Burned but virtuous

It’s Sunday – a day of rest.

I in contrast feel like I should be doing anything but resting.

I’ve spent most of my adult life doing nothing but sitting, sleeping, sitting some more, lying down and just generally avoiding the world.

Today though my body is betraying me.

Honestly I think it owes me more than a bit of payback given the abuse I’ve subjected it to over the decades. Today though it’s making up for past insults in spades. As well as chronic heel pain my sensitivity to sun is beginning to become a problem as the weather improves.

Despite having factor 50 in the car and the house just in case – and liberally covering myself in it before going outside or driving to work I burn so easily that in the past it’s continually stopped me from going out at all.

Yesterday a journey around the park with a cloudy, rather than blue sky (liberally covered in sun tan lotion) resulted in seriously burned and now swollen and flaking arms. This happened regardless of the lashings of aloe vera I covered them with when I realised how bad it was.

Needless to say my willingness to go for walk today or mow my lawns in the currently blue and very sunny environment outside is greatly diminished, and I feel it’s really unfair.

I only have one long sleeved item of clothing that fits and it’s a fleecy hooded top, which is not ideal to mow the lawn or walk in on a hot summer day. Even in the winter thanks to my excess timber it makes me feel hot and sweaty.

I feel I should get something new but then I stop myself before I do.

I don’t want to buy more huge clothes at the moment because frankly I don’t intend to need them much longer. I have suitcases full of nice shirts and jeans of all sizes and I plan to use them again one day soon.

Plus, knowing the UK as soon as I buy long sleeved tops the sun will disappear.

Not so long ago bravado and an unwillingness to change my habits often found me telling others that I hated gardening, the outdoors and exercise – and that they were for other people – not me.

Underneath my smokescreen however was someone that loves the (shady parts of the) outside world, and gets immense pleasure from nature – even if it does currently wear him out.

At least now I feel the impetus to be different – and that’s something thats worth holding onto, even if at the moment I can’t go outside.

I did recently look into the cost of joining a local gym (shady environment), but honestly with redundancy coming up I’m more focused on saving money than adding to my bills.

I just cancelled Netflix for heavens sake and that’s only £7.50 a month!

Nuffield Health locally is £69pm!!! There are other cheaper ones like Living Well at the Hilton – but that’s still £20pm.

Plus I have a gym quality exercise bike at home.

Also, the last time I was a member of a gym I joined to meet people with a similar mindset for camaraderie and realised the hard way that no-one talks to anyone in such places unless they can absolutely help it.

They put on headphones and they’re focused on the task at hand. They absolutely do not make eye contact, unless they’re in the changing rooms and then they wander around with their dangly bits swinging back and forth talking incessantly about work.

Not really my scene.

Plus I’d rather walk outdoors than on a hamster wheel. Its free and when I’m not burning I like it.

As I can’t do this today I’ve taken my mind off things with some nice coffee, a bit of writing and some cooking.

My virtuous food choices since my weigh in have been excellent ones. Despite being peeved with my 1lb loss I haven’t screwed the pooch and I’ve stuck to the Slimming World plan.

Yesterday evening I had a fruit and vegetable salad, and for the very first time combined  an orange with an apple, tomatoes, carrots, peppers and lettuce in the same bowl – with surprisingly good results.


I’ve never put an orange into any kind of salad – but I’m now left wondering why!

Aside from a dash of cider vinegar the food didn’t really need dressing as the orange and the apple did all the heavy lifting, adding a citrous and tangy twist to what would otherwise have been a mundane collection of vegetables.

This morning, breakfast (originally intended to be a bacon, egg and lettuce toasted sandwich) was a Quorn stir-fry.

I know it’s an odd choice of food for the start of the day, but (inspired by a lady at slimming world talking about throwing everything she could find in soup on Saturday) I decided to cook everything I had left before my shopping delivery arrived and clean the remnants out of the fridge.

Carrots, broccoli, chestnut mushrooms, courgette, garlic, Quorn, soy sauce and some (slightly floppy) coriander all combined to make a rather tasty start to the day with absolutely tons of ‘speed’ food.


I’m beginning to like the idea of having more meat free meals – which previously I’ve not thought highly of. Occasionally having entirely vegetable based dishes is a great way I think to accelerate my objectives.

I don’t want to cut meat out entirely though – just have a better balance.

At the same time I made this I thought it would be a good idea to pop some ingredients into my slow cooker (new favourite toy!) and make something for later in the evening.

Although most things start off in the slow cooker looking decidedly average they seem to end the day tasting completely awesome! I honestly can’t believe I never bought one before!

(Well – technically I still haven’t as this one was gifted to me almost brand new by a very generous friend)

At 12.30pm approx the slow cooker took on board some cubed lean casserole steak, a potato, mushrooms, an onion, a carton of chopped tomatoes, a beef stock cube and some garlic. I set it to high and completely forgot about it.

In fact I only remembered it was there shortly before 7pm when a heavenly smell drew me to the kitchen. The vegetables now looked like a rich ragu and the beef was simply falling apart on my spoon.


In the past when I’ve cooked these kinds of things on a hob they’ve always stuck to the pan and there’s been endless stirring involved. At the risk of using a pun, its ‘driven me potty.

Nothing could be further from this sour experience than my wonderful new toy. It’s also a doddle to clean – which is a major win!

So today hasn’t been a total bust. Plus I now have all the ingredients needed for the first of two new salmon dishes I intend to cook from scratch this week. Angie has been at pains to remind everyone that eating the same stuff over and over will not result in weight loss – and I’m trying to have as much variety as I can.


Oh well – tomorrow is another (hopefully less sunny) day and I’m sure I’ll feel less itchy at least.

Emotionally however things may be not so ok, as the entire office (including all of the shift workers who are normally on nights or on days off ) are being summoned by HR to hear the company’s plans to streamline the business.

We’ll no doubt delight in how they plan to pay shareholders fatter dividends whilst at the same time removing the cumbersome burden of employing us.

Internet – its going to be wonderful – I just know it.

For the time being I must go to bed, despite knowing I will not sleep.

Bon Nuit.


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