Sunday, 30 September 2007

Well then?

The game is up at midnight.

My three months are finishing. Well, the three months over which I'd planned to lose two stone in weight, anyway. So I'm sure those of you who've been following my progress are on the edge of your respective seats, benches, sofas, bean bags (can bean bags have "edges"?) to see how I've landed up.

Tomorrow morning I'll have my final weigh-in and take the picture into work - I suspect I won't have time to post anything here - I'm normally fast asleep until about 11am anyway so it would be garbage - but I'll update things here tomorrow evening.

Will I carry on writing here? Well, if you don't mind, I think I will. There will be fewer pictures of my feet on the scales, that's for sure. But in the last week or so, the hit counter on this site has exceeded 1,000. There's only so many times I can hit the 'Refresh' button, so this is telling me something. So the first thanks of this evening are to you. Please stick around, and don't be scared to leave comments - it means a lot.

I also want to thank all the people who've sponsored me, either through my JustGiving site or in person. The cause you're supporting is a good one - RNIB do a lot of work for blind and partially sighted adults and children across the UK. As well as direct support to individuals, the Institute campaigns on their behalf with both public and private institutions whilst raising everyone's awareness of the issues involved. I can't even begin to think what it would be like to lose the gift of sight - so support for the RNIB goes under A Very Good Thing in my book.

When all the funds come in, I expect to have exceeded my financial target. I don't think I'll have hit my weight loss objective, and that's a little sad, but the key aim for me was always to raise bucketloads of dosh for a good cause. Any weight loss was incidental.

Linked to this, thanks go to my employers, who are not only supporting my fundraising directly, they have allowed me to reach/embarrass myself in front of/pester 1,200 colleagues. I made a point at the beginning of this that I wouldn't mention them directly on this blog, but my thanks are genuine in any case. Not every company would be so accommodating.

My final thanks must go to Katie, who puts the "long-suffering" into the phrase "long-suffering wife". Every time I've bitched and moaned about food, exercise, or lack of progress, she's been there to tell me to stop acting like a prat. She's carried out a major revolution in our eating habits, which I know has meant far more work for her. I am constantly humbled by her and look forward to seeing where this new healthier lifestyle will lead us both. Thanks for everything, K.

Tune in tomorrow, same place, for the final weight update.

Friday, 28 September 2007

And the rest

I did originally promise that I'd carry out a little exercise to help with the whole weightloss programme. Perhaps leaving it until the last week was a little late, but there you go.

Solva is in the right place for any number of great walks. Being on a valley floor, however, means that pretty much every walk has to be in the direction of "up". As a result, I had no problem in managing the "elevated heartbeat" part of exercise.

Here are some random highlights:

fatboyfat1970's Solva Autumn 2007 photosetfatboyfat1970's Solva Autumn 2007 photoset

Follow the link to see more. I'm no photographer, so be kind.

Thursday, 27 September 2007

When it all goes horribly wrong

Of course, it's perfectly possible to eat well and healthily, even when on holiday. And so far we've done pretty well. Until last night.

We went to the Old Pharmacy. Food was consumed. Quite a bit, actually. And wine. Several bottles, in fact. Martin, the owner, introduced me to Grappa.

Blimey, the tiramisu. I'd forgotten that.

Well, at least we didn't compound the issue by going over the road to the Cambrian Inn for a few more drinks, which turned into a LOT more drinks, before getting back to the cottage at Oh My God O'clock.

Oh. We did, didn't we?

That explains a lot. Mind you, the neighbours aren't helping right now - they appear to be holding the International Clog Dancing Championship. And these cottages don't exactly have thick, soundproofed walls. My head feels like there's a Frenchman living in it (thank you Blackadder).

Not really looking forwards to the next weigh-in, to be honest.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Music mash-up

I sometimes have to explain to people that there was once a time, long ago, when iPods played music.

No videos, no photos, none of this phoning malarkey. My iPod actually does look like this one------>

I bought this three or four years ago on a visit to New York and have since three-quarter filled it with my, erm, odd tastes in music. It accompanies us on trips, and there's no better way of spending an afternoon than plugging it into some speakers and putting it on what we now call "random shuffle bizarre mode".

Katie has the patience of a saint when it comes to my musical tastes. And as we moved from the sublime to the cor-blimey, she rarely reacted. A lesser woman might have asked, "What the feck is this?" as yet another dystopian ten-minute progressive piece emerged. Katie just raises an eyebrow, barely visible over the book she's reading. "What are we listening to now, dear?" she'll enquire sweetly, not even making eye contact.

This is a code. It means one thing. Skip. Skip now.

It's a good job musical tastes can't be cited in divorce courts.

Saturday, 22 September 2007

Swing low sweet chariot

Four hours of hurtling through first the English then the Welsh countryside, going out as far west as you can without getting your feet wet, gets you to Solva. Plunge down a tree-lined valley towards the sea and it feels like you're going down a green tunnel before you arrive happily at your destination.

I know I've gone a little misty-eyed about this place when I've mentioned it before, but it truly is fantastic. It always manages to have the right effect. We could almost feel our stresses dissolving as we got out of the car. Although that might be something to do with my driving, in all honesty.

We quickly dumped our luggage in quaintly-named Honeysuckle Cottage, our home for the next seven days:

Cute, isn't it?

Then we headed off for the Harbour Inn. It's a tradition built up over quite a few visits that our first drink will be here - if weather permits we'll enjoy the view of the harbour itself. However, this time it wasn't the climate that kept us inside - we'd just got there in time for the second half of the match between England and Samoa in the Rugby World Cup.

I've already cheerfully admitted that sporting prowess is not my ace card. However, rugby union is something I played at school - many moons ago - and I still think it's one of the finest spectator sports going. I prefer it over football, although as I support Birmingham City that's not exactly surprising.

Being in Wales means being in a place where they're passionate about their rugby. This is so much more than just a sport - it's woven into the DNA of the Principality. So the pub was full of people - young, old, male, female - watching the match. Most of them were Welsh. And they were rooting for the Samoans.

When England is playing another team, other home nation supporters often want the opposition to win. If you ask a Welshman who're they're supporting, the answer might well be, "Wales, followed by whoever is playing against the English".

This is something that a lot of English people find difficult to understand. And in fact, that afternoon there was a handful of English tourists (including one brave soul in an England shirt) cheering on their team. There was a tiny bit of tension - nothing serious at all - but the view from one corner of the pub was, "How dare you not support England?" It was something I've heard before, in various sporting tournaments.

And it was then I understood perfectly. If you have a neighbour who assumes you're going to support them blindly, and who then gets antsy when you don't, it's a natural reaction to go the other way. Nothing like a nice wind-up, isn't there?

Anyway, England won 44 to 22 (even more remarkably, in the football Birmingham City scraped a 1-1 draw against the mighty Liverpool) and once the game was over, everyone was laughing and joking as the beer and banter flowed naturally.

Solva does that to you - you can't stay tense for long.

Twelve weeks in

(Note to you, the reader. I'm posting this on Sunday 30th September, as we've been away on holiday for a week. To keep everything in the right chronological order, I've dated this and the next couple of posts as they actually happened. Hows that for honesty?)

Up with the lark to do the things we couldn't be bothered to do last night - like ironing, packing and making the place look vaguely respectable for Jackie from next door who'll be feeding the cat.

A quick step on the scales gives me this:

Excellent. A further reduction from last week and a 22-pound loss in all.

It is now that I have to say the two stone target is probably not going to be hit by the 1st October. Even if I wasn't spending a week on holiday, six pounds loss in a week would be going some. I think damage limitation might be the order of the day.

Without chips, of course.

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Tara a bit

Perhaps it wasn't a good idea to go on holiday in the last week of my Weight Loss Challenge (tm).

Maybe a week of rest and relaxation, interspersed with beer and unsuitable food, would not be conducive to the whole "lose 28 pounds in three months" thing.

Better planning would mean I'd be doing this thing in a three month period when I don't have these sorts of distractions.

Nah. Sod it.

On Saturday we go off to Solva for a week. I'm well aware that I can sometimes be a little cynical in things that I write. But let me tell you right here and now. Solva is officially heaven on earth. I will brook no arguments on this matter.

I intend to try and be a little more responsible than in previous visits. However, there's a pretty rich variety of pubs and places to eat. My favourite restaurant on the planet is there. Not fussy, not posh, just the finest food I have ever eaten, in an informal setting with a Ska soundtrack. Trust me on this, I've eaten a lot, in case you hadn't noticed.

But this is the view I'll get when I nip out for a morning paper:

It doesn't get better than that.

After today I won't get a chance to post until we get back - we're out tomorrow and Friday evening and blogging in working hours isn't really a good move (especially as my boss reads this - hi Richard)! Hence the suspension in posts until I get back. Think of me mid-afternoon on Saturday. I'll be outside the Harbour Inn with my good friend Reverend James, happy as a sandboy.

If you think I'm taking this laptop with me, forget it. I calculate I spend most of my working hours with QWERTY and his friends. And when I get home, what do I do? More of the same. I must be mad. I'm pretty much tired out now. Perhaps by about Wednesday I'll be having withdrawal symptoms, but at this moment in time I need a rest.

We'll be back on the 29th. Put a note in your diaries, why don't you?

Monday, 17 September 2007

Both subterranean and homesick

This is a great big ball of greatness.

Not only did Dylan sell out when he went electric - but he's happy to use your own words. Clearly he has no shame. Thanks to Schmutzie for pointing this out:

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Eleven weeks in

There's this strange thing I've noticed about old married couples, where they seem to be able to rejoice in sitting in silence in social situations, hardly acknowledging each other's presence. I'm not sure if it's a good thing or not. But it's bloody unnerving.

Katie and I like a good bit of quiet as much as the next people. But we struggle to compare to the couple sitting at the table next to us in the restaurant last night. Mrs sat imperiously, a look of measured disdain on her face. Mr stared into the middle distance, perhaps dreaming of happier times, National Service, death, or all three. They ate mechanically, joylessly. Then her mobile phone rang, a perfectly sampled cow's moo as the ringtone. Mrs clasped it to her ear, then barked, chirruped and hooted delightedly with the caller. Her bye-byes richly trilled, she immediately reverted back to sombre mode.

Katie and I love characters like this as we can play with them, employing our full arsenal of straight-faced mimicry. It's childish, I know. Katie still does a word-perfect impression of an embarrassing upper-class idiot-woman we encountered in a pub in Wales 12 years ago. On this occasion, however, we didn't rise to it. Just as well, as they were in the seats in front of us half-an-hour later at the theatre.

Never let it be said that a 400 hundred year old play doesn't have the capacity to entertain in the here and now. It helps, I suppose, if you've got a good cast and a director who clearly knows how to get the best out of them. If you're in the area, go and see it. Don't let the Elizabethan dialogue put you off. We found it easy to keep up, much more so than when they used to make us read the scripts at school.

What surprised me was the earthiness in places. His comedies were not considered high art when Shakespeare wrote them - it was entertainment for the masses so he went for cheap laughs when he could. For instance, Malvolio, the play’s puritan boor, is duped into spelling out a word that we don't say in polite society these days. It's an awkward moment for any teachers with GSCE pupils in the audience:

MALVOLIO (reading from a letter he believes to be from Olivia, the lady of the house): By my life, this is my lady's hand: these be her very C's, her U's and her T's and thus makes she her great P's. It is, in contempt of question, her hand.

Just in case the point isn't clear, it's hammered home by the next line from Feste, the Fool, who mentions "Her C, U and T." (Say it quickly if you're still not certain). It's fully intended, proving beyond all doubt that the Elizabethans enjoyed a bit of blue as much as the rest of us. Mr and Mrs Farmyard in front us almost raised a smile.

And now for this week's ritual humiliation:

Another two pounds off, so this means I've now lost 21 pounds in total, or one-and-a-half stones if you'd prefer. This still gives me seven pounds to lose in two weeks.

Can I do it? I don't know.

Will I try nevertheless? Verily. And forsooth.

Thursday, 13 September 2007

No holds Bard

Tomorrow evening we get to experience (for a change) a little culture. And about time too. Quite frankly, we are slobs when it comes to anything of an artistic nature, quite happy to sit on our respective sofas while the good people at BBC, ITV, Sky et al spoonfeed us hour after hour of bright shininess accompanied by loud noises and adverts for cleaning products.

Katie has got us tickets to Twelfth Night at the RSC in Stratford-upon-Avon. I have no idea where this came from, but it's welcome. After all, living so close to Stratford we haven't really got any excuses. There are Japanese tourists who get to see more of the RSC's season than we do.

I'm not too familiar with this one, to be honest, so I went and had a look at the plot synopsis. So what have we here then?

Fictional country - check.
Shipwreck - check.
Mistaken identity - check.
Bereavement - check.
People being made to think they're mad - check.
Girl dressed as a boy - check.

And a character called Sir Toby Belch, to boot.

Riiight. Watching Trisha whilst wrapped in a towel and eating cold pizza will never seem the same again.

(P.S. If the title to this post still says "No holds Bard" then I apologise unreservedly. Sometimes I put something stupid there on the basis that the proper title will materialise later. Clearly it didn't on this occasion. That's a piss-poor title, isn't it? Brainfart. Sorry.)

Monday, 10 September 2007

Kids these days

I've just watched the first 30 minutes of the 2007 MTV Video Awards.


That's half an hour of my life I'm never getting back.

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Ten weeks in

Another late night last night meant a late lie-in this morning, with my journey to wakefulness accelerated by Bodie the cat telling us he'd like his breakfast.

Bodie goes under a lot of different names, including Bodie, Bode, The Bodemeister, Bodalicious and Mr Bodesworthy. This morning I used one that was not on the approved list.

Falling back into a listless sleep, I was troubled by Nelly Furtado. I know I can tell you this, it's something that causes concern to most of us at one point or another. What, pray tell ,was worrying me? Not her recent shift from vaguely corporate hippy to streetwise hip-hop hanger-on with friends known only as initials. Not her nasal yet bland vocal styling, either. No, it was the fact that the woman across the street with the orange Honda Civic was playing one of Ms Furtado's latest tunes at about 1000 decibels.

Better get up, then.

Having spent most of yesterday recuperating we decided to go out. Plus, Ms Civic (how ironic) was now moving onto Justin Timberlake's extensive and rewarding back catalogue.

So, to Hatton Country World we went, a few miles from Warwick, to get some fresh air and buy a few bits and pieces. It's great to drive out there - the recent rains means the Warwickshire countryside is green and luscious. We hadn't been there for a while, and as is the nature with places like this, half the shops had changed. There's a strange mix between outlets for clothes your granny would like (acres of corduroy) cheek-by-jowl with really funky workshops making stuff you couldn't find on the high street.

We went into a new one, Exclusive Roots, which specialises in Fair Trade household goods and clothing made in small communities in Africa. Some really nice pieces in there, with the emphasis on ethically sourcing, ecological soundness and sustainability. Not entirely sure what they made of me walking in wearing a t-shirt with the slogan "Yum Yum Panda Burgers" but political correctness is something you have to work at, don't you think?

I made another addition to my sometime collection of ridiculous shop names, with "The Stencil Bazaar". Now, I know that I've not travelled widely in the Middle East or Northern Africa states. I am no expert on Berber culture. But I think I know what a Bazaar would look like. The colours spices and noises assault your senses. From a minaret, somewhere, you hear the muezzin calling the faithful to prayer, an invocation going back centuries. The heat is pervasive. You decide to drop into a quiet corner of the souk out of the relentless blast of the sun and have some mint tea.

Let's face it, you're not going to be in the market for some chintzy paint effects are you? Ragrolling is going to be the last thing on your mind.

We took the pretty route back home, going through Rowington, Lapworth and Hockley Heath before turning back through Solihull and home. It's a nice, winding country road with a few straights and some fantastic little pubs tucked away. We're very lucky, despite living in a large city, to have places like this on our doorstep. Long may it continue.

In between the Furtado alarm and our trip out, I stood on the scales and saw this:

That was another pleasant surprise. Another two pounds off from last week means that I've now lost 19 since the beginning of July. Can I lose another nine in the remaining three weeks of my challenge?. I don't know, but I'm going to give it a good go.

Saturday, 8 September 2007

I know this much is true

The responses to my last post illustrated not only global nature of the Internet (people in Egypt and Israel appear to have been on here, proving that writing tosh about lard can indeed build bridges) but also some of the language problems that crop up.

My thanks go to Tom for his suggestion on how I should avoid any wardrobe malfunctions at last night's Ball. As he lives in Iowa, his suggestion that I should wear suspenders would make perfect sense to him, and, I guess to most of his compatriots. However, I suspect that anyone from Britain reading that advice would get a completely different image, suspenders "over here" being what I believe those on the North American continent call "garters". Wikipedia covers it all here.

Divided as well we may be by a common language, we are clearly of one mind, Tom and I, as my braces did indeed help to avoid any impromptu aardvark impressions. (Oh, and thanks for that image, Matt). Freed from such concerns, I had a truly splendid time. The Ball was in aid of the NSPCC, a very worthy cause indeed, and about 400 people were there. All very classy, in the main, although I did spot one chap in full evening dress but wearing a Bluetooth headset.


Of course, the whole idea of events like this is to get people to dig deep, so there were charity auctions, raffles and the like. This was the star lot on the main auction:

That's the world's first customer Jaguar C-XF. The reserve price was £34,000 so I kept my hand in my pocket (and played with my garter straps). I think it went for £44,000 eventually. Men with Bluetooth headsets need not apply.

The good news - I did get to win my very own Jaguar in the raffle.
The bad news - it's a model.
The good news - this is no ordinary model. This is a 1/12 replica D-Type. It's handbuilt from steel, best part of a foot long, beautifully detailed and is apparently a limited edition collector's item.

I was all for giving it to Katie's dad - a huge Jaguar fan - until I actually saw it. Sorry Glynn, I'm keeping this, and the very moment I get a house with a study, it'll go on display. In fact, sod that, I'm displaying it anyway. My first real car cost considerably less than one of these.

And who was this taking to the stage for the evening's entertainment? None other that Tony Hadley. I'll admit - I was less than enthusiastic at the thought of this. Most male pop stars of a certain age over the last few years seem to have reinvented themselves as sub-Tony Bennetts so I was expecting a certain degree of crooning.

You can imagine my surprise, then, when Tony and his band tore into the Feeder song "Buck Rogers" with gusto. Oh. My. God. This was a complete beer-out-of-the-nose moment. Given that the opening lines of the song are "He's got a brand new car, Looks like a Jaguar" is was probably a deliberate inclusion. But he then followed it up with a set that included tracks by The Killers and Kaiser Chiefs. And he belted them out with all the urgency of a man half his age. Clearly no crooner, our Mr H.

Of course, there were the obligatory Spandau Ballet tracks. Including one of the Holy Trinity for those of us of a certain age.

Let me explain. If you're in your later thirties, you were a teenager during the 1980s. If so, you spent 35% of the decade asleep, 25% playing with a Rubik's Cube and pretty much all of the remaining time trying to get members of the opposite sex to dance with you to one of the following three songs:

  • Save a Prayer - Duran Duran
  • Careless Whisper - George Michael
  • True - Spandau Ballet
I don't care how cool you say you were in the 80s. You may have been able to recite the entire back collection of The Smiths off by heart. You may have pogoed for the County. You may well have had a bedroom painted black and an unhealthily large collection of silver jewellery. But I'd guarantee that at the end of the school disco (for it was always a school disco) you'd be there, trying to get that special someone, whose name you'd scratched onto your WH Smith pencil case, to do the 'hold on tight and shuffle round in a small circle' dance to one of the above.

In fact, it is a truth universally acknowledged that this part of the disco was known as the Erection Section, such was the amount of angst-ridden hormonal activity going on.

For my international cadre of readers - I don't know if any of this translates to you. For all I know, teenagers in Ulan Bator might well get on down to the throat-singing vibe they have going on over there. All I know was that in the early hours of this morning, the man who I heard singing "True" during too many of my ancient rites of passage was there in front of me singing it one more time for real. I was back in the Main Hall at King Edward VI Grammar School, Aston. Whilst there was no-one selling Fanta this time, I did at least have my special someone with me.

And we danced.

Thursday, 6 September 2007

This has "Disaster" written all over it

Tomorrow I'm going to a formal ball. Lots of very scary people will be there. And it's very formal, as in black tie formal.

Why do they call it that, by the way? I'm pretty certain you'd be burning your social bridges if you showed up buck naked apart from a winning smile and a bow tie, both worn at a jaunty angle.

Several years ago I was persuaded to buy a tux on the basis that it would sort out all the hassle of renting one for the once or twice a year I need one. This, despite the fact that Katie once titled a picture of me in full evening dress as:

"James Bond. The Pie Years."

To be honest, since then I've worn it on a handful of occasions so it's probably paid for itself. However. There's a but. And, it's a big but. I bought this when I was a little more upholstered than I am now, particularly around the waist. Which is a problem as they don't tend to put belt loops on evening dress trousers.

The upshot of all this is that I'll be spending much of tomorrow evening in a state of high anxiety, surrounded by the Great and the Good with my trousers on the verge of becoming a novelty set of ankle warmers.

Hold on to that image, why don't you?

Hopefully, the fact that once again I've taught myself to tie a bow tie properly will stand me in good stead. I've even been practicing:

I think I'll take the pre-tied as a backup, just in case. An old boss of mine told me that when he was at Cambridge, they would remove any pre-tied bow ties from ball attendees and ritually burn them. I'm hoping he's not there tomorrow.

At least I can try the elegantly wasted look later in the evening with both ends dangling, a la Bryan Ferry in 1983.

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Euston, we have a problem

"When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life." So said Samuel Johnson. As soundbites go, it's not bad at all. After all, he was pretty good with words, was SJ. In fact, I'm sure Ye Touriste Boarde must have jumped on this one back in 1777. So much better than "Plague-free for 111 years."

Today I made one of my none-too-regular visits to our capital. I probably go about half a dozen times each year, for various reasons. And I'll admit to still being at the point where I quite like going there. For me, a provincial, there's still something about going to London, especially (as today) for work reasons. Whether I'd feel the same if I did it every day, I don't know. Makes for conversation, though.

"Yes, Mom, I'm in London one day next week." Don't forget, this is like another continent for my parents. (My second brother lived in Dubai for several years, so God only knows where they thought that was).

The reality is nothing quite so glamorous. Typically, the event you're going to starts at 9.30am. So that means getting up at Oh My God-o'clock. Getting the train from Birmingham International at 7.30 with several hundred grumpy sleep-deprived Brummies, some of whom probably do this every day. Getting into Euston and then experiencing the London Underground.

I love the London Underground. It's chaotic and a little shabby in places, and at peak times you often have to get quite personal with a stranger's armpit. But it's normally quite efficient and covers such a huge area. You get into it straight at Euston and some minutes later you emerge, blinking in the daylight like a pinstriped mole, at a point on the other side of the city. Millions of people use it every day to get around the city - without it London would be a mess.

Today there was a tube strike in London.

Our train got to Euston at about 8.45. "We'll get a taxi instead," we thought.

Oh, the humanity.

I have many ideas of fun. Whilst, admittedly, some of them involve Liv Tyler and Greek yoghurt, others are printable. However, none of them involve spending over an hour in a subterranean taxi queue. I found I entered an anti-Zen state when everything irritated me. And I mean everything. Is this what people with voices in their heads get?

"You in front. Stop faffing with your Blackberry and pay attention. The queue in front has moved forwards. For the thirtieth f*cking time. Move it...."

Kick. Scrape. Kick. Scrape. Kick. Scrape. "You, back there. Mister, pick your briefcase up when you take every-single-half-step. Else I'm not going to be accountable for my actions."

"Madam, there is no shame in yawning. No, none at all. Be a sweet, though, and cover your mouth before you dislocate your jaw, will you?" Look away. Look back. "Oh God. She's still doing it."

The girls in front of me that won't. Shut. Up. "Breathe, why don't you?"

We got to the event half an hour late. They'd delayed starting as they knew people all over the city would be held up. Which was nice. I calmed down and got through the day.

As we ended, they announced that they had walking plans if anyone would like them, as an alternative to fighting to get a cab. "Might be our only option, even if it's a hike across town" we think, "let's go for it."

It takes less than ten minutes. It's a straight walk down one street. I suspect it would have been more or less the same in reverse this morning.

So let me understand this. I stood in a culvert this morning, listening to every ringtone ever released by Messrs Nokia, Motorola and Ericsson, for over 60 minutes. I got to the point where I was renouncing my lifelong pacifism and was ready to set about all around me with a Bic. And all for a journey I could have instead despatched with a nice breezy walk through the sunlit streets of the capital?

The underground staff need to stop their strike pretty quickly. I've seen through their subterfuge - there is no need for the Tube at all - everywhere in London is actually ten minutes from everywhere else.

If other people catch on to this, they're doomed, I tell you.

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Nine weeks in

When I started this back at the beginning of July, I thought I'd choose a random three months between holidays to try and lose some weight and make a few pounds for a good cause.

"It's alright," I said to myself, "there might be some big events, but there'll be plenty of weekends where we're not doing anything, so they'll balance out."

What a really dumb thing to say.

We've been fully in social butterfly mode this weekend, from Friday evening to right now. And pretty much none if it was planned that far in advance. Which makes things interesting.

Other people have quiet Friday nights in with their neighbours, sipping at sherries and making polite conversation. Other people don't have Matt and Kate next door. Other people are missing out.

This was a particular highpoint:


Saturday had us off to Honeybourne, near Evesham, for a barbecue that started at 2.00pm. And ended at midnight. Great times were indeed had by all.

Sunday meant going back to Honeybourne, to pick up the car that belongs to someone, that someone said she was going to drive back the previous night, before someone decided instead to have some wine at the barbecue. No names, no packdrill. I'd have done the same. Oh, I did.

Parents have a different idea of distance, I've learned. I recounted this story to my mother today. "Evesham? You went back to Evesham a second time?" Anyone would think Evesham was the second moon of Jupiter. It's 50 minutes away in a very nice part of Worcestershire.

After a visit to the Reservoir Pub with Mike and Emma that, again, came from out of nowhere, this evening found us at Jomuna, our nearest maison de curry. This is one my favourite Indian restaurants (it's actually Bangladeshi, as are most Indian restaurants in Britain. It's a long story). The food and service are great, they know us by name, and we get a Baileys with the bill. This evening they had the ADHD playlist on their music. I've never before been in an Indian (or Bangladeshi, for that matter) restaurant where the tunes have gone from Cher to Daniel Bedingfield to Dusty Springfield to Coldplay to Andy Williams. I can tick that one off my list, I guess.

As the bland synthesized reggae stylings of Ace of Base drifted across my tandoori chicken, Katie said, "That reminds me of Grimneck." Grimneck (not her real name) was an old girlfriend of a mutual friend of ours. "She always used to play Ace of Base constantly as we drove round in her Metro."

All you need is Yuppy Flu in that sentence and you have a story that is officially The Most Typical 1990's Recollection Ever.

Being such a social gadabout means:

Well, it's moving in the right direction, which is a good thing since last week. But I need to see this coming down more quickly, given that there's only a few weeks to go. The thing is, it measured 16/9 until I picked up my camera to take a picture of the scales.

Clearly I need a lighter camera.


Related Posts with Thumbnails