Hello Southern Hemispherites!!

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  • Hi all

    It is my first FD for over 2 months today but am relishing getting back into this WOL. I’ve had 2 black coffees and lots of water and I have a salad and a bit of fruit to have later this afternoon. Stir fry for dinner

    Cinque your hair is lovely in the two or three pictures I’ve seen of you. Just like the rest of you 🙂 My biggest challenge is eating when I’m not hungry. I don’t seem to have full control over the hungry versus ‘just want to eat’ triggers but it’s all about being focused and conscious and this is what I need to do now.

    Glad things have stabilised Neil. You too Penguin

    LJ, i hope the infusion went well. I have a Huawei rather than a fitbit and I have no idea if it counts steps when grocery shopping. I will check it next time I’m there. Can’t help with the Fitbit therefore, apologies

    The fires look bad again in Canberra Penz, hope you are ok

    Hi to everyone else, have a great Wednesday

    A quick good morning before I head off.

    I’m collecting my friend and heading into the hills today. We are going to walk, meander through op shops and have lunch at a cafe in Aldgate. It’s going to be hot here today, but it’s always easier to take in the hills where there are so many shade trees.

    If you are fasting, hope you have an easy one.

    I asked my daughter about the Fitbit…. she said when you start your shopping you select and exercise like a run.. which will record your steps but remember to stop it once your shopping is complete…. neil maybe there is a bike riding mode as well to select I didnt ask about that… now you all know I’m in a wheelchair and I borrowed the daughters fitbit to check on my heart rate for a week, I did 1000 steps a day, I was kinda chuffed lol but the best was I climbed 9 steps that was doing transfers onto my bed and back into my chair lol

    Non fast day today, but did measuring lost half and inch on all I measure but my waist but still trucking on

    Cinque, your hair looks lovely and your granddaughters look so different from the last picture I saw. They’ve grown so much. What pretty flowered headbands! The drawing/cartoon for the downed firefighters was so touching. All of the firefighters have such a strong bond that it has a devastating effect on them all. Aussie firefighters helped fight fires in California in past years. The fires are so terrifying.

    LJ, I have a Vivofit 2 fitness tracker but I had one of the first Fitbit models prior to that. When you begin walking the trackers don’t record the first few steps but after about 5 or 6 steps it begins to count and goes back and counts the first steps as well. If you don’t walk at least that many steps, it ignores them. It also doesn’t always count your steps if your Fitbit hand is on the shopping trolly. I usually walk with only my other hand on the trolly. The trackers like a steady number of steps, not stopping and starting. Crazy, if you start it like a run it would probably also count steps when you are paused. Doing the transfers from your chair to the bed must have increased your heart rate to the level of climbing stairs. They ought to make a fitness tracker specifically for people who spend a lot of time in wheelchairs. Certainly your arm strength would contribute to your fitness and so would the speed at which you travel. Unless you’re going downhill. 😁
    LJ, I have to renew my expired passport or get a Real ID which requires the same paperwork if I want to fly, even domestically when the new laws take effect later this year. I hate going through all the paperwork and will put it off as long as possible. I hope yours gets sorted soon, before your trip. It will be great to meet you in person. The guest room is ready.

    Anzac, good luck on the job interview. It would be so nice if you got that job since it’s also a bank, but hopefully less chaotic than the one you are with now. When will you find out?

    Thin, glad all of those pub nights and sampling different foods hasn’t caused a weight gain. Deciding to stop coloring your hair doesn’t have to be a permanent decision. If you don’t like it, you could always go back to coloring it again. I have mine highlighted and lowlighted with the foil every 3 months or so. Now that it seems to be coming in white it’s hard to see the roots when it grows out so I can go even longer. I’ve thought about letting it go gray or white or whatever color it is, but I’m not there yet either.

    Neil, it sounds like you’re figuring out your maintenance calories. With all of your exercise you should have an easy time of it. You’ve done an amazing job of losing.

    Lindsay, Rosy is definitely trying to break Maxx’s record for household items destroyed as a form of entertainment, especially now that a Maxx is growing out of puppyhood. 😁 I had to laugh at the exploding dog bed. Those things should carry a warning. 😆

    I’ve been debating on a Mediterranean Cookbook on Amazon. I have so many cookbooks, but this one looks like a good one for NFD’s. Cooking for myself is easy, I could eat the same things week after week, but OH doesn’t like the same things all the time. And a variety of foods is healthier anyway.

    Have a good day everyone.

    Post FD2 report. Down another 2 lb / 900 grm. Weight now 217 lb / 98.5 kg. BMI 25.4.
    Two FDs in a row and and confining my food intake to a period of 7 hours are working well for me.

    Penguin, that is a whole lot of weight to drop in 2 days, that’s brilliant. Hope you enjoy the Dunedin railway station. Apparently it’s the second most photographed building in Australasia behind the Sydney Opera house.

    Califdreamer, yes, I think the key is to stick close to my BMR on days I don’t exercise much, boost the calories a lot on day’s I’m hitting the exercise, and throw in my Monday fast day. I’ll keep tracking my food for the next few weeks and see how I go.

    Crazy, great to hear from you again, I have to send you a pic of your painting up on our wall. I don’t use a fit bit, I just create routes on map my ride. If anyone else uses that app you can look me up.

    I hope you had a good fast Anzac and a great walk LJoyce.

    Hi all, checking in while the tennis is on. Have been loving the excellent matches over the past few days – the last 2 with Roger Federer were almost nail-biters. I think Nadal will win fairly easily tonight against Thiem, but we’ll see. And now 30 minutes later, Thiem has won the first set tiebreaker. Hmmm! Not sure who will win then.

    LJoyce, re fitbits, I’ve had one for a few years (3 different models), so I’m not sure about the “run” mode. I just know that if I hold onto anything with the hand of the fitbit wrist, it doesn’t register any steps. That means I shop with a trolley as efficiently as possible, as there are no “steps” benefits registered, but going to the car, I let the trolley move as it pleases just using one hand and get some steps in then. It used to be very frustrating when I used a treadmill until I realised I could only hold on with one hand. And yes, I know that to walk properly on a treadmill, there should be no holding on, but with my potentially unstable knees, holding on is much safer.

    Have enjoyed all the dog stories – remind me of the show on TV recently “Dogs behaving very badly”.

    LindsayL, very interesting article this week in the Victorian Royal Auto magazine about urban beekeeping which immediately made me think of you and your bees.

    Cinque, re glaucoma, I was diagnosed with very early glaucoma several years ago now. As a cousin had warned me it was in the family, I had been having regular eye checks.
    Since my diagnosis, I’ve used daily eye drops, and my sight is still 99-100% in both eyes. Basically, if caught early and treatment is adhered to, sight is usually not lost. I would encourage you to just keep up the eye checks, and follow treatment advice.

    Now for me to moan, sorry – I lost 13 kg last year, and have regained 10 kg over the past several months. Thought I had it stopped a couple of kilos ago, but too much has happened in January. Starting to put the brakes on now, as Christmas and January socialising are just about done. Plus, I have been struggling the past 2-3 weeks with some sort of virus related to stomach pain and overall exhaustion. Have had to take a couple of naps through the day some days just to keep going, and that hasn’t helped my eating – trying to eat to get some energy. I can tell you that it hasn’t worked!

    Do I, don’t I, go back and see the doc? Not sure what he can do or tell me. It’s not blood pressure – normal at doctor’s and at home, but I’m so tired of feeling so exhausted. Plus I’ve tried to drink more fluids in case it’s been dehydration – no change.

    Okay, enough moaning. It’s not as bad as it was, so February will be better. No longer gaining weight, which is good, so now I have to start losing it again. Sounds like others are doing well, so I’ll aim to slot in with my own success story! 🙂

    Catch you next time, have to concentrate on the tennis now!

    Good evening all.

    It was a rather hot day here today and will be worse tomorrow. I had a nice day in the hills. I parked the car near out lunch venue, then we walked half-way to the next town to visit a favourite op shop. We had a lovely walk along a footpath nestled under huge shade trees. Considering the heat of the day it was great to be so shaded from it. We walked back and checked out another op shop before having lunch, which was yummy. I drove back to the area my friend lives and we visited a couple more op shops on the way. Both of us had some luck. I came home with 2 blouses and a pair of purple pants! I also got al my steps done for the day despite the heat so it was a win all round.

    My lunch was called a “green green bowl”. Not surprisingly it consisted of all things vego and green – avocado, raw zucchini ribbons, snow pea shoots, rocket, baby spinach, grilled asparagus and pistachios. I also added the optional grilled haloumi to my order. I’ve eaten the same meal there several times before and still love it. It is also the only thing on the menu that has a hope of fitting into my low carb 800 cal days. My friend had a brioche bun filled with grilled pork belly and aioli – which is typical of the other menu options.

    Penguin, congrats on the weight loss.

    Crazy, thanks for the fitbit advice.
    I have a list of exercises on the fitbit that I can select and start, pause or stop. My fitbit can only hold 5 options but I chose those from the available list that I was likely to use. I have walking as an option so I think I’ll use that when pushing a trolley around. I think it will equate ok as even though I’m going slow and stopping I’m also pushing a heavy object along. I’ll try that next time and see how many steps it adds.

    Cali, a Mediterranean Cookbook might be useful as it is the type of eating we are meant to be doing most of the time.
    I’m hoping my passport application will be in by the end of February. I can submit it electronically as soon as I receive the new birth certificate. I am really looking forward to the holiday. I’m going to a travel expo this Sunday and another in about 2 weeks and will gather more information before deciding what particular things to include – especially for the Canadian part of the trip as I have to pre-book all of that. I am still thinking that I’m going to have to piece together a series of short stays and wilderness lodges to get what I want – apart from the rocky mountains, most guided tours just don’t concentrate on my priorities. I’m hoping to get the tours and flights booked by the end of March. Once I have flight dates we can make plans for my time with you.
    It’s been so long since I went on a holiday (about 25 years) that it doesn’t seem real yet.

    Have a good evening all.

    Betsy, our posts overlapped. Thanks for the fitbit advice.

    Betsy, it doesn’t seem a whole year since you were enjoying the tennis and telling us about it.

    LJ, you’re going to visit CalifD? Wow. That’s fun. I seem to recall that wanting to take holidays was one of the reasons for your move so, hurray, you’re making it happen. I’ve missed so much on here that I don’t know whether you’re just going to California or other locations too. Will you and CalifD be doing a FD together? CalifD, what’s this about the Real ID? Anything I need to know about?

    Cinque, OH once bought me a book entitled, ‘The History of English’. I don’t recall the author(s) but it sounded a lot like that podcast you and LJ were discussing but, when I had a peek at the podcast, I couldn’t tell if there was a connection. Nice photo of you and the little grandies.

    Anzac, I’m not feeling all that slender to be honest. I’m still under 60kg so all is well in the grand scheme of things. I’ve now gained back most of that weight I lost last year without trying when we were selling the house, etc. I’m managing with one FD per week when two would be better. How did your first FD in a while go for you? It didn’t sound as though you’d gained much weight on your big trip without fasting for 2 months. I hope you get a great job without any stress.

    Penguin, I have that problem here in Spain – in the supermarket, we haven’t even opened our mouths before the check-out person asks in English whether we’d like a bag. Do we look so English? I’m not wearing a handkerchief knotted over my head. I know quite a lot of Spanish but, by the time I’ve formed the sentence in my head, the moment has passed and the person is comfortably practicing their English on me…….

    Those words looks interesting. DD tells me she’s flying to Norway for £8. I think there may be a train fare to London involved though. She said Icelandic was a lovely language to listen to. Mildly annoying that she’s now going to countries that I haven’t visited.

    Penguin, I have a friend in Perth with hair like that of your wife. She’s had a white streak since age 18.

    A day at home. Finished pruning the fig tree, went to prune some roses I had missed and found them coming into flower. In January? And yet there are people who deny global warming.

    Anzac. Hope the first FD for a while went well.

    Everyone. I don’t have a fit bit. My IPhone has something similar which OH and I use to show how far we have walked in unfamiliar areas. It gives me miles and steps but I have learned not to use it as anything more than a guide. I have to carry it somewhere it registers the foot impact.

    Neil. About to settle down and watch the journey to Dunedin. OH really wants a trip to NZ but I have spent so much of my life in aircraft that I made a retirement rule that four hours is the max. Even so, it looks my kind of country. In the short term Norway looks more likely.

    Thin. Posts crossed. £8 to Norway? I was looking at flights this afternoon and £230 return was the best I found. I have to try harder. The only time the locals have not guessed that we are English was a trip to the Bayerischer Wald. In those days they saw very few outsiders and because we spoke German they assumed we were Dutch. After all, everyone knows the English are too superior or idle to learn anyone else’s language. I have confused myself and got lost in Belgium and Holland. In Belgium because they speak three different languages and name the towns differently according to language, and in Holland for assuming that a sign for Tuin Centrum would take me to the town centre. It took me a while to realise it means garden centre. .

    Good morning

    Horrendous forecast for Melbourne, Adelaide and Canberra today. Stay cool friends and I hope there aren’t any new fires. The heat wave is hitting Sydney on Saturday

    I’m madly studying up for my interview. Please send collective positive thoughts at 11.00am Sydney time. That might be a stretch for you Penguin and Thin as that is midnight and 1.00am in England/Spain respectively. Maybe utter a few positive mantras before you go to bed for me. Lol

    FD wasn’t perfect but I’m not unhappy at 800 calories. I was previously sticking to 600-650 so not a big stretch. I feel great today 🙂

    I will report back in on the interview results. I am cautiously optimistic as the Lead BA is a good friend of mine and has recommended me to the moon and back and that is always a good place to start. Yay! (But I don’t want to get ahead of myself so back in the humble box a bit Anzac)

    Take care

    Good morning,
    I woke up early and hungry, but I am extending my fast a little bit by writing a post first!

    Ha, Penguin I am ashamed to say that I am terrible at languages, but ooh this one seems quite recognisable. Ha en fin dag. I hope you can find that 8 pound ticket to Norway.
    A nice two day fast done and dusted with lovely results. Woot.

    Anzac, I hope your fast day felt terrific and that you are having a lovely morning after fast day.

    Thankyou for those kind words, and oh dear yes, don’t we suffer from being so fortunate to have food around all the time, and so many emotions.
    And with that extra meal I ate, I just couldn’t get my head around not doing something I had planned to, especially because I have been working so hard to plan good meals ahead. I need to factor in some flexibility.

    Penz, I’ve been thinking of you in Canberra too with smoke and that worrying fire licking at the outskirts. I hope today isn’t too hard.

    LJoyce, what a lovely green meal! And what a treat of a day, especially considering it was so hot. (We’ve got it today and tomorrow, coming down from the north with that hot north wind). Your trip abroad is coming together beautifully.

    Crazy, congratulations on those half inches lost, keep trucking.

    Cali thankyou, and oh dear I already start to worry about your next bushfire season. The Mediterranean cookbook sounds interesting. Is it Mediterranean recipes or based on Mediterranean diet guidelines? Maybe both?

    I did some opshopping yesterday (Yes!) and found a 40 year old Asian cookbook for $1. I generally don’t buy cook books because I read them with interest and then only want to make a couple of the recipes. This one is from the early 80’s so more recipes and less photos and chat, but really interesting and I think I have already got my $1 worth. It is big.

    I also found some great green trousers, so we would make a great pair in our green and purple pants, LJoyce!

    Neil, wow, Dunedin station is stunning.

    Betsy, lovely to see your post, but I am so sorry to read that you are feeling so crook. I had hoped that, with last year’s study and the festive season behind you, you would have been able to catch up on rest and be brimming with energy. What you are going through sounds similar to Gday, and it is a hard fact that vague symptoms like fatigue and tummy pains, can often be what medicine is worst at diagnosing and treating.

    But I do hope you go back and really let your doctor know how much those symptoms are effecting you. Take someone with you if you can (you can call on me) since you might need a long consultation to get all questions answered and what tests should be done and why etc, and then it is so good to have someone to talk it over with as you remember different things. I find in these situations I need someone with me, a list of symptoms and a time line, and a list of questions to ask.

    Hooray that you are no longer gaining, and hopefully you will gradually start losing again. That will be such a relief.
    I do know, from long experience (sigh), how feeling exhausted sends us to eat food that is most likely to give some immediate energy… and oh dear it is sugar. What a pity drinking more water wasn’t an easy fix. Something is not working right, so I do hope that you and your doctor can get to the bottom of it.

    Thankyou for the tips re glaucoma, it is a relief that it can be managed well. They have been testing us early because it is in the family.

    Enjoy that tennis!

    Hi Thin, I think my podcast guy (Kevin Stroud) might write his book after he has finished the podcasts. But I bet your book is one of his resources.
    I so relate to your experience of post that ‘pack up and move’ time when eating lightly and losing weight was just part of the action, (like when my YamDaisy Cafe was looking like it was starting) and then when it all quietens down everything changes and the role of food in our lives has to be so much more conscious and planned.

    Anzac, I just saw your post. I am lighting a little candle that will last 4 hours so sending light and good wishes around your preparation, interview and that much needed coffee when it is over! So hoping it is the perfect job for you and they can see you are the perfect person to do it).

    Well I am off to water the garden and then it will be after 9, and since I have been awake since 5am, I will deserve my breakfast (don’t laugh at me Lindsay).

    Cheers all and best wishes for the day.

    A quick one for Anzac (battery going flat). You can do it, you know you can.

    Anzac, it’s about 5 minutes until 11:00 AM your time. Lots of positive thoughts and fingers toes and eyes crossed! 😁😄 I have a feeling you’re going to have good news for us.

    It’s almost 4:00 PM yesterday (Wednesday) here. 😁

    Good morning everyone.

    It’s a rare day when I have done 5000 steps by 8:30am, but today I did. With 42C forecast there were few other options. I had a little walk and then called into the shops to get some raspberries and blackberries. I don’t usually walk that early because my back is still very stiff and painful after laying down all night, so I’m slow – I move much faster in the afternoon.

    I love waking up to see that Thin and Penguin have been having a little chat while the rest of us were asleep.

    Thin, yes I am starting my overseas trips this year. First port of call is Canada (the western end only) and the US (California only). No £8 flights for me sadly. I’m slightly horrified by the cost of everything. Thankfully I don’t have to master any new languages for where I am going – just accents and local slang.

    Anzac, good luck, I hope it all goes swimmingly.
    Well done on doing a FD after your break. Here’s hoping you land a job where the workload and atmosphere makes FDs easier.

    Cinque, glad you had some finds at the op shop. Yes we would be a sight with our green and purple pants! These are a couple of my purchases: https://imgur.com/a/PnJRCro The pants did have a lot more dangly decoration on the waistband and elastic through the hem, but I removed all of that before washing them.

    Penguin, enjoy the train journey through the south island – it’s one of the most scenically beautiful places in the world I think. We have had a lot of the “slow tv” programs shown here, with the Ghan train in Australia, a train journey through Norway and the NZ train.
    Last year I also used an iphone app to count my daily steps and record distance and speed on long walks. I was given a fitbit for christmas so am gradually adapting to the differences – it is nice no to have to carry a phone everywhere – a problem being female, as our clothing often doesn’t have pockets.

    Betsy, sorry to hear you are still having gastric issues. I seem to remember you had these late last year too. I agree with Cinque, you need to get a doctor to investigate further.

    Hope you are all having a great day. Stay cool if possible.

    It was a bit gruelling but I think I went ok. I always looks for the signs at the end and they were there (1) they tell you what the next steps will be rather than saying something offhand like ‘we’ll be in touch’ and (2) asked me what my notice period is. It sounds like a challenging role but something I can get my teeth into. And my friend (who would be my lead) is happy there. Fingers crossed and THANKS so much for your positive messages and candle (Cinque) and thoughts because they absolutely definitely helped!

    Anzac, yay. You go girl!
    Candle has finished but my fingers are still crossed. https://i.imgflip.com/avk4z.jpg?a438888

    Well done Anzac, those final comments do sound very promising to me. What would your contract length be for this project, if you get it?

    Hi LJ, the contracts are always 6 months but big projects like this have a very good chance of multiple extensions. All banks, however, have a contractor maximum length – mostly 2 years – after which time you have to either go permanent or leave. Mind you, they had that rule for CBA and I worked there from 2010 until 2016 so there are ways around it.
    Either way it’s ok; by then it’s normally time to find another role anyway 🙂

    I’m sure your candle will do the trick Cinque 🙂

    19 minutes until home time and then WFH tomorrow – whoo hoo! Lots of playtime with Maxx. He has definitely matured and is growing more interested in learning / training. This week alone I have taught him ‘go round’ which means he sits in front of me then with a hand single and the word ’round’ he walks around me then his little face pops up by my hip looking for his treat. I’ll try and get a video

    Congrats Anzac – those post interview comments sure bode well

    And thanks for your thoughts re fires. We’ve certainly had many smoky days but, as much as they’re not good, they’re preferable to facing the fire itself. At least the ones around Canberra are under control now.

    I actually watched that slow Ghan train in Australia tv show last weekend. At first I thought ‘how dull’ but then I became quite hynotised by the format. Reminded me of my first ‘proper’ holiday train trip (the Eastern & Oriental) deliberately did not offer WiFi on board. It was great!! Forced me into relaxing and enjoying the hypnotic clickity clack and slowly passing scenery. Highly recommended! The Ghan is now definitely on the list.

    Hi all, Thursday evening, Rangiora.

    I think the sun has more heat in it now than it has had all day!! And strong winds are forecast, sort of tie everything down and only drive high sided vehicles if absolutley necessary, that kind of thing! Needless to say we’re staying put, at least until after the weekend.

    Well done Anzac on that interview, I am sure, along with most of the other posters on here that you’ve got it in the bag?! Funny how it takes a holiday to completely solidify your thoughts and feelings about you future, pleased you enjoyed most of your hols at the time, but sorry you thought it was too long away, guess that Maxx has a strong pull, I know how we used to feel leaving our wee dog for a couple of months, affected OH more than it did me.

    Congratulations on those early morning steps LJ, sounds like a great idea to beat the heat, I might adopt it next time I wake very early.

    Sounds like you had a lot of fun in the op shop Cinque, I do think a lot of those old cookbooks are just the best, the new ones are just regurgitated recipes with a twist, and usually a completely unnecessary or fattening twist too!

    I am so glad you are enjoying your new life on the long boat Thin and also you sojurn in Spain enjoying the warm winter sun. I do feel for you with the hairdresser, good ones are hard to find and I was faced with this problem when we left the Lodge last year. My hairdresser had just sold her business and went to work in Wanaka, I did manage to get a cut and colour with her when we housesat down that way in February, then used one in Christchurch she had recommended which saw me through to our Europe trip! Been popping in there since but finding it difficult when we are constantly on the move! I only have one section of my hair dyed now, given up on the rest, decided to go eau natrelle.

    Well done on your first anniversary Neil, you have done so well, you really are an inspiration. Thanks for the electrolytes receipe, I have been saying to OH just lately that I just don’t know what to eat/drink when we are walking/biking such heights/distances, I tend to eat salted peanuts purely for the salt, avoid bread and saandwiches because they make me feel stuffed and lethagic when hiking, love cheese, hard boiled eggs, but sometimes just plain water doesn’t really hit the spot. When we were cycling through Czech last year there were a couple of days we were struggling and we hit the supermarket looking for something like “Gatorade/Powerade” but they didn’t have any, what they did have though was Red Bull and we had one of those each, OH could not believe the hit he got from it and it certainly did the trick. I think your cycling challenge is a great idea and cycling to and from work is a sure fire way of buuilding up the kms. I noticed from an earlier post you live on a hill, are you out NEV way? Hope work is going OK for you now, did your department ever replace the member who left last year??

    Where abouts are you in the UK Penguin to prune such a large fig tree? Someone else living half way up a hill, it’s much more interesting than living on the flat isn’t it?

    Well, since I last posted I have been quite active and it really has got the kilos moving, my 3rd week weigh in this morning and I’m in the 75’s so 3.4kgs down. Couldn’t quite believe down 1.2kgs since yesterday, but I think I finally shifted the beer from the festival at the weeknd, hahaha! So pleased to have made some really healthy options when faced with a deluge of all sorts of foods. Feels good to be this weight so early on in the year too, we’re not goiing overseas so early this year, maybe not heading away till late August instead of early June, so its given me lots more time to get to some realistic goals and finally break the cycle! We moved over to here in Rangiora last Wednesday as we have wanted to climb Mt. Oxford for a few years, so set out on Thursday morning. Well, what a killer that was, 1364 metres high and pretty much straight up, not too bad at the beginning, but it got steeper the higher we went, one of the most difficult we have done for some years. After a pretty cruisey weekend OH and I started back in earnest on Monday, with a short cycle ride, then a day in town, and yesterday we cycled down to Kaipoi and back, around 35/36kms, it was great on the way as we had a back wind, but boy did we get the head wind on the return, really hard going. Guess it was just enough calorie/exercise ratio to do some good. Planned a bike ride out to the coast tomorrow, hopefully the wind will be in our favour in at least one direction? We followed the Passchendeale Memorial Path down to Kaipoi which was named after the Battle in which 845 Kiwis fell in the first day in 1917. Apparently Kaipoi is twinned with Belgian town Zonnebeke which includes the Passcendeale battlefield.

    Sorry to anyone I have missed, I am sure I’ll get you next time,


    Anzac. Sounds promising.

    Neil. I never got to see Dunedin Station. The train went as far south as Christchurch and then crossed to Greymouth, where they got into a Land Rover and drove to Milford Sound. Then they sailed off into the sunset. Some impressive country but 7 metres of rain a year at Milford Sound is more than I would desire.

    Turnabout. If I remember correctly, my Fig is a variety called Brown Turkey, which is pretty hardy and OK in England. I am in a village over 900 years old in the Forest of Dean. The Dean is the remnant of one of the original forests, although these days a commercial forest so now more pine than oak and beech. It was one of the earliest medieval industrial areas with coal, limestone and iron ore, but that all went last century and the old railway lines are now cycle tracks. We are reverting to nature. We have about 1000 wild boar, a colony of beavers and they are just re-introducing pine martens. I saw a red kite last week. We are on the high ground between the rivers Severn and Wye before they enter the Bristol Channel. I am a little over a km from the Wye, but about 175 metres above it on an exposed north facing slope. In this hemisphere north is the wrong way to face! Those distances and heights are approximate. We measure in metres and litres, but distances and heights are still in miles and feet. I have just done the mental arithmetic. When I confessed my post FD weight I had to convert 15 stones and 7 pounds into lbs/kg.

    Thin. Until LJ reminded me, I had managed to forget that you are on this side of the planet. Have you acclimatised yet?

    Hi all,

    Anzac, I’ll add my well wishes to you for the new position. I hope you get it and it’s not as stressful as your last one.

    Turnabout, no I’m up the top of Brockville and I work in the octagon so on the way home I climb straight up Stuart Street, along Kaikorai Valley Road and then up Brockville Road. Almost 350 vertical meters over all. The positions at work have all been advertised so now we have to wait for the boss to shortlist, interview and then for the successful applicant to work their notice period so I’m not expecting anyone to start for at least a month.

    Penguin, Milford sound is awesome when it’s rained because you get all the waterfalls dropping off the cliffs into the sounds.

    I felt really off yesterday, nauseous in the morning, sluggish and fatigued all day and then night sweats and unable to sleep last night. I’m skipping my cycling today and I have the morning off work today anyway so I’ll see how I’m feeling later on.

    Have a good day everyone.

    good morning all

    My usual routine in the morning is to empty the teapot in the garden and quickly check the veggie patch. This morning I did that before having my shower. It’s a good thing my bathrobe has large pockets as I came in with one pocket stuffed with beans and the other with zucchini. I’m going to have to look in my Jane Grigson vegetable book for things to do with beans as I picked quite a lot of them – not only are the bush beans still producing but the climbing beans have finally started as well. Zucchini are easy – any excess gets made into chips in the airfryer.

    Penguin, it looks like Britain is really leaving the EU now. I saw footage of the EU parliament vote yesterday on the French news.

    Turn, sounds like you are keeping fit and trim with all that cycling. Nice that you are getting to see so many lovely places too.

    Neil, I hope the boss chooses well regarding the new work colleague.
    Milford Sound is lovely, but it was Doubtful Sound that really took my breath away. It’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever been – and so quiet with the lack of people.

    Penz, the Ghan is on my list too. There’s a tour that does a boat trip up the coast of WA from Perth and then returns to Adelaide via the Ghan. I will get to that one day. I’m leaving the holidays that require a lower fitness and mobility level until later – just in case.

    I have another quiet day at home today. No early morning walk today. I’ll just have to use the sun hat later to get to the shopping centre for walking.

    Have a good day.

    Good morning,
    Ooh it is the hot day for quite a few of us. 43C expected top for us, with increasing humidity and fingers crossed a storm at the end of the day.

    LJoyce, sending cheers to you out walking already, maybe. Loved your op shop finds, beautiful colours! And lovely cool summer clothes. (I am like you, cutting dangly thing off!)

    Anzac, you have a lovely WFH day. Clever Maxx!

    Penz, hoping those fires remain subdued today.

    I am another one who loves slow TV train trips.

    Hi Turnabout, aren’t you living the life! Congratulations for getting to the top of Mt Oxford. I do agree with your assessment of cookbooks!

    Penguin, so good to get an even more detailed picture of where you live. Ooh yum, brown turkey figs suit Melbourne too, and they were my favourite. (Apart from the ones we ate in Peniscola all those years ago, until the old women came out and explained it was a private tree…. theirs. Our bad.)

    Neil, I do hope you are feeling better after a gentle day. Best wishes. And once you help the new worker orient themselves, it might be time for you to get a wonderful new job.

    I’m off to make a lovely coffee. Granddaughters first ever day at school (and boiling hot ofcourse). Cheers all

    PS Hi LJoyce, no walk this morning, harvesting instead! Enjoy choosing a recipe for those beans (love Jane Grigson’s vegetable book).

    Hello from a hot and muggy Sydney. Nothing like the temps in Melbourne, Canberra and Adelaide today though. Stay cool friends!
    The humidity is a killer here recently. I am sitting in the dining room with a fan pointing straight at me and poor Maxx is lying chin down on the wooden floor in the lounge room with his own personal fan pointed straight at him. He is really feeling the heat. We can’t have the air-con on all day (we’d go broke!) but I’ll put it on soon. Edit – I had to put it on before I even finished this post! Thank goodness for it

    I hope you are feeling better soon Neil. Sounds like you have picked up a virus.

    Hi Turn, great to hear from you and I love hearing about your holiday adventures. Congrats on the loss, doesn’t it feel great when the scales start to head south?

    The biggest thing that hit me smack in the face on our trip Penguin was the history. Where you live sounds simply stunning and beautiful. I think you should go to NZ for your OH and then you can pop in here on your way home! Then you can meet Maxx (and me of course!). Our spare bedroom is always available for any of my 5:2 friends travelling to Sydney.

    Good luck in the heat today Cinque and I hope your little granddaughter enjoys her first day of school. It’s funny but i clearly remember my first day of kindy. Funny because I have a terrible memory but some things stick don’t they? Mine was different because my sister started high school on the same day that I started kindy. So Mum took sister to school as it was a few suburbs away and Dad took the morning off work to take me as it was close to home and he could quickly then jump on the train and go to work. I didn’t attend any sort of pre-school and I already knew how to read (thus started my passion for reading that lives on 50 years later) so I was aching to go to school and make some friends. My Dad is terribly shy (he couldn’t even make a speech at my wedding) and I remember he kind of ushered me through the door, watched me for a few seconds and vanished. I was fine. There were kids everywhere and toys! I went up to a little red headed girl who was crying for her Mum and gave her some play-dough and said ‘why are you crying? Look, there are toys and everything’. We became fast friends for the next 10 years until we both left high school and sadly lost touch. We reconnected a few months ago actually so this reminds me to email her again.

    Sorry, long story….will stop now!

    I’m sure you will find an awesome recipe for your beans LJ. Your garden is sprouting such lovely fresh produce for you. Enjoy your shopping mall walk.

    Enjoy the rest of your Friday all in the SH, the rest of your Thursday Cali and sweet dreams Penguin and Thin in the NH

    Update:…..I have had a phone call asking if I would like to attend a second interview! Whoo hoo. Not sure when yet, they recorded my available times and will get back to me.

    I remember promising some trip photos so I will post the odd one so as not to bore you all 🙂 This was taken about an hour north of London. I think I have mentioned that the other forum I am on is the labrador friends one where most of the people are in the UK. So we had a lovely catch-up with one of my friends from there – and her dog of course!

    It was so lovely to meet her and her OH and get a labrador fix. They gave us a beautiful carved leash holder with Maxx’s name on it as a gift. One of the other forum members made it and asked them to give it to us. Another member sent a Christmas collar to them as another gift for us. What a great day

    Lab forum catchup https://imgur.com/gallery/oMiejoc

    Woohoo indeed Anzac!

    We’ve been running the AC like never before. I usually prefer to have windows open to a cross-breeze but that hasn’t been possible in the weeks of smoke haze we’ve experienced. I was pleasantly surprised when we got our electricity bill last week – I really expected we’d have to take out a second mortgage!

    Woo hoo Anzac, that is such good news! Love the lab photo, I was bought up as a child with labs as they are such good gundogs (Dad shot) but he had one pup he just could not train and became one of the best family pets you could ever imagine. she was certainly my best friend for the best part of ten years!

    The Forest of Dean is not somewhere I am familiar with Penguin and not somewhere I have visiited either but it is now on my list for our next trip over in 2021. My BIL lives in Wincanton in Somerset and his son lives over in Port Talbot so we are invariably across the Severn at some stage. Sounds just idyllic and I know exactly what you mean about oak forests, we stayed up in Cheviot recently and the very first day we arrived we went for a walk and it was through a forest of oak tress, OMG, was I in my happy place, they are such fabulous trees. The old chap there who had built the original homestead had originated from England and wanted his place to resemble one of the majestic country homes of the English Lords so planted it out vigorously. Unfortunately his homoe was burned down long ago but the forest remains, it has now been gifted to the community so everyone can enjoy.

    Hope you are feeling better Neil, looks like you’ve got some good weather forecast this weekend too.

    Didn’t get out for our bike ride today, decided it was too hot and windy, so walked for abouth three hours instead and plan to cycle tomorrow morning.

    Enjoy the rest of your Friday everyone, the weekend is almost here!


    Hi all, I am feeling better but had an insatiable sugar craving today. I ate half a bag of white chocolate buttons that I bought for baking. Well I still have 4 days until my next weigh/in. Hopefully I can turn things around.

    Cinque, 43C with humidity is too hot! We get those temps in the summer sometimes, but it’s usually dry here. I hope you see rain tonight. How was your granddaughter’s first day of school?

    LJ, I love your op shop finds! Such beautiful colors and that fabric looks like the type that rarely wrinkles. We’ll have to hit some op shops when you come to visit. Enjoy the beans and zucchini from your garden. Zucchini is great just sliced sautéed with garlic and a bit of red capsicum and onion. I usually use a little olive oil and some water.

    Neil, I’m glad you’re starting to feel better. You mentioned you work in the octagon. I was curious and looked it up and found a few sites with photos. What a pretty area! (I see that Queen and Adam Lambert will be doing a concert there in Feb during the Octagon Experience.) I found it in GoogleEarth and was able to trace your ride home up through Kaikorai Valley Rd before I got lost. Such a pretty ride and it definitely looks steep. It’s always strange to see cars on the other side of the road, but some things are the same everywhere. I noticed the KFC, Subway and I think it was Domino’s Pizza. I love Google Earth but it can certainly eat up a lot of time!

    Anzac, congrats on getting the second interview. That’s a very good sign. Fingers crossed. I love the pic of you and OH and the lab at the lab forum catchup. What a nice leash hanger for Maxx! Isn’t it amazing how many friends we make on Internet forums? After “talking” to people several times a week and sharing all the goings on in our lives we sometimes get to know them as well as people we see locally.

    Penguin, after reading your posts about slow tv, I tried finding it here. I couldn’t find it streaming on regular TV but I did find a few shows on YouTube, some 7 or 8 hours long. There was one of a train in Norway into the arctic circle and a few others, but I couldn’t find one of NZ. Fascinating stuff.

    Penz, stay cool. Thank goodness for air conditioning! I hope you’re safe from the fires. The smoke sounds awful, especially since it’s been around so long now. Hope for rain on the weekend.

    Turnabout, congrats on the weight loss. Being active along with 5:2 can make a difference. Hope the winds aren’t too bad.

    Have a good rest of the day, everyone.

    Anzac. Sounding good. You should keep me away from Maxx. There is a space in every guy’s life for a Lab and I am currently without one.

    Turn. My Father was from Somerset, although the army moved him north in 1940 and after the war he went back north and stayed. Just as well really – he’d married a local girl and I was born whilst he was away. He never totally lost his Somerset accent, which is why mine isn’t true to the NE and I can understand both ends of the country.

    Neil. Done that. I find it safer not to have chocolate (or whisky) in the house but occasionally, like your buttons , they sneak in.

    Cali. 7 hours sounds a bit much. Two and a half tempted me to fast forward occasionally

    We are both just back from a session in the gym. OH is still fairly new to this activity, having started because it will help the bone density. She is becoming very enthusiastic.

    This may be my last regular post for a while. We are entering a busy couple of months, starting this afternoon. I shall continue to lurk and I’ll check in enough not to be forgotten.

    Good afternoon all.

    Been having a bit of a clear out of clothing and other odds and ends for a charity collection that’s happening in my street this week. I filled one bin bag and then my friend bought enough to fill another one to add to the collection.
    Manged to get a walk in despite the constant drizzle today.

    When the rain started at the end of a hot day yesterday you would have thought we’d been transported to far north Queensland. Still really hot, pouring rain and 90% humidity. I found myself trying to get a proper breath as the air felt too thick to breathe. I absolutely could not live with that level of humidity it felt oppressive.

    I was really cross with the scales this morning, despite a calorie deficit of at least 5000 calories this week I gained half a kilo. The gain felt especially unfair after refusing all those desserts last Sunday! It’s probably just my body retaining fluid in the heat – I had noticed puffy ankles the last couple of days.
    On the positive note, my grand total of steps for January was 290,602 or approx 221 kilometers – so well on the way to meting my 2020 target for the year.

    Penz, you aren’t alone. I rarely leave the a/c on all night but the last 2 nights I had to.

    Anzac, that is excellent news.

    Penguin, I hope you and Mrs P stay well during your absence. Hope Mrs P gets that foot surgery soon.

    Cali, yes please, I was hoping we could look at some op shops over your way.

    Neil, the baking chocolate is a rare last resort of mine too. I’m usually safe if they are white or dark.

    I’m cooking loin lamb chops in the airfryer to go with a salad for dinner. They just set off the fire alarm in the kitchen! A good poke with broom handle shuts it up! (I forgot to turn on the exhaust fan – a must when grilling eat in the airfryer.)

    I’m off to a travel fair tomorrow for lot of lovely holiday ideas.

    A wonderful 24 hours here with just under 70ml of rainfall. Everything looks and smells so fresh and clean. The creeks are flowing, roads are blocked and closed, rainwater tanks are full and our car shed flooded not once but twice today. We just finished moving everything and sweeping out the water when another massive downfall hit, the drain pit was already overflowing from the overnight rain so the water had nowhere to go but backflow through the grate drain and into the shed…..again.

    Health update. Not much change in energy levels but it will take a few more weeks for the iron tablets etc to kick in. I gained a second opinion on my blood tests but got the same response as the first doctor. At least this one was willing to do further tests to rule out autoimmune and inflammation concerns. Will be another week before those results are back.

    The nutritionist is very happy with how my gut is healing since I’ve ceased eating all nuts and seeds. I am very happy with how my belly is feeling too 🤣🤣. Next step in my gut repair process is to eliminate all grains, sourdough, rye etc, pasta, rice, legumes, peas, beans and to go as low carb as I possibly can. I’m fairly low carb anyway but will miss my sourdough toast with our weekend cooked brekky and the occasional pasta dish.

    Here’s something I didn’t know. Raw foods such as salads, although very healthy can be quite harsh on the gut as the gut has to work extremely hard to break them down. So to start the breaking down process prior to eating I need to mix ACV with the olive oil for the salad dressing and leave it to sit for half hour prior to eating to soften the veg.

    Weight is still going up and down like a yoyo but the nutritionist is confident i will start heading on a downward trend very soon.

    I hope everyone is going okay and the scales and tape measures are being kind.
    Time for sleep. We all got out of bed at 3am this morning to watch the rain, thunderstorms and amazing lightening display. Rain is so rare here there’s no way we were going to sleep through it.

    Good morning, Sunday fast day for me.
    I am glad of it, but not really in the groove as I was really knocked by the hot and humid weather (lucky it was only a couple of days). But now it is cool and wet, for which I am very grateful.

    Yes Anzac, humidity is a killer. I was so wilted I didn’t drink enough (and I bet it made LJoyce’s ankles swell too).

    Woohoo re the second interview!

    What a sweet first day at school story. So lovely that you got back in touch with that little friend.
    On my first school day I went with my older brother and sister and our neighbour-kids. I started young, only four and a half. I had been told about lunch time but I got confused, ate my lunch at morning break time and then thought school was finished when lunchtime rolled around and walked all the way home (including crossing a main road) by myself. I still remember the look on my mum’s face when I turned up.
    Little granddaughter had a fine time.

    Lovely pic. Haha the labrador lovers. I’ve a friend with golden retrievers and they are just the same.

    Penz, I was thinking of you yesterday, what a scary day for Canberra and what devastation in the burnt areas all around. Hooray that you kept cool and will manage to pay for it!

    Turnabout, I hope you got a great cycle ride in yesterday.

    Ooh Neil, when I read about your white chocolate buttons, all I wanted was a bag so I could eat half of it too. Luckily I had none in the house. So glad you are feeling better.

    Cali, yes, way too hot and humid, I appreciated your sympathy. The killer for me is long spells of heat, so a couple of days is s easy to wait out. And we have a run of cooler days now so I am reviving, just like my wilted garden did.

    Penguin, good luck with all that busyness, I hope it is all good stuff, but if some is stressful I am sending good wishes. Cheers to gym junkie Mrs Penguin!

    LJoyce, it was the same here when the humidity just seemed to start falling out of the sky. It reminded me of living in the Northern NT during the wet season. The scales were clearly suffering from the humidity too, the air would have been heavier! 😉 But truly, all your good work will have paid off in your health, so forget that weighing I am sure the next one will be better.
    And congratulations on all those steps.

    Gday, hooray for that sweet, sweet, rainfall! Best news!
    Oh but what a pity the shed had to deal with the overflow.

    Hooray for keeping on building up that iron. Anaemia can complicate so many other body functions in turn, so I can understand the doctors waiting to see what happens once it is okay again.

    I remember reading about the raw salad theory from traditional Chinese medicine when I was interested in alternative therapies in my twenties.
    I guess its imprint in modern science is through the fodmap research as every one of the fodmaps, except disaccharides I think, can be found in raw veggies (they can be found in cooked ones too https://www.monashfodmap.com/about-fodmap-and-ibs/). If your gut is inflamed, they will inflame them further.
    It sounds as if your nutritionist is doing a variation of elimination of fodmaps. Hopefully your gut symptoms will improve and she will help you carefully introduce them one by one in case any of them set of the inflammation again.

    Has your nutritionist considered gall bladder problems? My family is riddled with people having atypical gall bladder issues (slender younger women who don’t drink) and every time they got checked doctors couldn’t find a gallstone, but each (four of them) ended up having their gall bladder removed because it was the problem after all. Year of pain before it was properly diagnosed. My poor sister (one of them) got dumping syndrome (worst name for a condition, ever) and it caused her so much trouble. I thought of this when you said you were so much better after avoiding nuts and seeds.

    Apologies if they have been all over this, but thinking about it, wanted to write it just in case.

    Well, this lovely day is already heading toward 11am here, time for a coffee and doing some things, yay I can go out! (My car air conditioning broke so I just don’t use it on hot days). I might go and visit the grand children, they will make a fast day fly.

    Best wishes all.

    Hi all, Sunday 5.45pm Rangiora

    Just time for a quick post before dinner of steak with blue cheese and mushrooms with salad. Having a lazy day today as it’s so hot and humid and now we have the Aussie smoke over us too, so it makes everything such a strange light. Nowhere near your temps in Oz, but warm all the same at 34 deg with a really warm nor’wester!! Might struggle to get anywhere near 800 cals today, only had some fruit with yoghurt at noon, not really hungry for dinner either, would pass if I wasn’t cooking for OH.

    Thanks Cinque, yes we did manage to get the cycle ride in yesterday, would have preferred something longer but it was windy, and thankfully had it on our backs all the way home! Yay!

    Hope you are feeling well enough for some activity this weekend Neil, also to work
    off those white choc buttons? Looks like it’ll be a busy week down there this week?

    Good luck with the busyness Penguin, sometimes it’s just good to lurk eh?

    We certainly thought about you all across the ditch earlier when we went to town and the fire engines came rushing by with their sirens blazing, followed their route and then spotted the smoke, still not sure what happened but it’s all under control now and we can’t see anymore smoke. Very worrying though, everywhere here is so tinder dry.

    Stay safe everyone and enjoy the rest of your weekend,


    Good afternoon all

    I’ve been at the travel fair all day and am now on the train heading home.
    I went with a backpack containing an apple and a water bottle. It’s now so crammed with brochures that the water bottle is sticking out of the top! Good thing I ate the apple!
    So many holiday ideas! I actually learned more than I thought I would – shows just how long it’s been since I travelled overseas.
    It’s also been a good food day as I have bought no food here, just eaten the apple. I can have a nice veggie and cheese omelette for dinner and be well under my 800 calls. Might even find room for some raspberries for dessert.

    Good morning from cool Melbourne,
    WeeAmy, you had better pop over here for the day!

    Lovely morning after fast day for me.

    LJoyce, how exciting to be full of new ideas and information about your travels, and brochures all over the hose no doubt.

    Turnabout, so sad about that smoke, how I hope it ends soon. I’m glad the fire emergency near you was sorted quickly. I hope you get some cooler weather, and water for the land, we don’t want wild fires in NZ
    We’ve had three emergency level fires join up over the weekend. It is beyond terrible.

    I felt silly after I posted yesterday thinking that the research about raw salads could be connected with fodmaps, belatedly realising fodmaps are in cooked food too but not deleting the whole paragraph, my brain takes a while to do a u-turn.

    Ah well, a new day. I have a fairly quiet week, so I will plan lots of nice things to do.

    Best wishes all.

    Morning all,

    Congrats Anzac on the second interview, let us know when it’s on so we can send good vibes your way.

    Califdreamer, it’s pretty cool you can follow along my bike route. Yeah I ride past fat alley on the way home every night. I usually take a long route on the way to work, but on the way home I’m straight up the hill so I can get home as quickly as possible.

    Gday, I hope the iron tablets help pick things up for you, lack of energy is the worst feeling. I’d personally prefer to feel ill than fatigued 🙁

    Turn, How was your ride? Beef blue cheese and mushrooms sounds delicious!

    Ljoyce, Have fun planning your holiday

    Cinque, I hope your Sunday fast went well.

    Well I certainly worked off the chocolate buttons. I woke up feeling pretty good on Saturday morning so I went for a 44 km bike ride over the hills and around the harbour. It took me just on 2 hours and I felt great afterwards. I then spent 6 hours helping my sister and brother-in-law move house. Unfortunately my sister put on pizza and chips for lunch so I indulged in a bit of that. We capped off the day with a BBQ and cards with some friends of ours. Sunday was the complete opposite, the weather was cold and rainy and although I got a round of frisbee golf in during the early afternoon, the rest of the day involved sitting on the couch watching Star Wars and Pixar movies with the kids and eating popcorn.

    Quick check-in on my cycling, so far this year I’ve managed 385 kms, the last 2 weeks I’ve managed 130+ kms per week, but this week I’m going to struggle. The weather is looking pretty dreary and my kids start all their after school activities so I’m going to have to take the car a few days a week.

    Have a great day everyone, and a nice easy fast day to those of you joining me in a Monday fast.

    Good morning from a much cooler and drizzly Sydney

    Oh that heat on the weekend! All three of us wilted terribly and we had the air-con on so much that our next electricity bill might give us a shock (lol).

    I lost 600g last week so am very happy with that as I only had a single fast day and it wasn’t very fasty. But the reduction in portion sizes has done its job. Back to regular 2 fast days this week (Tues and Thurs), low calorie days the rest of the working week and relaxed discipline on the weekend (up to a point). I find this works for me.

    Glad you are feeling better Neil and those cycling kilometres are impressive.

    Please don’t feel silly Cinque; I didn’t even know what a Fodmap was and had to google it! There is so much I don’t know about food and the impact on our health. But I find I learn something new every week from your very wise and informative posts. Thankyou!

    LJ, how exciting about your holiday and catch up with Cali. I can’t wait to hear how the planning is going. Do you have any idea on when you will be heading off? Sorry about your evil scales, mine did the opposite last week. I didn’t really feel that my minimal attempt deserved a 600g loss but I’ll take it. I do know the opposite will probably happen this week of course.

    Sorry to hear you won’t be able to post much for a while Penguin but yes, please do lurk and let us know how you are going as often as you can

    34 degrees is hot anywhere Turn, but especially when you aren’t used to it. Glad the smoke is starting to clear

    Hi G’day, glad to hear that you are feeling a bit better but sorry about your flooding. Such a land of extremes. When the Southerly finally hit Sydney last night it brought about 3 storms one after each other and we had a heap of rain too. But no flooding thankfully

    OK, work is being neglected again so must get to it. No date/time yet for the second interview but I’m sure I’ll get a call today. Thanks again for your positive thoughts and well wishes. It worked!

    Good Afternoon friends
    I was just about to write Good Morning when I saw that it was well past 12 noon – it’s taken me that long to catch up on all your posts.

    It’s Monday FD for me and so far so good. One cup of tea this morning and just water since. I’m thinking of boiled eggs and salad for dinner. I had planned to make Miso soup as I am missing it so much but the day has turned out hotter than I expected so I think I will put it off until later in the week when it is supposed to be much cooler.

    Last week I had an extra long long weekend and so only had Wednesday as a FD. This week back to normal so I’m looking forward to that.

    We have been growing gherkins again this season and yesterday I made a gherkin relish and also pickled some more. Just wondering if anyone knows of a good book for pickling and preserves/relishes? I usually use the web but it is so hit and miss. My gherkin relish is very runny even though it is still tasty. We will eat it but I would like my cooking to be more successful especially when it takes so much time and effort to prepare these things. Not only all the cutting up and soaking in salt water, but especially the sterilising of the jars!

    I better go do some more work. Hopefully I will be back to normal posting here as I do miss you all 🙂

    We miss you too Quacka!

    Good afternoon all.

    I’ve just done my walk for the day. I had to mentally drag myself around the neighbourhood today as I felt stiff, sore and very slow. Still, it’s done now.

    Turn, I hope that smoke clears away soon. I hadn’t realised it was still an issue in NZ.

    Cinque, I am joining you in a fairly quiet week too. Nice to have one that isn’t crammed with appointments.

    Neil, that is an impressive cycling target. Sounds like you earned the calories in that pizza after 6 hours of moving furniture and boxes.

    Anzac, congratulations on the loss – good encouragement for you getting back into your FD routine.

    Quacka, sounds like you’ve been busy preserving food. When I do jams, pickles or relishes there are two books I rely on. “Cookery the Australian Way” – which was my home economics text book when I was at high school; and the “Green and Gold” cookbook which is incredibly old but my mother and both grandmothers used them. The second book can be tricky because it’s all in old imperial measurement, but the chutney and relish recipies that I’ve used from there have been good.
    The first book is reliable because it’s a text book and it spells things out in first principles so you understand the process. (eg it explains how to check pectin levels in fruit you want to use for jam). I have checked both books and I’ve found recipies for gherkins, and a cucumber pickle but not a gherkin relish.
    https://imgur.com/a/mcVjsRQ These are photos of the cover and the inner pages of the green and gold book.
    I suspect it’s a lack of natural pectin in cucumber which has meant you have a runny relish. That happened to me with a large batch of jam once. The only remedy is to open all the jars and put it all back in the pot. Add some pectin (“jam setta” – you may only need half a packet) and bring it back to the boil. It only needs a couple of minutes simmering to dissolve the pectin into the relish. I’m afraid all the jars need to be sterilised again before you put the relish back.
    You can buy “jam sugar” these days and I started using that when making jam and marmalade. There is a little pectin powder mixed through the bag of sugar and I found it was just enough to get a good set without overdoing it.

    I am still in the early stages of figuring out how to put the holiday together. I have found most of the tours spend too much time (and money) on things that aren’t a priority for me. So I’m trying to piece together elements that will create my own customised trip, which is much more difficult. What is tricky is that some of the options are available for a limited time in the Canadian summer and I want to travel in their autumn (Sept-Oct). I really want to travel on the rocky mountaineer train and to see as much wildlife and scenery as possible – especially grizzly and polar bears. It’s the polar bears are proving most difficult to fit in due to when those specific tours are available – that may have to wait until I get to Iceland – one day. I want to spend a few days in the Jasper and Banff area so I can do some walks and enjoy the lovely scenery. I’m hoping to spend up to 3 weeks in Canada and then 1-2 weeks in California. Originally this was going to be a Canada & Alaska trip I hadn’t planned to go to mainland U.S., but couldn’t resist the opportunity to catch up with CaliD. The Alaska leg of the trip is looking less and less likely as it’s expensive and I think I’d prefer to spend the money on other things. The only touristy things I really want to do in California is to get to some national parks like Yosemite and the Redwood Forests. I’m not the best map reader, so it will depend on where they are exactly and how easy is it to get there – they look close, but online maps can be very deceptive.
    I will need to sit down with a travel agent soon and work out how to piece this all together.

    Hi all, the tennis (Australian Open) is now finished, so I have more time to concentrate on posting. Great to read all your posts.

    G’DayfromSA, excellent to read of all the lovely rain you had, even if the shed had to be cleaned out TWICE.

    Turnabout and Neilithicman, so sorry to read that NZ is still suffering form the smoke effects from our horrific bushfires. In Melbourne, the effect seems to come and go, and at the moment, there seems to be very little smoke smell around.

    Anzac65, lovely to have you back with us, and good that you enjoyed your trip. Interesting that you ended up feeling it was a bit long. The “honeymoon” period visiting new places tends to last 3-4 weeks, and then the consciousness of differences can begin to set in, so I guess that’s understandable. Good luck with the second interview, whenever it happens.

    LJoyce, all your travel plans have started to give me “itchy feet”, but I don’t plan to travel overseas again until I complete my doctorate degree, which will be mid-2022, so a ways off yet. Still, it’s interesting to read of your research and plans as you prepare for your trip. Friends of mine travelled by train up from Alice Springs to Darwin last year, with a few days at each end. They enjoyed it a lot, though a bit of a challenge with the train as neither of them enjoys particularly great health and the rattling of the train as they slept seemed to jolt them around. It’s certainly easier though than travelling overseas.

    I can sympathise with Penguin’s decision not to travel again for more than 4 hours by air.

    Thin, sounds like your DD got a bargain with her airflight ticket, but by the way, will Brexit now start to affect your travel around Europe, need for passports? need for visas?

    Quakka, good to hear from you, and it will be good when you can post more regularly (says me, who’s been quite slack over the past few weeks! 🙂 )

    Cinque, I’ve been meaning to mention how much I’ve been enjoying the strawberries you gave me. I put the tub outside the front door, and it seems no birds have found it (or they’ve been deterred by Wilbur, my cat?). The strawberries are very small, but very sweet, and every few days I pluck anything from 5-10 from the bushes, give them a brief wash under the tap, and pop them straight in my mouth – yum!

    Thank you, by the way, to those who have encouraged me re my health, and Cinque for offering to go with me to see my doctor. I have a good relationship with him, so it won’t be a problem to discuss things, and I do generally write down a list of what I need to discuss so nothing gets forgotten.

    What I’ve done so far – I’ve gradually settled on a fairly regular time for bed and getting up, at this stage around midnight and 9 a.m. I’m aiming to gradually retire earlier, which will then shift the morning arising time also to earlier. For a night-owl like me, it’s been an effort, but midnight though still on the later side, is much better than 2 a.m. I’m also making an effort to walk more daily, and not be too sedentary (despite the tennis, I might add 🙂 )during the day. I really like my fitbit because it vibrates on my wrist to remind me to move if I haven’t walked at least 250 steps each hour during the hours of 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.
    All of that is to stay that I’m making changes to try to improve general health and wellbeing. Gradually, I’ve been feeling less tired, though I do still have some respiratory symptoms, and a throat which has been sore on and off for a few months now. The throat, I think, is related to stomach problems. Even taking Nexium daily, and recently as instructed by my doctor, twice a day for 10 days, I am getting food reflux. Not much acid burning, though that could be coming up to burn the back of my throat, but I get actual food coming back up into my mouth. That’s a concern, as it could happen at night when I’m sleeping. I think this is the area which needs investigating. I thought about seeing my doctor earlier, but I’ve an appointment with him at the end of February, which I felt was long enough away to see if any of the symptoms subside or not. My suspicion is that I need at least a Barium meal and swallow XRay, and more likely a gastroscopy, to really find out what’s going on there. But, if I can lose a bit of the weight I regained, maybe it will all settle down(?), so I’m basically giving myself till 27/2 for that to happen.

    Speaking of health, G’DayfromSA, it seems that though the docs are not concerned about your test results, at least the second one has been prepared to do further tests for your peace of mind. I hope something positive and treatable comes out of all that plus working with the nutritionist to help you find what you can eat without problems.

    Will try to post more often now the tennis is over – if for no other reason than to avoid getting behind and there being so much to try to read if I leave it too long.

    Morning all

    I had a good fast yesterday, I restricted myself to around 1000 calories. I had a nice bowl of my home made muesli this morning and look forward to a control day before tomorrow’s weigh-in.

    LJoyce, rather than buying expensive jam setting sugar, you can get good results using an age old trick of putting some apple skins and cores in a piece of muslin cloth in the pot when you’re cooking. The skins and cores have most of the pectin so that will help things set.

    I made sauerkraut for the first time last night. The recipe uses a beetroot and a couple of carrots along with the cabbage to give sweetness and colour, then grated ginger, turmeric and garlic for flavour. It’ll be interesting to see how it turns out.

    Have s great day everyone

    Good morning everyone

    Thank you for the information on the preserving and also pointing me to some good books, LJ. I can see they have been well used which is always a good sign! I am definitely going to try and find a copy of those ones. I’m also going to head to the library and check out what they have there.

    Neil, I haven’t tried to make sauerkraut yet but I do want to try. I have made kimchi a couple of times and it is really yummy especially after it has had time to ferment. At first it is quite strong so it’s important to give it the time it needs. I imagine sauerkraut would be the same.
    I’ve also made fermented turmeric cauliflower (G’day mentioned it once and that got me wanting to try it). It was also really yummy but cauliflowers are way too expensive to do that at the moment. They were $7.90 each last time I looked! I will need to buy one soon, just for eating, as I am missing my cauliflower and broccoli.

    We have had lots of zucchinis from the garden, also eggplant and tomatoes. We have had no success with cucumbers this season despite the gherkins growing and producing really well. OH has just started to pick his capsicums which he is happy about. Chillies have also been slow but are starting to come on now.

    Yesterday’s FD went very well and I had well under the 500 cals. By the time I got home the weather had cooled down so I made a miso soup with my home made beef bone broth and veggies (only cabbage, carrot, zucchini, peas and a few dead mushrooms). I also added some kelp noodles and had a boiled egg with it. It was yummy and very filling for not many calories. I had some left over for today’s lunch. It wouldn’t all fit in the container so I also ate the last for breakfast. Mmmmm.

    LJ, did you buy the kelp noodles from that website? I have already bought another 6 packets. I soften them up with a squeeze of lemon juice and half (or less) teaspoon of bi carb, mixed into warm water. I test them often to see when they are soft enough to my liking and then rinse them off and they are ready to use. Last time I also bought a packet of sea vegetables in the same brand but I haven’t tried them yet. they do look interesting though.

    OK, time for a cuppa and some more work. Take care all and have a lovely day x

    Good morning everyone,
    A beautiful cool, sunny morning here.

    Anzac, hooray for that 600g gone. Hooray for reducing portion sizes successfully.
    Aw thankyou, I love the way you make people feel good.
    Fodmaps are fascinating, all about Irritable Bowel Syndrome, they (fodmaps) are super healthy for those of us who don’t have IBS, infact I have been consciously eating lots of vegetables with polyols (cauliflower, mushrooms, snow peas).

    Quacka, ooh those yummy gherkins! Even if they are runny yummies. I had to google a fermented gherkin recipe to give you, just because that is what I would make if I had the option: https://www.feastingathome.com/fermented-pickles/

    LJoyce, you are such a good planner, you will make the absolute most of your time and resources. Won’t it be fun.

    Betsy, so lovely to have a good catch up post from you, and especially that those changes you are able to make in your daily routine look set to pay off. I do so agree that those little sensible changes can make a bigger, and much better long-term, difference than trying some big new things. Especially if you can sleep better and wake up refreshed (always what I am trying to do!).

    I am so delighted the strawberry plants avoided the birds, well done Wilbur! They are lovely little strawberries aren’t they.

    And hooray you have such a good doctor, they are gold. Your stomach problems must worry you, sending good wishes.

    Neil, so busy! That sauerkraut recipe sounds wonderful! I love the way kimchi adds other veggies and spices in, but that is the first time I’ve seen sauerkraut do it, and I think I would love it.

    Well I had better go, but wanted to share a tweet that made me laugh, it is from Adam Liaw that Australians may know from cooking shows or that he won the second series of Masterchef

    Adam Liaw
    I’m on Instagram a fair bit and as far as I can work out from influencer content the best way to stay in great shape while still eating what you want is quite simply to be 23.

    Bye all (oh to be 23 again!)

    Good afternoon all.

    Just back from an afternoon walk. I’ve taken advantage of the milder weather to do afternoon walks for a couple of days. It’s steadily heating up again so I’ll limited to mornings only.

    Betsy, I really rely on the fitbit getting me off of my backside every hour too. I set mine for 8am-9pm, because I’m always up and awake during that time. I’m surprised at how often it reminds me I’ve been sitting for too long and I’m shocked at how quickly that last hour flew by and I haven’t moved.
    I hope the investigations figure out why the nexium hasn’t corrected your reflux. I have a hiatus hernia and used to have constant reflux until I started taking a 40mg nexium table every morning. As long as I don’t eat many high fat foods I no longer have any reflux – for which I’m very grateful. Hopefully they can do an endoscopy or something similar to figure out what’s happening.

    Quacka, no I didn’t get the kelp noodles. When I went to the site they were sold out and I forgot to go back again – they have some noodles that were made from mixed sea vegetables but not kelp. (As I’ve had kelp noodles before and liked them I think I’ll stick to what I know I like.) Now I can’t remember the site name – would you mind posting it again – sorry.
    You are welcome on the books. I find that for any types of preserves old recipies are generally reliable as they date from a era when many people had to preserve food as freezing and dehydrating were not available yet. Most women (especially those outside of the cities) knew how to do it properly – often with just a wood stove or laundry boiler to work with.
    The green and gold was first printed in the 1920s, but was reprinted many times – my copy dates from the early 1940s. In the 90s they issued a 75th anniversary edition and in 2013 a hardback 90th anniversary edition – it is likely one of these is still available and has hopefully had some updates which make the recipies easier for a modern cook to follow. (I just checked and it seems to be available still, eg at https://www.qbd.com.au/) I’m not sure whether my old high school Home Ec. textbook is still around though.
    It must not be the season for cucumber, I couldn’t get mine to grow either. I tried sewing direct from seed twice to no avail and even when carefully raised some seedlings in little pots they refused to grow properly when planted out. So I’ve given up and put some snow pea seeds in their place, which have all just sprouted.

    Cinque, I can double and a half the 23, does that count?

    I’m actually doing a proper 500cal FD today. The last 3 days have all been around 1200 not 800 so I needed to do something to break that pattern. I suspect the extra eating is a reaction to the scales – I don’t react well to anything I consider unjust and I’m especially touchy when it comes to bathroom scales.

    Hope you are all having a good day.

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