29 January 2008

Particularly Lovely

Ex-Le Grande Fromage and 'the most powerful man in the books trade' says I am a Lovely Person. So there. I feel all warm and special.

25 January 2008

Best £15 you ever did spend

If ever you find yourself in Covent Garden of an evening, and have 15 quid in your pocket which you were about to waste on some old bag of old shite – get yourself to the Royal Opera House and ask for seat L46 or L47 in the Amphitheatre instead.

Myself and Lady Mileham were agog with wonder at the view, the building, the beauty of it all…Sylvia is, admittedly, complete and utter nonsense, but the quality of the dancing (that’s the Royal for you), the music (Delibes), the set and the costumes was superb. One of the most amazing Pas De Deux I have ever seen as well. Zenaida Yanowsky must have the longest legs in the world, and it was just such a privilege to watch an hour and a half of her graceful elegance for 16p a minute. 16p a minute?! I ask you.

24 January 2008

Bits and Bobs

So, Micheal Underwood is out of DOI3. At least my Sunday nights are my own again.

Bumped into my friend The Man That Can Carry a Washing Machine Up Stairs All By Himself last night on the train. Damn that man is fine. How or why he is still single is a complete mystery. I fear even Miss Marple would struggle to solve it.

Tonight was due to be January Date Night with Boo. I had booked us a couple of tickets to see

"Sylvia" at the Royal Opera House as an early birthday present for him. As is so often the case, it has morphed into a fantastic night out instead with my friend Lady Mileham. We are even going for some early dinner first. Every cloud and all that….

The 2008 Rules are progressing ok all in all. I’ve lost 9 pounds so far by following a calorie controlled diet. Not as hungry as one might expect having literally slashed my intake in half since 2nd January, but I would sell my kidney for a loaf of

tiger bread right now.

Have had a small victory against The Man regarding rubbish and recycling, and The House now has two wheelie bins and two recycling boxes. How They expected a building that houses 4 flats to successfully dispose of 4 black bags of rubbish a week into a bin that only houses (according to their own website!) 2-3 bags is beyond me – but now each flat can get rid of all their rubbish and recyling waste each week without being forced to leave a big old heap of black bags and washed out baked bean tins piled high in the garden.

Nails are still painted, hands still moisturized – lips however are a bit dry, cause I really really can’t stand the slimy balm…

The whole shopping/lunch/3 for 2 offer thing is ticking along nicely too. Packed lunches rule, and the bottled squash is almost becoming a habit…although obviously Diet Coke will always be the juice of the Gods as far as I'm concerned, and I miss it so much it hurts....

21 January 2008

Get Fresh at the Weekend

Friday night was Girls Night In. We had a plethora of carpet party buffet nibblets. There were a lot of bottles of wine floating around. And so much naughtiness and laughing that I believe I may have wet myself a little bit.

Saturday was a Conditioning class at The Gym. It was fab, and my bum is still a little “bruised”. I still can’t get the grips with The Plank. Why do I not feel it in my stomach at all, despite holding my belly button to my spine and keeping my back flat? The only place I feel it is in my arms. You try balancing 17 stone of fat on your elbows and tell me it don’t hurt.

Saturday afternoon Boo and I had a 6 hour argument about our future whilst driving around looking at places to live. We are both, obviously, in the right. Me more than him though. I just want us to live together, and believe that I could live in a shed as long as we are in it together. He however, thinks that we should hold out for something that ticks all the necessary boxes. He is, of course, completely practical and completely right. But then so am I. I currently live in a studio, next door to a house that is occupied by ex-offenders with both mental health issues and drug problems. Seriously. One of them is awake all night, smoking and hacking his lungs up in the back garden. Every hour on the hour I am woken by the most vomit inducing sounds you can imagine. I am at the end of my tether, and want to either kill myself or him. We also have a rodent problem in the back garden. They live in an old air raid shelter that can’t be removed. They torment my every waking hour with their little squeaks and scratches. Add into the mix the never ending loud coming and goings from my nearest next door neighbour – who’s constant stream of visitors ring my door bell at all hours of the day and night to gain entrance to the building cause she is too doped up to hear her own bell… so trust me I when I say ANYWHERE would be better than where I am now. We stopped arguing after I had had a bath, read a bit more of This Charming Man and cooked us both a Quorn Quarterpounder in a bread roll. Bread. Delicious. We then curled up and watched a movie, and decided that we get on so much better when we are in bed. Outside just doesn’t suit us.

Sunday morning saw a leisurely get up, followed by some 50% discount late lunch at Yo Sushi! in Fulham with 2 of The Girls. Home in time to see Michael Underwood survive another week in Dancing on Ice, despite a braces incident.

18 January 2008

Public Transport Rage

Men. Your balls can’t possibly be that big, or that heavy. So CLOSE YOUR FUCKING LEGS. I can not begin to tell you how sick I am of squeezing my legs so tightly together I almost stop the blood flow, just to make room on MY SIDE for YOUR knees. Trust me; I am not in the slighted bit interested in your crotch. I am not offended by the sight of it thrust into the limelight. I just don’t want you to touch any part of me. Or visa versa. You make my skin crawl. I know it may be a touch uncomfortable and restricting for you to close your legs. Ahh. Poor you. At what point did comfort have anything to do with Public Transport?

Teenagers. No - I don’t get you. I’m not feeling it, and I don’t want to hear it either. So dig out the headphones that came free with your mobile phone and plug the damn things in. If I can hear your shit music above my own, and I’ve got my headphones on – then it’s TOO FUCKING LOUD. Turn it down, or turn if off. Or help me God, I’ll risk the stabbing and chuck it out of the damn window. Yes, I am both that brave, and that stupid.

Suits. Fold your newspaper over as you read it. It is not acceptable to open up your paper to a double page spread. Simple. If you can't manage that complicated concept, just buy a smaller newspaper. Not one that is the size of a small table. No-one needs that much news.

Old People. If you choose to travel in the rush hour – although why on earth you would do so is beyond me – GET A BLOODY MOVE ON. Dawdling at any time of day is annoying, but I will smile, and say excuse me and make allowances for your age. You did, after all, probably fight in a war so I could have access to clean water. Or something. But trust me, if you dawdle during rush hour I will tut, I may push, and I will not, under any circumstances, give up my seat for you. No matter how many dirty old person looks you throw in my direction

Kids. I don’t care how damn cute you are. I don’t care if you can’t see out of the window. I don’t care if you want to wave at the cars passing by. But, I do care that the shit and muck and crap you walk in will get transferred onto the seat if you stand on it. SO SIT DOWN AND TAKE YOUR FEET OFF THE SEATS.

Cold? BUY A FUCKING TISSUE. I swear that there are very few sounds I find quite as offensive or annoying as someone sniffing, loudly, right in my ear, for 45 minutes on a packed train. Blow your nose, or stay at home you bastard.

Escalators. Do you live on the moon? Have you never in your entire life traveled on the Underground? Have you lost your memory? No? So why cant you STAND TO THE RIGHT, WALK ON THE LEFT? Are you stupid? How hard is it? Do you not see the flow of people walking up or down the escalator in front of you? SO GET OUT OF THE WAY YOU RETARD.

Ladies. If you are going to put your make up on on the train, don’t tut me cause I’m watching. I’m neither a lesbian (anymore) nor a stalker. I’m just interested to see whether you find it impossible to apply mascara without opening your mouth as well.

Food. The smell of the food doesn’t really bother me. I’ll be honest, the rubbish I’ll leave for someone else to worry about. But the sight and sound of you eating turns my stomach. CLOSE YOUR MOUTH WHEN YOU EAT. I don’t want to hear you chomping. I don’t want to see you chomping. And I will throw up on both you and your food if you keep it up. You have been warned.

Oyster. There is an unwritten rule. You have about 2 seconds and just one attempt to swipe yourself either in or out of the barrier. If the dreaded Seek Assistance bleep comes up, MOVE OUT OF THE WAY. Looking at it, looking at your card holder, looking bemused around you – will not make the thing open up. It’s not magic. Get out of the way or try another barrier. Or do exactly as the thing says and seek some bloody assistance.

Armrests. How on earth can they both be yours? At the very most, you might be able to bag one of them if you sat down before me. Yep, we’d all like to have our arms resting comfortably by our sides, like we were at home, in our comfy old armchair. But we aren’t. We are on the Tube. We are hot. We are uncomfortable. We are bored, tired, irritable, late, and gasping for some fresh, clean, new air. SO KINDLY MOVE YOUR BONEY ELBOWS OUT OF MY RIBS PLEASE – cause I don’t give a fuck how wide you might be – The Man gave us all just 17 inches of width space, and your elbows are eating into 3 inches of mine.

Personal Hygiene. Either have a wash. Or use deodorant. Or go and see the damn doctor. Cause if you stink at 8.30am – you, my friend, should not be out in public. I’m sure there are medical reasons why a minuscule percentage of the population has a problem with BO. In fact, I think Channel 4 did a whole Body Shock programme on some of you. But as far as I’m concerned there are very few occasions when a less-than-fresh smelling body is acceptable in public. At the gym after spinning, I’ll give you. On the street, doing a marathon or something – yep, fair do’s. But I don’t think on the 8.23am from Reading to Paddington is ok. Neither, I hasten to add is on the 5.46pm from Paddington to Reading. So HAVE A FUCKING WASH YOU DIRTY BASTARD.

17 January 2008

Only 78p!

Immediately go to your local newsagent and purchase Issue No 4905 (January 19th) of “ladies mag” My Weekly.

It features an exclusive short story by Debby Holt together with a reader offer (what genius put that together? ... ahem) to purchase her latest book The Trouble with Marriage.

Other titles by Debby are: Annie May's Black Book and The Ex-Wife’s Survival Guide.

Dancing on Ice 3

I never really commit to watching an entire series of any of these reality TV type kind of things. I love 'em. Of course I do. But I never watch them all the way through to the very very bitter end. Not Pop Tarts, Strictly Ballroom, Wanna Be A Famous Brother. None of them. However, the added incentive of being in the New Work sweep stake for DoI 3 (see what I did there) might help me knuckle down and follow this bad boy to the very last skate-off. It helps that I’ve got Michael Underwood. As it were. It might also help that my beautiful model friend Warren invited me to join a facebook group called Michael Underwood to win Dancing on Ice 3!!. I think Warren knows him. I don't, but I'm hoping my support will help him win. (And help me win my first ever sweep stake.)

16 January 2008

Surreal Part 2

I just shared a three floor lift journey with Wayne Sleep. I saw Wayne dance once – in the early 90’s I think it was, at the RFH. He was definitely taller then.

15 January 2008

All the colours in all the sizes

My most surreal moment of the day happened not 30 seconds ago. I went to the bathroom, came out of the cubicle and bumped, literally, into the wonderful Maureen Lipman. I made a comment about her beautiful mint green scarf, she pointed out a random stray (head) hair which I think she thought I had left in the sink. I left the facilities with a rather bemused look on my face. The hair in the sink was blonde. I am, quite clearly I have always thought, a brunette. I don’t quite know what to make of it all…..

Another one

You know I’ve signed up to do a (shock horror) non-Macmillan charity event in June? Well, fellow runner (ha) JJ from New Work is also a reluctant participant, and has started his very own MySpace blog to chart his triumphant rise from the sofa to the tarmac.

Tis funny – you may wish to subscribe to it, and read it yourself.

9 January 2008

One Week Later

So I finished The Legend of Colton H. Bryant (unsurprisingly I was in tears) and have reached the part of Potatoes not Prozac where I have to actually do something, by changing my whole breakfast routine.

The first new rule (Step 1 – see what they did there?) is to eat breakfast every day, within one hour of getting up, and the breakfast must include a complex carbohydrate and enough protein for my weight. To work out what the appropriate protein intake per day should be apparently you take your weight in pounds and divide by two. That figure, in grams, is your daily protein intake. So you then divide it into 3 – and that is the amount of protein you have for your three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner). So that makes my daily protein intake 120 grams. So I need 40 grams of protein for breakfast. 40 grams?! That’s 6 Quorn Bangers. Or a whole packet of sandwich chicken slices. Or about 5 eggs. Or maybe 2 cans of baked beans. How about 2 mackerel fillets? For breakfast? Really? Maybe I’ve done the math wrong. Any ideas, cause that just sounds ridiculous.

An update on my self imposed Rules. So far, so good. I have been obsessively recycling almost every scrap of rubbish I produce, which adds up to much more than I ever imagined. I have been moisturizing my hands after every wash and I’ve been trying really hard to remember to apply the lip balm. I hate it. I feel all slimy, all over. Constantly. I’ve been taking packed lunches to work, but have been buying a spot or two of fruit from the stall outside New Work in the morning. I’ve been to the supermarket (not M&S either) twice since the New Year, and both times I only bought items on either Half Price or 3 for 2 specials. I painted my nails on 4th January, and they still look ok. I’m a bit behind on the old scrubbing and moisturizing of the blubber, but plan to do it tonight. And a spot of fake tanning I think too. I have been on a wee lunchtime walk every day so far, and have been drinking the two bottles of squash religiously. I’ve been eating at the table, and writing down everything I’m putting in my mouth and counting the calories. I’ve been making a coffee in the morning to take to work, and then having just a couple more during the day, but none after 4pm. The only stumbling block so far is that Boo and I have yet to make a date for our date. I live in hope.

It was the first big weekly weigh in this morning. I started trying to eat a healthier on 2nd Jan. One week later I weigh 4 lbs less than I did. Not bad I suppose. 4 lbs down, 4 stone to go.

8 January 2008

Picture This

These are my favourite photos I took over the festive period.

7 January 2008

The Rules 2008

Instead of New Years Resolutions (bah) I've set myself a few Rules To Live By for 2088.

Let's see how long I can stick to them....

Recyle all rubbish
Moisturize hands after every wash
Take packed lunches to work (unless going "out" for lunch)
Buy only "on special/on offer" groceries
Always have painted toe and finger nails
Scrub & moisturize every other day
Walk for 15 minutes briskly every day
Drink (at least) two bottles of squash a day
Apply lip balm throughout the day
Always eat at the table
Don't buy groceries from M&S
Use my food diary
Save £250 a month
Drink a max of 3 coffee's a day
Go on "a date" with Boo once a month

4 January 2008


I’ve got three books on the go at the moment. Get me.

My bathroom read is a fantastic new book by Alexandra Fuller being published by New Work in June this year. The Legend of Colton H. Bryant is the true story of Colton H. Bryant who grew up in Wyoming and never wanted to leave. Wyoming loved him and he loved it back. Two things helped him get through school and the neighbourhood gang who chased after him yelling 'retard' - his best friend Jake and his favourite mantra: Mind over matter - which meant if you don't mind, it don't matter. I don’t think I've read a biography/memoir/autobiography since reading Boy George’s first Take it Like a Man, which if memory serves me correctly is the ONLY biog I’ve ever read! Shame on me. The Legend however, reads like fiction. It is both a beautiful story, and beautifully told. I’m nearly finished, and I don’t want it to end.

My commute read is a book which I intend to let change my life. Potatoes not Prozac is another New Work title, just published, which is the updated and revised edition of the 1999 bestseller by Radiant Recovery guru Kathleen DesMaisons. DesMaisons is a world leader in the field of addictive nutrition and has been lauded for her identification of sugar sensitivity as a critical factor in weight gain, addiction and depression. I am hoping that by following her 7 steps I can finally conquer my own food demons. According to DesMaisons (and I like her a lot already) I am not lazy, self-indulgent or undisciplined. My problem lies in my body chemistry. I am hoping that I can self diagnose that I am one of the millions of people who are sugar sensitive and the foods I turn to for comfort actually trigger how I am currently feeling – exhausted, hopeless and completely lacking in self-esteem. As well, of course, as making me a lard arse. Either that or I am just lazy, self-indulgent and undisciplined. I will keep you updated.

My bedtime story is a top secret proof copy of This Charming Man the new Marian Keyes title coming to a bookshop near you in May. I can’t tell you which lovely person sent it to me, cause I would then have to kill you. And they, in turn, would kill me. That would both make me very sad, and prevent me from finishing it. And if that was the case, I could as well kill myself. Anyway, so far, so brilliant. And that, my friends, is literally all I can say about it. No plot, no review, no synopsis. Otherwise my name will be Mud.

I’m in a very bizarre mood today. Can you tell?

3 January 2008

Half Ton Mom

Renee Williams, the 64 stone, 29 year old mother of two and subject of last nights compelling "Half Ton Mum" on C4 was a beautiful woman. As the world's heaviest lady, she waited and begged for 12 years before she was accepted by the Renaissance Hospital to undergo a life changing gastric bypass surgical procedure. The operation was successful and she lost a staggering four stone before dying of a sudden heart attack just 12 days later.

Renee had battled with her weight all her life, and was classified as super-morbidly obese at the age of 12. Married at 15, she had her first child aged 16 weighing 30 stone. She had grown to 35 stone by the time she gave birth to her second daughter. In 2003 she was hit by a drunken driver in a car accident that left her unable to walk and became bedridden and began eating even more.

The programme was fascinating and didn't portray Renee as a side-show freak. However, I feel really angry that those making the documentary didn't question those adults around her that had allowed her to get into that state. When a person is bedridden and needs to have everything bought to them - toothbrush, telephone, towel - it is clearly evident that the 8 burgers she would eat in one go, MUST have been given to her by either her incompetent Caretaker/Cook or her own mother.

It is a harrowing story, and a timely reminder for all of us to step away from the cakes. And yes, that includes me.

If you are struggling to get your weight under control - like me - the following two organisations seem to offer that bit more help than "stop eating and do some exercise you fat gluttonous slob".

BEAT (formerly Eating Disorders Association)
103 Prince of Wales Road, Norwich NR1 1DW
Adult Helpline: 0845 634 1414 (Mon-Fri 10.30am-8.30pm and Sat 1pm-4.30pm)
E-mail: fyp@b-eat.co.uk Website: www.b-eat.co.uk

Overeaters Anonymous
PO Box 19, Stretford, Manchester M32 9EB
Tel: 07000 784985
Website: www.oagb.org.uk

2 January 2008

I hate me so much right now....

Christmas started really early for me, with a trip with The Girls to see the ENB’s new version of The Nutcracker for Mel’s birthday treat on 20th December. I haven’t seen the ENB do The Nutcracker since 1994 would you believe, having been swayed with the contemporary spectacular that other ballet companies have bought to the Nutcracker table. But blimey, haven’t they fandagoed it up?! All camp as Christmas with spectacular costumes and a healthy dash of humour. Whilst I do miss the annual trip to the Royal Festival Hall for some traditional tou-tou’s and tiaras, I must admit to loving this new adaptation. And well worth the £10 last minute ticket price in the Balcony at the Coliseum.

Friday saw The Great Christmas Food Shop with Boo. £148 later and we hadn’t had a row or even a cross word. A first for us.

Saturday I did some Body Pumping in the morning, and then spent the rest of the day in bed eating.

Sunday was Christmas dinner Number 1 with The Mother of the Bride. Roast beef, TV watching and present swapping. Yummy.

Christmas Eve saw Weight Melt Down Number 1 of the festive season. I did another Pump class and caught a sideways glimpse of my stomach in the mirror during the abs track. Where the fuck did that come from? After a plate of bread and chips, and six champagne cocktails with The Girls in the pub, I went home and cried. Luckily Boo wasn’t coming over till Christmas morning, so I was able to eat about £25 worth of the Special Christmas Food undisturbed. I chomped my way through a tube of Bisodol tablets whilst fake tanning. I still swear by the theory that brown/orange fat looks better than pale white fat.

Christmas morning was a blur of pork preparation and table decoration. Boo arrived with a present sack the size of an elephant at lunchtime, and we swapped gifts whilst starting in on the nobby’s nuts. After watching The Polar Express we had sex, which given my current lack of self esteem was the true Christmas miracle.

Boxing Day we swapped our sofa for Mother of the Groom’s sofa, and had Christmas Dinner Number 3. Half a chicken. Each. Superb. More lovely presents were swapped, and we all talked about nothing much whilst watching nothing much and eating our way through a chocolate selection box.

Thursday we were supposed to be going down to see The Sister/Brother-in-Law/Neice combo, but they had been struck down with Christmas Flu, so Boo and I spend the day in bed wrapped around one another. Eating.

Friday morning at the crack of dawn we went down to The Combo. They were all still ill unfortunately but Christmas Dinner Number 4 - The Chestnut Pie thing – was delicious. More great gifts were exchanged and after a spot of Dining Room dancing and The Jungle Book watching, Boo and I were on our way back home for some more lying down stuff, whilst The Combo went back to bed.

Saturday I did two more classes at the gym, this time in the same long sleeved t-shirt I first wore to hide myself under when I joined a gym some 7 years ago. I have now managed to gain every last pound I had ever managed to loose over the past 7 years, and my current weight of 17 ½ stone is my official heaviest ever. Congratulations me. The Girls and I then had a coffee at Bucks and put the world to rights for a couple of hours, before I went home and had Weight Melt Down Number 2.

Boo was working on Sunday, so I pottered around the shops with Chimmy - trying not to commit suicide whilst she moaned about the fact that all the size 8 sale clothes had already been snapped up by more eager bargain hunters. Size 8. Fucking cow.

Monday I did another two classes at the gym, then had another Bucks session, followed by Weight Melt Down Number 3. Boo came over at 8ish, and we had steak for tea. We watched Transformers on DVD (crap story, great CGI) until the fireworks outside gave the game away and we wished one another happy new year, before going back to eating the snack box in front of us.

Yesterday we took The Mother of the Bride (although she paid in fact) to The Harvester for some help ourselves to the salad cart action. I had the scampi and a Sundae Best icecream. It was good.

Boo finally went home after two weeks of almost constant time together, and I settled down to some Poirot and Midsummer Murder action on the TV. At 3pm I finally managed to get to sleep, after having the last portion of apple pie and vienneta. Thank God the £148 worth of Special Christmas Food is finally gone and I can restock the fridge with carrots.

I swear to all things holy, that I have never felt more uncomfortable or less attractive in my entire life. If feeling this rubbish doesn’t finally stop me eating the shit, god know’s what will. Hopefully the added pressure of the 10k Run For Life in June and the Wedding Dress shopping in July will help.

PS – I have been a non-smoker for one day shy of exactly one year. It’s hard to be proud of myself, when I hate myself so much right now.