Monthly Archives: December 2008

Some new things Learned today Plus a Year in review.


I learned 2 things today.

1. I tried to drink a macchiato, thinking that the calorie content would be lower given there is less milk. No good. I am, and always will be, a latte girl.

2. I went to the gym, admittedly feeling very tired and hungry, and tried to run on the treadmill. I lasted 2 minutes. I was still fatigued from sunday’s run. The thing I learned: I am over the treadmill. I will quit the gym and just do sporting spirit and pilates; this is quite enough.

Am still having dreams about pavlova and crisp sauvignon blanc.


The year started out quite hopefully, with the new job and doing my last ever night duty. I had plans, oh yes, but in retrospect lacked the confidence to carry them out. I thought my mood would get better when finishing the nights, but instead it got worse. At my hubby’s insistence, I went to see my GP to get treatment. Things improved initially and I enjoyed my 29th birthday, but things then went pear shaped in a big way. I tried to do part-time and take up hobbies, but to no avail. I had to swallow my pride and get the specialist help I needed, and also let my bosses know what was going on. Finally, I was asked by my doctor to take some time (about 2 and 1/2 weeks) off. This was during May. This was the time when I took up running, on the treadmill. I also took up oil painting as a creative outlet.

I got back to work, feeling a little bit better and improved in time with the specialty help. One of the bosses was being a monster and I had a stressful time organising a big project. I got through it. In July, I did my first fun run, a 5km run in a time of 35:38. I did another in August, and joined up with the sporting spirit crew. Over the next few months, I did a 10 km fun run (after which I nearly fainted). Now, I do long runs of 10 k (11 km last week!!) every week.

I decided on a career of geriatrics and got a job for next year. This was one thing I had avoided.

I started a blog in late August. It was cathartic.

In September, I was diagnosed with fructose malabsorption and had to make some fairly major (and positive) changes to the diet. I also had a whole other raft of investigations for iron deficiency which yielded nothing else.

In October, I went to Gwinganna to try and “get healthier”, whatever that means. The main thing I took from it was learning how to stretch well. The caffiene abstinence did not last. Quelle surprise!

In November the work wound down and we went off for a wonderful holiday to Vietnam and Cambodia. Cambodia, in particular, got under my skin and I would like to work there some day.

A great Christmas at the mother-in-law’s, our relationship had been strained at times during the year (esp. when I was unwell) but we are getting along well now.

Now, at the end of the year, I review all the things I have learned and gained. I feel that, even though it has been quite a tough year in some ways, I have came out of it better than when I was at the beginning.

Relationship with self (sounds wanky): I am much easier on myself and talk my self out of negative thoughts much more readily. The WUTIWUF paradigm works. I have a much better relationship with myself than I think I ever have.

Relationship with Mr. Sassy: Great, he has been wonderfully supportive throughout the year. We have learned to appreciate each other’s differences and negotiate them effectively.

Relationship with family: In addition to being easier on myself, I am being easier on my family. Yes, they are far from perfect but hell, so am I! I also understand my Mother’s past depressive illnesses now. I have learned to take a step back and not get so angry with them, but appreciate them for who they are. Not that we ever had major falling-outs, just that our relationship could have been better.

Friends: This has been a year of re-uniting with old friends and making new ones. The former: littlesare, Clairebear, lankygaySam (all aliases). The latter, all my buds on the forum and in running group. All the gerries girls.

Thoughts on the bod: I weigh 3-4 kg less than I did at the beginning of the year. Even though this is not much, my body confidence has gotten disproportionately better, probably due to the running. I am still not completely happy with my body, I will admit that.

Health and Fitness: Much improved.

Money: Have spent quite a bit and saved not too much (or at all). Mr. Sassy wants me to relinquish credit card or only keep it in the drawer for emergencies. I have reluctantly agreed.

In many ways, my new year’s resolutions are just to keep going the way I am! I am proud of myself and in spite of the difficulites, in many ways it has been a great year.

A few things need particular work though:

1. The bod: I still want to lose 6-8 kg. I figure if I eat healthily and this entails

  • staying the hell out of the lolly jar and biccy tin at work.
  • eating a really good breakfast (it really does help me eat less later in the day)
  • only drinking good coffee at good cafes. Many kilojoules are wasted on crap coffee. If I am going to splurge on anything (and I will), it will only be the good stuff.
  • eat at least four serves of vegies a day (potatoes don’t count)
  • drinking water instead of diet drinks, they seem to make me hungrier.
  • be prepared.
  • follow the 90/10 rule.

I figure with all this, and training for a half marathon (either june/august/october), my weight will take care of itself.

2. Money. 

I will do what Hubby says. This will cut out a lot of “I feel stressed so I’m gonna go blow 500 bucks on clothing and shoes” acts. It will also leave more to put in the bank (I had an epiphany the other day – clothing/footwear IS NOT an investment!!) Other than this, we don’t splurge a lot. Meals out can be cut down to once or twice a week.


Not too onerous, I feel. Think I can do that 🙂

A good tired.


Yesterday I did 4 hours of work “clearing potholes” that might have come up over the christmas period. The good thing was I got to practice talking a couple of people off the roof. It’s all in the delivery. A bludgy afternoon, some shopping and some snoozing. Mr. Sassy finally capitulated and got his hair cut at my hairdresser, it cost a bit but it looks good.

This morning I went for a run with Shells from the Ausrun forum. It was a good run, we matched evenly in pace (or she ran nice and slow for me). All up I reckon we did about 11.5 km in 1 hr 20ish. I kept fairly good form and luckily didn’t cough my guts up. I do have a bit of blister activity on my feet, particularly the balls (youch!), forgot the lubricants!

The thing is though, I am starting to feel my excess weight and realise that it would be good if I didn’t have to run with it. My eating had gone off the rails a bit on holiday and, naturally over the christmas season. I must say, I am glad I took up running in the winter; I would be put off running if I had to do the initial hard yards in the heat! I have had a little napski and feel better now, the legs are a bit weary.

I thought my little MP3 player had died on me last night, and I was plotting which new one I would like. But it did a lazarus on me this morning, I think I left it on and the charge got really drained.

Cooking a Jamie Oliver bolognese sauce from the “ministry of food” cookbook with Mr. Sassy, he is not keen on cooking but likes it when we cook together. Somehow run of the mill foods seem much better when they are cooked from a celebrity chef’s recipe!

I am all out of stuff to write. Think I might go read my marathon book or maybe have a coffee. I love weekend afternoons.

A christmas with our Buddhist Friends…


The Christmas post-mortem:

Went up to Bendigo on the 24th at about 5pm, the traffic was not as bad as I thought it would be. Had dinner and way too many mince pies – these are bad from the fructose malabsorption point of view.

25th – had a loverly sleep in, woken up by the brother in law ringing the cowbell and screaming wake up wake up (he is 27, alas, not 4!!)

Not a bad pressie haul – lots of body lotion. The best things – a marathoning book and some injinji socks from my brother in law, and a 12 month subscription to runners world from the mother in law!

For chrissie lunch, my mother in law had invited her friend Tenzin the Buddhist nun (Nee Kerry – she is Aussie and converted to buddhism) and Tenzin’s friend Yeshi from Tibet. Yeshi had never been to a Christmas lunch so I took much pleasure in explaining it to her. “Eat, drink, eat some more, preferably till the top button of the pants needs to be undone, fall asleep, wake up and repeat process.” She enjoyed the crackers and dutifully wore the paper hat. Lunch was a bewdiful roast beef….mmm….cow, followed by trifle and mucho chocolates. Dinner was vegemite on toast and watching a british Christmas movie.

Another sleep in today. I have put on my running outfit to encourage myself to run today – it is a very good running area around here, little traffic, lots of hills. I need to be careful though, I once fell over while out for a walk here and broke my cheekbone. Not good.

Doing a few hours work tomorrow (more as a favour to the boss, the moolah will be eaten up in tax) and then on sunday going for lazy 10km with Shells from the ausrun forum.

Think I am getting a bit old fashioned….


2 cases in point.

1. I am lamenting the fact that nobody seems to be heeding the “drive safely or risk being wound around a telephone pole” message. I had cars up my behind, cars cutting me off, cars not indicating….

2. I went to my running group’s christmas break up at little creatures brewery today, to thank the wonderful paul. I had to restrain the drinking as I was driving but the other ladies were not. Given the fact that I have been a bit under the weather I thought I might go early. This was cemented when, as the night wore on and the glasses piled up, the screeching of the girl beside me got louder and louder. Then the clincher: “I once went out with a 28 year old (younger) and he wanted to do it 6 times a night”. Yes, in front of the whole group. Think I had a reflexive raise of the eyebrows. That was my cue to leave.

Am I an old soul? Is it because I have been married for 4 years at the age of 29? Am I a prude? Hmmm. Hold that thought while I watch NCIS.

Snot monster is retreating, finally, thank God.

chuckin’ a sickie…


It is apparently the great Australian tradition….yet we work more hours than most other countries.

I figure a productive cough and audible wheeze / crackles should be enough to give work the slip. I don’t know how so much snot could be produced. This, of course means that I will be giving running training a miss also…”If it’s in the chest, let it rest…”

I promise I will be back at work tomorrow, with (Christmas) bells on.

Just plodding through the housework, watching trash on telly and taking naps. I am a bit bored actually….

I have entered the Portsea Twilight with a mate – sounds challenging and I need to learn to run on different surfaces and in different conditions.

Hit by the snot train…


Myself and Mr. Sassy are bedevilled by lurgies…probably after the plane ride (though most colds are acquired through touch and therefore can be prevented by handwashing…..ewww)

But still managed to do a 7km run this morning…think the iron infusion is working.

I have been looking into doing some volunteer medical work in Cambodia with Mr (Dr.) Sassy, it really got under my skin. I have sent out a whole heap of emails to random people hoping that it will work….even sent an email to a children’s hospital (I train in geriatrics……can’t be that different, can it???)

Had a snooze in the arvo then had the fam around for an early xmas dinner….my mum and sis are working xmas day. Had a presents exchange and then we sat down to a bewdiful dinner, cooked by me. It was the stuff we learned to cook in Hoi An in the cooking class and it was well received by the family.

What do other peeps have planned for Chrissy/Hannukah/festivusfortherestofus…?



That stands for Many Muscly Men.

I went to running training today and there were many of them grunting and sweating their way around the Princes Park track (ladies, don’t get too excited). I think it was the start / end of footy training.

Since I have done no running for 3 weeks, I did a straight 5km…this was very tough and took me around 35 minutes. I battled screaming legs, stitches and sicky feelings but I did it. I am still getting these unpleasant symptoms but the difference is now I can tolerate them.

The run helped with the thumping headache today. It was my first day back at work today and I didn’t feel too flash, with some diarrhoea, a headache, a cough and just feeling really tired. At one point I was convinced I had contracted typhoid overseas and was just waiting for the fever to set in. This, people, is why knowing too much can be bad!

Today I sponsored a little girl from Cambodia. I hope that this will help her to get some education (as well as other things like food and water). Pol Pot had all the medical workforce killed and as such cambodia is still desperately short of these, and other educated people. This certainly delays the progression of the country.

I had better go now and attend to the curry I am making.

Good news and bad news.


The bad news first:

  • I copped a traffic infringement notice while I was away, 225 bucks and 3 demerit points for apparently running a red….only by 1 second though! An expensive but necessary lesson. I am suitably chastised and feel bad for criticising Vietnamese drivers.
  • Going back to work tomorrow.
  • I have looked at my credit card statement and, sadly, the credit card fairies haven’t paid it so I suppose we will have to. It is the highest amount I have ever had owing on it.

The good news:

  • We are getting our thai airways money refunded, however it will not cover the cost of the other late notice flights.
  • I am owed a good sum of annual leave cash which will hopefully help ease the credit card pain, seeing the credit card fairy has gone the way of santa claus and the easter bunny.
  • I do not seem to have put on any weight (apart from a bit of the obligatory pre-menstrual fluid). My jeans fit fine.

Here is my favourite photo from the trip. It is me with some local ladies. The little old lady on the right offered me some food that was in her rice bowl.


Yey, it worked.
Off to running tomorrow – I hope I don’t embarrass myself too much.

The Holiday is over – Back @ Changi 15/12/08 0304hrs.


I was slack….or just having too good a time to post 🙂


Was in Hoi An when I left off. We went for a bike ride in the heavy rain – very interesting negotiating this and the insane traffic

– For the uninitiated, the traffic in Vietnam, and probably all of SE Asia, is like Mad Max. Zebra crossings are ignored, so you cross the street with your head down hoping that the traffic swerves around you, which it (fortunately) generally does. Traffic lights are merely a suggestion, more often than not the taxi drivers just honk their horn to alert other motorists that they are running the red light. Similarly, sides of the road are only loosely adhered to. It is a good thing that it is so crowded that the traffic cannot go at any great speed.

Anyway, I digress. We showered up after our rainy ride and went to a fabulous cooking class. Me and hubby were the only ones in the tour group that did this. The others missed out big time! Good to see hubby enthusiastic about cooking.

Hue (pronounced Hway)- The former imperial capital of Vietnam. We saw the citadel and learned that the emperor had many wives and up to hundreds of concubines. We had some indian for dinner just for a change.

Next day we went on a motorbike ride – the drivers had a much more sedate pace than in Chau Doc, or maybe I was a bit more relaxed this time. We saw pointy hats being made, incense sticks being rolled and had a beautiful lunch at a buddhist nunnery. The maker of the pointy hats was a woman who had a limb reduction defect (right forearm missing) from agent orange. There are many unfortunate victims of this dioxin in Vietnam, there were many gory pictures at the war remnants museum in Saigon.

Then off to catch the overnight train to Ha Noi.

One word of advice for future travellers – Don’t. We were on an organised tour so we had to but there is a plane from Da Nang to Ha Noi.

It was filthy, the toilets (and some of the train) reeked like stale piss, the rest of the train reeked of rotting fruit, people ignored no smoking signs ….ugh. I shudder just thinking about it.

Arrived in Hanoi at 0530 and freshened up at the hotel. I had a wander about while hubby had some sleep. Went to the fine arts museum – very interesting  to see the artwork from the wars, it was what I would describe as “sympathetic”; very few gory images, lots of beautiful trees and starry skies. It portrayed the soldiers as kind to the children.

Then had a wander about the old town with hubby. Some bastard tried to relieve me of my wallet! He was very pushy with presenting me postcards to buy, but I didn’t see the hand underneath the postcards trying to get into my bum-bag until I felt a tug…I found him out and he walked away. I should have chased him down the street yelling “thief, thief”. One to watch! And here I was thinking that Saigon was the dangerous city!

Next day – off to Ha Long bay. We took a Junk (the name for the boats that cruise the bay but can be quite a good descriptor of the standard of the electrical wiring). It was magical, I will add photos here when I get home. We went for a walk in a big cave with stalagmites and stalactites. I love caves, it is the science nerd and wannabe archaeologist in me. Then back onto the Junk where we docked and had a swim. The water was a bit chilly but my Hubby the Pom quite liked it. The boys jumped off the top of the boat into the water (about 5 metres) – crazy! We watched the sunset over the karsts – breathtaking and then watched night fall as we sat on the top deck of the boat. We slept on board and went back to shore the next morning.

Back to Ha Noi for a walk about to take it all in, then the farewell dinner last night for our tour group. We had a great franco-vietnamese meal and some very average karaoke afterwards. Yesterday I bought myself a big faux “north face”backpack with the little backpack attached. I will give the Vietnamese this – they are brilliant at ripping high end labels (and the odd tourist) off.

Today – more wandering about Ha Noi, trying to find a “Burn Notice” DVD – success – making last minute purchases and visiting the army museum (more anti-American sentiment). Then off to the Airport to catch the plane to singapore. There was a big group of 28 people in front of us in the check in queue which was tres annoying. We had to pay an exorbitant amount for excess baggage – the peril of budget airlines. Catching flight back to melb at 1020 hrs. I am writing this from the transit lounge – a cushy place where you can eat, nap for 3 hours, shower, use the internet and read international magazines all for the bargain price of SGD 58!!

Ok, some reflections on the Holiday:

What I gained:

  • Some wonderful memories
  • Education about the struggles in Indochina, both previous and continuing…
  • Inspiration from the cheerfulness, warmth and resilience of the people, particularly the Khmers.
  • A sparkle in my eyes
  • A great tan
  • Some great new clothes, jewellery and homewares and a good faux backpack
  • Probably an intestinal parasite of some description 🙂
  • Some new friends. The group was great! One person got up my nose a bit, a beautiful brazilian girl who struck me as a bit sulky and seemed to take it for granted that everyone fawned over her – jeez it’s tough being beautiful and being able to prance about on the boat with a killer bod, tan and very skimpy bikini…..OK am getting ahead of myself.
  • Some vietnamese cooking skills 

What I lost:

  • Nearly my wallet.
  • Money (I shudder to see my credit card bill – will be living on baked beans)
  • My morbid fear of motorcycles and going downstairs without holding on to the rails
  • Hopefully not my running fitness….

My weight I think has been reasonably stable – the crap diet (with wheat) has hopefully been offset by the friendly intestinal parasite. Even so, I’ll not weigh myself for a little while.

Back to work on Wednesday. I have tuesday to steel myself.

I heart hoi an!


Definitely my favourite stop on the trip so far.

A charming little town with lovely french-asian colonial architecture.

The best thing though – all the tailoring shops!!! I have had made some pants, as it can be hard for me to find pants to fit, and skirts (ditto) and a lovely wool duffle jacket with a fancy collar. I also have a chinese style dress made of olive green silk. Mr. Sassy now has a killer suit and 2 shirts. All brilliant quality and relatively cheap.

The website:, apparently stuff can be ordered over the internet.

The food here is great, myself and hubby have just returned from a Vietnamese cooking class.

This afternoon, we went bike riding through the villages to the beach. It was atmospheric seeing rice paddies, the locals and dodging errant dogs, chickens and children. It was pissing down with rain so I got soaked. We did not spend much time on the beach, but I stood there in the rain with my feet in the surprisingly warm ocean. It was good for the soul.

Off to Hue tomorrow.

Now – off to drink some tubes.