Monday 25 February 2019

Me on Monday

 Hello - and where does the last Monday in February find me?

Admiring the gorgeous roses that Ruth gave me when we met up in Cambridge on Friday.  Do you know Ruth?  For those of you who don't, pop over to her blog where you can find all about her.  I first 'met' Ruth when we were both part of a course run by Shimelle, called something like Blogging for Scrapbookers.  We're going back about 10 years here!  And although reading her lovely blog is part of my daily routine, even after all these years we had never met.  So when she contacted me to say she was going to be in Cambridge over half term, I couldn't turn down the opportunity to meet her in real life.  I am happy to report that she is as lovely in person as she is on her blog and I thoroughly enjoyed our time together, and I especially loved the fact that I was also able to meet her charming son!

So that really was the highlight of a week in which I received the surprising results of that blood test I had taken a while ago.  Turns out that I am pre-diabetic and also have raised cholesterol.  I guessed that the latter may have been the case, given my age and love of all things chocolate but I really didn't expect the first bit.  I think (thought?) that I have a healthy diet, we never have 'fast food' and I always cook our meals from scratch at home, avoid processed foods, and try hard to get the '5 a day' fruit and veg into our meals.  So I'm not sure really how I can make too many changes.  I have an appointment with the diabetic nurse next week so I'll learn more then.  In the meantime I'm trying to just limit the amount of carbs I eat in the hope that helps.

I started this post on a very happy note, so let's try and forget that worrying bit in the middle and end on another happy thought.  We went to the Mini garage on Saturday and this little beauty will be mine by the beginning of March ...


Wednesday 20 February 2019

If ...

If, when tidying out the utility room, you come across a box of kitchen items that you haven't looked for or realised were missing since you had a new kitchen installed 4 years ago, can you justify saying to your husband that they are important things and you really can't throw them away?

Asking for a friend 🙊

Monday 18 February 2019

Me on Monday

Had a busy weekend.  Spent a long time with our favourite builder constructing an amazing structure

It's amazing how long he can keep his concentration going on toys like this nowadays.  However, this was then followed by an energetic and noisy game of hide and seek, where the seeker had to pretend to be a lion that had escaped from the zoo.  🦁

So where do you find me this Monday?  

Starting the week with a touch of apprehension if I'm being totally honest.  A few weeks ago I mentioned I was off for a general blood test.  I'd only gone to the doctors for a review of repeat prescription for a nasal spray I have to use on a daily basis.  But she noticed I hadn't had a blood test for about 10 years so 'it may be worth having one just to see if everything is ok'.  I procrastinated because I just knew that you don't get to be 60 without something starting to go awry.  So I starved myself for 12 hours and headed down to the local hospital and sure enough, the next day I received a text message saying the results were in and would I make an appointment to see a doctor.  Now, doctor's appointments within a week of waiting are hard to come by in this area and the first one I could get was in 3 weeks time.  Then I had a panic and wondered if I should attend a 'sit and wait' session and see someone sooner than that. So I popped into the surgery and asked the receptionist if there was anything on my notes to suggest whatever it was couldn't wait for a few weeks.  She said a 3 week wait was fine.  But those three weeks are now up, my appointment is Wednesday, and all manner of scenarios are flitting through my brain.  Is my cholesterol level up?  Glucose? Iron levels down?  Whichever way, clearly either a change of life style or medication is on the cards.  Must remember not to consult Dr Google who only ever scares the living daylights out of me!

But hopefully I will be ending the week with something nicer.  Meeting up with a total stranger that I met on the internet.  Pretty sure I told my kids never to do that!  #don't do as I do, do as I say 😊 And I don't think that a fellow blogger that I've been following for many a year qualifies as a 'total stranger'!

Monday 11 February 2019

Me on Monday

The sun is shining, the temperature is a little warmer and even though the daffodils in the garden aren't in bloom yet, the ones you can buy in the shops are - so here is Me on Monday, feeling like Spring may possibly be just around the corner.

It was nice to sleep in a proper bed last night.  My son in law was away this weekend on a stag 'do' and I offered to stay over at Rachel's because being up a lot during the night with a little baby can be lonely.  However, they have no spare bed so I slept on the sofa.  It's a large sofa and I'm a small person so it wasn't too uncomfortable but it was really good to be back sleeping on a mattress.

I have to share this photo that I took just after we had finished carving the roast lamb for lunch yesterday - my little sous chef Coco, captured licking her lips in anticipation of being given the bone to chew on!

So, what does the week hold in store?  Well of course it is Valentine's Day this week and whilst we both enjoy cooking, every now and again it is a nice treat to just get something ready made to put in the oven to cook while we enjoy a pre dinner glass of something chilled.  Marks and Spencer are doing their Dine In offer for dinner for two.  You get starters, main course, side dish, dessert, bottle of wine and box of chocolates for £20 which is clearly too good an offer to turn down (we'd never get a meal in a restaurant for £10 a head!) so I will be going into town as soon as I've finished this to check it out.

Other things on my 'to do' list include hand sewing the binding on the quilt and we end the week with a surprise meal out for our friends who are celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary.  Meanwhile, I need to get out in that sunshine before the weather turns back to winter!  Have a good week!

Friday 8 February 2019

One photo - Twenty words

Sometimes it can take a very long time between starting a sewing project and actually getting round to finishing it.

Tuesday 5 February 2019

Sentence a Day - January

Well hello 2019, how nice to see you.  It's taking a while to get used to the fact that we're no longer in 2018 but I'm sure that by the end of the month we'll be used to it.  So with a rather sleepy start due to a late night/early morning celebrating New Years Eve, let's get started shall we?

Just the word 'January' transports me back to 1975, I was 17, in the 6th form at school and enjoying all those carefree teenage days of the mid 70s.  This song by Pilot was in the charts and now I've found it on youtube I know I'm going to be singing it all afternoon.

So let's fast forward 44 years now (how many? 😱) and see what January 2019 held.

Day 1 Feeling a little tired due to staying up late last night and seeing in the new year with friends - have enjoyed spending the day watching an episode from my Christmas present box set of Greys Anatomy season 14 and doing a bit more of my puzzle - am starting the new year off in a very lazy way!

Day 2 Watched an episode of 'Tidying Up with Marie Kondo' which made us feel guilty about the state of the garage so we ended up in Homebase buying a shelving unit, which has now been filled up and the garage is looking suspiciously tidy!

Day 3 Finished the jigsaw I was given at Christmas - amazing how much I got done when Leo wasn't around!

Day 4 More tidying of boxes of things in the loft - this time going through the old Christmas decorations that used to be my mum's - next year the ones that I've kept will definitely be going on the tree.

Day 5 Time for the Christmas tree and decorations to come down, doesn't the house look bare when you take all the glitter and sparkles away?

Day 6 Leo discovered a box of bits and bobs left over from when I did scrapbooking, he was in his element playing with the cutters and stickers.

Day 7 Took Leo for his first day of proper pre-school on his own; he didn't even look back to say goodbye and I had very watery eyes on my way back to the car park.

Day 8 Stayed overnight at my daughter's house as her husband had to go to Manchester for work - I think Leo was more than a little surprised to see me when he woke up!

Day 9 Can you hear the silence?  Isn't it lovely? Home alone and time to start work on my next sewing project

Day 10 Zumba class - really enjoyed it and am starting to feel like I can relax and put more into each exercise now I've been going for a while.

Day 11 Had lunch out in town at Eat17 which is several street food restaurants all under one roof, decided to go for the pizza - good choice!

Day 12 Actually got to spend some more time sewing my new quilt.

Day 13 Family lunch here - ranging from Great Grandma to baby Rosie.

Day 14 Booked a week away to my sister's house in Portugal - not just the two of us though, we're going with Rachel and her family so I'm guessing Nanny and Grandad will be kept busy!

Day 15 Coco's usual dog groomer has not been working since the end of the summer after a cancer diagnosis but she has the all clear after her treatment and is back making our little fur baby looking lovely again.

Day 16 Tried a new fitness class - Barre Fitness - was pretty intense but fun and then I undid all the good work I did during the day by going out for a Thai meal in the evening with friends!

Day 17 Aching legs today (must have been doing something right in the Barre class yesterday) but that didn't stop me from going to my usual Zumba class this morning.

Day 18 Started to prepare the walls in the downstairs loo so that Paul can start painting.

Day 19 Managed to bag a bargain in the Phase Eight sale, a lovely cotton top -was £40, down to £16

Day 20 Afternoon tea to say 'good luck in your new job' to someone I used to work with at the school.

Day 21 Just another ordinary Monday, catching up on chores and doing a bit of sewing.

Day 22 Hair cut and colour, isn't it amazing how much of a boost it is to have a good haircut?

Day 23 A busy day sewing and happy to be able to say that the front of the quilt is all in one piece

Day 24 Mother in Law's 92nd birthday - I think her secret is a glass of sherry before lunch every day!

Day 25 Met up with a couple of old school friends in the evening for a meal out and a chance to put the world to rights over a glass or two of wine.

Day 26 A day of catching up on chores, a relaxed meal in the evening followed by another episode of The Sinner (I know I'm late to the party, is anyone else watching it on Netflix?)

Day 27 Family Sunday which also included my son who brought with him the good news that he has been offered a new job!

Day 28 Cannot put it off any longer, time to go for the blood test my doctor recommended last week.

Day 29 Popped over to Saffron Walden to buy a couple of presents for people who have February birthdays.

Day 30 Back to Barre Fitness for the 3rd time, it didn't hurt so much this week - am I getting better or was I doing it wrong?

Day 31 Zumba! Also did my 'big' shop today in case the forecasted snow arrives overnight tonight, this way I can hibernate tomorrow!
Inlinkz Link Party

Monday 4 February 2019

Me on Monday

What do they say about pride coming before a fall?

Last time you saw me I was trying to kid myself that my new exercise class was turning me into a lean, mean, fitness machine.  So let me put that right straight away.

I'd been to Barre Fitness, felt that I had improved and the following day I went to Zumba, feeling all smug and fit and lithe and supple.  I took my place in the row, the teacher started the music, Justin Timberlake was singing his little heart out, and then suddenly I felt a twinge.  In my left hip.  'Dance it out' I told myself, 'it's just a twinge.'  

An hour later I limped to my car, drove home, slowly negotiated the step at the front door and had to admit that I seemed to have pulled a muscle somewhere.  That'll teach me to think I'm fitter than I really am.  Will I return to Barre Fitness?  At the moment I'm finding all manner of reasons not to, trying to reassure myself that just because I may miss one class, that won't stop me going back the following week.  Watch this space ...

We went to see The Favourite on Friday.  With a dodgy back I wasn't sure sitting still for two hours in a theatre seat was the best of ideas but it was actually quite comfortable.  Olivia Colman was so good in her role as Queen Anne - has anyone else been to see it?

So what am I doing this chilly Monday?  Meeting up with an ex-work colleague who left working at the school after being offered a contract with a publishing house and is now officially a full time author.  She's just finished writing her 6th book, which just goes to show, you may have to wait a while for your dreams to come true but hard work and determination will get you there in the end.  I'm looking forward to an hour or so of putting the world to rights and catching up on all the gossip over a nice cup of coffee and a toasted tea cake!

I don't really have a photo to share of my day because I want to post this before I go out but I once read that every post should have a photo so here's a picture of Coco wondering where the grass had gone after our snowfall late last week.

Keep warm and have a good week!

Friday 1 February 2019

Stepping outside my comfort zone

I'm very mindful of the fact that I need to keep my brain and body active now I am home all day and love the idea from Leslie's blog of trying to find at least one thing a month that makes you step outside your comfort zone.

So what challenge did I find this month? Well two challenges in one really.  One is being brave enough to post a photo of me in gym leggings.  I'm sorry about this, those of you of a nervous disposition please look away now ...

Let me take you back to the start of the New Year.

The lady who runs the Zumba class that I go to sent out a message to everyone to say she was starting a new class called Barre Fitness.  (Not to be confused with the other kind of Bar Fitness that involves a gin and tonic in the pub!)

I had visions of leotards and satin ballet shoes, graceful movements and serene music and questioned whether or not it was suitable for an old bird like me. She assured me it was and that unlike Zumba which concentrates on cardio and keeping moving, this was more measured exercises to tone those muscles Zumba cannot reach. I didn't know anyone else that would be going so it would be a new exercise, in a new location, with total strangers.  This is definitely NOT my comfort zone.  If you met me for the first time you would probably think I was chatty and friendly but these are just a cover up for shyness.  But, there was a free introductory class, what did I have to lose?

Well, ladies.  It was quite intense.  I realised that my sense of balance is not all it should be and my 'glutes' were not happy about being woken up from their long sleep since I last used them.  The following day I limped around, far from being rejuvenated, I felt like I had turned into someone who could not go downstairs without saying 'ouch' on every step.  

However, I decided to go back a second time.  Last week we added strength bands to the arm exercises.  We concentrated on those dreaded 'glutes', we kept a beautiful posture while trying hard to follow what the instructor was doing.  I ached.  My husband asked 'are you enjoying it? It's very different to anything you've done before'.  At that point I doubted I'd return.

But a week between lessons is a long time and on Wednesday I found myself putting on the dreaded leggings and despite freezing temperatures, I headed off to my class.  This week she added some upbeat music to the exercise, and when we got to that bit where you work on your glutes, my right side didn't hurt as much.  Am I suddenly doing the exercises properly?  Or, it is remotely possible that maybe, just a tiny bit of maybe, my muscles are starting to respond?  

Onwards and upwards - I definitely stepped outside my comfort zone, it was definitely my uncomfortable zone but I think it may be worth sticking with.