Yesterday was a relatively mild, dry day and I worked in the garden for the first time in weeks. There is a great deal of tidying up to be done, with old leaves and debris to be cleared away from the first new shoots.
I made an impressive bonfire but it is too damp at the moment to make any attempt to set it alight.
I stayed outside for far too long and by the time I had put the garden tools away I could barely straighten up.
A long hot soak in the bath left me feeling only a little better. February is approaching and I find it the most depressing month, cold temperatures and low light levels combine with the seasonal panic that my body is no longer up to the task of doing much. Why I never gain experience from previous years I don't know, and start with only very short sessions of gardening until my body gets back into its stride.
Anyhow, once I was snugly togged up in my pj's and slippers, I turned on the computer and had a look at Blogland.
Janet, living in California at the gardener's cottage
was talking about her weight loss. It is over a decade since Himself and I were in America. We were absolutely horrified at the size of many people and by the amount of food served as a single portion. The sandwiches that we bought on Nantucket Island were too large to be eaten at one sitting. We had them put in a doggy bag and they fed us for all the following day!
Of course Britain follows where America leads and now we have a huge number of clinically, and sadly often young, obese.
Janet is slender, especially so after six months of careful eating and exercise. Her post makes such interesting reading because she describes very clearly her reasoning and method for her personal success. (I have to say that she is impressively self-disciplined!) I note that we started out the same height, lost an inch and remain the same height - I hope that this is not an ominous sign for the state of our bones!
I have never been as concerned about food as I am at the present time, having been brought up short by extreme pain and the knowledge that some of the things that I love to eat, such as biscuits and chocolate, do me no good at all. My weight hasn't gained very much in half a century, I'm about eight pounds heavier, at 128lbs. (Similar to Janet BEFORE she lost weight!) However, everything has slumped - when your nipples start looking at your toes you know that you are past middle age! So, yes, I'm interested in food, not for how it makes me look but for how it impacts on the state of my health.
Breakfast is porridge made with goats milk, with the addition of flaked almonds and a selection of fresh and dried fruit.
Snacks and grazing are fruits, seeds and nuts
and often one meal of the day is home-made soup.
I'm extending my repertoire with the aid of the fat free vegetarian cookbook borrowed from my neighbours, Kim and Andy. Today I've made chickpea and parsley
because there is plenty of parsley in the garden.
I tend to wander somewhat from recipes. Do you do that? This one should have been chickpea, lemon and parsley but I had some roast parsnip, squash and garlic in the fridge so I popped them in the pot and thought that adding lemon as well might be a bit much.
The resulting soup was very thick, like a pottage. I gave it a crunchy topping of toasted pumpkin seeds and pistachio nuts.
I've got plenty of parsnips to dig up in the vegetable garden, so you can see which soup I'll be making next!
(What I would REALLY like would be a well-toned body. I realise, as Janet makes clear, that exercise is essential, but since I can barely touch my toes at the moment I'll pass for now!)