Winter’s log, earthdate 201512.12

Seven thirty-five p.m., and Julian has just driven out of the garage, taking Mitta (short for Melissa!) Mike, Inbar, and Tom back to their various hotels! Mike, Inbar and Tom arrived this morning at around 11.30 or so, though Mitta didn’t arrive until almost 1.00p.m. (I think!) As predicted, a jolly good time was had by all, and Tom brought me the most beautiful present – a lovely silver, chain-mail bracelet that he’d made himself! (he’s really a very talented artist and jeweler!) It’s really beautiful! 🙂 We sat around and talked for ages, then Julian and Inbar made the salads, and we all went outside to watch Julian cooking on the new BBQ! All in all, we had Salmon for Mitta and Inbar, who don’t eat meat, but will make an exception for things like Salmon – chicken, steak, sausages, and eggs – there was also bacon, and tomato, mushroom, capsicum, bocconcini, and pineapple kebabs, though the bocconcini sort-of melted off the skewers and fell off into the flames :/ The potato salad with seasoned plain Greek yoghurt and chives was delicious, and the “garden salad” with cubes of fetta cheese was really good, too! We had crusty bread loaves as well as pita bread with which to mop up the smoked almond hummus (with currants and vincotto) which everyone agreed was lovely, and very “moor-ish”. I had my first taste of alcohol in over a year, with a small half-glass of champagne to toast the occasion of the Gathering of the Clan, and after that I stuck pretty much to mineral water and coffee! There were, of course, the usual types of “party nibbles” – nuts, Japanese seaweed nibbles (I don’t know what they’re called – yes, I could get up and go down to the kitchen to have a look at a left-over packet, but I can’t be bothered! 😉 ) and (I’m really surprised that Julian got these – he doesn’t usually!) some caramel-coated popcorn, of all things, which was very popular! Along with all these goodies, Mitta had brought with her some extremely good quality chocolate coated ginger – I absolutely love ginger, but there’s usually quite a bit of fibre in it which always gets stuck between my teeth, so I don’t eat that much of it – these ones, however, hardly had any bits of fibrous material in them and several times I had to smack myself on the wrist – hard – to stop myself eating too much of it! This is what I mean – it used to be (notice, please, the past tense!) my downfall! If it was there and in front of me, and I liked it, left to my own devices I’d just sit and eat it. Now, I’m aware of this flaw in me – so although I ate some of the chocolate coated ginger – as did everyone else – there’s still nearly half a bag full left. Of course, the trick is not to have it there in front of you in the first place! This will probably be deployed tomorrow for Kate and Neale’s Big Double Birthday Bash – along with the rest of the soft nougat bar and the “Siena Cake” (read: “Panforte) that Mitta also brought. I’ve given you all two links to that – at first glance, the first link sounds, and reads as, an “authentic” recipe – I’d have to consult my grandmother’s old recipe book to be sure, but unfortunately that’s either still in Doncaster, or in one of the many boxes waiting to be unpacked. Anyway, if you’re any good at cooking, have a go at making it and tell me what you think! 🙂 There’s still plenty of food left, so Julian shouldn’t have too much work to do for tomorrow’s Big Double Birthday Bash (hmm… maybe make a bit more potato salad? I don’t think there’s much of that left…) After lunch we sat around the table talking until someone decided to take the conversation over to the couch, so we all migrated over there and continued chattering – as I said, tired or not (Mike was quite jet-lagged and actually dozed off on the couch!) no-one wanted to make a move! We didn’t mind – we didn’t want any dinner anyway, we’d both eaten quite a lot during the afternoon (I know I still feel full!) so we were happy to sit and talk as long as everyone else was – and it wasn’t until half past seven that Julian finally got everyone organised and into the car!

Food: I indulged in the nibblies, a bit, and had a few (read more than 3, but less than 6) pieces of the chocolate coated ginger, and half a glass of champagne before lunch – for lunch, I had mineral water, the smallest piece of chicken breast on the BBQ plate, a teaspoon of the smoked almond hummus which I ate on my chicken, instead of on bread, a serving of garden salad, and a small serving of the potato salad, and at the end, a small slice of the crusty bread with a smearing of the hummus. For dessert I had two small pieces of the soft nougat, and a very small piece of the Panforte (Siena Cake) which was lovely and spicy – and for the first time ever (and I’ve eaten this stuff since I was an infant!) I was able to actually taste the pepper in it! It was so nice, in fact, that I think we might hide the rest of it tomorrow, and have it on Monday, to celebrate our Silver Wedding Anniversary, or something!

Weigh-in this morning. Well, despite the very best efforts of that very large chocolate brownie wot I greedily ate yesterday (and then I felt ill! So let that be a lesson to you, Winter!) my weight only went up a little – from 64.0kg to 64.2kg! However I’m not at all looking forwards to see what the scales tell me tomorrow morning – or on Monday morning, after the Big Double Birthday Bash tomorrow! :/ Still, this is Christmas – or as close to it as makes never mind – and (apart from the Panforte) I’ll be taking the consumption of food very lightly on Monday! Bearing in mind that I haven’t eaten for several hours now, at the moment I’m still so full that I feel as though I could probably lead a very long, happy and productive life, if I never ate again!

I got the results of my Warfarin test this morning – not good! The change in my diet, now that I’m on Maintenance – mainly things like broccoli and brussels sprouts (the “leafy greens” I’m supposed to avoid, if possible!) have sent my INR crashing! It’s supposed to be high! The INR for a normal person not taking Warfarin is 1. The higher the INR, the longer it takes for blood to clot – my blood clots too quickly and too easily, and my INR is supposed to be above 2! It went down to 1.4 this time, so they’ve really upped my Warfarin, to 5mg per night, and they want me to have another blood test on Monday! I are not a happy little Vegemite! :/ So on Monday, our Silver Wedding Anniversary, I have a shoe fitting at 11.00a.m., followed by a nice little Warfarin blood test, followed by a visit to the Doctor to finally get the results of the general blood test I had done about two months ago, now! *sigh!* Oh well, maybe after all of that I might be able to get back to World of Warcraft and Rift! We were supposed to be having Nandos with some home-made salads for lunch tomorrow, but my favourite eldest daughter and her equal but more technical half dropped in this afternoon to say “Hello” to everyone, and she asked Julian why we couldn’t have a BBQ tomorrow, too – Julian said that he “supposed they could”, so now I don’t know exactly what we’re doing in the food department tomorrow, because we have heaps of stuff still in the fridge that we never used! On Tuesday, said favourite eldest daughter and I will be chauffeured to Chadstone Shopping Centre, where we’ll be dropped off – I’ll hop into my wheelchair – only because Chadstone is so stupidly big, otherwise I’d walk – and we’ll go looking for a Christmas Present and stocking fillers for Julian. When we want to come home, we’ll SMS him and meet him wherever. I must remember to take some woven tote bags with me, so that his Christmas Present will be a surprise! 🙂 We still don’t know whether we’re seeing the painter or Paul on Monday – Paul’s supposed to be letting us know before Monday morning – so until he does, we’re both up in the air about what’s happening! And there it is! Once again, that’s about it from me for tonight! 🙂 However do drop in again tomorrow night – it’s going to be very interesting indeed, seeing how this punishing food intake is affecting my weight! Frankly, my stomach is telling me that it could do with a nice little rest from all this food, and I’m inclined to agree! I’ll be able to fill you all in on the Great Double Birthday Bash, and who gave who, what! I could tell you all tonight what we’ve got my favourite youngest daughter, but that would come under the heading of “Spoiler Alert!”, so you’ll all just have to wait until tomorrow! 😉 Until tomorrow night then, do bee good (I shouldn’t have to keep reminding you why! 😉 ) remember not to use the past as an excuse to miss out on your future, and don’t forget to drive carefully, to keep warm – or cool – depending on our wonderfully unpredictable weather, and to look after yourselves… but most importantly, don’t forget to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

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