Monday, August 25, 2008

Out of my world

This post has been a while in coming... and as husband has current ownership of the TV (Mighty Boosh on DVD, like it, don't love it) I thought I should get around to posting. A conversation a couple of weeks ago reminded me that some things that regular features in other's lives, just are out of my range of personal 'normality'.

Some of them are trivial, some I'd take more seriously, but all are out of my range of comprehension..... they would never stop me being friends with someone... and frankly they're none of my business... but they still make me go.... huh?

1) Drinking

I'm not a tee-totaller, and I've had a few times in my life where I've drunk too much, although I don't drink at the moment as it doesn't agree with me. Husband will have a glass of wine or a bottle of beer most evenings. That's fine. It's not going to do him any harm and it is part of the 'little pleasures' of life. I'm completely happy with the government's guidelines of a maximum 3-4 units a day for a man and 2-3 units a day for a woman. They are sensible, they don't force abstinence, and I'm sure you can play with a little and still be fine. But I regularly come across friends or acquaintances who just don't play this game by the rules. They have a bottle of wine most nights, or regular get clattered on a Friday and Saturday -downing their weekly units in one or two sittings. That is long term liver damage just waiting to happen..... not pretty.... but just not on some people's radar.

2) Smoking

Why do people still smoke? It's madness I tell you.... madness! I can cope with this in friends, but it would be make or break for a partner.

3) Reading gossip mags

Yes they can be funny, and I will flick through one at the doctors or left by a fellow passenger on a train. But to buy them? Every week? And actually pay attention to what 'celebrities' are up to? Nope, just don't get it....

4) Money

Increasingly I come across couples - either in long-term, living together relationships, married or not - who do not have joint finances i.e. they each pay 50% of the household bills (despite any difference in earnings), don't have a joint account (or do but just for bills, which they both pay into), pay separately for things like holidays, big purchases etc. I, personally, couldn't handle this. My idea of marriage/commitment does not involve such a significant form of separation. My husband and I do have separate credit cards - to allow us to buy birthday and Christmas gifts for each other without the recipient seeing the details. I'm sure this is more common than ever before but it worries me for two major reasons. Firstly, to me a big part of marriage is about coming together as a new family unit, a new person in fact. Separating out your finances this way just looks like its going to act as a wedge (or a least not a help) in keeping that relationship going. Secondly, trust (and associated honesty) is also a big deal for me in marriage. If you have separate finances because your other half is an erratic spender, then again, I think you're going to have bigger problems in your relationship in the longer term......

5) Bathrooms

Ditto for having separate bathrooms. Nice luxury... but essential/make or break for a successful marriage?... no....

As I said at the start, none of these things would stop me being friends with someone, caring for someone, but they are things 'out of my world'.... and always makes me do the puzzled head tilt...

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Music is one of the most important pleasures in my life. I spent a good proprtion of my teenage years lying in my bedroom singing (or crying) along to all manner of music. My tastes have broadend as I've got older - with only Jazz eluding me completely.

Yesterday one of my favourite albums arrived in the post from ebay. My Dad had this album on tape, which meant I had it on tape and he never saw it again. I think I actually wore the tape out. I don't know what reminded me of it, but suddenly I had to have it and listen to it again. There was only one copy of it on ebay, so £3.26 (including P&P) later I was the proud owner of Paul Simon: Negotiations and Love Songs 1971-1986.


1. Mother and child reunion
2. Me and Julio down by the school yard - makes me jig around the room
3. Something so right - chillout, slide down the sofa and so 'aaaaahhhhhhh'
4. St Judy's Comet - this has got to be my favourite lullaby
5. Loves me like a rock - a little bit of gospel-ish
6. Kodachrome - so silly, yet so right
7. Have a good time - a little bit sleazy
8. 50 ways to leave your lover - a classic
9. Still crazy after all these years - I think this should be 'our song'
10. Late in the evening
11. Slip slidin' away - my philosophy
12. Hearts and bones
13. Train in the distance
14. Rene and Georgette Magritte with their dog after the war - this one makes me cry
15. Diamonds on the souls of her shoes
16. You can call me Al - again so silly, yet so right, I should really look up what is means....
The lyrics are so insightful and beautiful, the music is spot on - taking you from tears to childish dancing and back again over the course of the compilation. I love the way when you know an album so well you can anticipate the movement of the next song before it starts - and if you here them out of their 'proper order' it just feels wrong. I can't believe I've lived without this album for this long.

Friday, August 01, 2008


Today is the 1st of August, and also the 1st day of my new eating regime. I've put on a stone since I got married 2 half years ago, most of it went on in the first 6 months - due to some unfortunate drug side effects and boredom at work. It's been pretty stable since then so I must be eating the right amount of calories to maintain by weight.

So, for the month of August, I'm going to be strict with myself: no cake, no biscuits, no full-fat fizzy drinks and no dairy (I'm sure my IBS inteferes with my metabolism). I'm not a big indulger but as I'm on maintain weight mode, cutting the calorific things I do eat is the easiest way to change. I know I can lose 1-2 pounds a week by just being strict, I've done it before but now I need to stick with it, something I find really hard, so I think a month is a good initial period to aim for - also September and October are going to be mad, so if I lose weight in August my aim for those months will be to maintain.

In the long rung I'd like to be two stone lighter, but I haven't been near that since I was at school. It would be the right weight for my height though - putting me in the 'healthy' BMI range. My current BMI is 29.12. My long term target BMI is 24.5. Although that's at the top of the healthy range, I think I'd look damn strange if I was any skinnier than that. And really, I should knock off about half a stone for my boobs as they weigh a ton!

I'm also going to try and up my activity levels. I have to be rather careful with this though, as I do have a limited energy supply and my sleep is screwed at the moment leaving me more tired than usual. My tactics are going to be (when I feel up to it): walk around campus at lunchtime, walk up the hill from the station, go for walks in the evening with Ben - must dig out my pedometer. If I ever get a bathing suit that actually fits (I'm waiting for no. 3 to arrive in the post) I'll also try and add swimming - although the facilties around here are not top.

I'll let you know how it goes - hell if I lose 4 pounds I'll be happy!