Hello Southern Hemispherites!!

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  • Hello all
    Anzac, I hope all went well with the colonoscopy and that you can now enjoy a good meal and a good big sleep.
    Thinatlast, big congratulations on your 6 year anniversary. So inspiring!
    Cinque, great about the loose pyjama pants, and LJoyce, I’m impressed that you resisted the macaroni cheese. I would have found that very hard. Savoury is my downfall, far more of a temptation than sweet.
    Salted nuts are particularly fatal. I got some a week ago when I was having family around. There were quite a lot left afterward and I had the bright idea of locking them in the boot of the car, which is parked in the street. This has worked well. It’s as if they are in a vault! They are still there in an air-tight container and I will bring them out when I have a friend here on Sunday. I know I could go out and get them at any time but somehow I don’t, whereas if they were just sitting in a kitchen cupboard ….
    Good wishes to all

    Thin. Happy 6th.

    Going back to your comments on the Visa application This morning’s post brought an invitation to take part in a survey of my local hospital experience during Covid. Counting English, the advice on taking part was in 20, repeat 20, languages. With the additional suggestion that if I have any difficulty completing it Mencap will help me. Finally, it is a survey of inpatient experience and throughout I have been an outpatient.

    Good evening all,

    The bad new for me is that I’m stuck home for a few days with yet another lung infection. I started 5 days of antibiotics this morning. So no leaving the house except for a daily walk by myself. That’s 3 months in a row and I’m getting annoyed now. I have a GP appointment at the end of the month and I will further discuss her idea of keeping me on low dose antibiotics permanently.

    Thin, happy anniversary.

    Cali, I was shocked to hear that you have fires near you – because the Californian fires have been reported here, but they said they were just north of LA. So I assumed you were well away from them and wasn’t concerned.
    McLeod’s Daughters is a pretty old series – 20 years maybe? I never actually watched it when it was on here but I think it was popular. It was shot neat Gawler, which used to be a country town about an hour’s drive north of Adelaide but the suburbs have extended so far these days that’s more of an outer suburb. (It’s basically where the metropolitan area ends and the Barossa Valley begins.) It now has an expressway to speed up the drive and it’s has a metro train line, so a lot of people commute to the city for work from there. Quite a long drive from where I live though.
    Not surprised you have pandemic fatigue as the US has been struggling for so many months of high case and death numbers. I’m feeling a bit fatigued by it here and we’ve had a really easy time of it in my state compared to almost everywhere else.

    Betsy, I think a lot of baking recipies have become sweeter over the years and I tend to adjust a lot of sugar measurements downward – I can see this when I compare my mum’s and nana’s baking recipies with modern recipies. With banana cake/bread I find the loaf tin irrelevant, if you can’t easily toast it then it’s not bread and the really high fat cakey ones fall apart if you try to drop them in the toaster. I absolutely agree with Cali, walnuts (or pecans) are an excellent addition.

    Penguin, Yes, but I don’t want to change just a few words of what I write, I often want to do major edits. I tend to reread things to make sure they can’t be misinterpreted and it can take me an hour to actually post it. I get so annoyed when I think I’ve found all the errors only to post it and then see more!

    Neil, hope the new eating plan gets you back into the mid 80s again.

    Cinque, I am also thinking about what I do next as I can’t go back to the excess of too many of my previous NFDs. That still requires some more thought.

    Anzac, hope all went well.

    Hello to everyone else. I must get an early night as I’m unusually weary tonight.

    Take care.

    HK, your post popped up after I’d posted mine. What a good idea about locking the nuts in the boot. I tend to send all of the dangerous leftovers home with my guests. Salted and roasted nuts are a real danger food for me too. I’ve found the best way is to buy raw nuts only and roast a few at a time. I dare not have pistachios in the house as a bag of those can disappear in one sitting.
    I get to make mac & cheese nearly every Thursday for the kids (my nephew’s kids, aged 8 & almost 7). It’s one of their absolute favourites and they have come to expect it as their Thursday dinner. I can almost always resist it.

    Good evening all. Getting late, so I’ll try to be brief (?) 🙂

    Thin, glad you’re still around and not stuck in “lock-land”. Congratulations on your 6 year 5:5 & 6:1 anniversary!

    Penguin, good that you’re coping so far with all the chemo plus selling/ buying, etc.

    Neilithicman, & Turnabout, quite concerned about the growing virus numbers in Auckland. Some folk in Melbourne did the same thing you described – tried to escape to their holiday homes. Some made it, some were turned back by police.

    CalifDreamer, sorry to read that the wildfires have been in northern California. Hope they continue to stay away from you.

    LJoyce, so sorry to read of you having yet another chest infection. Maybe you need to see a respiratory specialist? Going on long-term, low dose antibiotics would really knock your system around, though I can see why the idea would seem attractive. Whatever, hope you recover quickly!

    Cinque, my banana cake recipe is one I’ve been using for maybe 50 years. Not even sure now where I got it. Not from the old Green and Gold cookbook that I no longer have, but the recipes in there seemed to use a lot more sugar and butter than more recent recipes, which is the opposite to what you? LJoyce? said.

    Re the pan, I could equally use a round cake pan for it, but it would be flatter and not rise as much. I think I just started using the loaf tin so it would rise further, no other reason, and when I was in China, it may have been the only pan I had.

    I vividly recall making it once as I’d invited some previous students (2 couples) to dinner. One couple was moving to Texas for the husband to study, so I said I’d cook and serve a typical Western meal. The banana cake was for dessert, and I really expected my guests to just eat one slice each, politely, as it wasn’t part of their normal diet, and I’d have the rest of the cake for me. No such luck. They polished off the whole cake in very short order. Oh well 🙂 .

    I just looked back – it was LJoyce who made the comment re sweetness, not Cinque. And macaroni & cheese? – something I can also happily give a miss to.

    HelenKate, Nuts, I love, but always buy the natural, unsalted variety, and can never eat a lot at a time. They seem to be very filling. These days, I simply don’t like the salted type.

    Cinque, numbers up again a bit – hoping they’ll continue downwards tomorrow.

    Anzac65, hope the colonoscopy went well, and that you enjoyed your post-op soup and a good night’s sleep.

    Have a great weekend everyone!

    Thin, Happy 6th FD Anniversary! That is a huge accomplishment, especially keeping the weight off all this time. Your post last night looks like it posted before mine, but it wasn’t showing yet when I posted. Glad you didn’t get “locked in a lock” with the channel boat. Are you moving around more now? When does OH’s visa interview happen? Or what’s the next step.

    I didn’t mean to make it sound like we had any big wildfires up in Northern California. The ones they’ve had were small and contained overnight. It’s just the worry of the risk this week. The heat warning for our area is 35 to 42 during the day. Because we rarely get rain from about May til mid September, everything is very dry and lots of trees in the area. The big fires now are north of LA where they often have fires. Lots of trees, mountains and canyons make several areas really difficult to fight fires.

    Betsy, that’s a funny story about the banana bread in China. It seems so different from desserts that I would think of as Chinese. That was probably the appeal, that it was sweet and different. And does anyone not like banana bread?

    LJ, I’m sorry to hear that you have another lung infection. I would be concerned that lose dose antibiotics all the time would kill off a lot of good intestinal flora along with the bad stuff. At least you have that break now to eat a lot of probiotics between treatments to try and recover them. But maybe it doesn’t work that way.

    Thanks all for the comments about my six years happily celebrating IF. Great way of life!

    CalifD, you really made me laugh turning on the subtitles for the Australian movie! Thanks for letting me know what you all though of The Life of David Gale. I can’t remember a thing about it except that I loved it – and the twist. Last night we watched a stellar performance from both Robert De Niro and Edward Norton in ‘Stone’. OH fell asleep as he likes action but I thought it was fantastic.

    HK, you made me laugh too, about the nuts! That’s just too funny. Today, we found ourselves in a large town and our nut supply place, ‘The Grape Tree’ was open. We stocked up on £50 worth of mixed nuts (6kg). They’re unsalted and the first time we bought them, we thought they were awful. So we roasted them which vastly improved their texture – and now it’s a little ritual when we watch a movie. Just a small ramekin dish each.

    As for the next stage in the visa thing, CalifD, who knows really? The govt. has outsourced the biometric data collection, document verification and interview to a private company. It’s state sanctioned robbery. These procedures were supposed to be included in the £2052 application fee but the contractor is charging up to £139 for all but a handful of appointments which get snapped up as soon as they’re made available. Even if you want to contribute to their cash cow scam, there are no appointments anywhere in the country until mid September.

    Penguin, they do that multiple language translation thing in Australia too. It used to irk me to see that on the voting forms. If you cannot understand the basics of the host country’s language so as to fill in a voting form, how can you possibly know enough about life in the country to vote effectively? And just who is providing that translation and what’s their agenda?

    LJ, oh no, not another lung infection. Get well soon.

    Anzac, are you alright?

    Betsy, Cinque, Neil, everyone else … have a great weekend. Stay safe.

    Thin. Tried that survey. Doesn’t matter how many languages you speak, if your answers don’t fit their profile it can’t be completed. It is all part of a series of customer satisfaction surveys. After my first chemotherapy I was given a form asking me to rate them and if I would recommend the chemo ward to family and friends.

    LJ. Sounds like you are having a rough time. Will five days cure it? Mac and cheese for my grandchildren as well, and now for us, but it also has cauliflower in it.

    Betsy, A long time ago but I don’t remember any Chinese puds. I don’t recall anything very sweet except Moon Cakes.

    Cali. California on fire again? I endorse the stay safe messages. Saw your comments on antibiotics and gut biome. I used to try hard to cultivate my bugs but the combination of chemo and some antibiotics about a month ago has probably left me needing more than probiotics!

    Thin. The outsourcing thing started years ago and I have yet to see an example that cost the tax payer less. We have taken Covid testing from some of the Army units that were doing it and given it to a commercial firm who have promptly failed to do the job.

    It’s Saturday morning! So much sun is coming through the window, I had to pull down the blinds. Haha I’d be better off out in the garden, but I need to drink my coffee, and lovely to catch up with you all.

    Neil, excellent routine. Mine might turn out quite like it.
    Sigh those selfish Kiwis, the biggest problem with this pandemic is the propensity of people, who are confident they couldn’t possibly have it, to flaunt the rules, and the spirit of the rules. Hoping your country has got it covered now, in spite of them.

    Anzac, I hope you are having a lovely morning after the chicken and veggie soup and a lovely night’s sleep.

    Hi Turn, have a great weekend. 🙂

    Haha Penguin, sleepwear is daywear for me most days too, so I need to keep it nice.
    Ooh yes, I write and edit then post and edit and then keep editing until the 5 minutes is up! The times I make no sense, the cat has made me go and let her out, and oops I miss something! (Lovely to have a cat to blame).

    Omg that questionnaire. Yes, my mammagram one wanted to know if I would recommend them to my friends too. Ridiculous.
    And outsourcing… so often a disaster!
    We are in all sorts of trouble here with how badly Covid info has been provided in community languages. One leaflet was written in half Arabic and half Farsi in a way that no-one could understand it.

    Thin, woot! woot! What an exemplary 6th anniversary too!
    First Prize! https://www.pngkey.com/png/detail/371-3718183_first-prize-award.png
    Flowers https://i.pinimg.com/originals/d7/9e/ce/d79ece991d5d2012e841868d9185a349.png
    Fireworks: https://i.imgur.com/RbCKrf8.gif

    Goodness me, you nearly were stuck in a lock. Hooray for dog walkers.

    Cali, I do hope this years fire season isn’t as bad as last year’s, for you and for us. Oh dear, we need to be lucky since with every hotter decade the conditions are worse for us.
    As others have said, McLeod’s daughters was hugely popular for years here. I love to think of you watching it with a subtitles on. I have never watched it, in fact I was sure it was set in the high country, so thanks for educating me about our history 😀
    Ooh yes, walnuts in those cakes/breads/loaves! (especially the zucchini one).

    Helen, haha! What a brilliant solution for those tasty, addictive, salty nuts. I find them impossible to resist, especially if they are cashews. (I am managing with walnuts and almonds at the moment, but they are raw and unsalted.) All power to you.
    Enjoy that nibble tomorrow!

    LJoyce, oh no, so frustrating to have yet another infection. I do hope you can find a longterm solution, it must be so wearing. All my best wishes that one course of antibiotics does it, for once!
    I’ve been lighting a candle for my sister every day (moving after nearly 30 years, trying to pack up their house on their own, with ill health and a pandemic on) and I will light a candle for you too. You never know, it might help! 🙂

    I do hope you got a good refreshing sleep last night.

    Yes, I am like you. I know I am likely to have some blow out days (years of being a binge eater), but really they should be balanced out by fast days. And I clearly need a more realistic idea of my TDEE. But I am so pleased to find this level that I can utilise for a week at a time while I am working it out.

    I will be back to advocating for good clear 5:2, because it really is what works (ref Thin’s post above) but I am just on my own little journey sorting out what suits me for the 5 non fast days.

    Betsy, that is one tried and tested banana cake. How brilliant to have it so appreciated by your Chinese guests.
    The one that is called banana bread was traditionally denser and able to be toasted as LJoyce said. So I will make sure not to accidentally call yours that.

    Aren’t the numbers a relief, a bit up yesterday, a bit down today, but the 7 day average is getting steadily lower. I hope everyone can hold the line until there is zero spread.

    Well, my coffee jug is empty, and I had better go and make the most of the sun before the rain rolls in. Sending best wishes to everyone for the weekend.

    Hi everyone

    Thank you so much for your good wishes. It is over and that is a relief. Some results are in and the worst is I have Diverticulosis which is annoying but manageable. The gastro doctor will talk to me about it more when I see him in 3 weeks, meanwhile he admonished ‘more fibre in your diet’.

    I was due to come home around 6.00pm but ended up getting home about 8.30pm. A poor patient fell very ill while in theatre and then they had an emergency appendectomy – which I don’t understand as it is a private hospital with no ER. Perhaps they take spill-offs from the big hospital across the road. I went in at 2.00pm but didn’t have my procedure until 5.20pm. I knew something was up because my bed was right next to the swing doors into the theatre and at one stage three nurses literally sprinted in. Sad.

    A funny story (I’ve always got one). The doctor came out when I was waiting for my turn (3 hours) to put my cannula. I said “I have very small veins”. He laughed but then tried twice to find one and did not succeed. When I have a blood test I drink litres of water to make them nice and hyrdrated and plump; however I had not eaten or drunk anything in 7 hours so the little blighters retreated to their snug cave deep in my arms. He said “we’ll do it when you are in theatre”

    When I went in the anaesthetist came to put it in and I told him the same story. He laughed and said “I’ve never met a vein that defeated me”. He started digging into the crook of the same arm (ouch) and I heard “hmmm” then some grunts then some mutters. Then he testily instructed his assistant to put some gauze and tape on that arm and he moved to the other one. Just as I was about to be helpful and say “they normally put it in the back of my hand” he picked up my hand and crowed with delight “FOUND ONE!!”

    Meanwhile I’m a pin-cushion 🙁

    LJ, so so very sorry to hear you have another lung infection. You must be very frustrated 🙁

    I am so cranky on your behalf Thin. That is highway robbery or, as you put it so succinctly, state endorsed robbery.

    It really felt like spring today and OH and i were in t-shirts most of the day

    I find cashews completely irresistible too Cinque. I simply can’t buy them. I post and edit too! I find the little box a bit hard to read so I hit submit then read it more easily

    I must run as Maxx is demanding play time. He hasn’t left my side since I ‘left’ him for about 8 hours yesterday.

    Enjoy the rest of your Saturday all

    Good afternoon everyone! I am enjoying sitting on my bed, leaning back on a pile of pillows while typing, Wilbur a happy curled up bundle of fur sleeping beside me. I AM up and dressed, let me hasten to say, but as Wilbur came inside just as I was about to use the computer, this setup allows me to write without a cat on my lap.

    Anzac65, so glad you’re okay, and that the results aren’t too drastic. What a to-do with your veins. Hope Maxx settles again. Wonder how he will cope if/when you have to start working at work again instead of from home?!

    Thin, that additional cost is indeed “highway robbery”, but I guess you have to pay it if you want the visa processed. Annoying.

    Cinque, yay for only 302 new cases and 4 deaths today. Will be much nicer when it’s only 30 new cases and zero deaths, but that at least is coming closer.

    CalifDreamer, it’s certainly been hot where you are, so here’s hoping with you that the fires stay away for the whole of this summer. My niece in Arizona has been complaining of 116 degree days recently. They get 100+ daily temperatures for more than 4 months of the year, but she said it’s been particularly hot there lately. Climate change is a reality, unfortunately.

    HelenKate, when I get a desperate “munchy”, even a locked car boot wouldn’t stop me! But it would be for chocolate, not nuts.

    Penguin, you’re right, mooncakes or a variant on them at other times of the year, would have been the main “sweet”, Chinese dates also, and some not too sweet lollies. However, in more recent years when I was there, more “westernised” sweets such as cakes were appearing. However, although they looked like the real thing, they tasted awful, with fake cream and tasteless cake. Oh, and the bread – yuck! Most of it was sweetened, not salted. Think of sweet cardboard toast!
    Don’t know what the situation is there now, though.

    LJoyce, thinking of you. Hope you’ve got the antibiotics you need and are beginning to feel a bit better.

    Hi to everyone else lurking but not posting.

    Beautiful sunshine today, but we’re allowed out for a maximum of 1 hour of exercise, within 5 kms of home – wonder how many people are breaking the rules today?

    Stay safe and well everyone!

    Good afternoon,

    Today is the last in my fast800 week. A lovely veg stew with an egg for lunch. I am thinking how to celebrate tomorrow without blowing it!

    Anzac, sympathy for diverticulitis. It will be good to have the follow up appointment. I am so glad the advice has changed from ‘a low fibre diet’ to ‘a high fibre diet’. My mum suffered very badly with it for years, and two of my sisters have it too. (My family seem to have had everything!).

    What a long day it turned out to be (but at least it wasn’t you who had the emergency operation, said Pollyanna).
    Ooh your teeny tiny little veins, I hope you are nicely hydrated now and enjoying your day.

    And haha yes, I tried buying raw cashews but I find them irresistible too, and it is so easy to roast and salt them in the microwave. I might go to the locked boot of my car to get them, even if I parked my car two blocks away!

    HK I do hope you are enjoying every bite today.

    Betsy, aren’t the numbers a relief. If only everyone will hold the line now, til we get to zero spread. They are still fining about 200 idiot people a day, and that would be the tip of the iceberg.

    You must still be worried in NZ Neil and Turn.
    Latest info here is that the security guard and quarantine guest hankypanky was a beat up, but that ignorance of aerosol spread meant the quarantine precautions weren’t quite safe enough. It is a tricky virus to keep out.

    Hello and cheers to everyone.

    Good afternoon everyone! I hope you’ve been enjoying a lovely day.

    Re nuts- I actually have a few containers of nuts sitting on my microwave, natural and unsalted. If I get desperate for a protein/fat “fix” I eat a few, but they just don’t have the “draw” power of chocolate or ice-cream for me, so they can safely stay in full view. 🙂

    Cinque, yes, aren’t the numbers better?! Let’s hope the trend continues downward. Still some Covidiots who seem to think the rules don’t apply to them. One guy from Whittlesea has now been fined 9 times for breaching restrictions – that’s around $45,000 for his stupidity. Makes you wonder why he isn’t being given a court order. Oh well.

    Penguin, I meant to mention – the one word I (poorly) learnt to say in Cantonese was “m’goy”, which seemed to be a general “excuse me” term useful in many circumstances, such as when I wanted to alight from a minibus on HK Island. And like you, “Aiyah” has become one of my go-to exclamations when something goes wrong. Interesting how we can incorporate words into our daily usage 🙂

    Hope everyone is doing okay. Stay safe and well.

    Just quickly, as I skip through (and will come back tomorrow morning) and read Penguin and Betsy on languages.

    My eldest brother lived in Singapore and Hong Kong for years, (and I lived in China), and when we talk on the phone (pretty much daily) we invariably greet each other with ‘wei’ …or hello. I rarely heard the word when I was living there = Betsy you can correct me, but I think it is used mostly for telephone calls …. and although I knew many Chinese people, they understandably didn’t want to speak to me on the phone in Mandarin. The lovely ‘ni hao’ is used to greet another person, in person. The wei characters start with the symbol for ‘mouth’. Logical, yes?

    Mushi mushi ? to Lindsay L. The Japanese for wei? Not that my Japanese got much further, except in the dojo. I still have to stop and mentally translate into English when discussing Judo or Jujitsu with my grandson. I have the same problem with tropical fish – I started to keep them when living in Germany.

    Betsy has stirred my memories. When I was a child almost every adult male had seen military service in foreign parts. My grandfather had spent the early years of the last century in China and India and the first war in what we now call Iraq. My father the second in the middle east. Their language, everyone’s, was peppered with foreign expressions. I was in uniform at the age of 16 and my familiarity with the patois made the transition easy. Nationally we are now a much more diverse nation, but strangely share much less of our various languages. Some words have become English – no one now thinks of bungalow as not English – but much has gone and those of us who still occasionally revert are not readily understood. When I walk up to the far end of the village, the fact that a house is called “Tick hai” tells me something about the owner – Ghurkali. I would think “ding hoa”, my grandson would say whatever is current for “jolly good”.

    Must break off and intervene in the garden. The neighbour’s large black cat is stalking a wren and I like that wren. (bird, not naval lady)

    I dislike being so far behind in the news. I read posts and so quickly forget. It reminds me of that memory game where you observe items on a tray, then one’s removed and you must recall what’s missing.

    But thanks, Cinque for the first prize, flowers and fireworks; I especially loved the latter. Congrats on your final 800cal day. You will not blow tomorrow.

    Anzac, good to know that you’re alright (sorry about the diagnosis) and already making jokes.

    Interesting language tales everyone.

    I haven’t eaten yet today, it’s 5.30pm and my chicken tikka masala is in its marinade with another half hour required in the fridge. It might not make it.

    Cinque, do you think those people pay their covidiot fines? Here, you can get 50% off if paid promptly!

    Hi all, quick check in this morning since we’re really busy here at the office now that we have level 2 restrictions and half our staff are “working” from home.

    It was a nice weekend, I got plenty of garden work done, got a path paved and got through a couple of rounds of frisbee golf. I needed some extra calories though, I had my decent breakfast and lunch yesterday, but after 4 hours of landscaping and 2 hours of frisbee golf I came home famished and cooked up some bacon and eggs as an afternoon snack before dinner.

    Fast day today and control day tomorrow before my Wednesday weigh-in. I’m really pining for the time when it’s warm and light enough to take my bike into work again because I really miss that endorphin buzz that you get from a good blast of morning exercise.

    Have a great day everyone.

    Morning all. A Monday morning catchup, before the week starts in earnest. I know it is Monday because of the renovation hammering and sawing from across the way. sigh.

    Beautiful crisp and sunny Queensland morning – 23 degrees expected, and we had rain on Saturday and the garden is singing. I planted a small bay tree in a pot yesterday, and some hearts ease and a nastursium, both of which should add pretty flowers to my salads come summer, as well as giving my 40,000 girls something to feast on. I stupidly lifted the lid of the hive to check on them yesterday – and got a sting on the arm for my troubles. Grrrrr.

    I replaced the battery in my scales finally – and they went up 2kilos! whaaaat! don’t know why because I’m being pretty controlled.

    Anzac great you are through the procedure, but sorry about the diverticulitus. It is very manageable though with diet, and my gastro chap said it was not uncommon, which of course is no consolation. A tale from my youth though ….I had an older aunt who suffered with it, before treatment and diet were as commonly understood. She self medicated very effectively by taking a neat shot of whisky if she had a flare up (not that I’m recommending that, of course 🙂

    We are off to the beach tomorrow – well, just the bayside suburbs, but Miss Rose is heading off to the kennels where they will pair her with a suitable female, and she can get some good exercise. Week 2 of her season, and I’m living with a sulky, naughty teenager.

    Congratulations Thin on your anniversary. Such a poster girl for this WOL. Sorry about your visa ripoffs ….seems so unreasonable that even essential services are outsourced. When I had to renew my Right of Abode, the British Embassy here sent the documentation to Asia ….Malaysia, I think it was. Odd.

    HelenKate I laughed at your putting your nuts in the boot. We all have our own ways of resisting temptation. I’m a sucker for them too. I buy almonds which I roast myself without salt, but they are so so tempting. I must follow your trick LJ and just do small quantities at a time. The raw ones aren’t at all appealing.

    Penguin, I have mixed feelings about the number of languages available on forms etc. On the one hand, great to give migrants support. On the other, and more and more I lean this way with recent experiences of Covid, if migrants can’t speak the language of the country of their choice, they will never be able to take part fully in the communities in which they live.
    I truly admire your capacity and motivation to explore languages in the way you do. It’s such a disadvantage living on an island, that we aren’t exposed to more languages and pick them up naturally, as many Europeans do. We learn them in school, but then zip, they are gone until we travel and try to remember our bits and pieces of school French, or German (in my day) and now more of the Asian languages.

    LJ so sorry to read your are again unwell. Hope you and your doctor can find a permanent solution to keep these infections at bay.

    Betsy, I can imagine your Chinese students wolfing down your cake! So different to anything they’d be able to buy….all that fluffy sponge with tasteless manufactured cream. The Chinese diet seems to be moving towards Western food and there’s a real problem with diabetes. When I worked in Xinjiang I went to a huge new supermarket that had opened in town ….there was a large section of processed foods – and the illuminated sign over that section read ‘Puffery Food’. How right.

    Ooh I need to run. OH has his Zoom session with his Literature in Context class, and needs to relocate his laptop to where I am sitting, in the sun through the glass doors, where the light is right for his screen and his poor troubled eyes.

    I’ll catch up later
    best wishes all

    Good morning 5:2ers,

    A bit of a chilly morning here, and chillier days to come, so I intend to make the most of any sun we see today.

    Nuts are such a great food, aren’t they, if only we can eat them sensibly.
    Chocolates oh dear, I have been known to dig some back out of my kitchen tidy after I resolutely threw them away. Shame Cinque. (They were wrapped)

    Oh No, an awful death toll just announced for Victoria, from covid19 over the last day. 25 precious people. The biggest daily toll.
    Numbers of people contracting covid19 are lower, thank goodness. Lowest in a month.

    Penguin, I do hope you saved the little wren.

    Thin, I miss you being able to keep up with all the chat too, I love your responses. But your time will come again, and at least we get your news and comments on those few objects remembered on the tray! Haha. Kim’s game, we used to play it too. I’d be shocking these days. (But I must introduce it to my grandkids).

    So glad you loved my celebrations, especially the fireworks!

    You are right, I won’t blow today. I am nicely into the habit of just a tiny breakfast so I don’t have my coffee on an empty tummy, and high nutrient food the rest of the day. My carbs went way down over the week, and I think I am best off keeping it that way. I am going to treat myself for my lunch: cauliflower steak with Moroccan lentils and grilled carrot. And I should be able to find enough coriander in my garden to have plenty of garnish. And then chicken and veggie soup this evening.

    I don’t think we have that 50% off for immediate payment of covid fines, I heard a repeat offender has racked up something like $46,000. I am following @SharnelleVella on twitter, who does a ‘daily dickhead’ count which is quite funny.

    Neil, what a great weekend, and a very understandable afternoon snack. Happy fasting today, and ooh yes, we will welcome that warmth when it finally gets here!

    Big hellos to everyone, I do hope you have time today to sit down and write a post. But sending good wishes anyway! Especially to you LJoyce, are you feeling better? Cheers all.

    Good afternoon all

    Weekend? What weekend? Why do they go so fast? I must admit I felt lazy for the whole time and I even spent a few hours in the sun reading my novel when I should have been cleaning. Phooey to the cleaning I say!

    Gorgeous weather today, 20 degrees but the air is no longer cold – so the ‘feels like’ is actually more like 20 than 13. OH planted loads of herbs yesterday; some seeds and some seedlings. Maxx was very interested in the wheelbarrow full of cow-poo and dirt and I had to sidetrack him with indoor games while OH did the planting.

    LJ, are you ok? I hope the AB’s get on top of your lung infection.

    My enforced fast made little difference on the scales so I’m still grimly hanging onto the 80’s but only just. Now that I know I really can go longer without eating, I’m going to try fasting all day and having a bigger meal at night on FD’s rather than having a light lunch and a light dinner.

    I hope teenager Rosy enjoys her stay in the kennels Lindsay, Maxx always does. He is seriously suffering from lack of dog interaction so we might take him to the fenced-in dog park tomorrow. We used to go regularly but there were a few feral owners with feral dogs so we stopped going. We went the other day but there weren’t any dogs, but at least Maxx got to have a big long run and sniff off the lead. He only gets a short off-lead time on our morning walks as we aren’t actually supposed to have him off-lead at the rugby park

    Thin, chicken tikka masala is my favourite Indian dish. I hope you enjoyed it. I had to shake my head at the 50% off for prompt payment of covidiot finds.

    Did you manage to save the wren Penguin? Fascinating to hear about your ancestors and their involvement in the wars. My grandfather fought at Gallipoli and France and whilst he made it home, he died very young of a heart attack brought on by the gassing. My grandmother was left with 4 young children in the back of nowhere in the outback and a farm that yielded little or nothing. It was only when she was in her 50’s she found out she could get the war widows pension so at least her later life was more comfortable financially. My Uncle fought in the second world war (navy) and was scheduled to go out on the Sydney but at the last minute his orders changed and he was placed on another ship. The Sydney was torpedoed with all hands lost sadly.

    Congrats on the week of fast 800 Cinque, I hope your pJ’s are even looser now.

    Betsy, I do worry a lot about if/when I go back to work as I know Maxx will pine. OH said he was impossible when I was at the hospital but the poor boy just doesn’t understand. When OH goes out to the hardware shop or the supermarket he tends to wander between the back gate, the upstairs balcony and the baby gate blocking the entrance to the stairs that go down to the front door. We have a weekly all-project meeting on Fridays and the big boss said he doesn’t see us back in the office ‘anytime soon’ so I can breathe easily for now

    It’s good to see the numbers coming down in both Victoria and NSW but so many deaths. Just too sad for words. I heard that India had over 58,000 new cases in the last 24 hours so it is totally out of control there – amongst many other countries. I watched a video called ‘Explaining the pandemic to my past self’. It was interesting and struck a nerve.

    I must get back to work, take care

    Good afternoon all. Thought I’d better pop in and reassure you that I’m still alive and kicking. I only have one more day of antibiotics left, so I have everything crossed that the infection is dealt with in the next 24 hours.

    Lindsay, is Rosie completely safe from an unwanted mating in the kennels?
    Very sorry to hear about those scales – would threatening them with the return of their old batteries help do you think. Not sure they listen to threats – mine have ignored too many of them over the years.

    Anzac, snap, my grandpa fought in Gallipoli and France (and Belgium) too. Luckily for me, mine died at 97 – he didn’t marry and have kids until he returned home in 1919. I think it’s why they only had two kids as they were both in their mid 30s by the time they were finally able to marry. My dad still had my grandpa’s paybook (which shows location whenever they are paid) and all the telegrams that were sent home each time he was shot (twice) and gassed (once). By combining this info along with the War memorial’s record of where his battalion was throughout the war, I was able to write up a complete chronological record of his movements. My dad was really delighted to have that.
    Excellent that you can continue to work from home for the foreseeable future.

    Cinque, so glad you have made it through your 800cal week and are feeling the reset in your eating style. I’m not sure when I’ll stop mine, not for at least a fortnight I think, even though I’m well inside my comfort zone now.

    Penguin, I hope you rescued the wren. Is it the same one that used to always join you when you were gardening?

    Betsy, I too have wondered whether the people being repeated fined can’t afford to pay so they don’t care as they know it can’t be collected. I too think there should be a tougher enforced quarantine for repeat offenders.

    Neil, that was a lot of heavy gardening and landscaping you accomplished. I’m not surprised you needed an energy top up.

    Thin, I’m not good with those memory games. I know there are techniques for improving that type of memory skill, but I’ve never bothered to learn them. Given how many things I forget these days, maybe I need to rethink that.

    Cali, I’m very pleased to hear that the fires near you are being well controlled. Despite the heat, I was hoping that the fire risk might reduce for you this summer with the current covid situation. I though it might keep many people at home and away from forested areas and also give the firebugs something else to think about.

    HK & GDSA, Quacka, Intesha and anyone else who is reading this, hope you are going well.

    I had a pleasant surprise this morning, my weight dropped by half a kilo overnight to 76.6kg. That puts me roughly in the middle of my comfort range of 75-78. As usual I do expect my weight to bounce around a bit before it settles there, but it was wonderful to see a 76. I plan to continue with fast800 until I’m down to 75 or possibly even below it. I know that when I add back in a wider range of foods and increase my calorie intake, my weight will increase as my body makes a valiant attempt to replace the glycogen and water stores that I used up in the first couple of weeks on fast800 and I do not want to end up back at 78kg (or worse) in my first weeks back on 5:2. I know from past experience that 800cals a day gets easier with time but once I get back to more normal eating it’s incredibly difficult to do it again any time soon. That’s why I need to be sure that all that will be required of me once I stop this is maintenance.
    I am slowly increasing my carb intake as a proportion of the 800cals, in the hope that the eventual glycogen/water bounce upward can be managed more slowly. I’ve changed from using chicken and eggs as my main daily protein sources to legumes and eggs.
    I’ve fallen into a daily pattern that seems to work and be very easy to stick to with minimal planning and shopping. For lunch I alternate between a baked jacket potato (with a teaspoon of parmesan and salt & pepper) and scrambled eggs. Dinner is some combination of legumes and vegetables. Most days I have a mid morning glass of kombucha and mid afternoon 250ml almond milk with 2-3tsp psyllium. As usual I have allowed myself milk for my cups of tea throughout the day.

    Glad many of you are seeing some sun, it’s been wet and cold here today but I was lucky enough the squeeze in a 45min walk between the morning showers.
    Take care all.

    Back again for a quick post. We are having a picnic for dinner….I’m done with cooking, after a busy day.

    I’ll start at the bottom of the posts and work back up.

    LJ good to hear you are on the road to recovery. You poor thing …you’ve been through the wars with these infections.

    Yes, I feel confident Rosy will be safe. The section for the in-season girls is away from the other boarding kennels, and they never pair entire males with females. They’ll put her with a female of around the same age/size, so they can play safely.

    Anzac there is one park we tried where the owners sit and gossip, while their dogs do what ever they want. Not good. Our favourite is the local cricket oval. It’s surrounded by bush (Mount Coot-tha) and although not technically off lead, the curator has given us the ok to use it, as long as we clean up after our dogs. The other owners are a lovely bunch, who keep an eye on their pets and give each other a gentle heads-up if a dog leaves a deposit that the owner hasn’t seen. The only time we ever had a problem was during lock-down when lots of non-dog owners started using the park for exercise, and complained about the dogs! One of our more assertive owners told them we had permission to use the oval, and they didn’t! It got a bit unpleasant actually.

    Cinque and Betsy, really sorry to see those numbers again today. At least the cases are going down, but the Covid deaths …so sad.

    Neil and Turn, how are you going in NZ? I know you are a way away from Auckland, but still, be careful and stay safe.

    Ah Penguin….bungalow? and also verandah. Cot, chutney ….I forget many of the Indian words my OH’s stepfather (also Navy, WW11) used to tell us came from India. Oh, and one for you Cinque. pyjamas!

    To those who’ve posted about families at war ….such interesting stories. What brave generations they were. And it’s also so important you know the details of your families’ sacrifice, and can pass it through the generations.

    Mr Lindsay was only a baby, and his father in his early 20s, when his ship was torpedoed. He had 8 siblings, lost two in the war, and another was shot and killed in Haifa in Palestine after the war had ended. His mother wasn’t told, and only found out when another son (an Army photographer) wrote to say that attending his brother’s funeral had been the saddest day of his life. I can’t imagine that mother’s pain, reading that letter.

    Cinque, did you catch the new series of Last Tango in Halifax? My, hasn’t Celia (spoiler alert) turned grumpy? Shetland gets bleaker with each episode. It is terrific, though, to see him in Glasgow and know exactly where he is. My DD rang last night super excited, because we’d had lunch at the same table in the Kelvingrove Art Gallery, when we were there Christmas 2018! I laughed Calif at your putting on subtitles for our Australian accents. We always had them on for the West Wing, not because of the accents so much as the pace of the dialogue. Probably my favourite series ever. Oh what I wouldn’t give to see a real Jed Bartlett in the White House.

    Morning all.

    Thin, good to hear that you are preparing what has replaced fish and chips as a national staple.

    Neil. I will be having bacon and eggs later. OH is having a FD and I’m not allowed one . I seem to recall that when I was doing FDs the calorie count wasn’t too high if the rest of the day was under control.

    Lindsay, we have areas in this country where the old and the female have lived within their own community for decades without learning English (and to be fair, the Brits did it throughout the Empire). It has always been an issue, but has had greater attention recently because close knit family groups living together and other areas of deprivation are where the Covid has been worse. Absolutely agree about the West Wing. Whenever I see the current White House spokesperson I think that I know someone who could do it better.

    Cinque/LJ./Anzac. The wren is safe. A number of cats pass through my garden and that one is not a very efficient hunter. He behaves more like a dog – follows his owner around and comes when called. The really efficient hunter is in the garden now. He is old, nearly blind and arthritic but still very capable. In the 18 years that we have been here we have always had a wren and a robin. Sometimes I can tell that it is a new one, especially the robins – the new ones take a few days to establish a comfortable and close relationship with whoever is doing the digging. The wrens tend to be shyer. This year we have had a lot of Goldfinches, even smaller than wrens but vividly coloured. My figs are ripening so shortly I will be seeing magpies.

    Anzac, some years ago when they sorted out my Colon Cancer they told me I had diverticulosis. I hadn’t known. My father also had it and it troubled him. The difference between us was diet. By fortunate chance I was eating the right things. I hope you like fibre! The emergency could have been overflow. Our NHS uses private hospitals that way. OH was asked if she had any objection to going into quite a smart one for knee surgery.

    Change of plan. Some time ago I made a lamb curry. I have found a small single serving in the back of the freezer, which I shall have with a piece of pitta bread.

    Good morning,
    Today I am going to keep checking, in case a post from Lindsay (or someone else) comes through while I am writing. 🙂

    I am thinking how (when I was 30 kilos heavier) and I told myself I could eat anything I liked, just no sugar…. my weight just dropped off. Even though I was treating myself to chicken and chips every week!

    I got nicely down to the lower end of my healthy weight range with basic 5:2, and it has crept back slowly. You only need to eat a little bit extra each week to put on a kilo a year. As I have found. A very different scenario from those chicken ‘n chips days!

    I want to get back to my best weight and not let it sneak up, I wonder if after a year it will know it is my new normal and become easier?

    Anyway, after my careful week, just a little bit extra felt such a treat yesterday. I am back to my (generous) 800 today (ie maybe 1000) (I am having one of my yummy beetroot and mince bakes) since it suits what is in the fridge.

    None of my other pyjama pants are falling down yet! But I am feeling good.

    Hi Lindsay, Ooh but what a beautiful morning. When was the last time it was 23c here I wonder. I expect it is another lovely one for you today.
    But Melbourne is quite lovely too, the chill weather isn’t quite here yet.

    I was inspired by your edible flowers and picked a marigold so I could add the petals to my evening soup yesterday. Ate my soup and then came into the kitchen to see the petals sitting on the bench. Fail!

    Cheeky scales, overexcited by those new batteries! I hope they settle down.

    Ooh enjoy your beach break! I hope Rosy has a great time too.
    I have taped the ‘Last Tango in Halifax’. I am really hoping it is not one of those series where the characters get less and less likeable, but omg what a cast! I hope to watch it today.

    Ooh and how gorgeous that Shetland claim to fame! The same table!
    Yes bleak and terrific. Exactly.
    And yes re West Wing.

    Anzac, I am SO glad you had a lazy weekend. Life speeds by ridiculously no matter what we do, so hooray for a good laze in the sun.

    Another person busily planting! Won’t it be lovely to watch the herbs and seedlings grow.
    Leave them alone Maxx!

    Heartbreaking numbers for India. And in so many places in the world.
    And very hard hearing everything coming out in the inquiries here.

    LJoyce, so glad the antibiotics have been doing their job. I have everything crossed and a candle lit, that you get away with just one course for once!
    Woohoo the 76’s!

    Isn’t a good easy habit for daily healthy eating a good habit to have! That is what I have got out of my little experiment over the last week. Now I just need to entrench the habit!

    Penguin, I am so glad you found the lamb curry! Yum.

    How interesting that you have diverticula but never an infection. I’d start wondering if I might too (genetic?) but luckily that colonoscopy I had would have told me.

    Well, the home page says no-one else has posted. I am off to make the most of the morning.
    Best wishes to everyone.

    Morning all (well almost afternoon over here now) I took my measurements last night and it definitely seems like I’m swapping out fat for muscle. My waist and chest measurements were down 1cm each to 86cm and 101cm respectively. The only thing I really hate is where the loose skin sits around the love handles, I measure 97cm around there. I’ll weigh in tomorrow and see if the scales are kinder to me this week than they were last week.

    Cinque, It sure doesn’t take much to add a kilo a year, my problem in the past after losing weight was not weighing regularly. If I knew I had put on a bit or weight I would avoid weighing myself, thinking that I would drop the weight and then weigh myself, but of course that never happens, and then I just stopped trying.

    Ljoyce, I’ve got my fingers, toes, arms, legs and eyes crossed for you, so good luck with the infection. I hope it’s all cleared up.

    Anzac, I hear you on the weekends, they seem to go even faster in the winter, because it only starts getting light around 8am and starts getting dark before 5pm at the moment, you really feel cheated out of half a day. Unlike in Summer when it’s light from around 5am to 10pm and you can get so much done during the day.

    Thin, I hope the tikka masala was good, my brother-in-law owns an Indian Restaurant so he makes a mean Chicken tikka!

    Betsy, Nuts are my go-to snack, I usually stick with almonds, cashews or walnuts, Walnuts are supposed to be the best for you in terms of fibre and good omega oils

    Well have a good day everyone and I’ll check in with you tomorrow for my weigh-in.

    Penguin, Lamb curry sounds pretty good. I just bought a rolled lamb leg, I might chop that up and make a nice rogan josh this weekend.

    Lindsay, other than trying to hunt down some flour because once again all the idiots panicked and bought everything in town, we’re fine. Half my workmates have gone home to “work” from home, so we’re pretty busy.

    Hello everyone

    It is so interesting to read of people’s lives and histories, the different languages you’ve learnt, the family histories and war-time tales, the gardening, the bees – 40,000 of them, Lindsay! – how terrific – such important little creatures. I live right in the city of Adelaide but try to grow plants for the bees and the birds and am very happy to see them in my garden.

    Cinque, congratulations on completing your week on the Fast 800. It sounds as if you eat very well. Everything you mention sounds delicious.

    And LJoyce, I hope the antibiotics have done the trick with the lung infection.

    Thanks for the various responses to my keeping the salted nuts in the boot of my car! Many made me laugh. People are so different in what tempts them. I can have a block of chocolate sitting in the cupboard for weeks but salted nuts or potato crisps are doomed to a very short life.

    My FD last Saturday went well enough but then I couldn’t get to sleep though I felt extremely tired. Finally when it was midnight I was fed up and decided that my FD was over and I got up and finished off the vegetarian chilli that was in the fridge. I know that isn’t really in the FD spirit but at 12 o’clock my resistance was very low.

    A friend is going to lend me the Fast 800 book and I am thinking that I might later shift to making 800 the limit on my fast days. It would be so nice to have those extra calories to play with. I wondered what you experienced fast-ers think about it.

    Lindsay and Cinque, I loved West Wing too. I remember my daughter and I were watching it back when she was at uni and still living at home, 15 years ago. We were borrowing the DVDs from the local video shop (remember those?!) but when we got to the end of one series, and the President’s daughter had just been kidnapped, and the video store didn’t have the next series, we made a desperate dash into JB HiFi to buy it so we could find out what was going to happen.

    Ah yes, imagine having a Jed Bartlett in the White House!

    Best wishes to all

    You may have seen reports that Nottinghamshire Police encountered a Penguin walking up the middle of the road at night. It posed for photographs and then accepted a lift home.

    It wasn’t me.

    Morning all

    Penguin 😂😂😂

    Well weigh-in today and I dropped the 600 grams I gained last week. I guess my scales just like the number 90.0 because apart from one week that I weighed 89.0 and last week when I weighed 90.6, I’ve weighed 90.0 every other week recently. Oh well, it’s better than seeing a gain on the scales I guess.

    Have s good day everyone.

    Good morning everyone,

    Cold grey and wet here, but I have remembered that I prefer this to hot, dry and burning so I will embrace it.

    True words Neil, about vigilance. What amazing scales to be so keen on round numbers. Hooray for your measurements.
    Ooh yum, chicken tikka.

    Helen, it will be interesting to hear what you decide about a possible 800 limit. That book hadn’t come out when I started 5:2. I actually did do an 800 limit for my first couple of fast days as I was very tentative, but got down to as few calories as I could manage, as quickly as I could manage. But yes, bad sleep and, especially as I got close to my healthy weight, needing to spend afternoons on the couch just surviving until soup time, made it hard. And I am still grappling with that now.
    Every now and then I have a day when fasty fasting is easy, no idea what makes the difference. But I am thinking my basic fast day will be 800 max because it is much easier.

    Haha Penguin, so glad you are not in custody. For some reason the story didn’t make the news here, but I chased it up and can confirm it isn’t you. Different hair. 😉

    Best wishes everyone!

    Greetings all, and thank you Cinque for your interesting words about the 800, and about fasting in general. I will see how I go and will let you know.
    It’s cold and grey here in Adelaide too and we had heavy rain earlier, which is a good thing,
    I went out for a walk in between showers and it was rather lovely out there. I was glad of hat and gloves and warm coat.
    I must settle now to my Italian homework. We will be talking today about things we find irritating! It should be quite amusing, but I will enjoy it more if I’ve prepared some things to say.
    I am fasting today and going well so far on tea and coffee – and lots of water, as advised by you experienced fasters.
    Best wishes to all

    Good afternoon friends, sunny and 21 today; although a final (I hope) wintery blast coming for the weekend. Only 14 on Saturday!

    Penguin, yep, I have been researching all things fibre. OH makes homemade muesli that is packed with fibre so I have swapped my NFD toast for a large spoonful of this. I’m not a muesli fan but he is also making a banana and frozen berry smoothie for us both each day (each NFD for me) so as I can’t stand plain milk I have a bit of that on it and it’s actually quite nice. I’ve also bought strawberries and oranges this week for high-fibre snacks

    So glad the little wren was safe and how hilarious that there was an actual penguin waddling around Nottinghamshire! I would definitely have presumed it was you had I seen the article – ha ha

    My FD was a bit of a disaster yesterday but I’m determined to continue to go all day without anything except liquids. I just need to get used to it.

    LJ, glad you are ok and I hope the lung infection has been knocked on the head. Hooray for the 76’s! Wow…that’s where I want to be. How awesome to have your grandpa’s pay book and the telegrams. My uncle and cousin wrote a book about our ancestry on my Dad’s side and it is fascinating. The first ancestor arrived in Australia from Derbyshire in England as a convict in 1807. He married another convict in 1810. There are also distant cousins who ran with the Ned Kelly gang!

    Is Derbyshire near you Penguin?

    Lindsay, we decided to venture back to the fenced-in dog park this morning despite encountering feral dogs in the past. Maxx is sorely missing dog interaction and he has been a bit growly when he does meet other dogs on lead. We were so glad we did as there was a lovely group of humans and dogs and they go at the same time every morning from what I can tell. Maxx was funny at first and just trundled around the border sniffing and ignoring the other dogs. But suddenly he seemed to find his confidence and came bounding over to the group and started doing mad zoomies that made everyone laugh. Then he happily played with the other dogs and had a ball. There was a man there with MS sadly and he is on two walking sticks. I know him as he used to be my netball coach many many many moons ago. Of course Maxx bounded up to him but thankfully, for once, didn’t jump up. When the bloke sat down Maxx kept going over to him and being a bit of a pest. He just seemed to really take a shine to him (or maybe he wanted to steal his walking sticks?). Maxx was also incredible with his recall and at one stage I tested him with the whistle when he was quite distracted and quite a distance away and he zoomed back to me immediately! Everyone was like ‘wow! Clever dog!’ (chuff chuff). Anyway, a very happy dog is now snoozing in the sunshine on his outdoor bed.

    Cinque, chicken and chips! One of my favourite things for sure. I too can keep chocolate in the fridge without touching it but chips, crackers or anything salty and crunchy I simply can’t resist.

    Helen, you are doing amazingly well! Awesome

    Goodness, I have taken so long to write this I just had to change my greeting from morning to afternoon. Better run so Hi to everyone else

    Good afternoon from a wet and windy Whakatane, it’s set in for the day and was forecast so I’ve saved up some rainy day jobs, the beef Rendang is slowly doing it’s thing in the slow cooker, certainly making the van smell delicious!? Do hope I can last out another couple of hours, sure another coffee or tea will suffice.

    I haven’t posted properly for a while so I’ll try and catch up, it seems so tricky when you miss it for a couple of days, does anyone else find this?

    Congratulations Thin on your sixth anniversary, you really are an inspiration and are always so keen to part with sound advice and answers to questions, sometimes ones that sound so ridiculous to the person asking them. I do so agree with you re the language on forms, if you can’t understand English or the host country’s language then you really shouldn’t be there, especially on voting forms which of course are coming up for us. Jacinda has announced this week that she is pushing the election back a month so it’s now on Oct 17th. We also have two referendum votes to tick at the same time, assisted dying or (Euthanasia bill) and making Marijuana legal, so quite a bit to think about this time. I did consider chicken Tikka Masala for tonight but OH really wanted beef! My Mum has just started taking Ginko Bilboa again for her mind/memory/dementia, she was taking it years ago when she was cycling, but not sure how good it is, maybe you should give it a try or do some research on it? Love the tray memory game, used to play it a lot when a child, saw it again recently on The Gloaming.

    I didn’t see the penguin report either Penguin, however it could be on tonight’s news, had to laugh, I didn’t even know you had them in the UK? Lovely to hear the stories of your wren and robin visitors, we do missing seeing both of them. We were out walking the other day and saw so many Tui, Kereru, Fantails and Bitterns on the salt marshes, it was amazing. We get a lot of Morepork and Goldfinches on the site here, and they are so pretty. I remember as a young girl we had a massive Scottish thistle decide to grow up from the flower border outside our lounge window and when it came into the most beautiful purple flower the goldfinches would flock to it, it was so much fun to watch them, I took some great photos. Seems like curry is the flavour of the week, must be this cool, wet weather? Jumping on the health condition ride, my older sister had diverticulosis and was operated on to remove some of her intestine, now she’s fine, but it took some time to discover it.

    It sounds like you are having the same weather as us Cinque, obviously we have more to come? haha. I had such a chuckle at your forgotten marigold petals, I can’t remember the amount of times I have done similar. My favourite trick is microwaving mushrooms to enjoy with poached eggs for breakfast and finding them still in the micro when I next go in there, sometimes the following day! Can’t believe I don’t miss them at the meal time! Well done on that 800 week, I do find it quite easy now, OH and I had a good chat the other day about meals and recipes from the 800 recipe book as I had fallen back into repeating just a same few, and he is willing to try a lot more of them now so this last week I have been cooking lots of different dishes from it and really enjoying them. Not too sure when I had a day off from it either, OH isn’t being as strict as me and still enjoys a cake/slice/biscuit with his coffee, but I do try and stick to around 800 as close as I can. Our new Covid numbers were down again today so that’s encouraging, I have to say I feel a little more nervous being closer to Auckland than during the original lock down when we were located on the South Island, but so pleased we hadn’t gone above Auckland as we would be stuck up there as there is no way to get around Auckland, unless you swim it?! haha Can’t agree with the cashews, my least favourite nut, give me walnuts or Brazils any day, or even hazel!

    So sorry to hear of the diagnosis Anzac, but at least now you have one and you can stop worrying about what it might be and concentrate on what it actually is. It doesn’t seem to be life threatening but manageable and diet plays a huge role so who knows, maybe it will help with your weight loss in the long term? I used to go all day without eating on a fast day when I started on 5:2 as I am one of them who harbour the hunger dragons so really can’t eat anything early or that’s me for the day, even now on 800 cals I never usually eat before noon/1pm. If we are going out or moving on earlier then I take it with me. And I have upped my water intake to 3 litres a day, I was using a beer festival glass with a 250ml measure on it but I kept forgetting how many times I filled it so now before I go to bed at night, I fill two 1.5 litre bottles with tap water and leave them on the bench, then drink them both throughout the day, usually drinking the first one before I eat anything. I do so hope you soon kick the 80’s in to touch. I bet Max would have been in absolute heaven with that wheelbarrow full of garden manure, I know our Jack used to be, although he was quite partial to blood & bone!

    Well done with getting rid of those pesky 600gms again Neil, like you say better than a gain? Funny how your mind plays ticks on you when you weigh yourself and the scales have increased isn’t it, I used to be guilty of this too, but not now, if I see an increase I take action that very day, no waiting around for “maybes” anymore, as you say they never happen and then the weight spirals so uncontrollably. If your recent weather down south has been anything like ours up here these last few days, your garden will feel like spring has already sprung. We drove out to Opitiki on Monday and I couldn’t believe seeing lambs and calves in the paddocks, OMG so much earlier than I ever used to see? All the Magnolia trees are out, some almost finished and the Rhodies are in full bloom too, pretty sodden by now as well I would imagine.

    Sorry to hear about those extra 2 kgs Lindsay, I blame the new battery! Enjoy the beach, I’m sure it will feel strange without Rosy by your side. You mentioned week 2 and a sulky teenager, how long do you estimate it to be? I can’t remember with our dog, only the times at night he would bark to go out for widdles at the back door, or so I thought, and then of course he would run off into the darkness of the night to return hours later pining outside the locked back door. We discovered sometime later there was a lovely King Charles Spaniel bitch in the village called Rosy, on heat, and he would sit on the grass across the road from her and watch her all day! Rosy’s owners (whom we knew well) thought he was such a gentleman, he never once tried to jump the fence. You can imagine what I called him all those nights he ran off and didn’t come back for hours?

    Sorry for anyone else I’ve missed here but need to go and finish that dinner, it is still raining hard but the winds don’t seem so strong now. The puddles on the empty pitches near to us are amazingly large and deep! It has taken me ages to write this essay, sorry if it’s boring! Well pleased with my own weight loss, the lowest for the last three years I think, 72.1kg, so just about half way down the 10kg loss and still 11 weeks to go so within the time frame too, just glad to be off those damn 73’s! Beginning to think I was stuck there!

    Enjoy the rest of your day everyone, stay safe,


    Cali. I don’t know if you will be able to read this. Our news is describing a state of emergency and major power cuts in California because of the fires. Take care.

    Cinque. Not a rockhopper then.

    Anzac. Derbyshire is about 120 miles north of me. Parts of it are one of our National Parks. Lovely country if you like it hilly. Apparently I also have family who came to Australia as convicts and some who came more recently of their own choice, including my Father’s cousin. Our daughter met her when travelling in 1994/5 but since then the older generation have died out and we have lost touch. Shame, there are probably more Penguins in Australia than in England. For positively my last language comment. When I lived in Germany, to buy chicken and chips from a fast food outlet you asked for a rubber eagle and fries.

    Turn. Penguins are not native but they are very popular in public and private collections. Very common in all of the northern countries – at one time the zoos used them as a form of currency.

    Good morning,
    Your flower Penguin: https://images.fineartamerica.com/images-medium-large-5/wild-passion-flower-ira-runyan.jpg

    Oh dear I am going to think of rubber eagles if I ever buy chicken and chips again.

    HelenKate, thinking more about the hungry fast day afternoons, they were so much easier when I was distracted, and the hungry feelings just made me know the fasts were working! I could also imagine the good little gut microbes have the time to do all their good work on my gut lining and multiplying like crazy. And trying which of my ‘too small for me’ clothing I was able to fit into again 🙂

    Did you talk in Italian about how irritatingly hard it is to sleep after a fast day?
    I hope you are having a lovely light empty feeling, morning after fast day, and that you had a refreshing sleep.

    I’ve taken the baton for fasting today. So far so good 😉

    Anzac, it’s is a cold Sunday coming. Snow here, possibly. Well in the nearby hills anyway.
    Do you like adding some oats to your smoothie for extra fibre? I used to let them soften in the orange juice for a bit and they made the smoothie even creamier.

    Good Maxx! What a model dog he is turning into.

    Oooh Turn, I bet you enjoyed that beef rendang when the time was right.
    Yes, it is so hard to catch up when we miss a few days! I don’t even try to catch up, just say something and then join in properly the next time round.

    Haha your microwaved mushrooms, I totally relate to that! Is yours genetic too? I remember how my mum was so delighted to have a microwave to warm up a cuppa, but then decided her definition of a microwave oven was ‘a little cupboard with a cold cup of tea inside’.

    That was such a lovely catch up to read, and I especially loved hearing about the birds.

    It is my granddaughter’s 6th birthday today. Six years ago I was woken up by the news they were heading to hospital and I flew to Sydney and arrived just in time to hold the hand of my precious baby all grown up having her own precious baby.

    I asked my granddaughter what she would like for her birthday and she had a think, and asked for a broom! She’s a dag.
    She is getting one! And we are going to paint the stick sparkly pink when the lockdown is over.

    Cheers all, enjoy the day.

    Good morning friends

    Another sunny day but terribly windy and colder. Maxx has a bed (one of many) out on our back porch that gets almost all-day sun and it protected from the wind. He loves it, especially at this time of year when it is Goldilocks; not too cold and not too hot

    Happy birthday Miss 6! I had to laugh out loud Cinque; I haven’t heard ‘dag’ for a long time and it is such an Aussie classic word. What a delight she must be

    I can’t tell you how often I open the microwave to find a cold cup of coffee that one of us has reheated and forgotten about. It’s actually a nice surprise most of the time because you think ‘ah ha! Now I can have another coffee!’

    Penguin, my ancestors that came from England had surnames of: Bowler, Allen, Kennedy, Coin (or Kean or Kaine), Pearson, Ward and Martin (my maiden name). The Grandfather I spoke of earlier – William Martin – was born in Brantham. He married my grandmother in 1921 and she stemmed from the aforementioned ancestors. I find it all fascinating

    I hope you are ok Cali, I read about the terrible bushfires in California. Stay safe

    Rubber Eagle and Fries? Chicken and Chips will never be the same

    That beef rendang sounds delicious Turn. I hope it stops raining soon! From my time living in Wellington though, it can really rain for weeks on end in lovely NZ

    Work is crazy so I will sign off and wish you all a happy Thursday

    Sorry for taking so long to post. It’s been quite a week so far. The only time we lost power was on Friday night for about 3 hours beginning at about 6:30pm. It’s been really hot, Afternoon temperatures here have been around 39 to 42 in the arvo and even higher in Sacramento. While it normally gets down into the low 20’s at night, for the past 5 days it didn’t cool down enough to open the windows and put on the attic fan. So we had to sleep with the air conditioning on. Then, I think it was Sunday night a huge part of Northern Cal had lightning storms with no rain or very very little rain. There were thousands of lightning strikes which started multiple fires. The closest one to us is about 100km away and it’s a huge one, involving parts of Napa and the wine country. Some of the fires have merged covering over 107,000 acres with little to no containment so far. Resources are getting stretched. Very scary times. I know all of you in Australia have had to deal with similar and worse last year and in the past years.

    We’ve been watching the Democratic Natl. Convention for the last 3 nights. All of it has been done virtually, on Zoom type applications. I thought they did a very good job. I actually listened to most of the speeches instead of tuning in to look at all the funny hats. Obama made a very powerful and surprising speech tonight.

    I’m going to go back now and read everyone’s posts more carefully now. BTW, penguin, I’m glad it wasn’t you that the police hauled off for walking down the middle of the road!

    Heading home today from our 2 day holiday break. This pic was taken yesterday morning from our hotel room’s small terrace, as the sun came up over the bay. https://imgur.com/ddzd4Kw

    We’ve been really lucky with the weather. Yesterday was 28 degrees, and beautiful sunshine. It drops back to the low twenties today. The hotel’s restaurant and bar are closed but we took a small bottle up to the rooftop bar and had the sunset all to ourselves. https://imgur.com/pffF2RA

    I’m ready to go home though – I miss Rosy.

    Cinque very interested in your comments about sugar and weight falling off. Nice to see it go, but what a healthy diet you have now, and so good for long term health. I do love reading about your cooking and food options. You make my choices seem so dull. I can’t blame OH either – he’s always willing to give new things a go. Note: Lindsay, try harder!

    I have another PhD to edit. Funny how options open up, when others close. I miss physically going to work, but am settling into editing, as long as I only take on what I feel happy doing. The hardest thing is how to charge for what I do. It isn’t really as simple as just calculating hours – some days I can work assiduously at it, other days I can only work for short spells. I’m thinking a rate per 10,000 words. Anzac, you’re a contractor …how does this work?

    Ooh Neil I envy you (and others) who have the long long summer evenings. Up her in the sub-tropics night falls with a bang around 7. One minute is light, the next it’s not. And no daylight saving for us … it fades the curtains, did you know?

    HelenKate the bees of the world (well, Adelaide) will thank you for your flower friendly garden. I have native bees in the front garden and honey bees in the back, within the pool enclosure so the grandchildren can’t get in and get stung. I love them (the bees) more than they love me. So many stings. Funny thing is I don’t really like honey …but it does make nice gifts.

    Cinque, how sweet, Miss 6 wanted a broom. A dag! Really Cinque. Fancy calling that sweet child a dag (for you overseas folk, we don’t use the word in its literal sense). Miss 7 told the family over dinner last night that her class had to pick their favourite horse, and she chose a Shetland because it was Scottish like her barbar. (and short and bad tempered, my DD added as an aside).

    How are you feeling LJ. Antibiotics knocked your infection on the head? Hope you are feeling better.

    Loved reading your long post Turn …so newsy. I can well imagine what you called your pup when he ran off. Rosy’s season is a bit of an unknown, as it’s her first But typically, 7-9 days for the start, another 7-9 when she is interested and fertile, and another 7-9 tapering off. She’s in day 15 today. We have good fences but we’ve been locking her on the high secure back verandah and in the front courtyard mostly, and only taking her into the back garden when we are down there, just to be safe. It’s not likely we’ll breed her (though never say never) but the advice is to wait til she’s fully developed at around 2, before making a decision about speying.

    Anzac, how great Maxx has found a good set of pals in a safe environment. It makes such a difference when they can socialise. And they sleep better!

    OK must fly ….sorry to those I’ve missed. And yes, miss a day or two, and the thread just whips by.

    Calif, let us know how you are, and whether you are affected by these dreadful fires again.

    Oh Calif I’ve just seen your post. I’ll read it when I get home ….best wishes

    Good afternoon all. Was feeling a bit “off” for a few days, so didn’t have the energy to post. Covid-19 test yesterday, on medical advice, but as I’ve perked up again today, I am fully expecting it to be negative. Just have to stay at home (so what is different about that?! 🙂 ) until the result comes through, either tomorrow or Saturday.

    So much to comment on. CalifDreamer, very concerning to read of all the wildfires through California, especially around San Francisco, but also at other places, so hope you are doing okay where you are.

    Penguin, when you wrote of the penguin picked up by the police and taken home, I truly didn’t think you meant an actual penguin, thought you were referring, with your British humour, of someone possibly a bit under the weather wearing a penguin suit that the police kindly escorted home. Or have I misunderstood again??
    BTW, glad the wren was kept safe from the visiting cat.

    LJoyce, have you needed any more antibiotics, or are you feeling better with just the one lot? Hope you’re okay.

    Anzac65, great that you could finally take Maxx to a park where he could interact with other dogs. Are you planning to take him there regularly at that time from now on? Seems like you’ll continue working from home for a while yet, which will be a good thing for both your guys.

    Turnabout, sounds like your current location is one you’ll be staying at for a while. Or might you consider a move further south again? With your current lockdown over there, are you allowed to move?

    Neilithicman, good that your weight is stable at 90 kg. I know you’d like it to be lower, but 90 is better than higher, especially as there is a lot more muscle now rather than the previous fat.

    Thin, not sure if many of the covidiots here will pay their fines. One of the top policemen was asked that question recently in an interview and he just slightly raised his eyebrows and didn’t answer. Not sure what the authorities will do if they don’t – debt collection?

    LindsayL, yes, you’re right about the change to a more westernised diet being a disaster in China. I heard estimates a few years ago that maybe 100 million adult Chinese have type 2 diabetes – but most of them wouldn’t know about that, and if they did know, wouldn’t be able to afford medication to treat it anyway.
    Re derived words, one of my favourites is typhoon. The Chinese is “tai feng”, which means high, or too much, wind. And yes, in China, the common greeting on the phone is “wei” and I don’t think it is ever used in other settings. Certainly “ni hao” (you well?) is the common “hello”.
    I got tricked a few times with “Chi fan le ma?” meaning have you eaten your meal? – I initially kept wondering why I was being asked if I’d had lunch, then found out it was a friendly form of “hi” greeting, with the appropriate response being “chi le” (I’ve eaten) or “hai mei-o” (not yet).

    Cinque, it’s been good to see the virus numbers trending downwards here in Victoria, even if they were up just a tad today, but so sad with the deaths.
    BTW, did your granddaughter say WHY she wants a broom for her birthday? That could be an interesting explanation 🙂

    Re everyone’s microwave stories – wouldn’t work for me. Mine has this irritating habit of beeping every couple of minutes until I actually open the door, which means I then remove whatever I’ve been heating up!

    HelenKate, re fasting at 500 calories, or 800 – everyone eventually finds what works for them. Remember this is a way of life, it’s not a diet which has an end date, so you need it to work for you. Each of us have found what works for us individually, while keeping the principles of 5:2 in mind.
    Personally, I find it hard to eat and stay under 500 calories, so if I actually eat on a FD, it generally turns out to be around 800 calories. On the other hand, it’s easy to stay under 500 calories if I stick to fluids only, which generally means an “Up and Go” no added sugar breakfast drink (at lunchtime) and a hot milk drink and maybe light soup at dinnertime.

    A long post to catch up. Hopefully not such a screed next time! Enjoy the rest of the day everyone.

    Quick second post as others posted while I wrote, and wrote…..

    CalifDreamer, glad you didn’t lose power for long, with it so hot. Do hope the big fire doesn’t head in your direction!

    LindsayL, your photo of the sky was beautiful, and what a lovely empty space you had to enjoy your drink (not sure the hotel owners would agree – or did the other residents sit elsewhere?). Was Rosy happy to have you back, or did she have too much fun at the kennels to miss you?

    Third post, just to say my Covid-19 test was, as expected, negative. Still a relief! 🙂

    Betsy good news about your Covid test. Good to know for sure, although you suspected it would be negative. We had the entire rooftop bar to ourselves. The hotel is quite small – 4 floors only, perhaps 60 odd rooms. I doubt 10 were taken. Rosy went totally crackers when she saw us. They’d bathed her and she looked gorgeous. We could hear her play barking when we arrived…. Rose had been sharing with the attendant’s young Labrador girl. She (the attendant) said they’d played all day long.

    I didn’t think I’d eaten (or drunk) excessively while we were away – but the scales don’t agree. Up a whole 1.4 kilos. Water, surely. We had a lovely Thai meal on our last night – a stir fried chicken with ginger and shallots, and a duck curry, with rice. We brought half the curry home and cooked extra broccoli and carrot to mix through the sauce for dinner last night. Not a huge meal, but very tasty. Back on the straight and narrow today.

    Miss 4 facetimed me last night to show me her new haircut ….which she’d done herself. She wanted to look smart for school today! She’s tiny with such an elfin face …and actually her shorter hair does frame her face, although it’s a bit ragged. She starts prep next year, and the school holds four workshops for the little ones to get them used to the classroom. At the same time the parents go to talks with some of the teachers, to hear how best the little ones can be helped. It is a great idea – so many children from non-English speaking backgrounds at the school, and I am sure the parents will appreciate the guidance, and also meeting other parents.

    Calif the fires are dreadful ….and the temperatures! 42 degrees is just awful, but I think the overnight heat is worse. Hard to sleep and get comfortable, particularly when the fires are relatively close.

    I did such a stupid thing yesterday, but with an excellent outcome. We’d been home maybe an hour or two, and there was a ring at the gate, from a man who asked if I’d lost my wallet. Yes, I had, although I hadn’t even noticed it was missing. I’d put it on top of the car while I put super-excited Rosy in, and then just drove off. It fell onto the main road, and he ran over it. Fortunately he stopped. With no phone number inside, he delivered it because, he said, he wanted to get it to me before I started cancelling the cards. How kind he was. How silly I was.

    On that note, time for another coffee. Cinque, you up and about this morning?

    Good morning all

    I am having a pretty bad week food-wise; how easy it is to take your eye off the game and I seem to do it every second week and undo all the good. Lindsay, I also have slammed on 1.4 kilos this week. Now I’m back into the 90’s and very upset about it. There is a total link between work stress and weight gain for me

    I spoke to a friend who does transcribing and proofreading about how to charge as a contractor. I don’t think her answer will help: “There are several ways to charge – some companies are per page (e.g. $4 per page) and some are by time (e.g. $25 per hour). For my proofreading I charge 1c per word”

    I charge a daily rate and it doesn’t matter whether I work 6 hours or 16, I get the same. That is normal for IT contractors in Banking

    Of course your rates will be much higher as you are editing rather than just proofreading plus your documents are theses (plural of thesis apparently) rather than simple company documents

    Glad you had such nice weather for your break and those pics are beautiful. And WOW! Fancy that lovely man (1) stopping to retrieve your wallet and (2) driving it home to you! It’s nice to remember there are honest, nice people (like all of us) in the world

    So very glad your test was negative Betsy. I hope you are feeling better soon

    Great to hear from you Cali and to know you are safe. I have everything crossed the fires are soon put out and they stay well away from where you live

    I must fly, almost time for the next meeting. Have a lovely Friday all

    Good morning,
    Yes I am up and (trying to be) about.
    I made delicious (instant) dosa for my post fast breakfast and have been determined (but my brain is exploding) to leave batter in the bowl.
    Yes, I am full, infact I probably shouldn’t have had the last one.
    So I won’t use my self as a compost bin, I will put the leftover batter in the actual compost bin (No, I will put it in the fridge and find out if I can make a dosa tomorrow morning: and just have one. Tricky, as it has part SR flour, but I’ll see).

    Haha Anzac, that cold cup sitting in the microwave can be a nice surprise.

    My sister has been doing some great research into our ancestry. The most interesting is a Stevenson who built lighthouses in Scotland and is also the ancestor of RL Stevenson (Treasure Island etc). The Stevenson who came to Victoria married the daughter of a man who was sent out here as a convict (for forgery) and whose wife decided to come along, bringing the children.

    Cali, just before reading your post I had been seeing twitter from our journalists saying they nearly burst into tears after getting contact lists for this year fire reporting. Our season might start soon (but if it is a La Nina year as predicted, we might be lucky).
    Anyway, that just made your news really hit. Our poor dear Earth, it is getting ravaged. Is there any good news from the fire fronts today? Fingers crossed.

    The Democratic Convention has made news here too, that was some speech from Obama! I think the whole world is interested in what happens in your election, it affects us all. We think we should have a vote there too 😉

    Lindsay, what a sky! But so true about the speedy sunsets in the tropics. I’d forgotten. And oh dear, I do agree about hot nights, they are the worst.

    Hooray for that dear man who returned your wallet. And hello Rosy!
    And alcohol and a salty meal might make for that bump in the scales. Gone by tomorrow I hope!

    Haha Miss 4. A lockdown haircut even when she isn’t in lockdown. Best wishes to her with school orientation. They do it so well these days!

    Hmm, I suppose I do have unusual food interests, resulting from being vegetarian so long and getting inspired when I discovered India’s vegetarian cuisine. And then CFS leaves me so brain fogged that often recipe books are the only reading I can manage and I journey the world with them.
    Ooh and also CFS initiated, looking for recipes that can be cooked in stages, one pot (pre dishwasher) and freeze well. Small subset in that venn diagram!

    Betsy, so glad you are feeling better. A model citizen, since the authorities are worried when the number of tests fall. But so glad yours was negative. And aren’t we bootscooting today, even though we know one day with numbers under 200 should not be looked at in isolation. But woot!

    My granddaughter didn’t say why she wanted a broom for her birthday, I got the impression she had no idea what to ask for and was looking around for inspiration and her eyes landed on the household broom. Like I said she’s a dag! But the best thing is that it arrived yesterday, perfect timing for her birthday.

    I loved hearing about those Chinese words!

    LJoyce, does not hearing from you mean you are still crook? Sending best wishes.

    And best wishes to everyone else too.

    Oh dear, Thin, you’ve left it too long again, just let us know your news!
    Intesha, time we had a catch up from you too!

    Yikes, must run, it is nearly zoomsisters time. (Can I get in 5 mins editing?)

    Afternoon all

    I had a bad fast day yesterday, it turned more into a control day. I usually come home after work and have a few nuts and dates to tide me over while I’m cooking dinner, but my son who was supposed to meet me at the library after work because he was helping another kid with something after school went MIA. We rushed around for a while trying to find him, turns out he started playing Minecraft with the kid and lost track of time. So it was 45 minutes later than normal when I got home. I was so hungry that the nuts and dates turned into more nuts and dates, coconut cake and slice of cheese and then dinner. A proposed 800 calorie day turned into more like 1600. Luckily we had run out of bread or I would have gone through several slices of toast as well.

    Lindsay and Anzac, I know the frustrations of that gain on the scales, but try not to sweat too much, to gain 1.4 kilos of fat you would need to overeat by something like 11,000 calories. I’m sure if you get back on the wagon and the weight will shift quickly 😉

    Cali and Cinque, I saw some of the democrat conference too and I thought that they obviously haven’t learned from the last election. A lot of the reason Trump won the last election was because rather than talking about what they would do if elected, the Democrats concentrated on talking about Trump. Their launch party this time was no different. It was supposed to be a launch of the Democrats campaign but they spent most of it talking about Trump.

    Betsy, yay for the negative result on the test, hopefully your numbers and our numbers start falling. We only had 5 new cases yesterday, so hopefully that is a good sign.

    Turn, yes things have been really early here too, we’ve had Rhodos in flower for weeks, my wife has tulips and hyacinth coming up in the garden, and there are a multitude of Kereru, Tui, Waxeyes and other birds out in force.

    Well got to go now, running late for my gym session. I’ll catch up with the rest of the posts later. Have a great day and weekend everyone.

    Hi everyone. Cinque, that’s fascinating info about your ancestors. Being a descendant of RL Stevenson is impressive. Did your sister use one of the research services like ancestry.com or dig through records on her own? It sounds like it would be fun to do that. Your granddaughter wanting a broom for her birthday made me laugh. Maybe she will become mum’s little helper and take over sweeping all the floors.
    I didn’t realize there was such an interest in our elections over there. I wish you could vote here too!

    Betsy, good news that your Covid test came back negative. And glad to hear that you’re feeling better. It’s no fun when you’re feeling “off” and have no energy. Maybe the lockdown and being stuck inside had something to do with that, possibly stress or the boredom of knowing you can’t go places for a while.

    Lindsay, your pictures of the trip were beautiful. They looked like summer even though it’s winter there now. It sounds like Rosy was kept busy while you were away. I bet she looked beautiful after her bath.

    LJ, hope your lungs feel better after the antibiotic and don’t need another round.

    Good morning, dark and cold here (snowing on the hills), but our second day of less than 200 new covid cases, so I am not complaining about ANYTHING!

    Anzac, I am so sorry it has been a bad week for you foodwise. You deserve good health. I do hope you have time over the weekend to work out how to make next week better. Please don’t blame yourself, analyse the week to see if you can figure out what might help.

    Neil, I hope the cold hasn’t got to you yet and you can have a lovely active weekend.

    Magnolia’s are in bloom here!

    Oh dear that home from work time is tricky. Come to think of it, it is the hardest time for me too, even though I don’t even go to work.

    I have taken to cooking my soup then, which is working well, partly because it might take a while to get my soup cooked, and by then I can call it suppertime, but also if I do have my soup I am in front, and can just have more soup later. Life is easy living alone.

    You make a good point about the lack of policy at the Democratic convention, even Biden only spoke a little about policy, but I can see how tricky it is in US politics, when the main job is to convince people who already want you in government, to do the hard work of managing to get out and vote.

    I realise how different that is from here, where voting is seen as a responsibility and we are fined if we don’t. But we also have the whole process made easy and accessible (comparatively 😉 ).

    Cali, ha yes, one program I enjoy is called Planet America which keeps us very up to date about American politics. https://iview.abc.net.au/show/planet-america … but your president does manage to dominate world news quite comprehensively!

    I had better clarify that I am not descended from Robert Louis Stevenson, but we are both descended from the lighthouse engineer. Yes my sister used Ancestry, and quite a few in the family have done the genetic testing, mostly via Ancestry.

    Wouldn’t it be lovely if Miss 6 took to housecleaning! Not likely I’m thinking! Haha. She is a wild one. In fact she might never use that broom haha.

    I put on those loose pyjama pants and washing them had tightened the elastic, sigh. But I can tell by all the zoom and facetiming I am doing that my face has lost a bit of weight, and I like it! My jowls were returning.

    I am doing well with my eating by keeping breakfast small (yesterday woops!), my midday dinner all veggie and protein (low carb), and my evening soupy. Nuts, if I need a snack.

    Plus I am making a lightly flaovoured drink each day, in my nice jug. Usually a couple of slices of lemon, a slice of ginger and a slice or turmeric (gorgeous colour) with boiling water poured over. It is very faintly flavoured and easy to drink from hot to room temperature. Yesterday, for a change, I made one with a piece of tamarind and some cardamom, and that has been excellent too.

    Hoping your routines and rules are working for you today, fast day or non fast day, and that the things you eat are delicious and nourishing.

    LJoyce, I’m lighting a candle. Hoping you are feeling okay.

    Good wishes all

    It’s taken me two coffees to read the posts, working backwards stupidly, and I’m still not back to my last post. All very interesting indeed.

    Turn, what a lovely post. I shall look into Ginko Bilboa. Thank you.

    Cinque, what interesting drinks you’re concocting! What a lovely memory of flying to Sydney to hold your daughter’s hand after giving birth. After five months, the longest we’ve ever been apart by far, we will see our DD today. I can’t wait. I’ll just press ‘submit’, ready or not when she arrives, so hello to everyone I didn’t mention in advance.

    Lindsay, lucky break with the wallet. What a nice person.

    Betsy, so pleased that your covid test was – .

    Neil, I keep forgetting to tell you that your idea for planting lettuce on our rooftop worked splendidly. We’ve had a delicious mix of leaves ready to cut daily for weeks now. And finally, I have a tomato! I know I had too many in the planters and I took too long culling perfectly healthy plants. I wanted to give them to other constant cruisers and not just throw them away.

    We are currently in Droitwich Spa, the first place we’ve visited that we’re familiar with. My dad lived here for a few years until his death in 2008. The canal wasn’t restored back then so it was fun to cruise right into town.

    OH and I both had haircuts yesterday! I found a hairdresser with the usual covid measures posted in the window and was interested to see ‘we won’t use blow dryers’. Not that I wanted a blow dry for my boat hair but it made me think. Still trying to find a dentist who’ll take me.

    Penguin, I didn’t hear of the Notts penguin. How’s the move coming along? (Apologies if you’ve already told us).

    Finally, we have a date for OH’s visa interview with the scammers. I logged in over 250 times, sometimes 20 times a day and even in the middle of the night, to try to secure an appointment. It’s in Birmingham – now I’m watching as B’ham is added to a covid watchlist; if it enters lockdown, the appt. will be cancelled. But at least we have a whole month during which time we don’t have to worry about it.

    Calif, pleased you are safe from the fires. The nightmare begins again.

    Re: election campaigns, they’re painful. At least in Australia, they only last 6 weeks vs. years in America. Unfortunately, the US democrats have wasted all their energy over the past four years in trying impeach Trump when all they had to do was find a good candidate and get him voted out. That’s what democracy is supposed to be about. Sadly, they’ve failed at that again (IMHO). They haven’t learned a thing from last time. Trump can’t be blamed for any of this, he’s just a symptom of an already divided America. I’m no fan, believe me, but the fact remains that he has actually accomplished a heck of a lot in four years. Just one example that you’ll never hear on MSM – before covid, blacks under Trump were experiencing the lowest unemployment in fifty years. If only he’d kept his mouth shut. So cringeworthy!

    LJ, Anzac, HK, special hellos to you.

    Good afternoon all.

    I am mostly recovered from the lung infection. I only had one course of antibiotics – I would have needed to go back to the doctor to get another prescription which I preferred not to. At the end of the antibiotics my lungs were not clear but the discolouration which indicates infection was not there. So I decided to try mixing a few drops of euclayptus oil in a pawpaw ointment to my upper back twice a day. I we can absorb about 80% of the properties from essential oils through the skin. Eucalyptus oil has many good properties including being both anti-bacterial and anti-viral. My lungs are slowly becoming clearer and my breathing is less tight.

    Thin, I hope all goes well with the visa interview and that everything is place before your husband’s current visa expires.

    Cinque, I quite enjoy Planet America too.
    I had a good giggle at the broom as a present – did she mean one of the toy sized ones for kids or a large normal broom.
    Interesting ancestry – you never know what you’ll find. I have a couple of cousins on both sides of the family who have tracked our ancestry. It appears that apart from one grandmother who emigrated from Kent with her widower father and younger sister in 1910, the rest all came directly to South Australia as free settlers in the mid 1800s mostly from either England and one set of great great grandparents who emigrated from Germany (my mothers side of the family all became farmers in the mid-north and the murray mallee and dad’s were businessmen who all settled in Adelaide).

    Cali, I’ll be wishing for mild weather and no lightning for you as you head in to autumn. I think some Australian firefighters may be heading to California. They have specifically requested help from Canada and Australia. I think last year they particularly wanted our technical specialist – which I think meant control room operations.

    Lindsay, so glad you got your wallet back. I have lost either bag or wallet three times over the last 40 years and each time it’s been returned intact. I think it’s a reminder that most people in the world actually try to be good people most of the time.

    Sorry I’m out of time to respond to everyone else as I promised to go for a walk with my best friend at 2:30. So hello to everyone I haven’t mentioned so far.

    My weight loss was still going well until yesterday, I even briefly saw a weight in the 75s, but I bounced back to 76.9 this morning! Like Neil said, I know it’s water weight.

    Take care all.

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