Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Cold and Snow Now

Today it has started snowing outside, large thick flakes falling slowly at the moment. I had to finally wash my one remaining non motheaten cashmere sweater, which is the only thing which keeps me warm. Today I ordered two more from Lands End. They are £70 which seems a lot, but worth every penny to me. Unfortunately they didn't have any more neutral colours, so bought a kind of blackberry colour and a black polo neck one. Even if these get devoured by moths they will see me through the winter.

Suddenly remembered that not only do I have to go to the hairdressers on Saturday, but have a party on Saturday night. It is my birthday on Friday, so in view of all these outings, and lunch at the Ivy on Sunday, will spend a quiet birthday evening at home and watch TV. Not much chance of weight loss, either this week or next. We shall see. Just hearing about a potato marketing guy in America eating nothing but potatoes every day for a month. He is feeling healthy, his cholesterol is down and he has lost weight. Might make a good plan B, though a rather tedious one - no added cream, butter, fat, oil etc.

Day off today, which is just as well, but back to work tomorrow for a couple of days.

Romy bought me a birthday present from Bluewater. I have been good and left this unopened though I suspect I know what it may be. Very naughty of her.

Since I have been overfeeding Kook, his mood has improved considerably and he has bitten me less, though I felt a light, playful nip on the leg when I got up this morning. Perhaps he is like a man, and becomes evil when hungry. Blood sugar levels, probably.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Monday Morning Chill

Thought I knew it was very cold on Saturday evening, I started noticing draughts everywhere. I could not understand this, and when I went to bed upstairs it was particularly cold, despite leaving the heating on all night. All was revealed at 11am on Sunday when I went out to get the papers: the main front door had been wide open since 8.30pm the previous evening. The second time this has happened. Not a good idea in this area, quite apart from the weather. I rang my upstairs neighbours bell later and mentioned this, and they were very apologetic. Oh well. I suppose I should be grateful I was not murdered in my bed, which is near the front door.

Call from Dorothy on the way to the hairdressers last night. Seems the assessment was very good. Dorothy has been reading my blog and says I go on too much about food. I may take to drink, though I have been trying to do this all my life without any great success. Maybe not, too many calories.

Finally, Wagner has left the X-factor. With Katie Waissel. The others are all pretty good. Rebecca is my favourite because of her modest manner and excellent voice. We shall see.

Must organise a shopping delivery today. Hibernation has a very definite attraction in this weather.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Cheery Sunday News

Nervously climbed onto the scales. Amazing - despite quite a difficult week I seem to have lost 3lb. Still just over 15 stone, but another week or so and I will have lost at least two stones. At one point I was well over 17, maybe even more, and not so long ago, so calorie counting, however inaccurate, is working. Just a matter of sticking to it, which is hard in cold weather, but obviously not impossible. This has rather made my day after last week's setback. Must remember not to become complacent.

Just had a long chat with Nibby who has told me about something called Yupo which is a kind of plastic paper. You paint on with with watercolours, then can do all kinds of effects, blotting, drying, layering and polishing, and apparently it is totally fantastic. She says there's a demonstration DVD by someone called George James. Sounds exciting. I feel another purchase coming on.

Bloody Cold Outside

It is. Last night, I dug my old Belling electric fire out. It does make strange noises which I seem to recall from the old days of electric heating - kind of buzzing noises coming from the coiled wires on the elements, which should probably be alarming but are oddly comforting, and the warm glow is rather good. I normally only drag this out in extreme weather when there is thick snow outside, but last night it felt so cold, despite wearing a thick cardigan. I suspect my central heating is a little inadequate. Anyway I left it on constant all night, so this morning the house is slightly less cold.

Yesterday I went to Borough market, clutching a painting of Richard, the proprietor of The Rake, done from a photograph several years old. A few people had admired this so I assumed it wasn't completely unflattering. Richard was nowhere to be found so I left it with an employee at his beer stall and scarpered, just in case it was less flattering than I had imagined.

I purchased some more smoked paprika and some of those rather good salted Marcona large almonds for Christmas. I did a little shopping at Sainsbury's on the way home, and noticed they had some very pretty tiny iced fruit cakes with silver stars on top. Excellent for a couple, or a small family who don't want to be left with the usual excess after Christmas.

Despite emailing, my niece has still not sent me her address. I hope this arrives before Christmas. She must be very busy with two small children and a new house. I shall see if Nibby has it. Nibby always pretends to be a completely disorganised artist, but is very hard headed underneath it all. Falling on her feet is her specialty, whatever happens to her. I am the reverse of this, pretending to know what I am doing when I haven't a clue. Oh well.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Lost Punters - and Found

Bluewater was a bit of an adventure. It was a cold day and around ten people, including our trustee helper, didn't turn up. When we arrived, we all went our own ways and did some shopping. Romy had arranged separate transport for a punter in a wheelchair and her helper, and they managed a satisfactory shopping trip.

I had intended to restock with Lapsang tea, since the local Tesco does not stock this. However, I became quite carried away and purchased masses of clothes and some Christmas presents. When we came to leave, a couple was missing, so Romy rushed around to all the exits in case they were at the wrong place, but no luck. The centre management refused to put a message out on the loudspeaker, so leaving messages at customer 'helpdesks' we had to leave, half an hour late. Later that evening I had a call from Romy to say that they had been waiting outside Marks & Spencer at the other end of the shopping centre, and had then moved to House of Fraser, after we left. They managed to get back by bus and train, and rang Romy in the evening. I had been imagining all kinds of mishaps, so was glad when Romy rang with the good news. I suspect that Romy had burned off the calories we consumed at lunch by rushing around in search of our missing punters.

I bought a very silly Santa playgro with a hat and a white teddy bear for the baby upstairs, but will give them these with receipts in advance of Christmas. That way they can either change them for something more sensible, or the baby can appear as a mini Santa at gatherings in December, and will no doubt bump into many other mini Santas. He will be too young to be irritated by seeing others in the same outfit, hopefully.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Old Age

Here it is. Here. Me. I could never stand old people. Grumpy looking, slow, ratty and a bit frightening. I have always done my best to avoid them. I did quite like a few old people such as my grandmother, and a couple of great aunts, but generally, just no.

I am now getting what I deserve. What I have tried to ignore, but has been inevitable since the day I was born, is now very much here. And now. I am bloody OLD. Really old.

I had just been getting used to, at first, being no longer young, but young middle aged, then middle aged, then late middle aged, etc. I suppose I have been old for nearly ten years but, with the purchase of my mirrored screen which shows my incredibly large body, my undoubted haggard, wild, staring OLD face and wild, staring old hair have been equally revealed to me. Damn, damn, damn.

An approaching birthday is yet another spiteful reminder of the inevitable. Perhaps Kook has turned against me because he, like me, is not keen on old people.

Now I may start thinking about wearing crimplene, having a perm, wearing transparent plastic rain hoods which I shall keep handy in my bag. The list is endless. I shall start by baking. I have long had it in mind to make a batch of those wonderful nineteen fifties cakes, Jap, or Japonaise cakes. These are absolutely delicious, rather like large sized macaroons sandwiched together with coffee icing. In fact I could make mini ones the size of macaroons. I shall now try and organise myself to make a batch of these, and give them away to someone who would like them.

The other day, I was reminded of my friend John, who once told me that the most irritating thing about being old was being patronised by younger people. I have discovered the truth of this. When presented by a group of older people, young people have a huge tendency to decide that the poor old things all have Alzheimer's, as well as being deaf. We are talked to as though we are about five years old, which is intensely irritating. If I had the strength, I should probably become a geriatric thug, and give these younger idiots a good kicking. Oh well.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010


Met Romy for lunch yesterday and a visit to Sensational where Romy purchased a couple of things. Kept falling asleep all evening - I was definitely designed for hibernation.

Read a rather creepy bestseller by Sarah Waters called The Little Stranger. I am still thinking about purchasing a Kindle.

Going into work today, and a trip to Bluewater tomorrow. Must do some household shopping on the way in as I have run out of bread, milk etc.

Have been doing some fairly awful sketches of the Kook reclining on my bed. He nipped me twice again this morning, having materialised at 5am. Despite all the food, he is clinging to his bad habits. Defeated by a cat, that's me.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Tuesday Morning

You may see that no one comments on my posts. However I do receive a lot of spam, and now I am receiving spam in Russian, all from the same source. People are so strange.

On re-reading The Stray Sod Country, I have decided it is an allegory of kinds. About how time in the guise of the author/the Ketch/Nobodaddy, plays with the lives of ordinary people and communities, usually ending with either tragedy, albeit sometimes farcical, or more generally, loss and disappointment in old age. Ho hum.

Apart from being semi-gripped by soaps, I am becoming disillusioned by TV. In particular, I managed to watch about two minutes of Giles Coren and Sue Perkins in their customary slapstick mode which is applied to every appearance of this pair, before becoming both bored and irritated. Maybe it's just me, but I find it hard to believe that people are stupid enough to put up with such self-indulgent crap. Rant over.

Seems we are due for a very cold winter. I would say 'bring it on' but for my elderly, rather inefficient boiler, necessitating warm cardigans in my flat most of the time even now. Though I do like to see a lot of snow when looking out of the window. A white Christmas would be pretty.

Monday Morning

Sunday was very quiet. It was drizzling, so only went to the shopping centre. I bought some papers and groceries, then straight home for a coffee. I made a stew of some onions, garlic, meatballs, beef stock, carrots and mushrooms with various herbs and seasonings. I shall be serving this in the Catalan way: eating the vegetables and meat as one dish, and serving the rest as soup with a few pieces of pasta. Of course, the Catalan dish has chicken or lamb, various sausages including morcilla and is therefore much more meaty and hearty. Mine is Carn d'Olla lite.

I keep falling asleep all the time, particularly in front of the telly. I managed to watch the X-factor, because of several earlier catnaps, but only managed half of a much lauded four part drama, partly through tiredness, and partly because the characters were unsympathetic.

Watching the ads for Kindle on TV, and was rather tempted. However I don't know about the prices they charge for the books, so shall reserve judgment, though I know lots of people who rave about it. Would certainly avoid my current embarras de livres, which have escaped from the overflowing bookcase to almost every flat surface.

Tweet from my new-found bro Michel, who was cooking for nine on Sunday. I can't remember what it was like to be surrounded by so many. He must be an excellent cook.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Fatter than Ever

Aargh - put on half a pound today. I suspect that eating meals in the Lye Torng, albeit without most of the sauce and rice, is the cause of this. Together with the glass of wine and pudding I ate on Thursday. I have definitely felt hungrier in the colder weather, so must be very careful next week.

Re-reading The Stray Sod Country which is improving all the time. Some books need to be read several times to appreciate them properly.

I seem to be semi-hibernating - last night I fell asleep before 9pm downstairs, so went straight to bed and slept until Kook woke me, thankfully at 6am rather than 5. Nine hours sleep seems rather a lot, but I did wake up once or twice in the night.

I shall ring Nibby this morning for her news from Oz. No Sunday lunch for me today. I shall purchase another Iceberg lettuce which, chopped up and dressed with vinegar, will form the base of a couple of dinners, with meat or tuna on top. And maybe some peppers or tomato. I have made a fairly substantial warming soup with lentils and green beans, suitably diluted with chicken stock, which will make a good starter.

More Saturday

Seems John Mortimer described Tantric sex as 'the plumber position: you stay in all day and nobody comes.' Well, I thought it was funny.

Had a little yellow curry at Lye Torng for lunch. Dorian not feeling very well, sweats and a sore throat. Hope he recovers over the weekend.

I shall subside in front of a Harry Potter film this afternoon, then watch the X-factor tonight. How sophisticated.

Put some washing on and refilled the pond - the water evaporates fast. Fed the goldfish which are getting enormous - they seem to live forever. It is really dull and drab outside today, as well as damn cold. Envying Nibby in Oz, where it's damn hot.

Caturday Again - Kooky Disgraced Again

Spoke too soon about Kooky. After grooming he decided to fight the brush, and before I could move, attacked my arm ferociously. I grabbed him and chucked him out of the room, barricading the doorway with my new mirrored screen. Shortly afterwards I heard the catflap, so suppose he went out to attack something else. I am afraid he has become uninhibited. I shall have to remove all brushes after grooming. I think he is not able to distinguish the difference between play fighting and actual aggressive fighting. Obviously had 'issues' in kittenhood. Only I would acquire a maladjusted cat.

He has returned and is being pleasant again, lying on the bed. I shall leave him there and collect today's paper. After that I may have a diet coke in Lye Torng, and read the paper for a bit, before thinking about lunch. I suspect this week will be rather tragic on the scales, since I have felt peckish all week with the cold weather, and have probably nibbled more than I should. Must buy more carrots and celery, or make a huge cabbage soup. This could be the answer. We shall see.

Friday, 19 November 2010

End of the Week

Yesterday's trip went off successfully. I managed to find a white Amaryllis and a string of garlic and one of onions from France, now hanging rustically in my kitchen. We saw three reindeer and a robin, I successfully swapped all three of my roast potatoes for some carrots and parsnips, so total excess was avoided, and only swallowed one small glass of wine. Romy wheeled a punter around and helped with her shopping before doing some of her own at the last minute. I hope next week's outing to Bluewater goes as well.

Quiet day today. Dorothy made it to an industry meeting last night before working today. Seems not only was our flat broken into, but there was a fire in the main parts caused by faulty electrics, mending in progress, but also problems with damp and cracking in the balconies. This will apparently be fixed but at large expenditure to the residents. That apartment is working out to be quite expensive.

Kook made a tentative nip at my head this evening at feeding time, but was discouraged by being swept away again. His attacks, though daily, are getting far less vicious.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Thor's Day Again: shopping and eating

Taking two coachloads of punters off shopping for the day. I shall be in a hired car, which will hopefully pick up three disabled punters. We are promised lunch when we arrive, and some helpers will push the wheelchairs. Somewhat financially depleted, I may just see if I can find an amaryllis in pink and white, which I failed to do last year. No doubt the punters will stock up on huge quantities of local farm meat, which is both excellent and cheap. A local cabbie who lives nearby told me that the pies are excellent. Sadly, I did not need to know that.

I hope that Dorothy will inspect my laptop and somehow fix the iphoto application so that I can print and post my snaps, which are currently trapped in the application. This would be a welcome birthday present.

Last night I ate a whole pomegranate: Romy brought back two enormous ones, which her neighbour picked off a tree in Spain that day. What a treat! I checked the calories in this: my calorie book said 50, my database said 100, so plumped for 100 since it was rather large. It shows how varied calorie measurements can be.

Texted Dorothy and was surprised that they are coming back today because Dorothy has to work tomorrow. This puts paid to my plan to take a trip to Borough Market tomorrow morning to replenish their groceries in time for their arrival.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Tuesday Afternoon

Had some garlic pork on a layer of shredded cabbage for lunch. Quite edible.

It is much colder outside today, but sunny. Had a brief word with Romy about the foul meeting. As usual, she is making excuses for our difficult trustee. At least she had a good break abroad. I hope Dorothy and Julian are also having a good time.

Kook is quite perky today, and like me, extra hungry with the cold weather. I have found out why I am always tempted to eat more in the evening. According to the Times, one's taste buds are at their most lively then. Add that to lowered lights, TV, etc. and the temptation is there. Seems that if you eat in front of a mirror, you may well consume less, especially if you keep the light turned up brightly. I have found that if I have some marmite drink or thin soup first, it helps, especially if I follow the meat or fish dish with an iceberg salad with very little dressing. And eventually, a piece of fruit, followed finally by a small strong coffee. Saving most of my calories for this meal is also good. I always keep some raw carrots and celery in the fridge for emergencies.

I am attempting to reduce my intake today anyway, to make up for last night. I blame Marks & Spencer Dinner for Two. It's all their fault.

Eating for England

Hair done. Tony is gradually cutting out the layers, but some way to go yet. Cheered by this, I picked the chicken and vegetables out of a green curry at Lye Torng, and two spoonfuls of the rice for lunch. Became slightly carried away in the evening, and had some rich chicken soup with red wine, peas, and bits of chicken in it, followed by a (fortunately very small) M & S creme brulee. This took me nearly 300 calories over my daily allowance, which will be paid for today. Must be more cautious, particularly since I have to lunch out on Thursday.

Finished watching Downton Abbey on Sunday. It was very good, but small inaccuracies were irritating here and there, usually in language, such as calling a car a 'motor' which would not have happened. A car was either a motor-car, or a car, but never a 'motor' in upper class circles. I also doubt whether the butler would have hugged the daughter of the house under any circumstances. Over time, probably, historical details become less accurate, but it probably doesn't matter because fewer and fewer people who care about these are still alive. Only fussy old people like me even notice these things. Oh well.

I am still attempting to mend my ways, to try and prove that one can teach an old bitch new tricks, but I suspect I shall always be a miserable sinner. Being nice to everyone is rather uphill work, and certainly doesn't come easily. I must also make a huge effort to be enthusiastic, another hard task for a rather jaded old bat. Ho hum. If I don't have much more success fairly soon, 'Qualities of a Leader' may find a new home with Dorian, who has expressed some interest in reading it.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Monday Morning

Dear me - reading 'Qualities of a leader' has been somewhat depressing, reminding me of my endless shortcomings. Seems I am a slacker, showing lack of commitment; courage; communication; competence; discernment; etc. etc. I may crawl into a hole and hibernate. Reading this is a bit like being told off by one's parents when a teenager. The fact that I even think this demonstrates rather tragic immaturity. Well, never mind. I shall just have to try harder (or being realistic)just try. At least my faults have been pointed out.

Shall put in a repeat prescription request today, then off to Debenham's for Tony to improve my hair, which will be a boost to the morale, I hope.

Programme on the radio about how we are using the left side of the brain too much. Reminds me of the really clever book Nibby gave me, called 'drawing on the right side of the brain', which dotty though it sounds, seems to be able to teach any fule to draw, so long as they stick to it and practise.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

More Sunday

Had a long chat with Nibby who has several more commissions, and is delivering a painting of a horse to Sydney next Tuesday. I hope she gets paid lots of money for it. She is a very good artist indeed and a horse lover. She once won the first prize offered by the Arab Horse Association, and her painting was on the front cover of their magazine. Seems my niece and nephew are both fine, one has just moved and the other is moving soon to share with a girl friend.

Wandered down the Walworth Road. A remembrance service was going on at the front of the old town hall. Purchased a £10 dinner for two. This consisted of a whole small chicken, some fresh prepared veggies and a couple of creme brulees. I bought these because they came in very cute little fluted white ramekins. Rather than grill the tops I fried some sugar a la Jamie, and poured over the tops. So much easier. At 285 calories each they are a bit over the top, but reduced my other calories accordingly. I cooked the chicken in the red wine, also part of the deal, with garlic, and had a little for lunch. The stock will form the base of a chicken soup to eat later.

Made a rather unsuccessful boiled citrus cake with an orange and three limes. Basically, I should not have used limes, and I think I forgot the baking powder, judging by the flatness. However, I shall put it in the freezer and it can be used as a trifle base or iced with orange butter icing at a later stage. It might be good as a limoncello trifle base. We shall see.

Romy is back in rainland again, poor thing. I do hope she had a good time in Spain. I heard from Dorothy who was cycling around in Spain, but hasn't inspected the flat yet.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Remembrance Sunday

I was dreading weighing myself today, but in fact I am pleased to report the loss of 4lb, which is a decent step in the right direction. I think I may be rather erratic in my weight loss, despite sticking to the number of calories advised.

Seeking a bit of self-improvement, I read about a youngish woman who transformed several ailing businesses into world class organisations. I was quite surprised that she read many motivational books. She seemed particularly keen on John C Maxwell's '21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader'. I had always assumed that such books were only read by unsuccessful salesmen. I immediately purchased this slim volume at a discounted price from Amazon. I have to say that, even if one were not the slightest bit interested in leadership, the book is a good reminder of how to cope successfully with life, and is definitely a bearable read, unlike so many of those ubiquitous business theory tomes.

Reading the Prisoner Ben blog, I feel so sorry that he has been left on tenterhooks for a couple of weeks regarding his parole hearing, but glad he is concentrating on organising his Ph.D study, which will help under such difficult circumstances.

Remembrance Sunday today. I usually watch this on TV, but may avoid it today, depending on the weather. I am thinking of wandering down the Walworth Road and having my customary lunch in the Beaten Path. We shall see. First I shall ring my sister Nibby in Kangaroo Valley.

Samedi Matin

It really does make you sick. Seems that the small income from the Spanish flat may all be gone. The flat was broken into (nothing much pinched) and the entire front door needing replacing, at 900 euros. Dorothy and Julian are therefore staying in a hotel. I was hoping the income would pay for their short break, but I suspect there will be very little, if anything, left after paying for the damn door.

I can see that when I retire I shall have to force myself to live out there just to keep it occupied. I really don't want to let my London flat though, since I need to be able to get back when I want to, and having spent the last few years getting the place almost how I want it, do not fancy dismantling it. However, if I were to move away to somewhere where I could take all my furniture and reassemble it, I would be tempted to leave London. The property prices are so good in Northampton and I have a friend living there, and only an hour from London by train, so, hmmm.

Having my hair done at Debenhams on Monday. I can't stand it any more and need a morale booster right now, even though I can't really afford it.

Taking the punters to Polhill Garden Centre next Thursday, which will get me out of the office. And to Bluewater the following week.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Week's End

It was most enjoyable to deal with the letters and cheques to new beneficiaries. I had to ring one at home to check his address, and he said: 'I'm overwhelmed, I did not realise that anything like this existed - I've gone all red'. All this put things in proportion a bit, and I am hoping some new trustees due to be appointed soon will help matters.

Very rainy and windy yesterday and today. Texted Dorothy who is going away with Julian for a well deserved break. The shopping, Sainsbury's this time, has just arrived. Kook took a slight nip at my calf last night. Since he wasn't hungry, I suspect he does it just for fun. If only I were amused.

I do hope I have managed to lose weight this week - the last decent loss I had at the end of October was two and a half pounds - much less since then. As someone pointed out though, at least it's going down, however slowly.

Radio 4 feature about Dame Ninette de Valois. I remember seeing her many times on the bus in Barnes years ago. She was a tiny, elderly woman at the time, but immediately recognisable, with a slightly Queen Victoria face, but more attractive, and lovely eyes. One can imagine she might be rather imperious.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Vile Meeting

Last night's meeting was indeed ghastly. Everyone was fine, apart from the usual suspect, who was very aggressive and unpleasant all evening. Fortunately I think everyone else was as bored as I was by his continued irrelevant interruptions. Even the Chairman commented that he was very rude to me. Oh well.

Fortunately I had chosen the wrong dinner, which looked very unattractive, so did not eat much at all, and just one small glass of wine. I had quite forgotten that the traditional English way to serve liver is in huge, livid lumps, rather than the Italian way, in thin, elegant slices. I suspect also that this huge mound was pig rather than lamb or calves liver.

I was very glad to get home, and after giving Kook some more snacks and a short grooming, went straight to bed.

Meetings, Bloody Meetings

Just read that taking coke over the age of 35 is very dangerous. I must reduce my use of hard drugs. Though a mug of cocoa or Horlicks does not seem a very attractive alternative.

Newsy email from a friend who has just moved house this morning. Seems she has a huge kitchen and a huge living room. I am so jealous. I remind myself that the Elephant and Castle is, or soon will be, the centre of the universe. Even with a small kitchen and living room. Actually the living room isn't too bad, but is marred by being in a basement. Though it is currently painted white, I was inspired by a rather grand room in the latest Interiors mag, which was also lacking in light, but they painted it a very jolly lemon yellow, glazed in layers. Quite tempting. But not urgent. Unless someone wishes to volunteer. Ha ha. In fact, white may be fine for this Christmas. I have the usual tree dilemma, and am seriously thinking about getting a tiny real one (two or three feet tall) to stand on a table. Found some rather jolly and quite tasteful snowflake stickers which look good on the kitchen window, so may leave them as a start to Christmas decorating. In a way there's not much point as no one comes around, but they will cheer me up a bit.

Ghastly meeting tonight, made worse by dinner afterwards. I wonder if I can resist temptation and stick to my diet. I am not usually too bad if I stick to meat or fish and vegetables, no potatoes, no sauces, no pud and one glass of wine. We shall see. Julian has kindly offered to feed Kook tonight.

It really is bloody cold, but the sun has been out since lunch time. Reminds me of Spain in the winter. Outside, I can see the Shard getting taller and the glass outside cladding ascending rapidly. It will be absolutely gigantic when it is finished.

Seems the students are revolting over the cuts and increased fees. Apparently they have broken into Tory HQ and are causing mayhem. Takes me back to the Paris riots in the sixties. Frightful noise and crowds, as someone said about World War I.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Monday - Raining All Day

After deciding that some males of my reluctant acquaintance have all the allure and sophistication of drunken warthogs, I feel I should apologise to any drunken warthog who might read this.

Anyway, was listening to the World Service at the crack of dawn and heard the fascinating story about an Australian doc called Barry who discovered the Helicobacter, the cause of gastric ulcers. He could not test it on animals since it was a human bacteria, so he swallowed the content of the Petri dish himself. He said it was a bit like when boys dare each other to eat slugs etc. After five days he fetched up with gastric problems, and thus came the great discovery, for which he much later received the Nobel prize, deservedly, despite the vested interests of the drug companies who had been making a fortune with the wrong tummy drugs. Not to mention the careers of people who operated on gastric ulcers.

Found a cat blog called thecatorialist.blogspot.com which has pictures of cool cats.

Disappointing weight loss again this week, so will have to try harder. Dear me, at this rate I will still need a supersized coffin and will be too fat to be cremated. Don't ask, it was an article in the Oldie from years ago.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

The Morning After

The cursor seems to be behaving itself now, though I really prefer to use a mouse.

Had a very quiet day at home, expecting a delivery which now won't arrive until Monday, with several others.

I went to Jackie's firework party in the evening. I had made some little coffee cakes, some pate and a kind of cheesecake trifle, which consisted of lemon cheesecake covered in a thick layer of the damsons I had purchased from the short-lived farmer's market at Elephant. It was a very pleasant evening - dry and clear, and lots of fireworks. Met up with quite few people I had previously met at dinners and so on. In fact everyone enjoyed themselves so much that when I left just before midnight there were still quite a few people there. As usual, there were some newcomers, and Jackie is very hospitable, entertaining so many locals.

Rude awakening at five, with much running around across my bed and a slight bite from Kook, just to remind me of my lowly station. Got up and threaded him through the catflap and closed the kitchen door to prevent a recurrence.

Saturday, 6 November 2010


My mouse has given up the ghost and the cursor does not work properly so I can't use the laptop much. Maybe it is moribund.

Romy came around for a coffee. I showed her the card from my mad ex and said it was rather embarrassing as the new neighbours would have seen his crazy ramblings, and she cheered my up by saying they would realise I had a cross to bear!

I shan't be able to do any internet grocery shopping at home because of the cursor, which gives up after I have been using the laptop for a few minutes. I have managed to save my shopping list with Sainsbury. Now to add insult etc. Romy is still being offered more and more very good deals from Ocado. I can only think that Ocado are ostracising shoppers who live in my area, which is what I originally thought.

Kook is such a monster - woke me at 3am despite being able to go outside, but obviously did not manage this since he started again at 4.30 and had done a poo in his tray. I turfed him out and went back to bed. I am wondering if his chip is interfering with the opening of the catflap at times.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Dreary People Infecting My Space

A rather depressing day at work with an unpleasant and rather hysterical email on my screen first thing. Wasted too much time thinking about how to deal with this and finally took Romy's advice and sent a short, sweet reply. Spread the love. Hmmmm. However, I did not take Eckhart Tolle's advice on the here and now, and instead became rather depressed and inactive during the day.

On my arrival back home there was an unpleasant postcard from my ex, accusing my son of being 'abject' because he refused to communicate with him. It is quite hard to feel sorry for some people. Seems there are several meanings for the word, all of which apply to my ex and none to my son. Perhaps he should spend some of his new-found money on a dictionary.

I must be wearing the wrong scent to attract all these very negative vibes. Probably a good thing I don't know many people or I might be receiving poison pen letters every day. I must be terribly evil, and would no doubt be burned as a witch had I lived in those days. I should rename my cat Pyewacket. I have always liked that name. Maybe I am a reincarnation of some real old witch.

On the plus side last night, Kook was being quite sweet and I found some new Sainsbury's seeded batch bread, small, but 69 calories per slice, and much more tasty than the Warburton one. Had an excellent mashed sardine toasted sandwich for breakfast. Last night I discovered that a pint of low calorie jelly (40 cals) with two punnets of raspberries poured in (60 cals) makes a good pud with servings of between 25 and 33 cals per serving, using either a quarter or a third of a pint per serving.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Thursday Morning

Uneventful day at work yesterday, and the possibility of a couple more trustees soon, hopefully. Had a chat with the chairman about things. I may go in for a bit today since Romy might need some help with the huge amount of stuff she has to assemble and post.

I have given up locking Kook in for the night. I had a five thirty awakening but again, did not get up until the clock struck six. I think Kook is slowly beginning to realise the connection, because he mewed at the clock a few times. We shall see.

Later, after he had eaten breakfast and gone outside I heard loud yowling and saw him and a small but feisty grey cat confronting each other on the top of the fence. I operated my cat scarer, which had very little effect, but eventually the beam shaking around over his face sent him off. Unfortunately Kook, though he did not pursue the cat, did not come back until later. I checked him for injuries and found none, thankfully.

Strange thing - I was so tired last night that I fell asleep in front of the TV at about 7.30, and waking at 8, decided I might as well go to bed. This resulted in my eating 200 less calories. Not a bad strategy. May try it again some time.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Crumbly Old Bat and Vile Cat

Attended the balance clinic for another check-up and was offered an eight week course of treatment. Since I have had no problems for some considerable time, and they are on my precious free day, I have decided to forego this opportunity. Frankly, my most irritating problem, apart from gross obesity, is psoriasis on my scalp which drives me mad, and the next in line is the odd sensation in my right kidney, which is now less painful after three months of antibiotics, but still uncomfortable and slightly worrying, but leaving no clinical signs or pathology to pick up on.

Geriatric rant over.

Last night Kook starting mewing at 2am but then shut up until 4. At four I put him outside, but he emerged again at 5.45 and mewed until 6, when the cuckoo clock forced me up to feed him. He is so demanding. I feel a bit drained today.

The problem with buying Christmas presents that you like is that when they arrive you are tempted to keep them. Fortunately I have so much stuff that this would be entirely impractical. Mind you, I have occasionally purchased two items when very tempted. Dear me.

If anyone would like an appallingly large and aggressive black cat who is deeply ungrateful and demanding, please let me know. He is a masochist's dream - but very attractive and fluffy.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Still Fat, Broke and Stressed Out by Hellish Feline

Decided to avoid the Beaten Path since my weight loss was not very good last week. Instead I came home and had some soup.

Dorothy rang me for a long chat, which was nice.

Having purchased most of my tiny Christmas presents online, I discover that I am somewhat boracic. Ho hum. A bit of a bore. I shall try and exist on lettuce, sardines and the odd bit of cheese. Oh, and a few eggs. We shall see. Meanwhile the new supply of coffee I purchased is going well, and it is a real relief to be able to drink excellent coffee every time at home with nil effort. Madeleine kindly commented on Facebook on my negligible weight loss.

I may lash out on a few raspberries, to add to the low calorie jelly in an attempt to fool myself that I am still eating excellent desserts. Sad, really.

Kook has not understood the concept of the clocks going back. Having fed him late last night I was hoping for a bit of matinal respite, but no. At five pip emma, he bounded onto the bed, whining for a bit, then howling like a banshee as he prowled over me. I managed for about an hour to stand the stress of not knowing whether he would start biting me, before finally getting up to feed him. Unfortunately, he also ignores the cuckoo clock. Since it is electronic, I shall increase the volume. In the past year, he has become Master of His Universe, i.e. me and his flat.