Friday, May 25, 2007

Chipboard Papdi

A couple of days ago I nipped into Tesco on my way home from work for a copy of Heat magazine. The magazine section is located right next to the doors and the tills, so this should have been a quick in-and-out exercise, over in less than a minute. However, I was a bit hungry (stupid time to enter a supermarket, just before tea – guaranteed hunger shopping of crappy ‘food’ items!) and my rumbling stomach pulled me inexorably down into the deepest, darkest, depths of the aisles in search of crud – er, food.

Wandering down one of the aisles I came across an Asian foods section. They had some weird stuff in there. And I don’t mean weird in terms of the food so much as weird in terms of the packaging. There were huge tin barrels of cooking oil, tubs of rice the size of a small child, enormous sacks of flour… blimey, buy in bulk or what!

Anyway, a five-year supply of vegetable oil couldn’t tempt me, but I did end up coming out of Tesco with a whole bagful of strange foodstuffs to try. There was a box of sticky baklava, the remains of which I shared out at work once I had pigged a few pieces myself, there was a packet of spiced nuts which topped my energy up before going to the gym on Wednesday… and yesterday I opened a box of – hmm – well, the box said it was something called Soan Papdi, and the pictures on the box looked like little cakes with pistachio nuts arranged prettily on top – but I swear I’ve bought a box of chipboard pieces! It looks like chipboard, it tastes like chipboard, albeit a somewhat sugary variety, and there’s even things in it that look like squashed insects. (I just hope these are the pistachios!)

I’ve bought the chipboard papdi into work today, but I’m just wondering whether anyone will ever speak to me again if I hand it round…?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Huff, Puff, Grunt

Gym day today. Me and Charles joined our local gym just before we went on holiday and, now that we are back, every Wednesday night is gym night. Today was our first ‘proper’ session. (We can’t really count the one before we went to Spain, as that was my first gym session in years, and Charles’ first in a while, so it was a somewhat half-hearted effort, curtailed by the fact that I needed to get home to watch Katie and Peter on ITV2!).

Anyway, today I decided I was going to really give it some welly! Charles sat there on the bike and did his stuff, barely appearing out of breath as he calmly got on with his normal routine, but I threw myself into it, gripping the bike handles tightly so that I could whizz the pedals round at a million revs per second without falling off my seat, huff-puffing and sweating, upping the level and speed every 5 minutes; then onto the rowing machine, which I had never used before and which Charles showed me how to use, whoosh whoosh whoosh; then thudding the running machine into submission for a good half hour, stomp stomp stomp; and also some press-ups and some stomach and back exercises in the middle of all that. Phroo! Sweaty! (I used Charles’ towel to mop my red, shiny face at one point… ewk, that was a mistake... it was horribly soggy with man-sweat!)

Remembering back a few years to when I was truly fit, how I got that way was a combination of two things: 1) always being late for college lectures and having to pedal my bike like billio to get there on time, finally flinging myself through the door in a sweating, gasping heap to collapse on the nearest empty chair (I bet everyone loved sitting next to me in lectures!) – and, 2) being so competitive that I could never allow another cyclist to overtake me, even lycra-clad athletic types on their shiny racing bikes. My short, girly legs would pump the pedals of my little mountain bike so fast that they almost went invisible, refusing to be beaten, having to overtake each person back, no matter how out of breath I got, no matter how much my legs hurt! Anyway, the net result of all that pushing myself to my limits on a several-times-daily basis was rock hard muscles and a superfit body. I want to be like that again! Not sure I can achieve it without setting up camp in the gym, mind you, but once a week is something and so I’m bloody well going to push myself while I’m there!

I must say, I do like having Charles’ company at the gym. He’s very good at making us get out and do stuff (if running/gym was left up to me I think I’d quickly find excuses not to go, I’m such a lazy moo!) and I’m always glad we've made the effort once I’m into an exercise session. It’s nice, too, having him come up and offer me water, or just having a bit of a chat between machines. And because he’s more of a gym bod than me, it’s useful to be able to ask him how to use the equipment, or what exercise I should do for a particular muscle group. He definitely makes exercise sessions more fun! Everyone should take a Charles to the gym!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

I Think I Need a Dishwasher

I hate washing dishes.

I can be something of a cleaning obsessive. I give my flat a major spring clean maybe once a month, manically hoovering, dusting, scrubbing, bleaching and cupboard-sorting until there is not a speck of dust to be seen, not a tin or bottle left facing the wrong way, not a piece of rubbish left unchucked…

And I like neatness to the point where every item and piece of furniture has to be arranged at precise right angles to each other, and precise distances from each other, and books have to be placed on their shelves in descending order of size, and I will notice if someone moves an ornament or a book even a millimetre out of place…

And, whilst my ‘to do’ pile is really more of a ‘still not done yet’ pile, and can occasionally grow into something rock climbers would be proud to scale, it is confined to one corner of the bedroom, behind the TV, where it can easily not be noticed…

So I think I would consider myself a pretty clean and tidy person.

So why is it then that I hate washing dishes to such an extent that they will sit in the kitchen for weeks, gathering pretty-coloured moulds and strange smells, piling higher and ever higher, and yet still I can’t face washing even one fork to eat my tea with? Occasionally I will even go out and buy paper plates and plastic cutlery just so I can avoid dirtying any dishes for a week or two, and have a nice clean kitchen. I even get a weird kind of thrill from throwing a dirty paper plate or plastic fork into the bin, as though I have somehow cheated the universe out of forcing its nasty, dirty dishes on me!

Alas today I can smell my dishes. From the hallway! I think I’d really better go and wash them!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Letter From the Queen

A couple of weeks ago my friend William held a birthday party for the Queen. We all dressed up in our best frocks and tiaras and waistcoats, and ate lots, and sang God Save the Queen (thanks to a judiciously printed songsheet, as I'm darned if I know the words!). The Queen wasn't present, obviously - I'm sure she had bigger and better places to spend her birthday than in William's kitchen - and I didn't think she had any clue whatsoever that us insignificant subjects even existed, let alone that we were birthdaying on her behalf.

Silly me! William thinks bigger than that! He wrote a letter to the Queen telling her about our party - and he's only gone and received a reply from Buckingham Palace! It's on royally headed paper and is signed by one of the Queen's Ladies in Waiting! Woo hoo!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

That's What Girls Like

Charles is a darling.

I woke up at 5.30 this morning, head full of sniffles, and nostrils full of those evil, twanging pixies, so I was very tired all day. On top of that, work was quite stressful... I'm preparing for two weeks off so there's lots to do to make sure things run smoothly when I'm not here, plus Boss Number 1 kept throwing unexpected work my way. I wanted to throw it back at her and shriek, "Nooo! Do it your flipping self!" But unfortunately I have my pay packet to think about so had to content myself with the merest little whine of an "Oh dear!" as I took it from her.

In between all this I was trying to chase up on hotels for our holiday, and none of the hotels had replied to any of my emails from yesterday. It was very frustrating. In spite of being in work so early this morning I stayed two hours late tonight trying to find decent hotels that had rooms available, emailing them, and chasing up on unanswered emails. And trying to do all this in Spanish!

Charles rang me at 5.30 to see how we were getting on with arrangements, and I swear he could hear my head throbbing through the phone! Anyway, he has taken over finding the remaining hotels for us, bless him. He'll get such a big snog when I next see him!

(Yes, that's what girls like! (in joke!) )