Tuesday, 29 April 2008

To Diet would be an Awfully Big Adventure ...

Like Hell it would. This is tedium in the extreme.

Although I did have a very nice salad tonight, with half a roast poussin in it - cooked without any oil, only a little mace, rosemary, salt and pepper in the skin, and a slice of Maltese lemon (brought by my mother) in the cavity. Delicious. I also made honey-lemonade with the rest of the lemons. Gorgeous. The smell coming off them when I opened them up was just wonderful, putting all the crappy lemons we get in this country to shame.

So, food today:

1 x tangerine
1 x banana

45g bowl chocolate shreddies

Supper (between 2 people):
Poussin salad, consisting of:
1 dry roasted poussin (see above)
1/2 bag herb salad
some cucumber
2 small tomatoes
1 sliced large tomato
5-6 sun dried tomatoes
1 avocado
some spring onions
a few parmesan shavings
1/2 pot bean salad
the little pot of mint dressing from the bean salad poured over everything

2 x large coffees, 4 sweeteners total
1 glass honey-lemonade (2 tsp honey, 3/4 glass 7-Up)

And that's IT. Tomorrow, if the scales read the same as they did this morning, I'm throwing them off the balcony. I mean it.

Exercise wise, I went to the gym for half an hour after walking the dogs on the beach. Bridie was so funny - at least for 10 minutes. She got a bit wearisome after 15, and downright infuriating after 20, but even so ...

I took them down to the shoreline, and the tide was quite far out, so West Sands was beautifully flat, hard and clean. It being the most glorious day, with the sun shining like it doesn't know which country its in, the dogs were immediately keen on going for a swim, so off they tore like furry little darts. Next thing I see is white spray as two cockers hit the sea, followed by a gold and black dot leaping and cavorting with glee. Fair put a grin on my face. Then Bridie clocked a heron, standing serenely about 50 metres away, and raced towards it with bloodlust spurring her paws. The heron turned its majestic head and watched her approach with equanimity.

When she'd got about 10 feet away, the heron took gracefully to wing and glided some 100 metres down the beach. Bridie put her head down and gave chase. The heron came to rest. Bridie got closer, closer ...

... and the heron took off as gracefully as before and sailed 100 metres back down the beach from whence it came.

This went on for 20 minutes. Solid. Bridie didn't stop for breath, never slowed down save where she had to corner and chase the heron back the way it had come. At one point the heron saught a bit of peace and quiet on the end of a long promontory of sand, which started at the beach, stretched out under water for a little way, then resurfaced some few metres offshore. But this was nothing to Bri, who simply plunged in, swam like a lunatic, found her paws and came up running. She barely broke stride. Of course, the heron just gave a slight sigh and glided off again, sending Bri turning on a sixpence and pegging it back again.

Eventually I was pretty cheesed off with her completely ignoring my bellows. Baffie ran off to try and bring her back a few times, but she couldn't really catch her up, and the heron was a bit alarming as far as she was concerned. She did have a good go at giving chase at one point, but her arthritis doesn't agree with tearing up and down beaches, so she soon came to stand with me. Bri came back only after she'd tired herself out by flat out sprinting through water for 20 minutes.

I did some errands in town, then took the pooches to the vet (they whined, trembled and generally behaved as if they were on an outing with Pol Pot) for Bridie's jags and Baffie's arthritis check-up. Then I went to the gym and did a light workout of:

1 mile on the treadmill, under 10 mins
3 x 12 stomach crunches, on 11
3 x 12 leg presses, on 140kg (I think. Could have been lighter - but I couldn't actually lift it without pushing my knees with my hands. Once the weights were up it was easy enough, though)
3 x 12 bicep curl, on 7 (35kg)
3 x 12 chest press, on 40kg
1 x 12 pull down machine thingy, on 35kg, before deciding I was bored poopless and doing:
.5 mile on treadmill, around 4.30

This evening was rather lovely as I watched Man U beat Barcelona 1-0 in the Champions' League, meaning they go through to meet either Chelsea (c'mon!) or Liverpool (well ... ok) in the final! It's an all-England affair, which is deeply wonderful, despite there being a sum total of half an Englishman between both sides. (Not quite true. There are about 9 or so). I wonder if I could go to Moscow for the final? I'm sure it would only cost me six or seven million pounds.

If it's a Man U v Liverpool final, I pity Moscow. I also pity any Man U or Liverpool fans who decide to act like arseholes. I can't imagine the Moscow police will take any crap at all - and cue further breakdown in relations between the British and the Russians as the Russians kick seven shades of shit out of any English fan who even thinks about putting a foot wrong, the British object, and the Russians say the hoolies started it and deserved every inch of their battering. Ah, springtime in Moscow. It'll be a dream.

Now, I'm off to strum the ol' guitar for a while. Something odd has happened to my voice of late. I can't seem to keep in tune. Have I mentioned this before? I sort of want to go to the doctor, but don't want to bother him with something so trivial sounding. Odd, though. I suppose I'm a little catarrh-y, but not much. Well, I'll see how it goes tonight.


Diet Another Day

Will someone tell me what the FUCK is going on?

I have been an immaculate dieter for the last week, and yet I simply cannot shift any goddamned weight. Yesterday I ate this:

No breakfast (BAD Seshat)
Bean salad for lunch
1 tiny, end-of-baguette sandwich with tiny bit of ham, Boursin and sundried tomatoes
1 banana
Teriyaki pork and veg for supper.

The reason I had the teeny tiny sarnie was because I was playing a 3 1/2 hour tennis match and I needed some fuel to get through it, so excuuuuuuse me!

And the net result of all the exercise and starvation?


There is no earthly way I'm getting to a 10lb loss by Saturday, and it's pretty much guaranteed that I've lost this motherfucking bet, which means no computer games for 3 months. I can see why a lot of chubbers would just throw in the towel at this point and stuff their faces full of cake, but I shall persevere. I was going to have a rest day today after the tennis, but I think I'll go to the gym instead and do half an hour - to make myself feel better, if nothing else.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Diet, Mother****er!

I'm really quite bored of dieting now, and this is a bad thing. It means I slip into old habits of just not bothering to eat, then wolfing down a large supper and feeling sick. Also, I'm trying very hard, but nothing's coming off! The first week I lost 7 pounds. Then I went to Glasgow, it was that time of the month, and I put 4 pounds back on. Now, no matter what I do, I can't seem to shift my bulk - although I am up to 6 pounds in loss. 4 more and I don't have to give anything up for 3 months! I really, really hope Janus is going great guns and will reach the 10lb target as well. I also really, really hope I don't lose.

Yesterday was quite productive, but not in the areas that are most important, unfortunately. There was a lot of nedding planning and confirmations to send in, now we have (almost) everyone's RSVPs. Not, you understand, in written form, except from the lovely marvellous Janus & Badger, and Phid. Still, I suppose I'm premature. Everyone has until the end of the day to definitely confirm. I had to chase The Head Boy, and Champaign Charlie, and Chopper (who assured me her reply was in the post, along with a thank you for the birthday weekend), and I'm still pretty unconvinced that The Head Boy will come. He's the world's biggest flake - and he's serving a very important purpose at my nedding, namely entertaining my father during supper. If he doesn't come I'll have to implement plan B. Patricide.

Anyway, we did (almost) all the finalising, then Fisher went for her long run and I followed like a devoted dog on the bike. We ran up Quarry Road, down past Thai Teak, straight over to Clayton, then down to Guardbridge. Then into St Andrews, along West Sands and back. Fisher did really well, implementing a walk-run strategy on mile 11 or so, which enabled her to finish the distance with aplomb. We then had a mile's walk home, which means she actually covered 19 miles. I found the bike ride much, much easier than the one with Phid - probably because it was all tarmac, and Fisher's pace is more suitable.

Back at home, I jumped straight into the car and went to Tesco, buying us a big fat supper in reward for all our hard work. Of course, my hard work wasn't really hard work at all, and the big fat supper was almost certainly too much lard for my diet and I will regret it. But this morning the scales showed no move from yesterday, so fingers crossed. 'Course, weight gain usually shows up after 2 days rather than 1, so it's tomorrow I dread. I must be rigid and determined today.

This reminds me - a few days ago we went to see a promising looking house in the Trossachs. 2 hours drive later and it was a 'no' without even looking inside. Again. So we went to Monachyle Mhor Hotel for lunch. Very nice indeed, although the menu choice is just that - one choice. Starters were either soup or chicken paté terrine, so I had the terrine. Main courses were either monkfish tail or duck, so I had monkfish. Both courses were delicious. I then had chocolate pavé for pudding. I can hear Janus and Pro rubbing their hands together in glee. However, I did play tennis in the evening, and didn't eat anything else all day - or have breakfast. Basically, I ate 3 meals in one sitting.

So that was food the day before yesterday. Food for yesterday was:
2 pieces toast, Clover
Sirloin steak, baked potato w/ Clover and 25g cheese, herb salad, tomato & mozzarella salad
Strawberries & low fat yoghurt, with tbsp sugar

I'm pretty sure I can do better than this, but one moment of pride came in Tesco. I wandered over to the bakery section, and was there assailed with the heady scent of chocolate muffins baking. Transfixed, I stood in the middle of the aisle as my mind whirled in an orgy of pudding-dreams. Slowly I went to the muffins. I stared at them for a long time. Then I swallowed and walked away. Passing the cake aisle my eyes lit on miniature carrot cakes. I picked up a box and looked at the fat content of each one. Only 10g. Much better than anything else I'd seen. Then I looked at the size of said mini cake. One bite and it would be gone, so no chance of only eating the one. That would be 20g of fat. And even if I stuck to just one, 10g fat is too much to waste on a mouthful. Also, for crying out loud, I don't like carrot cake. I put the cake back. Then I saw, nestled next to them in coy seduction, mini chocolate cup cakes. I grasped them swiftly to my bosom. 10g fat in these, too! Surely a little cup cake wouldn't hurt?

3 months without TV for the sake of one mouthful of chocolate?

I put them back. Then I bought some muffins (2.3g fat) and crumpets (o.3g) instead.

Hurrah for me. A crumpet with jam is delicious, and will provide perfect sweetness for those diabolical cravings.

Now why, oh why, does nature not recognise such acts of momentous will? Surely it should be worth at least 3 lbs?

Today I have squash in the afternoon. Otherwise, my head should be in the books. Turns out I only have a week to complete my massage coursework and I haven't looked at a single page yet!

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Eat, Drink and Be Merry, for Tomorrow we Diet.

I'm running out of diet quotes.

Today: 2 pieces wholemeal toast, Clover. Turns out the reason Clover is so good is that it's pretty much butter. The only real difference is in the saturated fat content, which is better by about 10g.
Apple, pack Walker's lights. Handful soya nuts. Vegetable and cashew nut cous cous for supper. Mini bottle coke. 2 coffees. Think that's it.

Exercise: none, really. Oh - walked the dogs 2.4 miles at Tentsmuir, so I suppose that's something.

Yesterday I had my first game of tennis of the season, and, as usual I played a blinder. It's always downhill from here, but I'd like to improve my game considerably this year. I also ran my fastest ever 5k at 28.36 - inside, of course - and did a paltry amount of weights before having a fight with Fisher and stropping off to walk the dogs on the beach.

We're going to look at another house tomorrow, but I'm not hopeful. It's not much bigger than this place, which is ok, but it's just a bit bleak looking. Oh well - we shall see.

God, I'm so tired. Dieting is exhausting - and the tennis and 5k has really made my achilles tendons hurt. Just feeling a bit poo, really : (

Sunday, 20 April 2008

A True Friend Would Diet For You ...

Yesterday I ate a bunch of things. (I'm quite bored of writing it all down. In brief: one piece toast, no butter. Prawn caesar salad. Baked potato with tuna mayo and Clover. Snacks - v v poor - 3 teeny tiny Cadbury's treats of a Twirl, a bag of tiny buttons, and a tiny Dairy Milk. Also 6 small squares of Green & Blacks. Yes, I am aware that pointing out how tiny things are doesn't make them any the less chocolatey.)

More importantly, I had a lovely day. I met my ladies in waiting for coffee, then went to the dressmaker to talk frocks. She was quite bossy, as is the wont of most dressmakers, and I found myself being relatively brusque in my refusals to countenance various of her suggestions. I came in with a picture I quite fancied, but it proved impractical for numerous reasons - not least the fact that it would cost seven hundred million pounds to make, being made entirely of goooooold. Instead I was shown a truly lovely fabric which I will say nothing of, because Koios will spank me if I let it slip, but I'm very happy with it and it's a colour I know suits me.

We made further appointments for me, also for Phid and Koi (my two lovely ladies in waiting, who will draw all the attention away from me by being far more beautiful, thank God), and then skipped off to window shop and force Phid into dresses she wouldn't normally have chosen in a billion years in a search for inspiration. It was great fun. I hate shopping for me, but I do love shopping for other people. It gives me a chance to point and say: "Lud, m'dear, hast tha' seen the size of your b'ttocks in that?" (Not really. Phid has no b'ttocks to speak of and looked infuriatingly splendid in everything.) We came out with some good ideas ... well, I did, anyway. Of course, whether Phid takes any of them on board is entirely her own choice.

Then we had lunch at Tigerlily, feeling very much like ladies who, well, lunch, in fact. Phid said she was rather at a loss as to what to do with the afternoon, but felt we ought to go to the gym and have an affair. Not, presumably, with each other, though.

We parted ways after lunch, and I headed home to Fisher. It was strange not being able to chat about my outfit with her, but rather fun, too. It'll be lovely to give her a surprise On The Day, and even lovelier if it's a pleasant one, for a change. I'm sure with Koios and Phid on hand to blow-torch me into respectability I might manage to look, if not glamorous, then at least less like I've fallen off the back of a truck and bounced repeatedly.

Now, would you like to know what this young, dynamic play-girl of the western world has done with her Sunday?

Y es folks - she went antiquing!

I am so, so, so, so, so very old. Antique, in fact. And now I'm back home, the dogs most disgruntled because they haven't had a decent walk, and the high octane Sunday continues with blogging, listening to Richard Thompson (1952 Vincent Black Lightning - which is reminding me to get some motorbike lessons) and waiting for the bath water to get hot.

I'll just close with the fact that I've managed to put on 3 pounds over the last week. Actually, I put on 5, and have lost 2 overnight. I think it's all water retention, but I blame the Burger King milkshake from last Monday. Eeeeevil. (Also the dim sum, but we won't mention that.)

Off now. Tata.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

A man who lives fully is prepared to diet at any time ...

Yes, well, the wheels have rather come off - not aided, today, by the fact my mother brought 2 bags of Twistees with her from Malta, and I scarfed them both with the gusto of a hound dog. Each bag is over 17g fat, and some 260 calories. I am doomed.

I've been muckle busy over the last few days. On Friday I went down to Edinburgh. I think I had a couple of bits of toast for breakfast, soup and a sarnie for lunch, and I definitely had Pro's lovely Thai curry for supper. Snacks included two little bits of rocky road minibites from M&S.

I was in Edinburgh because the next morning, bright and early, I was starting my massage course in Peebles. I'd swotted like a crazy person and was sure I'd pass the closed-book test on cells, tissues, regions of the body etc. Unfortunately, it turned out we weren't to have the test until the next day, so we all had to sweat it out for another day. And sweat it out is right. The room in which we're learning is dark, with the blinds always drawn across the windows, and either too cold or way, way too hot. Just after lunch, one of the girls was standing right by the window as we witnessed our first massage. I heard what I thought was a snore, looked up and thought: has that girl fallen asleep on her feet? She then gave another snore, and I realised she was on the verge of fainting. I sharply called her name, at which she started to keel over, and spewed. Lovely. One of the other girls got to her in time to support her, and gave her a towel. The bloke who was being massaged (the instructor's husband) leapt off the couch in his Next undies, and helped her out. There then followed a bit of fuss and kerfuffle which really only served to utterly mortify the poor girl, who didn't look entirely charmed to be fussed over by a bullish man in underpants. When she was settled, sipping water and cross-legged on the floor, the bloke went back to the massage table, saying, with hefty irony, to his wife:

"Don't forget to cover my dignity with the towel, love."

It broke the tension, at least.

Back in Edinburgh that evening I went out for supper with my ladies in waiting to chat about dresses (ostensibly - although we kind of covered that before hand, and spent the rest of the night gabbing about other, more interesting stuff) and had half a bowl of calamari soup, then sea bass. It was all only tolerable, unfortunately, but the company was excellent and the atmosphere suitably cosy. (Other food eaten: 2 pieces toast - white - with butter, a small cup of soup and a white roll).

Sunday saw me back in Peebles for day 2, and the closed book test. Our instructor had assured us it would be easy - which, considering the pass rate was 100% was reassuring - but it wasn't. There was one question that was particularly cheeky, not being in the literature, or even in the list of things we were told to memorize. Needless to say, I didn't get 100%, getting 3 questions either wrong or incomplete - but I just have to answer them orally next time and all will be well. There were no vomiting incidents, and I ate a cheese and ham sandwich for lunch, with Fisher making canelloni with a tomato based sauce for supper. I ate too much of it, and also had a snack of a teeny tiny bag of chocolate buttons. However, considering my food intake over the weekend, I was seriously disappointed to discover I'd put on a pound when I weighed myself the next day. I suppose I ought to have predicted it, as weight loss for me is very dependant on the time of the month, but I'm sure that the added pound affected me psychologically. I have a bit of a tendancy to say well, I fucked up, I may as well have a bit of a binge then get back on the wagon on X-day. Having said that, I really wasn't so bad as all that ...

Well ... actually ...

We went to Glasgow to see Sister & Sons, also my mother, and over the course of the visit I have eaten:

Dim Sum. Quantities of said dim sum should be swiftly glossed over. On the other hand - I've found a fab dim sum restaurant in Glasgow! Brilliant! It's been so long since I've had decent Chinese food. It's a restaurant on Sauchihall Street, and is called the New Loon Fung. I recommend it highly, and it was full of Chinese people which is generally a good sign.

Later that day, I had a chocolate milkshake, which made me feel sick. I then had supper in the hotel restaurant, consisting of 3 courses: goat's cheese tart (not on my diet), sea bass (a-bloody-gain) and a plate of cheese. Not impressive.

Aside from eating, we did do some other stuff in Glasgow. While Sister went to IKEA, Fisher, Ma and I took the boys to Pollock House Country Park, where they played in the playpark and then did a bit of exploring in the grounds. Then followed the evil milkshake as Sister took the boys to Burger King for supper. Then back to the hotel, supper for us and bed.

Next day, we had a leisurely breakfast from about 8.30. I had a bowl of muesli, orange juice, a 1/2 piece of toast with butter and a small bit of honeycomb, and a small vat of coffee. I filled Gemmill's head with all sorts of nonsense about animals, and then got tangled up over worms. I can never remember whether that thing about worms living if cut in two is a myth or not. So I promised to buy him a book about animals, which led me to take him to Waterstone's after breakfast, while Sister took Wrecker to Yorkhill hospital for his check-up. £94 later, I left Waterstones. I'd bought 2 books for myself, one for Fisher, and the rest were all Gemmill's. But they were so good for him! Reference books about nature and dinosaurs, a bug-gathering pack, and a book about the human body can hardly be called spoiling him, can they? Ok, so he also got a storybook about a dinosaur, and Wrecker got a Pepper Pig book, but that's not overindulgent is it?

Anyway, just as we were sitting down to grab a cup of coffee, Sister called to say their appointment was over, so we forewent the coffee, jumped in a cab and met them at Yorkhill. We bundled Gemmill and Ma into Sister's car, bade them all fond farewell, and then headed back into Glasgow for a little impromptu shopping at Hobb's. I bought a pair of linen trews and a blue top, Fisher got a lovely teal top, and we left with joy in our hearts, to meet Pistol for lunch.

Hurrah for Pistol. He's always great company, and he took us to a lovely, lovely pub called the Butterfly and Piglet - also on Sauchiehall Street. We had mushrooms on toast to start, then I had a vaaaast trout salad, and a few bites of Pistol's sticky toffee pudding. It was all lovely, and the pub is eccentric charm personified. The menu is eclectic, to say the least, and worded in such a way as to strike confusion into the hearts of any foreigner. It's all riddles and puns. "Fish 3.14" for example. I'll leave you to figure it out.

After lunch we took Pistol home, then drove home to discover the dogs had been very naughty for Lu, who'd had to bathe them, not once, but twice. They'd also, apparently, worked in tandem to knock her Maltesers off the chair and gobble their scattered goodness. After that they were very subdued. I'm not surprised. I'm not brave enough to take chocolate away from Lubentina. You'd have to be a crazy fool - or two adorable cocker spaniels who can just about get away with not being skinned.

Supper consisted of the aforementioned Twistees, and a bowl of Coco Pops later on. I appear to have regressed to age 7. Tomorrow, I'm getting back on track - even though my PMT has now turned into MT and is therefore threatening to sabotage everything by forcing images of Praline Flakes through my head ever 5 minutes.

I'm to bed.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Live As If You Were to Diet Tomorrow ...

Not sure how Mahatma would take that little perversion of his words. Anyway:


Baked potato with tuna mayo and sweetcorn

Half a spatchcock poussin, with a large field mushroom grilled with a crust of blue cheese and breadcrumbs. Also carrots, tomatoes, asparagus and a few spuds - all beautifully cooked by Fisher, who assures me it was all healthy stuff. Couldn't have been, though, as it was far too tasty and filling.

Several handfuls of roasted soya nuts. Starting to find them less satisfactory now.

I also went for a 5k run up Quarry Road - my first uphill run for a long while. It was very slow, at 35.32, which disappointed me, but at least I did it. I was so tired after getting up relatively early (for me) and driving 2 hours to see a house that was just awful. We had such high hopes for it, but it was bollocks. Oh well. The search continues.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

If I Should Diet, Think Only This of Me ...

That there's some corner of a fromage frais that is forever Seshat ...

Or, more accurately, a yoghurt. I've re-discovered quite a penchent for these low-fat lovelies.

Anyway, on this day I have consumed thusly:

None. Slept late, cleaner came so we went out with the dogs and got lunch at the Byre Theatre in St A's.

Crayfish salad with lemon dressing. Nibbled bits of mezze - feta, pitta bread, a mouthful or two of lamb stew.

Spag bol, made with extra lean mince. Added some salami chunks and a couple of slices of parma ham to the usual suspects. 125g fresh pasta - exactly quarter of the pack.

Lovely Rachel's organic yoghurt. However, it's so good and creamy that I have a sneaking suspicion it's not at all low fat. *Checks* Man! It's 3.3g fat and only 101kcals! This diet's going to be a piece of piss!

A few handfuls of those soya bean thingies.

Other than the dullness of dieting, I've had a lot of fun doing nedding stuff. Fisher and I went to the registry office, further to a brief and slightly embarrassing conversation we had a few days ago that went something like this:

Me: "Yammer yammer yammer nedding yammer fun yammer plans yammer fun stuff yammer costumes yammer ..."
Fisher: "Oh yes - and we should really get those forms signed as well."
Me: Blank look.
Fisher: "Er ... shouldn't we? The forms? Sign them?"
Me: Blanker look.
Fisher: (as to a 2 year old) "Sign ... the ... forms ...?"
Me: "What forms?"
*Horrified looks from Fisher, Arrow and Lu.*
Me: "Ohhhhh ... those forms. The actual partnership thing. Yeah. We should do that."

Alas, when we actually rocked up the registrar wasn't in, so we made an appointment to see her/him on Friday. We've also chatted with the planner and finalised a few things, requested a few others, and made some difficult choices over asking people to do stuff. I realised that one of the important things a traditional wedding does is allow an opportunity to ask those close to you to share in the event. For the British, this is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate affection without actually, you know, having to demonstrate it.

Other news - we're off to see a potential house tomorrow. Fisher is very excited about it. I'm not, really, but am willing to be swayed. We shall see.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

The Diet is Cast ...

Ok, that would have been a better title for when the diet reached its last day and was cast off - but it'll do. I'm sure I can think of a plethora of crap puns before this thing is done.


2 x slices toast, Clover

Tuna mayo salad roll

Cold meat and salad. More specifically:
5 or so slices salami
2 or so slices parma ham
3-4 tbsps bean salad with mint dressing
Most of an avocado
Handful herb salad
Cheese & crackers (too many - and Hovis biscuits are biscuits, not crackers, no matter how I cunningly try to hide it)
Pack light crisps

2.5 scoops apple & cinnamon ice cream with 2 of Koios's favourite biscuits to accompany. Ok, this isn't good ... but it was home made ice cream! Surely that makes it good for me?

Astoundingly, I don't think I've had any.

1 mini bottle coke
1 large coffee, 2 sweetners
1 bottle fizzy water (does this need mentioning?)

I feel as if I've eaten too much. The ice cream was certainly a step too far and not needed at all, but never mind. I had Arrow round to watch the footie with me, and I felt I needed to feed him something halfway edible rather than inflicting dietary crapola on him. The fact that I could have given him ice cream and not had any myself didn't really enter my head.

Exercise wise, I didn't do any. Well - actually, I took the dogs for a walk at Tentsmuir, up to the bridge and back, so probably 1.5 miles, and I was starving afterwards. I think walking is supposed to be a good weight loss thing - but maybe that's just wishful thinking.

Bridie was angelic on the walk. It was Baffie who was mischievous. She buggered off quite quickly into the walk, and I really didn't see her again. I kept catching glimpses of her in the woods, so I knew she was nearby, but she didn't walk with me at all. Back at the car, when I hadn't seen hide nor hair of her for ages, I put Bri and Rosie the Pest in the Drover and went back along the path to find her. After calling and calling, I got to the wooden holiday house by the beach, and saw that there were people there. I then saw Baffie coming leisurely out of the garden. Considering it had been raining all the way round she looked suspiciously dry. She was also relatively uninterested in her supper which, considering I gave them Pedigree Chum packets with dry mixer, is almost unheard of. I think she went and made big eyes at the people in the cottage. They will immediately have been captivated by her golden beauty and stuffed her full of whatever titbits came to hand. Doubtless she will have curled up on their sofa, allowed them to place truffles on her tongue, then deigned to return to me when my calling became somewhat frantic.

Naughty pooch!

Anyway, that's today. Fisher returns to me tonight. I have swept and washed the kitchen floor, made sure the dishes are done, changed the bed, and am just off to tidy the sitting room.

Food and Golf

Today has been surprisingly pleasant in its out-of-the-blue fun. Pro's golf clubs came in to Auchterlonies, so he came up and got them and we went to the driving range. He's now hitting balls with a pitching wedge about as far as I hit them with a driver. Oh to be 6 ft 10.

Food wise, this is what I've eaten:

30g bowl of Coco Pops.

Forgot (to eat it, not what I ate)

Lamb chops, grilled with rosemary and worcestershire sauce
Salad, with feta cheese (much less than 25g)

Handful roasted soya bean things. Quite nice, if a little pasty when chewed.
Bag Walker's lights, cheese and onion flavour. Nice.
Teeny tiny Time Out. Mmmmm ...

2 large coffees, 4 sweetners total
1 small bottle coke

Think that's all. I also went to the gym for a rubbish work out, involving:

15 mins run, 1.5 miles
3 x 12 leg machine (where you push a weight up with your shins) on 90kg, each set interspersed with 3 x 12 lat pull down, on 6
3 x 12 bicep curl, on 6
3 x 12 horizontal leg lift, on 120kg

Then I took the dogs to the vet to have their butts squeezed. Always lovely. I also gave them a bit of a run on the beach, but it was too crowded for a proper walk, poor things.

That's all folks. Dullsville.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

This Dieting Nonsense ...

Today I awoke, feeling a little sore from the 17 (ish) mile bike ride I took yesterday (more later), but otherwise chipper and raring to go. I made myself a cup of coffee and some toast, vowing to buy some Clover which I discovered, thanks to Phid, tastes far from revolting. These I ate, contemplating the fresh, lovely salads I will be eating over the course of the next month.

I then looked down and discovered I'd polished off half a packet of Belgian florentines, and half a packet of Belgian wafer thin chocolate biscuits.

What, I ask thee, is wrong with me?

In an attempt to curb this self destructive greed, I've decided that my blog is going to act as a diet confessional. This will, doubtless, make incredibly dull reading, but if I have to tell all my readers what a biffa I've been during the day it may act as some kind of deterrant. Although, if the thought of losing something I love for 3 months isn't deterrant enough I don't know that this will help.

This week I've lost one single, solitary pound, and it's really not good enough - especially considering the 6 mile run I took, and the 16/17 miler of yesterday. It's time to step up.

From this moment forward, everything that passes my lips is going into this blog. The mistakes I've made thus far are history - I think only forward, to the glorious future of health and vitality which awaits not only myself but my competitors, Janus and Pro.

Now then - what's been going on since my last pathetic blog?

On Thursday night we had a welcome guest in Phid, who I went to pick up from her brand, spanking new cottage in Clackmannanshire. It was all I'd hoped, from the outside - a long, low farm building with all the charm of a rustic postcard. An empty and tumbledown barn stands outside, with ample space for numerous summer parties - including a traditional hay loft, which just needs a new floor to make a superb outdoor den. If only we smoked pot and had illicit sex it would be some kind of nirvana, but as it is, it would make a brilliant gossip corner.

On collecting her, I refused to look round the place. Y'see, I'd been prepared for seeing it on our return from IKEA and had it all set out in my mind as to how it would all come about, and going to pick Phid up was a new plan which I handn't mapped out in my head. I didn't want to spoil my anticipation, so simply grabbed her and shoved her into Helga the Nazi VW, who was not happy to have been taken up a pot-holed driveway.

I'd booked a table at the Seafood Restaurant for supper, and because I was late we had to go straight there, pausing only to pick up Fisher from the lane outside our house. We'd phoned ahead to say we'd be late, but once there they kept us waiting half an hour before taking our orders. Not very impressive. The food, however, was as lovely as always and so was the bottle of Pouilly Fumé we decided to try - very citrussy and clean.

Back home, we sat chatting for a depressingly short period of time before bed beckoned. I'd recorded the 5.30 show on STV at Phid's request, as there was something work related she wanted to watch, but when I switched on the Sky planner, it wasn't there. Baffled, I wondered whether there was an error with our Sky box, which would be a nightmare considering we just got a new one, whether I was going crazy, or ...

With dawning suspicion, I turned to Fisher.

"Have you cleaned up the Sky box?" I cried.

"No!" she gasped, wide eyed and innocent. But I can read her like a book.

"Oh my God," I groaned, "you did, didn't you?"

"Yes!" she wailed. "I'm sorry - I couldn't help myself. I couldn't imagine why anyone would want to record the 5.30 show so I just deleted it when I was tidying!"

I can't believe she tidies the Sky planner.

With no programme to watch, we all went to bed and woke shiny and new on the morrow. Fisher gave us a lift into Dundee to pick up the rental van, and then it was off to Edinburgh's IKEA, which proved a moderately painless experience. I refused to allow Phid to buy anything lime green, but otherwise I approved of all the things she bought. I'm sure that sets her mind at rest. She got a big dining table, a bookcase, a boot tidy, a coat rack, a mattress, curtains, a bed, a sofa and some cushions. I think she also got a chef's table as well, but can't remember if she decided against it or not. We had to wait ages for the sofa to be brought to the exit, and then had to be helped by two burly cockneys, who positively leapt to our aid. A young guy before them had also leapt to our aid when it came to loading the mattress, and although he wasn't really needed, we let him help. In this age of masculine confusion as to their role in life, I always find it absurdly touching to see them jump with true delight at the chance to help women lift things that are heavy.

Once everything was loaded, we set off, back to Clackmannanshire and Phid's lovely cottage. This time, I had a good poke about. There are four excellent sized rooms in a long line: kitchen, dining room, study, and sitting room. They're light and airy, with open fires everywhere, and decorated in light, neutral colours, which is a massive bonus. As Phid said, there's not an avacado bathroom suite in sight. The bathroom is, in fact, quite basic - but there's a bath and electric shower (in the bath), and room enough at one end to change into your clothes, so what more do you really need?

It's upstairs where the real charm lies. As is always the way, charm generally brings a few niggly problems with it, and in this case it comes in the shape of the guest bedroom. Both upstairs bedrooms are low-ceilinged and, being in the rafters, slope with the roof. I love this, but the guest bedroom has the added difficulty of having what I presume is the chimney shaft running up the ideal bed-wall. This means the bed has to go on the wall where the roof slopes, which limits the size of the headboard - but a small price to pay for such rustic charm, I say. The master bedroom is the same, but without the chimney, so easier to set out.

Having poked about the cottage, cooing with delight, and having checked out the ample garden space - which catches a great deal of sunshine - I was only too happy to unload. This we did swiftly, putting everything in their ultimate rooms - including the king size mattress.

Ah, the mattress. It had to go in the upstairs, master bedroom. All well and good - but the stairway to the master bedroom is about as wide as I am, and turns sharp right from a teeny-tiny stairwell at the bottom. Couple this with a door height of about 5 ft 9ins, and getting a king sized mattress up these stairs was ... interesting. When Fisher heard about our struggles she said:

"Thank God it was you and Phid doing it, rather than any other Cheese Boarders. You've got the brute strength and Phid never gives up."

I looked at her.

"Er ... of course, you never give up either, dear," she added, hastily.

Good to know I'm not just a meaty fulcrum, eh?

Anyway, once we'd heaved, cajoled and beaten the mattress far enough up the staircase for Phid to get her shoulder under it, everything became slightly easier. With bellows of "1 - 2 - 3 ... heeeeeave ..." we found it sliding its grudging way to the top, and could manhandle it into the middle of the room, where we both collaped on top of it and Phid vowed never, ever to move again.

With everything unpacked and ready for assembly, I bade farewell to Phid and headed home for pizza with Fisher, who was leaving on the morrow for a trade fair. Pizza is NOT part of my diet.

Next morning, Fisher woke me at 6 am and I waved her off. I then couldn't get back to sleep, so stayed awake watching old episodes of Cracker (so good!) until it was time to get up, let the dogs out, and run some errands before setting off to see Phid. I bought her a garden-warming present of a bench from Thai Teak, and it was rather entertaining packing that, my bike and 3 dogs into the car. The big labrador - Rosie - we're looking after, had to ride on the bench, and she scratched it to buggery. Typical. Superficial scratches, though, so should be ok.

Arriving at Phid's, we unpacked the bench and put it in the garden, where it looked very at home, then set off on our run/ride. It was going to be 17 miles, with Phid running and me setting the pace on my bike.

Ha ha. Hahahahahaha. Setting the pace?

First, Phid took us across a field. She then took us over a fence, which I carried the bike over, only to discover we couldn't cross the massive ditch on the other side. We tried going to the bottom of the hill, only to discover barbed wire - so back across the fence we went, down to the road, then back up a different track. As I was toiling up this unspeakable track of soft grass, I discovered my bike was refusing to go below 4th gear. Completely unable to pedal further, I had to get off and push while Phid disappeared around the corner and away.

Eventually I reached the top of the track, to find 2 routes available - one which bent around to the left but appeared to go to a farmhouse, the other which went through 2 gates, through a field, and up a hill. I figured she was probably going off road and following the hillside track. I was, alas, wrong. Huffing up the hill, I reached the top to see a jogging figure on the road below, heading towards me. I retraced my steps and met her, coming round the corner with a slightly worried look on her face.

"Ah good, you're not dead," she grinned.

I'm hanging on by a very thin thread, I thought to myself, but assured her I was fine, if troubled by my bike. We continued onwards, me lagging behind whenever there was even the faintest suggestion of a hill. However, having reached tarmac it soon transpired that there was absolutely nothing wrong with my bike - it just felt like 4th gear when being ridden across soft ground. Chastened and slightly humiliated I wondered whether I was going to manage 17 miles of this, but put my head down and tried to think only of the immediate task in hand - which was to whoop my way down a glorious stretch of hillside. Then followed several miles of beautiful countryside and a mix of uphill and downhill, track and tarmac, which made a great bike ride.

I have to say, being used to run-riding with Fisher, I was struck by the difference it made following someone of Phid's pace. On uphill stretches I simply couldn't keep up and lagged a long way behind. It didn't help that I didn't know the way. With Fisher, I can bomb downhill in order to combat uphill climbs, or at least build up some speed before tackling the hills. Not knowing the way, I had to stop and wait for direction before bombing ahead, and mostly ended up following like the Little Engine Who Just About Could But Would Much Rather Have Been In Bed.

We followed the multi-leisure route into Alloa, went to where Phid works, then returned to Dollar via the Devon Way. This I found pretty tough, being almost entirely flat and therefore needing constant peddling, whereas the way out was up and down, meaning every effort was rewarded with a lot of coasting. However, until about mile 14 I was having a whale of a time. It was a gorgeous day, on the whole - bright sunshine, a fresh wind mostly blocked by trees and lees, and stunning scenery. We did go through a very Scottish patch, involving baltic blasts that nearly knocked me off my bike, hail, rain, snow, then sunshine again. Phid just dipped her head slightly and strode stoically onwards, while I muttered curses and dark vows beneath my breath. If Phid's feet have dropped off today I can only apologise, and will re-evaluate my belief system at once.

Apart from being taken by surprise at how tough I found 17 miles on a bike, I was also somewhat embarrassed, on a couple of occasions, by my ineptitude at steering. While riding along a pavement in Phid's wake, I saw a fat, concrete lamppost. I then rode so close to this fat concrete lamppost that I had to fend it off with a hard blow from my wrist, which neatly took the top layer of skin off and dribbled blood into my watch band. All I can say is, thank god it was a lamppost and not a little old lady I knocked unconscious with a vicious blow. I was then confronted with a series of metal railings, through which pedestrians and cyclists must weave. The cyclist is supposed to ride through two little, parallel railings. I did so, only to catch one pedal on the railing and topple sideways like a galleon caught broadside by cannon fire. Phid's demonic cackle drifted behind her as she loped into the distance. More muttered curses and dark vows followed, and yet more whenever she bounced up a steep hill, crying:

"It's this way!"

"Of course it's this way," I snarled beneath my breath - or lack of it. "Of course it's uphill. There's a perfectly lovely downhill, but nooooo. Phidippida wants to go uphill. Naturally. And pot-bellied gutsack on the bike must follow."

At this point an elderly housewife carrying her shopping overtook me and gave a cheery hello, then heard my black mutterings, gave me a startled glance and crossed the road.

"Oh, it's not this way," Phid corrected herself, running back down the hill, "it's this way."

I swear, if I didn't love her more than my luggage ...

So, anyway, I finished with at least a modicum of my dignity intact, and refrained from bitching all the way round about how haaaaard it was to the person doing the 17 miles on foot. Well, I say 'refrained' ... I suppose I mean 'mostly refrained.' Back ache, chapped lips and a really, really irritating runny nose were the main points of distress which aren't exactly a big deal, when you think about it. Phid looked great at the end, and can proudly put another step towards marathon fitness under her belt. (Way to mix metaphors, Sesh.)

We showered, and I made toast then watched Phid as she started erecting her dining table. There was only one tool, so my offers of help were redundant. We then took the dogs for a quick ball of chalk in the fields, stopped for a chat with Phid's neighbour, who seems a nice chap, and then went - huzzah! - to the pub! We chose the Muckart Inn at Yetts o' Muckart, and it was nice enough. It was busy, so we had a brief wait for a table, but that was ok. It's cosy, the food is fine, and we had a good chinwag as we devoured appropriately unhealthy food. Rump steak, black pudding, pepper sauce and chips are NOT on my diet. Then coffee, before I took Phid home and headed back to an empty HC. Huzzah! Recorded footie on the telly, chocolate florentines 'n' wafer thin biscuits (yes, the other half of the packs I scarfed today), and I was like a pig in muck. I only managed to watch the first half of the Liverpool Arsenal game before I was nodding off on the sofa, so gave the dogs their last out and turned in. 10 minutes and I was deep in a dreamless, black sleep, marking the end of a really lovely day.

And that brings me up to date, and to the start of my new diet regime. Boy, I'm not looking forward to the sugar-shakes as I go cold turkey ...

PS - 01.20am. In the spirit of full disclosure, this was the sum total of my food today.


2 x slices toast with butter (tomorrow I will have Clover instead).
Half pack wafer thins, half pack florentines. Yes, we know about this. It was bad.
75g tagliatelli with sun dried tomatoes, 8 baby plum tomatoes (halved), half small pack pancetta, half a leek, 23g cheddar. Very nice, too.
Glass orange juice.
An orange.
A pack baked Walker's crisps, salt and vinegar flavour. They are only tolerable.
A handful of seeds and raisins. Yes, seeds and raisins.

This diet has already taught me something very potent, namely:

I do not eat enough fruit and veg. Also - seeds and raisins are no substitute for chocolate. Seeds and, indeed, raisins suck the big one.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Mildly Exciting ...

So, all who know Fisher will know that she went to school with a certain pop star. Well - guess who was in town last night, visiting family? And guess who ran into Fisher outside Tesco and was just sweet as could be? Very keen to catch up - came back to ours for a wee drinkie - got mildly pissed ... and there's me creaking along after a 6 mile run, feeling like death and unable to string a sentence together. I had to keep going out the room so I could blow my nose in horribly snotty fashion. We kept her out the sitting room, so she didn't see the guitar and piano and feel like she had to perform.

She really was lovely though.

Fisher 'n' KT