Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Current work: Cherish romance (aka M&B #57 - working title 'Me and You and a Dog Named Baloo')
Listening to: Muse, George Harrison and Rihanna (yes, really – ‘California King Bed’ is gorgeous AND it has proper guitars, so kudos to littlest for spotting that this would work for me as a black moment song)
Reading: Eliza Graham, The History Room (enjoying) and Jojo Moyes, The Girl You Left Behind
Gym: Cardio (yesterday was a kick-ass weights workout - very pleased that I bench-pressed a 25kg barbell. Obviously can do more than that on a Smith machine, but free weights are better because it involves using your core for balance)

I am SO thrilled. My ed likes the work I did on Book 56 – so I’m delighted to announce that she’s bought it and ‘Her Real Family Christmas’ will be out in November 2013 in UK, US and Aus. Littlest and I will be going to choose the Pandora bead to celebrate it on Saturday (and we’re going to DH’s best friend’s for a barbecue, so methinks a decent bottle of wine is in order as well). Colour me happy!

Friday, April 26, 2013

spring is sprung?

Current work: Cherish romance (aka M&B #57)
Listening to: Chopin
Reading: Eliza Graham, The History Room (enjoying) and Jojo Moyes, The Girl You Left Behind
Gym: Cardio

It’s been a nice week. Well, until today, when it’s raining. But it’s been lovely having warm, sunny days. And seeing the new leaves come out. (This is in our back garden.)

What have I been up to this week? At the gym, I was brave on Wednesday and did some HIIT intervals on my own. Yesterday was a 1-2-1 focusing on upper body (can feel it in my shoulders today). And today was pyramid on the cross-trainer (as in start on a high level, drop one level each minute, then go back up again – I tend to do a double pyramid to fit a 20-minute session), intervals on the stepper, and run/walk intervals on the treadmill. Didn't do as well as I planned on the treadmill because I’m really tired today.

The diet? Well… it was nice to stuff my face with fresh pineapple and peaches earlier in the week, and I’ve also had a new-to-me food – rye bread. It’s not the pumpernickel type; it’s more like a dense wholemeal bread, and I’m quite tempted to try making my own. (Will also have to make normal bread, or there will be complaints from the other three members of the household. Dog doesn’t care, but he does like walking round with a bit of bread. He doesn’t eat it – just carries it. Daft spaniel.) Drinking all the water has been quite hard. And not having any hot drinks all week has been a bit of a killer for me – I did crack this morning, and that one cup of coffee was SO nice. I only have one cup of proper coffee a day anyway, so although I don’t think I’m addicted to caffeine, I do seem to function better with it. And I think I should allow myself a cup of tea in the afternoon, too.

The book – seems to be going OK, touch wood.

So how are things with you? (Or, if I can do a Joey Tribbiani… ‘How you doin’?’)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Mixing it up a bit

Current work: Cherish romance (aka M&B #57)
Listening to: Beethoven
Reading: Eliza Graham, The History Room (enjoying) and Jojo Moyes, The Girl You Left Behind
Gym: Cardio intervals and kettlebells (I am going to feel it tomorrow)

Mixing the diet up a bit after my pal Michelle Styles told me about Haylie Pomroy's diet in the Times at the weekend; very interesting reading. Right now, I'm in a place where I can experiment, and I was intrigued by the idea - to me it looks like interval eating/carb cycling, so I’ll give it a week’s trial and see how it goes (i.e. I want 1lb off and for it to be sustainable - if I'm hungry, grumpy or can't think straight on any of the phases, then it's back to eating sensibly and counting calories).

One of her edicts is that you have to drink 1oz of water for every 2lb of body weight (and I did check she meant UK fluid ounces and not US – they’re slightly different). Yikes. And no coffee. No wheat, no caffeine and no soy I can live with; no dairy might be harder. There are points in the day when I really want a proper cup of tea. And as I like mine very weak and milky… yeah. Rice milk is not going to work for me, there!

So, the meal plan for today: breakfast = oats, blueberries and raspberries; morning snack = peach; lunch = lentil soup, prawns, salad and quinoa; afternoon snack = fresh pineapple; dinner = chicken with apple, with lots of veg and some basmati rice, followed by a mix of pomegranate, peach and fresh pineapple. Yum. Much higher in carbs than I would normally eat (and OMG, sugar...), lower in protein, but the cals work out pretty much the same. Phase two is a bit tougher (basically protein and green veg); and phase three looks very like my normal eating plan, i.e. lots of oily fish and lean protein, veggies, low-GI carbs and a little bit of fruit (I normally go for low-sugar, high-anthocyanin fruits). Plus I have new recipes to play with, so I'm good to go :)

FINALLY finished the revisions, so it’s back to work on my dog-trainer and actor book. The sun is shining, my washing’s on the line, the birds are singing madly, the dog is snoring next to me, and all’s right with the world…

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

wot gorilla?

Current work: revisions on Med (aka M&B #56)
Listening to: Bach (though it could be Genesis – bonus points if you spot the reference in today’s title)
Reading: Eliza Graham, The History Room (enjoying)
Gym: HIIT circuits – loved it, even the burpees! Personal best of 250m in 58 sec on the rower. (Yesterday's was pyramid training on the elliptical, a run, and I barely made the interval training on the stepper because I'd pushed myself that hard - which is just what I wanted to do.)

I am turning into a bit of a gym gorilla, and today there was proof in the car park, right next door to me :o)

Still struggling on with the revisions. This is clearly going to be my ‘shut up and get on with it’ week. But I do have dance class to look forward to tonight – our last Wednesday one as the groups are merging. Also my last 121 session with one of my very favourite trainers, as she’s moving on – am sure she will do brilliantly at her new gym because she’s such a sweetheart and you only realise at the end of the session how much she’s pushed you.

And I need to work on my plan for world domination :o) (Actually, that means crank up my training on my cardio days; finish these bloody revisions so I can get on with the two other books dancing round in my head; and do a little research to convince my lovely GP to try an experiment. Not saying any more about it here, but I was smiling from the wrists up on Monday. Still. I'm articulate, so I can fix it.)

Monday, April 15, 2013

sunshine - and utter frustration

Current work: revisions on Med (aka M&B #56)
Listening to: Mozart
Reading: Eliza Graham, The History Room (enjoying)
Gym: not today :o( - but I did get a long walk at the beach yesterday!

Fabulous day yesterday – it was the warmest day of the year, so we headed for Wells-next-the-Sea, aka my favourite place.

And we had lunch while sitting on the harbour wall – this is the view. Glorious, or what?

No gym today - hospital appointment instead. Did I get any answers? Nope. The endocrinologist has no idea why it isn't working, either. But she did say (a) do NOT do the 5:2 any longer, (b) working out and eating properly has staved off diabetes (I knew that one already, but not that I had other signs of it), and (c) keep going and don't stress about it as I'm in good shape and weight isn't the only factor to look at. So. Do you keep on a-troshin', as they say in my part of the world. (Dialect. It means 'keep plodding on'.) I have to admit I feel a bit let down - I was so hoping for an answer. Just knowing WHY it isn't working would take away the frustration. Still. Big bright smile, and keep going.

Beginning of term today – eldest’s last term in school uniform. Dog is immensely whiny (as he always is after the holidays, missing his playmates). Feels very strange to have a quiet house again! Still – it’s needed as I have a ton of work to do.

Friday, April 12, 2013

decisions, decisions..

Current work: revisions on Med (aka M&B #56)
Listening to: daughter playing Adele on the piano (!)
Reading: Eliza Graham, The History Room (enjoying)
Gym: 121 session, upper body

Am being a hopeless blogger. I’m not even sure how many people even read blogs nowadays – my gut feeling is that people tend to use facebook (where I post most days) or Twitter (where I’m hopeless, but could be prodded). So from now on this blog is going to reflect pretty much what I post on FB, unless there’s something big happening or unless my readers tell me they want blogs. (But, seriously – if I’m thinking up things to put on here, then I’m not writing the book, and which would you rather have?)

Made another big decision this week regarding the diet. I have been doing the 5:2 and was pleased with the initial success. However – the diet doesn’t really suit me. I get cold (which is SO not me), grumpy (again, not usual, and not very fair on DH and the kids), and can’t think straight or focus properly (which is wrecking my work). Now, if I was losing weight consistently, I might put up with the negatives – but putting weight on last week after one meal with friends (which actually wasn’t that bad in the scheme of things and was nowhere even close to the 10,000 calories it would take to put on 3lbs - in fact I'd say I ate less than 2k that day) and then losing ¼ lb this week after trying three fast days to see if I could remove last week's damage… no. Just no. If I’m going to plateau, I’d rather it was while eating sensibly and exercising properly and being happy, y'know?

So. Pressure off. (And am still hoping that the endocrinologist will have some answers for me on Monday. I’m doing all the right things but not getting the results I would expect. If I knew why it wasn't working, it would take away a lot of the frustration. I am, however, not giving up on the Kate Unlardy project. It just might take me longer than my original planned two years.)

Righty. Back to revisions on the treacle book. And then I can get back to writing the book I’m dying to write next!

And I’ll leave you with a pic – today’s hair is caffe latte.

We were going to put some caramel streaks in it as well, but now the red is out and we don’t have to bleach it before the colour goes on, we can see what it really looks like – and I quite like it.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

churches and the seaside

Current work: revisions on Med (aka M&B #56)
Listening to: Beethoven
Reading: next on TBR

I took a few days off at Easter to spend with DH and the kids. Despite a bitter easterly wind (i.e. straight from Siberia to Norfolk), we managed to get out and about. We saw Wreck-It Ralph at the cinema on Friday (and then went out to lunch - ha, I can do lunch out on fast days if I'm careful about my order).

On Saturday we did a quick recce to see where our new dance class will be held, later this month (the classes are merging as several people have dropped out of our class, owing to illness). On the way back, we did a little church-crawling, and I was very taken by this gorgeous peacock mosaic at the altar in Hingham.

We had friends over on Sunday (aka eating too much, drinking too much and laughing too much) and I’m highly envious as DH’s best friend’s daughter is going on a dig, this summer. (I will be grilling her and begging to see photos!)

And on Monday we headed off to the seaside. Just for a change, we went over the county border to visit Southwold, in Suffolk.

Thanks to the wind, it was slightly too cold for ice cream (OK, I did suggest it, but Grumpy Teen and Teen-to-Be informed me that it was wayyyy too cold for ice cream – they wanted hot chocolate, and my skinny latte definitely hit the spot). But it was a nice walk, and I always love seeing the beach huts – so pretty.

What did you do over Easter?