Posts Tagged ‘legs’

Tissue paper and jumper shavers

Now, readers, you know I never leave you with just one look into your favourite magazine. Yesterday’s laughing dormouse was just the beginning. It’s time today to visit everyone’s favourite section. It’s the ‘Blimey! That’s clever!’ section.

Check out some of these top tips. And boy, are they ‘top’!?

Firstly, put pegs on the greaseproof paper in your cake tin so it doesn’t rip when you pour the batter in.

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What on earth is her greaseproof paper made of?! Tissue?! Who’s greaseproof paper rips when simply pour the cake mix in? Mine certainly doesn’t. It’s quite sturdy. It’s made to take the heat from an oven and then the weight of the cake as I lift it out afterwards. It wouldn’t rip just from putting the batter in.

Next up, shave your jumper if it’s got fluff on it.

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Or just use cellotape? Quicker. And then you can throw it away.

No, wait, maybe it would be better to shave my jumper. Because it would be great next time I’m shaving my legs or Danda’s shaving his face, to have the added fun of fluff left behind on one’s leg/face. I mean, what fun! Right?

And last but not least, the fabulous too-much-time-on-your-hands, make-extra-work-for-yourself method of DVD storage.

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So, let me get this straight – instead of just going to the DVD collection and looking for the one you want, instead you go to your list and find the name of the DVD you want and what raffle ticket number it is. Then you go to your DVD collection and look for the raffle ticket number.

If you love order and filing, maybe I could just suggest something to cut the workload down? Put them in alphabet order. Simple. That way, you just think of what the name of the DVD is, say it’s Conair, then you just look to the beginning of the collection and what do you know?! You’ll see DVDs beginning with C and there it will be.

My goodness, I’m a genius!

I confited a rabbit!

This is exciting. It is very exciting. Why? I hear you ask. Well, because I can pretend I am on Masterchef, of course! They are always making a confit of something. A confit of duck, a confit of vegetables, etc etc.

So, using my fabulous new cookbook I got for Christmas, I bought a rabbit, something I have never done before and followed Michel Roux’s recipe for rabbit confit. It was fascinating. Well, actually, it was opposite of fascinating. I just stood and watched a pan do nothing. You have to keep the temperature at 70 degrees the whole time, which is quite low. It bubbles a little at first, then it just sits there, doing nothing. image

So far as I can see, it is a more chic, French way of deep fat frying, minus the batter and bubbling. It is cooked really slowly and then preserved in the fat/oil and will last a few weeks in the fridge.

The rabbit was amazing when I used it to make a cassoulet the next day. Really soft and moist.

Last night I also made tomato confit and garlic confit and used them in my lamb and Mediterranean vegetable dish, from the same cookbook.
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I am like the confiting queen now! I will just say one thing though, I’m buying more oil every time I go to the shop and it could work out to be an expensive hobby, this confiting thing.

P.S. Danda would like me to tell you the confit joke he and I came up with…. How do you make a duck confit? Lay it down on the sofa and put a pillow under its head.

The worst photo of myself

Ok, I feel that I am at a stage in my blogging ‘career’ where I can share a few things I normally wouldn’t share with strangers. But we are no longer strangers to one another. So yesterday whilst having a nose bleed, I remembered the last time I had a nose bleed, which was during my hospital stay, post-big-scary operation.

Because what happened to me was quite unusual (they had never seen it in that hospital before), there was no ward for me really so I had just been put on a ward where there was space. I slept intermittently during the day and was awake at night, when the lady in the bed opposite me would cry out things like “Ohhhh… The squire! He’s starving to death!” in her sleep. It was a bit random. The lady next to her had bowel cancer and wore a colostomy bag and talked about not being able to go on public transport because she always had to be a few minutes away from a toilet.

This one night, I had a little nose bleed. I pressed my button for a nurse to come and got a tissue. Which the blood soaked through. Then another tissue. And another. And another. We couldn’t figure out why it wouldn’t stop. Then I remembered that they give you blood-thinning medication sometimes, don’t they, if you’re lying down a lot. So that you don’t get blood clots in your legs from not moving them. And, as we saw in a previous post, I was not too keen on going for a walkies!

Thus, my nose bleed went on. And on. And on. Because my blood wouldn’t clot! Every time, I thought it would have stopped and took the tissue away, it started flooding out again. I felt like my brain might come out through my nostril if it didn’t stop.

Eventually the nurses just rolled up two of their little square spongey pad things that they use to clean wounds up with, and shoved one in each nostril and hoped that would stop it and force it to clot.

Quite amused by the whole situation, I waited until they’d cleared up and left then took a photo.

Bear in mind, I couldn’t get my enormous ten inch stapled wound down my front wet so hadn’t showered or washed my hair in about five days.

Are you ready?

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Lovely, isn’t it?…….

Don’t answer that.

Going au naturel

When I was living in Namibia, a friend who was super cool grew her body hair and didn’t shave and she was great. She was au naturel and I wanted to be just like her.

So I came back to England in winter and decided to be au naturel and cool. I had not thought about the fact that my friend was being au naturel in summer in Namibia. Because it was winter, I was wearing tights and leggings a lot. Tight things on your legs when your legs are waaaaaay hairy is itchy in the extreme! I was constantly shifting and fidgeting with my tights, itching and scratching. I started to get little red rashy bits where the hair had been pressed into a pair of tights at the wrong angle.

The armpits. Well, the armpits were a constant problem. I get hot much quicker than I get cold, anyway. So even though it was winter, I’d be sweating up a storm under my jumper. I was constantly showering to stop from getting too stinky.

It was all very awkward and complicated. Lots of itching and sweating. NOT what I’d signed up for! Why wasn’t I the picture of au naturel and coolness? Why weren’t girls looking at me and thinking how admirable it was that I was being true to my body and its natural form? But no, I was the sweaty itchy kid in the corner with leg rashes who dreamed of taking a razor to it all….

Eventually, I did it. I just did it. It felt great! I was smooth and fuss-free and happy.

So I’m sorry, world. I tried.

I tried. And I failed.

And now I swim. So there is no way I can be mega hairy and preparing for Brazil 2016. Everyone knows you need to be streamlined so you can go faster. Unfortunately that’s what it comes down to. So I have to follow my Olympic dreams and that’s just how it’s got to be. Alright?

A little game of Would You Rather

Ok, the rules of Would You Rather go like this. I ask if you’d rather do one or the other of two things. You pick which one. Simple. The answer ‘I don’t know’ is not allowed. ‘I wouldn’t pick either’ is also forbidden. There is a man with a gun to your head who will shoot you if you don’t choose one. There is no way to escape him. You MUST choose. If you need to ask questions to expand upon either choice, that’s fine. Ok, are you ready? Remember, you must choose one.

1. Would you rather… Have a five metre body and five centimetre legs OR a five centimetre body and five metre long legs?

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2. Would you rather…. Have a perfectly spherical body, like an orange OR have skin that is the texture of popcorn?

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3. Would you rather… Have hands that look like hooves OR hands that look like florets of broccoli?

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4. Would you rather… Be made of paper OR be made of jelly?

5. Would you rather…. Be always too cold OR be always too hot?

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6. Would you rather… Have a rare disease where you are allergic to everything except chicken livers so that’s all you’re allowed to eat OR have a skin condition where you have to apply face moisturiser made of drain water every day?

7. Would you rather… Bathe in the watery bit that you get on top of the mustard OR bathe in the water that chicken has been poached in?

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8. Would you rather…. Have a nose like cauliflower OR facial skin like potato peelings?

9. Would you rather… Be gored in the stomach by a vicious bull OR have your face eaten by scorpions?

10. Would you rather… Have a disease where you always fall over and smash your face on the floor OR have a disease where you grow thick curly hair all over your entire body?

A reflection on my week of swimming

I have noticed some things, both external and internal, about myself since I started swimming.

My body has had a reaction to the regular wetting and drying by giving me dry skin. I have reacted by always having on me moisturisers and nice face and body washes.

My shoulders, which were quite achy after introducing back stroke, have adapted quite well and no longer feel like they are going to drop off whenever I leave the pool. I am a bit worried about getting muscly shoulders and arms, though. We all saw what happened to Madonna’s arms when she became a yoga freak and I just don’t feel that it’s a good look.

Now, it’s nice to be presentable but most women, like me, will probably let their legs go a bit hairier than is socially acceptable before shaving unless there’s a chance they’ll be getting them out for some reason, to wear a dress, for example. Because I have been going swimming every day, there is no rest period for the legs, they must be presentable all the time. For someone who’s quite lazy, it’s a bit of a shock to the system.

My hair isn’t so sure about the whole getting-wet-every-day thing. I put a bit of conditioner on when I shower afterwards but because it’s getting wet every day, I forget which days it needs it’s proper wash on. It also has become more frizzy in general. I think I will get a swimming cap soon.

I’ve also noticed about myself, that I’m not very interactive when I exercise. When I used to cycle everywhere, I didn’t watch the Tour de France with bated breath or ask other friends who cycle to come on a ride with me. And it’s the same with swimming. I’m not that interested in chatting to my fellow swimmers in the shower about the heating in the outdoor pool or how great my session was. Nor will I be putting a Tom Daly (is that his name? The swimming boy?) poster on my wall. I just want to swim, thank you. Does this say something about me? That I’m more interested in myself than other people?

I also don’t know what the big deal about wearing a swimming costume was. I didn’t wear one for years because I was pretty horrified at the idea of being so undressed in public. But now I just throw it on and go.

I’m also very exact about how I do things. When I swim, I make sure I’m doing it properly, I watch other people who are doing it properly and copy them exactly. I’m constantly thinking about every bit of my body when I swim, my arms, where I’m looking, how I’m kicking my legs, how my body is sitting in the water. That’s why I can’t understand when other people don’t swim properly. Back stroke is the most misused stroke I’ve seen so far. People just flinging their arms backward in any old fashion and making an almighty riot about it. Even when I go shopping, I’m very precise about how I walk around the shop, I don’t just head to one place and grab stuff. I go up and down each aisle in the shop, starting at the veg section, missing out the freezer section, and finishing at the cleaning products. When I’m in work it’s the same, everything has a certain place and my equilibrium is all off if things are out of place.

Is there a secret child with OCD hiding inside me? I’m doubting my sanity after admitting how I shop.

So anyway, that’s what my week of swimming has done for me. It’s been great actually. I feel a lot fitter. And my bingo wings are a little less flab and a little more firm. I’m going to keep it up, I think. Not every day but maybe every other day.

The problem with swimming

I am on Day 2 of Being Active week and, since there’s an outdoor swimming pool near my house, I thought I’d try to swim every day this week. Yesterday went well. The pool opens at 6.30am so I woke up at 6am and was in the pool by 6.40am. I thought it’d be good because I might miss the rush. I’ve been a few different times in the morning and it’s always pretty full. I was trying to find a time when it was a bit emptier so I could swim without crashing into people.

Of course my plan did not work. It was still quite full ten minutes after opening. ‘O well,’ I thought. ‘I’ll just swim in that one empty lane over there that no-one else is in. I wonder why no-one else is in it.’

Off I go, to the empty lane. All to myself. Ahhh, loads of space. Very exciting. I get in and I think maybe I’ll be a bit adventurous today, I’ll do back stroke. Seeing as there’s no-one else in the lane, I can swim without worrying that I’ll hit anyone. So I do one length, it’s quite tiring for someone who’s into the whole gentle-stroll scene.

And that’s when I see it, the sign at the top of the lane, in massive letters. ‘FAST LANE. FRONT CRAWL ONLY.’

O no! I’d just committed a swimming faux-pas. I’d done back stroke in the front crawl lane! I suddenly felt very self-conscious and looked around for another space in one of the slower lanes but there weren’t any. Disaster! I checked the indoor pool but that was even busier. I looked at the lifeguard, ready to be told off, but she hadn’t noticed. There was nothing for it but to keep going. Worse still, I had decided to do back stroke on my way up and breast stroke on my way back. So there I was, plodding along like a grandma, doing breast stroke in the FAST FRONT CRAWL ONLY lane. Boy, was I nervous! I tried doing front crawl for a length but it wasn’t great. I know my limitations. At the moment, back stroke and breast stroke are my comfort zone.

Inevitably, someone wanting to use the FAST FRONT CRAWL ONLY lane to do front crawl came into the lane so I went into the one next to me as a space had freed up there and immediately I was exposed to all the minor annoyances of swimming around other people.

Why is that person swimming in a diagonal line? They’ve cut across my bit and now I’ve got to move to get around them. And now I’ve lost my space.

I’m swimming in this bit! Why are you getting in the pool and swimming in a straight line toward me? I guess I’ll move out of the way although I was here first. And again, lost my space.

If you’re going to swim in the lap lane, don’t be the slowest swimmer ever, please. People are behind you, trying to get some exercise.

If you’re going to come here and swim in public, make sure you can do it first. The big splashing nonsense that appears to be your version of ‘swimming’ is making me fear for my life. You also just kicked me on your way past.

So you see the problems of swimming in a public pool!? It’s not as straight forward as you would think. You spend a long time, carving out a little space for yourself and then people come and invade it. Or you accidentally ignore the swimming social etiquette by swimming in the wrong lane. Or you get stuck next to someone who’s all arms and legs and you have to flatten yourself against the side when they pass. There’s lots to think about. I bet you thought swimming was a fairly simple activity? Well, I must warn you, don’t bring your brain with you if you want a simple swimming session. There’s too much to think about.

Today, I’m working early so will swim after work. Fingers crossed I won’t talk myself out of it (I’m very good at talking myself out of things).