Exercise and a Diet That’s Wise (by )

Those who've been following will know that I am loosing weight - what is kind of weird is that I am still loosing weight even though I am now back up to the 1400 cals that I was eating before with binges of 1600. Of course it is not that weird, having lost a bit of weight, discovering in the process that I can't eat any wheat or barley etc... and having medication for headaches and what not and then the bleeding finally stopping. My pelvis finally settled down and most of the joint pain went so I can do stuff.

I've been running! Yes I know! Six months ago I was having to use the damn walking stick to walk into town and now I have little races with Jeany. I wish I could have done it before but I couldn't, I know because I was trying. Desperately. It took the combination of medication for under laying problems, getting equipment out of my own money that meant I could exercise without putting undue strain on the pelvis and could exercise at home so I could rest when needed, a 1000 cal diet for about 3 months during which time I was dizzy with white spots in vision, neaseatingly hungry and Mr McGrumpy Pants, and last but not least discovering that there was something else other than cow and soya that I was allergic/intollerant/having an immune response to.

To be honest I don't think I would have managed it without Al or the nurse or the money to eat properly and buy special equipment or if I'd had a full time job. In fact one of the things that became apparent to me was that everytime I have tried to go back to college I have become really ill again. It could just be the added strain but I don't think so because it was also taking me 2 weeks to recover from parties and the common factor was bread.

At home we didn't tend to eat it, but at parties there were sarnis and college there was packed lunches or bought sandwitches. I've done a couple of parties now without eating any wheat and it has not taken me two weeks to recover!

So this is all great, but you know I'm not actually that excited by the weight loss itself - what I am excited about is getting fit and doing stuff. So I am currently aiming to go to the climbing wall for a me climb once a month - and yes that is lame but it takes a while for my muscles to stop aching and being all fatigued enough to do a proper climbing session. It has been amazing to be able to climb again - I suck at it and it is frustrating because I remember being better but I think I'm doing well.

I have a Dr Who Walk/Run-athon which I am working my way towards and of course the exercise bike :)

Last night I did a 7 min work out with Alaric though I skipped a couple of the exercises though one of those was because I was still planking and this time I had to stop not because of my c-section scar or my stomach muscles but due to my shoulder! I did not even attempt the side planks but Al did.

(Shoulder is an old stunt biking accident - the same one where it turned out I'd broken my pelvis not that I knew it at the time).

Then we have the chin up bar - now I got this bar about 2 years ago and Al installed it and I was really trying with it. First off I couldn't even reach it with my hands, then I reached it and held on but couldn't lift my feet. Alaric on the other hand could bring his knees up to his chest but not do a pull up - we both wanted to do climbing again and it seemed like a good thing to train our upper body strength.

Eventually I managed to lift my feet off the ground - just a fraction. I was so excited though it really was nothing and it wasn't with my arms it was just trying to lift the legs using leg muscles and handing by my arms.

I am now 2 years later at the same point Alaric was in the beginning - I can pull my knees up to my chest and for the last 3 days I have been able to lift myself slightly with my arms. Yesterday I sung on the bar which was ACE, I lost my grip but did not crash to the ground but landed on my feet and my pelvis did not hurt! Stuff like this has been so painful for so long that mainly the last few months has been about testing limits. Amazingly I've only ended up with ouchy hip twice - though I am having a... erm... wee wee problem. I'm kind of just padding up and ignoring it and then showering as soon as I've had a run etc... TMI I am sure but I also know this is a problem a lot of women have and it needs to be talked about!

Alaric can now do 3 pull ups :)

I've caught up to him with the planking - now I need to do the same with the pull ups!

Also one day I would still like to do a full marathon - I had resigned myself that this was one life goal I could never reach but now very much I am starting to think it is back on.

Kind of should get some running shoes...

Anti-abortion protestors in Gloucester (by )

I nipped into the center of Gloucester at lunchtime today. Doing so takes me past Gloucester Royal Hospital, and on my way in, I saw two men outside the sexual health clinic clinic (Hope House), with a big banner on the railings reading "Pray to end abortion". Looks like it's made the local news: Women using Hope House reassured that an anti-abortion protest will not affect their treatment.

On the way back, standing in front of them was a woman holding up a bit of cardboard upon which had been written "YOUR BODY, YOUR CHOICE". I gave her a grin as I passed; one of the men was muttering something inaudible to her, and I heard her start to respond with "It's been shown in studies that...".

Is this going to get worse? Are we going to need a clinic escort system, like they have in America? I work just opposite the hospital, and am not afraid to get shouted at or attacked while protecting people's rights; so if anybody does feel intimidated about visiting Hope House, I'll happily walk you in/out if I've got any break time free. You can ask me on Twitter.

Cat Love :) (by )

Bead Heart

It was Valentines Day and the table was set for a lovely meal, the hoomins had all been working really hard on it, both the bigs and the small bigs or as Lithium liked to think of them... THE KITTENS.

The Kittens were fearsome lovely things and were fine as long as you made sure you only go strokes and NOT hugs. Kisses weren't too bad but there were a bit snotty and drooly in general so Lith felt they were best avoided.

Sparkly hearts

Sparkly hearts and beads and glitter had taken over the house the last few days and now there was a wonderful food smell wafting from the kitchen. Lithium's tummy rubbled - she was a very hungry cat.

She looked up at the table, it was all set out with place mats and candles and what not. It looked so lovely and the hoomins always brought the food to the table so it made sense that the place to be was on the table. The only problem was... Lithium was not allowed on the table. She walked around the table three times trying to decide what to do and then checking that the hoomins were all busy she hoped up onto a chair and then onto the table.

Waiting for my date

And... promptly settled down!

When the hoomins came in they stopped and stared at Lithium, normally they shouted and told her to get off the table but this time they oohed and ahhed and the biggest of the Little Bigs stroked her and scritched behind her ears.

Rrrrromantic

Lithium made sure she was right in the corner of the table - cats like corners, it was because it was very mathematical and cats like maths. She sat at a special angle cutting the corner into two triangles - it was lovely.

But she didn't remain that way for long, with everyone moving about the candle flame started to flutter, looking exactly like a small thing to be caught and if not eaten then chewed alot!

I am going to kill the shiny

Ears pricked to attention she prepared to leap and take down her foe!

But the light went off and a small big distracted her and explained that the candle was hot - she would have burnt her paw! Horrified Lithium reached out her paw to the Hoomins for inspection - just incase she had accidently burnt it anyway.

Hooomin!

The Littlest Little Big assured her it was ok, she even kissed her! Now Lithium was drooly and had to groom her fur clean by licking and licking, everyone knew that cat drool was hygienic unlike hoomin drool.

Then she settled down and with a bit of petting began to purr loudly.

Rom Cat

But after a while Lithium got bored, there was still lots of lovely cooking smells but where was the food?

Well I AM waiting Hoomin

She began to mew pathetically but all that happened was the Little Bigs stroked her which was all very nice but not what she had in mind! FOOOOOOD!!! Hoomins could be so silly sometimes!

Complaining meoawly she got them to put the light on again - it had nothing to do with the lost spoon and bad eyesight of one of the Bigs.

Very catmospheric now put a light on

It had been very Catmospheric with the lights out, Lithium had to agree and so they put the light out once more and they sat in the flickering candle lights.

Content as a purry thing

Finally the food showed up, Lithium's nose twitched and she sniffed at it but there was no meat :(

Poor Lithium had forgotten that the Biggest Big, the one that went all the way up to the sky, he only ate grass like things. Hoomins were so strange. Feeling disappointed she meaowed and licked his hand.

Long hearts

But the the Medium Big or was she the Smallest of Big Bigs? Got up from the table and went and got a special tasty from the fridge which she put on Lithiums fish shaped plate. Lithium jumped off the table and rubbed herself all round Mummy's Puss-Big Hoomins feet and then chowed down on the lovely yummy that had been put out for her.

It was a lovely Valentines Day for everyone.

(This story is part of The Wiggly Pet Collection)

The Allotmenting Begins! (by )

Cabbages and leeks and chard

So we kind of didn't get to the allotment in Nov, Dec or Jan except to pick up brussels for Christmas. At the weekend we popped down there to a) pay the annual fee and b) to check out exactly what needs doing.

I picked the last of the cabbages and pulled a leek and eyed up a few of the other things that are supposed to still be there and was very please. Yes it is not neatly rotavated like a lot of the other plots but when I think of what it looked like when we took it on!

We also put out boundary string back up and started forming plans :)

I am hoping that it will be good weather this coming weekend so that we can spend one or two hours there again as at the very least I want to move my worm juice stock there (the liquid I drain out of the wormeries is basically plant food and good to mix in with the water for some crops).

The drawings we did on the chair have all come off which is no bad thing as it simply means the girls get to do new fresh designs this year :)

Dragon on a chair

Yes that's the little dragon from the weekend Symmon - he is coming on outings and being photographed for some Wiggly Pet Blog stories :) Here's a closer shot.

Dragon on chair slats

Cheese and Soap and Skillz (by )

At the beginning of the year when we were setting down our New Year Resolutions, me and Alaric realised that we were still stuck with exactly the same stitches for kniting and crochet that we started with three years ago. All our projects have been variants on a theme.

We also wanted to move forward with the home stedding stuff, having added chickens and allotment since moving house. So here is my first cheese - it is a soft spreadable thing but I am very proud of it - I might also have accidently made a butter but that's cool too and is being used :)

Our first yogurt cheese formed into a pyramid

The other skill we've been meaning to try has been soap making and we thought this would tie in really well with the yarn craft side of things. So the easiest way of learning the stitches is to knit or crochet squares but I have to be making something or else it wont happen - I've never been good at practice - learning yes but practice no!

Anyway we are basically knitting and crocheting flannels or face/wash cloths to go with the soaps. Here is my first crochet attempt - I think it is double with single as the edging - it is lumpy and bumpy and miss shappen but I am so happy - of course it took me like a month to create.

double crochet flannel

This is the current one - a single crochet - lets hope I can remember how to carry on with it now Mum's gone home - I really struggled with the double when she wasn't about.

The beginnings of a single crochet flannel

I have also added on four different rag rug making techniques to the skillz I haz, recently, plus improvisational comedy and sketch writing so I am feeling quiet chuffed. I am also nerviously awaiting proof copies of a book which is more painful than I would have thought!

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