Friday, 19 September 2008

My Poppa

My Poppa died when I was about eight, so I only have a few hazy memories of him. They are mostly of his bent, gaunt figure standing around his garden, with his hands supporting his back, pipe hanging out of his mouth.
I remember he had a working Morse code machine in his pottering shed, a model train set, and, so my mother tells me, a fair few bottles of gin.
He used to send my sister and me photographs of hedgehogs that appeared on their lawn, writing on the back as if it were a postcard, which all our family still do today.

I knew that he'd been in the airforce during World War II, and that he'd been decorated for some daring stunt, but I never knew the full details until last week when Mum sent a cutting up from a researcher who was writing about DFC recipients in New Zealand.

I got quite choked up reading this, and wished that I had known more about it when I was younger. It's one thing to think of the man staring into space over the bluebells, but yet another to think of him landing a plane in choppy seas knowing that he had 5 kids at home and a boring bank manager job to go back to.

Moral of the story - get to know your grandparents while you can.

Monday, 15 September 2008

The Challenge Begins

This time two weeks ago, I was two kilos heavier than I am now. That’s about five pounds, I think.
Pretty cool huh?
Recently, I was on a shopping expedition with my mother. If you get my mother at the right time, and talk softly toher without waking her up from her trance, sometimes she will pull her Visa card out and melt it with large transactions. On this expedition we tried on lots of clothes. My mother is a size 8. I thought I was a 12. Turns out I’m a 14. Trousers were not comfortable at all. I was losing my jawline. The assistant kept mentioning control undies.
Seeing Summer looming in the distance and the party season nearly upon me, I had a think. Normally after a shock like this I’d be all “I’m never eating again!! Or if I do, only cabbage soup with low-fat water!”
This time though, I’ve been logical and thorough.
The aim is, people, to get to my goal weight in 6 months. I’m going to do this, not only by eating well, but by exercising and getting active.
I have never been an active person and say things like, oh I change my sheets this morning and got all puffed after wrestling with the duvet….that’ll do me for today.
Now I’m off to the gym every lunchtime, and in the weekend I’m making a point of busting a gut for 30mins. Last week we walked up the Mount. It was hard. I’m loving going to the gym, now that it doesn’t hurt anymore. It’s fun to see what I can make my body do. Put it this way, 3 weeks ago, I couldn’t kneel onto a Swiss Ball and keep my balance. Now I’m kneeling and doing bicep curls at the same time. Also drinking two litres of water a day (I go to the loo more than Kate Moss out clubbing).
Food is an interesting one. I’ve never really eaten unhealthily, but I eat a lot. Rich eats even more. So we’re dialling down the portions and filling half the plate with veg and salad. We’re drinking only on Friday and Saturday nights. Rich has started dropping weight faster than a supermodel after giving birth. So unfair.
The difference of all of this is if I have a handful of chips at my nephew’s birthday, or a wine with dinner on Fathers Day, I don’t beat myself up. 6 months is a good amount of time, and so long as I stick at my rules 95% of the time, I should be okay. The only downside of this is, all the trousers that Mum bought me on our shopping trip? Can pull them down without undoing the zip. I don’t really feel bad about this.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Some advice

When you're singing along to the stereo really loudly in the gym changing rooms, making sure we're impressed you know all the words, you should probably pick a song that isn't Hootie and the Blowfish.

Friday, 5 September 2008


Excellent news.
This little monkey....

.... is going to get a baby brother or sister come March. *snoopy dance*!

Thursday, 4 September 2008

A day you remember fondly

Yesterday was a nothing special day, a day during which I went to work, did my work, went to the gym, got bored to tears during the looong afternoon of clock watching, and went home.
And then, people, something amazing happened. I got my mail in. Looked like a couple of bills. Sat on the couch watching the end of the Simpsons. Opened one of the envelopes. A bill for my curtains. Ho hum. Opened the other. What looked like one of those stupid letters from the Readers Digest appeared. “Money in your Hand!” it stated. “Concession Card!” showed a couple of times. Brow furrowed, I read on. And then noticed what looked to be a cheque attached to the bottom. For over $300.00. Made out to me.
I realised then that this wasn’t a nothing special day. It was a day, where, by receiving an unexpected large payment in the post, it became the most awesome kind of day you can have.
Seriously. Who gets cheques in the post? In this electronic age of phone and internet banking, the only time I get a cheque is on my birthday, from my Dad. And that’s for putting up with his shaggy dog stories and endless self-absorption (I mean that in the nicest possible way).
Turns out that the power company I belong to works like a trust, and pays out to its customers a cut of their profit every year. I rang my sister to confirm this.
“Is someone playing a trick on me? Am I going to take this into the bank and everyone’s going to point and laugh and post me on YouTube?”
She confirmed that it was indeed, my money, to do whatever I pleased with. What’s hilarious is that it states on the back of the letter options for you to choose from when dealing with the cheque.

Option One: bank it into your bank account. Well, durr.
Option Two: use it to pay further power bills. Snigger.
Option Three: donate back to power company. They will then donate it to charitable causes. Roaring laughter plus a bit of thigh-slapping.

This cheque is going straight onto my gasping and wheezing Visa card, so it can have a bit of a breather, before this wekeend’s onslaught of buying Stuff for the Garden.
May you all also, have a day like this, sometime soon in your future.