My mother is usually the calm and organised type but I enjoy the rare moments of panic, because she sort of throws her hands in the air and shrieks, "Shit! Shit! Shit a brick!"
I am having a Shit Shit Shit A Brick kind of week. Not only is the Moonwalk on Saturday, my pal Jenny arrives from Australia. Then Rhiannon arrives next Tuesday and we're going on a mini road trip. I can't wait to see which version of a Scottish summer we encounter – pouring rain or mauled by midges?
The flat is almost finished – no couch or carpet but the painting is done and Dr G put down a sexy new kitchen floor. There is the small issue of complete lack of things upon which guests can sleep. No food in the cupboards no accommodation booked no clean clothes no sleep no mercy at work no idea what to do about my stupid Moonwalk Bra of Doom etc etc but we're totally calm and cool, really now.
Things may get a little haphazard around here for the next couple of weeks but rest assured I'm planning to answer your burning questions such as, "How do I stay on the wagon?" Hopefully by then I'll have figured out the answer for myself!
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Aside from boundless support and inspiration, one of the very best things about blogging is International Parcel Swaps. Like old school pen pals, but TASTY! Earlier this year Gracie in Alabama was pining for Tunnocks Tea Cakes so I sent her some sickly Scottish treats and she sent me a bulging box of American candy, complete with bottles of ale for Dr G !
More recently Amanda, an Australian expat in The Netherlands, expressed her longing for Tetley tea so I pounced on the opportunity. I exchanged 240 Tetley tea bags for THREE boxes of my favourite Droste cocoa!
I first fell in love with Droste for aesthetic reasons on a trip to Amsterdam – the chick on the cocoa box is holding another cocoa box with a chick on it who is holding another cocoa box with a chick on it who is holding another cocoa box with a chick on it! And so on. This is known as the Droste effect and can keep the simple-minded amused for hours! Just imagine my eyeballs spinning round now that I have THREE!
When I first started lard-busting I was hooked on low-fat sugar-free just-add-water hot chocolate sachets, the ones with 275 unpronounceable ingredients. A colleague used to scream at me in the tearoom, "THEY GIVE YOU CANCER!" but I guzzled on defiantly! Then one day I admitted that I didn't really like the taste so switched to old fashioned cocoa and real sugar. Gasp!
But as they say so persuasively on the Green & Blacks website, one teaspoon of cocoa is only 12 calories. I have three, but that's still only 36. A teaspoon of sugar is 15 calories. Cup of semi-skimmed milk, 115 calories. So 166 calories in total.
I also make it on the stove now, after adding up all the time I'd wasted mopping up the microwave. I liked it served it in a Starbucks mug that I got for free at the Society of Authors conference because it's so thick and cuddly.
(Many authors removed the mugs from their goody bags, as if loathe to sully their authorly lips with merchandise from a corporate behemoth. "DUDES ARE YOU CRAZY", I wanted to say as I swiped an extra one, "They just told us that the average British author earns less than £5,000 per year and you're turning down a free mug? Flog it on eBay for 10p or use it as a begging bowl!" )
So yes, 166 calories is more calories than the old diet sachets but the whole cocoa ritual tastes and feels more satisfying. Thank you Amanda for enabling the habit! I will think of you while I sip away and watch the mighty Dutch footballers at the Euros.
I'm really quite delirious today; apologies for loopy nature of this entry. Take care, dear comrades!