Sunday, 24 January 2010

Embracing the celery sticks and neo-Ludditism

Bloody hell it’s almost February. I can’t believe how fast January has flown by. So how are those New Year's resolutions coming along? Are you managing to keep them? Clearly I am doing oh so well on that resolution I made to update my blog more often in 2010. Ahem!! I also had lofty ambitions of not drinking for the month of January, but I really don't know what I was thinking with that one. It just wasn't realistic. I didn't even manage 2 days, which is quite pathetic isn't it? There I was making beef, ale & wild mushroom soup from the New Covent Garden Food Co's Book of Soups - delicious - and I’d added in the stock, the 8ounces of ale the beef and mushrooms and all was left to do was leave the whole shebang to simmer for an hour and 15minutes and clean up. I may as well just drink the 4ounces of left over ale I thought. I was halfway through it when I realised I wasn’t supposed to be drinking.


It was only 4oz, not a big deal and if it’s not wine – my tipple of choice – does it really count? However to be honest it’s been kind of a slippery slope from there on in so my resolution was quickly amended from not drinking to drinking in moderation. I was doing quite well on that one until brunch at Megan's last weekend when 6 of us polished off potent Bloody Mary's and half a dozen bottles of champagne over the course of the afternoon, including an odd almond flavoured champagne Megan had picked up at Trader Joe's. It was like drinking marzipan, and a bit too sweet for my taste, but I forced it down for the good of the team ;-)

Otherwise there’s not much doing. I’m busy at work as usual, but I am making a concerted effort to have more of a work/life balance this year and have renounced the Blackberry. It hadn’t been working so well and I brought it into the office to get it sorted, but ended up chucking it in my desk drawer to see what would happen if I stopped regularly checking my work emails of an evening at home to make sure nothing blew up and so far the sky has not fallen in and I am a much less stressed out employee because of it, so it’s all to the good. Of course I think the increase in gym going (5times a week so far) and all the endorphins whizzing around my system may well have something to do with my elevated mood. My limbs ache permanently, but in a good way and I’m thrilled to have lost 3 of the 6lbs I put on last year by exercising and cutting my calories to 1500ish/day. I have learned to love celery sticks and have definitely lost that dismaying sausage thighs feeling I had every time I put on my jeans!!

It’s all good anyway and generally I am feeling happier about 2010 than 2009 so far, although I am not at all happy about the pimple blooming on the end of my nose. Seriously, how is the Strategy Hottie ever going to fancy me when I have a giant zit on my face that makes me look like a witch? As you can tell my other new years resolution to wean myself off my smittenness with his handsome good looks is failing miserably. What's that you say? Why on earth am I even considering weaning myself off him? Why not just enjoy a harmless crush? Well you have a good point, but the thing is, just before Christmas I was extolling the virtues of Strategy Hottie to Miles who asked if I would send him a photo and well, I was absolutely horrified when I saw the photo he has posted on the company intranet. He looked about 22years old, admittedly an incredibly gorgeous 22year old, but still, 22years old which set me off pondering whether he really was that young or in the region of 30 as I’d initially thought!!! Not that it's likely my crush will be reciprocated, but the possibility of him being 22 bothered me immensely. I don't know about you, but there's nothing like finding out that I may well be old enough to have legally* given birth to my crush to put me right off him.

"Two words for you darling, cradle snatcher" said Miles when he saw the photo.


Anywayyyy the weaning was all going very well until I found myself squashed up very close to him in a crowded lift last Tuesday and my resolve completely failed me. My knees weren't far behind either. I was so close to him I could smell the laundry detergent he uses and well can I just say eau de Tide Fresh Scent has never smelled so sexy. I was a complete puddle!! Although you can't really blame me for having a moment of weakness in such a situation, it was the lustful equivalent of a recently reformed 20 a day smoker having 200 Benson & Hedges waved in their face.

On the positive side at least the consensus on his age has improved from 22/23 to 28/29ish so I am free to break my resolution and enjoy my crush. Phew, the relief is palpable, I'd been feeling like such a dirty old woman. He appears to be out this week anyway so while my days are not quite as enjoyable as they would be if he were around I am free to dress slovenly and cultivate my pimple. Not!!

And speaking of men, who should pop out of the woodwork last week but Catweazle!! He IM'd to wish me a happy new year and he misses me apparently. I didn't really know what to say to that so I left my response generically pleasant. Not that I don't miss him either from time to time, but....well I'm not sure exactly what he's after given all the time that's passed. Still he would have been very useful during my foray into the world of interior decoration over the last few weeks as he has a great eye for that type of thing. My apartment's been driving me crazy lately, but I decided that rather shell out the expense for a move - I've been pondering moving to Boerum Hill in Brooklyn - that I'd save money and instead rearrange the furniture to revamp the old place a bit with some new throw pillows. Actually Catweazle would probably still would be useful because I am not at all sure how to fasten my CB2 Helix shelf/desk thing to the wall. The jury is split on whether I need to anchor the shelf/desk thing to the wooden studs within the wall or just screw it directly into the dry wall screws. I would have assumed yes on the former, but my friend Nigel pondered why had provided dry wall screws as opposed to wood screws since surely if they had intended me to attach it to the wooden studs they would have included wood screws. Hmmmmm!!! He raised a valid point I thought, but then lost me when he babbled on about dry wall screws expanding or something while I pretended to listen before he finally admitted that he didn't really know what he was talking about, but if I needed someone to help me lift things and hold things still while I drilled holes in the wall then he was more than happy to oblige. So far the count is 2 for 2 with my Dad and one of my team members being of the opinion that I should screw the desk/shelf thingy into the wall studs or risk pulling the plaster down - goodbye second bedroom, helloooo through lounge - while in the other corner we have Debs (knows almost everything) and Nigel (knows almost nothing) who think I should be fine to drill straight into the dry wall. Hmmmm, personally I'm thinking I'm going to have to engage the services of a professional on this one.

*The age of consent in the UK is 16.

Friday, 1 January 2010

Happy New Year!!!

And.....I'm back in New York!! I flew in yesterday and was zonked out fast asleep come 11pm. I just couldn't make it through that last hour until midnight to see in the New Year. I was pure exhausted from getting up at 6am (1am NYC time) to pack a few last minute bits and pieces before getting the 9.52am train back down to London in time for my 4pm flight to NYC for which a lovely friend with airline connections managed to pull a few strings and get me upgraded to business class. Result!!! It was a vast improvement on the flight over to London, when I was sat at the back of the plane, one row from the loos next to a hefty bloke who kept trying to encroach on my space. Not fun. I wasn't planning to indulge in the vino on the plane, but how can you turn down the good stuff when you're unexpectedly upgraded to business class and it was New Year's Eve after all. I just couldn't bring myself to say no when the flight attendant asked "can I bring you a glass of champagne madam?" And the dish of prawns and lobster in a garlic sauce that I had for dinner was completely divine. The diet started today. I'm such a New Year's cliche!!

I'm not usually one for making weight loss resolutions for the New Year, since although I usually put on a couple of pounds over Christmas it doesn't bother me too much, as I know that after a couple of months of my normal routine of healthy eating and exercise I'll shift it, but this year I was completely horrified to discover on my annual weigh in at Miles' place - I don't own a scale preferring to just go by how my clothes fit, but I can never resist checking when I visit Miles at Christmas as I enjoy that smug feeling I get from confirming that yes, I've maintained my weight for another year - that I'd already put on 6lbs before the festive season had begun!! 6lbs!! I know that doesn't sound like a massive amount over the course of the year, but I haven't weighed more than 8stone 4 (116lbs) in over a decade, so to suddenly find myself weighing in at 8stone 10 was quite disturbing and it certainly put the mockers on over-indulging in the mince pies.

"Too much work, wine and not enough exercise my darling," said Miles.

He's not wrong there, especially the wine and exercise part. I used to be one of those disgustingly healthy people, in the routine of going to the gym every day, but this year my exercise regimen has been primarily carrying my gym kit back and forth to the office with good intentions of working out after work, but never actually making it. It didn't matter how many times I promised myself that after working late I would take a taxi to the gym near my apartment and work out on the arc trainer for 30minutes, it was always much more appealing come 9pm to take a taxi straight to my apartment and enjoy a nice glass of wine with my feet up in front of the telly!! Not anymore though. As of today Operation Muffin Top has commenced and I am going straight out to Bed Bath & Beyond tomorrow to buy one of those fancy scales that read and analyze my weight, fat, muscle mass and water retention and then goes into the kitchen and whips me up a nice egg white omelet!! Yup, it's all carrot and celery sticks for me for the next few weeks, although to be honest after 2 weeks of stodgy food and glasses of mulled wine I'm quite looking forward to a few salads. My high school friend Liz also challenged me to renounce the drink for the month of January, so I am doing my utmost to resist the mischievous bottles of Cabernet calling from the wine rack behind me.

Only 30 and a bit more days to go before I can have a glass ;-)