Saturday, September 23, 2017

Acrogym win


Today was Jasmine's first ever Acrogym (acrobatic gymnastics) competition. This was a small one, just three gyms competing. There are some much bigger ones coming up, so this was great practice. I videoed the performance which I won't post here, but took photos of the warmup. She is the blonde one, and is the base in the lifts so is teamed with someone smaller.

Her pair came first in the Balance routine, first in the Dynamic routine, and first overall!!

Really excellent performance. She and her partner had practiced very hard and even amateur eyes like mine could see the difference, they were much better synchronised than some of the other teams and with smoother transitions between moves. I wasn't at all surprised when they won!

Now they've got lots of rehearsals during the school holidays, state trials in three weeks.

At lunchtime we went to my brother-in-law's for his birthday BBQ, relaxed time with family including five children under five years old. Quiet evening at home.



We did some gardening in the morning, and while Tim was digging out yet more tree roots he found that they were attached to a big tree stump under the ground! When we had the land cleared for the pool, several large trees had to be removed, and they ground the stumps down but only to 20cm below ground level (I think). I had to get someone to come and completely remove one stump that was in the way of pool construction, but this one was left. We'll just plant around it. It will rot down eventually. In fifty years or something.

We had a lovely swim in the afternoon. With the heater only on for a day and a half in was still a bit cool in the water but you got used to it. Lovely hot day. The weight I've lost makes a big difference to how I feel in my swimming cossie. We're going to work hard on the garden this week while we're all on holidays and then have a pool party the next hot weekend.

In the evening we went to a birthday party, one of Tim's lesser-known cousins. It was a 1920's theme, some people really dressed up but we just wore our best approximation of flapper fashion from what we had. The party was fine but the food was awful! It was dinner time, there wasn't a sit down meal but plenty of finger food, little pies and mini quiches and deep fried stuff etc. Unfortunately, as well as all being terribly unhealthy it was all cheap inedible frozen food bulk purchased, that none of my finicky household could eat. Even the pre-sliced cheese was horrible. On the other hand, the dessert table was magnificent! I had to have something (not home til late) so my dinner was a spring roll, a couple of handfuls of chips and some petite fours. The macarons were delicious. I'm sure I had plenty of calories but I didn't feel like I'd eaten a single nutrient. Oh, except one fresh raspberry that I ate off a little tart then threw the tart away.

I did take a Duromine tablet in the morning after only one day off, no nausea all day. Tim and I are both having some hay fever symptoms so I don't know if that was affecting the queasiness. Either way, hopefully that has passed. I've been eating too many calories for much of the week and I weigh the same today as I did Monday. Only one more day to see some kind of a loss this week.

Friday, September 22, 2017



I've had two oral examinations in the past two days (I mean one-on-one exams with a teacher, not dental work) and I was so nervous. I don't mind written exams, but having a teacher stare at you waiting for the specific answer they need... you never get used to that, even at my age.

I had one role-play in class (I'm the librarian, the teacher is a customer with a research request), we did a practice last week and I was a bit awkward so I practiced all week - thought up scenarios and went over and over everything I needed to say. And I nailed it! I remembered everything, spoke smoothly, friendly yet professional, my teacher said I was excellent. All the rehearsing paid off!

Then I had a weird one today over the phone while at home, for one of my online subjects. I was given some brief scenario notes but wasn't very clear on what was going to happen, so I didn't get to do any specific practice (except making sure I knew the course content, obviously). The teacher half-heartedly pretended to be a customer for part of it but mainly just asked me questions. I did stumble on one bit that I didn't know - until the teacher gave me a hint that I wasn't supposed to know how to do that bit (being only a junior nobody in the library) so I reassured the 'client' that I would get the problem solved and said I would refer it to a more senior staff member and follow up to make sure it was done. I think I did pretty well overall, certainly passed, maybe not quite as 'star pupil' as the other one but good.

Now I have four assignments to finish over the two weeks holiday, and a tricky written exam first week back that I need to study for. But I'm going to take a proper break from study over this weekend before I start on those. I need a rest.

I've had a bit of nausea on and off since I started Duromine, only mild after the first couple of days and I was prepared to put up with it. But the past three days were really bad, strong nausea for a lot of the day. I'd do a huge burp and feel a bit better but it would soon be back. Very unpleasant. It may have been exacerbated by stress, and Tim did have nausea when we all had the flu a couple of weeks back, but I think probably the Duromine. I don't know why it suddenly got bad. For most people it's the other way round - you can start with bad side effects but they reduce or go away completely after a while. I decided to stop taking it for a day or two and see how that goes, I didn't take one today. On the forums, some people had success with reducing side effects by taking a little break. I hope it works, I don't want to stop Duromine yet as I've been having good results, but the nausea was too much. Also, while nauseated I was nibbling dry carbs to settle my stomach so I wasn't sticking to my healthy diet anyway - and I certainly wasn't exercising - so it was kind of defeating the purpose.

Today I wasn't as bad, but still felt queasy straight after breakfast, and then again in the afternoon when I hadn't eaten for about three hours but worse after I did eat... I'm not seeing any pattern. I had a little nap in the afternoon.

I didn't notice being any hungrier today, but there was a psychological difference. A little voice whispering "You didn't take an appetite suppressant today, so obviously you're not 'on a diet', so why don't you just eat some junk food even if you don't really want it?" Shut up, annoying voice, I'm not listening!

Tomorrow is going to be really hot, so I've put the pool heater on today to warm up the water again and we can swim tomorrow! It will be a nice start to the school holidays.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017



I did a lot of running around today. Well, not actually running. Driving from place to place. Tim's phone's charger hole regularly gets clogged up with fluff from his pockets so it won't charge any more, so I took it into the Apple Store so a 'genius' could dismantle it and get the fluff out. The genius asked if my husband was in the construction industry (to explain gunk in pockets) - no he's a lawyer! I have no idea why this keeps happening, I keep my phone in my pocket and have never had this problem. Anyway, it's good now for another six months at least.

I bought myself a new pair of jeans in a smaller size, my current ones are baggy. The new ones look nice from the waist down, but are a bit too snug which creates a bulgy muffin-top above. I'm counting on losing more weight, and I have to put the jeans in to be shortened so I won't be able to wear them for a week or so anyway. Maybe it was a silly purchase, we're heading into warmer weather when I wear (long) shorts instead, but summer isn't quite here yet. And my baggy pants don't show off my weight loss.

Then I drove to another shop to get a couple of sun lounges to put by the pool - to be told they wouldn't fit in the car. So I didn't buy them. Finally a visit to Aiden's school to buy him a new sport's uniform. They change to summer uniform after the holidays.

Not much study today. I have an assessment tomorrow in class and one on Friday at home, so I need to do a bit more work tonight.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017



I've been consulting with my aunt about my father's gravestone, she lives there (12 hours drive away for me) so can compare gravestones in person. I think everything is decided now so I've emailed the details of the inscription to the company. It's been a bit sad, but also very funny fielding suggestions from Aunty Pat. Twice she suggested that I have my mother's name put on it; "beloved husband of Barbara"! My parents had been divorced for 40 years before they died within months of each other, mum knew as she was walking down the aisle on her wedding day that it was a mistake, and dad remarried and was with his second wife longer than mum (divorced again) and was with a new girlfriend when he died. Mum would have hated being on his gravestone! I vetoed that one politely.

I accepted all her other suggestions except the last one, to put RIP at the end. I felt that a Christian phrase was very inappropriate for such a staunch atheist as my father. My aunt is lovely but I guess she just had certain ideas about the way things should be done. And I did ask for her input! I went with most of her ideas but I'm paying for everything so I have final say when I think it's important.

I was thinking of mum today, too, as I watered the garden. She would have loved the pool and new garden, and having us live close. I miss my parents.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

More than 5 kg


The weight loss continues. Another 1.0 kg, so I'm down to 78 kg!

I've talked before about how I have some kind of barrier to losing more than 5 kg, ever in my whole life. I manage to lose 5 kg, then somehow give up and put the weight back on with maybe a bit extra. Well this time I've smashed that, 6.7 kg lost! I'm excited to have finally got through that roadblock. Now I've got to another milestone. I'm pretty sure 78 kg is the lowest I've been since starting this blog seven years ago, and proabably for quite a few years before that. Up until now, I've been losing and regaining the same fat. From now all, it's virgin fat territory!

I spent the afternoon working on an assignment and trying to prepare for a 'role play' for one of my online subjects (in addition to the one in class for another subject), and I was given the scenario that I will be dealing with - and as far as I can see we've covered only half of the information needed for it! I got quite stressed about it, actually. I have emailed a query to the teacher. Have I missed something? If so I need to know right now! It's a subject where the teacher left and another teacher had to pick it up and I (and other people) have had endless problems with it. So disorganised. Coursework not available, teacher not responding for weeks, inconsistent information about when assignments are due... I've tried to just query stuff then get on with other things while waiting but it's been quite bad. And the online coursework itself is (I think) terribly written (I don't think this teacher prepared it) and I've basically had to teach myself by trial and error...

This is the last week of term, then two weeks off. I feel like I need a break!

Saturday, September 16, 2017



We went to a plant nursery yesterday and bought as many weird and interesting tropical plants as we could fit in the car.

Then we spent a good chunk of today planting them. It took a long time because no matter how much we work the soil beforehand, when we dig holes for plants we find yet more rocks, roots, and now a lot of shards of broken terracotta pots for some reason. And curl grubs.

Anyway, we got enough to go along one fence out by the pool, about a quarter of the total area we need to fill. The plants are still quite small of course, but in a few years they will be crowding each other in a lush tropical kind of way.
We did get an unpleasant surprise when we got home yesterday and I checked growing conditions for bromeliads, which we bought in flower (in the top picture the weird pink spike in the middle and the two with gold star-like flowers) - it turns out they only flower once, when they are fully mature at 3-4 years old, then die! So three of our plants will only live through the summer then drop dead. They are supposed to send out 'pups' (baby plants) as they die so maybe we will get some little ones in years to come. We also bought palms, several varieties of cordylines, and bird's nest ferns. It looks nice already. We need to get some mulch next, then move on to the next section. The part we did is the shadiest, other fences get a lot more sun.