Saturday, September 22, 2018



It was my brother-in-law’s 40th birthday party today, he chose to celebrate in a German restaurant in the city. There were Octoberfest celebrations so it was... exuberant. Three and a half hours of loud oompah music, sauerkraut and pork belly. I didn’t eat that much actually, there’s only so much pork fat a girl can handle. It seemed odd to go all the way into the city (not fun for Tim who has to commute every day) when there is a restaurant with exactly the same menu nearby, that we went to on his birthday last year, and my throat is really sore from trying to talk to people over the noise of the crowd and the music. And a very long time for the little kids to sit and be good. But it was Nick’s choice and I think he had fun.

I’ve been eating the four slices of bread every day (and enjoying it!) and for the first time in ages I haven’t had any abdominal pain! Bit soon to tell, but that seems like it’s not the gluten causing my pain. I have had mouth ulcers, but they have flared up immediately after eating chocolate not bread. So... sugar, like I’ve always thought? Don’t know.

Aiden was home sick Monday and Tuesday, Jasmine on Friday. She still wasn’t feeling great today, but sat through the party and all the travel We have plans for tomorrow, but we’ll see how she is. I’m not going to put her through another long day.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018



I continue to get lots of pelvic/abdominal pain, even though I had my uterine fibroids removed, so I am no longer sure it is reproductive-organ-related. I saw my doctor yesterday (a different one, they get a new female doctor every six months as part of their training) and we talked about the possibility it could be digestive-tract-related. I had not realised until some internet research this week that I have a number of symptoms indicating possible Coeliac Disease or gluten intolerance. Apart from the abdominal pain, I have lots of joint pain, frequent mouth ulcers (which I had related to sugar, but maybe it's gluten), fatigue, and I don't seem to absorb vitamins well from food (eg I have to take Vitamin B12 despite eating lots of meat, and I've had other unexplained deficiencies in the past). I'm not jumping to any conclusions, just looking for answers.

So that the gluten test will be accurate, I have to eat four slices of bread a day for four weeks before a blood test and then maybe a bowel biopsy. Eating bread certainly isn't a hardship, but I do worry that it will derail my lowish-carb weight loss efforts, and if it's actual Coeliac Disease then every bit of gluten is doing my body real damage. I've decided to go ahead with the test because I definitely want an answer about my abdominal pain and other symptoms. And avoiding gluten is considered a bit of a fad (loved the joke that Californians are so afraid of gluten that you could rob a bank with a bagel) but for people with Coeliac it is a major issue leading to serious health problems and gluten has to be strictly avoided. (And even if  a person just feels better without it, why sneer at them for that?)

I had a lovely roast chicken roll for lunch, and garlic bread with dinner. Yum. I didn't have any stomach cramps after yesterday's bread, but I had a horrible sinus headache in the evening and this morning. No idea if it was gluten making my existing hayfever worse (because it encourages inflammation) or unrelated. I haven't been gluten-free prior to this, just lowish-carb, so I don't know if the increase will make a big difference to how I feel.

Access to our front door is currently only up a fairly steep driveway and this is an issue for some older or unwell visitors (like my 100-year-old grandfather, or my father-in-law's partner Jo who has lung cancer and therefore compromised breathing). We're planning to have stairs and a railing added next to the driveway and we've had two contractors come out to have a look. One very pleasant youngish well-presented clean young man who ummed and ah-ed and looked very uncertain about everything, as if he'd never tackled that particular type of job before. And one somewhat older man with work-stained clothes and dirty boots who was casually confident and looked like he built stairs every day. We haven't got the quotes yet but I'd feel a lot more comfortable trusting the second guy!

Sunday, September 16, 2018



My weight was 72.8kg this morning, up a little bit, but on the other hand my waist measurement was down a centimetre to the smallest it's been since I started measuring.

Aiden is home sick today. He has all the symptoms of what Tim and I had already been through over the past couple of weeks. I hope he bounces back quickly.

Unsettling news today, my future-employer let me know there has been a freeze on recruitment and my paperwork is sitting with HR. She seemed hopeful, I think...? I don't know if I should start looking for work again. I was supposed to start in four weeks when someone goes on maternity leave, but nothing was officially signed yet. I've already wasted six weeks if it falls through. I suppose it wouldn't hurt to send out applications if there is anything advertised, I'd hopefully know about this job by the time they were doing interviews. It's a bit disheartening, I thought I had this position lined up!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Solar panels


I ate really well all week, then stuffed myself with junk on the weekend. This morning I was down 0.6kg to 72.5kg, but I had dipped much lower before the weekend. I felt physically awful this morning, too. My body does not like junk food, even if my mouth does!


The solar panels are being installed on the roof today (and maybe a bit of tomorrow if they don't finish). I have to be home because they need access to the roof cavity sometimes. It is so loud! Drilling and banging and people walking up and down the tiles. But it will be worth it.

A worker just came in to use the bathroom (oops, I haven't checked it since the kids left for school and my son doesn't have the best aim...) and she was dripping sweat. We've had some warmer spring weather but today is an anomaly - it is 30C! Very summery. Just one day though, back to 20C tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Mind tricks


My brain was weird today. There was a product I’d seen a couple of times and was considering buying (ok, it was another handbag, but that isn’t relevant to the story) and this morning I decided to look at it online. I couldn’t find it on the maker’s website, or the website of the department store where I’d seen it. I was very sure of the brand (which had other bags quite similar) and could picture exactly what it looked like but I didn’t know the name of the specific item (they give them names like  “conscience”, “Angela”, or “splendiosa”).

I tossed my net further afield. Maybe the range had been superseded and that’s why it wasn’t for sale any more. Different online stores, Amazon, scrolled through over 2800 items on eBay, joined Pinterest. Nothing. Didn’t exist. Had never existed. But I’d seen it, touched it, in person! At the most a couple of months ago, probably less. I wasn’t giving up now, after about three hours of searching. I called the maker’s nearest store, as the experts. Nope. She doubtfully pointed me towards the most similar items, looked though their recent range, nothing like I described.

I have come to the conclusion I mashed together a bag from that maker and some features from a completely different brand. But the scary thing is I was so sure! I can still see it in my mind.

I’ve seen a demonstration (maybe on an old Oprah episode) testing a group of bystanders after a “thief” ran past chased by the shouting “victim”. Many of the bystanders couldn’t describe the thief accurately - and a lot of them mentioned features of the victim instead! Or if another person suggested something they would agree, even though it was false. 'Memories' are easily implanted. Humans are so unreliable.

Monday, September 3, 2018



It doesn't really feel like spring! We had a mostly very mild dry winter but the last couple of weeks have been cold and rainy and these first few days of spring have been the same. The farmers desperately need the rain, so I guess I can put up with it.

My weight was 73.1 kg this morning, up a bit more. I really suck at controlling my eating when I'm sick. I was just getting over one illness when Tim brought home another one. But I am feeling better now.

It was Father's Day yesterday, Tim and I were recovered enough to have everyone over for family dinner. So many little kids! Well, they seem to fill the house anyway! The littlest three cousins are all about to turn two years old, and the princesses are four and five. They are either best friends or fighting and crying. Either way, they are loud!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018



I had decided to never buy clothes online again after a couple of unsatisfactory purchases, but then I decided I needed some medieval dresses and it is very hard to find them anywhere else. I chose three, from a costume shop (they are costumes and therefore much cheaper but not as good quality as a real medieval dress would be) with the intent of keeping them all if they looked good but sending back any that didn't. I've learned to base my size choice on my hip measurement, not my waist measurement.

They are all much too long of course, and will need to be hemmed up, but aside from that the fit was very good. The green dress looked great:

The purple dress didn't suit me at all (I sent it back):

The black and red 'vampire countess' looked nice but the weird grey flap hanging from the waist is uneven and I haven't decided what to do about it. It would not be easy to just remove. In the promotional picture it doesn't overlap the red stripe down the front at all, that would have been much better, on mine it goes too far and meets off-centre. But overall the dress looks nice and I'm keeping it.

Why do I need medieval dresses? My family goes to Comicon and places like that and all wear costumes, I've never been but I may go one day. And it's just nice to have a costume ready for any occasion that may come up.

My weight was 72.4 kg this morning.

I came down sick (again) on the weekend. It's been a trying winter in that respect. We had to cancel D&D and family dinner.

I am starting to feel better but Tim came home from work yesterday feeling awful and went straight to bed (very very unusual!) and is home sick today. I have some sores in my mouth that I don't know if they are from this illness, or dry mouth from Duromine (which I've stopped for the moment), or from too much sugar; but there is one on my tongue that is quite painful. It woke me a couple of times in the night feeling like a needle dipped in acid had been stuck in the tip of my tongue. Ouch.

Aiden will be starting High School next year and he's doing an 'Extension Exam' this morning to see if he gets into the top class. Jasmine didn't get the chance as we moved here right at the end of the year just before she started High School so they put her in the second class originally, but she was moved into the extension class the following year. Aiden is very good in maths and science areas and he has a great imagination, but his handwriting is like a five year old and I hope that doesn't hold him back. We've been working on it at home, and at school of course.