Monday, 7 May 2018

It is a very long time since I blogged but I thought that, for those who are interested, you might like to hear about my pretend holiday.  If you haven't visited my blog before then please feel free to have a wander but bear in mind that a lot of the stuff on here is very old now!

I arrived at the hotel late on Monday afternoon. The journey was very easy, in fact it seemed like it took no time at all.
My room is pleasant and tastefully decorated with lots of interesting objects d’art to amuse me.  There is a private bathroom and sitting room for my exclusive use as well as the communal lounge, although the place seems very quiet at the moment, the only other guest that I have met so far is a very pleasant old gentleman who spends most of his time sitting in the most comfortable chair in the lounge, dozing or reading a book
For my evening meal I chose the “jambon froid avec une melange des legumes frites”, followed by “casserole des pommes” which had been flavoured with the dried flower buds of an Indonesian tree. It lived up to expectations. I noticed that the elderly gentleman chose the same.
In the evening I went to the local cinema and saw a film called Red Planet which was pretty good. On my return I went to my room and read. At the moment I am reading Babylon Berlin by Volker Kutscher, not the most restful tale to end the day but I am keen to know what happens next!
I woke early, feeling well rested and to bright sunshine, a big change from yesterday. I had toast for breakfast but this was no ordinary toast! The bread was a sour cherry and chocolate bread and seriously delicious.
In the morning I visited a local town. There were some very interesting  shops, including a real old fashioned hardware store. Looking above the shop fronts to the first and second stories was very rewarding.
There is a river front walk and several inviting places to eat but as I had noticed that scampi with chips and salad were on this evenings menu I restrained myself and settled for a ploughman’s lunch back at the hotel.  Even this had a surprise, in that the pickled onions were flavoured with cardamom and star anise and very good they were too!
My ramblings did make me feel quite tired so, after a post prandial snooze, I read for much of the afternoon (this hotel has a substantial library) and enjoyed a couple of glasses of wine with my evening meal. No dessert, too many chips!
But I did indulge in some more wine and nibbles in the bar later after attending a very interesting lecture about the cathedrals at Salisbury and Durham.  Slight upset at the hotel, housekeeping had not made my bed.
Wednesday was a bit of a wash out. Had a fibromyalgia flare and back spasm so my plans had to be put on hold. Lovely dinner, avocado and bacon salad. The old gentleman had the kedgeree. I spent some time in the lounge with him and he told me his name is George.
The groundswoman was working in the spacious and lovely garden so I chatted to her for a while.  She is planting up some bushes in a corner and clearing turf in a couple of other places.  I would have liked to have given her a hand but didn’t dare upset my back so I arranged a cup of tea for her.
I had avocado toast for lunch. I think the kitchen had some left over from last night
In the afternoon I visited a local RSPCA sanctuary and, as I am a qualified cat whisperer, I was able to spend some time in the feline department. A cat called Rosie jumped on my back as soon as I entered her apartment. She was so excited to see me that she nearly knocked my glasses off!
For my evening meal I had a potato and onion tortilla with a big salad followed by strawberries and cream. George was delighted that one of his favourites was on the menu - quiche and greens.
We discovered that there was a programme on the television that we both wanted to watch so we sat in the lounge together. He is a very nice old gentleman.
Unfortunately I had to return home to attend to grass cutting and other household chores that could not be left. It was a pleasant day however and I was back at the hotel by dinner time.  Sushi. Yum. More strawberries and cream. Yum yum.
Spent some time reading, strolling in the extensive and beautiful gardens and browsing the catalogue of the local auction house. Hoisin duck wrap for lunch, salmon with preserved lemon, croquettes and broccoli for dinner. 
George and I watched television in the lounge in the evening. I’m rather taken with George.
I went out early to get George a newspaper and then had coffee with him before going to a particular interesting church service where a young couple who work in Rwanda at a hospital talked about their work. If you would like to know more click here
On the way back to the hotel I passed a procession of vintage and veteran motor vehicles. Lots and lots of people were standing or sitting by the road watching them pass.
After a very pleasant ploughman’s lunch I finished the book I was reading.
After dinner ( chicken in white wine sauce, rice and greens, followed by salted caramel profiteroles) I spent some time on the Babylon 5 space station courtesy of the DVD plyer in my room.
Up with the lark to visit a strange traditional gathering known as a Carbutsell. The locals gather in a field with their cars and sell stuff they don’t want to people who don’t need it. I suspect that at the next gathering the same stuff changes hands again. I did join in, just to placate the natives, by buying some beads and a jewellery box.
Lunch was venison sausage sandwiches.  The weather was very hot so I read quite a bit in the afternoon. Unfortunately I never did manage to visit the various art and craft workshops that I had intended.  Maybe I will come here again and do that another time. The "holiday" was a qualified success. George came home with me.
The "holiday" was a qualified success. George came home with me.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Cat Whispering

For those of you interested enough to come and read this, thank you.
The induction consisted of some health and safety stuff and a tour of the premises, except the dogs. I am a little uneasy around dogs I don't know and as they are good at picking up peoples emotions I am not considered, nor do I want, to be involved with the canines. I saw the ferrets, mice, bunnies, a turkey and a canary and hen all the lovely cats. You will have already seen the bit about red amber and green I think. For the first few weeks I can only go in with the green ones.  I was given some instructions about procedures and then had about an hour to spend. The socialisers spend about ten minutes or so with each cat in its own space. They have an area with a scratching post, bed and toys which you get into through the front door. The doors at each end of the access corridor must be closed before you do this, as illustrated by the second cat I went in with who shot past me in a bid for freedom. He let me pick him up and put him back easily tho'. He is a stray who was very nervous but is improving. He meows all the time but goes quiet once someone is in with him. However, after a bit of playing he decided to be scared of my feet so he was fine playing until I moved and then he shot into his private quarters and peered at me through the cat flap that accesses them. They can get away from people, go into a darker environment and there is a lovely cosy bed up on a shelf.
The first cat let me stroke him for a bit but then told me he didn't want it anymore, not by biting or scratching but just with a look and a turning around.
The third one was a gorgeous little girl, long haired beige and brown and a real love bug. She didn't want me to stop stroking her, and head butted a lot and ended up with her back legs on the tower and her front legs on my shoulder.
I also talked to two ladies who are regulars, doing the same thing. They were in with the amber cats as well and I couldn't find any other greens. I also got a bit more gbackground and procedure before I went from another member of staff.  Obviously not all the cats want to be petted all the time but just getting used to people being in with them does them good. Although they are kept separate hey have lots of space and the corridor and doors all let in lots of light.
I am allowed to take photos for myself but mustn't share on social media unless they are ready to be rehomed so will post some next week if I get the chance.
It was a lovely experience, very calming and I dint think about anything else while I was there. It's going to be my 90 minute meditation!

Saturday, 8 October 2016

My 5th Park Run

Wouldn't you know it! Today I could have overtaken people but I'd volunteered to be tail runner so I wasn't allowed to.  It rained today, and I discovered the best way to keep the rain off my glasses was not to wear them. Fortunately I can still see where I am going.
I bought myself a proper knee support so wore that for the first time and it certainly helped although I only jogged a tiny bit as the people just in front were only walking. My time won't be a PB but that's OK and I shall make a big effort next week. I also got myself a lovely bright mauve Regatta lightweight breathable waterproof jacket half price on eBay but only put it on at the end when it really started to chuck it down.
In other news, I can now just ( and I do mean j.....ust) get into my tweed skirts. I think I should have measured in between the waist and hip measurements to see how my middle age spread was diminishing, although it doesn't look any smaller!
I did go for a brisk walk/bit of a jog yesterday as I had letters to post and I got to the post box and back in 15 minutes. It is almost a mile so that wasn't too bad and it was the fastest I have ever done it so a bit of jogging does improve my time.
I am resolved to go out for at least one other walk every week, plus I walk to the Heath for Bible study on a Monday and play badminton on a Thursday so feeling quite good about it all and determined to improve.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Second report

A summary of the past fortnight. I got a quarter of a pound under 11st one day but have settled back a tad higher. Waist and bust haven't changed any more but I realise I was measuring the wrong bits because I am now wearing some trousers that are a size smaller than usual.  I bought some very nice cords in a sale and bought two sizes in the hope I would be able to get into the smaller ones in time, but I would need braces on the larger ones now and I really don't have the figure for that!
I did last weeks Parkrun in 56'31" and jogged a bit and I am looking forward to getting the time down a bit more tomorrow. I might even run a bit!
But I have fallen off the wagon when it comes to food and drink.  We had guests to lunch yesterday and it would have been rude not to eat my own cooking with relish. Then I went out to see The National Theatre production of The Threepenny Opera, live broadcast at the local theatre and was so hyped up when I got home I just had to have a little supper. And a little wine.
And I have just come back from pushing the old man along the front at Felixstowe so I am eating a Bakewell Tart with my cup of tea.
I will start being good again tomorrow.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

First report

As some of you know, I have been quite poorly this week so exercise has been pretty much zero and a certain amount of comfort eating has taken place. Well, they do say feed a cold, although I had a fever as well so that may just have been self indulgence on my part.
However, in spite of that I have good news. Since I started I have lost 3 lbs, an inch off the bust and half an inch off the waist.  So, I am encouraged to make the effort as soon as I feel able.
P.S. Hubby has caught the cold now

Thursday, 8 September 2016

The best laid plans....

I have been thwarted!  Just as I was really getting into the zone I have been struck down with the cold from hell. I have had one of those sore throats that hurt even just breathing, sneezing, coughing that really REALLY hurts and a temperature of over 100F in the evenings.  So I have been looking after myself with ice cream and cake and lying in bed. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

My first Parkrun

I don't know why, but I find it much more satisfying to write all my stuff in a note book than to keep it in an app. I came to the conclusion that part of the problem with the bracelet was that it was not tight enough because of my small wrists and this morning I asked the seller if I could send it back for a refund. They made a couple of suggestions but said if I really didn't want it then yes I could. So I am.
I found my pedometer. I bought it at Sutton Hoo some time ago and had forgotten about it. I find that it not only records steps but gives an estimate of distance, for which a stride length has been set, calories burnt, and tells the time. I suspect that being on my waist band over my hip means that it gives a more accurate reading.
So, I did Parkrun this morning. I was spectacularly last, except for the official tail ender who is there to make sure every one is OK and I'm sure I was slowing her down, plus of course, all the marshals had to wait until she passed by. Oh, as she was 6 months pregnant too.  I was just over an hour, but then 5k is just over 3 miles so I wasn't too disappointed. Everyone was very encouraging and I actually jogged the last 100 metres. I was pleased that I kept going at a steady pace the whole time and wasn't slowing down by the end.
My target is 40 minutes but that's going to be well into the future I suspect.
When I got home, after a quick visit to the auction viewing and getting some shopping, I took my shoes off and discovered I had a rather large blood blister under my big toe. I hadn't felt it before. I think it may have been something to do with the sock seam. The shoes themselves were very comfortable.
I have to admit that I didn't do much else after lunch and I am treating myself to a bottle of cider this evening.