Tuesday, April 7, 2015

21 reasons why I never lose weight

1. Easter. Hot cross buns and chocolate. Enough said.
2. Children/grandchildren. Preparing three meals a day. Eating up leftovers.
3. Being an ex-smoker. Still need oral gratification - vaping invented too late.
4. City breaks. Ensaimadas for breakfast. Pintxos for lunch.
5. Heartbreak. Losing friends, relations, trust, sense of  proportion = comfort eating.
6. Eccles cakes. All those currents. Surely count as one of my five-a-day?
7. Summer barbecues. Bangers, beer and burgers.
8. Boredom. What’s in the cupboard? Ooh, peanut butter. And crisps.
9. Wine.

10. Great British Bake Off. I’d like to bake a pineapple upside down cake. Now I’ll eat it.
11. Marriage. To a man who likes a little snackette. And three square meals a day.
12. Halloween. Pumpkin pie and Haribos.
13. Great British weather. Carbs help keep out the chill.  
14. Sunday lunch. Yorkshire puddings and roast potatoes.
15. Christmas. Mince pies and brandy butter.
16. Rows (leading to fridge raiding) and reconciliations (let’s drink to that).
17. Wedding Anniversary. Maybe roses, definitely chocolates. 
18. Valentine’s Day. Ditto.
19. Mother’s Day. Ditto but from offspring.
20. Birthday. Ditto – from everybody.
21. Oh look – it’s Easter again ….

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Sandwich anyone?

Like many women today I am part of the so-called sandwich generation – caught in the middle between the need to look after elderly relatives, my own children and now, increasingly, their children.
So I read with interest this account in the Daily Mail. 

What I felt most, however, was not sympathy for the hard-pressed mum in the middle but surprise that her mother’s carers had on several occasions fed the old dear sandwiches made from mouldy bread.

I have power of attorney for my 93-year-old uncle – the sole survivor of those in my family who lived through the last war. Now housebound following a stroke, heart attack and a long stay in hospital where he caught a series of life-threatening bugs but still, somehow, pulled through, he has carers coming in four times a day.  

They do his washing, change his sheets, see to his catheter, get him up, put him to bed, make sure he takes his medicines, wash him, shave him, make him cups of tea and give him three meals. It costs – but it’s still cheaper than going into a care home which is something he refuses to consider anyway.

I am grateful that I am not expected to perform any of the above tasks but making sure that there is always enough food in the fridge and freezer is a constant worry, especially since I live a one and half hour drive away.

The main problems are caused by use-by or best before dates. The carers have been trained never to use anything that is out of time. Never mind that the tomatoes look, feel and smell fine. Ditto the ham slices. Or the apples. Or the cheese.

If something’s past the best before or use by date, it goes in the bin.

I’ve taken to unwrapping as much as possible so that they are forced to use their eyes, noses and commonsense. But that doesn’t work for everything.

They won’t even use stale bread for toast – let alone for sandwiches. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Joy of Specs

Someone recently announced to a room full of journalists that varifocal glasses are more hip-replacement than hipster. 

Admittedly they were promoting the benefits of a new type of contact lens, but their throwaway remark hit home. For, dear reader, I have been wearing varifocals for some years now.

The new contact lenses are, admittedly, impressive. Not only do they help with presbyopia – the inevitable change in eyesight that comes as we get older, causing problems when reading menus and threading needles – but they are also made of a material that is much kinder to older eyes, which tend to be dryer than younger ones. 

So this makes the new Biotrue lenses more comfortable to wear.

Indeed, two people of a certain age who were at the launch and tried out the lenses there and then were suitably impressed. So impressed that I volunteered to have the optician on hand check my eyes to see if I’d be a suitable candidate too.

Sadly the answer was ‘no’.

As well as myopia (short sight) and presbyopia (the loss of the ability to focus close up), I have astigmatism (my eye isn’t a perfect curve).
And the lenses can’t correct that – although manufacturers Bausch + Lomb say they are working on ones that will.

So specs it is then.   And it’s not so bad, honestly. Even with lenses I don’t think anyone would find me remotely hipster. 


When it comes to the gory/scary bits in films I can just look over the top of my specs instead of having to close my eyes. And glasses disguise those late night under-eye bags and shadows much better than lenses.