The Olden Days

Still without Internet access at home! Tapping this oot on phone at bus stop.

How are you all? Is life treating you well or is it being a bit of a turkey? Speaking of which, what are you all having for thanksgiving dinner?

Can anyone explain how sweet potatoes and marshmallows ended up in a dish together?

If you're not in thanksgiving territory, have you had any tasty dinners of late?

Man, I miss internetland.

Update: Sorry about the screwy comments! Should be okay now. I tried to implement Typepad's fancy new Connect feature but my crusty circa-2003 templates aren't up to the job 🙂


Hello luvvies! I come to you from neither here nor there!

We're about 87% done with the moving of objects; now we're down to the annoying dregs. Back in the 90s the comedian Jimeoin had a song called The Third Drawer Down Is Full Of Shit, and that is certainly true in our kitchen. Broken candles, batteries, guitar tuning thingos; seventy-five varieties of cold and flu tablets.

The new house is brilliant. The landlord left us a bottle of wine, flowers, soap and two rolls of loo paper! Renting is cool – all the novelty of a new abode without the buttock-clenching drama of a mortgage.

We've got no mobile phone reception and the broadband's not connected yet, so well behind with all online thingies. Apologies for the even crappier than usual email response times!

Meanwhile, the grass is lovely. On Sunday arvo I emerged briefly from the Jungle o' Boxes to appreciate the view out the lounge room window. Birdwatching report:

  • a robin
  • some tiny black thing with white splodges on its face
  • flock of geese in tidy V formation
  • flock of seagulls returning home after hard day at the rubbish tip.

There is also a wee shop three minutes walk down the road which sells fresh bread, Yeo Valley yogurt and dangerously, my favourite bacon that was previously only obtainable at the monthly farmer's market. If not for the strange lack of Green & Blacks chocolate it would be total foodie ponce heaven. Our old corner shop only sold Regal King Size cigarettes, tabloid newspapers and Whiskas.

Here we go

Shaundogg Whilst shoving my worldly possessions into boxes I found my 2006 food diary, in which I'd faithfully documented Wot I Ate. I wish I'd kept up that habit – even a one-line description gets the memories flooding back. Hot chocolate in Amsterdam, paella in Valencia; burnt porridge in the office microwave.

But then I remembered that in addition to the paper diary I was also tracking my calories online. And in addition to that, for the first six months there was a running tally on a spreadsheet, so in May I could tell you I'd eaten precisely 96 apples, 9 chocolate digestive biscuits, 205 cups of tea and 1 serve of vegetarian haggis. How bloody sad is all that!?

These days I'm not so loony, but I'm still trying to find the balance between paying attention to what I chomp but not being obsessive about it. I can go months without writing anything down and do fine on instinct alone. Then other times the portions creep up and the jeans start squeezing, so I start journaling again to reel myself back in. Hmm.

. . .

So the move starts tomorrow, woohoo! Everything is a shambles. This is my sixth move since starting this blog. Blog technology has come a long way since 2001 but there have no ground-breaking innovations in the science of moving house. It still blows!

Back in 2000 before the lard-busting began, I helped The Mothership move. She left me unsupervised temporarily while she went to a very important quilting workshop. I was tasked with moving three trillion sets of crumbly encyclopedias from one house to the other – just half a block apart.

This is one moment from my Larger Days that I can still recall with painful accuracy. I brushed it off with jokes when I wrote about it at the time, but as I lugged pile after pile of heavy books to the car, I honestly thought I was going to die. It was September so it can't have been that hot yet, and the distance between the house to the car was all of ten metres. But I can still feel my burning skin and hear my jagged breath and rattling heart. Every step was painful. I flopped down on the front veranda, desperately gulping for breath and worrying how/if I'd get back up. Should I call Mum? Or an ambulance? Would I fit in an ambulance? Panic, shame, humiliation; so much hatred and anger.

After twenty minutes I crawled to my feet and came up with a crafty plan. I brought the big wheelie recycling bin into the house then unceremoniously tossed the encyclopedias inside, one by one. Then I slowly walked them round to the new house and poured them out onto the floor. Just three trips and I was all done! I felt so clever and resourceful and went back to telling myself that everything was just fine.


Trout begone! It could have been the fresh air or the scented candles or the baking soda, or maybe the troutstink was cancelled out by the bacon I cooked on Saturday morning. Pig covers fish in the animal version of animal paper-rock-scissors.

In other news, we have quite possibly sold our now pleasantly-scented flat. We might also have rented a wee house! Maybe! I'm permanently scarred by the recent financial shenanigans so despite positive signs like important, legally-binding papers and the buyer coming round last night to Measure Things Up, I won't believe it is actually going to happen until the closing date, two weeks from tomorrow.

We'd put the flat-selling on hold when the bank collapsed, but then we were approached by an interested person so we decided to go for gold. Buyers are hard to come by in these credit crunchy times. And with mortgage deals, interest rates and house prices are so wacky right now, we're just going to rent for awhile because we don't have any nerves left to rush into big decisions.

It also looks like our frozen savings might be defrosted by Christmas, but once again I'm not getting excited. I'm just crossing my fingers that we'll get to spend the holidays in this cosy wee rented house that has a gas hob and a garage and back yard! Sure, it has absolutely no storage whatsoever, but… GRASS, people!

It also has high ceilings which are perfect for skipping practice. I discovered at kickboxing last week that I can't skip for shit. I always boycotted skipping in primary school so never developed the skillz – even at seven years old, I thought I was too wobbly and uncoordinated to try. I'd love to go back and gently kick my paranoid ginger butt because it is bloody embarrassing being 31 years old and having to be instructed. Hands higher! Turn the rope faster! Jump! Jump!

But it's a bloody great workout so I want to improve. I bought a skipping rope last year and never used it due to low ceilings and lack of suitable outdoor space. Soon I'll be able to practice in the privacy of my own home. Give me time people. Soon I'll rock up to class and do a spectacular acrobatic skipping display and jaws will drop. Or at least I'll learn to turn the rope three times without whipping myself in the face.

Troutin’ About

Trout I fear we're going to have to abandon the house. Pack up our suitcases and just live in the car. Not because we're drowning in bills and mortgages, but because the place stinks to bloody high heaven.

I innocently pan-fried a trout fillet on Wednesday night and now you can barely breathe for the fish fug.

I scrubbed the pan clean. I took out the rubbish that contained the fish wrappings. I doused every room with air freshener and Febreeze whilst singing, Trout! Trout! Let it all out! But that just made it smell like fishy flowers. So we left the windows wide open all night long… yet the stench persisted, more evil than before.

I've been pseudo-vegetarian for a few years now – I usually reserve meat for when we dine out – so it's been yonks since I cooked fish. Have I forgotten some crucial information? Has fish always been this stinky? Is trout a particularly pungent specimen? Is it because I pan-fried it – would it have been less brutal had I given it a gentle grilling?

"Maybe the fish wasn't fresh," Gareth said as we lay awake and shivering in our oxygen masks last night.

"It was fresh! It was bloody tasty."

"Are you sure it wasn't bad? You haven't had the squits, have you?"

"THE SQUITS? I never want to hear you say that word again!"

"It's a great word! It's one of those words that sounds like its meaning."

"It's onomatopoeic."

"That's what I said."

When I left the house this morning the icy wind rattled through the hallway and I thought perhaps it was getting a little better. But I've just received a text from Gareth: I'm freezing here and it still smells like trout!

I was just trying to get in some Omega-3's, dammit. I'm sticking to sunflower seeds from now on.

Half Man, Half Beast

Crazyg I felt a strange and pathetic sense of mourning the other day. I was feeling stressed about things so went pacing the aisles at Marks & Spencer, looking for the Perfect Thing to eat. I know I've written about this desperate feeling before. Picking up cheeses and cakes and putting them down again; flipping through the chocolate bars like old vinyl.

I ended up stomping home empty-handed and annoyed, realising there was nothing there that would actually make me feel good or change anything. I think this is what I was trying to get at with that Zombie Eating entry about the hot fudge sundae. Sometimes I miss that feeling of oblivion and escape and just not giving a shit about anything in the world as I stuffed down too much food. It's like a crappy old boyfriend that you once couldn't quit, then you finally sever the ties… then years later you see him down the street and realise the old magic is gone. You know it's for the best but you still feel a little sad that you don't have that source of thrills anymore.

Anyone else feel like that sometimes? Put me out of my misery here!

. . .

I can't remember on which blog I read a great entry about the perils of spending more time blogging about being healthy than actually doing the healthy stuff. Like sitting on the couch writing about exercise while mice nibble at your dumbells. Was that your blog? Sorry for my scatty brain!

Either way, you got me thinking that I needed less talk and more action, hence I've been a bit quiet. More soup making and further attempts to restore my fitness to pre-New York levels. Meanwhile I've written a couple of new entries on my non-fat blog about the Halloween weekend. Woohoo!

Happy Voting Day, America! The world writhes in anticipation.