Friday Link Feast #16

Lots of goodness for you today!

Hell on wheels

Every now and then it rains in Scotland (cover your ears while the Obvious Siren goes off) so I do indoor spinning workouts instead.

Gareth is a big fan of these downloadable workouts called The Sufferfest. Cyclists really seem to love the word suffer. You hear it on the Tour de France all the time, "so and so really suffered on the Alpe du Humungous today". Which is fair enough, coz those Alps are bloody gigantic. Anyway, there seems to a big market for suffering in the comfort of your own home. Sufferfest titles of torture include: Downward Spiral, Fight Club and The Hunted. I can only manage twenty minutes of Revolver ("best for masochists" according to the workout comparison chart) so have parked the Suffering for now.

Instead I'm going with Coach Troy of the Spinverals series. He looks scary on the DVD title (see below) but in the workout he's a really wholesome and All-American "great job" kinda guy. Which means I don't swear at him too much as he fries my legs.

Spinervals titles include: Enter The Red Zone, Lean and Mean and THE PAIN CAVE.

I have not dared venture into that cave as yet. I mostly stick to Sweating Buckets, which is pretty much the wussiest one. The workout takes place in a room full of Real People. They're not all made up professionally like people in Jillian Michaels or Cathe DVDs, which makes it worse somehow. At least when there's chicks with perfect hair, teeth and abdominals, there's an air of Unobtainium about the workout so you're not bothered if you can't keep up. But with Sweating Buckets, you're working with the likes of this woman, who's real name escapes me but I call her Granny, coz Coach Troy mentions she's a grandmother of 6. Overachiever!

This next guy does Iron Mans (Iron Men?) so I don't worry about him. He's outta my league.

This guy below is my favorite because he Suffers in a melodramatic fashion. He loves to mop his forehead and shake his head ruefully between intervals.

Next up is The Judge. I can't remember his real name but he's a retired judge so we call him The Judge. Gareth likes to wander in when I'm pedalling away and ask, "Are you beating The Judge? You HAVE to beat The Judge! Take him down!".

Alas, I cannot keep up with The Judge. Beneath his kind, grandfatherly features lurks the mind and legs of a competitor.

Really love this guy.

Sweating Buckets was made in 2001 so I often wonder Where Are They Now? I hope The Judge is alive and well and still outpedalling the youths.

New Years Goals Check-in: August

I'm doing monthly updates on my New Year Goals.

Not posting an August update on September 15 is a sure fire sign that August was rather rubbish and I wanted to get my act together before writing again!

In summary: exercise good, eating not good for latter half of the month. I dunno what to say, things have been messy around here and I pretty much temporarily abandoned the Basic Tools o' Healthy Living. I didn't register it properly until I hopped on the scales and saw I was five pounds up, wiping out months and months of slow and steady progress. I'd almost forgotten how quickly I can stack it on if I stop paying attention. It reminded me of a rapid gain five years ago:

"You're like a Marvel comic," said the Scottish Companion in awed tones… "The Amazing Expanding and Contracting Woman!"

The déjà vu lead to a Spiral of Blogging Doom…

Downward-spiral-of-bloggingAt the pointy end of the Spiral is Blogging Paralysis. Have you ever experienced this condition? It's where you stare blankly at the computer with imaginary reader voices swirling around your head…


  • Random Person A: "You're being too tough on yourself!"
  • Random Person B: "You need to get tough with yourself!"
  • Anonymous: "HA HA told u you'd fail and ur still failing… lardy!"
  • Ex-Boyfriends: "Good lord, I totally dodged a bullet"
  • Work Colleagues: "That explains the crumbs on the keyboard"
  • Gareth: "Typo in paragraph three"

While struck dumb, blog wise, I've been getting back into the swing of things. A few rough weeks does not mean doom. I need to keep working on why my Mega Stress repsonse still seems to be… Stop Doing The Healthy Things. But just focusing on the helpful actions: exercise no matter what, cosy porridge to start the day off right, back to the food diary, tuning into the hunger, getting enough sleep. Yes I feel like a nong to still be writing about this stuff, but I guess this is how it is. Fall down, get up, repeat til the end?

What’s rocking your socks today?

Yo, V.I.P.'s! What's good in your world right now? What's singing to your senses?

I've started and stopped three different posts this week but the words are all mangled and rubbish. It's a cocktail of inarticulateness (not a proper word) up there at the moment, I tells ya. I don't know what's wrong with me. But I don't want the blog to die! Before it's choked by cobwebs I thought I'd write about some little things that have brought sparkle to life lately, then ask you'd be up for sharing some of your own sparkly things too?

Let's kick it!

  • Walkmeter iPhone app – Sure you could just walk home from work. But you could also walk home from work with mile splits, a map of your route and squiggly wee graph showing elevation changes! Nerdgasms ahoy.
  • The Great British Bake-Off – It's a baking competition on the telly. So much tension! Oh no! There's not enough holes in the focaccia! The macaron doesn't have a shiny shell! The biscotti's not got enough NUTS in it! The poor woman put the oven on DEFROST so her brandy snaps failed! Who knew ovens have defrost settings these days. Note: I wasn't sad when the ginger guy got kicked off last night. I'd thought him lovely til he went in a huff when the judges dissed his ginger cookies for having too much ginger in them. He said something along the lines of, "You can either bake for the judges or bake for yourself and your family and my family LOVES lots of ginger". If you are just baking for yourself WHY GO ON THE TELLY THEN, eh? Dignity. Always dignity!
  • The Winter Of Our Disconnect by Susan Mushart – a book about a family who go sans-gadgets and internets for six months. Hilarious one minute, oh-lord-i-do-that-too-i-am-a-loser-with-no-life the next 🙂
  • This hummus, halloumi and red pepper open sandwich by Bill "Smiley" Granger – a very tasty combination!
  • Homemade rhubarb and vanilla jam. Made with homegrown rhubarb – which adds zero to the Smug Factor as the rhubarb appeared with feck all intervention on my part. Totally hyponotised by the floaty strands of rhubarb and vanilla specks. Pretty.

248. Rhubarb & vanilla jam