Hello Southern Hemispherites!!

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  • Well done Betsy! You know how to get that weight back off now, so don’t give yourself a hard time over putting some back on. You’ll be fine, and I thought you were retiring?

    And thank you. I’m far from the perfect 5:2er but I love how 5:2 or Intermittant Fasting helps us work out over time how our individual reactions to food and drink work, so we can tailor it to our personal needs and circumstances. I’ve been 5:2 ing now for 5 years and some of my personal rules/ needs are:

    * I’m a member of the Hunger Dragon Clan, so I know if I eat before 12 noon I am lost for the day. I never liked eating before 10-11am anyway.

    * To have special celebratory foods for birthdays and Christmas (and weddings), but only on those days not for a couple of weeks.

    * I don’t drink calories.

    * Balanced nutrition and as little processed food as possible.

    * Added sugar foods for special occasions only.

    * Never give up.


    Well done to you for all you consistent weight loss! Feels great doesn’t it!

    Bye for now,
    Merry (very wet here!)
    Onwards and Downwards, and if you fall off the horse, just get back on.

    Hi CrazyA and Cinque!

    CrazyA, go by the clothes – they always tell the story, no matter what the scales or tapes say – sometimes they like to play tricks.

    Cinque, weird dream! Had to laugh at the slab of meat – so you- Not! Hope those grandbabies are doing well!

    It’s good to be back!


    Good evening all

    Merry, I think such a small gain without 5:2 is miraculous. I gained that much in December with 5:2! Knowing your tenacity I am sure you will deal with it.
    I hope Mr M’s health is still ok.
    I know we had some humorous guesses a couple of years ago about your annual project. I’m going to have another guess – probably something with an annual award with an end of March deadline for submission – maybe a literary project or a perhaps a portrait for the Archibalds? (You’ve never mentioned being a painter, so that’s probably unlikely, but submission is 30 March.) Am I close?

    Cinque, have a lovely evening with your friend. Not sure about that dream – might just be that you usually fast on a Sunday.

    Anzac, I hope the smell of wet dog all the way home wasn’t too bad.

    Crazy, just like the scales, measurements can move a little from day to day, so looser clothing does mean something. Also we don’t measure our whole body just 2 or 3 places and there are a lot of other areas where we may have trimmed down.
    Sorry to hear about your water troubles – its sounding like our rural areas here.

    Neil, glad you got a bike ride in. Hopefully you’ll get some late summer weather. The wet weather is causing issues for some places here too – oddly some of the same areas that had bushfires just a month or so ago.

    Betsy, wonderful news on the weight loss and the supervisor.

    As to the issue of vindictive bathroom scales, I have decided that I need to go back to weighing monthly not weekly. Every time I lose weight I do so unevenly, it’s always been that way so that’s unlikely to change. However over time the scales do move. Because I react so badly to a number I consider unjust I need to just lengthen the time between weigh-ins so that the fluctuations have a chance to sort themselves out. I can still use the tape measure in between if I need confirmation that I’m going ok – for some reason I don’t react badly to fluctuations there – and there seem to be far fewer weird fluctuations in my torso measurements.

    Have a good evening all.
    I’m doing a FD500 tomorrow.

    Good evening all. Lots of interesting posts. Today’s CD became a NFD as I felt a bit “off” most of the day; drank more, ate more, and felt better. Back to a FD800 day tomorrow.

    Merryme, yes, you’re right, I did retire, in August 2018, and one reason I did so was because I wasn’t coping trying to both work AND do a doctorate degree at the same time, even with both of them part-time. Now I’m just working on the doctorate degree, but even with that have taken one semester as leave of absence this semester, just to get some major chores around the home done. Want to “clear the deck” so I can start the doctorate fresh again in July, hopefully with the supervisor question fully resolved.

    crazyartist, re measuring, I honestly think that measurements don’t tell the whole story. I’ve lost weight, found clothes are fitting a bit more loosely, yet the tape measure tells me I’m exactly the same size around my hips or waist. It seems so weird when I know the clothes fit better. Don’t fret.

    It’s like the scales for you, LJoyce. Sometimes clothes fit better, but the scales haven’t shifted. Eventually they do, but waiting till they do can be very frustrating. I sympathise. Mind you, even with the weight loss last week, I still have nearly 8 kg to lose to be back where I was in May last year. Sigh! But you know, this is a WOL, and if I yo-yo down then up a bit, then down further a bit, provided the overall trend is down, that’s okay. No sense in beating myself over the head about it all.

    Glad you could get some cycling in despite the weather, neilithicman. How are you going with your yearly distance goal up till now?

    Weird dream, Cinque, but just merging lots of ideas and events together. Can’t even think of how it might be interpreted, except to say that the mind is a wonderful thing 🙂

    Goodnight all.

    Morning all, I hope you had all had a great weekend.

    Betsy, The website I use keeps my lifetime stats so I’m currently sitting on around 550 kilometers for the year to date, spent 1.2 days on the bike and burned 102,000 kilojoules (24,500 calories) So I’m well over a quarter of the way to 2020 kilometers after just over a month in. One of my workmates encouraged me to sign up to the national cycling challenge and we keep each other motivated to get out on the bike. The beauty of that is that it also puts me in the draw to win a whole lot of prizes including an E-bike.

    I wouldn’t worry about your CD turning into a NFD. I think sometimes we can overdo the fasting if we want to see better results on the scales and it can be counter productive and shut down your metabolism. I think sometimes you need to listen to your body and eat a few more calories.

    Ljoyce, good luck with your shift to monthly weighing. I definitely need to keep mine to weekly. I think if I need the shock of a big gain during a week to keep me from slipping into bad habits.

    Merry, I’d seen hunger dragon mentioned but I don’t know exactly what it is. What is the Hunger dragon club?

    I did ok at the potluck. I didn’t eat much, but I did have a few slices of garlic bread and a bowl of dessert, and as with other times I’ve gone back to eating more sugar and carbs than normal, I woke up with a tummy ache this morning. I went for a 17 km ride this morning on the way to work and I should be able to get a good hour in tonight when I drop my boy to his Parkour lesson.

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

    Good morning all

    What a day yesterday weather wise! It howled and poured all day. We packed up the car, dog in the back, took off and soon skidded on the flooded road. We turned back as we felt it was just too dangerous. I think my sister and BIL are deeply upset but we did what we felt was best

    Whoo Hoo BestyLee! Way to go! So glad to hear that your supervisor issue might be resolved too

    Hope your tummy ache goes away Neil and I have to ask. How do you manage a 17km bike ride with a sick tum?

    LJ, I stopped weighing daily (I am now weekly) too for the same reason. I don’t think i could wait a whole month though. I hope it all works for you (I’m sure it will)

    I have no clue whatsoever about your dream Cinque! Interesting……

    Hi Merry, lovely to hear from you. Good luck getting back into the swing but I’m very sure you won’t need it as you are a seasoned professional 🙂

    Hi Crazy, nice to hear from you too. I hope you get some rain soon

    Busy day at work today so must run. Have a great day

    Hi Anzac, When I say tummy ache, I mean that I feel a bit bloated, but exercise followed by a nice cup of coffee seems to help things a bit. From your comment it sounds like we’re not the only ones getting some extreme summer weather.

    Crazy, I guess it’s a case of the grass is always greener on the other side. There was a cartoon in the local paper with a split panel, the left side said “North” and was a guy baking in heat, the right side said “South” and was a guy standing waist deep in water in the rain, both of them were saying “ENOUGH ALREADY!”

    Have a great one.

    Oh I’m glad it wasn’t a bad tum Neil and yes, we had the most rain since 1998 in the last few days. Honestly it was frightening

    I felt the irony when we were in the dining room watching the start of the Bushfire charity cricket match with what looked, felt and sounded like Armageddon going on through the window directly next to the t.v. John Williamson was singing a heartrending version of ‘True Blue’ and I had tears in my eyes thinking that they would have given their left arms for the extreme wet weather we were having right at that moment.

    Hope your weather improves soon

    Hello, I am from Melbourne and my sister told me about Eat, Fast and Live Longer on SBS. I bought a copy of The Fast Diet for my Kindle. I started doing 5:2 on 6 January then switched to 4:3 on 20 January when my progress seemed to have stalled. I have lost 2.3kg so far.

    Welcome clbw (someone was going to shorten it so it may as well be me) and congratulations on your loss so far. Buying that book might turn out to be one of the best decisions of your life. It certainly changed mine.

    LJ, weighing monthly! Radical. I could never do it. I’m still an obsessive daily weigher. It guides me what to eat – whether to be careful or if I can push the boat out a little. Today, for example, I’m 1kg down after a FD of guessing the calorie intake which I don’t like to do. (Finding some almond milk in the fridge here probably helped). I know you get upset by the numbers so whatever works, works. I don’t go anywhere without my travel scales and have finally stopped ‘deleting 1kg’ in my mind because my Perth scales made me 1kg less. They’re no good to me now. So, I’m 58.1kg in the new measurement (even though I’m really 57.1kg, he he).

    Neil, ‘The Hunger Dragon’ refers to the problem that many of us experience once we start eating for the day. It makes us want to eat more. Postponing eating until later in the day staves off the hunger.

    Merry, I’m always certain that I know what that project is because you once told me. But then when you say it’s secret, it makes me think perhaps I have it wrong. Put me out of my misery please. I love your little guidelines. Especially about special occasion food being for special occasions only. (Think mince pies and hot x buns!)

    Betsy, it will be great to get on top of things and get all the outstanding chores done. I can thoroughly vouch for downsizing too if anyone’s considering having a clear out. It is so liberating and the fewer items we have, the less we have to worry about.

    We’re now in Barcelona looking after the havanese cutie. Yes, his owner had him clipped. We had a great walk in the hills behind the city yesterday – whoa, those steep hills! Must make another coffee and then try to read the previous page before OH gets up.

    Betsy, great job on the weight loss, you’re back in the saddle it seems. You said earlier that you gained back 10kg of 13kg lost. This is the main reason for me to weigh daily. Since losing 23kg on 5:2, I have a ‘trigger weight’. This is when alarm bells ring. I find it so much easier to throw in an extra FD and deal with it there and then. I know I couldn’t trust myself if I got on that slippery slope. I’m never going back to where I was because being overweight consumed and depressed me too much. My trigger weight was 61kgs but, during the 4.5 years of maintenance, I’ve lost more weight and it’s now a nice round 60kg.

    I think that period when we transition into maintenance is the hardest of all. Traditionally, it’s when we all re-gained the weight after past ‘diets’ or whatever because we didn’t have a plan and we returned to eating for the weight we used to be. D’oh!

    Remember, nothing tastes as good as being slim feels.

    Cinque, I don’t know how to interpret that dream except that maybe I’m too bossy. But it made me laugh.

    Welcome aboard CLBW, great that you’ve taken a step towards good health. This forum is great for support and advice.

    Thanks for clarifying that Thin, I don’t have an issue controlling my eating during the day when I start eating. My issue is with controlling my eating at the end of the day when I’m finished work and relaxing. That’s the time of day when I tend to over-eat. Enjoy Barcelona, it sounds awesome!

    Hi all, good to read your posts. Good FD800 today.

    Thin, I did have a “trigger weight point”, then when I went below it, I set another, then another. Unfortunately, I ignored them as the weight slowly gathered again. But it’s okay. It was a mixture of stress and foolish eating choices towards the end of last year plus a succession of eating out meals. I put the brakes on firmly at the end of January, and am heading downwards again. 2kg off already (I know some of that will just be water weight) so I’m feeling encouraged.
    One thing I will NEVER do again is buy a heap of factory seconds of Haigh’s chocolates (which I did when visiting Adelaide in September), imagining that I will be able to ration them out over a few months. Ha ha! They were gone in less than a month, and my weight showed it. Oh well, live and learn. Sometimes I’ve no problems with self-control, but with really favourite things? – uh-uh.

    Re downsizing, I sort-of already have, as I live in a unit, but it’s still easy to accumulate and I’m really trying to simplify and de-clutter. Basically, if I haven’t used it in the past few years, I obviously don’t need it. One problem is an accumulation of unread books, which I don’t want to dispose of until I’ve read them and decided whether to keep them or not. My measure of that is the question “would I want to re-read this book?” If the answer is “no”, out it goes to the op shop, but I have to read it first, and I just haven’t had time.

    Well done with the cycling Neilithicman, and good that you get a noticeable physical symptom which alerts you to a dietary excess.

    Anzac65, I wondered how you’d be doing, in the storms up your way. Thankfully, the rain has at least added to the dams and put out a couple of significant fires, so very glad to read of that.

    Welcome catladybookworm, your name is very evocative of my situation, with a ginger tabby ruling my household, and with me having more than 13 bookcases of books – please explain how you chose your name. It’s a fairly long moniker – don’t think I want to shorten it too far, not to clbw like thin, but maybe just catlady, if that’s okay with you? This is a great forum, by the way, with a diverse, friendly and helpful group of folk, not all from the Southern Hemisphere. CalifDreamer’s from California, penguin from the UK, and thin deserted us for the UK and Europe last year. We still all love to chat, and share recipes and handy hints.

    Goodnight all.

    Anzac, wonderful news about your job! Congratulations! Sometimes having another offer and planning to leave is the only way to get an employer to pay you what you’re worth and to stop taking advantage. You’re so conscientious about your work and they obviously realize that. And now you won’t have to worry about renewing a contract for another year. Well done!

    Thin, our dog is a Havanese with probably a little poodle mixed in. (He’s a rescue dog, so not really sure.) I’m constantly clipping him. His hair doesn’t shed and grows very fast. It would probably hang on the floor if I didn’t cut it. His face has a “puppy cut”. https://imgur.com/a/w5nf55d He doesn’t like being brushed very much so keeping his fur short is the only way to keep him from being a tangled mess.
    When you said you we’re going to Barcelona I had to immediately play the Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé playlist of the same name. Such talent.

    Merry, great to see you here and to catch up on all your news. It sounds like you and your family have been busy.

    LJ, if you’re spending any time in Vancouver on your Canadian trip, a ferry over to Victoria is a nice way to spend a day. I hope you can fit all of the Canadian places you want to see. It’s beautiful up there.

    Cinque, I think that dream means you had too many different things to eat before you went to sleep. 😁

    Betsy, glad you will probably be able to keep the supervisor you like, after all. Chocolate is one of my weak points too. I’ve been struggling a bit lately too. Too many food choices I think.

    We had the granite countertops installed in the two bathrooms today. They look as nice as I thought they would. The plumber will install the faucets and hook up the drains on Wednesday. I am going to paint the orange oak cabinets white, or an off-white color. I recently found out about chalk paint. It’s a matte finish thick paint that can go over most wood surfaces without having to sand them first. I’ve spent to last week or so doing research on the different brands and different types of sealers. Have any of you tried using it? Here’s a site if you’re not familiar: https://www.anniesloan.com/

    Have a great rest of your day, everyone.

    Hi everyone.

    I had a brutal reminder today of how important it is to take care of your health. My nephew’s brother-in-law, who was fit but still quite overweight, died of a massive heart attack. He was just 37 and has left a wife and 2 very young kids. I still can’t believe it, I just saw him on Australia day – he spent much of the afternoon playing with his 2 year old son. It’s such a horrible tragedy for that young family.

    I’ll post again later when I’ve calmed down a bit.

    LJoyce, that must have been a real shock to have someone close to you die that young. Sending cyber hugs your way 😢

    Hi all, another FD800 today, so it’s been a B2B. I might be fasting again tomorrow, so B2B2B, if I can do it. Maybe a CD, though. Don’t want to push too hard.

    Great to hear from you, CalifDreamer, and great that your granite countertops are now in. You’ll have to send us all some photos once it’s all done. I guess the colour you paint them will depend on the colour of your tiles and basins.

    And yes, really good chocolate is definitely a weakness of mine. I love chocolate, but can usually control my eating if it’s just “normal” chocolate. Give me the expensive kind, and my self-control goes out the window. Haigh’s chocolate is made in South Australia, and is one of the top brands in Australia – luxury chocolates. I normally can’t afford to buy more than a small amount, so it’s not a disaster, but going to the factory store in Adelaide in September and buying stacks of “seconds” was relatively cheap, with the consequence of total NON-self-control. Oh well.

    LJoyce, very sorry to hear of the demise of your nephew’s b-i-l at such a relatively young age. My sympathies. A real shock to you, and a reminder to us all yet again, that no-one knows what tomorrow might bring, so we should be our best selves today, and that includes making wise health choices.

    Goodnight all.

    LJ, I’m so sorry to hear of the death of your nephew’s BIL. What a shock to the whole family. His poor little kids will grow up without him. It’s unsettling when we realize how uncertain life really is and that tomorrow is guaranteed to no one. I’m glad you got to see him recently. Please pass along my condolences to his family.

    Weigh in this morning and the roller coaster continues. This time I’m back down 400 grams to 87.4 kilos. I don’t seem to be fluctuating as much the last couple of weeks, but my weight doesn’t seem to be trending down anymore. I do want to drop the last couple of kilos to hit 85 kilos but it seems like my body is happy sitting around 87-88 kilos.

    LJ, what a shock and such a terrible tragedy. I’m so very sorry and I am also sending massive cyber hugs and healing thoughts.

    Good morning everyone from cool, grey, still humid, Melbourne that is planning to get hot and sticky again.

    Welcome fellow Melbournian, CatLadyBookLover, if your user name is anything to go by, you are an excellent person! Welcome to 5:2, the form, our thread, and a new way of eating that will keep you healthy for the longterm. Hooray for the 2.3 kg you’ve lost already!

    LJoyce, such terrible sad news to hear of that young dad family member dying so suddenly. Just devastating for you all. Thinking of you.

    Merry, I do agree, I just love how twice a week, with 5:2, we get a ‘rest and reset’ day.
    Such a good set of rules!
    My central rules (they keep morphing) are currently:
    *Keep fast days as fasty as possible.
    *Get 7+ serves of veggies in every non fast day.
    *Avoid snacks
    *After my evening meal have a 30 minute wait and a drink of water before my cup of cocoa (since I am like Neil and get the evening munchies).

    My grandkiddies are so gorgeous. Just started a) school and b) 3 year old kinder. They couldn’t be cuter.

    Anzac, good decision not to drive through scary rain and flooding. Safety first!

    I had a lovely time catching up with my friend and she gave me the BEST present she brought back from India (where she went to get her teeth done, very successfully). A 1.5 litre pressure cooker. It is the tiniest one I have every seen, and just gorgeous. It will be perfect for cooking a cup of beans, or making a meal for one. I can’t wait to use it.

    And I had a sleep in this morning (Great news since I suffer badly from insomnia) but goodness it makes the morning go quickly.

    I’ve had to triage the food in the fridge and decide it would be better to have tomorrow as my fast day. Looking forward to it, it will still be Wednesday where you are Thin!

    I’ve got to run (ie start slowly moving) so I will just say a big hi to everyone and hope today is a good day. Cheers all.

    Good morning all

    Neil, Betsy, Cali, Anzac, Cinque, Thankyou for all of your good thoughts.

    Welcome CatLady, I’m glad you started with the book. I think it sets the groundwork for what you need to do and why. Also good to hear that it’s been going well so far.

    Neil, good that you had a loos this week. It’s not unusual for our bodies to settle into a weight – mine did for a few months before I could get my weight to shift lower. One good thing about being in a relatively stable range is you get a better idea of the balance of food and exercise required to maintain that weight. (It doesn’t always match the TDEE chart or a fitbit as having been obese can have an impact on this.)

    Cali, glad that you finally got those bathroom counter tops in. I hope they look as good as you imagined. Cooper is so adorable in those photos.

    Cinque, hope you get to experiment with that new pressure cooker soon. I’ve never owned a pressure cooker – they do scare me a bit.

    I had an my biannual appointment with the dietitian yesterday. She suggested increasing my consumption of resistant starches as it can help with inflammation. Her list of options was: rice noodles, cooked/cooled potatoes, dark rye bread, frekkah, pearl barley, rolled barley, bananas with a green tinge, polenta and legumes. I wondered about the rice noodles until I looked up the way they are made – which involves steaming the sheets of rice slurry before cooling cutting and drying them. I might start adding a modest portion on my 1200cal days, although I’m already freely consuming the legumes.

    I ended up fasting yesterday instead of Monday as I was in the hills and busy for much of yesterday so not having to take food with me for lunch was useful. Today I’m aiming for 1200cal. I am also going to a travel event with my neighbour (by train and then tram to get to the venue). This one is by RAA travel and they always put on an afternoon tea which I’ll need to avoid.

    Like Cinque, I got up unusually late today and I still haven’t had my first cuppa – must go and do that now.

    Have a nice day everyone.

    Good Afternoon Friends

    I’m sending my condolences LJ and also a great big hug. x

    Welcome Catlady. Hope you love our thread as much as I do 🙂

    I’m on Wednesday FD today. Monday was very successful and as I was very busy at work, it was relatively easy. Yesterday was a good CD. I have had about two hours sleep last night and while I was awake I realised that I was already hungry. I expected today to be difficult but so far so good (although it really doesn’t help working next door to a cafe and smelling garlic cooking on wet rainy day). I have some konjac noodles with some leftover sauce from my Osso Buco in the fridge for when I get really hungry. I tried to soften them with the lemon juice and bi carb like I do with the kelp noodles. I think it has worked a little bit but not as well as the kelp.

    LJ, I received my Green and Gold Cookery book today. It is still in pounds and ounces! I had a quick flick through and the chutneys and pickles do sound yummy. My only concern is that some of the recipes are a little vague – like “add three bottles of vinegar to the pan”. Ummmm, exactly how much is in a bottle of vinegar?? LOL
    I have seen a similar book before from the Country Women’s Association. Good basic recipes.

    Hope you all have a lovely day. I’m off to distract myself from my hungry tummy.

    Hello all

    I’ve been a bit quiet of late, but like Dondons said, it’s nice to be in a forum with people on the same time zone. Ish. And I wanted to check in on Anzac’s work news – how fantastic!!!

    We’ve had some pleasing rain in Canberra – not too much but ready for some more. Little Friday LOVES the water but he somehow seems to have an amazing teflon coat. He’s not learnt (yet) to roll himself dry on the ground, so he just air dries and any mud he’s picked up in the water seems to fall off him. No wet dog smell there!

    What are you doing your Doctorate in BetsyLee? (Sorry if this well known by everyone else!)

    So sorry to hear of your sad news LJoyce. 37 is waaaay too young.

    Evening all, I managed to cycle over 50 kilometres today and played a couple of hours of tennis, I’m loving being this fit!! I’m going to have to be fit though because I’m in the process of booking in to ride the Central Rail Trail next weekend. 152 kilometres of biking in 2 days will be challenging, even though it is mostly flat.

    I got pooped on by a seagull this morning on my morning ride. Everyone keeps saying that it’s supposed to be good luck, but it certainly didn’t feel like good luck when I had the poop land on the back of my hand.

    Have a great day everyone.

    CalifD, what a cutie! Great photo. Granite is well worth the expense, you’ll love it.

    LJ, so sorry about that news of your relative – was it your nephew’s wife’s brother? What a shock for all.

    Neil, yuk. No, not lucky surely. You are a fitness jock.

    Betsy, don’t worry, you’ve eaten them and you’re back on track now. Books were the first thing we tackled when we sold our house. Decades worth of collections for both of us. It was an awful wrench especially OH’s technical books. But, when they were gone, it was actually a tremendous relief. Do you notice how few of the younger generation these days have a library? Let alone read to their children.

    Cinque, triage food! That’s hilarious. What a great present, that pressure cooker. As you know, I’ve engaged in Thai dental tourism several times. I’ve only ever heard of it in India. What did your friend have done? Yes, it’s still Wednesday here. But rather than being a traditional FD, it was an AYCE day. Have we had that acronym here before? All You Can Eat. Stopped into a healthy looking restaurant after visiting the Picasso Gallery, Cultural Museum and wandering for hours through the Gothic Quarter. I thought I’d just have the salads which were so fresh and tasty but of course it didn’t end there. Which is why I normally avoid AYCE places. OH was in heaven so it was almost worth it but it will be another five years before I do it again.

    Good morning, sunnier and hotter here this morning and it will get hotter still, but a cool Saturday is in sight.

    It is my fast day and I will see how fasty I can make it. 🙂
    I think I am feeling well enough for a trip up to Greensborough Savers to distract me. I’ll head off soon before it gets too hot.

    LJoyce, hooray for resistant starches, but I would have thought you had plenty in your diet. Although I guess that cutting down on the grains does then limit the resistant starches. Legumes though!
    I am a bit bewildered by the different amount of resistant starch in different foods. Cooling and reheating potatoes, pasta and bread etc does increase it, but not by that much it seems. But the message seems to be to eat a wide variety, so maybe that is why they don’t concentrate on the ones with the highest percentages only. Enjoy those yummy foods though.

    I love pressure cookers. I grew up with my mum using one without any issues (Scotch broth, Irish stew, corned beef) and then when I was vegetarian I used mine mostly for beans. I always had a smallish one (3lt or 3.5), they are so wonderful, soaked beans only take 10 – 15 mins to cook. A few years ago I bought a super efficient 6lt one which is fairly big and I make lots of big pots of meaty/beany soups and stews that keep my freezer and fridge full of delirious portions.
    But having a little one for just one cup of beans, and little one meal things will be wonderful. I did use it last night to try pasta, which is only worth making in the PC to be eaten straight away, you cook it in a sauce. My sauce had chickpeas and veggies and the pasta turned out perfectly al dente and delicious.

    Quacka cheers for your day after fast day. And hoping you will get to cook from that classic book soon.

    Penz hooray for the rain! And for a dog that smells ok wet!

    Neil, such a precious feeling to be so fit. So glad that you make the most of it. Hope no more birds poop on you, I’ve had it happen, it is horrible.

    Thin, haha I live my life facing (little) emergencies to triage. But the fridge is all settled now, with cauliflower and homegrown zucchini for me soup tonight, and everything else can wait til tomorrow.

    I did offer to find out your Thai dentist details for my friend, but she had already booked the Indian one. Just as well, I mightn’t have got the PC if she had gone to Thailand 😉 .

    Oh dear yes those eat all you want places! So seductive.

    Ok off to get the day sorted. best wishes all.

    Good morning

    Although I did a FD Tuesday I’m attempting another today – I’m in the mood.

    Cinque, I perfectly understand the idea of triaging your fridge contents. I call it a stocktake – but with the same outcome – a desire to not waste any food and to also not eat things past their safe consumption period. It can take some juggling sometimes. I’m not sure I’ll ever be comfortable with pressure cookers. The only kitchen I was ever in that had one was a student share house in the 1980s which had a very old and seeming temperamental one. I stood well back when others were using it! The knob that sat on the steam vent used to bob around and hiss alarmingly and you had to vet the steam through that knob before you opened the pot – those brave enough to use it also stood well back used a wooden spoon for that process. I am looking forward to seeing Cali’s Eco Pot in action though – that might be a modern version I could cope with.

    Thin, I’m not much of a fan of AYCE restaurants either. Some of my family love them as they figure everyone can find what they like. I find the price can be high for the lack of quality – I think because they have to factor in a lot of waste and a lot of gluttony. Personally I’d rather just order what I want. There are only a couple of AYCE places that I’ve been to that were ok. (Pullman in the Adelaide casino and the Centrepoint tower rotating restaurant in Sydney – they both have some counters that cook to order as part of the AYCE options.)

    Penz, glad to hear that you have had some rain – I hope that means that any bushfires that were still burning near Canberra are now out.

    Neil, oh dear, bird strike is not fun when either cycling or walking (I have to be careful walking under street trees and power lines).

    Quacka, yes I found the same thing with my old copy of the green and gold – that’s what I was hoping had been updated. If I want to use an old recipe that used measures like “a bottle” I try to find a similar recipe that uses proper measures that I can compare it to – then I can work out what proportions are normal. For some things I can thankfully remember what my mum used. I can actually help you with the bottles of vinegar. What was commonly available in South Australia (and it is an SA recipe book), was Sepplets bottles of white vinegar – made in the Barossa Valley. They came in 2 sizes but the one that mostly sold was a pint bottle – I don’t ever remember seeing the larger one in our local town’s grocery store. There are pics of them here: https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/mount-barker/antiques/seppelts-vinegar-bottles-/1214669720 – the smaller bottle on the right is the one pint. For recipes that called for a bottle of vinegar, my mum would always use 1 pint of Seppelts white vinegar.

    After acquiring new information and yet more brochures at the tourism event yesterday I plan to make a concerted effort to get all of my Canada options into the spreadsheet today and narrow things down to the final choices. I want to get tours and accommodation booked in the next week. One of the really useful talks I went to yesterday was on “great train journeys” and they spent half their time talking about the rocky mountaineer – so useful.

    Have a nice day all.

    Not sure if it was a typo but I love the description of your fridge, Cinque, as being full of “delirious portions”!

    I was actually prompted to go to the Fires Near Me app to see what’s happening with the fires near Canberra. They’ve certainly gone off the front page of the news, and even the back pages. The major fires south of the Territory are still burning but are under control. The smaller fires within Canberra are long out. We’ve not had smoke haze for days and it’s been a lot cooler. And more rain over night. Joy!

    Friday has now been dubbed “Hippo” after his wallowing style in any available puddle.

    V impressed with your exercise regime Neil tho not with the bird’s appreciation of your riding underneath them!

    Hi everyone

    Thanks for the cheers Cinque 🙂 Yesterday ended up being a closer to 800 calories FD but that’s ok. No real excuses as I made the conscious decision to eat more as my dinner was so yummy. Then there was some fresh Turkish bread on the counter (for tonight’s dinner) and I had to put it into a container which of course it wouldn’t fit in, so I guess you know what happened next. Never mind, next week is another week.

    Thanks LJ for the info on the vinegar. Your trip sounds exciting, it’s nice to have something to look forward to 🙂

    Anzac, I don’t think I’ve said congratulations yet. So Congratulations!! I’m glad everything is working out at last.

    Time for me to go to lunch. Need to go buy the boy some chocolates for Valentine’s day. I know, I know…..commercial crap LOL. I’m hoping I might get something nice from him as he still has a bit of making up to do for forgetting my birthday. Ha ha ha ha. I doubt it though.

    Hi everyone from a very humid Sydney

    Hey Quacka, I’m with you on the commercial crap that is Valentines day! BUT….we are off to the Hunter Valley tomorrow for a long weekend and a concert and it just so happens that we decided to have a posh lunch tomorrow and it also just so happens to ve valentines day! I can’t wait. I hope your OH buys you something romantic 🙂

    So had a pretty bad Sunday and Monday but my FD yesterday was ok. About 850 calories so not great but will help I hope. As mentioned above a long weekend coming up so I just hope to maintain.

    Awww Friday….what’s a dog to do when there is an available puddle? Glad the fires are getting under control Penz

    Cinque, the sight, sound or even thought of a pressure cooker sends shivers down my spine. I grew up with so many things being cooked until they no longer resembled something with mass – especially vegetables. Now ask why I don’t eat hot vegetables. Ugh. My poor Mum had no idea that you can eat vegetables without turning them into mush. But I’m very glad you are getting so much enjoyment out of yours and obviously your food turns out brilliantly. I watch them being used on cooking shows and it always look yum when they do it.

    LJ/Thin – I am definately not an AYCE person – in fact I avoid buffets like the plague. The few times either OH and I have been sick on holidays seems to always coincide with a buffet dinner. Ugh. If they have live cooking stations that is a whole other matter though. Its when the food sits and is not hot enough and people breathe on it – that is not a good thing

    Neil, it is definitely good luck to have a bird poop on you. I agree it’s very unpleasant though! Not long ago I went for a lunchtime walk in Hyde park and one pooped so it hit the top of my sunglasses and slid down into the glasses themselves – on the inside. Yikes.

    Thanks for the nice words Cali and I am feeling really happy about my decision. The whole time I contemplated the other role it wasn’t sitting well – I guess the whole ‘gut feeling’ really should be listened to. But if I didn’t do it I wouldn’t have all this lovely extra cash and not have to worry about my Manager or getting another contract for a whole year. Yay! I can’t believe how cute your pup is – what an adorable face. I just want to snuggle him…it is nice having a cuddle with Maxx but it is more like cuddling a small horse and he takes up more room on the couch than both of us together. Sigh.
    So glad the bathrooms reno’s are coming along nicely. I love granite tops – we have them in our kitchen and they have lasted perfectly for 15 years.

    Have a superb weekend friends;

    thanks for the reminder that tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. I also really dislike the commercialisation of this day. I also really dislike roses. My OH (who likes to press my buttons) will often give me a dozen red roses on the 14th Feb. Any other day of the year and any other flower would be a real treat, and I feel a real cow not being happy to recieve roses on V Day!!

    Anzac, very good point about the AYCE food hygiene. I think the one we visited had a fast turnover and fresh food was constantly brought out. The last time we did it was for breakfast buffets in Asia and we’ve since stopped booking breakfast with hotels as the behaviour of some guests was so disgusting. LJ, I agree, they can be overpriced and I hate the waste. But, apart from those issues, I’ve learned my lesson. Serious damage on the scales, feeling bloated last night and not happy with myself. I simply can’t trust myself not to overeat. Sigh.

    Cinque, I wonder what you might have been brought had your friend opted for Thailand. For anyone facing expensive dental treatment in a western country, my recommendation is BIDC. I don’t impress easily but, following a successful implant, a crown and several cleanings, I can thoroughly recommend this place. https://www.bangkokdentalcenter.com.

    Penz, agree about Valentine’s Day. I wouldn’t knock back a dozen roses but I’d be wondering who they were from. My OH doesn’t have a romantic bone in his body.

    Off to pound the Barcelona pavements ……

    Well I spent a very long afternoon buried in my travel spreadsheet and brochures, but I have finally managed to figure out how to include everything on my Canada list and stay almost in budget (about $500 over). Most importantly it includes 2 days on the rocky mountaineer train and 3 days at a wilderness lodge to watch grizzly bears feast on salmon just before they hibernate. It only works because I found out about a reduced price offer at the travel event yesterday – so I’m very glad I went. The things it won’t include that I was hoping for originally are polar bears and Alaska – but I’m happy to forego those for the things I was able to include. It’s still a pretty full program with lots of scenery and wildlife. I’m just going to have to catch up with those polar bears in Iceland one day.

    My impromptu FD500 went well. For dinner I just heated up some green pea soup that I made and froze when my pea crop was bountiful – I added a little chopped leg ham to it tonight. I loathe traditional pea and ham soup but this was lovely with the fresh sweet flavour of young green peas.

    Have a good evening all

    Good evening all. Great to read all your posts about your adventures.

    Nelithicman, don’t know about good luck or not, but would certainly prefer not to be pooped on. Let’s hope it’s a once-in-a-lifetime event for you 🙂

    Penz, I’m doing a doctor of Ministry degree, looking at intercultural communication in the church setting. This semester, though, I’ve taken a “leave of absence” to get some major chores done at home that have been hanging over my head for (in some cases) years. For instance, over the past 2 days I have successfully re-potted nearly all of my orchids (cymbidiums, mostly). Only 3 left to do, and I’ll probably do those tomorrow, if I can get them done before the rain arrives. The poor orchids have had little attention apart from watering for several years now, and some were terribly pot-bound. They will be much happier now, and re-potting won’t need to be done again for, I hope, another several years.

    With the re-potting, oh my aching hands, and arms, and back – it’s no wonder I’ve avoided that job for so long. Despite that, I managed 2 CDs. If I can also have a FD800 tomorrow, that will be a good week. I’ve maybe lost around 1 more kg this past week, not sure till I weigh-in on Saturday, so I’m slowly undoing the damage of late last year.

    LJoyce, your trip sounds like it’s taking really good shape. I think the planning and anticipation is nearly good as the trip itself, and you sound as if you’re really enjoying the planning process. Good for you!

    Thin, I don’t really like AYCE places much either, because while there is plenty of food, it tends to be mass-produced. If I’m eating out, I prefer to have food that is cooked just for me. It’s also easier to make healthier choices, too.

    Anzac65, I’m also quite wary of pressure cookers, but a nutritionist recommended I buy one a couple of years ago so I could make proper bone broth. Confession – I’ve used it once only so far (in 2 years!), but I HAVE used it.

    Cinque, I can’t imagine a pressure cooker so small. Mine is … actually, I’m not sure, but definitely more than 1.5 litre. I’d guess around 4-5 litres.

    Quakka, thanks for bringing up the Green and Gold cookbook again. I’d forgotten about it, and will have to try to buy it. My local QBD bookstore is really good at ordering in books for me. I just have to remember to ask them.

    Hi to everyone else who’s hovering 🙂

    Goodnight all.

    Betsy, any chance of a photo of the orchids on imugr? I’m afraid I have you beaten with the pressure cooker – I’ve never used one. I see the value but I’m both scared and scarred. Scared the lid will come flying off and scarred as my mother used one when I was a child for doing rabbit.

    LJ, your trip is coming along well. I love train travel. Will you be incorporating 5:2, or some form of it, into your itinerary? And for how long will you be away?

    Good morning all.

    Betsy, isn’t it nice to get jobs like that done when you haven’t had the time or energy for them for ages. The orchids will thank you for it with more flowers hopefully. I have 5 orchids that sit on the kitchen windowsill that I recently repotted. I’m hoping that when the northern sun comes streaming through that window in a couple of months time, they will start sprouting new flower stems. (That’s what happened last year, so I’m hoping for a repeat.)

    Thin, the Canada leg of my trip as currently planned will be 17-21 days. (It will depend how many filler days I need in Vancouver between the tour and the bear lodge that I want to do.) I’m aiming to be away from home for a total of about 5 weeks so that will give me time to spend with Cali and see a little of northern California without feeling rushed. Frankly after 3 busy weeks in Canada I think I’ll be very grateful for a slower pace.
    I’m realising just how far ahead of time most holidays seem to get booked. At the travel events most people were planning and booking for next year. I suppose that means I should start planning next year’s holiday before I leave on this one!

    I have a physio appointment across town and will go for a walk while I’m over there as they have lovely leafy streets.

    Take care.

    Nice trip LJ – what about 5:2? Or were you deliberating avoiding that one for now?

    Morning all.

    I think my wife is over how into cycling I am at the moment. I didn’t get to ride on the way to work or at lunchtime yesterday because the weather was crap and all of work’s bikes were in getting serviced. So when I had to drop my boy to his Parkour lessons I took my bike and got in 20 kilometres, when I picked him up afterwards and dropped off the other one out to youth group I told my wife that I’d take my bike and do some more because I only got 40 minutes the first time. She rolled her eyes and said “oh go along and play then”

    LJoyce, Canada sounds awesome. My wife has an aunt in Canada who keeps insisting that we go to visit, but I think that trip would have to wait until our boys leave home, because that’s a long trip and pretty expensive for 4 people. It would be awesome to have a meet up with Cali in real life.

    Betsy, I agree, can we have some pics of the orchids? Most of our gardening is done for food but we do have a decent visual garden at the front that has different coloured coprosmas and hebes.

    Thin, how are you enjoying Barcelona? Any nice finds of tourist attractions or food?

    My workmate was laughing at me yesterday, we had another leaving morning tea at work and there were bags of chips there. She knows I struggle to resist chips and said “Oh no Neil, chips, your old nemesis!” I’m sorry to say I was munching away off and on for most of the day 😢

    Well I’d better go, my wife is working this morning so I’m on housework duty then I’m filling in for a tennis team this afternoon. Have a great day everyone.

    Good morning everyone,
    Oh what a relief today is after killer humidity and heat yesterday. It is still humid, but cool and raining so I don’t mind. How are you going Betsy, Klondi if you are there, and other Melbournians? I hope no-one suffered the bad storms that came through.

    I am having a Fast Saturday as I am looking after Ms5 granddaughter tomorrow, my usual fast day.

    LJoyce, such a wonderful holiday you have planned, and maybe Iceland and polar bears can be the next one.

    That eco pot does sound great, Cali. A wonderful modern version of haybox cooking.
    Pressure cookers really aren’t for veggies, they come into their own with tough cuts of meat (including rabbit I hear 😉 ) and with pulses, and bone broth of course! It is a pity how many people are scared of them, although lots more people are happy to use them now the electrical versions are out, Instant pot etc.

    Haha Penz, I did mean delicious portions, but I do get a bit delirious over a yummy meal!
    So glad the fires are out, or under control, the smoke has gone and the rain is falling. So sweet and precious.

    I hope all the cooing couples had a lovely Valentine’s Day and aren’t regretting the chocolates this morning.
    I got done. Someone was giving out Lindt Balls at the supermarket and was handing me 3, I asked for 1 so she gave me 2. A good chance to see if I still have a bad reaction to chocolate. I do. I enjoyed eating them SO MUCH but it had better be 5 years before I try again, like Thin with a buffet.

    Betsy, are your orchids getting a lovely water from the rain today? I envy those of you who grow them well, I never got the knack. I hope the aches have settled down and you can bask in your pleasure of a good job done.

    Neil, haha, sympathies to Mrs Neil who might have a lot more bike riding sessions to work around. She will love your housework at least.
    Chips are such a worthy nemesis, so crunchy and salty. I hope you enjoyed every bite, and then enjoyed working them off.

    Well I had a bad day yesterday and did nothing but make a mess, luckily I have got today to undo it all. I am starting gently with my ‘put three things away every time you get up’ so I will get up and put three things away and then put my coffee on.

    Cheers all. Hooray for 5:2 after a bad day.

    Good morning

    Thin, sorry I wasn’t avoiding the question, just forgot to answer. I will definitely be doing 5:2, though I may need to be flexible about the 500cal limit with limited choice of purchased meals, but doing a day where I just eat dinner and a piece of fruit in the afternoon should be pretty simple. I’m hoping I can get hold of some fresh fruit to stash in my backpack before I head off on tour. If I have snacks covered then it’s easier to avoid other things when I’m feeling a bit peckish. I remember buying a bag of apples when I was on a bus tour of Europe which helped me avoid bad snacks – if fact most of the women on the bus did the same thing at the same French farmers market in Beaune – half of the overhead storage on the bus was taken up with our bags of apples!

    Neil, Commiserations on the chips – they are my nemesis too. I can’t buy them or I eat the bag in one sitting. I’m sure a morning of housework and afternoon of tennis will take care of the calories, just remember to drink plenty of water to flush all that sodium from your body.
    What I’ve found about the travel costs for Canada is that it’s the touring and accommodation that’s costly, the air travel is more reasonable – although it would definitely add up for 4 people.

    Well I wish I could say I have everything booked – but I have nothing confirmed yet, despite 90 minutes with the travel agent yesterday. It appears that most people booked their trips 18 months ahead of time and many of the things I wanted to do are already fully booked. However there is a reasonable chance I can get onto a tour that I like the itinerary for and that’s in budget. This is the tour I hope to do:
    https://www.globus.com.au/north-america-tours/majestic-rockies-with-rocky-mountaineer-CVE?season=2020 They will confirm by Wednesday whether they have room for a solo traveller on the mid September departure. Unfortunately the trip to Knight Inlet to watch grizzly bears feeding on salmon (which was going to be my big extravagance) is fully booked. There is another tour which is still to be confirmed, but that I’m hoping is available that does whale watching and also black bears. So no grizzly bears, but hopefully I can still piece together something that I enjoy. I knew some things might be booked out but was shocked at how little was still available. I went in with one preferred itinerary and 4 backup plans (which I thought was excessive) – apparently not.

    I know I said I was going to weigh monthly but I felt smaller this week and my tighter tops are fitting much better so I decided to risk it. I’m glad I did as I’m finally out of the 80s and back into the 70s – 79.3kg this morning. I feel relieved and more confident of getting back into the mid-70s in a reasonable time.

    Have a nice weekend all.

    Cinque, our posts crossed. It’s been unusually humid here for the last week too. At least the temperatures are mild at the moment.
    You have been experimenting a bit with sugar lately haven’t you – first fruit and now chocolate. The Lindt balls are deadly – very hard to stop at one. I only buy them for decorating special cakes.

    Neil, we’re not really big city tourists but we’re enjoying Barcelona a lot, thanks for asking. I was meaning to tell you that there’s an extensive bike use system, apparently for locals only, all across the city. We’re not quite sure how it works but there are rows of bikes in racks, locals can grab one, cycle to where they’re going and leave it in a rack there. There are dedicated bike paths throughout the busy streets. We’re not quite sure if locals have to pay to use them but there are other rental options for non-locals too. There are loads of people on electric scooters and businessmen balanced on those single wheel contraptions. For all this healthy living, literally every other person on the street is smoking which I find very hard to take. It’s hard to believe so many young people smoke.

    As mentioned, we normally avoid tourist traps but Barcelona has managed to get us to part with a fair amount of cash. We’ve enjoyed the Picasso Gallery, gothic quarter, Gaudi’s Casa de Batllo, the harbour, beaches, national park, Museum of Culture to name a few. We’ve booked a daytime tour of the Palau de la Musica and a Vivaldi concert at the same venue another night. We’re pet-sitting in an upmarket suburb not normally visited by tourists which has quaint narrow streets, high density living above dozens of little speciality shops for jamon, cheese, fruit & veg., confectionary, bread, dessert and, of course, tapas and coffee shops.

    LJ, thanks for the info. It all sounds very interesting. You’ll probably be so busy enjoying so many new things that you forget all about snacking. One of the reasons that we wanted to be based in Europe was because, from Perth, everything was 23 hours and $2000 away and had to be planned so far in advance. DD booked her flight to Austria the day before she left! She nipped over to Germany yesterday. I’m going to open your tour link now.

    Cinque, I hope you get your mess cleaned up and have a perfect FD. I’ll be doing the normal Sunday FD and have to get some supplies today for that. We walked about 6 hours yesterday. I slept very well.

    Good evening all.

    Hope you’ve been enjoying lovely rain (if you’re on the east side of Oz). Despite the flooding to the north, it’s really helping water storage and dams, plus put out or controlled bushfires, so “let it rain!” I say.

    Thin, I’m not sure how to use imugr. I enjoy looking at others’ images, but – is it an app I can download on my computer? Re photos of the orchids, though, not a lot of interest to see, just around 25 put with plants with leaves in them. It’s the wrong time of year for flowers, which is why re-potting gets done now, while the plants are relatively dormant. Actually, I was a bit late with the re-potting, and for one plant, as I was clearing out some of the accumulated mess of dried leaves, etc., I accidentally broke off a small flower spike. It was only about 2-3 cms long, but alas, no flower from that one now. Actually, once you re-pot, it’s a shock to the plants, and it’s rare to get many flowers in the re-potting year. Maybe next year.

    Story about the orchids – most of them were originally my mother’s. She died in 1981, so then my father looked after them. When he died in 1987, I took them on, until I sold up to go overseas in the mid 90s, when friends took them. They enjoyed them for several more years, then I returned from overseas mid-2006, and when I moved into my own place early 2007, my friends were moving into a retirement village and didn’t want them, so the orchids came back to me. Over the time period, some died off, I bought a couple of new ones, and now I just enjoy them. They sit along the fence under my big gumtree, outside my kitchen window. I have to admit, they don’t get the TLC my mother gave them. I rarely remember to give them orchid feed, but somehow they still keep flowering and giving me pleasure.

    LJoyce, sorry you’ll miss out on seeing the grizzlies feeding; hope you get in to some of the other desired scenic events.
    By the way, we are almost neck to neck at the moment re weight. You’ve tipped under the 80 kg mark, and I was 80.2 kg this morning, so a loss of 2.9 kg in the past 2 weeks. Still a long way to go, and nearly 7 kgs more to lose, just to get back where I was in April 2019. Of course, being Saturday I had a NFD, so I will be a bit heavier again tomorrow. But a TDEE day followed by some FD800s and CDs, and we’ll see where I am next Saturday. Just to be fair, my goal weight is MUCH lower than yours, as I’m only 154 cms tall, so it’s much easier for me to lose weight at the moment. It will be a lot harder when I get nearer my goal weight (which is still 27-28 kg away).

    Tired, so need to head to bed. Goodnight everyone.

    Oops! Pots, not put.

    Just a quick link for those who might be interested: https://www.smh.com.au/culture/tv-and-radio/tv-for-tuesday-february-18-20200204-p53xt5.html

    Giles Yeo said on twitter “Australian friends, my new programme ‘Why Do I Put on Weight’ will screen on Tuesday Feb 18th, 9.35 pm on @SBS. Oddly, this has no transmission date here in the UK yet!”

    Good morning all, hope you are enjoying your Sunday.

    Betsy, I hadn’t realised that by repotting my orchids a few weeks ago I wouldn’t have flowers this year – although I still have 2 plants with flowers and I repotted them like that. I’m pretty sure that my orchids are phalaenopsis hybrids (moth orchids). In the few years I’ve had them they haven’t really gotten any bigger, which is good as they still fit easily into pots which can fit on my window sill.
    Like you I’m combining lower calorie and FDs to speed up weight loss. At the moment I’m managing 2xFD500, 1xFD800 and the rest around 1200cal. I think because this is regained weight I feel the need to move it quickly.

    Cinque, thank you for that link, I’ll definitely watch that. I seem to remember that there was another British docco that found a gene that affected ghrelin.
    This is an old article but is on this topic https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2013/07/obesity-gene-linked-hunger-hormone this article seems to conclude that there is much still unknown.

    Thin, Barcelona does sound nice. I’ve never been to Spain or Portugal, but they are on the list.

    As you know I’m always trying to find the silver lining in things that don’t go to plan. Although I’m disappointed to miss the the grizzly bear experience in Canada, it will save me about $5,000 – that’s a bonus as brings the trip back to my original budget which had been thrown out of the window! One of the day tours I’m planning in Vancouver has a wildlife refuge which has some grizzly’s, so I don’t miss out entirely (and that day trip is only $81). I can always go back to Canada some other time and perhaps just focus on seeing grizzly and polar bears in the wild.
    I find out from the travel agent on Wednesday whether I can get onto the Canadian Rockies tour, which left me thinking about what I’d do if I can’t get on. I have come up with yet another backup plan. (I’m sounding like Baldrick from Blackadder now!) I’ve always wanted to do a tour of the US national parks and I’ve found several which sound good and are actually under budget if I just go to the US and don’t go to Canada. So if the Rockies trip falls through I’ll just go to the US instead and hopefully find a National Parks tour that has vacancies – it’s even easier to get to Cali from these as most end in San Francisco or Las Vegas.
    I have learned my lesson about booking early and as soon as this year’s holiday is booked I’ll need to give some thought to where I’m going next year and get that booked by the middle of 2020 – not only will I actually get onto my chosen tour that way, but there are usually good early bird discounts available too and most of the cost doesn’t have to be paid until a month before you go – so plenty of time to save for 2021.

    Have a nice day.

    Betsy, I had no idea that orchids enjoyed such longevity. It seems lovely that you’re enjoying a living thing that gave your parents so much pleasure decades ago. Imgur isn’t an app; you just go to https://imgur.com and drop a photo in a box, then copy/paste its reference number here (for future reference).

    LJ, you could extend your travelling experiences by house and/or pet sitting! As you like cats, you’d have thousands more options to choose from all over the world than we. I can’t wholeheartedly recommend this company as I find their website crude but it would give you an idea of what’s available without paying to join: http://www.trustedhousesitters.com. You can use it for a few nights here and there or, like us, for extended periods to live like locals and get to know a place that’s off the beaten track. Not that Barcelona is off the beaten track but we’d never have shelled out all the money we have for attractions here had we not saved $200 a night on accommodation over 13 nights. And you wouldn’t have to plan so far ahead – we’ve arranged both these house sits since arriving in Spain. Just a thought.

    Cinque, hope you enjoyed a fasty FD. My turn. I’m making chicken and bacon casserole today. 249 cals. I found a beautiful cauliflower for 1e but our host doesn’t seem to own a stick mixer so no cauliflower soup. I’ll pop outside and find a banana before the shutters come down on the little shops revealing that other thing for which Barcelona is famous – graffiti.

    Morning all

    Had a good weekend, it was nice to have some decent weather for once. I got some tennis in on Saturday and lots of work done round the house on Sunday, I also got out for an evening ride on Sunday too. Today is fast day so I’m hoping for a nice easy one and I’m going to try to stick to around 1000 calories. I hope everyone joining me on a Monday fast gets a nice easy one too.

    I’ll have to watch out for that docco online, I’m assuming it won’t be too long before it’s up and ready for watching.

    Have a great day everyone.

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