REDRUTH FAT CLUB! I lost another 2! I have bought another new dress and one of my old bras is too big. I ate a sweet jacket potato and I cant remember what wine tastes like.
I shall however, be reminded what bubbles taste like tomorrow when I go for a spa day with my friend. We are having lunch in our bathrobes and I think it would be rude not to sip something crisp and light and intoxicating. As only a serious dieter will appreciate, I have already sussed out the menu. I am going for the dressed crab darling. And no pudding.
And as I love rabbiting about nostalgia, I am going to share this.
Photos were a big part of our lives when we were growing up. My mother had loads of photo albums that I used to adore looking at on a wet weekend afternoon. I think a photo album is a thing of the past now. We upload them onto our computers or post them onto Facebook and they are there for everyone to see.
M has had lots of hers printed out and she is currently mounting them on card to go back onto her newly painted walls. She has an amazing gallery of herself, H and all of her friends over the years. She is immersed in choosing which one to put next to which other one and it is sweet to see. She must be enjoying it as she even let me take a photo of her in mid stick.
You will notice the iPad in front of her - she was watching GBBO at the same time. I do love a bit of multi tasking.
And on that note I am going to prepare dinner and think about my giddy social life for the next couple of weeks -
1. Spa day
2. Writing group
3. Lunch out with 2 of my favourite people.
4. Book group the same night.
5. Watching 2 of my friends in opposing pool teams take on each other in a pool match.
6. H back for her 21st ( how did that happen??? )
7. A weekend in Brizzle.
Aren't you all glad I have cheered the hell up?

Monday, 23 September 2013

dietdevil: Birthday flowers, really really stupid people and ...

dietdevil: Birthday flowers, really really stupid people and ...: So it's my mother's birthday.  I didn't forget as such, I just didn't remember - until this morning where a quick phone c...

Birthday flowers, really really stupid people and a fun day in Sylvia tomorrow.

So it's my mother's birthday.
 I didn't forget as such, I just didn't remember - until this morning where a quick phone call to a florist in Bristol redeemed me good and proper. Am I a bad person or am I just slack? I don't know but the situation was sorted. My mother and I 'prickle' each other. I think that's the best word to describe it and I am saying no more as I am sure it will open the floodgates for analysis and I am too busy to be analysed. Plus, I am an enigma.
Now I am going to open the floodgates here on the subject of stupid people.
I couldn't care two hoots if a person cant read or write very well and they don't know where Chad is or what the theory of relativity is but sometimes, no, a LOT of the time I really ask myself this -
I have had 3 'stupid' incidents to deal with today. I want so much to enlarge on them but I cant as there is a possibility that one or all of the stupid may read this, and I genuinely like all of the people involved. They just make me hyperventilate a bit and breathe in a shallow manner. Patience is not my strong point. It never has been and I know I can be a ballsy old cow BUT I will give you a brief outline of what I have had to deal with.
1. I got a phone call saying that something had been left in a holiday property . I said that I'm sure it hadn't been as I had been there myself and I hadn't seen it. The stupid insisted the guests had rung up and said this so ( bearing in mind I have had other stuff to do ) I trundled off to the other side of town and knocked the door. The thing wasn't there, as I had already said. I phoned the stupid who said -
''oh yeah, it may have been a different property''
to which I said
''well which one?''
and they said
''Oh I cant remember''
Deep Breath.
2. This story is too boring for me to even bother typing it and it involved a missing part from a vacuum cleaner. Now anyone that knows me knows, I am very precise and verbally competent when describing something. I said exactly what part and the recipient of my description just wasn't getting it. I was very dignified.
Deep Breath.
3. Oh god, this is even more boring than the first 2 so I'm not even going there. This recipient is overly perky and  when you add overly perky to stupid it's never a good combination.
Deep Breath.
And moving on.................
H is packed, her room is 'tidy' and we leave at 7am. We are going in trusty Sylvia - H's little silver Ford KA. It suits H as she is only 3 foot 3  but I never have enough room for my legs. I have to push the front seat right back to use the pedals and I'm sure the driver's window doesn't open. Oh and sometimes the driver's door doesn't unlock so you have to climb in through the passenger seat. Sylvia's one good quality though is that she does go fast. She will be nipping me back down that motorway and then the horrible  horrible A30 in no time at all. I am not afraid of big lorries and I will drive sensibly. I will not end up in Port Talbot and I will be fine.
I hope...........

Sunday, 22 September 2013

dietdevil: Sundays aren't what they used to be............and...

dietdevil: Sundays aren't what they used to be............and...: So I am going for a nostalgic blog today. It is Sunday and I was up at 6.45 am. This is not right. Sundays used to be a day of rest and ref...

Sundays aren't what they used to be............and preparing myself for the departure.

So I am going for a nostalgic blog today. It is Sunday and I was up at 6.45 am. This is not right. Sundays used to be a day of rest and reflection. Now, unfortunately they are just like any other day but church bells ring - well they do in my street as I happen to live right next door to a church. If I am lucky enough to be able to lie in then I sometimes get woken up by the people going to church and the sound of hymns. These Methodists are a lively bunch. 
When I was a lass I actually lived on a street with the Church of England 3 doors along and a convent about 8 doors along the other way. It had real nuns and everything and they were all a bit, well ,eccentric. They had minis ( cars not skirts ) and would drive them rather carelessly. This was in the days before speed bumps were invented so I often had a near miss at the hands of Sister Whoever rushing to get back to the convent.
Sundays as I remember always used to include the following.....
We always had our roast at lunchtime.....I don't think I have ever cooked a roast at lunchtime , it's always at night in this house.
We always used to go for a long walk after lunch.
'Tea' was sandwiches and scones and cake.
No shops were open apart from the odd corner shop where I would be sent for a forgotten Sunday roast item, like Paxo or gravy powder.
Sunday night telly would involve at least one costume drama and always on the BBC. 
I am sure that I did bathe on other days but Sunday night was a definite.
An early night with that sinking feeling of having to go back to school the next day.
And these days? Well I am usually working on a Sunday which annoys the hell out of me, all shops are open, as well as not doing a roast at lunchtime, sometimes I don't even do a roast at all, and really it's now just like any other day in most respects ....only a little bit quieter.
I personally think it's a shame. I always think that despite it now being the same as a weekday that Sundays just always 'feel' different don't they? A bit like Christmas Day. If you step outside on a Sunday and close your eyes you just know that it's a Sunday. It's true and if you don't believe me then try it.
B and Q broke the law back in 1989 by opening on a Sunday ( bit of quiz trivia ) and now it would appear every single shop known to man is open too, but they often close earlier. I know there was uproar in St Ives a few years ago because the Spar opened on Christmas Day and I thought that if you couldn't live a day without going to a shop then you were a bit of a sad act. By all accounts though it was a busy one and the big selling items were batteries, good old Paxo and of course.........WINE!
I am not a fan of the commercialism of Christmas so double reason for me not to go out the house and when you've got sprouts to peel and cross on the bottom there's no time for it anyway.
My hangover has gone! My carb laden dinner soaked up the last of the nasty vodka and all the pints of water that I drunk flushed it all away. I slept quite soundly although the elves in my head were still having a little hop and a skip and I am never going to go out again on a Ryvita dinner. I have learned my lesson.
H has just come in after a night out and I have a feeling that there may be nagging involved when I try and persuade her later to do some packing before she returns to uni. I can't actually see her bedroom floor and there are clothes literally pouring out of every drawer and I don't want tomorrow to be dominated with ''Mum have you seen my......?'' and ''Mum where did you put my........?'' type conversations.
She has been home for 3 months. I am used to her being here again and I know I will get used to her not being here again. I am happy that she is doing well, I am happy that she knows  what she wants to do with her life, I am trying to figure out how the hell my baby is 21 in 2 weeks time, and I am going to be brave. The chick is flying from the nest again and although I am used to it now, it still wont make it any easier when I hug her goodbye in Cardiff on Tuesday.
And of course I am driving back on my own by myself and I am not nervous at all.
If I take the wrong turning then I am sure London is fabulous this time of year.
I will be fine - as long as I'm back by next Sunday.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

dietdevil: Why do we do it?

dietdevil: Why do we do it?: So I went out. I had a very flimsy dinner - 3 Ryvitas and a dollop of humous does not set you up for a night on the lash. I am sure you all...

Why do we do it?

So I went out. I had a very flimsy dinner - 3 Ryvitas and a dollop of humous does not set you up for a night on the lash. I am sure you all know this. I know this for goodness sake, but hey, who cares?
It was a FAB night. A great atmosphere and lovely to see so many people that I haven't seen for ages. I got hugs and I got kisses and I loved every minute of it. I loved my 3 triple vodkas down Spoons ( but  I haven't changed my mind, the place is rank ) and then a couple more at the venue. They were nice and icy and went down well. Debbie disappeared off home - and as I am also a townie I too retired gracefully at midnight. I didn't stagger home and I didn't do the old key missing the keyhole routine, I simply came in  and ate some toast and went to bed and tried to ignore the spinning of the room. That was when I wished that I had eaten a fourth Ryvita.
And this morning?
My pale green eyes with red rings round them could not stand the sunlight so I wore the biggest glasses I could find. I think they belong to H. I look like one of those women that has been accused of murder looks like when they leave court and they are being papped by The Sun. My mouth has gone lopsided and my hair is a mess. In all fairness my hair is normally a mess, but you get the picture.

And to make myself feel better, most of the people that I saw today were looking just as ropey. Celeste nearly did a sicky, Tammy had no voice ( although she whispered to me that she had lost it anyway ) Debbie claimed to be dying and Ali's photos of the night go from sleek young professionals to soggy old drunks in just a couple of hours. Such good gun.
And so tonight I am having the dinner that I should have had last night. Pure and utter stodge - healthy style obviously. SW chips with mushy peas and gravy. Proper Northern fodder - it will be lush. It will bring me comfort and it will stop the horrible noisy elves from running around my head.
Oh and it's also X factor and I am in my jammies and I have had my hair done - not my brightest idea to have my entire head of hair pushed into foils the day after a night out as I nearly fell asleep at one point and the smell of bleach was just a little bit too much.
Bring on the water and fruit. I am never drinking again.

Friday, 20 September 2013

dietdevil: Feeling like a bit of a fraud but sneaking along a...

dietdevil: Feeling like a bit of a fraud but sneaking along a...: So tonight is a big night on the St Ives scene. It is 'Peggoty's Revival Night'!   Most of you will have no idea what on ea...

Feeling like a bit of a fraud but sneaking along anyway.......

So tonight is a big night on the St Ives scene. It is 'Peggoty's Revival Night'!
Most of you will have no idea what on earth this is all about so let me enlighten you...........
Mr Peggoty's was a nightclub in St Ives which closed many years ago. It is now a holiday apartment complex and is run by nobody vaguely local and although it does promote tourism within the town, it would rather buy its' welcome packs from Tescos than the local shops.....or beat the local shops down to selling things at 'cost price' so the struggling shopkeeper isn't really benefiting from it. I know this is all true and I am saying no more and will stop with the politics and get back to the point of the blog.
So tonight some bright spark ( I think it was lovely Nadine ) has organised a Peggoty's revival but as the venue is so longer there then it is going to be held in the Guildhall.
I am going. I feel a bit of a fraud. I moved here when I was 21 and the place had no defining moments in making me the fine woman that I am today. I went about 4 times. But still I am going tonight. I want to dance to 80's music and I would really like to get drunk but as I am 45 and as I have a busy day tomorrow I need to keep in control.
There has been bickering on Facebook - tickets sold like hot cakes and people that were too young to frequent the place when it was open are going and some of the locals are not very happy. It's all getting a bit tense but I am sure fun will be had by all.
I love it when it is an event that the whole town will join in with . I saw 2 tribute bands at the Guildhall a couple of years ago. The Bee Gees and Take That. They were both terrible and if I recall correctly, Take That's mini bus broke down outside Camborne making them late and the audience a bit growly. It was however, what I would call a cracking night out.
In Alnwick where I grew up there were two nightclubs and I am using the word 'nightclub' very loosely in the case of both of them. I hope some of my hometown buddies are reading this as they will remember all too well.
1. The Squash Club - sporting venue by day - Alnwick's hot spot by night. You were meant to be a member to get in, the dance floor I am sure was kidney shaped??, there was always a huge queue on the stairs and the wait was never really worth it, the drinks were extortionate, and the bloke that owned it ( Hilton) was a right miserable bugger. And yet still we went there every Saturday night and I'm sure that most of us held our 18th birthday parties there too,
2. The Duke's Club - much more seedier and in such an obscure place, up some back alley that I wouldn't be able to find it now if I tried. It was more of an after pubs drinking place that just happened to play music than a nightclub but I remember having many a good laugh there. One time in particular was the night the clocks went back, so it must have been at the end of October. The place was meant to clos at 2 am but the owner Tim waited til the big hand was on the twelve and the little hand was on the two and then put it back an hour so all of us already worse for wear people had an extra 60 minutes. Great marketing and a great night.
And I am sure that wherever you grew up there will be memories of your first club, your first drink, cigarette, snog, the crying over some no good lad in the toilets, the swapping of secrets, dancing, singing and all the things that we  forget about when we grow up and become adults.
Am now really looking forward to it. Although I am a bit of a fraud with Mr Peggoty's, I may just close my eyes and pretend the dance floor is shaped like a kidney and that a cider and blackcurrant is still only 50 pence.
Happy Days!

Thursday, 19 September 2013

dietdevil: Trying to find my CUJO and some indecent images......

dietdevil: Trying to find my CUJO and some indecent images......: So I am very into my Slimming World again and this is going to have to involve an element of cooking. I have avoided my kitchen for ages no...

Trying to find my CUJO and some indecent images................

So I am very into my Slimming World again and this is going to have to involve an element of cooking. I have avoided my kitchen for ages now but needs must - I need to reclaim my culinary mojo, or my CUJO as I shall call it from now on.
I quite often have a sneaky giggle at some of the 'recipes' that I see posted onto the SW Facebook page and yes, some of them do resemble what the cat has dragged in. Not to be outdone however, I thought I would try something new...............and so tonight's CUJO reviving meal is.......
I have always said that I think that SW bandies the word 'cake' around a bit too loosely. A cake to me is a carrot cake, a lemon drizzle cake, a Victoria sponge, a lovely creamy éclair or even a jam doughnut.
SW 'cakes' involve chickpeas and eggs and couscous and now baked beans.
The recipe isn't rocket science. It involved 3 eggs , a packet of savoury rice and those all important baked beans.
A close up of it mixed together was this - and readers of a sensitive disposition may want to avert their eyes at this point in the blog.
Looks vile doesn't it? Me being the rogue I am , even when working with a recipe, threw some cheese in for the hell of it. I very much doubt that it will have a positive impact on the end product and what I can only describe as looking and smelling a bit like cat vomit.
I am not quite sure what to eat this 'cake' with. I am thinking I may have one mouthful and decide not to go any further. There is salad stuff in the fridge and there are also some lovely looking pork chops. This 'cake' is baked beans and savoury rice and eggs and cheese, and I dearly love all the ingredients separately but have never dared to put them all in my mouth at the same time.
I think tonight could be the first and last occasion that I do this.
I am sure that a jacket potato would have been easier and tastier but a jacket potato isn't going to tempt my CUJO into coming back and being creative.
And I just thought today - it is Thursday night and I have nowhere to go. Debbie starts her pool season again and next week or the week after it is the quiz league's kick off. I am no longer a hallowed quizzer. I am ex- quiz. I have retired from the quiz community and may even be shunned by the men in anoraks. I wont miss it, as it quite frankly bored the pants off me, but I will miss having something to do before the weekend.
I do however have a sneaky project lined up involving Leanne. I asked her last night and she said yes but I'm not so sure in the harsh light of day she will remember or want to do it anymore. It involves us and another person ( hopefully ) and I have another couple of people I want to ask.
It is a combination of something that the hopefully joining us  person is excellent at, something that Leanne is naturally good at and something that I try and be good at but wish I was better at. It also involves something that I know I am good at, I just have to do it properly.
I know I am being  vague.
I try to reclaim my CUJO and then I go all mysterious.
Life's funny like that.
Onwards and downwards and wish me luck for my dinner.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

dietdevil: Well fork me pink's St ...

dietdevil: Well fork me pink's St ...: So I went to fat club and I got weighed and I had a monumental weight loss. I have been so good but I have kept it low key. My carb free di...

Well fork me pink's St Ives answer to Charlie Dimmock.

So I went to fat club and I got weighed and I had a monumental weight loss. I have been so good but I have kept it low key. My carb free dinner obviously did the trick last night and I am not even having a 'treat' today.....I am on a roll.
I tagged along with a friend to fat club at Redruth. It's quite a place. They are very nice. Very glamorous. I think what their town lacks in beauty is compensated for by the effort of the fat club ladies and the thought put into what they are wearing. I had flip flops and leggings and a t shirt on. St Ives  casual at its' finest.  There wasn't another flip flop in sight. It was all fancy dresses and sparkly tunics and very nice they were too. If I go next week then I may have to dig deep into my wardrobe for something glitzy. I don't want to be the sore thumb and stick out...............not in Redruth anyway.
My lovely gardening buddy Leanne came down and I would like to say 'helped' weed my front bit but really she did it all and I sat in the gorgeous September sun talking ............and talking.I firmly believe that we all have gifts in life and mine is not for gardening, it's for chit chat.
 It has been a lovely day and I think a few of my freckles may have popped back out to say hello. Seeing as I am totally useless with a hoe or a trowel and I touched a slug when handing a garden tool to Leanne and then started to physically retch, this is what we talked about....done in list form obviously.
1. Our kids
2. Cakes
3. Our gardens
4. Newcastle
5. Norway
6. Houses
7. One of the book group ladies imminent romance with Bob from the quiz and if she reads this she will kill me. She is Irish and fiery!
8. Chutney
9. What we are making for the Cornish buffet at the next book group ( I am copping out big style with a cream tea)
10. Lunch out in 2 weeks time.
It sounds boring, but we had a laugh. We gossiped to passers by and had a hoot. Leanne had 2 cups of builders tea and I bantered with the carpet cleaners. Even though you cant buy a pair of men's underpants in this town or children's shoes, I have need of neither and I love it here.
I also banged into another friend in Boots that I haven't seen for a while. She is pregnant and is having a home birth. I have said I will 'help' when the time is here.    When I say 'help' then I will pick her kids up from school and make them a sandwich as I am afraid that I have become more and more squeamish in my old age and as much as I think birth is a beautiful thing, I haven't quite recovered from when I gave birth myself , 21 and 17 years ago. I have already told both my kids that when they have babies I will wait outside or if pushed, may stay up the non messy end for half an hour but I know I would faint and would be totally useless.
I have got a salad from the deli for dinner, I am having it with pork chops, There is pasta in it and my body is looking forward to it very much. I think some people seem to think that I am on a carb free diet but I'm not. I have said before that potatoes are my favourite vegetable and it's only the day before I weigh that I will go without something naughty and starchy.
 And before anyone asks, I will be running on Monday morning. I may not manage Wednesday morning as I may still be driving around a roundabout in Cardiff trying to work out where to go for the South West, but if I can then I will.
Onwards and downwards - the diet devil hath returned.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

dietdevil: Anyone else love a list and Teddy lives to tell th...

dietdevil: Anyone else love a list and Teddy lives to tell th...: So I am busy. I have had a very productive few days and I put it all down to the power of 'the list'. There is nothing quite like a...

Anyone else love a list and Teddy lives to tell the tale.

So I am busy. I have had a very productive few days and I put it all down to the power of 'the list'. There is nothing quite like a good list and putting that all important tick next to one of the points on it. It gives me pleasure in the way only a secret geek can receive pleasure...............because invariably I have used a shiny new notepad and pen with which to create my list.
I have ticked off things a day ahead of myself, I have had to cross out things and put new things on 'the list' because I have done the list things for the day . It may waste a few minutes each morning but nothing smacks of self motivation more than a piece of paper with vertically written numbers and sentences next to each one.
At book group we hardly ever write lists because all there is to do really is to read a book, talk about it and then drink copious amounts of wine ( or vodka in my case ) but at writing group all we seem to do is write lists and take 'minutes'. It's bloody ace I tell you and if you're not a fan already then I suggest you all go and find a pen and paper and do!
On other matters this week I feel it would be completely relevant to compile this blog in the form of its' subject matter.
1. I have been squeakily clean and healthy in terms of food. Saturday night took a downturn when I had a book group sized vodka and went to bed feeling decidedly giddy and felt the need for food. I wanted a crisp sandwich and I have no idea why but even in a giddy state I managed to calm myself with a cereal bar. Hooray.
2. I am not as assertive as some may think but today I had a bit of a verbal confrontation with someone that started out a bit nasty but once we realised we both had similar aged kids and both with ones going into the 3rd year at Cardiff Uni then we were practically best friends. We shook on it and everything.
3. I am taking H back to Cardiff and driving home ............ALONE!!! Now my friends that really know me will know that I am not the world's most , ahem, confident driver but I can do this, I really can! I just head for the South West right? and not Swansea like a certain time 2 years ago. She is going back for  her final year so I am going to be strong and brave and not be all weepy as I overtake huge lorries. That would be silly.
4. I am going for a spa day at a local hotel with a friend next week. We are going to have massages and wear bath robes and nibble salad while drinking prosecco. I am looking forward to this very much.
5. Two of me very good friends down here, Debbie and Leanne have both been away and I missed them LOTS. Am having a night out with one of them at the weekend and I owe the other one an extra huge coffee and a big slice of cake for services rendered.
6. Whilst having a ruthless clear out I came across Teddy. I cant remember which of my kids he initially belonged to but nobody has cuddled him/her  for years. The boy dogs have both tried to do what boy doggies do to him regularly and both Dear Dead Daisy and Special Maddie Spaniel have both chewed him/her and dragged him/her round the garden for years. This Teddy was surplus to requirement in my home and as I had my determined and tough head on , they got chucked out. This provoked OUTRAGE on Facebook but I lost no sleep. And as my lounge is being painted at the moment and I am forced to sit in the telly free lounge..............look who I found sat on a chair...........
yes, someone has saved Teddy! I am sure you will all be relieved to know this.
7. I haven't had time to run but will go next week in between spa days and gadding off to Wales.
8. M is sort of settling into 6th form college but I think it is still a shock to her system.
9. I am going to send some of my writing work off to a publisher.
10. I have had no carbs today and did stuff in the wok tonight which was basically hot raw vegetables. The rest of my household had a Chinese.
So that's it. My last few days and my next few days. I have accomplished today what I was going to do tomorrow so can feel the urge within to get writing a new list. A revised list!
It's all good.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

dietdevil: Small town goings on in a festival and God!

dietdevil: Small town goings on in a festival and God!: So today didn't start off too well. There was an issue with me losing a bag of keys and then I went into meltdown as the implications o...

Small town goings on in a festival and God!

So today didn't start off too well. There was an issue with me losing a bag of keys and then I went into meltdown as the implications of this were immense and I got a bit stressed and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz , ok I'll stop now, it's boring as heck isn't it and after yesterday's horrifically boring blog I have decided today I am going to mix a bit of St Ives with the meaning of life.
As I have already mentioned, the September Festival has started. There are lots of very special and creative people in town at the moment. Now I consider myself creative, to an extent.
Words? Yes I would like to think so.
Anything else vaguely creative ? Ermm that would be a no.
Anyway, the town is rammed with lots of people that just look arty. I am not wording this very well but I think you all know what I mean. My sister in law is an artist ( just got a big wig job at the Tate thank you very much ), I am friends with some artists and I know a lot of people that fling a piece of fuzzy felt on a rock and say ''hey, yeah, are you seeing it?''
No, I'm not seeing it at all..... but I am waffling.
So, in celebrating the artistic and festival side in town, we have had a lot of goings on. There were these ladies on the harbour ............
shaking their booties to a samba band. There had been a very local wedding an hour or so before and the newlweds were driven around town in a VW camper van adorned with the Cornish flag as bunting along the windows. There were also flags hung out on the fisherman's lodge which is a sign of a local nuptial too and if my very limited memory of local tradition serves me correctly then the parents of the couple would have paid for the privilege of having this done, with a bag of coal?
Anyway, in between the fun and games and all the noise and booty shaking I stumbled across these fellas.
They were wandering around, rather aimlessly I thought and one of them was strumming a guitar. I saw them and then had to walk past them and they started singing Damien Rice's 'Cannonball' song in very Chinese accents. I don't know why, as I am not prone to laughing at cultural differences but it cracked me up. It made keygate seems years ago and sometimes it's the silliest things that amuse you isn't it? They then parked themselves outside the church next to the gallery my friend Angie works in and she claimed they were singing about Jesus. Well maybe they thought I was a lost cause and Jesus doesn't want me for a sunbeam as it was most definitely Damien that they crooned to me.
And they were / are some sort of missionaries . They are outside St Peter's Street church happily spreading the word and giving out the literature to passers by. I asked if they minded me taking their photo and they said no and then said that God blessed me. I thought that was nice.
Which brings me on to the whole God debate. Now a bit like the artists , I have friends that are Christians, friends that go to church and friends that are like myself that aren't quite sure what to believe. I used to go to church many years ago. I loved the routine and the calm of it. I wanted to believe more deeply than I ever actually did and this frustrated me. I even wrote a poem about it a few months back and it was about my whole 'journey' with God. I had become involved with a group of born again Christians as a teenager and to be honest they scared the life out of me a bit. It was from there that I went on to go to a more conventional church and I even became a Catholic when I was 18! This is my thoughts..............

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Him and Hymns

So let me tell you this my sweet
I always had my god
It was always there
Someone I couldn't see
Tapping at my back
Poking softly at my conscience
But it was never more than me
But still, I was sucked into circles
of responsible adults
The hysteria
The joyous tears
And then there came
The praying
 and  the laying
 on of hands
And for me?
Well, if truth be told, I never shed one tear
I would read the book
And good old  VHS and BETAMAX  would be trundled out
So I could watch the rejoicing throngs in action
And then there was the clapping
And I would feel slightly humiliated
And even more sad
Because I never felt
The euphoria
That all the others had
Tongues whispered in languages unknown
Did it comfort me
Did it warm my heart
Did it fill my soul
With assurances of salvation and afterlife
Eternal bliss
Not damnation
For a child
Looking for the answers that I could never hope to find
of course there was the official outlets
Where we could see it all done
Pomp, circumstance and no smiles
Just half empty pews of punters
Dusty old aisles
Getting their Sunday fix
And assuring themselves
That during that hour of him and hymns
They’d more than  done their bit
Musty old halls and energetic ladies
With colourful hats
Would entice us to beetle drives
Social events and dances
No touching or dalliance but good clean fun
For us soon to be adults
With our fresh open minds
Open pages
Just ripe for the writing
Of their doctrines
I made my escape in favour of general  teenage pursuits
The devil didn’t appear by side
Nor by my bed at night
I didn’t get cancer
I wasn’t injured in some freak newsworthy accident
Maimed beyond recognition
I haven’t suffered
Any unique personal tragedy
I am still here
And so is he
Deep stuff for a Saturday isn't it? But it sums up my feelings and memories perfectly.
And on that very serious note, whether you are an atheist, an agnostic , a Jew, a Muslim and especially a guitar playing Jesus loving Damien Rice fan, have a good weekend!

Oh and here is a nice picture of some boats and clouds. Pretty isn't it?