Autumn in Bradwell

Autumn in Bradwell

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Santa's Scramble - those crazy golf club ladies...

So, it was time for the anual Christmas shenanigans at the golf club.  The day when all the ladies in the comp dress up in festive felt and cheap nylon, highly flammable products.

It's great actually. So much effort and commitment and quite a bit of imagination.

I liked this team of 3 french hens.

 The frosty ladies...

We were the Christmas Spices and my those wigs itched!

The wind played havoc with Posh's wig - she ended up more Siouxie Sioux.

 Me and Baby on the 18th tee. We played pretty well and came second overall and won.....wait for it....hottie handwarmers!! (You put the gel pack in the microwave and then keep the little woolly pack in your mittens to keep your paws warm.... that's golfy  ladies for you.)

After the comp was my first Christmas meal of the
season. It was delicious and really good fun. After a long time not attending these do's because of work but I'm getting much more involved now and reaping the benefit of that.

Sadly I still had to go home a bit early missing the singsong  and get back to work though (on 1.5 glasses of wine). Luckily a few emails came through and I had a productive afternoon despite the lack of brainpower.

So, all in all a good day. Oh and the carpet was fitted too so we almost have a bedroom. I thought we might be moving back in this weekend but then Rich reeled off a list of jobs still to be done. Gulp. None of them fun either. We made a small start by hoovering all the fluff off the newly laid carpet and cleaning the radiators. Oh the glamour.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Stepping out

It is not difficult to reach 10,000 steps when you have time for a decent walk at some point during the day but if you don't it can be tricky.  Today I was in the office and thought I would go for a walk into town at lunchtime.  A few thousand steps, no problem.  Except suddenly I have a meeting over lunch and then a pal to meet up with but only enough time to go to the cafe downstairs.  Gulp - no walking.

I fought a valiant rearguard action.  I took the stairs throughout the day - random, needless treks down and then back up 2 or even once (stupidly) 3 flights. I had to go to Morrisons so parked at the far end of the car park and then walked the long way around the store to buy the kettle I needed.  I was still way short of steps.

Woe.  I was knackered though so couldn't face a walk or run when I go home.

Luckily Richard needed me to stop at B&Q on the way home (JUST what I felt like doing).  However it did provide another opportunity for extra steps.  I parked in the deserted far corner and trudged across the dimly lit car park thinking to myself that maybe this wasn't such a sensible idea.  B&Q is suitably ginormous though so finding the skirting board nails used up loads of steps, loads!

Even then I was still a couple of thousand short.  Cue pointless trips upstairs for, er I don't know, something or other.  Anyway, I have powered through and hit the 10k only to remember that I increased my target to 11k so no satisfying little buzz today....

I know this is terribly dull but bear with me, I'll fall out of love with the Fitbit sooner or later.  Or at least my crazy-in-love will subside to a routine, been-married-for-a few-years sort of comfortable affection.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Happy Mondays

It was another working from home day (well, half a day) so me and the dogs had a treat of a lunchtime walk in the frozen mistiness.  It was very cold but still and hazy.  The sun couldn't make it's way through the cloud so the light was milky white.  I love those days.  Sounds carry further and are are heightened so the blackbirds and fieldfares in the hedgerows sounded like blacksmiths clattering about.

The frozen ground was good on this bit of the path which is otherwise a mire of mud.  Bloody farmer fenced it off and now you can barely slip and slide your way to the other side (unless it is frozen like today|).

|These horse can sometimes be a bit frisky and inquisitive.  When they first get let into the fields they go a bit crazy and crowd around the stile and scare the dogs.  Today they were supremely unmoved and remained picturesquely at a distance.

The pretty village of Bradda hiding the haze.

Anyway off into Sheffield  for a dental x-ray and some Christmas shopping which all went very well (lots of steps).  Driving home was just gorgeous - I stopped at the Ladybower Reservoir  to admire the view.  Magical.

So, scores on the doors at the coal face of dieting??  Not bad Rodders, not bad.  I had a horribly inflated starting weight after my 2 weekends of excess (and TOTM) so the 6 lbs off is probably a bit flattering but hey, I'll take it!  It'll be back to slow and steady next week.

I was pleased that I managed to properly log my calories for 6 days out of 7.  I know that Saturday was well over my calorie target as I had 2 pints of Belgian Blue and a glass of red as well as a cooked brunch and supper of slow cooked ox cheek with mash and veggies and apple pie for dessert!!  However, it was a treat day and I didn't have anything else!

Also I was pleased that I managed to stop the rot straight away on Sunday with a run first thing.  So, I'm still positive about the Fitbit inspired stepping and calorie counting.

My steps are improving.  In my first full week I managed 71k but last week it was up to 92k and I hit 10k every single day. Likewise Active Minutes - first week 232, second week 409.

So there are 2 targets to aim for in week 3!  

Sunday, 4 December 2016

One week of calorie counting and stepping

It's been a pretty successful week to be honest but rather challenging and somewhat tiring.  The success has been the calorie counting and achieving some sort of balance between eating and drinking normally and not going overboard, maybe even dropping weight.

I also managed to progress several thorny work matters, work on the house, keep up the exercise and even buy some Christmas presents!  This sounds good but I feel strangely down.  It could be time of the month or just one of those things.

I'm not unhappy much or very often but it seems as though, even through happy times, brief spells of unhappiness are not far away. Strange.  I seem to have been unhappy with Richard quite a bit over the last few days too, sad that he doesn't seem to be as affectionate as I want him to be.  I'm sure this is time of the month stuff as I remember these feelings happening before but it doesn't make it any less unsettling.

Work contributes to this dissatisfaction.  However much I achieve there is a mountain left behind unachieved, some of which may, at any time, suddenly become crashingly urgent.  It seems as though, whatever I choose to focus on, something else becomes urgent.  Gah!  Enough of this gloomy stuff - what about more positive matters?

We have been decorating for the last few weeks.  Well, to be honest, I haven't been doing much decorating at all, Rich has.  I have been doing everything else.  The shopping and cooking and cleaning and the planning of colour schemes.  It's going quite well. We have one evening left of painting and then just the cleaning up and painting of radiators and the carpet being laid on Wednesday.

I had a massive buying spree on Friday evening buying new pillows, duvet, duvet covers and sheets, curtains and cushions.  I had to buy 2 sets of curtain as I couldn't decide between 2  colours - I'm hoping the teal set are good as they were half the price of the oatmeal! I can't wait until next weekend when we will be moving the furniture back into our bedroom and putting out the finishing touches.

I will then, finally, be able to display my first prize from Lady Captain's Day at the golf club.  In case you don't remember, and why the hell should you, I won a lovely Dartington crystal vase.  Lovely but teal.  Nothing in our house goes with teal.  So what to do?  Ebay it?  Stick it in the store?  No -redecorate our bedroom in a colour scheme which will accommodate it of course. Nearly there.

Today was a good day.  No golf, no football and no hangover.  I was up reasonably early and took the dogs straight out for a run in the sunshine.  While I would usually stop to take some photos I was actually concerned about the running this morning so I didn't bother.  As a result it was a much more strenuous run and hopefully burned some more calories as a result.

Then home for breakfast (first showering Minty who had rolled in something unspeakable).  After breakfast Richard was back to the bedroom of doom for more painting and I was off to the supermarket.  Then home for chores, unpacking, laundry and cooking a roast chicken supper.  Now, we're watching Strictly Results before I head off to the pub for the quiz.  Phew!

Typing all this has had the effect of cheering myself up, making me realise how lucky I am and how little I have to worry about.

While life is tough at time and fitting everything in is, frankly, impossible, there is plenty of good stuff knocking about too.

These photos are the ones I took with my big camera before the battery ran out on a frosty lunchtime walk last Tuesday.

This is the middle of the village walking alongside the Beggar Plot:

The dogs are a bit of a pain on a frosty day: the scents must linger more or something as they take AGES to get anywhere and have to investigate every little thing.

Something here was VERY important.

I love the way the frost lingered on the hillside and the blue skies glistened.

A field full of black sheep -  wonder if they are all badly behaved?!

Weigh-in tomorrow to see how I have done in my first week of stepping and calorie counting. Fingers crossed peeps.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Sparks of light

It's a grey and gloomy day today and the house is chilly. I try not to turn on the heating while I'm working from home because I'm tight and it makes me get up and about to warm up.

I took the dogs out for a lovely walk at lunchtime though. Mostly grey and gloomy but the sunshine peeked through once or twice to lift the spirits.

I was planning to turn back at this point but a combination of the hint of sunshine and my Fitbit encouraged me to carry on further up the hill to walk a longer route. The extra loop increased my stairs from 25 flights to 39 and probably added 1500 steps. This is exercise I would not have taken without my little plastic pal. Hooray!

And the gorgeous scenery of course.

The extra calories burned will not go amiss as we have darts and dominoes tonight so I may be able to squeeze in a glass of red. I will NOT have the chips or sandwiches though! I do not need that stuff at 10 pm. Hopefully my little pal will help me see the light when I'm faced with that temptation later. 

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Golf is ace for a Fitbitter

I played golf this morning. Once again it was a frosty start but luckily my playing partners could play a bit later so I got a couple of hours work in before heading up to the club at 10 am.  After an hour or so the skies cleared and the sunshine appeared. It was  a truly beautiful morning.

A round of golf at my club clocks up around 12,000 steps and over 50 flights of stairs which helps greatly with the calories in/out calculation.

Usually I would tuck into a bacon and egg sarnie before and some sort of a bar of the way round. Today I still had bacon and eggs but replaced the  bread with tomatoes and mushrooms. I did without the snack as well.  I also managed to have a healthy lunch after golf despite being ravenous and wanting to fall into something fattening with bread!

This restraint is all due to my current Fitbit obsession. Yay - long may it last.

Then it was back home for more work and squeezing in a 30 minute dog walk before it got dark. The skies were gorgeous too. Apricot in one direction and pinky mauve in the other. Then later the apricot had darkened to tangerine. Just wow.

Life is hectic at the moment so even after the walk we still had plenty to do. An hour painting in our bedroom for me before leaving Rich hard at work and heading over to a friend in Bamford. She is a whizz with a sewing machine and has a new overlocker (whatever the hell that is). This made her the perfect pal to exploit in my quest for a fancy dress costume for the Santa's Scramble golf match next week.

I think I've posted pics in previous years - onesies and a snowman have both featured. This year my team have chosen the Spice Girls. I'm Ginger (in your honour of course Peridot). The trouble is, bought fancy dress costumes tend to be somewhat skimpy and, although mine went on, it was like a sausage casing on me. No worries - my mate expertly inserted some side panels into my Union Flag dress and I'm good to go!!

So then home to cook supper and collapse in front of the telly. Luckily all the walking left me with loads of calories to go at so lamb chops and apple pie.....A lovely reward for a busy day!!

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Frosty Tuesday

Oh how I love working from home. On a frosty, crisp autumn/winter cusp day it is just heaven. I forced myself to stay at my desk from early until 11 then grabbed the dogs and headed out with my camera.

I took loads of pics with my DSLR camera until the battery gave up when I switched to my mobile. These were taken during the second half of our walk on the mobile.

As you can see it was a stunning day. A hard frost with wisps of icy mist hanging in the air.

As I said yesterday, I'm loving my Fitbit. I'm using the calorie tracker to keep tabs on everything I eat and this is getting easier day by day as I save my  favourites and get in the habit of weighing certain foods which we eat often. I like the visual effect of seeing the calories I've expended outstripping those I'm eating and drinking.

It seems to be sticking in my mind more effectively than that "calories in vs calories out" thing ever has with me. Maybe I'm just rather slow; I've heard that maxim over and over but it has never previously affected how I actually behave.

I usually either limit my intake extremely strictly (Lighter Life) or stick to certain rules with a view to eating as many "unlimited" foods as possible. The Slimming World mentality if you will. This has in the past lead me to a habit of unrestrained grazing which is not too bad when I'm grazing on good stuff but, as the reins slacken, the toast and sweets kick in.

With this new unvarnished calorie counting approach there seems to be less hiding and more accountability. I'm thinking about whether I want every morsel, every piece of fruit or slice of ham. Do I really want or need it or am I just eating it because it's in the unlimited bracket?

It also puts a premium on the extra calories one "earns" through exercise. Today, having taken the dogs out for a hilly hour at lunchtime, I still had the motivation to go for a short, sharp (and very cold) run just before it went dark this afternoon. I'm pretty certain that motivation would not have been there without the Fitbit tyrant strapped to my wrist.

So I managed 13,000 plus steps today and 45 flights of stairs climbed. Let's see how I do tomorrow!