- SEA-EAT blog - The South-East Asia Earthquake and Tsunami blog: News and information about resources, aid, donations and volunteer efforts.
- Scenes from a disaster - blog entries from some of the worst hit areas
- how to help - links to aid agencies, to make donations
Thursday, December 30, 2004
Friday, December 24, 2004
D**t news: survey says Exercise 'can't end obesity risk'
Exercise is not enough to offset the increased death risk associated with being obese, research suggests. ...
Excess weight and physical inactivity together could account for about a third of all premature deaths, two-thirds of deaths from cardiovascular disease, and a fifth of deaths from cancer among non-smoking women, they estimate.
Back to the calorie counting and the regular exercise in January, I fear (I haven't done much exercise all this month, cos of being ill).
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
Came home, had breakfast, went out again and threw debit card around in John Lewis. Got pressies for mum and sis. Not totally happy with them but wtf, they'll do. They can always change 'em later. Also went to £-Stretcher for quality Seekrit Santa gift. I'm invited to tag along on my ex-office's Christmas outing hurrah. We're going to a Turkish restaurant - I wonder if I should take my belly dancing scarf along, just in case ....
I have to work this afternoon booo
Belated acknowledgement: thanks to Ann's Place for the Christmas tree gifs
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
We have the obligatory singing Xmas novelty ie that evul looking very loud rubber tree (thank you so much to the person who sent this to O. If you had kids, we'd send them a drum for their next birthday). We have tatty but much loved decorations made by small child at nursery eg the nativity scene (now with added plastic farm animals) ...
We even decorated the cat ...
OK that last bit's not true. But only because I couldn't get them to stay still long enough. Luckily someone did, tho, and made Xmas cards out of it hurrah. We even had a Christmas party. We invited some of O's school friends round for seasonal fare (pizza and jelly & ice-cream) and a few games of musical statues to the sounds of Trojan Reggae Christmas. It made up for him missing out on so much of the big Christmas build up at school (he was even off sick for the class Xmas party awww), I hope.
Car news: it was the alternator. It has a lovely new one now, the bill was quite a lot of UKP but not nearly as bad as it could've been hurrah. We might have to eat beans on toast every night but at least it won't be beans on toast for Christmas dinner . So now I can fulfil the offer I made to take some friends to the airport tomorrow.
Question: are my friends the most disorgnasied people in the world ever? When they told me they were going to visit family Abroad, I happily offered mine or R's services to get them to the airport . They said they were flying out sometime on Wednesday evening. OK no problem, I'm out then but R will take them, we'll finalise departure time the day before. Spoke to them today, oh actually the flight's first thing in the morning. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with getting up to take them - it'd be even more of a pain trying to get there at that time. I'm just flabbergasted that you can be out by 12 hours on the time of your plane journey. Ah well. At least it will get me up and at it early. Also the airport is near a branch of my mum's favourite shop. I have no idea what to get her, but something that comes in a John Lewis box is likely to make her happy.
Ah feck, I just noticed on their website that John Lewis doesn't open till 10am! Aaargh.
 Christmas Dinner chez Clazza is, in time honoured vegetarian tradition, a nut roast. Specifically Cashew Nut & Mushroom loaf with Mushroom and Sherry sauce. In case you were wondering.
 I know what it's like trying to get kids, luggage, gifts, etc etc to the aiport on time esp. by public transport, and I also know they haven't got much money for taxis (their family got together and bought them the plane tickets for Christmas, so they and the kids could all go 'home' awww).
Monday, December 20, 2004
Other news: I have bad taste in music. So I have joined the I have bad taste in music forum on audio scrobbler. The Music Police can feck off.
Sunday, December 19, 2004
Oh and O's ill again. And so is R. And my throat still hurts. Feck. Proper little ray of seasonal joy ain't I?
Saturday, December 18, 2004
More women than ever, about 90 million, are living outside their countries of origin, where most of them are at risk of gender-based violence and sexual exploitation, says the United Nations in a report marking International Migrants Day.
''Whether they are labour migrants, family migrants, trafficked persons or refugees, they face the triple burden of being female, foreign and, often, working in dangerous occupations,'' says the 89-page 'World Survey on the Role of Women in Development'.
Noeleen Heyzer, executive director of the U.N. Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) says women and girls dominate in many of these migrant labour flows, going into domestic service, low-paid sweatshop industries, street begging and commercial sex work.
The study says migrant women boost economic development in both their country of destination and at home, through financial contributions from remittances, improving their own skills or helping to improve the education skills of the next generation.
I usually confine this kind of thing to my other blog, but as today is World Migrant's Day, I'm flagging it up here, too.
Friday, December 17, 2004
Other news: I was in town getting some Christmas shopping. Every year I tell myself to be organised and get my shopping done well in advance. Never happens. This year, tho, it's not entirely my fault. It's a combination of being ill and the fact that my wages payments for this month got fecked up, so we haven't had the time or the money until now. Ah well. At least I got nearly all of O's presents. Look away now if you are not completely fascinated by what small boy is getting from Santa ....
Mighty Movers - remote controlled crane and bulldozer thingummy. Major panic when Argos was sold out of them, forced to go to the posh and expensive toy shop and buy one that cost more (and I was lucky there, cos they only had 2 left)
To infinity and beyond. I got this weeks ago, after last year's Woody traumas. (All he wanted for Xmas was a Woody doll, couldn't get one anywhere, luckily my mum tracked one down in Scotland).
Robodoc. I think it's like Operation but with a robot. or something.
brio part no. 33370. Will enable trains to go under the swing bridge. Hurrah.
a sparks racer. it makes sparks when it races. it's cheap in asda. yay
Ocean Toob. Featuring 3 different kinds of sharks and several species of whale, plus assorted other denizens of the deep.
some colouring pencils
still to get
Thomas or James. James or Thomas. Who knows? Decisions decisions. He has a Thomas, but it's broked and its face fell off awww.
The chocolate orange. V. important, he mentions it every day.
an annual. Opinion is divided on whether this should be Thomas annual, Power Rangers Ninja Storm annual, or Other annual
omg my child is spoilt. look at all this stuff.
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
Today was O's school nativity play, and it was a joyously diverse production. Mary was played by a Black African girl, and Joseph by a white boy, and yes the Baby Jesus was played by a suitably mixed race baby doll. The choir of angels were an adorable line of girls of every colour, dressed in the traditional tinsel, and the three kings came from England, Korea and Somalia. The shepherds, their sheep, and the supporting cast reflected the diversity of our local communities. Poor O didn't have a costume part (he was off ill during casting and rehersals) and was in the 'choir' with the other non-actors, and they all sang their hearts out.
If you believe the Daily Mail, white, 'educated' parents like us are meant to fight tooth and nail so our kids don't have to go to inner-city primary schools like ours, where white kids are in a minority. Me, I'm pleased my son is growing up surrounded by all sorts of different people, from different countries and cultures.
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
the time will pass anyway
Weight loss is proving to be a longer and more difficult process than I expected. And my efforts are kind of 'on hold' right now. But, I haven't forgotten about it, it is still important for me and I will start back at it. Keeping this blog going, even when I'm not actively dieting, is part of reminding myself to keep working at it.
I've also started down the long route to achieve two of my other ambitions - get a university degree and become a teacher. I'm start my course in February. In the past, studying has always been accompanied by cigarettes and chocolate. I'm over the cigs, but can I do it without the chocolate? Maybe it will take my mind of biscuits ...
Monday, December 13, 2004
Academic dress-related asides: I was trying to find a picture of the robes to show you, and came across The Burgon Society "Founded to promote the study of Academical Dress". I know that some academics go in for twitcher-like robe-spotting at graduation ceremonies, but I didn't know they'd formed a society.
The most impressive robes I ever saw were worn by the Dean of Something-or-Other at R's MA degree ceremony. He had an honorary degree from the University of Ulan Bator, which entitled him to wear Mongolian-style bright red and blue felt robes with gold trim and a fantastic pointed conical hat. It wasn't exactly like the men pictured on this page, but it gives you an idea. If I was entitled to wear Mongolian robes, I'd wear them every day even to pop to Asda (although apparently, being made for Mongolian conditions, one does get rather hot in them).
I think I'll try for a set of these first, before aiming for the Ulan Batorean look. I've registered for science 101 with the OU, starting in February. So between now and then I have to become super organized and efficient, and learn how to spend less time on line and more time in productive pursuits. No problems there, then :hollow laffter:
I have ignored my poor blog and every one elses blogs for the last couple of weeks. I am going to try and make up for it now. Hope everyone is good and I'll catch up on your blogs soon.
Monday, December 06, 2004
Thursday night: throw up repeatedly
Friday: glands swell to ludicrous size, throat constricts in protest and stops working. Ingest nothing but co-codamol and occasional sips of ribena light, and even getting them down hurts like hell. Stay in bed all day.
Saturday: as Friday. Also, do not attend wedding you have been looking forward to for weeks and so do not consume masses of food & drink calories.
Sunday: manage to nibble on a piece of toast and drink warm tea, feeling like a Victorian consumptive (no lacey nightgown, but plenty of coughing up crap).
Monday: feel hungry for first time in 4 days, eat piece of toast, feel full. Worry that I am addicted to warm ribena. I might go mad and have another whole piece of toast later. With peanut butter. Wooo. Seen doctor and got some antibiotics, so now I have thrush to look foward to too, wooo.
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Saturday, November 27, 2004
be taught to hoola-hoop by a gaggle of 5 year old girls, meet Jude woooo, drink with Jude, eat with Jude, gossip with Jude, go shopping for shiny things at Claire's Accessories, discover fabby shiny glittery eye-shadow, have nice long Lush-enhanced bath, get dressed up in new shiny things and go for Big Night Out, eat nachos twice in one day, enjoy dub music as it's meant to be (ie pumping out through enormous speakers that are in breach of several international conventions), drink orange wkd through a straw, get the night bus home, have a Saturday morning lie-in cos your child slept at someone else's house hurrah, stage puppet theatre re-enactment of the GingerBread Man (after retrieving child)
Thursday, November 25, 2004
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
Monday, November 22, 2004
Apologies in advance if this blog suffers from I'm A Celebrity fever - posting here may slow down somewhat but it's only for 2 weeks.
Sunday, November 21, 2004
Saturday, November 20, 2004
Random IAC factoid of the day: Brian Harvey is afraid of water (he can't swim), spiders, heights. Makes total sense to go on the show and face those watery spider-rich Bushtucker Trials, which you have to cross high up rope bridges to get to. Nice to see him prepared to pay a high price for
Undertones news: got the house to myself this afternoon. Sis went back home this morning, R's at a conference and O's gone to a party. Have been nursing very slight hangover (curse those alcopops - when you've shimmied up a thirst, orange WKD with a straw slips down all too quickly) by lying on the sofa reading the paper and listening to the Undertones (watch out for that link - great band, crap site - it plays music at you without asking first and is all frames grrr) at high volume.
I do love the Undertones. They were the first 'proper' band I was really into, and their second album was the first proper (ie not Top of The Pops) album I bought. Teenage Kicks has been played so much recently, I suppose it will always be the John Peel Song. I love that they did not re-release it as some kind of 'tribute'/cash-in. Pop stars with ethics, how old fashioned is that? I do like some of their new stuff, too. Shame that Feargal Sharkey went off and turned into an arse after he left the band (those deck-shoes-without-sandals photos in Smash Hits make me shudder just thinking about them. I know it as the 80s but there are limits), but the rest of them have kept on rocking and their new singer's not at all bad. We saw them live in Derry last year.
You know how some bands get all precious about their back catalogue and insist on doing their latest work in its entirety before grudgingly doing one of the old hits? The Undertones are not like that at all. They played all of everyone's faves and threw in a few of their new ones, too. It was a bit of shock seeing those (whisper it) old blokes up on stage, tho. If they've gone and aged in the past mumble mumble years, maybe that means I have too. Eeep.
Thursday, November 18, 2004
Scary FlyLady would not approve. She says you have to dress smartly at all times and put on proper lace-up shoes (they absolutely must be lace-ups, no slacking about in slip ons) the minute you get up in the morning. I dread to think what she'd make of my new stripey slipper socks with detatchable Eeyores but I don't care. They are snuggly and keep my toes warm, and make me happy and cosy in a way even my beloved DMs can't.
I once signed up for the FlyLady's email service, despite being strongly advised against it by the person who told me about her in the first place. Big mistake. My hotmail account was overflowing with emails on the importance of wearing lace-up shoes, how to achieve the perfect shiny sink, and proper care of a feather duster. Dear FlyLady, life's too short to blow dry a feather duster. If anyone who knows me found me doing such a thing, they'd march me straight down to the doctors to get the OCD diagnosis officially confirmed. Which reminds me, there was a really funny article about living with OCD in the Observer magazine on Sunday.
Eating news: ack. still bad.
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
I've paranoid about being horribly under-dressed. I know some of the women at the other classes spend most of their spare time constructing elaborate home-made costumes, and I suspect even my sister, who's going to go with me, is bound to have something very glam to wear. Ah well. I'll just load myself up with shiny hair clips, just-about-fit-if-forced-on-with-aid-of-soap Indian bangles & jangly fabric trim with teeny silver bells and shimmy with the best of 'em.
Other news: I just found out that dub legend the Mad Professor is live at the Band on the Wall a week on Friday. A week on Friday it will be 10 years to the day since R & I first met. And guess where me first me? Yup, BotW (although at a very different kind of gig). So I guess that pretty much sorts out what we're doing for our anniversary.
Other other news: IACGMOOH4 line up announced wooooooooooo hoooooooooo! I love IAC. I become easily addicted to (un)reality tv shows. Even R, brainiac intellectual who hardly watches TV, has gotten addicted to the past 2 series. Still gutted that they didn't let Frank Carson on it, tho. He had his own wellies and everything.
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
Good point well made, Mr. Duncan. As you clearly say, it states in Leviticus Chapter 18 Verse 22 that homosexuality is an abomination. Which reminds me—there are a couple of things I need guidance on. Firstly, If I wanted to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7, how much could I expect to make from such a deal? Also, my colleague Pete insists on working on the sabbath. Exodus clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or is it OK to get some outside help? Lastly, does the whole city really have to be together to stone my brother John for planting different crops side by side. And when I burn my mother for wearing garments made from two different threads, do I torch her whole or just a bit?
(thanks to the The Unofficial Jeremy Hardy Page for this)
Monday, November 15, 2004
20 years ago perhaps we could get away with a naive belief that the 'hey kids, let's put on a show!' approach could do anything about solving world poverty. Well, I could get away with it at least, cos hey I was 17 and didn't know any better. But in the last 20 years I've learned some stuff. Including that whatever St Bob of Geldof says, it's not about the money. Not about the money raised for charidee, at any rate. If current patterns of world trade and global inequalities remain, no amount of charidee records will stop millions starving.
And even 20 years ago, I wasn't completely naive. A short list of things that annoyed me about the original BandAid/LiveAid:
1 - David Bowie complaining that 'the government' wasn't giving enough money to famine relief. Scuse me Mr David 'lives abroad in tax exile' Bowie, where exactly do you think the government's going to get some money from to do owt about owt?
2 - the picture created of all Ethiopians, all Africans, as helpless starving victims. The first time I met someone from Ethiopia, the year after LiveAid, I was genuinely surprised to meeting a non-starving Ethiopian. (It's a little publicised fact that more money now flows into the developing world from the remittances of migrant workers, than from foreign aid).
3 - Bono's famous 'tonight thank god it's them instead of you' line always disturbed me. Of course I am profoundly grateful that it's not me, but I don't want it not to be me at the expense of 'them'.
Letter in Observer Music Monthly from Bert Erikten Cate
Leaving aside the artistic qualities of such a project, I wonder why these artists are so keen to lend their voices. Is it because they care about Africa, or about their own image? If they really cared, surely they could have found the words and a tune to vent their anger about the inequality in the world.
Piece on the Guardian's newsblog by Jon Dennis
Yes, yes, yes, we all know it's a good cause. Dur. But why should we be so grateful to these millionaires for their precious time? They could just donate a large chunk of their not-so-hard-earned cash if they care so passionately about it. Just a suggestion.
From the Chumbas (who released the 'Pictures of Starving Children..' album in 1986)
... the song remains the same: carefully scripted emotion, tears instead of anger and no explanations of why the world is in a permanent crisis. Twenty years ago Band Aid reflected a peculiar brand of ignorance; Africa was portrayed as being at the mercy of the weather. We had video shots of fly blown children, dry water holes and popstars arriving at recording studios. Anything else like the West''s over consumption, the way that free trade exploits, collusion with military dictatorships and corrupt governments on all sides was probably deemed too complex. Twenty years on we have a better understanding of what 'free trade' actually means in terms of diverting resources like land away from food production and towards goods that are shipped and consumed in the West, we know about the deals that go on behind the scenes, we even know that Western governments fund terror, after all the C.I.A. trained, threw cash at and aided and abetted Bin Laden in Afghanistan. We can do without returning to an age where we pretended popstars can solve famine by fighting over who sings the chorus.
And no, the irony of a diet blogger, blogging about starving children isn't lost on me.
a site that grabs Hansard by the scruff of the neck, shakes it up and republishes it in a slick format that's easily accessible to political junkies and casual surfers alike. Want to find out what your local MP thinks about Iraq? Or how likely they are to vote against their party? Or how safe their seat is? Just enter your postcode and theyworkforyou.com will tell you all that and more.
go stalk your MP and start making the democratic process a teeny bit more accountable. (Site found during my morning gruaniad-browse).
Sunday, November 14, 2004
I am so not sending OMM an email pointing out that they got the name of the band in Eastenders wrong  because that would be sad. I'm not going to do it, really I'm not ... /turns off puter & goes for a bath and a lie down before the urge overwhelmes me ...
* delete as appropriate
 they were called The Banned not The Band - so called because they got banned from playing in the Vic. Yes I knew that without googling. I'm not proud but then again, this was way back in the mists of time, when I were a lass and Eastenders were good. Ask yer parents about it kids, they'll tell you all about Ye Goode Olde Dayes in Ye Square.
O was so excited. I think he was under the impression we'd finally recognised his Muslim identity. Plus, when you're five, going out after dark is an adventure in itself. He was nearly bursting by the time we got to the fairground. Seen through the eyes of a five year old, fairgrounds stop being seedy, tatty, tawdry, over-priced disappointments, and go back to being magical, exciting places full of lights and colour.
O went on a couple of the little-kid rides, but was feeling grown-up enough for some of the 'real' rides too. We went on the bumper cars twice, and even on the waltzers (I used to love waltzers, but I'm sure they must have got faster since I were a lass, I felt a bit queasy after last night's ride). Very disappointed that there was no proper candyfloss onna stick, tho - only stoopid bags of it. I was going to buy O some candyfloss n'all, but not if it's not onna stick! That bag candyfloss is vile and tastes like sugared cotton wool, not like the proper fresh stuff onna stick that makes your whole face sticky. Bah to progress, if progress means candyfloss in a bag.
Friday, November 12, 2004
Two years ago I probably weighed a little less than I do now, but I smoked 20-30 cigarettes a day, took very little exercise and binged on cr@p (although I didn't call it bingeing then). Now, I don't smoke and I exercise regularly. I feel much fitter and healthier. In terms of losing weight, I have now at least idenified some of what I am up against, realising that I have compulsive eating issues, and so weight loss for me is not as simple as some like to make out. And as Marla said, "Sometimes the only progress you can make towards a dream is just HAVING it".
Other good things that have happened to me today:
- R made that doctor's apppointment and went to see his GP this morning (doc says he should deffo stay off the grapefruit juice)
- a while back I was whingeing about being bored of my musics: well, I read in the gruaniad yesterday about this audioscrobbler oozit, that tracks what you listen to and then gives you recommendations for other stuff you might like. See sidebar for link to what I've been listening to ...
- this morning, I went into O's bedroom to give him the usual nagging about why he should be getting dressed for school instead of playing with his toys. But he wasn't playing with toys, he was sitting on the floor reading Green Eggs and Ham. I was amazed and pleased and proud, it's the first time he has ever voluntarily read a book to himself. Despite being the child of a pair of bookworms, he's never been much of a one for reading/looking at books on his own (tho he does love his bed time stories). To see him reading to himself was such a joy. And he was really reading, not just reciting the story - he was stumbling over words as he tried to work them out, whereas if you asked him just to say the story he'd be able to recite most of it off by heart. Proud Mum Moment.
- I spent this morning how I'm going to spend most of my Friday mornings from now on - helping out in O's class. Only people very, very close to me know this, but I am thinking of becoming a teacher. If I do want to, I will have to start by getting a degree (I have part of one, but left university without finishing), most likely part time with the Open University. That would take me at least 4 years, then I'd have another year of teacher training, so it's a long road if I decide to go down it. Spending time regularly in school will help me see if it's really what I want, plus the experience will give men advantage when applying for training places. And most importantly, I enjoy it!
thought for the day ...
This coat my royal gown
A stolen hand-me-down
No need to scrape and bow
We can be heroes now
For more than just one day
Look both ways when crossing roads
Don't wear slippers till you're old
Never do what you are told
Thursday, November 11, 2004
So many other diet bloggers are doing great things, working hard and making real changes, I feel like an imposter. I'm not keeping to a proper eating plan, I can't (won't?) stop binge eating, I do some exercise but don't keep to my targets, I'm gaining wieght not losing it.
I'm not saying any of this looking for sympathy or whatever. I know what I'm doing wrong. I know that I am not putting the necessary mental effort into changing things. I suppose I have to work out how much I want to change, and if I want it enough to do the work.
So, I'll keep on rambling about Stuff for now, but am not sure if weight loss will be a central focus for a while ...
Other news: in 1986, the BraggMeister recorded the song 'Help Save the Youth of America', which includes the lines: This is the land of opportunity, and there's a monkey trial on TV. I cannot begin to express how profoundly depressing it is that 18 years later, there are still monkey trials taking place in the US. It's the kind of thing that we Brits snigger at, roll our eyes and say 'only in America, eh?'.
If only. Creationism and biblical fundamentalism are being promoted at state-funded schools in my own country, and our prime minister has refused to take sides. No wonder him and Georgie are best mates.
Oh and while I'm bush-bashing (and why not?), I really don't want the world's great superpower run by someone suffering from sleep deprivation.
Pandas (and others) apologise to the world ...
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
The US Secretary of State has said that his country will continue to pursue an "aggressive" foreign policy. ... This policy had traditionally been "aggressive in terms of going after challenges, issues", Mr Powell added, and the president was "going to keep moving in this direction".
yesteday Afghanistan, today Iraq, tomorrow Iran?
Made me think, tho, about fasting. Every year I am impressed by all the people I meet who fast all day during Ramadan. No food, no drink, nothing. I don't know how they do it. I am even more impressed by a couple of women I know who work in restaurants and are preparing and serving food all day, and not eating themselves. Amazing will power. Not that it helps them lose weight tho - they reckon they eat more during Ramadan, not less, as their mothers stuff them with food from sun down to sun up.
bad! referral log spam is bad! I've just started using a new site meter, mainly because I wanted better referral logs. But fecking feckers are spamming referral logs! Go away and leave our blogosphere alone.
Review of Yesterday
food/cals ~ 2165; fruit ~ 3 (apple, 2 bananas); exercise ~ 20 mins walk, 9,872 steps on pedometer for the day; water ~ 1.5 l; booze ~ 2 vodka & diet cokes oops
Monday, November 08, 2004
calorie count! - weigh and write down what I eatcalorie count as much as possible, but not mind giving up if the numbers get too depressing that day
- aim to eat
1500 - 17501750 - 2000 calories per day
- drink at least 1 litre of water a day
eat no crisps
- drink no sugary fizzy drinks
- think before eating - am I really hungry? what will this food do for me?
- eat at least 3 pieces of fruit a day (together with the veggies I usually get at meal times, that will put me on target for 'Five a Day')
- remember to suck my tummy in as much as possible!
- try and reflect on how eating cr@p food affects me - how I feel when I'm eating it, after I've eaten it, next day, etc
- exercise for at least 30 minutes,
53 days out of 7, normally to includeincluding at least 2 from:
- 1 aquarobics session
- 1 belly dance class
- 1 swim
- do my belly dance video
once a week
- 1 aquarobics session
lose 1 lb a week on average (the 'pound a week' club)lose whatever I lose, and be happy not to gain set a monthly challenge
Other News: Dead Ringers, while funnier on t'wireless, is the highlight of my Monday. Doctor Who on the Eurostar, Dubya's Bushisms and alternatively as Beavis/Butthead, v funny. But the Cheyney sketch was just scarey.
... when US congresspersons warn of 'lesbians invading school bathrooms' and say openly gay teachers should be banned from schools, and the Bush victory makes the US gay community fear 'a new era of intolerance'
... when Sunday supplement journos put on at least 3 pairs of rose-tinted glassed everytime they go near France (see below)
... when men who should (and usually do) know better, fall into male stereotypes. R has a heart condition, for which he takes various drugs daily. One of those is cholesterol-lowering drug simvastatin, so I was concerned to read that simvastatin users should perhaps avoid grapefruit juice - grapefruit being R's juice-of-choice. Then I read that there are questions about the efficacy of atenolol, which he also takes. I am duly wary of taking health advice from t'interweb, but these seem like proper medical studies, and I think warrant at least a chat with his doctor. Has he made an appointment so to do? No. Do I feel like his mother when I remind him about it? Yes. *sigh*
... when people have their kid's birthday party at some gawd-awful just-off-the-motorway impossible-to-get-to-by-bike-or-public-transport souless nestle-sponsored 'fun' venue. Join me in the Campaign for Proper Kids' Birthday Parties and stop this tide of evil!
... when I have an Avril Lavigne song stuck in my head - it's all O's fault
I'm back trying to be 'good' today, but I'm not sure I've got the energy. Feel quite 'bleurgh' in myself today. My 'problem', if it is a problem, is this. My priorities for my health are:
1. stay sane
2. stay stopped smoking
3. lose weight/get fit
So, if I start to feel a bit wobbly, the 'eating right' part is the first thing to go, closely followed by the exercise. Which is stupid, I know. Logically, I know I feel much better when I eat good food and get regular exercise. But it's not a question of logic, it's all about emotions and my emotions are fairly fecked up. Ah well, I will just keep trying to do the best I can. Which will better some weeks than others.
Maybe I should learn to eat like a French woman? Cos obv that story reflects the experiences of all French women and not just the kind of smug upper middle class ones that smug upper middle class Sunday supplement journos come into contact with. And so what if they admit "most French women smoke instead of eating". Being thin is way more important than emphysema or lung cancer, obv. Gawd how I hate the attitude of smug Sunday supplement journos that everything is so wonderful in France and so dismal in blighty. Smug feckers.
a pune or play on words (with associated gratuitous pandas)
panda bears bear with me:
Saturday, November 06, 2004
Top 3 Saturday morning kids tv shows, in reverse order ...
1) Dick N Dom inda Bungalow
manages to be that very rare thing in kids tv - genuinely silly and even a little anarchic, without being self-consciously wacky - also features the mighty Baby Race in which real babies race each other while the watching kids place bets. Genius
2) Going Live
the show that brought us Gordon the Gopher and Trevor & Simon. Does anyone else remember the Curtis's Tigers  phone-in? Kylie swinging her pants in the Singing Corner? The Hair Cupboard
The TV Cream guide to Saturday morning TV
Other news: we went swimming this morning, cycled there and back too. It's a miserable horrible day so I think we're staying inside for the rest of it. Didn't get to see much of bommie night last night, as O was too scared of the fireworks and ran back inside as soon as he heard any bangs. Ah well. Eating is going OK - after a few dodgy days, I'm back calorie counting again.
 Curtis Steigers
Friday, November 05, 2004
Elizabeth is a Sentinel steam tipper wagon.
She's also the first lorry the Fat Controller drove as a young man. Stubborn, proud and a touch regal, Elizabeth doesn't suffer fools gladly. Nimble and efficient, she can move lots of material in a short period of time.
Now she's now hurtling round the living room and joins the 'fave presents' list
China Daily reports Giant panda cubs set world records
Shulan, 10-year-old, was pregnant for 200 days before she gave birth. Her pregnancy is the longest ever recorded, as giant panda pregnancies usually range between 83 and 181 days.
Yes Mr DaddyPanda, it's the longest pregancy on record honest, happens all the time, humans have 10 month pregancies sometimes too hemm hemm koff. Good job male pandas can't count innit.
Silly panda site of the day:
I missed something off the list of O's fave presents - he also loved his pop party cd - I think we had it on 5 times yesterday and then he had to listen to it this morning before skool. Oops I seem to have scratched it by accident oh dear it won't play anymore what a shame.
Thursday, November 04, 2004
- Trainbot is it a robot? is it a train? transformer robot train = boy heaven.
- spiderman costume good old fashioned fun
- Power Ranger Ninja Wind Morpher wha'??
- bike nuff said
- Hotwheels T-Rex playset The Most Ludicrous Toy In The History Of The World Ever. A two and a half foot tall plastic dinosaur, with a (stupidly loud) motor at the bottom that fires cars up its back into its mouth, until (with the aid of the seekrit Attack Lever) you fire a car at the right angle to make the dinosaur roar, open its mouth and spew cars all over the room.
- ocean book I've been reading it all evening, it's top
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
handy guide to the US political system for brits
added later: even more depressingly, the thought that even tho Bush has run out of terms, America hasn't run out of Bushes occurs.
I thought I wasn't really that bothered about who won the US election, because it won't really make much difference who's in charge. But in the end I do care, very much. I find it so profoundly depressing that so many people went out and queued for hours to vote for George W. Bush.
From the Big Church to the Big River
And out to the Shining Sea
This is the Land of Opportunity
And there's a Monkey Trial on TV
Help save the youth of America
Help save the youth of the world
Help save the boys in uniform
Their mothers and their faithful girls
Listen to the voice of the soldier
Down in the killing zone
Talking about the cost of living
And the price of bringing him home
He will be the only black member among 100 senators when Congress convenes in January and only the fifth African-American to serve there.
Only the fifth African-American to be a Senator! That's unbelievable. Tell me it's a mistake.
... which involves alternating high- and lower-intensity work bouts
Turns out I've been doing interval training for months and I never knew, I just call it urban cycling. You get to alternate bouts of steady pedalling in slow moving traffic with bouts of furious pedalling to keep your place when the speed moves up or just to avoid some near-death situation. You get even more intensity for your work out, actually, with free added heart racing adrenaline pumping surges of fear and rage induced by antics of cagers or the 'design' of the latest cycling farcility.
Rest is also important: a minimum of 90 seconds is required for energy replenishment in between your high-intensity intervals.
yep you get that too eg waiting at traffic lights, doing emergency stop when some twunt in a white van pulls in right in front of you to park in the cycle lane , etc
I got my quota of interval training  this morning, instead of my morning walk, cos I had to go shopping for the various bits of tat that are essential to a child's birthday party. When did party bags become mandatory? Some time between me growing up and O getting to party age, anyways. We just got a bit of cake, and a balloon if we were really lucky, now you have to provide bags stuffed full of tat and sugar. Bah. I am aiming to keep the tat quotient down by providing useful-but-shiny things eg fancy little notebooks and holographic pencils.
OK now I shall get back to
 this is actually legal, provided that you have your hazard warning lights flashing. It says so in the White Van Drivers Highway Code, right next to that bit on how indicating to pull out gives you the right of way over all other traffic
 while clad in my Stealth Costume. It is a little known but scientifically proven fact that wearing a bright red waterproof, flourescent yellow leg bands and a silly hat renders you invisible to motorists. The SAS dress in a similar way to go into seekrit combat missions.
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
I'm tempted to stay up and watch the results as they come in. I'm a bit of a news junkie and a complete sucker for election night coverage (yes I was still up for Portillo). I :heart: Peter Snow, with his swingometers and stockinged feet. But I have a vile headache (see below) and a pile of stuff to do tomorrow, so need a good night's sleep.
D**t News: bleurgh. Things went a bit wrong and there were cr*sps. Lots of. Bad. I feel like cr@p now, and I put the above headache down to the quantity of salt and artificial flavourings consumed. One day I will learn my lesson ....
So anyways calories sky high today, but at least I got some exercise in. Some walking, plus some cals burned up cleaning the house in readiness for O's birthday party on Thursday. So I'd better get to bed, I need all the sleep I can get in the run up to a house full of 20+ kids in a sugar frenzy.
Good luck, America.
food/cals ~ 2600 cals, bad things eaten bad bad; fruit ~ 3 (melon, banana, grapes); exercise ~ walking & housework; water ~ 1 litre; booze ~ 0
Monday, November 01, 2004
food/cals ~ 2025, mostly good(ish); fruit ~ 3; exercise ~ walking, aquarobics; water ~ 1 litre; booze ~ 0
And no, I didn’t indulge in a bite or two of a favorite treat. And I didn’t enjoy one whole serving of a lovely dessert only to get right back on my eating program the next day. This wasn’t a reasonable sort of indulgence. Over the past few days of parties and play, I consumed more sugar than I have in the entire previous year.
What bothers me more than the same old stuff that always bothers me in these situations— remembering that I don’t have control over certain foods, that I never will, that I have to be smarter, that I’m not like other people — is knowing that it will take days now to remove this stuff from my system, and during these days I’ll be craving sugar and sweet stuff. The cravings will occupy a chunk of my brain that would come in handy this week for other things.
Also I think I may have learnt my lesson about the evuls of sug@r. I did feel really dreadful after eating way too much of the stuff over the weekend. Last night I found a large bar of chocolate in the cupboard (left over from party preparations). I stared at it for a minute then demanded R take it away and dispose of it (ie bin it or, if he wants to eat it, hide it from me and take it in to work today). Non-scale victory for me, I think.
Sunday, October 31, 2004
These are our pumpkin lanterns - one made from a garden-centre pumpkin and one from our own, small but perfectly form, home grown pumpkin (of which we are inordinately proud).
Halloween party was great. We made them do traditional halloween games like apple bobbing and the pancake game  and the chocolate game  before letting them out to do modern new-fangled left pondish trick or treating tsk. They got a good haul, as some of our neighbours are nice kind people. And while they were doing that, we tried to explain to the Korean parents of one of the children what it was all in aid of.
 aka the treacle scone game (it uses scotch pancakes, which in Scotland are known as drop scones).
Eating treacle scones strung from a washing line hung across the kitchen is a long-established Halloweeen game. The treacle scones should be ... daubed in sticky treacle before being hung up. (It is a good idea to put a newspaper down on the floor to catch the drips.) All competitors should then have their hands tied behind their backs and the idea of the game is to see who can eat most of their scone. (The Scotsman)
we didn't tie them up, tho, just insist on hands behind backs.
 ok so it's not a trad halloween game but hey it's fun and it involves chocolate.
Saturday, October 30, 2004
O is nearly bursting with excitment at the day full of halloween excitement he has on tomorrow. First, in the morning there's chocolate coated apples to be made and poison buns to be iced. Then after lunch there's the apple & pumpkin party at the local community garden centre, straight from there to the halloween party at our neighbour's that we've been doing the baking for, then out trick or treating. We :heart: halloween, although possibly not quite as much as this woman.
And once all that's over with, he has his birthday on Thursday. I bought his present from us today, and my sister rang earlier to say that she's bought him the ludicrously overpriced and over packaged pile of plastic he has been coveting lately. We delivered the party invites this evening, and as soon as halloween's out of the way, I've got all the party cooking to do. Diet, what diet?
 is it wrong to use the Xmas Dove biscuit cutter  to make 'ghost' biscuits for halloween?
 that may be 'cookie cutter' to you.
Friday, October 29, 2004
food/cals ~ 1960 - over 1750 boo but under 2000, not bad considering biscuits, wine and nuts have been involved; fruit ~ 1 banana tsk; exercise ~ 30 mins bike, 20 mins walking; water ~ 2.25 l; booze ~ 2 glasses red wine
Thursday, October 28, 2004
food/cals ~ 1307 omg; fruit ~ 2 (bananas) oops tsk; exercise ~ belly dancing class; water ~ 1 litre; booze ~ 0
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
Sheila, my wife - I wanna hold her, wanna hold her tight - knows that when I die, the only words I want on my tombstone, apart from my name, are:
'Teenage Dreams, So Hard To Beat.'
What more do you need?
Mark Radcliffe on John Peel:
He made us realise that you did not have to mellow with age - music could continue to mean as much to us now as it always did.
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Thanks to everyone who posted encouraging comments for my restart bid. Especially to Marla, who helped me look on the bright side. Like she said, I have not gained weight this year. Who knows how heavy I would be now if I hadn't been working at it, all be it intermittently.
Another bright side to look on - my calorie intake for today may be over-budget, but it's still under the number of calories someone my weight and activity level needs to maintain their weight.
food/cals ~ 1960 eep; fruit ~ 3 (banana, 2 pears); exercise ~ 20 mins walking (at child pace), 20 mins belly dance vid; water ~ 0.75 litre; booze ~ 0
Monday, October 25, 2004
Off for an early night now. Gotta get up early tomorrow to try and get some work in, before a fun filled day of rainy day child care. Feckin half-term holidays bah.
food/cals ~ 1530, eating 'good' things; fruit ~ 3 (apple, banana, melon); exercise ~ aquarobics; water ~ 2 litre; booze ~ 0
As of today, I weigh a whole 2 lb less than when I started all this 10 months ago. I thought I had it sorted then. Just eat less and move more, and I'll be sylph-like for Xmas. Easy-peasy. Hah.
At least I now have more idea what I'm up against. I have learnt some stuff, and I also have the wonderful world of all you lovely diet bloggers, too.
So, here I go again. I've decided to go back to calorie counting. It's such a feckin bore, but it's the only thing that seems to work. Big Sigh.
- calorie count! - weigh and write down what I eat
- aim to eat 1500 - 1750 calories per day
- drink at least 1 litre of water a day
- eat no crisps
- drink no sugary fizzy drinks
- think before eating - am I really hungry? what will this food do for me?
- eat at least 3 pieces of fruit a day (together with the veggies I usually get at meal times, that will put me on target for 'Five a Day')
- remember to suck my tummy in as much as possible!
- exercise for at least 30 minutes, 5 days out of 7, normally to include:
- 1 aquarobics session
- 1 belly dance class
- 1 swim
- do my belly dance video once a week
- walk for 30 mins, at least 3 days a week
- go by bike (instead of car/bus) whenever practical
- 1 aquarobics session
- lose 1 lb a week on average (the 'pound a week' club)
- set a monthly challenge (starting November)
Sunday, October 24, 2004
And no, Jude, I haven't forgot about the Diet-restart-on-Monday Pact. Nor have I started yet either.
 People's Republic of Yorkshire
Friday, October 22, 2004
Having acquired some funds of his own to be spent as he saw fit, O headed for the toy shop. He looked at the Power Rangers and Spider Man and Action Man and Thunderbirds and etc etc boys toys, pronounced them all 'kewl', then said 'lets go and get a train now'. Wouldn't you like a powerranger/ spiderman/ turtle/ etc? No, I want a train, lets go mummy. Then another half hour of deciding which of the myriad engines to get . Then he took it to the station and played happily with his train while watching trains while waiting for a train to come in. I do try to be interested in things he's interested in, but there's a limit to how many times you can feign fascination with another train pulling into the station.
For small boys, Th*m*s is more addictive than crack. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Other news: Trin's here woooooo. She arrived safe and sound and on time. We came home for cup of tea then spent a couple of hours worshipping at the local Temple of Mammon. She was most impressed, I don't think they got shops like that down south. They certainly don't got them with faux Grecian statuary and a food court modelled on the deck of the Titanic. She also v impressed with O's beautiful diction. I think she's wrong to say that O loves her for the chocolate, tho - it was the über-kewl cars that did it. A lovely evening of eating, drinking, chatting and chocolate followed, marred only by the Voice of Th*m*s turning up on TV.
 He decided on Gordon in the end