Category Archives: food

it’s just a different style of living

I’ve been reading a lot lately. A LOT, a lot. As in pretty much everything I can get my hands on. Cook books, novels, short stories, blogs, biographies, poetry, websites, the backs of food cartons and even some instructions. I KNOW.

I think it’s because I’m having trouble actually focussing enough to sit down and write. I do a little bit, but nothing that’s actually thought provoking or creative. Just general chatty stuff and a lot of moaning. It’s really hot here in Adelaide. I don’t know why I didn’t expect that, but I really didn’t. I figured I was a heat rat. You know, the kind of person who did better in warm climates. I’d been living in Christchurch for 16 years. I spent my entire twenties and half of my thirties there. Before that, I’d been in Nelson, and a teenager. My life consisted of a lot of weekends spent swimming at the river or in the ocean, and basking for hours in the sun.

Christchurch was a completely different environment. It was mostly grey, and we were never close to a beach or any rivers that were worth swimming in. I had small children, I didn’t drive and I was coming to terms with how different my life was from what I’d imagined it would be, in a city that seemed grey and cold. I’ve never really found it easy to make friends, and because I couldn’t get around all that easily, it was pretty tough. So the idea of moving some place warm filled me with total joy!

Don’t get me wrong, it still does. I love the fact that there is so much sun here. That I can go to the beach and actually get IN the water because it’s warm enough to do that. But I still wasn’t really prepared for just how hot Australia is. My mum said something the other day, it seems simple enough, but I tend to get lost in my own whining and forget I’m an adult. She said “it’s just a different style of living”.

I don’t adjust all that well to change, but I was definitely ready for one. The past two years were strange, and interesting, some of it was awful, some of it was amazing, but it was time to move on and everything kept pointing towards the fact that that’s exactly what we needed to do. Australia didn’t seem like such a big lifestyle change. It really is though.

I had a lot of plans. I was going to start being a morning person for one. THAT hasn’t happened. The problem is, we don’t really have a bedroom here. The loft, which sits over the kitchen and living area, is all open, so it’s not particularly quiet or private. It is also so hot that Ollie and I have probably spent about 7 nights up there since we moved in. Our bedroom is mostly the lounge. This sofa bed lounge suite is most definitely one of the best things we thought about doing. I don’t know what we’d do if we didn’t have a bed to retreat to on these hot nights. It’s not very easy to get to sleep, so those extra hours in the morning are still as important to me as they ever have been. *sigh*

It’s taken a lot more time to settle in than I thought it would. And as much as I adore this little house, it just doesn’t feel like home. It belongs to someone else, there’s no easy way for us to hang pictures, and it’s hard to really make it feel like it’s ours – when it isn’t. The heat is oppressive too, so we can’t really have people around yet because you just sit in here sweating like you’ve just run a marathon! Never imagined I’d ever say this, but I am so looking forward to Autumn finally catching up with us and cooling down this place. I’m not used to sleeping in my own bed! That’s crazy talk to me! I’ve slept far more often on the sofa bed than I have in my own bed.

But in saying all of that. I love it here. I really do. Things are a lot more accessible in this city. It’s only a 10 minute bike ride to the city centre which I wasn’t sure of at first, but now I really love. And when they say that Adelaide is the 20 minute city, they’re not lying. Pretty  much anywhere you want to go is only a 20 minute drive away.

The food here is to die for too. It’s all so fresh and so easily accessible. I’ve tried foods here that I had never even heard of at home. I’m sure we had it, but I have no idea where you’d have found it. Here, you just go to the markets and it’s all there.

I feel bad that I complain so much about the weather. I am sure that our poor family members think I hate it here. It’s not that at all. I just got used to the cold I suppose, and we’ve been stuck in the same rut for so long that breaking some of the habits we’ve formed has been incredibly difficult.

I needed to figure out how to work through this exhausting heat, and that’s what I’ve been doing rather than any real writing. I’ve been working out a lot and trying to change some of the extremely bad and damaging habits I’d sunk into, with some really amazing results.

The last time I went to the doctors in NZ, I was overweight, had high cholestrol and blood pressure (something I’ve never had in my life – my blood pressure has always been extremely low), and I was pre-diabetic. Insulin resistant. It was actually pretty devastating to realise what kind of a state I’d let myself get into over the last couple of years. I gave up my blog..I turned away from a lot of things and people I cared about and never really realised just how depressed and stressed out I was.

Now that I’m away from all of that, I can look back and see why I did the things I did. Since we moved here, I’ve started to do more, I’ve changed my diet and I had a range of blood tests done a few weeks ago. When I went back for the results, everything…EVERYTHING came back normal. Normal blood pressure, good cholesterol levels, good sugars and I’m losing the weight I gained. In the course of two months, my health is back to normal. I literally cured myself from becoming diabetic!

I’m really proud of myself actually. I was pretty down about my health, and I fixed it, just by having the opportunity to think about what I’m doing to myself, instead of worrying about what was going to happen next.

I’m looking forward to being able to put more energy into writing now. Because if I can do that for my health in this hot little house, then I can do anything! *flexflex*

22 February 2013

It’s been two years since the 6.3 aftershock hit Christchurch, tearing my family’s world apart and almost claiming the life of my husband.

For the two weeks building up to this date, I have felt a little off. Not myself. The heat hasn’t helped, but I just couldn’t understand quite why I was always on the verge of tears and desperate for my own company and no one else’s. Nothing I did could shake the lump in my throat and the feeling that I was just about to cry, and then my dad called and said a few really thoughtful things which made me realise what was going on.

It’s strange to me that I still don’t really have a complete handle on my own moods. I know when I feel sad, or uneasy, or scared but I don’t know why. It all made sense and I just let it happen. Let myself feel those feelings and took deep breaths.

I had been missing Christchurch a lot in those few weeks. I felt like I should be there again. Like I wanted to be there, but I didn’t really. I spent the couple of days leading up to the 22nd thinking about what we should do. I wanted to do things that I knew Ollie would like. As awful and heartbreaking that day was for me, he’s the one who almost died. It should be a day where he got to do the things that he liked.

I wanted to share some photos with you. To show you how far we’ve come.

2011-03-11 13.57.01A couple of days after he was pulled from his building. I’ve never seen my boy look like this. He took it of himself – I can’t remember why. There was a reason. Just before we left Christchurch we met the fireman who helped save his life. It was a surreal and amazing day. To be able to hug the man who is the reason the person you’ve loved and spent the last 16 years of your life with is pretty incredible. He told us that Ollie was only moments away from losing his foot and they had to put everything into getting him free.

It was pretty amazing to listen to him tell his side of this story. He remembered so much that Ollie wasn’t able to.

2011-03-18-11.30.58At home in his hospital chair that helped support his broken pelvis. Game controller in hand. We had to put sheets over it because it was so hot he was sticking to it.

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A couple of months later, the company he worked for held a memorial at the building site. They had pulled it down by this stage, and we were the first ones in to see it. It was very difficult to stand in front of an empty space where his building once stood and to remember the ten people we lost. I think it was harder on me than it was on him, because it was the first time I had really seen for myself that all of this was real. I had the proof in front of me of course, every time I looked at Ollie, but you sort of blank it out, you don’t really consider the reality of what happened until you’re confronted with something like this.

It’s been a long couple of years following all of this, and it’s hard to believe just how far we’ve come. Now we’re living in Australia and life is completely different. People are different, the weather is different, the birdsong, the insects. It’s only one country over, but it just feels so very different here.

We’re moving on and settling in and coming to terms with a whole new life. We’re taking our time and enjoying ourselves together and just letting things happen as they’re supposed to. On the 22nd of February this year, we took to the city on our bikes.

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This is mine. I love it so much, you have no idea! I’ve only ridden it twice because of the heat, and it is still missing it’s basket as yet (although I have a feeling that will be delivered today! YAY!), but I just LOVE it. It’s so cute and easy to ride. I was stopped in the city by a guy who wanted to know all about it. As soon as people see it, they love it. It’s just the most adorable thing in the world.

Our day consisted of riding through the park opposite us in order to get to the city which is only about 8 minutes away where we had lunch at a cafe.

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Mine was a Thai noodle salad with coconut water, and Ollie had a mushroom pizza. It was SO good! And then we continued on through the city to the Art Gallery where we wandered for awhile looking at the exhibitions. Some of which I have to admit were extremely horrific and kind of terrifying. One was the carcass of two horses stitched together and hung from the roof, one was the statue of a dead man with a bird eating his penis – a rendition of the first sight Siddhartha had when he left his palace, and one was a very intricate and detailed model of Nazi war. Skeleton Jews hanging Nazi soliders, beheading the corpses, violence and death and in the centre Ronald McDonald figures in a playground. It was intense and interesting and the more you looked the more you saw. I wish I could have taken a photo of it. It was so disturbing but totally brilliant all at once.

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We carried on down to the river after this and saw birds there that looked suspiciously like Pukekos! On the way back – all uphill, my bike chain came off and a lovely woman stopped to help us get it back on. By the time we were cycling home, I was almost dead and the heat was stifling. We had a few hours relaxing and playing video games together, before we headed out for dessert at Eggless Dessert Cafe – Ollie’s cousin’s restaurant. It’s a gorgeous little place and all the desserts are to die for! Their menu changes each month, and we’re pretty sure we’re going to be some of those regular customers who end up in there once a month to try their new creations.

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This is such an awful photo! But I had to include it, because it was so much fun to take. I used my cellphone and no one was happy with the outcomes, so we ended up taking FOUR and were completely blinded by the time they were over, which explains the slightly stunned expression on our faces.

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Peachy plum and salted caramel crumble with my most favourite drink in all the world – Morrocan Mint tea! It’s to die for and it’s vegan! So very good.

A far cry from how we spent that day two years ago.

Kia Kaha Christchurch. For sixteen years you were my home. I miss you dreadfully sometimes.

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Ollie’s building site as it is today. It’s so beautiful and green and peaceful. Hard to believe what took place there only two years ago. Thanks to Greg who took the photo on his way home that day. We love you. xoxo

Waiting for the Miracle (or some cool weather..which would be a miracle)

I really wanted to update more than once a month, but it’s just so HOT here internet.

The room we have the computers in is the hottest room in the house, which means that if I am out here for any length of time, all I’m really doing is wilting and looking at pretty things instead of being creative and thoughtful and writing!

Speaking of writing, that has come to a little bit of a halt. Obviously moving countries has given me reason to be lax. Terry Brooks says it the best really: “Fiction writing is a twenty-four-hour-a-day occupation. You never leave your work behind. It is always with you, and to some extent, you are always thinking about it. You don’t take your work home; your work never leaves home. It lives inside you. It resides and grows and comes alive in your mind.”

This is pretty much exactly where I’m at right now. I have been writing notes and thinking up plots and fixing the holes in my head, but I haven’t actually written anything yet. It’s so hot! Hot hot hot! And when it’s not hot, you get this little moment of pure pleasure where you go “let’s go out!”

We are doing a lot of things here at the moment. Starting new routines, becoming better at cooking, eating, shopping and living. It’s gone past the holiday stage but not completely. We are still sort of figuring out what it is we’re all about in this new country, and finding the cohabitation with large bugs and HUGE SPIDERS all a bit overwhelming really.

In saying that though, Siobhan and I are back to dancing, and really loving it! We are being very challenged which is great, and have a beautiful and inspiring group of people to dance with. We are hyped and even go on the super hot days when we’re likely to die. Which is pretty much exactly what I did this week.

I am however, determined to get my fitness levels back up to something. Anything!

It’s a very long story, the short of which is that stress and unhappiness and quakes and almost losing my husband along with just normal day to day life crept up and kicked me in the arse. I put on a LOT of weight and stopped looking after myself. Actually, if I’m going to be honest, I haven’t looked after myself in YEARS. I dieted on chocolate and coffee and lost 10kgs. But ruined my health in the process. I was tired and weak and my last doctors visit announced that my normalcy of low blood pressure was well and truly gone. I had high blood pressure and cholesterol and have become insulin resistant.

This has been pretty devastating for me, but I have no one to blame but myself. And my first instinct was to throw a complete childish paddy and eat everything and anything in sight. Which meant I piled on the 10kgs I lost again and felt even worse. The moving business didn’t really help. In those last few months, we ate a lot of take aways and fast foods, and I wondered and lamented and wailed and gnashed my teeth wondering why I’d put on all this weight, and bitching about how life wasn’t fair.

It’s taken me a few months to admit to myself that it’s my own damn fault and to face up to the consequences like the adult I strive hard not to be. The past three weeks have been hell. I have been slowly trying to repair this damage, and making choices that contradict a lifetime of bad habits. It’s been hard, but I’m getting there, slowly. People always say “you didn’t put on that weight overnight, you won’t lose it overnight”.  The truth is though, you always feel like you DID put it on overnight, and when it doesn’t just come off over night, it can be really demoralising.

Exercising in this heat is something else. Today I had sweat literally pouring off me. Running down my back! I do not like to sweat at all, but despite all my inner protests I did it, and 44 minutes later was on the floor doing ab and back work.

Yeah, I’m proud and showing off.

I feel a lot better than I ever have. Particularly now that my withdrawls over lack of salt and sugar have worn off. I no longer really crave chips or chocolate. I never, ever thought I’d say that. Ever!

So, I hope that you’ll forgive me my lack of actual writing right now. I am reading a TON of books and keeping up with writerly type things, and considering attending a full day writing workshop coming up in March, and definitely, definitely still living in my world with my characters and planning their next moves. They are far from forgotten.

I have also become a lot more confident with driving a GINORMOUS car we’re borrowing from family in this GINORMOUS (don’t even laugh – there’s a million more people here than there were in Christchurch, it’s HUGE) city…AND I have a bike, which I totally adore, and I know where the library is.

So if my husband does not get his arse off that computer chair next to mine and get out to work, I will leave him behind for the glorious, and air conditioned deliciousness of our local library.

God. Why aren’t I there right now?

*melts*

“oh no thanks, I’m a vegetarian…”

At the end March, we decided to go vegetarian. It’s something I’ve toyed with for a long time, and tried twice in the past, but never been able to stick to. Not because I miss meat though, more because I miss the no thinking involved with eating meat in your diet. I mean, it’s so much easier to eat meat. You just cook it and eat. But when you’re a vegetarian, you have to think about what meals you want, what’s in them, and how to keep up with your body’s need for iron and protein and things that you get in meat. That’s the first question people always ask me. “What about the GIRLS! They need so much iron at this age!”  Well, yes. I know that. I’m a girl too you know, and I also need lots of iron. You’d be surprised at where you can find iron though, and to be perfectly honest, we’re eating SO well these days, that I am 98% positive that all of us are getting a lot more iron than we were beforehand.

So why go vegetarian? Well, there are lots of reasons, but the biggest reason is because animals are being farmed like produce, and not living, breathing, feeling creatures. We watched Food Inc, which is perhaps the most devastating documentary I’ve ever watched. It took us a month to get all the way through it, and the girls kept walking out. In the end, we stopped watching it and waited until they were in bed. It still took me a month to get up the courage to finish it. I’m very glad we did, and though I know it’s based around food in America, New Zealand really isn’t that different. We have the same ways of breeding and farming animals, and you never fully know exactly where anything you eat comes from, unless you grow it yourself.  The more I talked about it, the more interested Siobhan became. Ollie and Aleeya were a little more whiny, both of them weren’t very pleased about no meat in their diets, and Ollie still buys ham and chicken for his sandwiches.

Anyway, it took us awhile to get rid of the meat in the freezer and to fully commit, and I have to admit that, I really don’t miss eating meat at all. We still drink milk and eat fish and shellfish and eggs (I only ever buy free range eggs, and yes I know some fish is also farmed and poorly, I try to make the right choices about what I’m buying), but we’ve cut out everything else. It takes a little more planning, but I’ve started to go through our cookbooks – Elsie bought me a subscription to a Healthy Foods magazine which I get once a month and there are some lovely vegetarian meals in there too, and I write on our whiteboard the meals I’m going to cook for the week, which means I don’t end up with a bunch of ingredients that I then have no idea what I’m supposed to be doing with. It’s been great. We’re eating such lovely meals now, and most of them are amazingly fast and straightforward.

Siobhan has really taken to it, she loves it and Aleeya has slowly come around too. I let her help me choose a meal and prepare it, and she’s starting to get into it too. We eat so many different things now, instead of just mince, and everyone is a lot happier. It took me about three weeks to get used to the change in diet, but now I feel great. My moods are a lot more stable, I’m losing a little weight, and all the awful digestion problems I’ve had for YEARS are going away. I feel great! It’s definitely been worth all the effort, it’s not much more expensive and best of all, we’re not giving money to the industry who thinks that keeping an animal in a stall all its life, unable to move or do anything, just so that we can eat their flesh, is an okay way to treat another living creature. I thought I’d miss chicken terribly, but I haven’t even really thought about it. And while I at first decided that on occassion we’d eat organic meat, I’ve decided against that.

I’ve never felt so relaxed and good, mentally and physcially, and I totally credit the fact that I’ve replaced meats with beans, peas, lentils and a larger variety of vegetables. Whoever says you need meat to get a balanced diet is wrong. Iron is found in a lot of different places and we’re getting loads more of it, as well as more fibre, rich proteins, omega oils and vitamins than we did before, and you can see the difference. I’m really thrilled, and I don’t plan to ever eat meat again, I really had no idea how it made me feel. I no longer feel heavy and bloated after I’ve eaten, I have a lot more energy (though at first I had much less) and my children are learning more about where their food comes from, how it’s produced, and how to make lots of new and extremely tasty meals. We’ve only had one that was a flop. Everything else we’ve tried the entire family has loved.

Weight For Me…

So I got talking tonight, like I do most nights…when I’m tired of trying to plant cyber vegetables in my facebook farm town farm, with Lori. I probably shouldn’t tell people that Lori sneaks around farm town in the middle of the night and that, perhaps, I’ve started to FARMTOWN STALKZ her. But I have! Me and my ever changing little avatar whom I change almost as often as I change my farm, run through everyone’s farms until we eventually come to Lori’s.  You see, you get points for raking, or watering or..whatever else you do that I don’t actually pay any attention to, because all I’m truly interested in is levelling up so that I can BUY MOAR STUF! Incidentally, I can totally plant pumpkins now, and I’m so close to my first mansion that I can almost taste it!  I know. You’re pondering our friendship and squirming uncomfortably in your seats and going “Kelly who? No..ah hahaha ha haaa…I don’t know a Kelly…”

We got talking, anyway, which is what we do, and we stand there, for hours talking to each other in a strange little cartoon setting, and sometimes gaining the ire of my husband, like last night, when Lori was actually pretending to be Matt.  “WHO IS THAT?!?!”  Oliver boomed over my shoulder, pointing at the little brown haired cartoon boy standing much too close to my little redhaired one. You should know, Lori planted him right behind me and it looked wonderfully naughty – if you’re into cartoons. And we laughed and laughed at my possessive husband who was appalled that I might have just spent the last hour talking to A CARTOON MAN!  It was brilliant!  No really.

So tonight we’re talking about weight and things and I’m trying to explain that I’ve lost all this weight, and that it’s really not a clever way to loose weight, and she’s telling me, that I should write a weightloss book.  I think, people wouldn’t really like my weightloss program, but I figured, I’d write a blog post about it.  I like to call it – iDiet.  And basically, this is what you do.  I’ll do it step by step.  It’s really quite simple.

  1. Get up at some ridiculous hour, depending on whether it’s school holidays or not and ensure your children are both warm and fed.
  2. Boil jug and finish making the coffee your husband has left for you. – He does! Every morning. I’m spoiled. I know.
  3. Make toast. – Okay, this step is really important. Because what you have on your toast can really  make or break you.  Actually, I’m lying.  I have two pieces of toast, and I go through stages of what I like. Usually, it’s peanut butter and sometimes, peanut butter and banana. I’m having a moment.  Sometimes it’s tomato with salt and pepper…I’m totally having another moment. Sometimes it’s jam, sometimes it’s nutella, sometimes it’s Kaya. Do you know what Kaya is? Ollie introduced me to it a number of years ago.  It is internet, heaven in an earthly form. It’s some sort of egg and coconut spready thing that Malaysians eat and I seriously could live on it.  It’s not overly sweet either…just really quite possibly, the most perfect spread in the world. I also quite like marmalade. That’s very British of me isn’t it? Hurrah!
  4. Adhere yourself to your computer…and music. Hence the dietary name of iDiet.
  5. This is where it gets a little tricky. You see, I’m not and have never been a particularly lunchy sort of person. Oh, I should mention that sometimes I eat cereal. That’s important. I think. In particular, since I’ve had braces, I’ve had this huge love for hot weetbix with all bran. I totally douse it in boiling water, mix it up and add milk and sugar and it’s like fast porridge but without the oats. I love it. Shut up. We’re supposed to be talking about lunch. I need a new point now.
  6. Right, so – I have never been a particularly lunchy sort of person. And while you’re running around the house, tidying up, doing laundry, showering,  and bringing in wood for the fire and that’s really -all- you’re doing, you’re not using up a whole lot of energy.  So, I’m not hungry. And then, when I am hungry, my body, which is a bad evil thing and is totally against me goes “uh, food now. Hungry! NEED SWEET! NOW!!!!”  And so I may eat chocolate.  It’s true. I eat between 6 and 12 squares of chocolate, and sometimes one of those tiny little lunchbox chip things. And maybe a mandarin or three.
  7. Then, you play on your computer, you laugh a whole lot because man, you totally have some reeeeally amusing friends and you drink tea like it’s going out of fashion.  I’d like to mention, my tea has sugar, but sometimes not milk. I have found that no milk in tea is actually reeeeally nice. Like REALLY! It’s delicious! But I haven’t completely trained myself out of the no milk entirely, so I drink less tea without milk than with it. And I’m drinking it with milk, wishing it didn’t have milk in it. I’d also like to state that, laughter isn’t just great medicine, it’s also a fantastic way to loose weight. It’s true! If you laugh long and hard enough, your tummy aches, have you noticed? My tummy is looking hot right now. It’s the laughter. I’m positive.
  8. So your day passes, and your house is tidy, and your kids are fed and entertained.  By this stage, you’re doing whatever you’re doing, going to the movies, wandering through the mall, I don’t know. I had plans this holidays, and the kids both got sick, so we stayed home more than went out, which kind of sucked..but what can you do? I didn’t get sick, by the way. I KNOW! And then, eventually, your husband gets home.
  9. And your body is going “HEY! That sugar high we were having?  Yeah well it’s over…crashing now.  FEED ME!” So you cook dinner, and you eat it, and then you drink huge amounts of water, because your body is all “thirsty now. Thirsty now.  Thirsty now.” Even though you’ve been drinking bucket loads of tea.
  10. Then you have a milo before bed, or I don’t know, whatever hot chocolatey milky drink you like. I like milo.
  11. Finally, sex.  I’m private enough not to tell you how often – besides, I don’t want to scar family members with details…and that’s really it!  That’s it! Do you want to know how much I’ve lost?

About 7kgs.  That’s uh..15lbs.

Of course, I realise that this is a very short term sort of diet (with the exception of step number 11) – I have 3kgs (6lbs) to go before I’m at the weight I’ve been trying to get to for the last..oh, 10 years?  Next week, once they’re back at school? I’m going for weekly walks again with my mother in law, and partaking in both a dance class, and some form of aerobic weight sort of training, because I’m lacking a lot of muscle tone. And this of course, will increase my appetite again, and I’ll be eating good things. I promise.

Oh For The Weekend!

I was saving my news for one big post today, and now I’ve realised that was a stupid idea, because I have so much to regale you with, that I just don’t know where to start!  So, it won’t be quite as packed full of excitement as I had orignally planned, and some of the reason it won’t be, is because I had one too many wines last night in joyous celebration of having survived my first week of work.  Yes I did..I will most certainly drink my own weight in wine after only one week of work!  You see if I don’t!

Anyway, let me see if I can recall enough details to entertain you. The first two days, I drove..because, driving is good, it’s the parking that isn’t.  We ended up spending about $5 a day on parking and then driving around during my lunch break trying to find a free parking space.  Which we did, but still, it was a hassle..so I decided to try the bus.  We have an awesome bus system here, it picks you up just around the corner, and takes you all the way into the city, so this is good. I walk the girls to school, they see me off at the bus stop and I wait.  I’m reading the sign and it tells me that the bus isn’t due for like 10 more minutes, so I decide to walk to the next bus stop.  Half way there, you guessed it right?  Damn thing rolls on passed me.

Anyway, another one came along and I get on it, and we drive through the University and I think about how lovely it is at this time of year, and then half way down Riccarton Road a girl gets on and she goes “You go to the city right?”
“No, not this bus..” says the driver and I have a wee panic.
“You don’t go to the city?” I ask, and he repeats to me that he doesn’t, so off I get and have to wait for another bus.  It doesn’t take too long, but I end up 15 minutes late for work, which is kind of annoying, but amusing all the same.  Coming home, I get the craziest bus driver in.the.world, and the craziest passenger at the front of the bus. The driver is all over the road, speeding down the freakin’ highway, and Mr Man at the front of the bus is gesticulating at the traffic and telling everyone on the bus to shut up, and get off their cellphones etc etc.  I am gritting my teeth and trying to remember not to make eye contact, seriously wishing I’d brought my mp3 player so I can drown them all out.

The next day, I catch the right bus, I have my mp3 player, I make it to work on time.  I really enjoy walking through the city in the morning, it’s cold and crisp and delicious..everyone is just opening the stores, the Square is just coming to life…it’s beautiful.  Appaently, crazy passenger and bus driver are in cohoots. They are there again on the ride home.  But I turn up my mp3 player and gaze out the window blissfully. This is alright, I give it that..but half way home, we hit the school traffic, and the bus becomes full of 11 and 12 year old kids, and all I can think is how dreadful they are, and how glad I am that my kids go to a Catholic primary school and not an intermediate!  OMG!  Those kids are talking about boys and cigarettes and acting like 15 year olds, not the little babies like my precious wee 11 year old..ugh!  So, I turn my mp3 player up even more and stare out the window blissfully unaware of their awful grown upness.

Yesterday I took my mp3 player and a book.  God, was that the best idea ever or what?  So good.  I caught the bus after the one I’d been taking..it rained, and walking through the city with rain and freezing wind and realising you need new shoes because your socks are suddenly soaking wet is not quite as fun as walking through the city when it is just icily cold but sunny.  Anyway, apparently creepy man caught the later bus too.  But, not as many 11 and 12 year olds did.  I got home and the fire was still going..so I was able to stoke it up, get into my jammie bottoms and some warmer socks and heat myself up.  The girls got excellent school reports, they were delicious little angels, we had a wonderful dinner, they went off to their school disco and I drank too much red wine.  Such the perfect end to the week! *L*

Work itself is fun. No, that’s not true, I do not want to have to look at any more filing, ever.  But at the same time, I am enjoying the mundaneness of it.  I like that it requires very little thought and that I can just go, do my thing and leave it all behind me when I go home.  I also love having Ollie there.  He is so adorable!  He looks after me and is very possessive.  He will come up when it’s morning tea time and take me to the tea room, he makes sure I don’t work through my breaks, and he does the same with lunch, then reminds me it is 2.30pm and time to go home again.  It is so cute that I could squish him!  I have lovely conversations with most of the people there and they keep me amused when I am tucked away in the photocopy room binding endless yearly accounts.

Now it is Saturday, Ollie is at work, I am in my jammies feeling seedily like I had too much to drink last night, it’s cold and rainy and I am happy.  Tomorrow I must go and buy new shoes, and maybe a pair of black pants that fit properly, and shoes for those ever growing children of mine too, and you know what?  We have money with me working, so I can actually do it without stressing too badly about it.

P.S. I lost 2lbs.  I KNOW!  I am currently 132lbs, or 60kg.  So yay.  5kgs to go.

I Thought You Should Know

Do you know what I’ve been doing for the past three days?

Working. That’s what.  I have almost finished doing all my website updates. There are a few left, which I need some expert advice about from the man, but otherwise I am done!  This has been quite the mission, I have to admit, seeing that one of the sites I had been ignoring many very little updates for almost a year!  I KNOW! I found emails asking for little things like links to be added, from September last year! Hee!  It is one I do for free and one that takes up a lot of time, and one that I get very little credit for though, so I’m not bothered. But I did them all, and I cleared my email box in the process.  Such bliss.

What else? Aleeya was in a spelling competition yesterday.  Apparently she won’t know how she did until October, which seems cruel to me, the kid is nine years old!  It’s about immediate gratification when you’re nine years old. Particularly if you’re Aleeya!  Or me, I like instant gratification also. She and I?  Too alike for words.  Anyway, I have a feeling she will have done extremely well, although she did come home going “is exceed spelled e-x-c-e-e-d or, e-x-c-e-d-e?”  I told her and her wee face dropped.  “I spelled it that way first and crossed it out!”  she said.  Don’t you hate that?  “Always, always trust your first instinct!” I told her and she huffed and stomped off to get changed.  Hopefully she’ll remember that next time!

Siobhan is doing so much homework lately that her brain must be about to explode. I don’t know about this extention thing anymore, she’s learning a lot..I actually think the girl might have a gift for science.  How cool would that be? Anyway, she works on the computer almost all day long, every day after school.  It exhausts me just watching her.  Last night she made a powerpoint presentation.  I felt guilty for not helping, and Ollie was whining..we watched the Biggest Loser instead.  Seriously, worst parents award?  Send it this way.  This morning I asked her if she’d finished it, thinking, before school I could give her a few tips on how to pretty it up right?  She says “yes, do you want to see it?”  And I am all “of course!”  So she brings it up, and internet….

It was awesome!  It was so awesome I got a little teary about it.  I was all “how did you do this?”  And she said “these are word art, you just do this..and…” off she went explaining it.  I am going “Siobhan!  This is awesome!  Really really great work!”  and she is all “thanks!”  I love that my kids so readily accept compliments.  They are good little people.

Ollie’s brother arrives tonight, so today I have decided to not get dressed, seeing that all weekend and all next week, I will have to be up and dressed in case they turn up and titter about my pyjamas. How will I work out if they are secretly sneaking up on me?  I hate to be caught exercising, it’s just so..self indulgent and ugly.  haha!  Yes I am still exercising, today my side abdominals hurt from my ribcage to my hip bone, and I’m not sure I like it.  That program exhausts me in only half an hour, and I have not yet managed to do all the workouts I’m supposed to.  But I feel great to be honest.  I hurt every day, in some new muscle group, I take a day (okay, sometimes two) off between each workout, but it’s good.  It makes me feel like I’m doing something that my body is greatful for..even if it complains and makes me whimper with agony.

Nothing fits anymore..it had me doing all this hideous cardio yesterday, and jumping.  JUMPING!!!!  My tracksuit pants kept falling off my arse.  Those new bras I bought a few weeks back?  Yeah, they don’t fit anymore.  I need new clothes and the Oliver says no.  He says, when I stop fading away then I can buy them. I want them now!  You can’t jump with a loose bra?  That isn’t cool at all!  And let’s not even talk about my pj bottoms.  I walk around and have to hoist them up or they’re around my ankles in minutes. Yes, I am very proud of myself, but it is quite frustrating too!

Let’s Get Physical!

I swear, lyrics for every occasion!

So, I’m on a get fit thing.  I’ve been dropping the pounds for awhile now, but you can eat less and go for a few walks and that doesn’t really do anything for your muscle definition right?  So on the weekend I decide I’m going to start doing some cardio.  “Make me a routine!” I say to my husband who is the most fit person in the entire world, and if you doubt me..come follow him around for a week and see what his life consists of.  Let me just say, he is a FREAK! But, I love him for it.  “Okay!” He replies and you know what?  He didn’t.

I was so amazed that he didn’t leap all over the chance to design me something I would no doubt hate and curse him for, forever..that I asked him again. Stressing, of course, the importance of my sedentary lifestyle, my hatred of all things physical and that it’s winter, I’m a wuss and anything that involves me spending copious amounts of time outside, is a no go. I know, I’m not asking much right?  You see his issues with designing me a program right?  “You are NOT going to be my trainer.” I stress with greater importance than anything else..because, he is too fit, and I do not dig the whole “you can do it! you’re doing great!  two more, come on!” thing, it doesn’t inspire me to do anything other than yearn for a big meat cleaving knife!

We have this playstation game.  It’s called “Yourself Fitness.”  He reminded me of this fact and I thought..”true!”  It does an initial assessment with you, where you have to do a series of exercises, take your resting pulse, and your sped up pulse, put in your weight, how fit you already are etc etc.  Internet…two minutes of jumping jacks?  I.could.not.do.  No, really.  It was one minute and 45 seconds and I was light headed, dizzy, and barely even jumping, let alone jacking.  I had to stop it!  I did nine girl pushups.  NINE!  OH MY GOD!  And I thought I would die.  I did redeem myself somewhat, with 29 sit ups and 28 squats, but nine pushups?  I really suck!

Anyway, that took half an hour, and there was no way I was doing the recommended HOUR workout after that. I did 15 minutes. It was HARD.  I did it two days ago and I am still hurtin’.  Ohmygod am I hurtin’.  I hurt in places that shouldn’t exist!  It was fantastic.  It really was.  It makes you tell it how you’re feeling that day, and how hard each section is. That was a cardio workout.  Today I gave it another go.  I did half an hour and it focussed on core strength. My abs are hurting already.  It was really, really hard.  I like it and hate it all at once.  But the best thing is, I don’t have to leave, I don’t have to pay anyone any money, I don’t have to sweat in front of anyone, and it’s as simple as switching on the tv for 30 minutes.

Ollie was all “what does it recommend you do? How often do you have to work out?”
“Five days a week.” I reply, to his jaw droppingness.  “Five days a week?  I only have three!”

Yeah well, has he looked in the mirror lately?  Some of us have forgotten we have anything on our bodies besides skin and fat.  My muscles have atrophied.  They are screaming and begging me not to do any more planks, or supermans, and god no with the double crunches!  Jumping jacks? Don’t make my body laugh..no, seriously, don’t.  No doubt laughing, while probably burning calories, will hurt too.

Oh my…

I gave in and weighed myself..apparently, I was in some sort of weight loss plateau and the whole feeling really good about myself lately has a reason..

Yeah, I actually have lost weight!  3kgs in fact.  Three!  I don’t know where they went, but they’re gone.  That’s 6lbs!!  Honestly, I haven’t done a whole lot..maybe it’s stress?  Whatever it is, roll off flobby bits!!

I am now 61kgs – 134.5lbs.  Yay me!

Murder On The Dancefloor

So, the show was last night, we had a decent crowd, and it went well from what I heard anyway, I did five pieces, which meant I was in the show from start to end and I didn’t get to see any of it. The pieces I did I was pretty happy with, but I think the best part was that a bunch of dancers from The Contemporary School, including my other teacher – and the Tribal teacher came, and everytime i went on stage the ululating was so loud that I was torn between being absolutely terrifyingly embarrassed and deliciously proud. They were wonderful, and I’m SO glad they came. Having friendly faces makes it so much nicer when you are up on stage in front of tables and tables full of people all eating and discussing things and you are being blinding by the lights.

I had a great time, I was extremely nervous, and the strangest thing is, whenever you are on stage, no matter how fast the dance seems when you are learning it, by the time you get up there, it seems to be so slow that you’re going “what’s happening? Why is the music so slow? How come I am dancing in slow motion??” I enjoyed every minute of it

I really enjoyed myself, even though I needed to do nervous pee from beginning to end and was sure I was going to die.

I got some wonderful comments, comments that made me blush. The contemporary girls told me how gorgeous my smile was and how no one but me was smiling. I told them it was them that made me do it. They are big on smiling, and it was hearing them that made me smile. They said I looked relaxed and like I was enjoying myself, and I was so proud. I was enjoying myself, I really was. I love dancing for an audience, it makes me so happy. Also, they said “have you lost weight?” And I have! I had such a belly hanging over my costumes the last time I danced, and now I don’t. I’m really proud of myself.

Afterwards, I had people coming up to me and telling me how wonderful I was, and how beautiful my smile was. I’m gloating, I know it, but it isn’t every day that I have people complimenting me like that. They had that look on their faces, you know the one..where they’ve just met someone they really admire, and they really wanted me to know how much they enjoyed watching me. One of the girls I danced with had her family there, she has been telling me for weeks how lovely she thinks I am. She delighted in telling me her sister thought I was hot too. There is something really special about having other women think you are beautiful, because women – as you know, are so much harder to please than men..they look at different things, they see things that you wouldn’t expect and comment on those. It was so sweet, and so touching, and I’m very glad that things have ended on a high note.