Winter’s log, earthdate 201601.17

Well, here it is, just after six o’clock, and I have finally roused myself from my afternoon of lethargy following our sumptuous ‘feast’ at the East Empress Bistro. The main East Empress restaurant used to sit on Springvale Road, about a block away from Coleman Parade, but now that site, listed as being “closed for renovations”, is nothing but an empty building lot, looking a lot like a missing tooth in an old boxer’s mouth. Chatting to one of the proprietors today, we learned that there is indeed to be a four-storey building going up there – the two lower floors will be the new and improved East Empress, and the two floors above will be apartments. I exclaimed “Oh, fantastic! I think I’ll buy one and then we can live above our “dining room”!” – the proprietress smirked and laughed – “Well,” she said “that’s what we’re going to do!” When we first heard of the East Empress, they were in a small – and I think the term “slightly shabby” would be appropriate – restaurant on Coleman Parade, and we ate there fairly often, because it really was an excellent place! Then they moved into a two-storey building “just down the street” on Springvale Road, where they continued their excellent service, care for their patrons, and of course, their faultless cuisine! Not being Chinese, I have no idea how “authentic” it was, but I do know that an awful lot of their patrons always seemed to be asian, which is usually a good sign. Time passed, and we moved house twice, once when we moved to Doncaster, and the second time, when we moved here – and the East Empress remained one of the two restaurants that were at the top of our list when we wanted to eat out (the other being The Tender Trap, a quasi-Italian-slash-“International” restaurant, as good in its way as the East Empress) There was another restaurant that we liked, a Japanese one, on the corner of Coleman Parade and Springvale Road, but it was a little pricey, so we didn’t go there much – but the food was excellent, as was their service, and I have to tell you that when we learnt that it was owned and run by the proprietors of the East Empress, we weren’t really all that surprised! “Quality in all things” seems to be their motto! So, on to the East Empress Bistro, and our lunch today. The Bistro, it seems, has moved into what used to be their Japanese restaurant! The food is mostly from their old menu at their previous place, but they’ve retained some dishes (and also the crockery and tableware!) of their Japanese restaurant! It was lovely to see all the old familiar faces again – and some new ones, because of course, we haven’t been there since before I went on my diet, and I realised today just how much I’ve missed going there, and also how good their food is! All in all, it was a wonderful meal, and a good time was had by all, so if you want a really nice Chinese meal, “authentic” or not, do try the East Empress! I don’t think you’ll be sorry you did!

Food stuffz: as you know, last night we had some more of the Persian Spiced Lamb Pilaf – that I’m very glad I talked Julian in to making, that first time – despite the fact that it seemed to have an extraordinary amount of cinnamon in it! He remarked that the recipe didn’t seem to have made quite as much as it did the last time he made it, despite all the ingredients being the same. After discussing this strange phenomenon for a bit, we came to the conclusion that there didn’t seem to be the amount of leftovers this time because he’d given me the same size helping as he gave himself – which was far too much for me! (but I ate it anyway! I’d like to say that it was because I didn’t realise how much there was, but then I’d be telling stories! 😉 ) So, I had a bit too much Lamb Pilaf last night…then there was lunch today. I started off with a dry Martini, then because it was my favourite eldest daughter’s Big Birthday Bash, we all had a glass of Chandon (champagne) Then I had three small fried pork dumplings (delicious!) as an entrée, followed by one of the dishes from their old Japanese menu, chicken teriyaki (excellent! and apart from a few people having a mouthful of it to see what it was like, I ate the ruddy lot again (but it wasn’t a terribly big dish!)) and we all shared a large dish of fried rice. I drank mineral water. Dessert – *sigh* – what can I say? I had a concoction called “Passionfruit Perfection”, which consisted of a layer of Pavlova meringue, with two (!) scoops of a very excellent passionfruit ice cream on top of the meringue (I must remember to ask them where they got it, or if it was “home-made”, and if so, could I have the recipe, please?) and then passionfruit pulp and passionfruit sauce over the lot! It! Was! Magnificent! So… guess what I had for dinner tonight?! Can’t guess? 🙂 You dread to guess?! 😉 …I had two slices of thin toast – one plain, and one with a smear of vegemite on it, plus my diet jelly (one can always find room for a bit of jelly!) and my three prunes… which leads be to wonder what the scales are going to say tomorrow morning, because…

Weigh-in this morning. I was (as I usually am, when I feel guilty!) expecting the worst, especially after consuming that entire tube of sugar, which I thought had contained sugar-less, or at the very least, sugar-free Fruit Mints! So it was with some trepidation that I clambered onto the scales this morning… and I’d gone down a point, to 63.0kg! Oh dear! Now, tonight, I’m really scared to get on the scales tomorrow – all of these “indulgences” are going to catch up with me, I just know it! I sort-of feel that I’ve been thumbing my nose at my weight loss, almost daring it to go back up to unacceptable levels and I’ll have to go back on the Optifast! Actually, it’s not that I’d mind going back on the Optifast – I quite liked it – but it would mean that I’d failed. I would have let myself down, and I would have shamed myself in the eyes of all the people who said that I wouldn’t be able to do it on my own – they’d be entitled to point their fingers and say “See?! We were right, after all! You weren’t able to do it on your own, were you!” – and I simply cannot, and will not, permit that! The next Birthday on the list is Julian’s, in February… :/

Tomorrow… tomorrow, the cleaning lady is coming. This time, when she gets to the Den, I think I’ll “vacate the premises” and go and read in the lounge-room, so that she can get at my desk. I’m usually playing WoW or something when she arrives, so when she gets to the Den, she usually doesn’t disturb me, and just cleans around me – but my desk is getting terribly grotty and dusty (yes, I suppose I could clean it myself, but why waste the services of a perfectly good cleaning lady? Hmm? 😉 ) so this time I think I’ll get out of her way, and let her give it a bit of a clean for a change… Then I was actually looking forward to a nice, peaceful afternoon after she’d left, but I’d forgotten about the Israeli mob! They arrived back in Melbourne from Tasmania this afternoon, and Mike rang to ask if it was alright if they came over and annoyed us tomorrow afternoon – so it looks like we’ll be “entertaining” (but I’m not going to be eating! I swear (with my fingers firmly crossed behind my back) that I will not be nibbling on potato crisps, or whatever…) And Tuesday, my favourite eldest daughter will be over (unless she comes on Wednesday instead) So it looks like another busy week ahead – and there’s still plenty of boxes to be unpacked (I’m thinking we need the air conditioner on – I’m starting to get really hot in here!) Anyway, that’s about it from me again this evening! 🙂 Do drop in again tomorrow night, and find out if my desk got dusted and cleaned, if I did give in to temptation and ate a “but I only eat them for the salt!” potato crisp or three – though I think that might largely depend on what the scales tell me tomorrow morning – and which is something else I guess you’ll all be itching to know! Well, you’ll just have to wait until tomorrow night to find out, won’t you! 🙂 In the meantime, do try to bee good, don’t forget that we’re all just as happy as we make up our minds to be, and please remember to look after yourselves, to drive carefully, and to keep cool – or warm – depending on our weather… but most importantly, remember to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂