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 = ++

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