Sunday 28 December 2008

pigged out...

Well, thats another Christmas over and done with...

I guess I have finally grown up, as for the first time in years I have gone to bed on Christmas Eve and didnt hear Santas sleigh bells...

...Im quite distraught, next people will be telling me he doesnt really exist! But I know that wouldnt be true as I was tracking Santa and the Internet guys wouldnt lie about that ;o).

This Christmas I have pigged out big style...

On Christmas Eve we went to Frankie & Bennys it describes itself as a 50's style US diner, James describes it better as a poor version of Hard Rock Cafe, the meal itself was nice I had meatballs with penne pasta (think decent meatballs but not the misshapen ones that Ive made on previous occasions ;o)) and for dessert I had their rather scrummy cinnamon waffle crunch (the crunch being toffee crunch pieces) I also had half or rather most of James chocolate trio cheesecake (not three mini cheesecakes as the name suggests but one piece with three layers of chocolate) which was also rather scrummy. I also had a Tia Maria coffee to finish it was served in the same way as an Irish Coffee.

Christmas Day itself started and finished well ;o)

I had finished a 75cl bottle of Peach Bellini by lunchtime (it would have gone flat otherwise).

For breakfast I had two pork and chilli sausages (out of a bag of 18 I bought from the Farmers Market (that reminds me I better bag some of them up and put them in the freezer) - I had to stock up as they are on holiday for two weeks now and they had a special offer on too 16 for £10.00) and a fried egg with two slices of toast.

I think my favourite part of the Christmas dinner has to be the trimmings (ie stuffing, roast potatoes and yorkshire pudding (and according to some people you dont have that for Christmas dinner - well I do), I dont really worry about having vegetables with my dinner that day (they would take up too much room (on my plate as well as in my tummy) that could be better filled ;o)).

I have to admit I am one of the people that advertisements on tv are aimed at and yes I do get seduced by them...
...the latest one to get me was the Marks & Spencer advert with Michael Parkinson and how his wife wanted the Christmas Pudding Cheesecake. I saw the aforementioned Cheesecake and it is 1.4 kilogrammes of loveliness. I was umming and ahhing about whether to buy it and decided to go for it (afterall as James said "Christmas is only once a year"). It is supposed to serve 14 portions (but are they all to be eaten by one person ;o)) and me and James will be finishing it off tonight.

As I usually do I cooked too much (on purpose rather than because "my eyes are bigger than my belly"), so I could eat the rest of the roast potatoes, stuffing and yorkshire pudding cold over the next couple of days. I ate the last wodge of stuffing yesterday after I ate my lunch.

I have also gotten into eating mince pies, I think we have one left so me and James will be fighting over who gets to eat that tonight ;o).

The shops were really busy last week (anyone would think it is Christmas). I walked to the big Sainsburys a couple of afternoons after I ate my lunch to get out of the house and the aisles were really busy, luckily I was just there ambling rather than to do some proper shopping. On one of the afternoons there was a "Poor old dear" reading her shopping list with a magnifying glass (I guess if she had been there any other day then she could have got a shop worker to help her get her shopping).
I ended up paying for my bits at the self service tills on both days as the tills all had at least one person waiting.
I weighed myself this morning (having not weighed myself for two weeks), and knew the weight gain would be substantial (I had a figure in my head of eight pounds but was expecting a lot worse), and was pleasantly surprised that it was only eight pounds woohoo ;o).
I guess riding the excercise bike every day has helped ;o)

Monday 22 December 2008

Were you expecting a John Lewis hamper?

To say the diet has gone out of the window would be an understatement ;o)

On Tuesday we had our Christmas lunch at Loch Fyne it was really nice. As I always do when chosing what I want to eat, I work my way from the dessert backwards. The chocolate orange tart was so nice I had two pieces! For main course I had duck with roast parsnips and for starters I had game terrine.

To drink we had champagne, white wine and port...

...I have to admit I was a bit squiffy and had to stop myself from falling asleep on my way home, luckily the train I caught was only going as far as Braintree (our trains can go as far as Peterborough!) so at least I would have still been in Essex.

I got a text message from James Tuesday morning asking if I was expecting a hamper from John Lewis? To which I said no, anyhow halfway through the lunch my colleague Alan gets a call from his wife saying that he had received a hamper too, at least that solved the question as to who it was from ;o).

To continue my "I'm only working half of December" ethos I had Thursday & Friday off. James suggested that we stay overnight in a hotel in London and have a meal in Chinatown. We stayed at a Best Western Hotel which was right by Chinatown.

The meal was really nice I ended up having a sizzling beef with ginger & spring onions and boiled rice (in a veiled attempt to be healthy) but then had banana fritters (they were truly scrummy).

Poor James (like most blokes) really hates going shopping, by lunchtime he was getting really fed up with all the walking about so we went to Pret A Manger (an upmarket sandwich shop) and we both went for the soup.

I must say Ive started to worry that Im turning middle class because...
  • Ive started eating posh soups and enjoying them
  • I have been buying my underwear in single pairs as opposed to packs of five
  • buy my biscuits in Fortnam & Masons
  • buy my clothes in Marks & Spencers & Next instead of Primark
  • I read Daily Mail as opposed to the Sun
  • Im a member of a chocolate tasting club
  • buy some organic food
...I can counteract all that because I enjoy eating peanut butter & cheese and onion crisps sandwiches (yes both together) phew what a relief ;o)
On Friday morning on our way home we went into Hamleys and bought a Steiff bear in a suitcase, he has been looking very cagey and has been using the pc (I have a feeling he may be writing his own blog ;o)).
On Thursday its Christmas Day (and yes I'm very excited), I'll be leaving a glass of diet cola and a cinnamon swirl out. My hes tastes have changed...
...when I was little he liked a glass of Irish Cream and a slice of Christmas Cake ;o).
Ill also be tracking Santa and Ill be leaving a pillowcase at the bottom of our bed to see what presents Ill be getting ;o).
Merry messy Christmas!

Sunday 14 December 2008

Souper Douper

Im not normally someone who likes soups, but a few weeks ago I saw that the New Covent Garden Soup Company was doing a Choc full of Beans soup which was a chili bean soup with rice and a touch of chocolate, that sounded really nice so I bought it and put it in the freezer.

Anyhow on Thursday I got the soup out of the freezer to have for my lunch (I was using up yet more of my holiday), and to my surprise it was really nice. So nice that when out shopping this morning I bought another two cartons of soup...

This time I have gone for their "Soup of the Month" Chicken Vegetable & Pearl Barley and Toulouse Sausage & Puy Lentil.

Next Ill be appreciating the bouquet in a bottle of 1962 Pinot Grigio, well maybe not ;o)...

I had the Friday off also to ruin James' first day of his redundancy.

On Tuesday we have our Christmas lunch at Loch Fyne, I even treated myself to a nice purple top to wear from Next (Im just showing off that I can now fit into stuff from Next ;o)).

My Mum has been reading my blog (hello Mum) and she said that I look thin in the photos. This doesnt sound like the Mum I know and love so it must be true as she never normally says nice things like that ;o).

While buying the fruit yesterday to juice they didnt have any cheap plums so I bought a punnet of kiwi fruit instead (having apples, grapes and kiwi) the concoction was quite nice and is a dull green sludge colour.

We were in Starbucks yesterday, we were really surprised that they gave us a present of two mugs with two chocolate bars in them. They said they were giving presents to their "regular regulars". We were really touched by this, I guess the fact that we are friendly with them and bring in sweets sometimes has meant that we are recognisable. They even know our orders ;o)...

...James sticks with the same thing day in day out (Americano with whipped cream) but I'm always having different things, mind you the drink is always non fat ;o).

In Marks and Spencers yesterday I bought some chipolatas wrapped in bacon to have (I have only ever seen cocktail sausages done in this way). Im sure they are going to be scrummy.

I weighed myself this morning and was well chuffed to have lost two pounds, that was despite the bits I ate last week and the bread and butter pudding I bought on Thursday (I have had a quarter each night).

I only have another five pounds to go to get to where I was before the holiday ;o).

Monday 8 December 2008

Deliveries of the Present kind

Last week I had Monday and Tuesday off using up more of this years holiday.

I didnt get upto anything just walked into town on the Monday and got my train tickets to extend my monthly ticket to Liverpool Street for Wednesday & Thursday. And on the Thursday I walked to Asda for a look around...

The remainder of this week (yes I had to go to London on the Friday too ;o)), was spent wrapping, delivering and sending presents to our brokers.

Wednesday and Thursday wasnt too bad as I spent the time wrapping up 74 diecast dumper trucks, the afternooon was then spent starting to deliver them.

Friday was the killer...

...I worked out that I walked up and down 21 flights of stairs during the day, in my quest to be healthy I didnt use the lift in our building.

Friday was also the last day to post to South America before Christmas and a few of the presents had to be sent there. I just managed to send most of them off by the end of the day (dont you just love it when things are left to the last minute).

On the plus side of being in London I did get to look at all the posh shops that you dont get in Romford, and I did manage to buy a couple of Christmas presents too (one being for myself from James ;o)).

I also got to see our new office too that everyone will be moving into (only five of us) by the end of January next year. Its really nice and you need a fob to get in the office and theres a door release button to press when you want to leave. How posh is that (as they say little things please little minds ;o)).

I managed to have some nice lunches too, theres one sandwich shop Birleys where they will do half sandwiches for you using one slice of bread. I love their half a lamb sandwich (it always sounds like your being really greedy too ;o)).

On the way back from one trip out I saw a sandwich shop selling Chili Con Carne with rice, I thought yeah I could go for that (what with it being cold and all), so when I was getting some mango & papaya in Marks I saw on their Food to Go counter they were doing Chili. As I didnt have the energy to go elsewhere I plumped for the Marks' one and shock of all shocks it was a ready meal! It was nice enough though and warmed me through ;o).

I havent weighed myself this week as when I went into Tesco to get a few bits on Saturday morning the scales werent on (I took that as a sign that I neednt bother ;o)).

Sunday me and James went to Gordon Ramsays Taste of Christmas, it was really good...

The ticket price included a cooking demo show with the man himself which was good and not too much swearing either ;o).

There were restaurants (his ones were there for the whole four days) selling tasters of their food (typically some of the ones I fancied werent there on the Sunday), but I still got to try some nice food.

I think the favourite thing I had was Sticky Toffee Pudding with Caramel Sauce from The Narrow it was absolutely scrummy and the nicest savoury thing I had was Pork Belly with Spiced Apple Puree from Maze, the portions were really tiny, I ended up having two savoury things and two desserts to use up the currency (20 crowns each worth £10.00) we got with our tickets (I'm glad that I didnt buy extra when I bought the tickets).

There were loads of exhibitors there with samples too and me being me I headed straight for the chocolate ones, I could have kept going back in different disguises to eat all of their samples ;o) but I composed myself.

This morning I was doing my juice and decided to add a kiwi to my concoction (apples, grapes and plums) it really added something to it making it even yummier ;o).