Progress: 13 September

September 13, 2010

Blimey, I’m tired. This morning Tristan was up before 5 because he had to fly to Scotland for a couple of days, to begin his MSc.  So I was up early as well:  I took Tui the Wonder Dog to the dog sitter’s house for the next two days and then caught a train just before 7am.  As I parked at the station (because I’m still not supposed to walk much and I did quite a lot of walking over the weekend, as it turns out), I realised that my front right-hand tyre is almost completely flat.  I didn’t notice anything weird when I was driving, so either it happened as I got to the station or I’m a really bad and unobservant driver.  Anyway, that will be fun to sort out when I get home this evening.  I’ve already programmed the telephone number of our emergency breakdown cover service into my phone, because I have more chance of making a car from scratch than I do of changing a tyre myself.

This weekend I achieved some of my goals, but not all of them.

Things I did do:

  • Watched the rugby (and the All Blacks beat the Wallabies at the last minute, which was awesome)
  • Went to Tamara Drewe (which was pretty entertaining, albeit fairly ‘slight’)
  • Ate sweets
  • Did lots of embroidery while watching Sky Plussed episodes of Masterchef Australia (and Tristan has decided to bow to the inevitable and watch this series with me, which is the path of least resistance given that this programme is on TV six nights a week for the next fourteen weeks)
  • Bought birthday presents for two nieces: Gabriella (who turns ten at the end of the month) and Claire (who turned fifteen last week and who had the three-week trip to Europe at our expense earlier this year)
  • Walked Tui the Wonder Dog twice
  • Spent the whole weekend with Tristan

I also:

  • Went to London with Tristan, to help him as he bought new trousers and jumpers
  • Bought a new jumper and a new cardigan, both from the Uniqlo mensware concession in Selfridges
  • Drank a good vanilla milkshake at Gourmet Burger Kitchen in Soho and ate a fairly rubbish burger there as well
  • Baked a damned fine-looking banana, coconut and mixed berry loaf (which I will ice this evening)

However, I didn’t:

  • Write anything
  • Clean the house
  • Colour my hair (although I did order that Colour B4 stuff that I mentioned the other day, so I should have regained my natural hair colour by the end of the week)
  • Obey my own rule about not buying clothes (obviously)

Also, please note:

  • I’m nine for nine when it comes to breakfasting at home on work days
  • I’m also nine for nine in the ‘take lunch to work’ stakes (although it was easier today: I had a lunchtime training session and sandwiches were provided)
  • Friday was a no spending day and today will be one as well, so that’s six days so far this month

Right, it’s time to tackle the vast number of unanswered emails in my work in-box.  I have been run absolutely ragged since Alice departed, so thank goodness that Emma, her replacement, is starting this Wednesday.

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Progress: 6 September

September 6, 2010

Another working week dawns and, yet again, I’ve eaten breakfast at home and brought my lunch to work!  I don’t think I’ve brought enough food for lunch, though: we had a fairly light dinner last night and I’ve been hungry all morning.  I had my toast this morning; I’ve eaten celery sticks and radishes as a mid-morning snack; I’ve eaten a ham roll and an orange and cranberry muffin for lunch; I’m thinking that I will make it until 3pm before I feel like I need to eat again.

Luckily, this isn’t a no spending day: I’ve had to top up my Oyster card on the way to work and I’m going to need to buy some cleanser online. 

I did manage to achieve most of the goals I set myself for the weekend:

  • Loafing around and doing nothing – yes, I did a lot of embroidery (I’m making a present for Anna’s new baby, Charlie), so I camped on the sofa for long periods and beavered away at it while watching films and catching up on programmes I had stored on Sky Plus.  I love Sky Plus so much.  The picture I’m making for Charlie is one from a kit: ordinarily I like to design samplers for friends’ weddings and baby presents, but I know that I’ll just end up taking forever to finish it if I try to be too creative at the moment.  And the picture I’ve chosen is very cute – I’ll show you what it looks like when I’ve finished it.  I had forgotten how much I love embroidery.  It’s so relaxing!
  • Rugby watching – yes, I saw most of the provincial game between Waikato and North Harbour on Saturday morning, the test match between the Springboks and Australia on Saturday afternoon and most of the Women’s World Cup Final between England and New Zealand on Sunday afternoon.
  • Sweet buying and eating – yes, I visited our lovely local sweet shop for my standard order: strawberry bonbons and dolly mixtures, plus a few fizzy Coke bottles for a bit of variety.
  • Jam making – yes, read all about it here.
  • Proper food making – kind of: I did some excellent food shopping and have a fridge full of healthy stuff for lunches and dinners this week.  And I made the afore-mentioned orange and cranberry muffins, some russian fudge and a frittata for dinner.  It was my first attempt at these muffins and they’ve turned out very well, although I can’t say that I absolutely love the taste: they’re only OK.  The fudge was a bit of a disaster: I think I pre-empted the ‘soft ball’ stage and didn’t cook it for long enough, so it’s much softer than it should be and all the beating in the world wouldn’t save it.  But it’s going to have five days to harden up, owing to my ‘no sweets during the week’ rule this month, so it might be slightly better by then.  The frittata was very tasty and I was quite pleased with it – I hadn’t made a frittata before.  We had it for dinner last night with a salad made from baby spinach, sliced nectarine and crumbled goat cheese.  Such a yummy salad!  I had pea shoots as well. That’s just how I roll.  Anyway, here are the muffins and the fudge:

  • A letter written and sent to my 95 year old grandmother – yes, three pages of excitement are winging their way to her as we speak.
  • A present sent to my older sister Philippa – yes, I posted it on Saturday.
  • A yummy present sent to lovely friend Anna – yes, it’s also on its way.  This is the same Anna who recently gave birth to Charlie and for whose older son, Sam, I made this sampler a while ago.  Anna and Lenka are the same person, in case you’re confused by anything you read in that post.
  • Joining the library – yes, did it on Saturday.  It’s fab! I mentioned it here.
  • Some writing – no, damn it.  I tried to do too much this weekend.  Next weekend the writing will be the third thing on the list (under ‘loafing around and watching rugby’ and ‘eating sweets’).

The other thing I had planned to do was to try to make pastry for the first time, but I ran out of energy in the kitchen and have put this off until next weekend.


Women’s rugby champions

September 5, 2010

The New Zealand women’s rugby team (‘the Black Ferns’) beat England in the 2010 Women’s Rugby World Cup final this afternoon. It was a pretty good result, particularly given that the ref gave out three yellow cards to the Kiwis during the game (they’re given out to punish players for illegal play, sending the relevant player to sit out the game for ten minutes at time). At one stage two of our players were yellow carded at the same time, so the England players have only themselves to blame for failing to take advantage of the situation. It was the fourth World Cup championship victory for the Kiwi team. That’s an amazing effort.

As an aside, don’t you love the way in which so many of New Zealand’s national sports teams have names which feature something to do with black, white, silver or ferns ? It’s very funny. Here are some examples:

  • All Blacks – men’s rugby
  • Black Ferns – women’s rugby
  • Tall Blacks – men’s basketball
  • Tall Ferns – women’s basketball
  • Silver Ferns – women’s netball
  • Black Caps – men’s cricket
  • White Ferns – women’s cricket
  • All Whites – men’s football
  • Black Sticks – women’s hockey
  • Ice Blacks – men’s ice hockey
  • Black Sox – men’s softball
  • White Sox – women’s softball
  • Wheelblacks – men’s wheelchair rugby

Sadly, the badminton team’s plan to call themselves the Black Cocks never really caught on, despite nearly everybody finding it hilarious.