If you’re up there somewhere…

The highlight of the Mothership Reunion was seeing her try to use an eyelash curler.

My sister and I gave her a mini makeover – I was on hair, Rhi on makeup. In hindsight it might have been a bit insulting: Yo Mum! Haven’t seen you in a year, what the hell are you wearing?! Let us spruce you up! But she really loved getting pampered after a few weeks of Cruise Casual.

Bougainvillea

Except for the eyelash curler. I could have watched her snapping it at her face all day. What is this contraption? Like this? Ow! Crikey! Ow! 

Turns out she didn’t need the curlers – she has disgustingly long, lush lashes. I’ve not inherited them nor had I noticed hers before. That made me feel a little sad. You don’t get these details over Skype or email.

The last day of the Reunion happened to be ten years since Poppy – Mum’s dad, our grandfather, obv. – passed away. He was in our thoughts and conversations all weekend. As Rhi dusted Mum’s nose with powder I saw the family resemblance alive in their dark eyes and big laughs and my heart just cracked.

I miss him as fiercely as I did a decade ago. Not only for his intelligence and warped humour, but because I like the way he did things. He made it feel okay to carry a little spark inside you; to want to make things and go places. And I miss the way he made my grandmother smile.

I wish I’d been able to know him when I was a adult. He got ill as I finished high school. How would we have got along? Would he have come to Scotland for a visit? Would he and Gareth have bonded over their love of motorbikes?

I can’t remember where I was going with this; I’ve wandered off again. In summary: it was bloody brilliant to finally hang out with my mum and sister at the same time. And I need a visit back home to Oz soon. Least of all to make sure Mum’s following our beauty advice!

Goldmember

“There is a small, competitive part of me that gets annoyed from time to time that I didn’t ‘finish’ Weight Watchers. Not just because I crave a sense of completion, not because I once had a burning desire to be on the cover of the magazine; but because I wanted to be a Gold Member.

That’s what you become when you reach your goal weight. And they give you a GOLD CARD. You could carry it around in your wallet and whip it out at any time to prove that you’d WON weight loss! 😛

While I never became a Gold Member, I once stood beside a gold member at the Museum of Sex in Copenhagen – see picture below. That’s not too bad a consolation prize, I reckon.”

Copenhagen, Summer 2004

Copenhagen, Summer 2004

I wrote the above about five years ago, saved it to my draft posts and forgot about it until yesterday, when I cracked open those cocoa nibs and one of them was shaped like a tiny penis. This amused my juvenile mind and I thought, I should write about this cocoa nib development! And that made me remember the old Copenhagen Willy post.

Last night I worried that some people might find that poor taste and never read the blog again. But then I remembered a recent conversation with the incredible Sas about how trying to please everyone is futile, especially everyone on the internet. It’s physically impossible, for one; plus it can get in the way of you being the real you and that leads to all sorts of unhappiness.

So I thought, dang it, I’ll go ahead and post it, as a tiny step towards writing more fearlessly. As you can see there were no deep, profound thoughts lurking behind the inner censor. It’s all chocolate and male appendages.

. . .

I feel very sad looking at that photo from eight years ago. It was the first day of our Russia-Scandinavia tour and I thought I was the most humungous, ugly blob. I’d lost a shitload of weight but had little appreciation of how far I’d come. I felt huge compared to my tour mates, though looking through the photos all these years later it clearly wasn’t the case. I was so scared of gaining weight on that tour. My whole self-worth was attached to the lard busting mission and I felt like I was one Finnish chocolate bar from it all spinning out of control.

With such unsustainable and unkind motivations I can kinda see the inevitability of everything that happened in the following years. Today, properly large again, I’d be chuffed to be the size I was in that photo (minus the dodgy hairdo and maudlin clothing!). But I don’t want that old headspace.

I hope, and quietly believe, that there exists a middle ground where my knees, vanity and mind can all find peace. I’ll keep working on it.

Monthly Check In: September 2012

We’re 75% done with 2012. Time for another monthly plan update.

First of all I must report that I spoke too soon about the laundered Fitbit. It is officially deceased now.

. . .

In case the hyperactive witterings didn’t give it away, September was ace. On the lard busting front, I was happy with how I did in the USA and ended up maintaining on the scale machine. As per the recent travel pattern, the days were so full of grooviness that I didn’t really think about food.

I did guzzle vats of iced coffee, however. Now back here in Scotland, a sultry 8°C/46°F, it seems hilarious that anyone would ever get the urge to put ice cubes in coffee.

THUS ENDETH SEPTEMBER REPORT.

. . .

Now here we are at half-October and I’m getting back in the groove after an extremely shoddy start to the month that involved excessive amounts of chocolate. I could say, “I don’t know what came over me” but I know exactly what happened and I was even aware of it as I was doing it.

After feeling shitty and sugar hungover and doomed for a few days I got re-organised. I find the week after travel to be the danger time. You’re back to reality, you’re tired, there’s no food in the cupboard; your suitcase has vomited its contents all over the bedroom floor.

Now I’m back to my usual routine. What else can you do but get up and crack on with it? I’ve been walking. I made a big thing of wholesome soup. I did some pretend kickboxing with Jillian Michaels. I caught up on the washing (no gadgets were harmed this time).

I choose to kick arse for the remainder of the month. Stay tuned!

. . .

Finally, about these Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Cocoa Nibs. They’re so crunchy and earthy tasting and come in a dinky little tin that’s fun to rattle. The hinged lid is very satisfying to flip on and off. I feel like an eccentric old lady. My pills! I need my pills!

Anyway, it hilariously says on the tin, 1 Calorie Per Piece. I wonder if anyone ever says, “Oh just one for me, thanks”. They are the size of a mouse dropping. Or maybe a rat? Or a Tic Tac, let’s be classy.

I bought three tins on my travels. Since I don’t live in the USA I’d planned to ration them out, one dropping at time for the next few years*. But thanks to these past choctastic weeks there’s only one left.  Let’s see how long I can stretch it out!

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Nibs

This pic was my 2011 stock. It didn’t last very long either!

* Not really.

Friday Link Feast #20

This weekend I’m hanging out with The Mothership! She’s been pootling around Europe these past few weeks enjoying her retirement, and now we’re meeting up to exchange Cherry Ripes for iPad lessons before she heads back to Australia.

Here is some Friday arvo reading for you. In the parlance of my mother, may your weekend be a little ripper!

  • I wrote about my North Carolina blogger-meeting adventure. I wish I were nimble enough to rob a bank so I could spend the rest of my days visiting every corner of the USA.
     
  • Pink of Perfection: Against Reflection
    Sarah is on my all-time favourite blogger list and this post – reflections on not reflecting – is just beautiful.
     
  • Brooklyn Active Mama: That One Time I Cried at Zumba
    “First let me say Fitbloggin is a trap. I thought I was going to come here and learn about weight loss, meet some bloggy crushes and workout! I did that. But I also did so much more.” – Nellie’s post is a fab example of how crazy emotional and lifechanging Fitbloggin can be.
     
  • Mostly Eating: Simple spinach, cottage cheese and oat pancakes
    Remember those blueberry pancakes I posted earlier this year? Sophie has turned them up to eleven, savoury style. I am thinking pancakes for dinner.
     
  • Sas’ Magical Mystery Tour: Purge
    “… opening my wardrobe to find a load of clothes that are too big for me, was beginning to feel like I was waiting for this to end. For the time when I return to the place of unconsciously unloving myself.”
     
  • William McInnes: Remembering Sarah Watt
    “I miss having someone to argue with, miss having someone to tell me to pull my head in. Miss having someone to be the filter for my early-morning opinions. This happens in all relationships. You know, the person through which you run some mad thought or opinion, some stupid idea that you think is clever. Over a morning coffee or tea, lying next to each other, you let rip with some idiocy and she would say, ‘I think you should just leave that one inside the house.'”
     
  • Susannah Conway: The Permission Slip
    “You are allowed to unfollow the people who make you feel bad,
    the ones who curate their lives like interior design magazines,
    whose day never seems to be filled with the
    dirty dishes of your reality.”
     

Don’t try this at home

Things learned today: while it has been previously established that an iPhone does not survive a 40°C/104°F wash cycle, it appears that a Fitbit pedometer thingy comes through fine and dandy.

This is a Fitbit

And the journey through the washing cycle is apparently equivalent to 2061 steps, or 1.53 kilometres.

Fitbit statsWhy did I not heed the wise words of The Mothership? Check your pockets first, Shauna. Now check them again!

UPDATE: I spoke too soon! It’s completely dead now. Oh dear. I tried the Bowl of Rice trick, too.