Winter’s log, earthdate 201512.31

Well, it’s been quite a year! Mostly good, with maybe a small handful of dark shadows to remind us that life is flux, constantly moving on, forever changing – and not always as we’d like. This year saw the sudden and totally unexpected death of a young cousin, a couple of weeks before his wedding – not from something as tragically simple as a car accident or anything else so mundane, but from complications arising from his diabetes. Julian’s mother passed away too – exactly as she would have wanted to go – at home, sitting on the couch, with her little dog curled up on her lap – would that we could all go so peacefully and happily!

On the happier side of the year, both Julian and I lost a lot of weight, Julian from tidying up his eating habits and getting into the habit of going for a long walk before breakfast every morning. My case was a bit more urgent and dire, and I can’t go for “long walks in the country” the way Julian does, so I went on the Optifast VLCD (Very Low Calorie Diet) and went from 134.7 kilos to 65.0 kilos in fifteen months, reaching my “first stop” goal weight of 65 kilos about a month ago (and from there I kept going down! I’ve shot up a bit over Christmas, but hopefully that will go down again, now that all the festive foodstuffs aren’t around!) and I think I’m managing my Maintenance reasonably well… and if I can’t manage to reach a healthy balance somewhere between 64 kilos and 70 kilos, then I shall simply go back to the Optifast for a month or two – it’s quite palatable, if a little boring and repetitious 🙂

I changed my name! Well, I didn’t exactly change it, I added to it, tacking the name “Winter” on in front of my other two names, so I’m now officially Winter C. L. P. instead of just C. L. P. None of you can have any idea just how long I’ve wanted to do that! But as with my weight, sometimes it takes someone special to goad me into action – my doctor (Dr. Y.) actually yelled at me about my weight, and my friend Josh didn’t yell at me, but he did lecture me about using a name that wasn’t really “mine”. But both of them woke me up and made me think that – maybe I should care about my weight, and maybe I should do something about changing my name properly… so I did! 🙂

And we moved house… We didn’t really want to move – we were perfectly happy there in our Doncaster apartment, but we noticed with some alarm the number of new apartment towers being built on and around the Doncaster Hill precinct, and the way our magnificent local Council were changing the planning, zoning, and noise pollution regulations to suit the lining in their own pockets! When we’d moved into the apartment, it was going to be our “forever” home, so we weren’t all that concerned with its re-sale value, however one does have to be practical about things, especially finance, and because it’s a fairly old building we could see the value of our property plummeting like a ton of bricks, with all these new apartment towers being built around it, even though our three bedroom apartment was nearly twice, or even three times as large as the tiny new one and two bedroom apartments that seem to be growing like fungus all over Doncaster Hill! We sort-of felt that we were being “chased” out by the Council – so we started looking, and we found this place! A beautiful and perfectly flat, four or even five bedroom house, with wide corridors, if I ever am permanently consigned to my wheelchair – a bit of garden, not too much, but enough for the veggie garden that Julian has promised me since he first moved in with me in 1986! 🙂 And now we’re going to have a small aviary, too! Fish out the front, veggies and birds out the back, and a cat inside! 🙂 What more could one want?! 😉 I’ve just had my bathroom re-decorated, and it’s probably one of the most practical, as well as absolutely gorgeous, bathrooms that anyone could possibly even imagine!

My favourite eldest daughter has also managed to lose a massive amount of weight on an Optifast VLCD, and continues to excel in her Arts course – she has one more year to go, unless she goes back to do a Master’s Degree – and my favourite youngest daughter is working hard at a difficult job, as well as managing to do Pilates, and with help from her equal but more masculine half, walk the dog, and manage all the rabbits and the three cats 😉

Julian and I both seem to have drifted away somewhat from our favourite game of Rift, and back into the waiting arms of World of Warcraft, which we had played for more years than I like to acknowledge, before we were lured away by the better graphics of Rift – but now we’re back with WoW again – at least for the moment, anyway!

We had a great Christmas this year – our first in our new home, and we’re looking forward to 2016. I know that every year we say “Thank heavens that year is over!” with heartfelt relief, but in all honesty, I don’t think we can really say that about this year! Yes, there have been some hard bits, some sad and sorrowful moments, but that’s just all part of life in general – after all, if you didn’t have any sad or bad times, how would you know what a good time was? Looking back – I can see more good things than bad, and so I have to say that if 2016 is even half as good as 2015, I shall count myself lucky! 🙂

And so, to the mundane! 🙂 This morning I walked 2.28km in 41 minutes, and this afternoon I managed 2.30km in about the same time – so I’m getting closer to my 2.5kms per walk goal! In the Food department, last night we had that delicious, slow-cooked corned silverside, with mashed potatoes (made with chopped fresh chives, and low-far plain Greek yoghurt instead of milk and butter) green beans, and half a tomato. It was one of the best meals I’ve had since I hit Maintenance – I don’t know why we don’t have corned silverside more often! It’s relatively cheap, because you get more than one meal out of it, it’s very easy to prepare, especially if you have a slow cooker, and it tastes delicious! There was also a bit of the mashed potatoes left over last night, so for lunch today Julian made the home-made wraps, with some of the (cold) mashed potatoes, some quinoa tabouli salad, and some of the cold silverside – and I reckon I could quite happily live on food like that! Tonight we’re having cold-cuts and salads, because it’s so hot, and I’m most disgusted! Only Channel 2 is televising New Year’s Eve, and they’re showing the bloody Sydney fireworks, which I’m boycotting! Julian said that we could always go over to Doncaster to see the Melbourne fireworks – the lounge suite is still there, so we’d have something to sit on – but no – we’ve made it a sort-of tradition that we don’t go out on New Year’s Eve, and I don’t want to make this one the sole exception! I guess we’ll manage to survive without fireworks to look at, just this once! 😉

Weigh-in this morning. Was not at all good! I went from 65.2kg to 65.5kg! Up three points! And I now know the reason why! Remember how I said my feet were so swollen that they looked like balloons? And that I didn’t think that my anti-fluid tablets were working properly? Well, that was probably because I hadn’t taken my lunch-time tablet for two days… :/ My bad! Oh well, at least I remembered to take it today… (but my feet still look a little bit like two balloons!) However I shall pay much more attention to whether I take the lunch-time anti-fluid tablet or not, from now on!

And so – what grand plans do Julian and I have for “next year”? Apart from the veggie garden and the aviary, or maybe getting away overseas for a holiday? Nothing, really… Of course, we still have all these [censored] boxes to unpack, pictures and paintings to hang, books to arrange bookcases for, excess furniture to sell off – and I know we keep saying that we’re going to do all of that, but I think perhaps that should be our main “family” New Year’s Resolution! I can’t speak for Julian, but for myself? Well, keeping the weight stable is my main one, I guess – though the old rule applies: “If it ain’t there, ya can’t eat it!” and believe me – it won’t be there! Keeping relatively fit is sort-of my second one, so I shall keep on walking on the treadmill – though my walk this afternoon  probably leached more than a kilo of sweat out of me! I just kept telling myself “Keep going! you can do it, and you’re going to do 2.28+ kilometers, even if you have to crawl!” while drops of sweat rained down onto the treadmill belt! 🙂 And oh! if only I could walk in bare feet! My feet get unbearably hot in two pairs of socks! :/ And once again, that’s about it from me for tonight! I guess I’ll see you all next year, to fill you all in on all our news, what sort of fun and adventures we’ve had, whether my weight’s behaving or not – and, if you’re all really, really good, I might even post up a few good recipes for you! (how’s that for a bribe, eh?! 😉 ) In the meantime, please try to bee good (well, you do want the recipes, don’t you?) and don’t forget – if it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you; always remember to keep cool – or warm – depending on the weather, to drive carefully – especially tonight – and to look after yourselves… but above all, always remember to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

++  = HappyNewYearEveryone = ++

Winter’s log, earthdate 201512.30

Ooo-er! It’s going to feel quite strange, changing the date to 2016! The day after tomorrow! 😮 (my, doesn’t time fly, when you’re having fun! 😉 ) Anyway, after my morning walk (2.28km this morning, in 41 minutes) and breakfast, I got back into WoW with the intention of getting Winterwight up to level 21, so that she could go after the Ghost Saber-tooth Pet. I didn’t make it to level 21 – I’m currently parked outside a “portal” in Silverpine Forest, which is going to take me and my (new) Pet right into the middle of a great big fight, where we’re probably going to get killed! I Tamed myself a new Pet this morning, when I was in Gilneas, killing off the nasty Worgan who are making life miserable up in that part of Azeroth. Gilneas is the Worgen Starting Area, and I think they have a bit of a “dog and fox” problem, because there are wild (feral?) Boxer-type dogs running around all over the place, and if you can’t see one of these Boxer dogs, it’s because the ruddy white foxes have moved in! It took me a few seconds to realise that these white foxes were eminently Tamable – but then I remembered that I used to sneak into this particular area (with Julian’s help!) to get myself an “early” Fox Pet. Of course that was back in the good-old-days where you weren’t limited as to how many Pets you could have, based on your experience level! However as soon as I saw them I thought that a pretty little white Fox would be much more nicer than my Warg Pet (who’s forever stopping to sit down and start scratching himself – and just between you, me and the gatepost, I think he’s got …. fleas! 😮 ) So I “Abandoned” my Spider, and now I have “Spot”, the Warg, as my first Pet, and Wintersnow, the Fox, as my second one. When I go to get my Ghost Saber-cat I’ll probably “Abandon” Spot… I also want to get an Ape or a Turtle Pet, as they make very good “Tanks” – but that will have to wait until I’m “allowed” to have that many Pets!

Food Notes: Anyway, I played WoW until lunchtime, then I frittered away a bit of time before it was time for my afternoon walk (another 2.28km – but this time it only took me 40 minutes) When I came back in here again I did a bit of hunting for “side-dishes” for Julian to make – I found quite a few, actually, which I’ve printed out for him, so hopefully we’ll soon be having something else besides the usual half a tomato, five chips, and some sort of steamed green vegetable! If they turn out to be any good I might even post a couple of the recipes here, because they look easy enough to make without much fuss and mess. Now all I have to do is look up some nice, low-calorie main meals that we can enjoy! 🙂 Tonight, of course, we have our lovely slow-cooked corned silverside for dinner, which we’ll have with mashed potatoes, probably a nice half a tomato, and either beans or Brussels sprouts. We had another home-made wrap for lunch today – it turns out that we did have some turkey still left over from Christmas Dinner – in the freezer! Julian thawed it out and we had a turkey, ham, and low-fat Greek yoghurt wrap, which as usual, was delicious!

Weigh-in this morning. Boring, really – I hopped on the scales this morning, and first they said I was the same – 65.2kg – so I hopped on again, just to be sure, and they said I was 65.4kg! Up two points! So, best out of three, I hopped on for the third time, and this time they said “We wuz only jokeing before! You’re still the same, at 65.2kg!” So there I am – still the same at 65.2kg… as I said – boring! I’m quite sure that the hot weather doesn’t agree with me – last night both of my feet looked like balloons, and the anti-fluid pills don’t seem to be working properly (if you know what I mean) I don’t know whether I should be drinking more fluid (water or tea… or coffee…) or whether I should be drinking less! And does jelly (diet jelly) count as a fluid? Cos if I’m not actually thirsty I find it almost impossible to drink anything (except coffee) and of course, one can always find room in one’s stomach for a bit more jelly 🙂 (or coffee… Has anyone ever made coffee jelly, do you think? It wouldn’t/shouldn’t be too hard to do… I mean, if you can make champagne jelly, surely it couldn’t be too hard to make a tea, or a coffee jelly! And besides! I want some!) Oh, I just added up all my walking today – 4.56km – almost the 5 kilometers per day that I’m aiming for! (I’ll get there, I’ll get there!) and it took me a total of 81 minutes – about an hour and a half, so I suppose that’s good… I’d like to get myself up to 5 km per day, in 2 lots of 2.5km walks (because I’m sure as hell not going to walk for a full hour and a half, or longerespecially in this hot weather! I’m dripping with sweat when I finish now, anyway!)

And so to tomorrow – New Year’s Eve! We’re going to miss watching the city fireworks from our lounge room window this year! 😦 This year, it’ll have to be via the magic of television, or we won’t see them at all! I hope some kindly television channel will cover the Melbourne fireworks, because if the only fireworks on air are going to be from Sydney, then I won’t be watching! Why do they show the Sydney fireworks in Melbourne anyway? Are our fireworks so puny and boring that only the idiots who go into the city and stroll along the river – and who don’t sit at home, glued to their televisions to watch the wonderful and magnificent Sydney display – deserve the rubbish that Melbourne puts on! It infuriates me! Bugger Sydney, Melbourne is just as good – in fact, it’s better – than that tired, dowdy old city, and I don’t want to see their fireworks, I want to see ours! Actually, we’ll be taking tomorrow pretty quietly – my favourite eldest daughter has just rung to see if anything’s happening tomorrow night – but quite frankly, New Year’s Eve is a good night to stay safely at home! Put your feet up, have a glass of champagne or sparkling mineral water at midnight, enjoy the Melbourne fireworks on the television (if anyone’s showing them!) and stay safe! In many, many ways, this has been a most remarkable year! Lots of good, astonishing, unprecedented, even! things have happened – Julian’s lost a lot of weight, as have I (who would ever have thunk it! 🙂 ) and so has my favourite eldest daughter! We’ve sold our apartment and moved into a lovely house, I have the beginnings of my long-promised veggie garden – but it’s also been a year fraught with stress and angst – and to cap it all off, Julian’s mother passed away, right in the middle of our move… so we won’t be too sorry to see the end of 2015, and hopefully, 2016 will be a lighter, happier and more optimistic year for everyone (all of you reading this included! 😉 ) And that’s about it from me for tonight 🙂 Do call back tomorrow night for my “End Of The Year” critique and observations, my hopes for 2016, and my fears… and my weight… One thing I can promise all of you though (and I do keep my promises!) I shall never go back to what I was. Not ever. Even if I have to live on Optifast for the rest of my life (meh! It’s not so bad! 😉 ) but I’m sure it won’t come to that! Anyway, until tomorrow night, do try to bee good – just because – remember that the difficulties of life are intended to make us better, not bitter, and don’t forget to look after yourselves, to drive carefully (especially tomorrow night!) and to keep cool – or warm – depending on our marvelous Melbourne meteorology … but most importantly, don’t forget to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

Winter’s log, earthdate 201512.29

Well, here I am, starting when I probably should be finishing – but… what can I say? I didn’t feel like writing when I should have been starting, so I didn’t. Nothing much really happened today – first thing this morning, though, after I’d finished my walk (2.28km! I think that’s the furthest I’ve “walked” in one go in over 30 years!) I rang the doctor’s to make an appointment to get the results from my latest blood test (something to do with thyroid function, I think!) They turned out to be much the same as the last lot, so now “they” (you know, the ubiquitous “They”, whoever “They” are this week!) say that I don’t have to have another one for six months. Suits me just fine! I also had to get a new prescription for my Warfarin tablets, as unbeknownst to me, I’d used up all my repeats – which was why I’ve been not terribly happily swallowing five 1mg tablets for the last three nights, instead of 2 x 2mg and 1 x 1mg tablets, which is what I usually have 😦 Anyway, all sorted out now! 🙂 After that we had to call in at the vet’s to get some more of Flipper’s anti-arthritis drops (why can’t they make them for humans, too!) and then on to Eastland Shopping Centre in Ringwood. “But why Eastland?” I hear you whispering behind your hands “Why not The Glen, or Doncaster Shoppingtown?” Well, because we’d completely run out of the tea which we usually get from T2, and there’s no T2 shop at The Glen! There’s one at Doncaster Shoppingtown, which is a right cow to go to at this time of the year – but mainly because not only does Eastland have a T2 shop, but it’s been newly “renovated”, and I wanted to have a look-see if it had changed much (not that I’d be able to tell really, as we go there so seldom that I can’t remember what it looked like before!) The facade facing Whitehorse Road is certainly different though… very modern and up-beat! 🙂 So we went to Eastland, where I walked into Just Jeans, and was actually able to buy a pair of jeans there! This doesn’t sound like much, but believe me, for me it is! I’m still having enormous difficulty in getting my head around the fact that I don’t have to rely solely on Big Girl shops any more – in fact I can’t rely on them at all! Now my problem is that the Big Girl shops don’t have anything small enough to fit me! (which is a bit of a shame, because they do have some really nice tops…) To be able to waltz on in to a shop like Just Jeans and buy a pair of jeans – that’s a marvelous novelty for me! It also really brings it home to you just how disparate and un-coordinated clothing sizes are! A size 14 is not always a size 14 – it all depends on the fashion house, the designer, or label on the back of the neck or waistband – and it shouldn’t! I have two (2) pairs of size 16 jeans that I can’t wear, because they’re so big on me that they’re in danger of falling down around my ankles! I have one pair of size 14 jeans that fit me very nicely (and even they’re starting to get a bit “loose” around the waist!) Today, as I said, I walked into Just Jeans and tried on a pair of size 14 jeans, which fit quite well, but they had that funny sort of “hipster” waist, that end somewhere about three inches below your waist. I don’t feel comfortable in that sort of style, so the girl brought me another pair of size 14s – with a slightly higher waist and very narrow leg bottoms (anyone remember the old “stove-pipe” pants of the 60’s?) Well, I could get them on – j-u-s-t – but they were uncomfortably tight around the waist, so I said “No – I’ll need a size 16 in these!” – so off the girl went to look for a size 16. She eventually found some (in the wrong stack, she said) So, I’m now wearing (or I will be, after they’ve been washed!) a pair of size 16 jeans that aren’t from a Big Girl shop where they deliberately label the sizes smaller so that women will feel happier about their size and shape!

This morning I played WoW – still working with my un-dead Hunter, who’s now level 14 – and really enjoying it! These are all new (to me, anyway!) quests and scenarios – still far too easy, but fun nonetheless, simply because they’re “new” 🙂 It seems that the starting and primary quests for Night Elves, Blood Elves, Humans and Draenei haven’t changed at all – but although the Forsaken starting area is in the same actual location, everything else has changed – so far, for the better! I’ll see how I go tomorrow – at level 14 I could go off after Dishu, in the Northern Barrens, and as I can catch a Zeppelin from Undercity (the Forsaken capital city) to Orgrimmar (the Orc capital city in Durotar) it wouldn’t be hard to do – however, whilst I was on a side-quest in Silverpine Forest, I came up against a “Silver Special” called “Gorefang” – one of the few Rare creatures that a Hunter can Tame for a Pet. I quickly dismissed my Spider Pet, and took out my trusty Taming Wand and managed to subdue him – so now I have a large silver-grey wolf (actually, he’s a Worg) Pet. I’m undecided though – I could now go after Dishu, or I could wait until I get to level 21 so that I can get a Ghost Saber-tooth cat in Darkshore. The long and short of it is that at the moment, I can only have two Pets – which I now have – the Spider (whom I haven’t named) and “Gorefang” (whom I have called “Spot” 🙂 ) I can’t remember off-hand what level I have to reach before I can have three Pets, though as I level up I’ll eventually be able to have up to five of them (different Pets to make use of the three different attributes – Ferocity, Tenacity, or Cunning – for different needs and situations) So – that’s where I am at the moment on World of Warcraft!

Food: well, there’s only one more (broken!) bit of the Christmas fare to nibble through! Amongst the items in the Christmas Hamper we got from Julian’s sister was a bag of extremely delicious spiced ginger biscuits that actually came from Phillippa’s here in Melbourne! We’ve been having one a night, and now there’s only one broken biscuit left, which we’ll share tomorrow night. Then, that’s it! No more Christmas “eatables” until Christmas next year! (thank goodness!) This morning we were back to our “normal” breakfast of two Uncle Toby’s Vita Brits with extra bran, half a banana (sliced) and 200ml of skinny milk. Lunch was two Ryvita crispbread with low-fat ricotta, ham, and some slices of tomato. Dinner tonight was sausages, and the usual chips and half a tomato, and steamed broccolini. Tomorrow night we’re having slow-cooked corned silverside, and we’ll be having some mashed potatoes, made with low-fat plain Greek yoghurt and chopped chives – there’ll probably be our usual half a tomato and some sort of green vegetable – all of which I’m really looking forward to! Corned silverside is a very economical dish, because you can generally (depending on its size!) get three meals out of it! Hot with vegetables for dinner, and about two lunches-worth of sandwiches made from the leftover cold meat (really nice with a dab of hot English mustard, or even a dash of tomato sauce!)

Weigh-in this morning. Not too bad – perhaps things are starting to look up (or perhaps I should say “down”! 😉 ) I went down three points – from 65.5kg to 65.2kg! I didn’t do my afternoon walk today because I was busy walking around Eastland, and wobbling around on one leg, trying to balance while I tried to get legs in and out of tight, skinny-legged jeans, but this morning I made it to 2.28km on the treadmill, which took 40 minutes. You know, I don’t have a competitive bone in my body – I generally don’t give a damn who comes first, or who’s better than someone else – but I do feel that I have to compete against myself. Whatever I did last time, I have to do better, be faster, go further, than I did the last time – consequentially my walks seem to be getting longer and longer! First, it was that I had to get to one kilometer… then, 1.08 kilometers… and then 1.25 kilometers… it’s now got to 2.28 kilometers, and I’m beginning to wonder if in the end, I’ll end up living, sleeping, eating, and showering, all on the ruddy treadmill! :/ And all this, coming from a totally un-competitive person, who loathes and despises exercising! I wonder what the scales will say tomorrow…

I have two tasks tomorrow – one is to think up interesting and innovative meals and side dishes for Julian to cook, now that he’s cooking for two again… and the other is to work out what we’re going to be planting in our veggie garden next week! Well, I know what I want to plant, the thing is, is it the right time of the year to be planting it! I guess I’m going to have to do some research! As for recipes – I printed him out a whole bunch of nice sounding dishes a couple of weeks ago – I think they’re still sitting in his “In” tray on his desk in the Den here! Still, he got a nice new recipe book for Christmas – I’ll have a look in there and see if anything grabs my attention, or starts my mouth watering! And if any of you reading this have any really nice recipes you’d like to share, please feel free to email them to me! Thanks! 🙂 And now, once again, I’m afraid that’s about it from me for tonight! Please feel free to drop by again tomorrow night though, to see if Winterwight has managed to get her Ghost Saber-tooth cat, and if I’ve decided what to plant, or found any nice sounding recipes or side dishes, and if my weight’s still on a downward trend, or if it’s decided to keep on going up! There’ll be lots of news tomorrow night, I’m sure, so until then, please bee good, remember that life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance, and don’t forget to keep cool – or warm – depending on the weather, to drive carefully, and to look after yourselves – but above all, don’t forget to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

Winter’s log, earthdate 201512.28

*Quote of the Day from Goodreads this morning: “We are flawed creatures, all of us. Some of us think that means we should fix our flaws. But get rid of my flaws and there would be no one left.” – Sarah Vowell
The blurb reads: Happy birthday, Sarah Vowell! Besides writing nonfiction books and serving as a contributing editor on This American Life, the American journalist has also starred in a Pixar movie. She was the voice of Violet in The Incredibles.

When I got that quote this morning, I thought “How very true!”, and decided to include it in today’s blog. You know, we’re always being bombarded with ‘messages’ (advertisements are the worst offenders, with their never-ending exhortations to “look slimmer!”, “look younger!”, “last longer!”, etc, etc.!) sometimes subtly, and sometimes not quite so subtly – exactly what’s “wrong” with us, and what we need to do in order to “rectify” this so-called flaw in ourselves, because all we need is the will to do so (or the money, or the desire) But in reality, it’s our flaws that make us who we are, with all our little foibles and eccentricities – remove those flaws, and we become someone else entirely – perhaps a “nicer” person, perhaps not – I tend to think that we’d all end up being the same, bland, boring, “automatons”, with no distinguishing traits to tell us apart… so, as the French say, 🙂 “Vive la Différence!”, or even the Vulcan (see Star Trek!) IDIC (Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations) – we’re all different, and long may we remain so! 🙂

This morning Julian went over to Doncaster Shoppingtown – we were suffocating under the Everest-like piles of Dry Cleaning that we kept forgetting to take over with us whenever I went to the hairdresser, so after ringing up our Daisy Dry Cleaners in Doncaster, to make sure that they were open, he took over their next Mercedes-worth of our clothing to be cleaned – we could, of course by-pass the Dry Cleaners altogether – our new cleaning lady has indicated that she’d be happy to do our ironing for us, should we so desire, and all we’d have to do would be to pay for a good iron, and a decent ironing table, rather than contributing so heavily to the Dry Cleaner’s next Jaguar or Mercedes! He also did a spot of shopping, but… he forgot to get any tea from T2! Every time he looks in the pantry cupboard he sees all the boxes of teas, thinks “Nah! We don’t need tea – we’ve still got all those boxes!”, completely forgetting that “all those boxes” in the cupboard aren’t the flavoured black teas that we like so much, they’re tisanes! Just as nice, in their own way, and quite suitable to either drink hot, or iced – all you have to do is remember not to add milk! 🙂

Anyway, he went shopping, and I played WoW! 🙂 I’m getting quite stuck into this new realm, with the very large (and rich! Don’t forget rich!) Guild Bank! I even sifted through the realms to find a character that I could… er… “re-cycle” – Julian’s doing extremely well with his Warlock, Bræ, who was transferred to this new realm last night – so much so that I wanted to try a Warlock, too! So I found a character elsewhere to “re-cycle”, and made myself a Warlock (her name’s Nimuë) Then I thought “Hnag on, I transferred Cassändra (my Hunter, who only plays with Bræ on Sundays) over last night, so what am I going to do for a Hunter that I can play with during the week?!” Well, there was a very obvious answer to that question! “Re-cycle” another character that I’d probably never use again! The deed was soon done, but which of the Horde races was I going to use this time? I didn’t want another Blood Elf, and I didn’t really like any of the other Horde races… I’d read (somewhere or other!) that next to the Troll starting area, the Forsaken starting area was pretty good, so I thought I’d see what sort of character I could make… The Forsaken are basically your decaying and rotting “Undead” – very difficult to create a “pretty” one, if you know what I mean! However, much to my surprise, in their last re-vamp, Blizzard have added one pretty face, and one unblemished skin to the Undead female attributes! I chose them, and Winterwight turned out to be quite attractive, so now I have a new Blood Elf Warlock, and an Undead Hunter to play with! And from what I’ve seen, the rumours about the Forsaken starting area weren’t exaggerated – it is a good area to start off in, even if it is a bit dank and gloomy – but I’ve almost finished with the starting area and am starting to move out into the low-level questing areas…

Food: We had lovely pan-fried pork fillet for dinner last night, with the usual beans, half a tomato, and chips (this time sprinkled with the new peri-peri salt that Julian found in his Christmas Stocking! 🙂 ) – all very delicious! For dessert, I had my usual diet jelly, and my last mince tart (with a bit of light cream) I also had my last chocolate, so now there’s nothing “naughty” left for me to eat until Easter or someone’s Birthday comes up! 🙂 The Panettone’s all gone too – we had the last of it for breakfast this morning, so tomorrow it’s back to the usual two Vita Brits with extra bran, half a banana, and 200ml of skinny milk – not that I mind – I like the Uncle Toby’s Vita Brits – the manufacturers haven’t yet taken out any and all traces of salt, so they actually taste nice! We had another home-made wrap for lunch – apparently we must have eaten through the left-over turkey, because there was ham in the wrap today, along with tomato, and plain low-far Greek yoghurt. Tonight we’re having steak “with the usual” (says Julian) for dinner – so it looks like my food consumption is going back to “normal” – let’s hope my weight does too! (it just might, too – the anti-fluid tablets seem to have started working again!)

Weigh-in this morning. Still going up, but at least it’s slowing down! I went from 65.3kg to 65.5kg – only up two points this time! Hopefully, from here on in, it’ll start to go down a bit. At the moment I only have four and a half kilos to play with, before I get to 70kg and another Optifast stint! I guess I should’na et so much! :/ However, I don’t regret any of it – sure, I want to stay slim, but I don’t want to deny myself the pleasure of good food – or even food that tastes nice, but isn’t really good for me! Life is for living, and there’s already enough unavoidable misery and suffering in the world without people deliberately making themselves miserable, because they’re so scared that they might put on a few pounds if they dare eat even one bite of a totally scrumptious, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious chocolate brownie, ever again, for as long as they live! One chocolate brownie a month, though? I’d call that reasonable – and do-able! 😉 Anyway, let’s see what the scales tell me tomorrow…

Well, once again I have no earthly idea what’s happening tomorrow! I know Julian has to go out to get Flipper some more of her anti-inflammory Loxi-whatever drops, and I have to ring up about getting another Warfarin script (apparently I’ve used up all the repeats for my 1mg Warfarin tablets, too, so I’d better get up off my now slightly smaller backside and make the effort!) Other than that, I’ll probably be WoW-ing again – with either Nimuë in Eversong Woods, or Winterwight, in Tirisfal Glades. I know that Julian is planning a trip to Bunny’s or a Nursery, so that we can get something to plant in our empty little veggie beds – he also wants to get some worms for the soil – do any of you out there in Reader-Land know where we can buy garden worms? Anyway, once again, that’s about it from me for this evening! 🙂 Don’t forget to call in again tomorrow night to see what we’ve been up to, and whether or not we’ve been out seedling buying, or snooping around Officeworks for “things” that I shall have to try terribly hard not to be able to live with – and more importantly, what my weight‘s been up (or down!) to! 🙂 Until then, however, do try to bee good, don’t forget that though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending, and remember to drive carefully, to keep cool – or warm – depending on the weather, and to look after yourselves… but above all, remember to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

Winter’s log, earthdate 201512.27

Ah, Sunday evening, after a successful day in Azeroth! 🙂 Having finally finished all the quests in Eversong Woods, the Blood Elf newbie, or “junior” area, We took Cassändra (me) and Bræ (Julian) on into The Ghostlands – a dim and dank, perpetually twilight area that I don’t particularly like very much – the vegetation is thick and rank, and difficult to see through (Blood Elves, I might add, are one of the shortest of the races – with only the Dwarves, Gnomes, and Goblins being ever-so-slightly shorter!) We started our two girls out on a realm (server) called “Scarlet Crusade” – why we chose “Scarlet Crusade”, I can’t remember now, but I suppose that it must have seemed like a good idea at the time! :/ Anyway, there was a Guild there, but no Guild Bank, because everyone was too poor to be able to afford one (the first bank “vault” would have cost us 100 gold pieces, and we didn’t even have 20 gold pieces between us!) The idea is to recruit lots and lots of people to your Guild, and then get everyone to work really, really hard to make a lot of money – either by “farming” materials (going out and picking herbs, mining and smelting ore, and skinning lots of animals) that can be sold profitably on the Auction House, or by making the sort of things that people will always want to buy – like weapons, and armour, and clothes, potions, bags… they all sell well, especially if you’re a good enough Craftsperson to “enhance” the items that you make with spells, runes, or special gems! But that all takes time, and we’re impatient players! We want the Bank vault now, or preferably last week! 🙂 It also means having to interact with a whole lot of strange people that you don’t know from a bar of soap, and what’s more, that you’d prefer to get to know your bar of soap, before these other players! In fact, we’re the sort of people who always had the words “Does not play well with other children” written on our school reports… Anyway, I had the brilliant idea that one of us could transfer one of our other characters over from a different realm, getting them to bring along enough money with which to buy a couple of bank vaults (one vault is never enough!) so I looked to our richest realm, Quel’Dorei, thinking that they could well afford to lose a bit of their ill-gotten gold… but in order to be able to hand the gold over when they got to Scarlet Crusade, they’d have to be Horde members too, because the two factions don’t even talk to eachother – it’s a “Kill On Sight” situation between the two factions – and neither of us had a Horde character who could carry that much money. Dilemma! But there is a very sneaky way of transferring money from one faction to the other, involving the Auction House – but you really have to be on your toes, and pretty quick, in case someone grabs the goods that you’re “transferring” instead of your intended recipient. If it’s money you want to transfer, you put up one slice of bread, worth only one copper, and you put a buy-out price (i.e you don’t put in a bid for it, you offer to buy it at the highest asking price) So, you put your cheap and worthless piece of bread up for auction, with an “asking price” (the buyout price)  of, say, 100,000 gold pieces! Your opposite faction friend buys the piece of bread for this ridiculous price, and you have the money that they’d brought over to give you, and they have a very expensive piece of stale bread, which they can either toast, put butter and Vegemite on it, and have it for breakfast – or they can throw it away, mission accomplished! However, if it happens to be goods rather than just cash that’s being transferred, that “exclusive and terribly expensive object” that you brought over to give to your friend, will be auctioned off for, say, a stupidly cheap buyout price of 1 gold… and you have to be very quick off the mark to hit “buy” at the right moment, because a lot of unscrupulous people do nothing – all day and every day – except scan the Auction House continually, for precisely those sorts of transactions – and as I said, if you’re not extremely quick off the mark, they can rip that “exclusive and terribly expensive object” right out from under your nose before you can even say “Bother!” Well, we didn’t want to have to go through all that – besides, there aren’t very many Auction Houses where both Factions can buy and sell – so when Quel’Dorei turned out not to have any suitable candidates to act as a courier, I went looking around at the other realms, to see who had what, and what sort of “deal” we could do with them… I’d looked at about three, when I came across a realm whose population (that is, the bulk of my characters!) were Horde, and they had a Guild, with a Guild Bank, that had three Bank vaults, stuffed full of very helpful goodies (like great big bags, and healing potions, and all sorts of cool stuff!)…. and well over a thousand gold pieces! Problem! It would be very, very awkward, if not impossible, to transfer most of that to another realm. Solution! Move our characters to the realm with the nice, big Guild Bank! Transferring a character on Rift is free, and you can only transfer a particular character every seven days. On World of Warcraft, transferring a particular character costs $27.00 in real money, and you can only transfer that particular character every three days – though I reckon you’d have to be pretty desperate to want, or even need, to transfer a particular character more than once in three days! So anyway, that’s what we’ve done. The Transfers were labeled “Successful”, but unlike Rift, it’s not instantaneous – it takes anywhere from 3 hours to 24 hours, depending on how busy they are… whenever I’ve transferred characters before it’s usually taken a couple of hours, but we’ll see…. Then of course, we’re going to have to get ourselves invited into the Guild, but after that, as they say in the classics, “The World is My Oyster!” 🙂

Weigh-in this morning. Oh dear… up another three points, from 65.0kg to 65.3kg! That was probably the cold pudding and mince tart with a little bit of light cream that I had for dessert last night, after my delicious omelet, because I can’t really see an omelet being calorie-high! Well, all the high calorie stuff is being whittled away, and won’t be replaced until next Christmas – the pudding is all gone, though I think there are two mince tarts left; there’s only one more Panettone breakfast left for tomorrow, and I think there are about 5 chocolates left. The lovely Siena Cake that Mitta brought with her from Sydney is all gone – so very soon there won’t be anything left to indulge myself with – which is good. Things will get back to what laughingly  passes for “normal” around here, and hopefully, with the longer walks I’m having (2.10km this morning, and 2.17km this afternoon, each walk taking between 33 and 37 minutes..) my weight will start to subside again… but if it doesn’t, well, I have almost a whole five kilos to go before I get to the “Diet Cut-Off Point” of 70kg, but I don’t intend to let my weight get anywhere near that! Hopefully I’ll be a little lighter tomorrow… but I’m not holding my breath – especially if there’s another mince tart in the offering for dessert tonight! 😉

Tomorrow we’re hopefully going to start getting back to “work” – Julian has a lot of tidying up to do, and I want to make a few changes around my desk, to give myself more room – I’ll just need Julian to move my little chest of drawers thingy – it is on wheels (I think!) but on carpet, you wouldn’t know it – it’s like trying to move Mt. Everest! :/ Once we’ve got all the Christmas bits and pieces tidied away, I hope we’ll be able to start dealing with all the boxes in the Library, because it won’t be long before we have to get the last of our gear – and all our books – out of the apartment in Doncaster, and at the moment we don’t have any room here to put everything! We also need to start planting a few vegetables (!!) Anyway, now that I’ve bored you all to tears with my treatise on “How to Cheat On The WoW Auction House”, I have to tell you that once again, that’s about it from me for this evening! 🙂 Do drop in again tomorrow night – find out if my weight did go up again (it probably will!) if we’ve made any progress in the tidying, planting, and box-unpacking areas, as well as any other adventures we might have had (I’ve actually got my fingers crossed that we might visit a couple of Nurseries, if it’s not too hot!) But until then, please continue to bee good (because it’s better than being badd!) remember that we all have problems, but the way we solve them is what makes us different. Don’t forget to look after yourselves, to drive carefully, and to keep cool – or warm – depending on this wonderful Melbourne weather – but most importantlydon’t forget to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

Winter’s log, earthdate 201512.26

For once I’m starting early – I hate having to rush things, or finish after dinner, when I’ve quite lost the thread of what I was saying! So today, for a change – an early start! Let’s see… as I said last night, our first Christmas Day here at Stillwater was a great success, and everyone enjoyed themselves immensely. Luckily, the loss of the air conditioner – the only hiccup of the day – occurred when all the fun and festivities were starting to wind down anyway, so apart from my (mostly minor) discomfort, everything went to plan. When the air conditioner finally came back to us, around 7.45pm, Julian ran around like a chook with its head cut off reclaiming his kitchen, and getting rid of all the mess, while I sat around like the lazy slob that I am, reveling in the restored coolth. As neither of us felt much like having dinner, after our luncheon of excess, at least there weren’t any dinner pots and pans and dishes to clean up – I had one mince tart, and half a glass of skinny-milk – Julian just had a mince tart! However, once we’d cleared up most of the day’s mess, and the Den had at long last cooled down a bit, I was finally able to write my blog – which I’m very sorry didn’t get published until after midnight – I did try to, though – I actually finished writing just before midnight – but by the time I’d previewed and edited it and got it into a publishable state, unfortunately it was after midnight 😦 Needless to say, we got to bed more than a little later than usual, but made it up by sleeping in a bit this morning 🙂

I think I like sleeping in… 🙂 then it was up and at ’em again – well, as much as the term “up and at ’em again” can be applied to a really lazy “bludge” day, anyway! 😉 I played WoW mostly, and got Dulcìnea up to level 20, and she’s now learnt to ride, at long last! Now there’s only one more level to go before I can try to sneak her over to Darkshore so that she can have her turn at Taming a Ghost Saber-tooth cat. You know, I’ve actually forgotten how I used to get the Horde girls over to Darkshore to get their ghostly cats! I think I have to get myself to Orgrimmar, the Orcish capital in Durotar, run through into the Northern Barrens (where I tamed Dishu a couple of levels ago) and then sneak my way into Ashenvale – dodging all the Alliance guards all the way up the coast, to Darkshore… and it’s going to take forever! :/ Never mind – ends, means, and justifications, etc., etc…

Julian spent a lot of time this morning copying all the classical CDs that arrived from Adelaide the other day, so that he and his sister can share them (and so we can listen to them in the car – we have virtually no classical music ripped for car use!) then he went off to do some shopping (our remaining flat bread was getting stale, and there were no Ryvita crispbreads left) and I went for my second walk for the day – 2.08km this time. I’m still debating whether or not to do a third walk today, to make up for the one that I couldn’t do yesterday because it was too hot, without the air conditioner… I rather think not, as the purpose of the treadmill walking is not primarily to actually burn calories – its primary purpose is to boost and speed up my metabolism, which has always been extremely slow, and its secondary purpose is to get me fitter, which it’s certainly doing – the calorie burning is just a happy by-product of the main two purposes, so any walking that I do today is not really going to do anything to boost my metabolic rate yesterday, is it! (ain’t rationalisation wunnerful?! 😉 )

Anyway, the point is, we’ve both spent a relatively relaxed, quiet day, not doing anything in particular, for a change! Tomorrow, being Sunday, is our day for rampaging through Telara (Rift) or Azeroth (WoW) – we’ve opted for Azeroth, so we’ll be revisiting old haunts, with both of us racking our brains to remember how to get to places, and exactly what we’re supposed to be doing once we get there! With the lower level quests it’s usually me who knows these things – being an altoholic, I did all those lower level quests so many times that in the end, getting there and doing what had to be done became semi-automatic – and with a great many of them I can still pretty much give my mouse-hand free rein, and it’ll happily, and of its own accord, go through all the appropriate motions and gestures to complete the quest – a bit like a rat learning the path through a maze to get to the food! 😉 I’m told that Monday is a Public Holiday, so I guess we’re going to have a third day of quiet bludging (mind you, we could both do with a third relaxing and quiet day!) But I do have to make an appointment to see the doctor… I thought I had another script for my Warfarin – but it seems now that I don’t. They come in clearly marked bottles, the main dosages being 1mg, in a cream or light tan bottle, and 2mg, in a pretty light mauve bottle… and because Warfarin is basically rat poison, you have to be very, very careful with the dosage. I take 5mg daily – 2 x 2mg tablets, and 1 x 1mg tablet (and woe betide you if one of them gets stuck on the back of your tongue, because they taste really horrible!) Anyway, the script that I’ve run out of is the 2mg one – so that means that until I can get a new script from the doctor – and Monday is a Public Holiday so the clinic will be closed – I’m going to have to swallow five bloody little 1mg tablets! Five of them! I hate taking pills at the best of times – they always seem to get stuck, either half way down my throat, or on the back of my tongue! Five! (Winter exits stage left, muttering dire imprecations under her breath, with the word “five” heard often, and spoken with evil intent…)

Oh, we had an interesting little interlude this afternoon! We were sitting here minding our own business – I think I was busy writing this, and Julian was ripping away at the classical CDs – when there was a “ding-dong!” on the doorbell! Neither of us was expecting anyone to call in, so Julian went to see who it was… I could hear voices, and what’s more, I could hear Julian being pleasant and jovial, which he wouldn’t have been if it had been someone “unwelcome” on our doorstep (like a Jehovah’s Witness, or the Mormons – I quite like them calling in, but he doesn’t) but he wasn’t asking whoever it was in, and he didn’t (at that stage) call me down – then I heard a child’s voice… a child? I was intrigued – but I was also writing, so I listened with one ear, and continued writing… then Julian finally called me down, and there was a youngish couple, with a baby in a sling, and a small girl held by the hand – strangers? Well, I hadn’t seen them before! They are our next door neighbours, on our bathroom side – they were setting out on a family walk, and had come in to introduce themselves and say hello – they seemed very pleasant, and hopefully all the jack-hammering while Clarke and Paul were working on my bathroom didn’t keep the baby awake. I’m not adverse to meeting up with them again – it could be good to know one’s neighbours (hmm… I wonder if they’re keeping an eye out for possible baby-sitters?! I really hope not – it could ruin a beautiful relationship before it even begins, if they are, as I’m very allergic to baby-sitting, if they’re not my babies!)

Weigh-in this morning. As expected, quite a hike up! I went from 64.4kg to 65.0kg – but that’s OK, hopefully it’ll go back down once all the food I ate yesterday has been processed and… er… dealt with. I don’t think the heat yesterday afternoon helped either, as I had to drink a lot (of iced tea, actually! It’s a very good thirst quencher on a very hot day!) most of which I think my body retained… :/ Oh well, let’s see what happens tomorrow morning!

Once again today, we had a delicious home-made “wrap” with the fresh flat-bread that Julian brought back from his shopping trip. He put in some sliced up left-over cold roast turkey, a bit of left-over quinoa tabouli salad, and some low-fat plain Greek yoghurt – and once again, it was totally delicious! Tonight for dinner we’re having something that I haven’t eaten in over a year! Julian’s making omelettes! There’ll be cheese, tomato, probably ham (or turkey! There’s quite a bit still left from Christmas Dinner yesterday!) and I don’t know what else, but I’m really looking forward to it! 🙂 Next week, weather permitting, we’ll be finally poking some roots into the soil in our veggie gardens! If it’s not raining, or too blistering hot, or meltingly humid, I want to go along to either Bunny’s, or a good nursery, because I want to get my little bay tree, and my kumquat bush in a large pot (I don’t think they come already planted in a large, ornamental pot – I think I’m going to have to get them separately!) And I want to get my very large herb and strawberry pot, too! It’s also time to look up what to plant at this time of the year! We may need to invest in some gardening books… any ideas as to which ones would be most useful to two novice gardeners with brown thumbs? 🙂 Anyway, once more that’s about it from me for tonight! Please feel free to drop in again tomorrow night – find out if I choked on those ruddy Warfarin tablets (five of the damn things!) and if my weight went up some more – or whether it went down or just stayed the same. Learn how we fared, rampaging around in Azeroth, and whether we got lost or not, and what other sorts of adventures we had – in the real world, as well as Azeroth! Until then though, do bee good (just for fun, this time 😉 ) remember to do as you’re told from time to time – just to confuse people, and don’t forget to drive carefully, to keep cool – or warm – depending on the weather, and to look after yourselves – but above all, don’t forget to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

Winter’s log, earthdate 201512.25

Well, Merry Christmas, everyone! 🙂 I’m sorry this is so late, but… we’ve been without full power for most of the afternoon! 😦 We’ve been noticing, for the last three days, a lot of power fluctuations – lights flickering on and off for a couple of seconds, and then behaving normally, the ups* beeping a couple of times, and then shutting up again – little things like that… annoying, but we just put it down to the hot weather and everyone running their air conditioners, or whatever. But this afternoon, at about 3 o’clock, everything went a bit… crazy! First of all, the lamps in the Den here started flickering madly, and then went off. Then the doorbell started ringing… and ringing, in a strange and staccato manner, only there was no-one there ringing the doorbell.

And then the air conditioner went off, and I went pale, and very quiet… I don’t handle heat easily or well… and today was very hot. If the power was going to be off for some time, I was going to be a most unhappy little vegemite indeed! :/

The men folk went around trying to ascertain what was wrong, and it was discovered that one of our phases (phasers? fazers? I’ll ask Julian when he comes in) had dropped out (look, don’t ask me! I’m totally non technical! I’m just paraphrasing what I heard Julian saying this afternoon!) Well, as it turned out, that is exactly what had happened – one of the fuses on the power poles outside had completely burnt out, and one of the ones next to it was about to blow too! But we didn’t find that out until nearly 7 o’clock this evening… by which time I was more than “wilting” in the heat.

Luckily all this happened well after we’d cooked and eaten our Christmas Dinner, and consumed many extra calories afterwards with a few chocolates and nibblies. We’d all retired to the couch to drink our coffee when all of these power problems occurred – in fact the kids had been talking of making a move towards their own homes when the air conditioning went off, so we did, in fact, have a very happy Christmas, despite the later drama!

This morning we woke up as usual – in fact, we even slept in for half an hour – then of course it was head to the bathroom, and then the scales. I’d gone back up another three points, from 64.1kg to 64.4kg, but as I’d already decided to totally ignore whatever the scales told me on these “Three Days of Christmas” (Christmas Eve Day, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day) I simply said something along the lines of “meh!“, flung on my clothes, and galloped down to the lounge room and the bulging Christmas Stockings! Julian and I opened up our stockings in glee – and lots of little (and some big!) surprises tumbled out! I found incense, makeup, a small dream-catcher, a large(ish) carved metal floral ball, a “shawn the sheep” type candle (which I couldn’t ever light! It’s just too cute!), a small cat statuette wearing a Santa hat, and a box of DVDs: “The Whole Bean” of all the Mr. Bean series, including “Bean: The Ultimate Disaster Movie”. Julian found another large(ish) carved metal floral ball (but with a different floral design) in his, plus a gorgeous “trinket box” with a  statue of a Steam Punk Dragon on the lid (my favourite eldest daughter turned green with envy when she saw it 🙂 I told her that I would have got one for her, too, but it was the only one they had, unfortunately!) and quite a few hot sauces, an interesting sounding jar of Chutney, and a couple of small bags of spicy and hot nibblies.

Then we had our Christmas Breakfast of (Motta) Panettone, and moved on to our main presents to eachother 🙂 Flipper had asked me if I’d get something for Daddy from her, and would I wrap it for her too, please, because she didn’t have opposable “thumps” (I think she meant opposable “thumbs”!) and that she couldn’t work the sticky-tape thingy, coz it got stuck in her fur! Of course, I said that I would, so she gave Julian “The Great Australian Cookbook”, which he’d seen when we were out shopping the other day – and as he just happened to wistfully mention to me that “I wouldn’t mind getting that, you know…” – so he did! 🙂 I gave him a very good Zanger ICEL knife set (in a wooden knife block, too!) to replace his old ones which were getting to old and worn to hold their “edge” for very long. Julian gave me a Samsung Galaxy Tab3 Lite, because I’d been saying for ages that I’d like to have a Kindle Fire, so that I could see colour illustrations and stuff, and he said that the Samsung is the same as the Kindle Fire, only better, so I spent the long, hot, sweltering afternoon reading on my new Samsung Galaxy Tab3 Lite! I do like it – but you know? They don’t sell cases for it here in Australia! I’ll have to have a look online for a good case for it so that it’ll have some protection when I shove it in my handbag! 🙂 He also gave me the Estée Lauder eyeshadow “kit” that I think I told you all about some time ago – it was the subject of an email newsletter I got from them a month or so ago, and because it was such absolutely brilliant value for money, I think I said at the time that it would be almost criminal not to buy it! He also gave me a “Promissory Note” re. building “our” aviary in the New Year! 🙂 My favourite youngest daughter gave me two beautiful Turkish towels in lilac and fuchsia for my new bathroom, and the two of them gave us (Julian and me) a positive swathe of gardening tools and implements, including a wheelbarrow of our own (we’d been using theirs for a while) and some irrigation gear, for our (as yet unplanted) veggie garden! 🙂 My favourite eldest daughter and her husband gave Julian a JB Hi-Fi Voucher (which was what he’d asked for) and they game me a small bottle of the new Yves Saint Laurent perfume, “Black Opium”, which was what I’d asked for, and which is so very nice that I’m seriously considering making it my new (in best Gruen voice fx) “Favourite Perfume Of All Time” (“Ahhhhh!”)

Well, I already told you all about my weigh-in this morning, and that I’m going to totally ignore what the scales tell me for these 3 days – however, I am going to record the weights, and we shall see what happens next week – thank heavens that New Year celebrations don’t – in our family anyway – involve a lot of face stuffing and/or drinking, so I really only have these three days in which to over-indulge! 😉 I did manage to get my morning treadmilling in – and I finally made it to two kilometers (2.02km, to be precise!) which took me 35 minutes – but although the treadmill was operational (it was on a different circuit to the air conditioner) there was no way I was going to try hiking on the treadmill for even one kilometer, let alone two, in the heat this afternoon! So I’m afraid I only got the one walk in today – hopefully it won’t set me back too much!

Anyway, that was our Christmas Day! 🙂 Until 3 o’clock today, everything went well – dinner was yummy, the pudding was delicious, the company was lovely, and a good time was had by all! I hope that all of you out there in Reader Land had as good a Christmas as we all did, and if you did, then may you all have very many more such happy Christmas Days! 🙂 And that’s about all from me for this evening! Do drop by again tomorrow night to see what we’ve been up to! Did we go to any Boxing Day Sales? What did my weight do (or not do!)? Is there any pudding left? Find out tomorrow night! 😉 Until then, do try to bee good, not for any particular reason, but just “because“! 😉 Also, don’t forget, in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years – and always remember to drive carefully, to look after yourselves, and to keep cool – or warm – depending on the weather… but most importantly, remember to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

*uninterruptable power supplies – if your power goes off for any reason, these essentially glorified batteries are designed to sacrifice themselves by cutting in and keeping your computers going long enough for you to power them down properly (i.e. about 15 minutes) so as to avoid damage caused by a possible power surge when your power is restored

Winter’s log, earthdate 201512.24

(With apologies to Clement C. Moore) T’was the night before Christmas, and all through the house… everyone was stirring, and running about! Jules wrapping presents, Flippurr’s yowling for pats – and there was young Winter, upon her treadmill (1.93km this evening!) then rushing in here to start on her blog (which she has no illusions of finishing before dinnertime, but at least she’s made a start!)

We’re having cold cuts again tonight, with commercial, supermarket bought salads, and some of that really nice flat-bread – Coles say that they make it fresh daily, and maybe for once they’re telling the truth, because it really is very nice and fresh, and more than 100% better than the dry, tasteless Pita bread you can buy in packets… We’re having the cold cuts tonight because it’s hot, and after all the rushing around he’s done today, Julian doesn’t really feel like slaving over a hot stove – and you know, I’m getting so much fitter and so much more mobile, that it probably won’t be all that long before I’m standing in for him at the pass! (for those of you who’ve never watched Gordon Ramsay’s “Hell’s Kitchen”, by “pass”, I mean “the stove”!) But the main reason we’re having a cold dinner tonight is because it’s quicker and easier that way, especially when you have a tribe of stampeding daughters and their husbands descending on you anywhere between 7.30 and 8.00pm, to turn your kitchen upside down and inside-out, making the infamous Egg-Nog! Recipe follows:

Winter’s Official Eggnog Recipe

• 6 egg yolks
• ¾ of a cup of castor sugar
• 1 cup of brandy (250 ml)
• 1 cup of dark rum (250 ml)
• 2.5 cups of milk (625 ml)
• 1 cups of thick cream (250 ml)
• 6 egg whites, stiffly beaten
• Freshly grated nutmeg to taste

Separate the eggs and beat the egg yolks until they are light. Gradually add the sugar and beat the mixture until thick and pale. Chill. Slowly beat in the brandy and rum. Using a wire whisk beat in the milk and heavy cream, beating constantly. Beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks, then fold into the eggnog mixture and sprinkle the surface with nutmeg to taste. Serves 12.

We didn’t even bother looking for our ancient electric beaters – we know they’re somewhere around, but again, it was quicker and easier to just get a new one – the old ones should have been “retired” years ago! Anyway, Julian’s back in here, the presents all wrapped – except for one, which was busy hiding on my desk as it didn’t want to be suffocated under all that paper stuff! 🙂 (actually it was underneath my newest Country Style magazine and a printout of the eggnog recipe, but now that it’s been found, it’ll be rapped to be wrapped and stuck under the Christmas Tree! 😉 So… everything is all ready for tonight, and tomorrow – and there’s nary a thing to be done except wait, and scramble, at the last minute! I didn’t leave the house today – instead I had my first shower in my new bathroom! Oh, what bliss, to have a shower head that you don’t have to lie on the floor, where it immediately tries to impersonate a snake, and whip around spraying water everywhere except where you want it, just because the shower rail is broken – or an enormous squarish overhead shower head that rains down on you like a tropical monsoon, in a shower stall that’s too small for you to get out of the way of the torrential downpour – which rinses the soap off your body before you even get a chance to get a bit of a lather up! This morning’s shower was the bestest shower I’ve had since we left Doncaster – in fact, it was even better than the shower in Doncaster, because it’s bigger! Much more biggerer! 🙂 Unfortunately, there was one, small, teeny problem with the shower… Clarke and Paul both thought that the shower door wouldn’t need a strip of silicone underneath it, but as it turns out, they were wrong. Very wrong! Due to the size and shape of the room, plus the fact that the house is built on a concrete slab, it’s not easy to move the plumbing fixtures around too much – well I mean you can, but it’s fraught, messy, takes forever and ever to do, plus it costs the earth, and a Pope and an Emperor’s ransom – so if you’re doing any plumbing-type renovations to a house on a concrete block, it’s generally better to work with what you have, rather than try to work towards what you want. So we did. This meant that the shower rail, and consequentially the shower head, was going to be on the wall facing the shower door. Of course you can angle the shower head any which-way you like, including away from the shower door (only then it wanted to either point directly away from me, or directly at me – so I think it’s going to take a couple of days of experimentation to know exactly which way to angle it for the best (and driest floor!) results…) “So,” I hear you all muttering under your collective breaths… “what was this one, small, teeny problem with the oh-so-wonderful shower?” The problem was, that every time the shower head pointed even vaguely in the direction of the shower door, the water simply poured out underneath the door, flooding almost the entire bathroom floor! It was quite ironic, really… before we moved into our apartment at Doncaster, we had the whole place renovated, including the bathroom. The very first shower taken in that place after we moved in was by me… and the bathroom flooded… and the bedroom flooded (it was an en-suite bathroom) and the lounge room flooded… The tiler had washed excess grouting down the central bathroom drain, but some of it remained, and had set like rock, blocking the excess water flow… and now, my very first shower in my beautiful new bathroom, and what happens? It floods! I know my star-sign is Pisces, a Water sign, but isn’t that taking metaphors a bit to the extreme?

As soon as Julian went out this morning, I high-tailed it to my Secret Hiding Place, grabbed his presents, and went and wrapped them and put them under the Christmas Tree. I did have one small “wrapping paper malfunction”, where the stupid paper (never the stupid person doing the wrapping, of course! 😉 ) decided to tear, all the way around the end that I was just in the middle of taping up! So I wasted quite a bit of paper on that as what was left of the wrapping was unsalvagable :/ After I’d deposited the presents under the Christmas tree, I played a bit of WoW until Julian got home and we had lunch (another delicious home-made wrap, with ham, tomato, and low-fat plain Greek yoghurt! Very yummy and slurpy!) and then I went and did my afternoon treadmilling (we had a late-ish lunch!) Once that was done, there really wasn’t much time for anything else – we wanted to have an early dinner so as to be well and truly clear by the time the kids came over. They arrived at around 8 o’clock – poor Terry was in a bit of a funk – his mother’s back in hospital again (she has extremely severe emphysema) and things are looking pretty grim. Still, we had a chatter and a laugh, and the girls made the annual Christmas Eggnog – which didn’t seem to lose any of its richness or potency from being made with skinny milk and light cream, some mince tarts were eaten (and two of them were left out on a plate for Mr. & Mrs Claus, along with a half a glass of skinny milk, for Mrs. Claus, who’s on a diet!) Kate did an excellent job of reading aloud “The Night Before Christmas” (when all through the house, etc.! 😉 ) we “hung” our stockings (leaning them against the back of the couch!) with great expectations for the morrow, there was a bit more chatter, then Lee and Kate and their respective spouses departed, we cleared up what remained of the mess, and now…  here I am! 🙂

Food: you really don’t want to know! Today, tomorrow, and Boxing Day are exceptions to the rule! If I wanna eat it, I’m gunna eat it! (though I do wish I’d had a much smaller glass of eggnog! I think it’s a wee bit too rich for my elderly stomach :/ )

Weigh-in this morning. Was very interesting, considering that large sausage roll that I consumed yesterday… I went from 64.3kg yesterday, to 64.1kg today! Down two points, despite the large sausage roll with tomato sauce, and half a giant raspberry muffin! Which is very good, because I know my weight is going to go up a lot – probably well over a kilo – in the next couple of days! *sigh* Thank goodness that Christmas only comes once a year! :/

So what else can I say? Tomorrow is Christmas Day! Julian and I will be busy unwrapping expected and unexpected parcels tomorrow morning, whilst eating a slice of Panettone each, then we’ll be getting ready for Christmas Dinner. I have a feeling that we may not be seeing Terry tomorrow, but I can completely understand where he’s coming from, with his mother so ill in hospital (she only has the one lung left, and it’s only operating at 40%, so…) he’ll probably want to be able to dash off in a hurry if he has to, without upsetting things. The kids should be arriving sometime between noon and 12.30pm, to get all the present exchanging and jollifications over in time for dinner to be on the table at about 1.00pm – but really, from about 11.30am onward, the way the day unfolds is pretty much anyone’s guess. And once again, that’s about it from me for tonight! 🙂 Please drop in again tomorrow night to find out how our Christmas went, what my weight is up to (or down to!) and what we got for Christmas! I can tell you that I don’t have the foggiest idea what Julian has for me – and I hope that he doesn’t have the foggiest idea what I’ve got him! 🙂 But until tomorrow night, please bee good (just for tonight, you can bee naughty again tomorrow night, OK? 🙂 ) remember not to go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path, and leave a trail – and don’t forget to drive carefully, to look after yourselves, and to keep cool – or warm – depending on our slightly unpredictable weather – but above all, don’t forget to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

Winter’s log, earthdate 201512.23

My word, we’ve been busy today! We got up to peace and quiet – Julian went for his morning walk, and I finished off in my bathroom and went for my walk, too! On the treadmill. Then we had breakfast, Julian had his shower, and we got ready to make quit of the house to go and do the last (hopefully!!) bits of the Christmas Shopping – namely lots of stocking fillers, plus some mince tarts (from Ferguson Plarre ) for Mother and Father Christmas (along with a nice glass of ice-cold skinny milk, to wash down Winter’s Infamous Egg-Nog!) We didn’t leave quite as early as I had indicated last night – but it was close to it, and thank heavens we did go as early as we did! By the time we got home – around twenty to four – it was 37C outside, and I was visibly wilting – apart from a brief sit-down for a cup of coffee, and another a couple of hours later for a bit of a lunch-break (more about that “lunch” later! 😉 ) I’d been on my feet since about a quarter to eleven. By the end of the shopping trek, after we’d finished in Bunny’s, I was so hot and tired that I even turned down an offer of a jaunt across the road to Officeworks – a refusal so totally out of character for me that now I’m home and writing about it, I’m thinking that I must have been quite delirious with dehydration, because I absolutely love going to Officeworks – I can just about always find something that I just can’t live without! 😉 We’ll sort out the stocking fillers – those that himself is allowed to see – and if we think we need more stocking fillers, I’ll get Julian to drop me off at Officeworks tomorrow, when he goes off to buy the bread for Friday (Neale tends to grizzle if there isn’t bread on the table at mealtimes…) Then it’s just going to be a matter of wrapping up all the presents and putting them under the Christmas Tree, and getting everything ready for the kids Christmas Eve visit. They’ll come over in the early evening, to make the Infamous Egg-Nog, turning the kitchen into a war zone as they go, then we all sit around and laugh, chatter, and perhaps nibble on a mince tart, before one of us reads aloud from “The Night Before Christmas”, by Clement C. Moore (every year we take turns – I think it’s Kate’s turn this year!) After that, we “hang” up our stockings (read: we lean the stockings up along the back of the couch, as there’s never anywhere to actually hang them!) put out a couple of glasses of milk and a plate with two mince tarts on it for Mother and Father Christmas, the kids collect their Panettones (Panettoni?) that Father Christmas has dropped off early, so that they could have them for their Christmas Breakfasts – and head off home. We wearily clean up the kitchen, stuff the stockings, and limp off to bed – where rather than visions of sugarplums dancing in our heads, we have nightmares of getting all the timing right for Christmas Dinner the next day! “…And so, it begins!” (anyone remember where that quote comes from? 🙂 Anyone? Anyone at all…? 🙂  His name starts with a “K”!)

Food. Well, last night we had sausages… they were quite nice too, though Julian said that they pushed out more fat than they usually do… and we did have chips – a different sort this time – they’re supposed to be “healthier” for you, but I found them to be a bit tough on the outside – they didn’t get at all crispy or crunchy on the outside as chips usually do, in fact I’d even go so far as to say they felt a little bit “rubbery” to the bite, if you know what I mean. I think I’d prefer it if we didn’t get that sort again… and we had brussels sprouts (the night before a Warfarin test, too! 😉 ) and the usual half a tomato. There was j-u-s-t enough left of the lovely Siena Cake for us each to have a small sliver of, and now that that’s all gone 😦 we shall start nibbling away at the Pretend Panforte that we bought the other day at Colonial. Now, as I told you, we went off to the shopping centre “strip”, on the corner of Burwood Highway and Blackburn Road, because there’s a Ferguson Plarre there, and we’d forgotten to get any mince tarts for Mother and Father Christmas – and because we no longer keep any sort of biscuits in the house, we couldn’t even leave those out for Mr. & Mrs. Claus, either! So mince tarts from Ferguson Plarre, it had to be! 🙂 We’d been up to Glen Waverley for my blood test, where we’d had to wait quite a while – and we’d come back to the shopping centre “strip” to get the stocking fillers – but Julian decided that we needed a cup of coffee first, so we went to Ferguson Plarre, bought our (boxed!) mince tarts, ordered coffee, and an extra two mince tarts to “test”, to see if they were going to be acceptable to Mr. & Mrs. Claus (and I’m very happy to report that they will indeed be very acceptable to that charming and jolly pair! 😉 ) Then I left Julian sitting at the table reading one of the daily tabloids, while I went off to do my stocking filler shopping… Gentle readers, do you have any idea what it’s like to have to walk up and down the narrow and overflowing aisles of a “$2”-type of gift shoppe, carrying a walking stick, an extremely heavy handbag (and I still haven’t been able to work out why it’s so heavy! There’s nothing in it that weighs more than a packet of cigarettes!) and an empty (at that stage) and rather large zippered and insulated bag (so that Julian wouldn’t be able to see what I’d bought)? Well, let me just say: “Don’t try this at home!” :/ As I struggled up and down those tiny aisles, I found lots of suitable stocking fillers, for which I had to masterfully juggle the stick, the handbag, and the insulated bag – and after this afternoon, I honestly feel that I should be applying for a starring spot in Cirqe du Soleil, or Circus Oz! I got lots of stuff there, then I staggered out of that nice little shop and went over to Coles, where I bought another few items, only this time I grabbed a trolley (Ha! 😛 ) into which I piled all my treasures, plus my 20 ton handbag (which was what it felt like, by then!) Yes! Yes! I’m getting to the lunch! I finally got back to Julian, who was just about to send out a search party, and as it was getting close to 2 o’clock by then, we decided to have lunch. I wanted an iced coffee, so he went over to Gloria Jean’s, got the coffee, and some “lunch”. Then he went off for something else, and I pulled my lunch out of its brown paper bag. I was more than a little taken aback to find that it was one of those long sausage rolls, encased in fatty pastry, and with the obligatory small sachet of tomato sauce, but Julian knows what I can and can’t eat, and he wouldn’t have bought this sausage roll for me unless he thought it would be alright for me to eat it, so I squished the tomato sauce on it, and started carving it up. When Julian got back he looked absolutely dumbfounded to see me devouring the sausage roll – apparently the person who had served him had given him the wrong thing! It should have been a spinach and fetta spanakopita sort of thing (see?! That’s what I get for being so trusting! I’ll probably die from clogged up arteries tonight! 😉 ) And! Not only did I eat a whole, large sausage roll (!) but Julian had also bought a gigantic raspberry (?) muffin, which we were to share, 50/50 – so I ate my half of that, too! :/ And tonight we have steak, with its usual accompaniments, for dinner… but I think I’d better just have my diet jelly and my three prunes for dessert tonight, and maybe have some of the Pretend Panforte tomorrow night, if I haven’t split at the seams! 😉

Weigh-in this morning. Well, I was quite pleased this morning – no doubt I won’t be pleased tomorrow morning though! :/ However, it’s this morning we’re talking about today – tomorrow can, and presumably will, take care of itself! 🙂 This morning I went from 64.4kg to 64.3kg – down a point! There’s no doubt about it, my body seems to be telling me that it wants to be around the 64.3kg – 64.5kg mark – unless I go and do something stupid, like eat a whole enormous brownie – or an entire large sausage roll, with tomato sauce, plus half a gigantic muffin! :/ And tomorrow night, it’s going to be mince tart and egg-nog (not that I ever drink very much of it – it’s very rich!) and after that, Christmas Dinner… 😦 …and then after that, it’s gunna be: “hello, Optifast!” 😉

So here it is, Christmas Eve Eve! Almost everything is done for The Big Day on Friday, and I just can’t tell you all how very much I’m looking forward to having my first shower (and washing my hair!) in my new bathroom tomorrow! We went to Bunny’s today to get a new non-slip shower mat, and we bought three – two clear ones, with very soft clear “grass” poking up out of it (they’re quite small, which is why we got two They’ll probably need to go in side by side, because it’s a very large shower!) I have no idea what they’re going to feel like under foot – they might be quite horrible, and even though they feel quite soft and squishy, they might prickle a bit! So we bought a third one – it’s made from clear blue, flat plastic “pebbles”, which should look quite good on the floor or the shower – anyhoo, I’ll let you all know tomorrow night what they’re like, and which one(s) are likely to become permanent members of my new bathroom! And again, that’s about it from me for this evening! 🙂 Do drop by again tomorrow night to find out all the latest – did my shower perform up to my expectations? How much did my weight go up after the very large sausage roll? Did I end up having to go to Officeworks? There’ll be lots here for everyone, so don’t be shy! In the meantime, do try to bee good for two more nights, and I’m sure you’ll easily make the “Nice” list! 😉 Don’t forget that you miss 100 percent of the shots you never take, and remember to take care of yourselves, to keep cool – or warm, depending on our silly weather, and to drive carefully – but most importantly, remember to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

Winter’s log, earthdate 201512.22

Finally! Finally! The house is ours again! 🙂 Clarke and Paul arrived about lunchtime to pick up the last of their gear and their two trailers full of equipment – there’ll be no more workmen traipsing dust, grass cuttings, mud, and grouting debris through the house! Oh, they’ll be back, socially, I hope, for a cup of coffee every now and then, but… I have my bathroom, Julian has his bathroom back, and we have our house and our lives back! No more having to be up and dressed by 7.30am – just in case Paul arrived on time! No more having to be here because something’s being delivered, or an electrician is going to be arriving, or whatever – the sense of freedom is almost palpable! So, I still can’t use the shower until Thursday – but I’m just so happy all the damn inconvenience and frustration is over, that I don’t really care! 🙂 “Alone at last!”, as they say in the classics!

We nearly had a bit of a panic crisis this afternoon – Julian was going to get the Christmas Tree up, but we couldn’t find it! We looked everywhere! In cupboards, under the bed, in the shed… but… no tree! And it would have been fairly easy to spot, too, because although it’s only a smallish tree, it would have appeared larger, because last Christmas we didn’t undress and dismantle the tree as we normally do, we just left it as it was, with all its baubles and lights and ornaments still on it, and “triple bagged it” in (clean) giant rubbish bags! We went through all the places where we might have put such a shaped parcel wrapped up in rubbish bags, to no avail. Finally, having dragged out Julian the whereabouts of the last place he saw it, it was established that it had been on top of the bookcases in the spare room at Doncaster. Said bookcases had been carted off to storage when we moved (FYI: both of the bookcases are for sale, too, if anyone needs some really beautifully custom-built tall bookcases! email me if you’re interested!) so I suggested that maybe the Christmas Tree went with them? Julian disagreed, but decided to go and have a look anyway, because “when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth”. He called me from the storage place – he had the Christmas Tree! 🙂 He’s de-bagged it – I haven’t been to have a look at it yet – but he says it seems to have survived all the jostling around of being first bagged up, and then carted holus-bolus off to storage! And, miracle of miracles, it does fit on top of the camphor-wood chest! 🙂

Before lunch we made out an absolutely massive shopping list, of everything we still had to get for Friday, and the Boxing Day weekend, from mousewash for the bathroom, to gravy to go with the roast Turkey breast for Christmas Dinner (sorry, lunch!) We both wanted to get as much done as possible today, to leave tomorrow free for more important things, like getting stocking fillers for everyone, and some ‘must-have’ mince pies… this year from Ferguson Plarre (it’s currently replaced Phillippa’s as my favourite “shop du jour”) to leave out for Father Christmas, along with a glass of milk 🙂 I have to have my next Warfarin blood test done, and I have a bit of “personal” shopping to do for Mother Christmas 😉 I’d like (“like” being the operative word!) …I’d like to leave somewhere between 9.30 – 10am, and get it all done early, but knowing us, which I’m afraid I do, we’ll be chock-a-block full of good intentions, but probably end up not leaving the house until around 1.30pm or so! :/ I still haven’t “broken in” my new shoes, either. Brian (my shoemaker) told me that because they’re not allowed to use all the strong chemicals on leather that they used to, in order to soften up shoe leather, etc., they tell customers to wear their new shoes for a couple of hours each day, usually while they’re sitting watching television, as the body heat from your feet slowly softens up the leather, and helps “mould” the shoes to your feet… but I keep forgetting to :/ If I remember tonight after dinner, I’ll put them on then, however I think I’d better go out armed with a very large packet of band-aids tomorrow, as I already know that the back of the shoes rub very painfully and badly against the back of my ankle – on both feet – and the top velcro strap rubs just as badly against the top of my second-last toe! I know this won’t happen once the shoes are “broken in”, but in the meantime… watch out band-aid makers! Winter is on the loose, with “pinching” shoes! 😉

Food: we didn’t get our usual half a banana on our cereal this morning – we’d completely run out of them (so Julian got some more this afternoon) and we had to have our cereal “naked”! 😮 For lunch today, I had another of those delicious home-made wraps, with fresh flat-bread, some sliced cold chicken left over from last night’s dinner, sliced tomato, and lovely plain Greek yoghurt – those wraps really are delicious, but terribly, terribly messy to eat! You end up with yoghurt covered hands, and slurping up shards of yoghurt covered tomato from your plate with your tongue! 🙂 Fun, and delicious! 😉 Tonight for dinner we’re having sausages (the good ones with proper skins!) with some sort of potato – chips or boiled, cos I doubt that they’ll be mashed – plus beans, and our usual seasoned half a tomato. Alas, there’s no more pudding for dessert, but I do believe that there’s one more shard each of the lovely Siena Cake that Mitta brought down from Sydney – and which has made me all nostalgic, and determined to find some really-truly Panforte!

Weigh-in this morning. Hmm… Apparently a piece of delicious, if somewhat stodgy, pudding, even without light cream, acts in exactly the same way as an equally delicious, lethally large and rather thick, brownie! Well, almost the same, anyway – because I went up a point – again! I went from 64.3kg to 64.4kg. Ah well, Christmas is a-comin’, and I’ll probably go up a whole lot more than that before the New Year is upon us, what with Panettone for Breakfast, nibblies before luncheon, and a celebratory chocolate after dinner (not to mention all the nice stuff for dinner!) But, “say la vee”, as the French are wont to say – I shall keep exercising all through the festivities, and I’ll do my very best not to over-indulge – and as a last resort, I can always go back on the Optifast diet for a month, if I have to! 🙂

So that’s about where we’re at – I played a bit of WoW this morning, and got my little Blood Elf Hunter, Dulcìnea, up to level 14, so I’ve taken her off to the Northern Barrens to try to tame Dishu for a Pet! I’ll let you know how she goes tomorrow – I’ve got another stupid pig as a temporary Pet, so I hope this one doesn’t behave like the last one did, and get me killed! I still have to wrap up Julian’s present, which I’ll do as soon as I know that he’s going to be busy up in the Office for at least an hour or so – tomorrow we have the stocking fillers and other last minute bits to get – and we also have to go to Bunny’s, to get a new non-slip mat for my new slippery-tiled shower, because just as soon as I’m allowed to use my lovely new shower – on Thursday – I’m going to have a nice, long, comfortable shower, and wash my hair! I know I keep on saying this, but… I just can’t wait to get in that shower and wash my hair! 🙂 Anyway, that’s about it again from me for tonight – but do look in again tomorrow night, and see if my weight has gone up yet again – which will probably spell “doom” to my second stint in the 64kg zone – and if we managed to get everything we needed to while we were out shopping – and although the blog might end up being a little late, there’ll be lots to tell you all! Until then, please bee as good as you can – only for another couple of nights! 😉  always remember that in optimism there is magic – in pessimism there is nothing – and don’t forget to look after yourselves, to drive carefully, and to keep warm – or cool – depending on our strange Melbourne weather – but above all, don’t forget to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂