Being An Adult

When I was younger and I was being bullied by other kids at my school I used to long to be a grown up so that it didn’t happen any more. Now bullying just seems to be more subtle but still just as prevalent. It’s not the name calling or throwing mud at you anymore, it’s so-called friends skulking around behind your back. It’s people turning on you in the blink of an eye over the word of someone else.

It’s a lonely place to be when the group of friends you thought you had, don’t even have your back offer the most basic things.

Facebook and other social media outlets have given us a false sense of security in our friendships. With over 300 friends on my Facebook list you would think I had people talking to me, hanging out and generally being good friends to me ever day. Nope. Most of the people on my friends list are people I have maybe met once or twice, and a majority of them I don’t even really know who they are, just that they are friends with other friends who I do kinda recognize.

We have come to use it as a crutch, but out of those 300 friends, only two ever make an effort to talk to me outside of it. Even then those two friends live 2-3 hours away and can only visit/be visited every so often. Those are the type of friends that it takes effort to stay in touch with but when you do hook up it is like you have never been apart.

but how do you deal with the depression of knowing that you don’t have anyone immediately to hand to talk to. Anyone at all. This is what my husband is facing at the moment and it is heart breaking knowing that I can’t fill that gap he feels in his life.

Human beings are capable of amazing levels of compassion and kindness, but also astonishing levels of cruelty and hatred. Be it on an  inhumanly large scale or down to intentionally hurting one person emotionally.

When I grow up I want to be a bat so I can just fly away into the night.


Small Succsess

Having received my Fitbit on Tuesday last week I have worn it almost constantly (with the only exception being when it made my wrist a bit sore on the first Friday night and then on the Saturday when it was on charge). While wearing ti overnight has taken quite a bit of getting used to, I am finding it amazingly useful!

It is making me so much more aware of exactly how much (or how little) exercise I really am doing! I have an office job in an office which is basically one room with only one other person in it. The door to our office is directly onto the car-park so it’s not even like we are in a larger building that I can roam around on a short break. I take less than 10 steps in any direction and I hit a wall … not very conducive to increasing exercise levels!

However the prompt feature of the fitbit is very useful in that it will tell me how fare off the 250 steps per hour target I am with 10 minutes to go. So if I get a prompt saying that I have below 100 steps to go, up I pop from my chair and pace back and forth like a stressed zoo animal for a couple of minutes. It’s a small step but I feel it is helping.

The ability to use the same program to log my food intake is also extremely useful. I have been using other apps previously but the fact that I am now getting a more accurate estimate on how many calories I am burning during the day, It helps me to control how much I eat. I am also becoming more aware of exactly what I am putting in my body and helps me to steer clear of any naughty snacks during the day!

For example, as I have been able to keep on track with my meal plans this week I have been able to log my breakfast after I have eaten it and then enter what we are going to be having for evening dinner at the same time. This helps me to plan how much I can take in during the day and helps to strengthen my resolve to resist the constant temptation of the Mcdonalds that is less than 5 minute walk from my office door! Especially after I looked up exactly how many calories are in one of their meals … yikes!

So things seem to have been working out with this! Thankfully I am starting to see the physical evidence of this in that since I received my fitbit and logged my starting weight I have lost 5lb!

Now to keep this ball rolling!

Last week I managed to stick with my meal plan as below:

  • Monday: Quiche Loraine with home made curly fries (yay for spiralizer) and salad
  • Tuesday: Smoked gammon steak with whips and vegetables
  • Wednesday: Curry with rice and naan bread (finally getting the hang of sticking to smaller portions of this)
  • Tuesday: chili sausage with roasted vegetables and home made wedges

Friday is as always a take-out night.

Next week will be a bit of a challenge as I have training at work in one of the other offices so for two nights this week I will be getting home late. But hopefully we will be able to stick to this plan:

  • Monday: Cheesy pasta with ham and roast veggies
  • Tuesday: Slow cooker beef and potato gratin (recipe by The Magical Slowcooker)
  • Wednesday: (training day 1) Pizza with garlic focaccia bread
  • Thursday: (training day 2) Fake-Friday takeaway
  • Friday: (bank holiday day off) Roast lamb with mash potato and vegetables

you may be thinking that none of this really looks all that healthy or low fat … well for me it’s not the fat content I am focusing on right now, it is portion size. Traditionally I have piled food high on the plate in order to provide myself and husband with what looks like a sufficient meal, when actually it is twice or three times what we should have. I have always ignored the “serving size” recommendations on the packaging. Now I am finally getting better at limiting what I put on the plate which is already having a great effect on how we feel after we have eaten a meal.

Fingers crossed I can keep this small success going!


Yet Another Bandwagon

Over the last few weeks life kind of got the better of us, leaving husband and myself feeling incredibly drained and rather touchy. The Motorhome we purchased needed a lit more work doing to it than we had imagined and now, 4 weeks since we took possession of it, it is still not ready for the road.

As a result of both our moods being low we have also fallen well short of our healthier eating plans. last week we had takeout Chinese on Thursday, pizza on Friday and a chip shop takeaway on Saturday followed by a McDonalds breakfast on Sunday morning! Comfort food it may be but I always find that while I enjoy this sort of food a lot more than I should, it actually makes me feel worse afterwards. I feel heavy and sluggish and just generally bleh.

Thankfully things do seem to be looking up as day by day the motorhome is inching closer to being ready and as it does, the mood improves too. This week I am trying to claw our way back into a better meal plan too. Monday was quiche and chips with salad, yesterday we had lasagna and garlic bread with a side salad and today is sausage and mash. Tomorrow we will be experimenting with Quorn kievs which should be interesting considering neither of us have ever eaten Quorn in our lives.

I have also decided to throw a bit of money at the problem and bought myself a Fitbit to try and help me focus on being active more. I work in an office which makes getting any form of exercise during the day rather difficult. My Fitbit arrived yesterday and it seems like it’s sleep monitoring system will be quite useful and today it has been buzzing away on my wrist to tell me to more my ass a bit more. It does feel strange just walking up and down the office while waiting to be taken off hold, I feel like a tiger pacing round it’s territory! luckily I work in a small office so my coworkers know what I’m doing and that I haven’t just gone round the twist!

Fingers crossed we will be able to stay on this particular bandwagon for a while.

The Shadow Of Doubt

Doubt. It is a terrible thing.

It can make a person reconsider a decision that could vastly improve their lives for ever, just because that person is afraid that something bad might happen. It clouds judgment, blinds you to new possibilities and prevents you from taking that leap of faith.

Sometimes it can be over something truly monuments, like getting married. I never had an ounce of doubt in my mind over getting married to my truly amazing husband, but I know a fair few who did feel a pang of “what the hell am I doing?!?” as they walk down the isle.

However it seems to be smaller, but still reasonably big decisions that cause me the most anxiety from doubting a decision once it has been made. Well, we are both feeling this level of doubt right now. We just bought a motor-home.

We have been wanting a motor-home for a while now, we currently have a caravan which is perfectly good but the car that we use to tow it is a total and utter money pit and hardly gets about 13 MPG. But that car was my husbands favorite toy, he would spend hours working on it, cursing at it and then grinning with pride when he finally got it to do what he wanted it to do.

But now it and the caravan has to go, and although we are gaining an added level of freedom in the form of this motor-home, we are taking a rather large financial risk.

We have no real way of knowing if this thing is any good. we know it has some faults and we managed to barter the salesman down by pointing out some obviously broken (but fixable) things. But there are still so many unknowns and now we are without the 4×4 car that has always been the workhorse in our lives.

It’s doubt over which one was the lesser of two evils. The financial drain of the car and caravan or the unknown of the motor-home.

Yes, this is a material issue and is not in any way intended to reflect against people going through much more serious situations. However to us, this is a big step and I have been going from nervous to excited to down-right nauseous just thinking about it. I’m still not sure if we have made the right decision over this particular one.

I guess we will have to wait and see …

Accidental Success

Today I learned a lesson. Ribbon blade on the Spiralizer does not work on a wonky carrot! However, while I do not have carrot ribbons, I do have cute little carrot curls which will still taste just as nice after a quick stir-fry.

It’s too bad the rest of the meal is rather unhealthy. After a very trying few days at work and a bit of a bad week last week, we felt the need for some comfort food. Enter home made potato wedges (not overly un-healthy as I try not to use too much oil) and the food-of-the-gods that is Bernard Matthews Hamwiches!

Hyper-processed turkey ham, rubber cheese and breadcrumbs mixed into small triangles of goodness.

Everyone has their Achilles Heel. Be it burgers, chocolate or *checks for people listening in* Soda.

The good news is food went down a storm!

Little does husband know tomorrow’d tea is all-out health food 😉

The Early Bird Gathers No Moss

Yes, I know it’s a mixed metaphor but hey, if a girl can’t continue a good day with a joke that what can she do?

Yesterday started out much earlier than I had ever panned it to. Thanks to a pair of particularly restless legs I found myself awake a 7:30 AM with my husband sleeping softly beside me. After half an our of staring at the ceiling being just very awake, I decided to sneak out of bed and stretch my legs a little.

After pulling on my comfy knee-high socks (to add a it of pressure to me legs to relieve the restlessness) and ambling around the house for a bit I decided there was no way I was going to be able to get back to sleep. So, Cinderella here got to work.

After a cup of coffee and a bite to eat I tidied the kitchen, cleared the clutter that had accumulated in the living room (mainly my stuff), fed the dog, fed the cat, cleaned out the cat tray and cleaned out the bunny hutch. I then tacked one job that has been on my to-do list for a long time, inventory the store cupboards and freezers.

I hate wasting food but it seems that between liking to pick up bargains in the reduced section at the supermarket to freeze for later, and having a husband who likes to change his mid about what he wants to eat, we have accumulated a vast amount of stored food. Needless to say a lot of food had been forgotten about and had regretfully gone well beyond it’s “use by” date. Now I’m not normally too prissy about use-by and best-before dates. After all, these are put in place by the manufacturers and who else would be more inclined to persuade customers to throw out unused produce just to go and buy more under the guise of ‘freshness’?  I go by my senses, if it’s anything it shouldn’t be (squishy, stale, smelly, fuzzy) it goes but until then I will not have a problem with using it. The husband has other ideas but that’s another story.

Still, the list of food items being thrown away grew rather alarmingly. Soup that was two years (TWO YEARS?!?) past it’s best before date, frozen dumplings we bought over a year ago that we have never used as all the instructions and content information is only in Chinese, chicken that had been in the freezer too long and had crystallized, beef mince that had gone a very unsightly brown and some finders crispy pancakes that had escaped their box and had been sitting in the bottom of the freezer drawer for goodness knows how long and had actually stuck to the plastic … the list went on until a bin bag full of wasted food was sitting on my kitchen floor.

I don’t like wasting food so now I have a full inventory of what food I have in long-term storage. This way I should be able to plan meals much more efficiently and make use of what we have ‘in stock’. Anything I keep passing over will be donated or given away  if it has been in the freezer or cupboard for too long. This should not only help me to cut down on my food waste, but also help with our monthly food budget too.

Well, let’s just hope we can stick with it! Here’s to a successful Sunday, if you can forgive the oversight for not posting this yesterday that is.


Pleasure In The Small Things

A vast majority of us feel overworked and underpaid. We trudge to work on food, by bike, bus, train or car, sit at a desk for 8 hours a day wondering if we are living to work or working to live and daydreaming about being anywhere else than here. A few lucky people get to do their absolute dream job, but even those people would have days when they just feel like everything has been pilled up on top of their shoulders until they reach breaking point.

Many of us suffer from the soul destroying combination of a demanding boss and unrealistic targets, yet we just keep going. Day in, day out, with the exact same routine.

It is in situations such as this that it is especially important to remember to look to the little things in life that give us pleasure. That make us smile and think, you know what … things really aren’t all bad. I try to look for something like this everyday and normally it involves snuggling up on the sofa with my husband at the end of the day and just relaxing.

Today, as I set off for work at 8:30 in the morning there was a slight frost on the ground and a fine mist in the air. I scraped the ice of my car as the engine warmed up and set off on my 9 mile commute. The first stage of my commute has me driving up the hill and through the centre of the village where we live. The main road through the centre of the village crests the top of the hill and gives very pretty views on it’s way down on either side.

Today, this view was even better than it has been before (If you can look beyond the roof of the supermarket mega-store a little further down the hill). The mist was sitting fairly close to the ground and made the countryside that stretched out in front of me look like it was a land in the clouds. A few small rises of land peeked out above the mist like small islands, the trees on their tops mysterious and faded behind the white layer to the air.

It was a magical way of seeing a view I drive past nearly every day. If it wasn’t for the need to get into work on time I would have pulled over and just looked at it for a bit longer.