Monthly Archives: January 2010

A beating.


Well we went for a trailwalker session today. Me, Shells and Jay. Grants to Mt Evelyn. 2 sections of the trail. The hardest sections.

It was a real shock to the system. It was hot and steep (up and down) and long.

I wore my new hiking boots, without a breaking in period, this proved to be wise, as there were some pretty uneven segments that were ankle-threatening!

I had a lot of self-doubt through it – I thought, I’ve lost fitness, I’ve gained weight, I can’t do this! I was quite a bit slower than Jay and Shells, and walked quite a bit of the track 50 or so metres behind them.

But I did do it and will do the 100km. The worst bit though – the chafing. Not feet. Not under-boob…..Somewhere else. Have sent the hubby out for vaseline (bodyglide stings)

I have otherwise been feeling a little more down than usual, a few of the old negative thoughts coming back. I had a bit of an epiphany on the walk that this may have something to do with all the alcohol I consumed on holiday – it may  make things worse. Quitting? Will do this for a month. Long term? Would be difficult; I enjoy my wine but sometimes overindulge. Would it be easier to give it away than keep to 2 glasses of wine a week strictly?  Hmmm.

On a happy note – the walk got rid of 40 points or so. Also I lost 1.2 kg in weigh in today; a lot of this will be aeroplane swelling but still….

Wine is a calorie bomb. Or a points bomb.


I don’t quite know how they work out the points for weight watchers. I think they reconcile the calories with the overall “badness” of the food.

Take chocolate. 1 x 500kj is about 2.5 points. A glass of wine, about 400kj, is also 2.5 points. Both of which I had today. At the pictures (surely if it is part of the entertainment, then it doesn’t count, right?? Wrong!) A nectarine, 300kj, might be 1.5 points.

I am allowed 24 points a day, plus any extra I exercise off. But it is best not to have those points. Thus far, I have eaten some, but not all of the extra. Call it weaning.

I have also learned that in the past, I have been blatantly kidding myself. I will have to eat the most of the foods with the lowest points, which, incidentally, are fruit and vegetables.

So chocolate and wine are bad. Hence I am banishing them for the month of febuary. I hear you all starting to cackle, but I swear, I have done it before. For a whole, 31 day month.

Tomorrow, I am off for a walk with Jay and Shells for TW training. Hacketts. THE Hacketts. We are starting at fart of sparrow (0700) as it is gunna be a hot one.

P.S. I really frickin hate the way my thighs rub together when I am wearing a skirt and it is hot. It gives a painful rash. It sucks. There. I said it. And hopefully I will be rid of it.



I am glad to be here. Glad to see my hubby and doggy.

Luckily I have some more time off before I have to get back into work to get over jetlag, get my shit together etc. Can you believe I have actually unpacked all my stuff (well, not the toiletries) within 24 hours of landing?

Firstly, London. I spent the weekend with an old friend, Dazza. I met his girlfriend, Siobhan. Well actually I found out that they were married. They had been married 7 months. They had been together 8 months……They said they knew it was right. Siobhan is a delightful American girl, I really liked her, such a sweetie who brings out the best in Dazza. The thing is though, Darren has been married before, to a girl who was a bit odd, and they were only together 3 months. After that, he was with a girl or two, and said “I will never get married again” etc etc. But now…

Was a bit frightened in London, with some stuff on the news about there being “high likelihood of a terror attack in Britain”…that freaked me out. But I got over it when I remembered what an exciting city London is. Dazz lives right near 7 dials (you can see the intersection from his window) so it is a fantastic location. I caught up with an old friend who lives in the UK, Becky, who I have not seen for 8 years but have managed to keep in contact with her. Went and wandered around London, drooled over shoes and high-end fashion, though I wondered why UGG boots are in the high end shoe section at Selfridges (I kid you not). We had a Lasagna and pictionary night (with mucho wine) on the satdee night.

Dazz and S nearly drank me under the table….had to say no a few times!!

I don’t know whether it is the airplane fluid or not, but I have gained 1-1.5kg over my trip. Everyone in Europe is so thin, dammit! And with all the yummy food. They clearly are doing the right thing re portions etc etc while I am not.

So for the first time in my life, I am going to join a proper program. I have joined Weight Watchers online. For the fiftieth or so time, I need to get real. I have thought I knew everything and have tried easier ways, but there is no easier way.

Tomorrow: Run and haircut. In that order.

Hasta La Vista, España!


Well I have bade farewell to Ian and am now sitting alone in an internet cafe in San Sebastian. We have had a great time here, notwithstanding the bad news I had.

We were lucky to be here on the 20th of January, which is a major celebration in San Sebastian. All the shops are shut and the kids parade around during the day, dressed as soldiers and chefs (the significance of these I don´t know) and beat drums and sing. Later on the adults do the same but play brass instruments and beat louder drums. And this goes on all day. While all  the hubbub was going on in the city, we climbed Mount Urgull, which is on the coast above the city, with a big Statue of Jesus looking over the city. We heard lots of music waft over from the centre of town. Later, we had a siesta, and then we went for a Pintxos (Tapas) Crawl. We were given a map with the best places and went to some of them. Yummmm. One of them specialised in fresh anchovies, nothing like the salty disgraces one gets on a pizza.

Yesterday, we took a day trip to Bilbao, where we saw the Frank Gehry designed Guggenheim. I had resolved to go see it when I saw the movie ¨The world is not enough¨. A wonderful structure, made of steel, sandstone and glass. I went there expecting there not to be much inside, but there were some really nice works by Chagall, Kandinsky and Picasso, among others. They even had some Van Gogh and Gaugin. I quite like the modern art with its vibrant colours, you can make what you want of it, or nothing at all!

We went to the Basque museum, disappointing as it was all in Basque and Spanish.

Last night, our Grand finale, we went to Mugaritz, a famous restaurant near San Sebastian, which has 2 michelin stars, apparently. We had the large degustation menu with the wine flight, and it was SUPERB. Big surprises, like carpaccio made from dried watermelon (they only told us after we ate), foie gras from what they assured us were happy Geese, and other such delights. It was expensive but not quite as much as what we expected, so much the better. The service was near perfect and we got a tour of the kitchen. They even knew that Melbourne was a good foodie destination!!

This morning, big headaches, as we had lots of wine.

Then, for me…..more bloody shopping!!

A reflection on the spaniards, very lovely and keen to help, even if they could not speak english, they would go out of their way to show us where to go when we got lost.

Off to London to night, to see my friends over the weekend, sans hubby unfortunately, he had to go to work.

Must go now…..have to eat something other than mugaritz roasted and candied hazelnuts!!!

Addit: have just entered run for the kids. This will help me get off my fat bum and do something when I get back. Plus I would like to keep within a reasonable distance of shells!!

RIP Nanna 1919 -2010.


Got the news last night that Nanna, Mum´s mum, had passed away, after suffering from Alzheimers Disease and Bronchiectasis.

I had been expecting this for a while, but it is still upsetting.

I will not make it home in time for the funeral, but I will be there in spirit.

I have written a little something for her, for the funeral. Here goes…

Here is a little something for Nanna, feel free to add to it if you like

Dear Nanna, up in heaven,

You were always good to us.

I remember your hugs, tight, almost frantic.
I remember your cooking. Beautiful roasts. I hope this talent runs in the family!
The icecream and jelly. The biscuits. The hedgehog.
I remember the walks with McTavish, the Grumpy Dog. You carried a stick for when he misbehaved.
I remember your little corolla. It smelled of you – baby powder and something else.
I remember your bowling whites. And bowling trophies.
I remember how proud you were of all your grandkids.

I remember how your memory started to fade.
You never lost your feistiness and sense of humour though.
You got into the shandies, the cupcakes. You pulled faces at the camera.
Watching you was bittersweet. Sad that you were declining, happy that you seemed to be happy in it.

You are now with Poppy, Patty and McTavish, at peace. We will miss you.

It will be a day of quiet reflection today. We are in a little university town called Salamanca.

I think I will send mum some flowers….

Art Fatigue.


Now in Madrid.

We are staying at Room Mate Mario which is in the centre of everything and soooooo trendy it hurts.

We arrived in Madrid on Wednesday and then caught up with an my school friend Richard who lives in the Netherlands … he is now a businessman who flies all over europe and his plane was delayed in madrid. We went to see him in his airport hotel, which meant we had to negotiate the Metro. We are becoming quite expert at the European Metro. It kicks arse over Melbs metro.

Anyhoo, I got really, really drunk. Might have had something to do with the 1/2 litre of beefeater that was poured into my GIN and tonic. Then the red wine etc etc.

Got up late yesterday and had a wander, ate some churros, bought some campers (that now brings my shoe total to 4…will need to post some stuff back or buy a bigger suitcase.)

Re: the churros, I know I sound blasphemous being in madrid and all, but chocolateria san churro still has what I consider the best churros – has something to do with the fact that they use real chocolate.

Went to Reina Sofia gallery yesterday, very edgy modern art and an architecturally cutting edge building. This morning, went for a wander again, took hubby to see the Museo del Jamon- yes, a big fat ham shop, which he was well impressed with. Then off to the museo del prado, some nice paintings by well known artistes, but got a bit boring – seriously, how many paintings of baby Jesus and the Virgin Mary can one see? There was some great work by Goya – very dark.

Now – off to see an old school friend who lives in madrid – like a high school reunion!!

Have not yet run. Have walked a lot. but not run.

I don´t know if it is the denim leggings I have bought and am wearing, and the fact that all Spaniards and Frenchies are tiny, but I feel like a bit of a heffer. I will be following all of your leads when I get back.

Siesta time.


Well we are now in Granada, in the south of Spain. More unseasonably cold weather but here it is about 11 degrees – have been reading of 40 degree heat and hot nights.

This morning we were up at fart of sparrow [felt like it – it was 0830 and still dark] to go to the Allhambra, a fort from when the south of spain was under Muslim influence. It, and the Palace and Gardens were amazing – kind of like an Arabian better holmes and gardens on crack. Very hilly and stair-y, I am not feeling like am missing out on my training, as am doing these walks in less comfy shoes than what I will be wearing on the day.

I have found a hill to do some hell hill repeats up- hopefully either this arvo or tomorrow. Off to Madrid tomorrow.

Now time for siesta

PS am drinking mucho sangria – it is alcoholic but goes down like lolly water. whoopsy.

Running y tapas


Well I finally went for a run – I ran up to Plaza Catalunya and then around, thinking I would do a square and then got completely lost, found a really good tapas bar though, and got to practice the Spanish that I learned in classes. So actually it was 60% running, 30% walking around lost or crossing roads and 10% asking for directions.

Then we went to La Sagrada familia, the Gaudi Church, was amazing. Got some exercise for the quads going down the stairs. We then went to Museu Picasso which was fun but his artwork got weirder as he got older. He was a bit of a ladies´man, old Pablo, his 5 or so divorces coincided with his mistresses giving birth to his babies!!

Today, up to Parc Guell, a beautiful park up hills so steep – as steep as any in trailwalker. More Gaudi craftmanship. Then off to the museu xocolata (chocolate)…barcelona was actually the entry port of Chocloate to europe.

We have had 2 nights of Tapas/Sangria/Rioja in a row….hope all the exercise is counterbalancing it.

Have bought a 3rd pair of boots… husband is not threatening divorce just yet.

Off to Granada tomorrow….will see the Allhambra (google it and learn, folks)

Cecille et Jean in France


I think that means Cilla and Ian in France.

Just to remind myself what we have done, for posterity:

Vendredi  1 Janvier:  arrived in Paris late in evening. The shuttle buses had stopped for the evening, so we got rammed by the taxi service. Had quite a good sleep (thankyou illegal melatonin).

Samedi 2 Janvier: Got up and had a wander around Paris. Found the tourist office and organised some metro tickets. Like a moth to a flame (or flies to poo) I managed to find Galeries Lafayette, an amazing department store, topped by a stained glass dome. I nearly shit my daks in excitement at the shoe section; a whole floor of high end footwear to die for. The food section was equally amazing. Finally Ian extricated me from the store and we mosied down to the jardins Tulieries. Very cold, but full of folks seeing the sights. From there, on to the avenue des Champs Elysées, all lit up and pretty. On that famous street, there is a patisserie called Ladurée, which is quite well known. The specialty there are the macaroons and teas, both to die for. The parisians had no qualms about queueing up for half an hour in the cold, it was that good!

Dimanche 3 Janvier: Off to the palace of Versailles. C’est magnifique is all I can say, but they lost a lot of the loot and bling in the Revolutions. Then off to Montmartre to see the Sacre Coeur cathedral, getting confronted by big dark men trying to sell us useless stuff. For Ians benefit (? titillation), we went to see the Lido cabaret, basically music, girls in sequins, maribou feathers and other bling, most with boobs out. I had seen a similar show a few years ago when I first went to Paris…I don’t remember there being that many boobs out, and the girls were a bit more powerfully built then!!

Lundi 4 Janvier: Just a wander about Paris. We took in the Sorbonne and the Saint Sulpice church (as described in the Da Vinci code) and the Pantheon, where all sorts of famous frenchies are buried; Victor Hugo, Marie Curie, Monsieur Braille and Alexandre Dumas to name but a few. Then more bloody shopping.

Mardi 5 Janvier: on the TGV to Bordeaux. Very fast, about 200km/hr.

Wednesday (forgotten the french translation) 6th Janvier: off on our Wine tour, with Xavier, our french host. Unfortunately the day started with snow and the Bordelaise are not used to driving in it so we started a bit late. We drove around while Xavier explained to us about Bordeaux wine, the strict production process governed by strict rules. We learned about appelations, terroir, grand cru and that 2005 was a really good vintage. We visited some chateaux and learned about winemaking processes; now I know why they use egg whites in winemaking, and how they use the yolks (FYI to make pastries called Canalés which are really yummy). We found a new respect for the grapes, and the French who take their food and drink really seriously.

Today, just bumming around Bordeaux, off to Barcelona tomorrow.

Some random thoughts:

The food is sooooooo good here, even something as simple as bread and Jam tastes amazing. The portion sizes are much smaller here which probably goes some way to explaining zhy the frenchies don’t pork up the way we do. A couple of nights ago, we went to a restaurant called L’Entrecote, basically all they had there was steak, thinly sliced? drowned in Butter and Garlic, served with plentiful frites. So to undo all the delicious damage, we went to a wine bar to partake of red wine and dark chocolate, strictly for medicinal purposes.

Not having learned French at school, we have had to make use of the French phrasebooks and we have had great fun speaking it; it is such a fun language to bastardise!! Naturally I am very good at asking for food.

Youse may have heard of the cold snap affecting Europe. Thus far this has precluded running (tthe temp has averaged 0°C) but we have been walking everywhere so getting a lot of exercise.

The shopping OMG!!!! It is sooooo good here and every 2nd shop sells shoes!! I have already spent the GDP of a small african nation. To keep myself honest, I admit I have bought 2 pairs of boots, a jacket, some Christian Dior makeup, some shirts, 2 jumper dresses, angora tights, leggings and socks…..Ian has had a quiet word with me and the limiting factor is the suitcase size and finances!

Until next time…..