Sunday, 27 March 2011


Eye work is done. I now have monovision. My hard working, happy to please right eye continues to be doing all the distance stuff as usual. My bone idle lazy left eye is now doing the close stuff. It is not hugely clear but I think that because I look like Mike Tyson got mad at me and also its all teary but I am typing this without glasses. Tried my glasses on and I cant see a thing so I guess that is a good sign.

Laser bit itself wasn't painful but the lense slicing was not nice. I was there for 5 hours in total. I hope not to ever have it done again but it certainly wasn't as bad a the brain scan in the scary tube last year.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Strange Day

I have a to do list for today but for me its a little different. You might say exciting but |I am just holding back rising panic.

This morning some shopping, clean (cant do laundry as machine is in the middle of the kitchen still as they work, slowly, on my laundry area)pay some cheques into my sons account

Tomorrow I plan to have a sort out in my study to get my filing all done and re-arrange to include a new table top and give myself a really work space.

I spent the evening last night (home alone) researching why I feel so much better since I started my diet. I am discussing this with doctor on Tuesday but I think I am carbohydrate intolerant. When I eat carbs I produce too much insulin and this makes me more hungry, and I am always hungry normally, it also causes problems with energy levels and sleeping. Both have those have improved so much in the last ten days. It lowers blood sugar to the extend of giving you a headache or migraine. I haven't had so much as a twinge of a headache in those ten days and I have suffered from headaches since I was 13. Definitely not inherited as my mum can't remember ever having had one. Lucky mum. Fingers crossed that I am right and I have finally learnt how to operate my own body after half a century. It would also explain why I lost nothing on both Weightwatchers and Slimming world in the past despite sticking to the plan.

Last, what is making me nervous. This afternoon an appointment at the eye clinic. Not LASEK or LASIK as I wasnt a suitable canditate but he is doing something to my left eye that will make it useful again (it does nothing at the moment). I should be able to use it for reading and get rid of my specs. Fingers crossed please.

With the change of eating plan and now the eyes it feels like everything is changing. Maybe I need a mad hair cut just to remind me who I am.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011


My eldest son, who broke up with his girlfriend on Saturday, and from whom I was expecting sadness, pain and agony, is apaprently thriving. He has an interview for a two year college course today and for a job on Thursday. Amazing. I should worry less.

My other son had problems with his 'birthday dinner' last night. His jaw was hurting and he couldn't finish his food. He phoned the doctor this morning and got himself an 8am appointment. Apparently his jaw is disclocated. Now I know I am a bad mummy for thinking he was whingeing about nothing. He has to see a specialist.

I had my weigh-in this morning (only 4 days since last one) and have lost another kilo. I had hoped for more so must up the excercise from today on wards.

The men are all at home today until Fahed goes to work at 3pm. They planned to sort out my laundry area, board and paint it plus stack the dryer on a table over the washine machine. I phoned for progress report earlier and was told I cant use the cooker tonight! I really cant wait to see my kitchen as the cooker is far distant from the laundry area.

I think we are all making progress, Ahdel with jobs and study, Jamal was identifying his condition (we are also doing applications for his deck cadetship for next year), me with weight, Fahed with the kitchen work, but I am not sure until I see what they ahve been up to.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

My weekend

I enjoyed my weekend. It was a bit odd from time to time but overall pretty good.

My baby was 19 on Saturday. He had his breakfast treat and went out in the evening with his mates.Today I made him a massive chocolate fudge cake, which I wasn't quick enough to take a photo of. Tomorrow he has his favourite meal for dinner. We aren't capable of managing the breakfast, cake and dinner all in one day.

I got loads of cleaning and sorting done. Started repossessing the conservatory from the tools and building materials which are taking it over. Two boxes of goodies went to the Salvation Army but I haven't found anyone who wants the exercise bike yet. even listed 8 things on ebay.

My eldest son split up with his girlfriend but he looks extremely un-fussed by this so I guess it was time.I expected it to be more traumatic but he looks just fine. When I told my parents they said'is that because she is always telling him what to do'. Got to love the 'eighty somethings' for just telling it like it is.

And very importantly we agreed a progress plan for the renovation project of this house. This week they will board up and make shelves in the laundry alcove. The dryer can then be put in their as well. After that they will finish of all of the door frames at that end of the kitchen. Thats as far as we can go without a gas man and moving cabinets. If they finish that in three weeks (Fahed does work full time as well) then I will be content. I have emptied and re-arranged the cupboards so that I am ready whenever they are. if they do everything as well as they did my pantry then I will be very happy.

I am all on my own this evening so I am catching up with 'My Greek Kitchen' just brilliant!

Friday, 18 March 2011

First weigh in

4 kilo. I am very happy. So many more to go but a good start.
This weekend will be a test as it is Jamal's birthday and we have a tradition of cooked breakfast, favourite dinner and huge favourite cake made by mummy (not all on the same day, birthdays last about three days around here). Tonight before bed I must put up the birthday banners, at least they don't have any calories.

Tomorrows walk will be on my own as Jamal is off out with his mates for his celebration. On Sunday we all plan another afternoon the country park. I feel that I am benefiting from all the extra activity. My back aches (compressed disk space from a car accident)a lot but I am hoping that it lessens as I lose my padding. In the meanwhile a couple of ibuprofen before the walk takes the edge off of it.

I visited my friends this evening, and also got my grocery shopping done. The dishwasher is almost fully stacked and the washing machine is doing it's thing. I feel quite on top of things ahead of the weekend. Things are bound to go wrong from here!!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Country Girl

I have watched 7 episodes of River Cottage in the last few days. I really want an old farm in the country, veg beds, chicken (and ducks and geese), sheep, cider making, mushroom gathering, sea fishing and everything else. I have seen the series before but it didn't seem so appealing in the past. Could be part of my midlife crisis I guess. Oh, and bees, I forgot that I also want bees.

I even wanted the half knackered Landrover (which I do think is the coolest car ever). I think its because I am a Devon lass deep down and want to get back to my roots. Playing, and thinking I was helping, with egg collecting, rounding up the cows (that didn't need rounding up and knew the route through the village themselves)and 'helping' with the milking. I loved it, Daisy and Queenie didn't frighten me at all even though they stood 2 foot higher than me in their stalls.

I am thinking about it more because my aunty (really mums cousin) died a few weeks back. She was the last of the family at the old farm house. When I was little there was no electric. We had gas lamps, the lavatory was out through the cow sheds, but at least they had the water put in. Aunty Pam delivered the milk until she was 74. I believe she was 78 when she died. The was a note in the post office saying 'Pam's funeral will be at 11am in the church'. How lovely to live in a village where you surname isn't needed. She was at the real centre of the community.

I might start with a few veg in tubs and see how it goes.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Stuff - enough or not enough

Its easy to have enough, too much, stuff. In the Western World we are drowning in stuff. Today I am having an hour of sorting out in our bedroom and there are ebay and charity items emerging everywhere, even though I already sell anything that is not tied down.

What about the other kind of stuff. Doing stuff. I am feeling very much that all I do is work, at work, at home, even on holiday it was all about decorating,building,progress, progress, progress. I cant see what to stop, it ll needs to be done. I am not a natural at housework but if I turn my back then everything just overwhelms me. I maybe need to get more organised about it and also to delegate and get the others on board a bit more. I swear they actively enjoy untidiness, they always seem to be working against me. I cant give up my actual work obviously, there is no other way to pay the mortgage. On holiday isn't so bad. We do at least get some fun in between and it is only for three weeks a year. It is livewithable.

I need to make an effort to do more pleasurable things i think to break up the monotony. Just collapsing in an exhausted heap is boring. I need interesting but affordable stuff. But what.......

On a good note, Operation Hippo (diet, weight loss, increased excecise, increased fitness) is still going well. Looking very much forward to some salad soon. My attempt at make a salad dressing (0% fat fromage frais, mustard, balsamic vinegar) tastes very unpleasant so back to the drawing board there. I need a more bland base, everything just tastes like yogurt.

Last night I walked to my parents house with my son. Took us about 3/4 hour, despite losing our way (I thought through the woods was more fun than roadway but its not so easy in the dark) and getting rained and even slightly snowed on,, i should probably have worn a jacket but I am in the age of overheating so I was pretty soggy by the time we got there. Jamal and I also played shadow puppets with the torch on route so giant animal shadows stalked us.My sister drove past us and Jamal shown the torch at her number plate to read it causing Susan to think she was being pulled over by the police (torch apparently looks blue)and then think she had imagined it all. Oops. This afternoon we are going to the park for a walk along the river and through the woods if it ins't too wet and boggy. I would like someones dog to walk to make it more enjoyable but I like that the kids are gently forcing me to be active. Bless them. Maybe I will forgive their willful untidiness a bit.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Some lie-in

My sleep plans are already trashed. I was still awake at midnight chatting with Fahed when we should have been snuggling down for sleep. Wide awake and ready to go again at 6.30am this morning. On a work day it feels so hard to get up but on a Saturday everything is just great. And great success, no headache.

I am off the the Asian supermarket this morning for chillies, Lidl for veg (I kid you not, the quality is better than our local Waitrose)& Greek yogurt. Asda if I can't get everything in Lidl. We have so many supermarkets around here that they are all local. I guess we are in a densely populated area.

My larder shelves are finished and beautiful. I love that my kids can do things like this. My neighbour told Ahdel off a week or so back because he doesn't know how to work the washing machine but I had to say I am happier that he can strip it down and fix it. And I don't want every doing their own washing so I end up with un-efficient loads. I have a system! Next week I will remind him there was some painting he was going to do for me.

Diet seems to be working but I shan't know until nurse appointment on Thursday. I am not hungry but I am missing certain things. In a day or so I can add more veg into the program which will help my desire for all things crunchy.

Okay, to the shops.

Friday, 11 March 2011


What a week. I can't think I have ever had a worst work week. I started looking for a new job but there is nothing around that pays this well ( I want to overpay mortgage)and is so close to home. I am asking too much.

I should just try some kind of side hustle which can be grow,. I love the idea of running something like these fantastic course at ACE Camps, I could so this but I don't feel confident enough to do it alone. Maybe I should work on issues of self confidence just in case I get made redundant.

No exciting plans tomorrow - cleaning, stock up on veg etc,there is talk of a bonfire on Sunday night. Most important , a lie in. In fact sleep and general lounging about is the theme for the whole weekend.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Operation Hippo

I made the mistake of going to the doctor last week with a pain. I didn't have the problem I thought I had. Whoop, whoop. However it did give the doctor the opportunity to spot me. He claims I have gained weight. I am pretty chubby it is true but I haven't got any heavier in the last few years. Apparently he has lost weight, which I guess made me look heavier. Anyway I had to agree that I needed to lose weight regardless of the fact that I am not getting any fatter. So today I started my diet.

I decided to follow the Dukan diet, lean meat & low fat dairy with veg. As carbs give me headaches I am hopeful i can stick with it. I have to see the Practice Nurse every week for a weigh in & see the doctor every month to be checked up on. Writing it on here should make it difficult for me to weasel out of it!

First check up is next Tuesday. I am not allowed to weigh myself between times. Even better, Fahed and the boys are cooking for themselves for a month or two so that I avoid temptation. Surely I must be able to succeed with all this help.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Flaw in the plan

I have designated a big pile of goodies to go on ebay. The only thing holding me up was that I couldn't find my camera and thought it was in the car at the garage. It was actually in the other car but hiding so eventually I found it and brought it indoors. Charged up my batteries and settled down for an hour of ebay photos. It's not working. I can see previous photos but the screen to take photos is blank and any photos I take remain blank. I had a look on the laptop at the photos and my eldest son was 14, and cute in his new Christmas present Parka, in the first photo I took. I 6 1/4 a good age for a digital camera? I think this could be one of those things where if I have it repaired it could be very expensive and I don't really benefit enough from it.
I will try to get a free estimate from a repairer, price a new one but most likely try to talk Fahed into giving me his, as he never actually take any photos. Seems like the most sensible move.

Bit of a nuisance. I really liked that camera. It was simple, like me.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Mortgage Contemplation

My mortgage statement says I owe £208,879.31 as at Sept 10. There was a time when I only owed 7 years repayments but then it seemed like a good idea to buy some land in Crete and build a house and so on. I don't regret building the house but nonetheless I know have a 22 year mortgage outstanding.

With both houses we have possibilities. If we chose we could sell the other house, pay off all the debt and have around £70k left over. Mortgage free in our forties.

Or if I was made redundant. Approx £50k redundancy payout then we could sell this house and move to the other with £120k in our pockets.

The value of the houses rental incoem will overtake the monthly mortgage payment within about another 18 months. We could then rent it out and let it take care of itself.

I currently overpay by £150 per month. according to my calculations that brings my mortgage end date forward from July 2032 to March 2029. Better but blatantly not good enough. Adding a further £150 to my overpayment amount every April (pay review time) helps a lot more. October 2021. Another ten years at my work, assuming I keep my job.

I could make extra money. The other house has never been rented. The landscaping is still outstanding, and will remain so for some time unless we have surprise windfall as part of the hill needs to be re-modelled. Some people would be happy to live there from time to time even with this restriction maybe. I think the problem is that it feels like my home not like a house I own. I am reluctant to allow someone to live there. Such a waste of potential income.

Back to selling my life on ebay I guess.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Another week has flashed past

Between the car repairs and visit from in laws we have spent an unplanned £1000 this month. Fortunately the cupboards are not bare, in fact the house is stacked with food. The cars are fueled up sufficient to get us to work for the next 10 days or so. It's nice to have a bit in reserve for when things don't go to plan.

Last weekend we found melamine boarding for sale at £4 a board (compared with £25 per board at the local DIY). My son is cutting them for me over the weekend to make shelves for my larder/pantry. He is replacing the fibre board shelves, which were a stop gap anyway and have a new use waiting for them, but also making at least two additional shelves. I really love the new larder. I never end up buying something I have because I cant find it. I will try to use this as my template for the rest of my storage.

Fahed was going to do the shelves last weekend but he has somehow pulled a muscle in his shoulder, so he is out of action this week.

As well as larder sort out I will box up some books for the Salvation Army. I have a bag of clothes and a box of china for them as well. If I write it here I am more likely to get it done!

If I finish all of my housework then I get to play with my paint set!!!

My life

My wonderful husband has died. He was in hospital for some weeks but this was very unexpected. I won’t be reading or writing for the foresee...