My daughter had this on her Facebook page, I couldn’t resist nicking it;
My daughter had this on her Facebook page, I couldn’t resist nicking it;
A few weeks ago I had an unpleasant revelation while getting re-aquainted with my summer wardrobe. The type of revelation that makes you turn on your OH and demand to know why he didn’t warn you that all those crisps were not a good idea. His defence was that he hadn’t been prepared to risk his life by addressing me with, ‘Hey Porky…’
To be honest I wasn’t that fat, if I was smaller I could probably have been described as cuddly (just) but I’m tall and broad shouldered and tall women don’t do cuddly. We’re lucky in that we can continue to give the illusion of being slender even when we’ve packed on some weight, the downside is that when you cross the line you go straight from being slim to being big. I prefer being slim to resembling a battleship in full sail so I had to do something about it.
Dieting might not be fun but to be honest it’s a bit of a no brainer. The most difficult part is convincing yourself that the gain is going to be worth the pain. The summer wardrobe debacle made that part easy, very easy. Then it’s a question of banning stuff like crisps and nuts, cutting down on some of the more calorific foods and reducing portions. Simple… Oh and cut out booze.
I wouldn’t call myself an alcoholic or anything, of coursh not, but there’s no doubt that I drink rather more than the health Nazis deem is suitable for a woman. I think the limit is down to about half a glass a week. I don’t give a toss about going without puddings, or having less bread and spuds but I drink wine because I like the taste and, as far as I’m concerned, there aren’t any proper substitutes. The only carbonated drinks I like are, very occasionally, Bitter Lemon or Orangina – the full sugar versions which don’t do anything for your figure and anything with artificial sweeteners is disgusting. I quite like San Pellegrino with lime juice but frankly San Pellegrino is even better with a good dollop of white wine. Water may be the best when you’re thirsty but let’s face it, as an accompaniment to a meal it’s boring.
So I turned to psyching myself up with the health angle. You get bombarded with so many health messages about what damage alcohol does too you that it’s quite easy to start thinking that every minor ailment will improve if you go on the wagon. You’ll sleep better, your concentration will improve, skin will glow, you’ll stop catching minor infections, you won’t get dehydrated, you’ll really go up in the OH’s good books because you’ll be the driver without complaining.
And is it all true? The last is without doubt. The rest well; my skin is better but it is summer so that’s to be expected, I’ve never slept well and I don’t think not drinking makes any difference at all, of course I’m not dehydrated, I’m drinking all that blasted, boring water and my bad hip has been good but then it is summer. As far as my general health is concerned that’s another matter. I’m someone who, when everyone around me is flattened with flu like colds, gets a minor sniffle for 24 hours, I get a proper cold about every four years and even then it only lasts for a couple of days and I hadn’t had a cough since I gave up smoking 18 years ago. In the last alcohol-free weeks I’ve had a cold that lasted 10 days, followed a week later by a cough that made me sound as if I was a candidate for the TB sanitorium.
Much of the overhang that caused so much grief when I got the summer skirts out had gone so I returned to having the odd tipple or two. The cough disappeared entirely – so did another 2 kilos.
Tomorrow, Sunday 10th June, my daughter is organising the third Journée Medieval at the 12th century Chateau du Cros. For anyone who is close enough to the sud Gironde there are going to be visits around the castle, a medieval market in an oak glade, carriage rides, a buvette and displays of Medieval swordfighting. Entry is free.
Do come if you can, it’s always a great day and even if you can’t please cross everything you’ve got that it doesn’t rain!
I’m really loathe to admit this because it makes me feel that I might be turning into Mrs Colonel Blimp, but I agree almost entirely with something written in the Daily Mail.
Yesterday afternoon we settled down for a patriotic afternoon’s viewing of the Jubilee Pageant. I feel sometimes that I must be getting very old because I have this automatic assumption that the BBC always “does” occasions very well. I was also inculcated with that Victorian belief that everything in Nature has its place and is there for a purpose; realising that there is no apparent purpose for horseflies and mosquitos makes me feel just a bit uneasy, likewise the dawning realisation that the Beeb wasn’t “doing” the Pageant at all well, in fact at times you wondered if they could have done it worse.
This was an event, that nevermind the weather, was always going to be spectacular and done very well indeed, and yes it was. It was a marvellous spectacle that ran like clockwork with some wonderful things in it and if I prefered some parts to others, the rowing boats were great, the commercial passenger boats less so, it was still superb. The presenters were not.
They weren’t just dumbed down and patronising (Tess Daly mixing with the locals in Battersea Park) they were downright ignorant too. In The Apprentice (another programme I’m just a wee bit embarrassed about admitting watching) Lord S quite rightly points the finger and fires those who don’t research the subject or understand what they’re supposed to be doing. On that basis there would have been a lot of BBC presenters going straight out the door. I imagine that they were given a little more than 24 hours notice that they’d be doing the job so why did none of them do any apparent research? ‘That’s the Palace of Westminster founded by Edward the Confessor 500 years ago, oh no, it was bit longer than that wasn’t it…?’ To do him credit he was at least noticing what was on the banks of the Thames unlike most of the other commentators who only appeared to be capable of commenting on can’t-get-it-wrong structures such as the London Eye and Big Ben. The Pageant was organised down to a T so there must have been a strict order of who went when, obviously whoever it was who saw a stunningly elegant thirties pleasure barge and announced, ‘Here comes the first of the Dunkirk little boats,’ hadn’t bothered to look at the list or used his head, it was patently obvious the boat would have sunk the moment it was out in the open sea.
I would have loved to know more about the boats, who was sailing them, what they’d done, how they’d come to be selected, who was on them but we hardly got any of that. We got the occasional, ‘There are the Maoris,’ (as they vanished behind another boat), we got to see John Sergeant and Clare Balding and Tess Daly and Matt Baker, the Queen and her party, the Middletons, a brief glimpse of Princess Anne on the Trinity House Boat and another of one of the Princesses taking pictures with her phone, and John Sergeant and Tess Daly and Clare Balding and Matt Baker… but precious little about anyone else and some of them must have been jolly interesting.
And please does anyone know if Richard E Grant was asked to recite On Westminster Bridge at such short notice he didn’t have time to learn his lines, or did some turnip brain in the BBC think it would be cool to have him reading it off his patriotic ipad? On second thought maybe there was sponsorship involved, ipad got another hefty plug from one of the “artists” on the Millennium Bridge.
Pageant organisers 10/10, BBC 3/10 (and I think that’s being generous). And no, I’m not going to put in the link to the Daily Mail and the article about the BBC coverage, take it from me they didn’t like it. I hope it’s going to be a long time before I agree with the Mail again because otherwise I’ll have been Blimped beyond redemption and may have to change the name of this blog to “Disgusted of France.”