Friday, 28 February 2014

Fab at Forty - nine months and counting

Doesn’t time fly when you’ve set yourself a time-bound goal?  I’ve now got nine full months to the big birthday, and after the positivity of my last post, I’m afraid it’s all bad news for this update.

I’ve had a major, major dose of the lurg.  I may have mentioned it, although it’s not like me to share my suffering, ha ha.  I’ve been off work for four weeks with a nasty chest and lung infection (so definitely not the catarrh the first doctor said!) and it’s knocked me for six.  I haven’t been able to get to my classes for a month now, and although I barely ate for a week (and hit my lowest weight for about three years!), once my appetite came back, the scales crept back up.  The bits that were feeling firmer are feeling soft again (much to Daughter’s joy that the bingo wings haven’t gone) and I’m a long way off buns of steel.  I’ve stuck to Choc-Free Feb though, as long as I don’t count the numerous chocolate digestives I snaffled yesterday.  When I say Choc-Free, I mean actual bars/buttons/eggs, but not cake or biscuits.  Look, I want to be slim, but what joy is there in life without a little of what you fancy?!

I’m back at work today, and so far I’m surviving.  Still pretty puffed, but to add insult to injury I picked up a cold on Monday, so I’m trying to see that off.  The doctor told me my infection was caused by the flu virus and I should expect to feel exhausted.  Great, thanks Doc.  But I need to get back on the plan, so I’ve been to chemists and have tried to buy my way out of it.  The recovery plan now consists of fizzy tablets to make a vitamin C drink – me, but on a good day – the sweetest, syrupiest tonic for ‘tiredness and fatigue’, and liquid iron (gentle on the stomach, because let’s face it, the possible side effects of iron pretty much cancel out all the benefits!), which allegedly has a ‘delicious’ malty orange taste.  If anyone thinks that is delicious, they must have deficient taste buds.  I need to get up ten minutes earlier to administer it all!  No wonder every cupboard in the land is full of abandoned bottles of vitamins – who has the time?!

As for the fitness classes, I’ll get back to them as soon as I don’t need a rest at the top of the stairs.  I hope that’s soon.  And once I’ve got another month of classes under my belt, I’ll see about signing up for bootcamp.  It looks scary, but the before and after pictures are really inspiring.

Keep your fingers crossed for me that I’ve got better news for my next update.  Otherwise, I’m going to have delete my blog and pretend I never made the Fab at Forty pledge!!


Monday, 24 February 2014

One Shade of Grey

I was blow drying my hair the other day and I saw it.  Just hanging out there, like a hard-faced silver interloper.  Yes, there it was.  A grey hair.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  At 39, I know I’ve had a good innings, and it’s not actually my first.  I’ve got a couple of baby fine silvery strands at my right temple, only visible during the most extreme episodes of tying my hair back (pretty much just when I put a face pack on).  But this devil was on my part.  And as if to mock me even further, it hid when I brushed my hair, smug in the knowledge that I know it’s there and now I can’t find it.  I’m on high alert, ready for it to pop up at any point.  The good thing for me is that I’m nearly 6 foot tall, so not many people see the top of my head, but now I know it’s there and I wish I carried a hat off with more panache.

I know I’ve done well to get to this age without more grey, and all my forays into home colouring have been for the fun of it, but does this mean I’m actually going to have to start reading ‘root application’ instructions?  That seems like a job for the professionals.  I’ve taken after Father’s side of the family, and take comfort in the knowledge that he pretty much kept all of his hair colour until his early sixties.  Mother’s side had to embrace grey at a much earlier age, although of course Mother herself is a natural blonde…

So now I will have to add ‘Grey Watch’ to the list of beauty things to do, because I’ll no more embrace grey hair than I will bushy eyebrows or hairy legs.  But the real truth is that if I find the blighter again, it’s very likely I’ll rip it out, throwing caution to the old ‘two will grow back’ warning.  Because if I’ve got to touch up my roots for one, it hardly matters if there’s two!  Either that, or embrace hats.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

It's not the cough that carries you off...

I'm off work ill. I've got a chest infection. A chest infection that Dr 1 said was catarrh. This was while he was writing me a prescription for both an inhaler and ' something to relieve shoulder pain'. The something was ibuprofen gel which, for the unasthmatic amongst you, the average asthmatic cant use. Me included.  A chest infection that Dr 2 upgraded to an upper respiratory virus. A chest infection that Dr 3 finally identified, perhaps because I virtually crawled in there. A chest infection that has set a tooth off that I had root canal two years ago, like an old war wound. Did you know some root canals never settle? No, nor did I. Wish they'd told me that first!  Despite the eventual identification, the antibiotics don't seem to be touching it and I feel Very Poorly Indeed. If only I'd walked into the ER at Grey Sloan Memorial, they'd have had me sorted at a glance. Of course I probably would have been diagnosed with some incurable tropical disease or the likes so the NHS it is for me.

Unusually for me, I can't sleep. It's 1am as I write, which is way, way past my bedtime. Sleep hardly ever eludes me. In times of trouble, stress, trauma, even tragedy, I can normally summon the Zeds with ease. It's like some anti flight or fight mechanism. I didn't even have trouble sleeping on Monday night, after I'd pretty much slept from lunchtime to Daughter's bath time and then went to bed at 8.30. But not tonight. Having watched so many medical dramas, I feel confident to declare that it's because I can't stop coughing. I can't take my inhalers because they make me cough (surely not right?!)  so I'm having my gazillionth cup of tea of the day and rambling on to you in the hope that I'll drop off. Not too abruptly though, as the iPad charger isn't really long enough and I'm half hanging out of bed. Bad news for me or the iPad if I just conk out!

I've been grateful for two wonders of the modern age in the three days I've been off. The first is Sky Plus, and especially on demand features. Other tv systems exist of course, but one must write about what one knows! The other is the sleeved blanket.

I've had a right old backlog on the box, and in the old days there would have been a towering stack of VHS tapes alongside the tv. But not now. Almost the entire run of Silent Witness watched between snoozes. Not the last two parter though, don't spoil it. Midsomer Murders- done. I've got three episodes of Girls waiting in the wings and am umming and ahhing over whether to delete The Paradise or to soldier on. But the real joy is on demand. I've gorged on season 4 of Private Practice, the Grey's Anatomy spin off. There they were, seasons 4, 5 and 6 just waiting to be downloaded. But rather than fill up the box with such readily available delectations, I just did season 4. And then discovered seasons 5 and 6 had been taken off due to legal action...yes, I was a bit put out.

And what of the sleeved blanket? Well it's super cosy and I think gives an air of Papal majesty if you stand up in it. Maybe it's because mine is purple.  I suspect walking about in them is difficult for most people as it tried to trip me up and I'm tall. 

So not much else really. I spent a bit of time making bobbles and a hairband for Wear it Yellow day tomorrow. It's in aid of Marie Curie, so happy to support, but yellow in February?! Of course it took a search through her summer clothes to find something yellow and she's gone in an eclectic mix, to say the least! 

As I'm lolling about wondering what to watch next, I'm mentally adding to The List. Mentally because I haven't got the puff to go and get a pen, and they're getting added to the list rather than being done because unless it can be done via the remote control, it's too much effort at the minute. And I need to conserve all my energy, because there was recording aplenty going on tonight. Tomorrows menu will consist of Greys and Midsomer. I've just got to hope I don't fall asleep and miss whodunit!