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Posts Tagged ‘gardening’

life log #10


Between us, although mainly myself, the Berkshire Belle and I have been keeping the NHS busy lately. I have had my annual diabetes check (results not back yet), we have booked in for our Covid boosters and will try to get our ‘flu jabs at the same time. here’s also a new app to install that allows video appointments. On the non-NHS front, but still medical, I am off to the fang-puller to talk about an implant to replace the tooth that got knocked out in a fall about a year ago. I’m also due for hearing and eyesight tests that I need to make appointments for, and I’ve had this morning my letter about my annual diabetic eye test. Seventy years of use, and abuse, have taken their toll.

One result I do have from the diabetes test is my weight on the surgery scales which I assume must be accurate. When I weight myself at home I do it wearing just my underwear, but at the surgery I was on the scales fully dressed, including shoes, and with car keys, ‘phone and wallet in pockets. 121 kg is too much, but probably more like 117 kg and that is about 10 kg more than I would like to be seeing. I am writing this at the end of a two month period in which we have had a variety of birthdays and anniversaries to celebrate and that has involved some good eating. No excuses, but, with Christmas coming up, I need to get a grip.

Finacially we are reasonably comfortable at the moment and have no worries over the energy crisis other than what a series or power cuts might do to our web stocked freezer. However, we are trying to cut back on consumption and have both turned the heating down a degree and cut back on the hours that it runs for. We have taken various devices out of service; the Alexa dots for example, and are carrying on with our usual efforts like only putting as much water as we need in the kettle. Such things are ingrained in people of our generation perhaps.

I once of my former professional careers I used to manage a large property portfolio and dealt with energy bills in the hundreds of thousands of pounds. Finding ways of reducing those costs was always a priority. Reducing consumption was only a vehicle for reducing cost, but such things become habit. Any home we might only be saving pennies rather than thousands, but every little helps and if we are working towards helping to stave off power cuts then that’s fine.

The Wonder of Wokingham and I both remember well the scheduled power cuts of the early 1970s. She was in RAF quarters back then with two young children and I was working as a stock controller. We saw the cuts differently because of those lifestyles, but neither of us want to have to go through all of that again. Today we all have so many more electric devices than back then. In the time of the last cuts not everyone had a TV, now it seems that most homes have one in every room. Then most rooms downstairs had two single power sockets and upstairs rust one. We have seven in the kitchen now and there is something plugged into all bar one of them. It is a different world and we have to face up to our excesses.

I have had another couple of weeks off work and we have tried to get out and about a bit more. That has left little time for the garden and garage, but I have been doing a bit in both. Autumn maintenance in the garden and getting the garage cleared out a bit so that I can get back to using it without risk of being buried under an avalanche. I have started getting some things off to auction so that should see a few extra pennies dropping into my piggy back over the coming months. Other stuff will go to charity and the rest to the council tip. We just have too much stuff.

Collecting is habit forming and I am especially guilty of it, to the point of an addiction at times. Fortunately some of what I have collected has accumulated in value (a lot has not), and it is the former that I am firing off to the auction rooms. None of it was bought as an investment, I bought it because I wanted it, but there comes a time when I realise that you have things that have been shut away in cupboards or the loft and start to think that it is pointless. There is little satisfaction, for me, in k=just owning something and so I have hardened my heart and started to move it on. If it generates some cash then that is doubly welcome.

With the Hastings Hottie and I having both seen milestone birthdays in the last few weeks we have decided to face up to another harsh reality and we are going to having lasting power of attorney documents drawn up in case either of us loses our faculties. We took out funeral plans earlier in the year and, whilst these things are depressing, it is worth sorting out. Having been through the problems of a parent with dementia I understand how hard it is and, should I fall foul of that, I would not want the Berkshire Belle to have to deal with the fallout without the relevant piece of paper to allow her to manage me.

Cheerfull topics are required now, so a few words on how the garden recovered from the heat and drought. We did loose some things and others were badly scorched, but most plants have recovered. As I get through the Autumn tidy up I will have a better idea of where we have issues. My move to more and more containers planted seems to have worked and we are looking around to see if we can find a few old chimney pots to add some variety. Containers can be moved and so I can shift them around as I like.

The garden isn’t getting too much attention at the moment, but another couple of weeks work on the garage should have that sorted out and I can get the garden ready for Winter. It has been an odd year again, but now that we have the fences sorted out I can have a more normal run through next year all being well. No doubt there will be odd weather again, it has become the norm, but I now have nearly 600 litres of water storage to help me over any drought conditions and I have improved the drainage in the garden to cope with the odd monsoon. The new fences give us some shelter from high winds and so we are in a better position too start a new year than ever before.

life log #7


It was inevitable that we would see a resurgence of Covid here in the UK given the large gatherings to celebrate the Queen’s platinum jubilee followed by the other Summer gatherings; Glastonbury, Wimbledon, Silverstone and the myriad of public events. At the supermarket last Saturday mask wearing was about 50:50 with non-mask whereas in recent weeks the mask wearers have been in the minority. I have not resumed wearing a mask whilst out and about as yet, but am seriously considering it.

I am at one of those times when my weight has come off the plateau and staring going up again and I am not sure what to do about reversing the trend. I am eating more fruit and burning off extra calories in the garden every day, but it is not giving me the right results. As yet I am not back on the scales, but there is a bulge around the middle that is giving me the indication that things are not going well.

Somewhere in my mind is that mental switch and once I can find it I can, maybe, start making a difference again. I am allowing myself a few indulgences to keep me cheerful, for example once or twice a week after a heaving afternoon in the garden I allow myself a can or bottle of beer. Those will have to stop. As much as I enjoy them, as a treat, a reward and for the pleasure of a cold drink, they are empty calories. There are always tough choices to be made and I really should be thinking of my health in the long term rather than a little instant gratification.

I am grateful for still being fit and healthy enough to do what I do. The other afternoon I got the big ladder out and spent a couple of hours working across the front of the house at bedroom window level. I don’t know how many times I was up and down that ladder, but my legs knew all about it a couple of days later reminding me that I am almost seventy and not still in my twenties. I did it though and, despite the balance problems that I have from the mouth cancer operations back around 2008-10 (scar tissue has almost closed the tubes to my left ear) I was quite comfortable working at height and very pleased that I can still do all this stuff.

Mental attitude plays a lot in how you feel and what you believe that you can do. I try not to over think about some of these things because it is very easy to convince myself that something is going to be too hard. Equally there are times when I launch into something without thinking through the consequences such as the afternoon that I shifted just over a hundredweight of gravel in the full sun. I need to balance optimism and pessimism a little better perhaps.

The garden has yielded a couple of portions of mixed berries so far, we have tomatoes forming and the bean, carrot and dwarf cucumber plants are looking healthy. This is another bad year in the herb garden though as my parsley has not done well at all and the two sage plants, that had been coming along well, have both died. The only herbs that is thriving are the chives, several of which have been planted as companion plants to the roses as they are supposed to help ward off black spot and the rosemary hedge by the front door that is rampant again after a savage prune over the Winter.

Gardening is very much like life: You have to work at it and, even then, not everything will work out. Bad things happen and it is how you deal with them that counts.

Enough for now. Stay safe out there wherever you are. 

life log #5


Still no weight check. No excuses, I just have not cleared out the office to reveal the scales. I am not eating to excess, but nor am I being that frugal and I know that I have to do something about that.

I am getting plenty of exercise. Work puts about six miles on the clock on each of the five days a week that I turn up at the office and, on those days I usually end up with about seven and a half miles in total. So far this year my total mileage is 351.6 (565 km). This is way down on last year when I was really pushing for over 4000 km for the year, but it is still respectable and I am in the top 3% of the 110,000 plus people using the app that I record my exercise on.

Work also exercises other bits of me besides my legs and the recent rodent repellent activities have seen a lot more of me getting stretched that usual (more on that shortly) so I am burning off calories at a decent rate through the day. The issue is more about cutting back on the number of calories going in than the amount I burn off. ‘Twas ever thus.

The noises in the cavity wall and loft have diminished so I am hopeful that my anti-rodent actions are having an effect. I am struggling a lot more up there that I used to. Our home is a typical product of the 1970s with inverted W trusses at about two foot intervals and I have grazes on both shoulders from scraping them on a regular basis plus more than a few on my head. I have bought myself a new headband torch (I can’t find my old one) the help me see my way around up there. I do have a loft light, but there is so much stuff that most of the place is in shadow and holding a torch means trying to sort stuff one handed; there have been several avalanches.

The rodent problem does mean that I have tackled the problem of a loft full of stuff with some focus at last. I a week five bin bags full have been extracted; old Christmas decorations, clothes that we will never wear again, many boxes of magazines and goodness knows what else have gone to the recycling centre so far and there is more to come, a lot more. Life laundry is the name of the game.

In the garden we have loads of bulbs showing although many of the daffodils (and related species) have come up blind this year which is a disappointment. The fairly mild Winter has allowed a lot of stuff to survive and my efforts at planting perennials seems to be paying off. At the moment my priority is to get all of the vulnerable plants and everything that lined either side of the garden out of the way for the fencing contractors arrival early next month. Whilst out there I have been trying to visualise what might be possible once the new fences are up. It looks as though I have a few days of decent weather to spend out there and so the loft clear up may go on hold, hopefully not to be neglected.

We are still both Covid free, still wearing masks around the shops and I still wear my mask pretty much all of the time at work. I was going to go to a swapmeet last Sunday, but the organiser posted a photo on Facebook showing the venue set up and ready to open with not a mask in sight amongst the stallholders. It put me off and I didn’t go. Cowardice? Yes, but here in Swindon we have one of the worst records in the UK at the moment for new infections so I am happier with a yellow streak. We are watching the travel situation with interest as we would very much like to go away this Autumn having kissed the last two years, but…

It helps that we are both anti-social. We have both had to put on a show in our jobs over the years meeting and being nice to all sorts of people and it is a joy not to have to do it so much these days. It isn’t that we don’t like people, we just prefer our own company. I tired to explain it in a note to my step-son yesterday and maybe I didn’t get the message over too well, but we have been together now for more than half of our adult lives and we like our own world. Lockdown has probably made us even worse.

I’ll wrap up here. It’s eight o’clock and I want to get the day under way, so stay safe out there wherever you are. See you next time.

life log #4


Odd how one thing leads to another. We have what sounds like a rat in the cavity wall between us and the house next door so I have been spending time in the loft trying to make sure that it does not come through. In shifting stuff out of the way I started to throw things out and, in going through one long forgotten box, I found many packets of photos.

Many of these were ones taken since the Berkshire Belle and I got together more than thirty years ago and, for one thing, chart the development of our from and back gardens down the years, but in amongst these were a few photos of me from the 1970s, pictures that I thought were long lost.

Most of them feature me in my long haired days between 1971 and 1974 and it was towards the end of the latter year that a change of job saw me start to have it cut a little shorter. By 1976 I was pretty conventional by comparison. There is also what is probably the only photo of me with a beard; I have worn one twice and didn’t like the look much either time. In the case of beard in the photo that I mention here I shaved it off whilst on holiday with my wife (the first one, my mother and wife wife’s mother and none of them noticed for a day and a half…

The first of the series of photos was taken about halfway though a bad time in my life between around February 1971 and March 1972, but from that point I made a change or two and started on a path that lead me from long haired layabout to polished professional as reflected in another photo taken of me in April 1994 whilst on a business trip buying materials handling equipment in Germany.

A lot of memories flowed from the photos and I can’t say that I am proud of all that I did on a personal level over those years. There were also some professional decisions that were questionable, but very step that I took, good and bad, led me to the Berkshire Belle so I have no regrets. The important things was that I recognised that I was in a hole that was, whilst not of my making, trapping me because of the way that I reacted to my troubles. I got out of the hole because I chose to and did something about it.

Back in the present I have a date in early April for the new fences and am starting to plan what to do once I have them. I foresee a lot of time fiddling and fettling in the garden over the coming months and so am hoping for some weather that will be conducive to getting things done. I don’t think that I will be spending as much on plants this year as usual, partly because I want to see what survives all of the changes, but also to see what the possibilities are. Last year was the first year for my new greenhouse and I did not do too well with it, possibly because I overloaded it. There were other factors, not least my long battle with the fox cubs that distracted me from some things and I have no idea what might come back this year from the destruction that the volt wrought. A consolidation year this year then.

I did try going back to soup making, my old faithful red pepper and tomato cropping up a couple of times. One batch usually does me four lunches and I don’t get bored with it. I still have not got around to weighing myself though and, as I write this, I am thinking that I will make sure the scales are put out before I go to bed so that I can check myself in the morning.

life log #3


so much is happening that it barely seems credible that I am already 6 weeks into 2022. I have been writing, but have there or four blogs that are not quite ready to publish; I seem to have lost that ability to bring some of these things to a conclusion, but it might also be indicative of the decision paralysis that afflicts me from time to time these days.

Our kitchen has featured some of the events that have occupied me. Back in November our combination microwave oven developed a fault and when the first engineer called in December a dud hearing element was diagnosed. A new one was ordered along with a replacement mechanism to set the timer as that was playing up too. The new part arrived between Christmas and New Year (we had had use of the oven for over a month by then) and whist the heating element was successfully fitted the other part was not the right one and so another spares order was created and a third visit booked.

Engineer number three arrived in mid-January and was somewhat taken aback by our 18 year old Neff. In reassembling it things did not go well and the upshot was an oven that we could no longer use. Our service contract offered an equivalent replacement and this was duly ordered, but fitting was to be at our expense and arranged by us. A few days later and we had our new Bosch product up and working.

That focused me a bit on my plans to replace the gas hob. I had come around to the thought of an induction hob, but there was a problem in that the ones that plug into a 13 amp socket are limited in terms of the total power available; you can’t have all 4 rings on full power at once. I won’t go into the complications of why fitting a 32 amp supply was not an option, but the bottom line was that it would have to be another gas hob.

So last Sunday, about two years after I had decided that I wanted to replace the old hob, I pressed the button to buy a new one. It arrived on Monday and was fitted yesterday in time for me to cook lunch for the Berkshire Belle. Finally it is done and the saving grace, I suppose, is that I had started putting away £10 each month as an emergency fund about 4 years ago and so there was a small cache of cash available.

Not content with us being without our combo oven all over Christmas the heating boiler shut itself down the weekend before last and left us without heating or hot water for 36 hours until we could get our man to call (he was due to do the annual service that week anyway. The fault was a minor one and was, thankfully, fixed in minutes for which we are duly grateful for the tolerance to cold that we had as children in an age before central heating was common is long gone. The Berkshire Belle first enjoyed central heating in about 1974 and for me it came 5 years after that with the second home that I bought as an adult.

I have not weighed myself for nearly two months and am conscious that there is a bit more of me around the middle than there was the last time that I stood upon the scales. I am not consciously eating more, but perhaps the Winter weather has curtailed some of the outdoor activity that might have burned off additional calories. I do need to face up to the scales of doom and find out though. I shall report next time.

Some garden labouring has begun as I have decided that I cannot wait another year before sorting out my back garden fence. I am in the usual battle with contractors who are, hopefully, much better at their job than they are at communicating, but I hope that I can get the work done before the end of March and that will open the door for some serious garden activity. In the meantime I have added another 50 snowdrops and 25 bluebells to the garden collection along with some other plants bought at random and on a whim.

Planting things that come up for a week or three once a year brought home the fact that I may not have many more years to enjoy them. I try not to let such thoughts crowd in on me, but it is hard not to. Having said that, as I sit here typing at the dining table and glancing out of the window from time to time, I have just seen a wren dance along the low front fence. We do seem to have a few more garden birds this year even if we have lost the big squadron of assorted tits and sparrows that used to entertain us. They are always a delight and that’s a good note to close on.

Stay safe wherever you are.

the lockdown log 78


No change in weight despite having tried to ration myself better and having slammed in a 30+km walk. Depressing to some degree, but life’s like that. I just have to keep my head down and not let things slide.

Generally I am fed up with just about everything right now, but, again, that is life and I have been around doing enough to know that it will not change and that I just have to get on with it. Right now there do not seem to be enough hours in the day and that never helps. I need to get back on top of one or two things and all will be well. I am in one of those periods when as fast as I get something out of the way, three or four other things crop up that are unexpected, but need sorting.

One of the problems that I have got past is the one where technology was preventing me accessing these blogs. It looks as though it was just various bits of software being out of synch and causing conflicts. I try to keep everything updated, for security reasons if nothing else, but sometimes it just gets in the way. Today I have updated my laptop and that required me to re-enter passwords for about half a dozen sites (so far) most of which I do not know the passwords for. On one of the ones that I did I was then asked to respond first to an email too confirm that I was who I said I was, and then to a text message for the same purpose. Some of it drives you mad.

And then I did the equivalent OS update for my tablet and spent, on and off, the next hour getting rid on all of the whizzy bits that are supposed to make my life easier, but none of which I want. Now my home screen looks like it used to, organised how I like it except that, despite having selected the largest icon size offered, they are all about 20% smaller than they used to be. The Berkshire Belle has also done the update on her tablet and, although it is the larger version of mine, it works differently and trying to help her has led to some tensions where she is getting different results. We are still friends though…

Since the Covid outbreak I have changed my routine from sticking £10 of petrol into the car once or twice a week to filling up every 5 weeks or so. On our way back from Reading yesterday my fuel light came on as we came off the motorway. Having dropped off the shopping and had lunch I popped out and filled up, paying 131.7 per litre which is about the highest that I have paid for a long time, but better than the 138.9 that my nearest filling station are asking. At one point last year I only paid 99.8 if I recall, certainly just under the pound per litre. As I write this I am getting the news that there may be a shortage, but that is not what my industry friends tell me. Hopefully we will not get into any stupidity over the coming days. Panic buying just buggers up the supply chain.

This week we have not been out to lunch, but did go out for breakfast instead and I think that the last time we did that was in Florida back in 2019. It made a nice change and we will try and do it more often. It does seem to be helping us get more confident about going out. I have had the call to go for my ‘flu jab this Saturday and we are hopeful that we will get our Covid boosters fairly soon.

I have been trying to repossess my garage and clear out the clutter that accumulates, much of which is packaging from our mail order forays. With Winter approaching I would like to be able to have easy access to it as a workshop for some of the things that I can’t do outdoors. I am still not coming to any conclusions about what I want to do in the garden over the Winter, but maybe not having too many plans will be a blessing. Often just having a few ideas works out better as I can react to opportunities that arise.

Stay safe wherever you are.

the lockdown log 72


My weight loss efforts just can’t get traction. I have a couple of good days and then there will be something that needs eating, or throwing, and I can’t abide waste. The other problem at the moment is bread. Both add calories.

The Berkshire Belle loves sourdough and, whilst we have good, local, source in Hobbs House, she wants me to bake it. Now I enjoy making bread. Twenty odd years ago she bought me a one day bread baking course and I have baked regularly since, albeit that I often resort to our Panasonic bread machine. Homemade bread is great, but I am trying to keep my carb intake down…

So far my first couple of sourdough loaves have not been good. They have been edible, but would not have won me any plaudits. I will keep trying and see what I can do, but I am finding it very frustrating, especially as we could just buy one.

As I know that I am not doing well enough on losing weight I have stopped weighing in. abject cowardice perhaps, but that is my decision for now. I really have too many other things to worry about right now.

Bread making has been eating into my time and so I have spent less in the garden. On the other hand I have been trying to put in about half an hour each day in de-cluttering. It is all necessary work and there is a bit of a feel good factor in doing it. There is just so much to do.

This week we have been out to celebrate thirty years of marriage. Our first lunch expedition for a while and we found ourselves the only customers. The food was good although it took a long time to arrive. We suspect that someone had to go out and buy the bread, but it was good enough when it arrived although it was one of those meals where the idea behind the dish could have been better. Still, we have been out, and the next few weeks see a run of special days; two birthdays and thirty two years together fall between now and early October so we are looking forward to a few more lunches.

I also have four weeks holiday booked in two lots of two weeks each. We will not do a lot, but hope to try and do something a bit different. A day out to the Isle of Wight is one that we will look at.

Stay safe wherever you are.

the lockdown log 71


Life here in North Wiltshire continues pretty much the same. Most people are still masking up to go shopping and there is little sign of change. Some people have gone away now that the schools have broken up, but few amongst the people that we know are venturing abroad other than some of my colleagues from Eastern Europe who have gone back home to visit family. Most of these drive and aim to make the trip in around a day and a half driving pretty much non-stop with two or more drivers taking turns.

For those of us who live here most seem to have abandoned thoughts of a trip abroad on the grounds of risk and cost. We have too and gave up on our plans for a return to the US for a second year and are now starting to wonder if we will ever go back. Given our advancing years maybe we have seen the last of long distance travel, but maybe the world will start to get a grip on Covid and things will both open up and look safer. Time will tell, but we are running out of it.

On that note we are looking to organise our cremations so that all of that sort of thing is taken care of when the time comes. It is not a subject that is easy to deal with, although I seem to be more pragmatic than the Berkshire Belle on these things. It is also crossing my mind to have another look at living wills in case either of us does loose our marbles. We talked about this when we made our joint wills and were told that we had just missed the boat for doing them in an economical fashion so we let the idea pass. Maybe we should look at it again.

I have not lost weight for another week. I am trying to stay positive about this and am reading up on how the body processes food from the perspective of type 2 diabetes to try and see if there is something there that will help me break out of this impasse. It is possible that I do have a bit of muscle build up; The last two weeks have been very physical in many ways with more heavy lifting that usual and I am noticing a change in muscle tone around my upper arms, amongst other places.

Being stuck at 106.5 kg is not so bad in many ways and is a lot better than being 123 kg as I was back at the start. Maybe I just need to change diet again as that sometimes has worked in the past. It does seem as though I am getting my head back around the need to shift weight and the old target of 100 kg is calling me again.

Into August now and out weather is weird. As I sit here after lunch typing the wind is howling around the upstairs windows and rain showers are sweeping through at irregular intervals. Just as I typed those words the sun has come out and the temperature has climbed as it should, but there are more black clouds rolling in. The poor plants don’t know what to do with themselves.

Apart from the wind and rain keeping me away from the jobs I need to do up the ladder my last go at that work on Monday has brought me back out in a rash. I had this problem last year and have not yet worked out which of the climbing plants that I am clearing I am allergic to. I think that it is one of the varieties of ivy, but what I have been clearing includes three types of that plant plus a hop, a grape vine and another one that I have forgotten the name of. Between planting by my neighbour and I these things have grown together over the years and the rapid spells of wet and warm weather over the last 6 weeks have seen rampant growth that needs cutting back. Insects and dust abound within this undergrowth and something there does not like me. Even with arms covered and wearing gauntlets something has gotten through and, if last year is anything to go by, I face a couple of weeks of discomfort before it goes away.

Stay safe wherever you are and thanks for looking in.

the lockdown log 70


Another one of those weeks when the scales were unkind. I had been fairly good on food intake and Monday through Wednesday had been very physical days where I ought to have been burning off the calories. I was feeling good and had been boosted by getting into a pair of 42 waist trousers for the first time in probably 12 or more years. It was looking good for the weigh-in until I got on the scales and they tried hard to take back the half kilo that I had lost last week. In the end they timed out showing the same as last week.

I responded to this by having a silly day and eating things that I should not have had, but then remorse kicked in and I am going to have a sensible week. At least I am for now…

Work is still getting the best side of me and I try to do the best that I can there, but I have been goofing off a bit outside of work and need to get a grip on some of the things that need doing around the house and garden.

I am also still having technical issues with blogging and have not yet managed to sort out my preferred device despite having spent a couple of lengthy sessions trying to resolve things. Another frustration that I can do without at the moment, but never mind. I can still rely of the old beast that I am writing the on albeit that Jingles, one of our rescue cats, has taken to spending her afternoons sleeping on the keyboard.

Anyway, just a quick offering this week and I will try to do better next time.

Stay safe wherever you are.

the lockdown log 69


This time last year major progress was being made in the deck refurbishment and extension and so it is depressing me slightly that, having achieved so much in the last twelve months, I am not finishing off the last parts of that grand plan. It is all silly things; some days it has been so hot that the paint would have dried on the brush even if the blizzard of Silver Birch seeds had not been falling. It is frustrating to be so close, two or three afternoons should do it, but not being able to get on with it.

General maintenance jobs keep me busy whilst trying to not spend more than about 30 minutes at a time out there in the heat. I do still have two foxes lurking around the neighbourhood, but they are not digging everything up now so what we have left in the way of plants are beginning to thrive. I have one cucumber and several tomatoes coming along in the greenhouse and we have had a few strawberries, tayberries and raspberries although those crops have been disappointing this year. We’ve also had a lot of salad leaves of varying sorts, but those are pretty much done now.

The scales gave me another half kilo off this week, so 106.5 and heading, slowly, the right way. I have gone past 1500 miles walked so far this year and am thinking about going back to afternoon exercise walks to supplement the calory burn. The target of 100 kg is still there taunting me, but can I get to, or beyond, it? This last week I have been feeling a bit weird each evening as I go to start organising dinner and have put this down to having had much less for lunch that usual. I have felt better once I have eaten my evening meal even if, for most of the last week, that has been a salad with some form of protein; blackened chicken one night, crab on another for example. What do I want most; to eat or to lose more weight? Only I can answer that one and I just need to channel my obsession down the right path.

With some dud weather coming up for the weekend I am trying to plan a few jobs that I can do under cover, but I have a feeling that I will end up lazing about doing nothing in particular. A couple of days of “I can’t be bothered” won’t do me any harm and might just allow me a bit of thinking time to plan a few things. It looks as though the salads will be off the menu and I might have to do a bit of cooking again. That will keep me amused, but proximity to food sources for an hour or so will test my will power.

At work we are still masked up and I am still wearing my mask when I go shopping as are most other people as far as my own observations are concerned. Despite what the media have been spouting about empty shelves I have not seen one myself and there seems to be plenty of stock about. I often wonder if the problem is actually a surplus and stories of shortages are spread to encourage overbuying…

I hope that you are not suffering shortages of supplies and that you can stay safe wherever you are.