Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

So much to say, I’ve forgotten half of it

August 20, 2011

Sorry for the break, usual service should now be resumed.  As predicted, our week off work was absolutely jam packed with events and outings and very short holidays.  This week has also been busy, despite (or because of) being back at work.  There are photos, but I haven’t found time to transfer them from the camera yet.

A few highlights are:

  • Monty (13 months old) and Dexter’s (6 months old) baptisms.  Dexter screamed throughout, which was amusing when the vicar took him to carry him to the font and he screamed directly into her mike, nearly deafening everyone.  Poor little guy was really tired and fell asleep within minutes when it was over.
  • Open air theatre at Slimbridge…only we didn’t actually go to the play.  There was torrential rain when we looked out of our hotel window, just before the play was due to start, so we had a picnic in our hotel and stayed warm and dry.
  • A day out at Slimbridge, where we saw a spoonbill, and a long walk along the neighbouring canal.
  • I visited the doctor-man with a new symptom, to be told I probably have a hernia!  So, off to the hospital yet again.  Probably more surgery.  Makes me want to scream!  But at least it isn’t very painful, most of the time.
  • Tim brought Monty round for a visit, at which point I became the bikkit lady.  Bikkit?  Duuude!  Learning to talk is such a fun age!
  • Speaking of learning to talk, we took Billy round to my brother’s house, knowing we’d be out/away a lot and Gethin did his best to say ‘Billy’.  It kind of came out more ‘Mi-Mi’, but he really tried.  He also climbed up onto the dining table, so he could sit as close to the cage as possible – little monkey!
  • Mid-week we caught up with lovely Kat and her sister-in-law Carol, who has been working as a teacher in Qatar for the last year.  She seems to be really enjoying it, and has just been promoted.  Well done Carol!
  • The last few days of our week off were spent in a drizzly but warm North Devon.  The hotel we went to was not one I would visit again, it was dire.  Our room was way too hot, even with the window wide open and the heating switched off.  The bathroom sink had cracks in it, so there’s no way it was clean.  And there was no shower, despite the large bathroom and really high water pressure.
  • We did manage to eat out in a couple of our favourite restaurants, and even found a new favourite.  It is called Memories, located in Northam, and the food was exceptional.
  • Unfortunately, on the long drive home A was very ill and we had to repeatedly stop in lay-bys and services.  Poor baby then slept half-way home.

This week back at work has not  been so busy, but has been tiring all the same.  It’s always hard getting back into work after time off.

Last night we agreed at short notice to go into town for a quiet drink or two, to say goodbye to Tim, who is flying home to New Zealand very soon now.  They are planning to move back over here though, in the very near future, so we’ll hopefully seem them all again soon.  Of course a quiet drink or two turned into 4 or 5 and a mini pub crawl.  We didn’t get home until gone midnight, and poor A had to be up for work by 5am.  I’d be willing to bet we both sleep a large part of this afternoon!

Knitting news…should probably wait for another day, now I’ve written so much!  Not much news anyway, and no photos at the moment.

This week coming, hopefully not much going on!

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Slightly frantic…

May 28, 2011

Following on from last week’s ‘getting busier’ post, this week has been even more packed.  I am snowed under at work, with big projects on short timescales and plenty of frustration built in.  On top of that, here is a small sample of the previous 7 days:

  • Saturday afternoon – take Gethin shopping for his first real pair of shoes.
  • Sunday morning – drive to Plymouth.  Drive around the city centre for 40 minutes trying find first our hotel, then a long stay carpark nearby, all in a one-way maze.
  • Sunday afternoon – meet Theresa and Graeme for lunch and a cuddle with baby Mia (picture of Theresa with Mia below).  Awwww, she’s tiny!
  • Sunday evening – out for tapas in a  restaurant, then beer in a pub.
  • Monday morning – drive to Teignmouth for lunch in one of our favourite cafe’s.  It’s basic but always delicious.  Followed by a stroll along the seafront.
  • Monday afternoon – drive on to Topsham to look at birds…only the tide is in so we don’t see any.  Go to the cheese shop, only it is closed on Mondays.  Buy a selection of cheese, olives, fresh bread and a scotch egg from the other shops, to take home for dinner.
  • Also Monday afternoon – drive home in the pouring rain.
  • Tuesday – work in Bristol, including regional briefing.
  • Wednesday morning – take Mum to hospital for pre-op check-up.  Working at home
  • Wednesday evening – my hospital appointment with the gynae consultant.  Hopefully the last time I ever see that (very nice) man.  A working all evening.
  • Thursday – Bristol again.  A working all evening, so don’t see him at all between bedtimes.
  • Friday – working at home (phew!).

This week coming is likely to be even more packed, somehow.  We have our niece Morgan overnight tonight, as her birthday present.  I still can’t quite believe that a 13 year old would rather spend the night with her aunt and uncle than get cash or a gift, but that’s our Mor-bird, never quite the same as the others.

Tomorrow we’re off to the farmer’s market in search of the final part of A’s sister’s 40th birthday present.  Monday we’re taking A’s Mum shopping for her gift for Ang’s birthday, as well as a new camera and an outfit.  Tuesday and Wednesday I’m in Bristol, including a regional briefing and a 1:1 with the regional director to discuss the changes about to take place and my role in them.  Thursday I get a breather, working at home.  Friday I’m in London for an all day training, which I should hopefully get back from just in time for Ang’s 40th birthday party.

Then at the weekend, we have Gethin overnight.

Sometimes nothing happens for weeks on end, then suddenly everything gets crammed into a couple of short weeks!  And we turned down an invite to my cousin’s birthday party!

Anyway, on to the really interesting stuff…the knitting.  I have finished my grey stripe travel socks:

I have started another pair, of course, and almost finished the first one.  The new pair are using a skein of yarn my Mum bought me for my birthday last year, called Woodpecker, because they are red, white and black.

I have also started a scarf, using some of the alpaca sock yarn that shrinks in the washing machine.  I might use it myself, or keep it as a gift for someone else…who knows?

It’s back to work I go…

December 11, 2010

 

So, after eight weeks of recuperation, I’m finally facing the dreaded return to work.  I’m not really dreading it, not really.  It’s just the laziness kicking in and wishing for more time sat on my backside knitting and reading and not having to do much else.  There is a general level of anxiety about the early mornings, the trips to Bristol, the bit where I have to see the people for the first time, but it’s not so bad.  Honestly.  Convinced yet?

No, me neither. 

Anyway, I thought I was going to say that this week has been a quiet one…and compared to some it has been…but not that quiet when I think about it really carefully. 

Last Saturday we went out for dinner with lovely Kat and Alan.  We went to La Carbonara, an Italian restaurant not far from here.  It was delicious.  We’ve been trying to get a reservation there for a few months, as Alan and Kat recommended it strongly, but it is always fully booked.  This time we reserved a month in advance and I now understand why it is so popular – the food is really good quality and cooked so well.  There’s a huge range available, so much it was hard to choose! 

We had planned to take our nephew out for his birthday on Sunday, but that didn’t work out.  We’ve bought him a present which we’ll deliver later today instead…think we’ll stick to that in future. 

On Tuesday we offered to look after Gethin again, so David and Sam could go to the cinema.  Lovely Sam has been desperate to see the latest Harry Potter film, so we took in a very grumpy, teething baby for a few hours.  Poor little boy was obviously in pain, and couldn’t decide between crying to express that pain or laughing his usual constant chuckle. 

Early this week there were also a couple of expensive incidents…firstly A noticed that a hubcap was missing from my car.  I hadn’t realised how expensive those things are!  Then, in a moment of utter stupidity (me) and carelessness (A), I left my glasses on the bed while I changed my jumper…A bounced into the room and launched himself across the bed…crunch!  Luckily I bought 2 pairs at once, so I had a spare pair, but have since been to Tesco for a really cheap second pair to keep spare.  I can’t see much at all without them, certainly can’t drive, so I have to have a spare pair. 

On to knitting news…I have finished both special requests from last weekend:

Legwarmers for Mum (she’s very happy with them), modelled by A.

And A’s Santa beanie.  He’s also happy.  🙂

For some reason the knitting this week has been mostly about a particular skein of yarn, and a particular pattern.  I have started at least 6 different things with this lovely yarn, including scarves, hats and finally:

The pattern is ‘Fetching’, a Ravelry freebie.  I completed the first one in a few hours yesterday, so the second shouldn’t take long to do.  They will probably live in my desk drawer at work, for the days when the heating doesn’t work or isn’t enough. 

The scarf pattern I got hung up on (I really wanted to use the yarn above but didn’t have enough) is ‘Cable and lace scarf redux’, another free pattern from Ravelry.  I’ve ended up, after many false starts, using some King Cole Riot, bought on holiday in October:

The colours aren’t quite as neon as they look in this photo, but they are hard to capture! 

Also in progress are my alpaca mermaid socks, but they’re going very slowly.  I think maybe because I’ve been focussed on the whole ‘got to use this yarn’/’got to knit this scarf’ problem.  Also I haven’t been out as much this week. 

So this week coming…apart from the whole ‘back to work’ thing on Monday and the ‘trip to Bristol’ thing on Tuesday, there’s not a lot going on.  This weekend we’ll be putting up decorations, writing cards and wrapping presents for Christmas.  Next weekend is Gethin’s christening.  Then just 3 working days the week after and I’m off for Christmas.

So much excitement!

November 16, 2010

It has been a busy week-and-a-half.  And yes, I realise that this isn’t Saturday and I missed a post, hence this catch-up on a Tuesday. 

Last week, I decided that I’d had enough of sitting around recuperating and that it was time to start getting out and doing stuff (other than knitting).  I made good progress, and although I found myself very tired most days after my adventures, I didn’t have big problems with pain or set myself back as I had before. 

My adventures included:

  • cooking
  • washing up
  • Knitting at the Library (travelling by bus)
  • an outing to Tesco (walking there, bus back)
  • town and Old Town by bus
  • a trip to Lambourn to put flowers on my grandparents’ memorial stones, by car, with my sister-in-law

Also, and much bigger and even more exciting, A and I went on holiday!  We caught a train down to South Devon on Friday morning, returning yesterday.  We stayed in Dawlish Warren, in a brand new, very nice lodge.  On Saturday we went to Exeter for the day (my birthday), spending an hour or two and a lot of money at a knitting expo there.  I bought lots of yarn!

Well, it was my birthday present 🙂

After the knit expo we went looking for somewhere to eat.  Knowing that there wasn’t much open in Dawlish Warren, we had planned to find something good at lunchtime, and take back a bag of bread/ham/cheese/olives etc for tea.  I wanted to eat somewhere a bit different, but hadn’t quite thought we’d find Michael Caines’ restaurant!  Michael Caines is a chef who sometimes appears on programmes like Market Kitchen, he has a really good reputation, so when we stumbled across his restaurant we had to eat there.  And it was delicious, such good food.  I’d recommend it to anyone – and the price was reasonable too. 

Sadly, by the time we’d eaten I was exhausted and so we headed back to sleep for an hour or two. 

The rest of the weekend was good.  I managed to keep up with walking and shopping and eating out and everything A wanted to do, just about.  Then the train journey home was smooth and here we are!  Last night I got my car back from my brother, so this afternoon I think we’re going out for a drive (probably just to get some shopping).  It’s a bit scary, driving after nearly 5 weeks off, but I’m sure I’ll be fine.  It’ll be good to get around more easily. 

In knitting news, Gethin’s shawl is coming along nicely.  The original 192 st per side is now down to 106 st per side.  It is really speeding up…although I didn’t take it away at the weekend so it had a short break. 

I have two finishes to show off, starting with my bedsocks:

I put them on to take the photo earlier, and am still wearing them!  These are going to be a favourite.  Last time I wrote, they were in time-out because somehow I’d ended up with too many stitches on the second sock…well I worked out why and had to rip back to before the heel.  Somehow I got confused when I started the heel and used a top-down heel flap construction on a toe-up sock which should have had a short-row heel turn instead.  D’oh! 

Also finished is the Pimpelliese scarf, which A has renamed the Dragon:

 

I haven’t decided whether to keep this or give it away, maybe for christmas.  We’ll see. 

Since my last post I’ve also been working on the Sagrantino shawl, which I have kind of re-designed.  I love the design as it is, but realised I would run out of yarn if I carried on.  So, instead of 3 hexagons wide, I’ve made it 2.  And instead of starting at one end, I’ve started in the centre and am working outwards on both sides:

I’ve also started a new pair of socks:

So much going on! 

I’m sure I’ve forgotten some of the stuff I meant to write about, but I’ve just heard that my baby bro slipped on ice on his way out to work this morning, and has broken his leg in two places and dislocated his ankle!  He was carrying the baby at the time, but luckily Gethin wasn’t hurt.  Now everything else has gone from my head…better see if I can do anything to help.

Knitting! Gardening! Snooker! Cross-stitch!

April 24, 2010

The excitement around here is becoming hard to handle!  No, really…I love all those things and they’re all happening at the moment.  Maybe excitement is too strong a term, and it’s difficult to really fit enough of them all in, what all the full-time working, but still…they make a happy me!

Starting with a catch-up from last week then, on Saturday night we went out for a belated anniversary dinner.  We went to Fratello’s, an Italian restaurant which we have only been to once before, but which we are already coming to love.   We each had 3 courses, which is a rarity, and it was all good.  I was in serious pain for some time afterwards – I know I cannot eat big meals without suffering, but sometimes I’d rather stuff my face and suffer for it! 

On Sunday we started tidying the garden, then potted up a few things, and before we knew it we’d been out in the sun for a good 3 hours or more.  There are pictures…

That’s one of my two apricot trees, grown from stones last summer.  We kept them in the lean-to through most of the winter, thinking they wouldn’t survive outside, but they didn’t do too well.  In about February, when it looked like they were almost dead, I put them outside…kill or cure.   Then a couple of weeks ago, I noticed that they both had lots of new green leaves – a miraculous recovery!  So on Sunday they got re-potted into these big containers to give them lots of room to grow.  This is the smaller of the two, but the one which started growing first.  And here is the other:

On the left is a newly-potted raspberry cane, a birthday present from my friend Mrs Jarge. 

This gooseberry bush came from the same source – it already has new leaves since I planted it on Sunday! 

I also planted some herbs, from seed.

If you look closely at the pot on the left, there are three tiny little seedlings just popping up.  There is another tray like this, with more herbs, and A planted some tomato seeds into a propagator tray, and spring onions and radishes outside in another big pot. 

Finally, we managed to retrieve my Nan’s bird bath, which had become very overgrown behind the cherry tree and climbing rose. 

There’s lots more still to do.  The gravel needs topping up, as the blue sheeting is visible through it in places.  There are more pots to be filled, once we get more compost.  We need at least one more massive pot, to grow potatoes in (they are chitting at the moment – isn’t that a great word)?  And we have lots of packets of flower mix aimed at attracting bees.  We get lots of bees anyway, but they are lovely to see and hear buzzing around, so why not feed a few more? 

Moving on, I started knitting the shrug I want to take away in the summer.  I’ve made some progress, but I’m torn between knitting and cross-stitch at the moment, and thoroughly enjoying both.  I’ve been doing both in the evening, while watching snooker, but whichever I pick up first I end up keeping in my hands, however carefully I plan to switch. 

There’s not much to see really, but it’s very soft and pretty. 

This is Elmer, the elephant cross-stitch I’ve started for my youngest brother’s baby:

Again, not much to see so far.  Maybe I’d make more progress if I worked on one or the other?!

In work news, the anxiety of change is back.  We’re just settling into our new organisation, only this week a new manager’s post has been advertised.  It’s equivalent to the boss-man’s job, only no-one seems to know whether the team will be split between the 2 managers, how the work will be divided up, or how it will work.  Almost everyone in the team has decided to apply, which could make things uncomfortable.  I can’t make up my mind whether to go for it or not.  It’s a lot of extra responsibility, and likely to involve more travel, including more regular days in Bristol and visits to National Office in Coventry.  It is a lot more money, and the work I’m doing can be repetitive and dull – I could do with a challenge.  I’m not particularly healthy or reliable though, and the director appointing the post knows that.  Plus, interviews are really stressful. 

But if I don’t go for it, I won’t even be trying to have an impact on the coming changes, which will happen to me anyway.  And it’s good to go for interviews from time to time, to keep in practice and minimise nerves. 

I dunno, but I have to make a decision very soon.  It’s a stress I could have happily lived without. 

Anyway, this week there’s more snooker.  This afternoon we’re going for a picnic at Coate Water with Mrs Jarge.  On Monday I have the day off work, to take some flowers to Oxford Crematorium for my Nan’s birthday.  A’s Mum is coming along for the day out, and we’ll probably stop off at Millet’s Farm (pick your own, farm shop, garden centre, petting farm, restaurant and more) on the way back.  Then on Weds lunchtime I’m meeting Caron for lunch, and it’s our niece Morgan’s birthday.  And next Saturday we’ve offered to have Morgan and her sister Madison round for a while.  Busy, busy!

Anyway, I’m missing the snooker while writing this monster of a post – gotta go!

Food Freedom!

April 17, 2010

I saw the dietician on Thursday, and she has taken me off the crazy-stupid intolerance testing diet.  I can eat whatever I want!  Strangely, there doesn’t seem to be much that I do want.  Since reintroducing cheese, butter, chocolate, bread and pasta I’ve been craving less.  Although it was nice to be able to use tomatoes in a home-made chilli yesterday. 

Now I just have to attempt to keep the weight off – I’ve lost over a stone since December, and gone down a size in clothes, and I don’t want to go back up. 

Very little knitting to report again this week, just a little progress on the travel socks.  Although I’ve decided I want a shrug or cropped cardi to take away in the summer, so I’ll be browsing Ravelry for suitable patterns later. 

I have started another cross-stitch picture for one of the many babies due this summer.  It isn’t the Elmer design I was planning on though, as I couldn’t find the magazine with the pattern in.  I went back through the design books I keep, with photos of stuff I’ve made, and found the details from when I made it once before.  So I even knew the issue number and release date of the magazine, not just the name.  But I still couldn’t find it.  A and I went through every magazine on the shelf, then pretty much emptied the entire craft cupboard.  We just could not work out what had happened to that damn magazine.  On Monday morning I e-mailed a former colleague, just on the off chance that she’d seen it, borrowed it, remembered me lending it to someone else…and she e-mailed back a couple of hours later to say she had it. 

In the meantime of course, I’d started a new pattern anyway:

This one is probably for Caron’s baby, although it may go to A’s cousin’s baby instead, depending on baby’s name. 

On Weds I met up with Avril, to hand over April’s picture.  Instead of framing it, I rolled it up in tissue paper and slid it into a cardboard tube, so it will travel to Australia more easily.  Avril was really pleased with it, and treated me to lunch.  🙂

After that I went to Knitting at the Library for the first time in weeks.  It was good to catch up. 

This week…I don’t think there’s much going on.  The usual 2 days in Bristol.  Oh, and we’re off out for dinner tonight.  We didn’t go out for our wedding anniversary on Monday, because of the diet, so we’re making up for it tonight.  And, of course, the Snooker World Championship starts today…that’s just over two weeks of excitement 😉

New Shoes

April 10, 2010

Not something I normally get excited about, but then I don’t often go shopping for shoes.  Or clothes for that matter.  But we’re starting to think about all the things we will need for our cruise in the summer, and on my long list of stuff I found shoes.  And sandals.  And trainers.  Oops! 

So we trudged around town and the outlet village yesterday, and I found a lovely new pair of Converse (I do love Cons) in a funky purple colour, then a bargain3-for-2 on all women’s shoes in Clark’s at the outlet village.  And by some miracle I actually found 5 pairs I liked!  I’m really fussy about shoes, have my own peculiar taste and will not compromise.  Luckily 2 of the 5 didn’t fit so well, so I didn’t have to make any really difficult decisions. 

The red shoes are almost identical to my previous pair of favourite shoes…only leather instead of suede.  I even bought sparkly silver laces for the Converse. 

Anyway, in other news…again, a week with very little knitting.  I have made a little progress on the trainer socks I’ve been knitting on train journeys, but that’s it really. 

This morning, however, I finished this little pretty:

And a close-up:

I’m pleased with it, and I hope Avril will be too.  Now I just have to track her down and hand it over. 

Next I’m going to start another cross-stitch picture, this time for my brother’s baby, which is due in June.  I’m going to make an Elmer picture, which A’s Aunt is planning to incorporate into a patchwork cushion for Baby’s room. 

In work news it was another weird week, with lots more IT issues.  I even ended up working at home on Weds with no laptop!  Not much work got done. 

I didn’t get out to meet Caron for lunch, as planned, as she was unwell.  I could have gone to Knitting in the Library instead, but I had the crisp craving and decided it was best to stay away from shops (the library is next door to an enormous supermarket) altogether. 

This coming week…hopefully a straightforward one.  I have an appointment with the dietician, to discuss my progress on the intolerance diet.  I’m sorry to say, I don’t think the pain is a food thing…I really think it’s more about exercise and activity.  Still, I’m persevering with the diet, and this week get cheese (today/tomorrow) then chocolate.  Mmmmmm…chocolate.  It’s easier now I can have stuff like pasta and bread, and some dairy, but I still miss the treats.

Pasta!

April 3, 2010

Ok, maybe not that exciting to most, but I am thoroughly enjoying being able to eat pasta again, even if sauce is a bit tricky.  If I’m honest, I did get some swelling and pain last night, but it could have been the stressful situation, it wasn’t necessarily the food.  No, really! 

I’m re-testing pasta today, and if it goes well I get bread tomorrow.  Bread!  I can hardly believe it! 

Then, on to milk.  I’m not particularly excited about milk, except that it is followed by butter and cheese, which I love. 

So, this week has been all about the food, if you hadn’t guessed.  It’s starting to get exciting, as I begin to reach more normal ingredients. 

Apart from that, there has been very little or no knitting at all – for the first time in ages I’m not even fretting for it.  I have been cross-stitching quite a bit – this is the progress on the picture for Avril’s grand-daughter, which last Saturday was a blank canvas ready to stitch:

And a close-up on the detail:

Her name isn’t finished (some outlining on April to complete, and her middle name to add), and her date of birth needs working in somewhere, then I’ll add a border. 

After that, probably more cross-stitch as lots more babies are on the way. 

Work has been busy, lots happening this week.  On Tuesday I delivered an important training/presentation to some external people I’ll be working with lots in future.  It went well, I think, lots of questions and discussion.  Nerve-wracking though – I haven’t delivered a presentation in a year or two at least. 

On Weds my laptop packed up, kept trying to synch to a server which was de-commissioned on Tuesday.  I hoped that taking it in to the office on Thursday would resolve that issue, but no, it got worse.  IT support promised to get someone to me urgently, but no-one showed, despite the boss-man calling to harass them a bit. 

Now I’m hoping the proposed train strikes don’t go ahead this coming week, as I really need to get the poor broken laptop back in to Bristol on Tuesday in the hopes that a technician will show up.  If the train strikes happen, I’m working at home all week, without a laptop! 

Last night we did a rare thing and voluntarily went out for a social family occasion, a party to celebrate A’s cousin’s 40th birthday.  It was in Lechlade, so a bit of a distance to drive in the pouring rain in the dark, but worth it to show our faces.  A’s Mum didn’t look so well, and has a nasty cough, I’m a bit worried about her.  We’ve invited her round for Sunday dinner, but will have to check she’s well enough on the day.  If needs be we’ll go to her house instead, make her soup, persuade her to rest for once. 

So, this coming week…I’m going out for lunch with my friend Caron.  She heard recently that the baby she’s expecting is completely free from Spinal Muscular Atrophy, which her first baby died of.  She does have a heart problem, but one which can be treated within her first two years, enabling her to live a normal, healthy life after that.  Caron is over the moon, as SMA is a terrible illness with no treatment or cure, whereas the doctors are fairly confident they can fix the heart condition. 

Apart from that, business as usual (with added butter and cheese)!

Skipped a Saturday

March 27, 2010

Last week I couldn’t post as usual…we went on a last minute weekend away to Westward Ho!  And man, did we need it! 

We both had a few days booked off work, just using up days before the start of new leave years.  We had planned to clear out the attic and the under-stairs cupboard, get rid of loads of junk.  But somehow, we persuaded ourselves that a holiday was in order instead 🙂

Westward Ho! was amazing as always, so peaceful and laid back.  Somehow it’s one of the few places we really switch off…ever.  We stayed on a different holiday park this time, due to the last minute arrangement, and it was really good.  The chalets were of a very high standard, spotlessly clean and so well equipped.  We’ve booked to go back there in October, with A’s Mum. 

While we were away I ditched the crazy-ass few foods diet for the four days, and ate everything I wanted.  I felt very ill for a while, due to the sudden influx of flavour and variety I think, but it was totally worth it.  Apart from that, I’m getting on ok with the diet.  I’m now allowed chicken, beef and prawns as well as the original list, and today I get to add eggs.  Next week I’ll move on to wheat (specifically pasta then bread), then dairy.  I can’t work out how to include milk at the moment, which is first on the dairy list.  I can’t drink milk, never could.  I can have it on cereal…but so far have struggled to find an ‘allowed’ cereal – they all have so much added crap.  I can’t think of a good sauce we could make, without any of my usual ingredients.  I am tempted to just skip the milk step and go straight for butter or cheese (mmmm….butter and cheese….).  We’ll see.

I did have one serious lapse this week – I bought and ate an entire big bag of strong flavoured crisps.  I haven’t eaten crisps at all for months and months.  But I was tempted and gave in.  And was really unwell for the rest of the day and most of the next.  I won’t be doing that again!

On to knitting news…I finished A’s Mum’s shawl last night, it’s blocking on the library floor now:

Mar’s birthday is in a week or so, I hope she’ll like it.  Having finished the shawl during the evening yesterday, I didn’t feel much like starting anything new so I plodded away at the log cabin blanket I have on the go.  One day it will be big and beautiful, however long it takes! 

My next project is cross-stitch – a picture for Avril’s grand-daughter in Australia.  Avril’s daughter has asked for ‘cupcakes and fairies and butterflies’, which don’t seem to have appeared in a single design together, that I can find.  So I’ve pinched small designs from various magazines and worked them together to form one picture.  So far it looks like this:

Nothing to see here!  Moving along…

This coming week should be a busy one.  I’m delivering a training on Tuesday, which I’m really not looking forward to.  Then on Weds I’ve agreed to go out for lunch with the people from the Swindon office, which is now closed.  It marks the closing of the office and the end of our organisation.  I’ve also got the usual Bristol trip on Thursday.  Friday we’re going out for A’s cousin’s 40th Birthday, at a pub in Lechlade.

Mmmmmm, cake!

March 13, 2010

This week has been all about the food.  There has been knitting (of course)…I’ve made good progress on the shawl for A’s Mum’s birthday, and my current travel socks are nearly done, but all I can think about is food. 

On Monday I embarked on what must be the most difficult diet ever.  Not for weight loss, oh no, nothing so simple.  This is a few foods diet, designed to identify food intolerances, which may be triggering the IBS pains I’m still dealing with.  The theory goes that for a week I eat only foods listed by my dietician as acceptable, then over the next few weeks (months?) I can reintroduce ingredients in a specific order.  On Sunday we’re starting the re-introduction with chicken, having picked the protein group first.  This will be followed by beef, prawns, eggs and white fish.  My mouth waters just thinking about such exciting ingredients! 

For now though, I’m still on turkey, lamb, pork, rice, potatoes, a selection of fruit and veg and not a lot more.  I can have sunflower oil and sunflower oil based spread.  I can use salt, pepper and herbs for flavour. 

Evenings meals haven’t been so bad, apart from having to find the energy to cook every single day – no sneaky trips to the chip shop or phoning out for pizza!  The main thing missing from dinner-time, apart from variety, is sauce.  Gravy!  Ketchup!  Mayo!  Redcurrant jelly, mint sauce, horseradish, anything!

Breakfast is also reasonably ok, I’m just eating a pile of fruit.  Tinned fruit is ok, as long as it is one of the listed fruit and is in the right type of juice.  Fresh fruit from Riverford is good, as always.  But I do miss my toast. 

Lunch is proving to be more of a problem, especially when I’m not at home.  I’m stuck with plain ricecakes.  I’m also having a range of raw veg (cucumber, carrot, celery), and occasionally parma ham.  Weirdly, it turns out that parma ham is the only preserved pork we can find that doesn’t have a load of preservatives added, just salt.  Expensive, but worth it. 

Strangely, for a week when food is so restricted, everything has been about food.  I went with my Mum to a diabetes awareness session at the hospital…all about food.  At work in Bristol on Thursday there was an office-warming gathering, where everyone had brought cakes. 

I can’t even have coffee! 

For some reason, which I haven’t quite figured out yet, the thing I want most is cake.  I don’t usually care about cake, not fond of sponge, will eat it if it’s triple chocolate.  But from the start of the week, I’ve wanted cake, Cake, CAKE.  Realistically I’m not gonna get cake any time soon.  I need to get through eggs, dairy and flour at least before I can even make an acceptable cake.  But boy am I looking forward to it!