Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The longest twelfth night!

Well, I've eventually gotten to finish the book. It's not that I didn't enjoy it. I did, much to my surprise. The last time I read Shakespear, Miss Faye was droning on and on...... It's just that other cultural pursuits like Grey's Anatomy and Desperate Housewives kept getting in the way.
I didn't understand every single line of it, but I didn't worry about that. I just went along with the poetry of the words and got the general sense of the language. Olivia certainly didn't play hard to get! She decided she wanted Sebastian and met him....with a priest in tow! There was no way he was getting away. Go Girl!
There were quite a few quotes that I recognised. The most famous being
If music be the food of love, play on
Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrown upon them.
One quote that struck a chord with me because of its relevance to todays society is
What great ones do, the less will prattle of-
I wonder if Shakespeare was alive today would he be writing for the tabloids???

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I am back in the land of technology! Things were bad enough when I was physically blocked into my house because of the ice. Then disaster struck. My computer crashed....completely. I lost all my files. I just got it back today...and my camera decided to go on the blink. It refuses to open its shutter. Now I'm afraid to touch anything. I'm very wary about going to the loo!
I continued on my mission to do all it suggests in the book. I decided to try the Cabbage Diet. Because of the wind factor I figured it would be better to try it while I wasn't in contact with anyone who still had the sense of smell. I have to admit I couldn't face having it for breakfast. I had it for lunch and dinner on two consecative days. I couldn't follow it for any longer. Its not that it tasted that bad but it was very bland. On the plus side, I lost 1kg over the two days. So I suppose if you were desperate to lose weight.
I had a fab, apetitising photo of it but I lost it in the Great Crash. Oh, oh. Maybe thats what caused my computer to crash!!!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

First visitor of the year

This post is a little later than intended. In the book, under the section on New Year's Eve, it talks about Hogmanay. It says that the first visitor to your house in the New Year should be male and darkhaired ....and bearing a gift. If he is, then you will have a year of good luck. I figure that if such a hunk should arrive at my house at any time I would be extremely lucky!
I have just had my first visitor . Now, I like to think the delay is because of the Narnia-like conditions outside which make travelling to my remote house very difficult, not because I am a Norma No Mates!!!
I have changed my bin-collection company, so Patsy arrived yesterday with details of what I had to do.
Male: tick
Dark: he was bald, so he may have been darkhaired in the 80s
Bearing gifts: Do two wheelie bins count???

Thursday, January 7, 2010

6th Jan: Epiphany

Santa and Rudolf wave goodbye as they retire to the attic for another year.

"Epiphany needs to be circled in your diary as decorations, trees, Santas and so on absolutely must come down by today. Any later and you will get a year of bad luck, and no tinsel is worth this risk"
A Girl for all Seasons

As I have been confined to the house because of artic contitions outside, this was an easy assignment to finish, Cabin fever has a lot to answer for!
Before and after

Twelfth Night

According to "A Girl for all Seasons" the cultural way to commemorate the twelfth day after Christmas would be to re-read William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. I have started it but as I haven't read any Shakespeare since Leaving Cert in school it will take me a while.
Confession time :- I bought a school textbook copy that has all the explanations down the side of the page. I am really enjoying it, much to my surprise. The last time I was too focused on what might come up in the exam. Now I can appreciate it as a piece of drama.
Will comment further when I get it finished!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Father of fairytales

Jan 4th: Jacob Grimm, father of fairytales was born. Read Sleeping Beauty in his honour.

I have taken part in enough pantos in my life to appreciate a good old fairytale. For some unknown reason I seem to have been typecast as the wicked stepmother/queen. No idea why!
This is a photo from Leixlip Musical and Variety Group's production of Snow White in 2008. I was given the part of a vain, conceited older woman who tries to poison the younger, prettier opposition. I mean, I had nothing to work with!!!
I looked up Sleeping Beauty on the internet and it made for very interesting reading. In the original story the prince raped the princess while she was in her coma and she became pregnant. She gave birth to twins. One of them sucked the flax from her finger and she woke up. However her problems were only beginning. The princes's wife discovered what had happened. She ordered them to be killed and served up for dinner. Luckily a kind chef (obviously not Gordon Ramsey) took pity on them and served up three animals disguised by some sauce..some very special sauce. They escaped and all lived happily ever after.
A story based on rape, adultery and cannibilism.Somehow I can't see Disney filming that version!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Cabbage Soup Diet

Something I've heard about but never attempted, even in my capacity as a professional dieter, is the Cabbage Soup Diet. Seeing as it's in the book, I'll give it a try.


3 large onions

1 large green pepper

1 head of celery

1/2 of a dark green cabbage

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1 pack of onion soup mix

3 vegetable stock cubes

To make:

Cut all veg into small pieces, or blend. Place in a saucepan with all the other ingedients, cover with water, season and simmer until vegetables are soft.

It says to eat this for the week. However a major side effect is flatulence!! Now I'm really worried, especially after my recent encounter with Daisy.

Daisy is Marese (my sister-in-law)'s Westie. I was sitting beside her (Daisy, not Marese!) on the couch one evening, casually watching telly. Suddenly there was a whiff of something vile! I nearly passed out. Marese explained that she had been feeding her some leftover turkey and hence the digestion problems. Seriously, if George Bush was still in power and got a whiff of that, he would invade us as well, looking for weapons of mass distruction!

I don't want to end up in the dog house along with Daisy, so I'll just try the cabbage for one day. Just stand up-wind from me!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

How to diet and detox

How to diet and detox

This is very familiar territory to me. I've been looking over my old diaries and I've spotted a common theme among my Jan 1st entries.

1980: Went for a walk today. I have to lose 1/2 stone.

1990: This is the decade that I reach my ideal weight.

2000: Can't believe that I'm still trying to lose weight.


In fact I've been losing and gaining the same 7 lbs for that past 30 years. In total I have lost the equiviliant of a Victoria Beckham. (What am I talking about? I've lost the entire Spice Girls!)
I honestly thought that losing weight would not be one of my usual resolutions this year as I have eventually been successful in losing a full stone in the past year. I then got lots of chocolates from the children in my class as Christmas presents. But my willpower was strong. I put them under the Christmas tree (the chocolates, not the children) and promised myself that I would give them out to the kids as treats next term. Of course this is purely because I am such a thoughtful teacher..not because I am thinking of my hips.
Then disaster struck! The weather was so bad over the hols that I was house bound for a couple of days. I lay lounging on the couch in front of the telly....within arm's length of the tree and the chocs. Just lets say that the children won't be getting as many treats as they should!
So a few weeks of detoxing won't go amiss.
In "A Girl for all Seasons" the author lists the top diets worth trying, and I've tried most of them during my dieting career...Atkins, GI, GL, Weight Watchers, you name it I've done it. My favourite is a combination of Low GI/GL. So I'll do that.
But as any dieter worth her weight in salt knows, you never start a diet on Saturday, always wait til Monday!

Friday, January 1, 2010

A Girl for all seasons

A couple of months ago I was having a (slightly drunken) conversation with a friend of mine. She was telling me all the things that she wanted to do in the coming year. When she asked me what I would like to do, nothing jumped out at me. Yes of course I am game to do most things when someone suggests them. But I suddenly realised that I was just drifting along and hoping that adventures would somehow happen.
So I decided that all that would change this year….but I still had no major ideas. Then I found a book “A Girl for all Seasons” by Camilla Morton gathering dust with all my other self-help books! It goes through the year and tells about events that happened on particular dates and also gives suggestions about things to do. Great! Now I don’t even have to come up with my own ideas.

January 1st How to blog it.
My first challenge is to start a blog.
Fair enough, but what will I write about?
Pretty obvious really, write about trying to do all the things mentioned in the book, doh!

So here I am. I thought it would be easy enough as I have kept a diary since I was 15. Seeing as that was many years ago, it is now of “War and Peace” proportions. However this is proving more difficult than I thought. A diary is very personal (unless you’re someone like Katie Price) whereas with a blog I’m writing for an audience… well maybe! I remember being terrified that someone would find and read my angst-riddled diary. Now I’m more afraid that no-one will bother to read this.
Ah well it’s a personal challenge anyway, so here goes!