sort of noodle carbonara egg fried thingy

melt pat of butter in saucepan

add one thin slice onion, roughly chopped

I added half a stalk of celery and three small mushrooms

add 100g chopped bacon (I use tesco everyday cooking bacon)

add third pack barenaked noodles

fry for about two minutes

add four eggs and stir in vigorously

add cheese of your choice to taste

serve when eggs are to your liking (I like them soft)

CARBS: 3-4, cals: 600

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Films

I must be improving slightly, because I noticed in the last few months I’d gone from a real film fanatic to not being able to stand watching a film all the way through and I had no interest in anything being offered. There was a bit of a dearth of films I WANTED to watch, it has to be said – things like The Hunger Games and Enders Game didn’t appeal, despite my love of fantasy/sci-fi, and I generally won’t touch a rom-com with a bargepole, so I pay for my pickiness!

However I watched two films yesterday and was surprised by the vice-versa way I liked/was disappointed by them.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

I’m a huge fangirl of Danny Kaye. I grew up watching his film and appearances on TV and he was a real precursor of people like Ronnie Barker and Tim Minchin and the like, those who played with words and music and had such fun with it. One of my favourite films of his was – obviously – The Secret Life of Walter Mitty- so I was naturally apprehensive about the remake. I’m not altogether a huge fan of Ben Stiller – although he impressed me hugely with Gone Baby Gone – he’s also done some huge turkeys. I was terrified he’d take Mitty and eviscerate it.

The first quarter of the film allayed my fears – it took a different slant with Mitty’s character and home life – he was a lot more responsible than Kaye’s version, looking after his mother, rather than being a burden and still living at home. The daydreams he had were cute and consistent with both his character and the tone of Kaye’s version.

However, the film took a nosedive after that and was, frankly, baffling. It seemed to be an entirely different film, apart from a song which got him on a helicopter, the fantasies disappeared entirely, rather wiping out the theme of the original idea/story/film. I DO GET that the adventure he had made a necessity for his imaginary life unnessary but as I was sitting there for a further 2 quarters of the film thinking that his adventure WAS imaginary, it sort of didn’t work.

The photography was stunning, and the message clear, but I was looking forward to a massive conspiracy romp within it, which really didn’t happen and it turned into a MESSAGE film which wasn’t what I – or possibly anyone – was expecting.

 Gravity

Absolutely hugely enjoyable! This surprised me enormously, because—like Stiller, Bullock has made a few films that she’s probably wiped from her CV… I wasn’t expecting to get so sucked in, but I did. The shots of the beginning sequence were incredible. I haven’t seen any of “the making of…” programmes, so I have no idea how it was done, but it was amazingly convincing. It’s hard to believe at the end, that the film is essentially a two-hander which is rare enough, Bullock actually manages to fill the ninety minutes fully and compellingly.

If I have any niggles it was her ability to work all the dashboards as well as she did – I didn’t really catch what her job was, but I suppose all astronauts are taught more than I think there are. And the fact that she did most of the inside shots in a “demi Moore in GI Jane” underwear set was implausible. I’m pretty sure that astros don’t wear skimpy figure hugging shorts under their space suits. I think it’s more a nappy arrangement, but that’s just one niggle.

Her performance really impressed me, and she’s never done that before. I was thrilled, scared and in tears at one point. so, well done, Ms Bullock!

well, that’s it for now. Eating well, and am staying away from the scales for a couple of weeks. there’s a touch of Spring in the air, some trees have blossom buds and the temperature has crept up a tad – and I saw pussy willows in a hedge yesterday!  It’s probably too early and we’ll be covered in snow next week!

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Been a rough few months

and I know that’s not entirely true, but it depends on perspective, I suppose. I know Being Depressed doesn’t have anything like the trauma of so much going on, and when I look around the world news – or even the local news – I know I don’t have things bad, but – well, as I say. Perspective. But things are getting there. You’d not see the difference from outside, but as the skies get lighter, minute by minute and day by day, things SEEM a little better, even if it’s only as incremental as the daylight change.

Literally, I’ve been pretty much unable to get out of the house. If it wasn’t for Sasha, I wouldn’t have gone out for months – as it is, I do take her out every day, so that’s something.

I haven’t been over to Dads bungalow for months, and now I’m frightened that when I do go over (I keep saying “next week I’ll go) I’ll find squatters or leaking pipes or something. I must go soon, must get the rental sorted out because that would make a bit more money which will help the care fees and my financial horrors. stupid to have wasted a year of a decent income, so I mustn’t waste much more. I need to find a reliable odd job man who can clear the remaining stuff, put some stuff in the loft, put a lock on the loft, clean up. then it’s a case of buying a couple of new carpets and getting it rented. It doesn’t SEEM like much to get done, but to me, (normally a great organiser) it seems an impossible task. Perhaps I should approach the house agent and see if they’ll do it for a fee.

The main reason I haven’t posted more regularly is that there’s nothing worse than reading people whine on day by day when it doesn’t really seem that they have anything to whine ABOUT. I know I don’t, and I hate myself for this ennui- hate that I can’t get off my arse and sort myself out, and I don’t want to inflict my whining on people. But I do like to tell you I’m alive at least. Anyway – that’s the main stuff.

Writing wise, there’s no progress there either (unsurprisingly) although I have at least opened the WIP and poke it from time to time, even if it’s just re-editing what I’ve already done. I’m hoping it will encourage me to do more. I have had a bunny, but I’ve got enough WIPs and I don’t like to start something else before finishing other projects because I know me too well – I’ll just end up with ten WIPs and then writing will seem another insurmountable mountain.

I’m a tad down in the mouth about the state of the writing market, to tell you the truth. No one really seems to writing gay historicals any more (and I can’t flatter myself that it’s because I’ve dropped off the radar, that would be mad) and if there are historical elements in an m/m book it’s only to add pretty outfits to a paranormal or fantasy setting. I’ve read AU m/m historicals too in the last year, which is all very well, but are these elements being added because people can’t be arsed to do the research for real historicals? Or are gay historicals too depressing and interesting? I was worrying about updating Speak Its Name’s list, but as there are so few new titles, that’s not going to take long – and a couple of years ago, I couldn’t keep up with the new releases!

Cheyenne Press is sadly closing down, which means that “Speak Its Name” “Frost Fair” and “Junction X” were going to be homeless but the lovely Lethe Press opened their arms and said “OF COURSE we want them” which is great news, so that transition will be happening over the next year. More news when I have it.

The ONE thing I’m proud of is that I haven’t put weight on. Over the past 3 months I haven’t lost anything, and that’s mainly to do with having too much alcohol and not controlling portion sizes. Despite many diets CLAIMING you can eat unlimited amounts of this and that, when you are a binger you know in your heart of hearts that that’s not absolutely true, no matter how much you’d want it to be. HOWEVER, I’m one pound UNDER what I was in November, so that is a triumph in itself. I am no longer xx stone something, I’m (xx stone minus one stone) something (e.g into the next stone down territory and I’m NEVER going to be xx stone something again.

i WISH I could admit to the shameful true numbers, but I am ashamed to be that huge. So I am working on portion control. Something the eating plan has taught me over the past months is to eat regularly. I’m making sure I get at least five fruit and veg a day (not easy with 20-30 carbs to play with) But eating regularly is key – and now I need to cut down from eating six belly pork strips for dinner to two or three. Luckily, Low carb decreases the appetite so I’m rarely hungry – but then hunger has never been an aspect of my eating problems. A binger like me eats for something to do, and a hundred other reasons, and it doesn’t matter if I’m full or not hungry. What I’ve learned is that I can eat delicious food regularly cooked in delicous ways with cream and butter and MAINTAIN weight, so a small tweak in the matter of how much meat I eat will start up the weight loss again.

My aim WAS to lose another 3 stone by easter, but I’m pulling back from that and will be happy if I can lose one, maybe two. I may even treat myself to some Easter Eggs.

so – a lot of stuff to say, even if there’s not actually much going on – thanks for listening, and I’m going to try HARDER this year and get myself back into the world, both digitally and in reality. Love you all! Tags: health, lowcarb, update

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Knit for Charity–NHS Blood Transplant

 

“Every day we require 7,000 units of blood to meet hospital demand, and with only 4% of the eligible population giving blood you can appreciate the need for us to recruit new donors. We are hoping this campaign will engage young people in particular to come forward and register, as they are our donors of the future.

We are looking for enthusiastic knitters to help us raise awareness of blood donation for a campaign we will be running in February 2014. We would like people to knit blood drops for us, of varying sizes to form part of our national campaign.

Email to: Amanda.Whatley@nhsbt.nhs.uk if you are interested in helping and we can provide you with knitting patterns, and further information

and visit the website:http://www.blood.co.uk/

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You had me at Yo.

Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag

OK – I admit it, I am an absolute sucker for pirates. I know they are not at all their romantic vision, but give me a ship and a star to steer her by or whatever the saying is, a fair wind and a lusty crew and you had me at Yo .

I liked Sid Meiers (‘scuse spelling) Pirates although I wasn’t very good at it, and playing on a crappy pc  didn’t help either. This is very much like that game, although with nicer graphics and a much more immersive feel. For one thing, I end up always being the one to pilot the ship. This, I feel, is Not Very Fair. Surely the captain should be standing all brooding and macho on the Poop deck, whilst others Do The Work. But No. I have to sail the boat, do the shopping, go and earn money by treasure hunting divin’ and assassinatin’ – even leaping off at small islets to grab treasure. I’m pretty sure that when I get to the whaling sections I have to be the harpooner too. Now, I’ve read Hornblower AND Moby Dick and I couldn’t have seen Hornblower up to his armpits in whale oil and pointy sticks.

I haven’t got the Whaling Boat yet – there’s whaling ahead (Matey) and I’m not really looking forward to it. You also have to kill and skin animals to craft items, like in Far Cry 3, and I hate killing them too (except the crocodile, the bastard deserves it). It’s ironic that I have no problem stabbing people, but have qualms about virtual whaling.

It’s rather nice (and a tad sad that I enjoy it so much) that my crew cheer me every time I get back on board, but then I’d probably be too soppy a captain in real life. More Pirate! Captain than Blackbeard, I fear. I also sing along to the Shanties, which is uber-sad.

So, yeah, I’m rather loving Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag. Ubisoft have – as I  mentioned before – really taken on board the horror that fans felt about AC3 and have produced a blinder. BUT – DESPITE it being huge – with TONS of interesting (rather than makeweight crap like collecting feathers) things to do there’s somethng oddly wrong – and that is (for me at least, ymmv) that I really don’t like the protagonist and his journey isn’t actually of much interest. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great plot and literally takes you all over the Caribbean (Florida is a dung heap don’t bother with it until Disney) but Edward is unlikeable. Not in the OMG I really want to smash your irritating face in, Conor, kind of way, but he’s not actually nice, not even a little bit.

Altair was proud and thoughtless, but his personal journey taught him repentance and humility – Ezio was a greenhorn the reason he remains everyone’s favourite (according to a Ubisoft Poll) because of his heartbreaking beginnings. I actually cried when that terrible thing happened to him, and I really empathised with his desire for bloody vengeance. Conor was just a twit and I think everyone hates him. He’s the Raiden of the Assassin’s Creed world.

Edward Kenway, however, is no flawed hero and he’s certainly not a rogue with a heart of gold. He’s selfish, greedy, ambitious, rude, murderous and driven (by all of the above) I’m frankly appalled at times at the things he does—such as killing the Fort Commanders who have surrendered and have even got their hands up. You get the usual “Edward didn’t kill civilians” warning if you accidently (cough cough) kill off some innocent bystander or sink a civilian ship,(oopsie)  but you don’t get even so much as a raised eyebrow if you stab to death some poor bloke who is already down on the ground because you kicked him in the fork. This probably makes him a lot more realistic – we are all too inured by the lovable pirates portrayed by Depp and Bloom!

Anyway, the hell he didn’t kill civilians – he sinks boats with no thought that there might be passengers on them!

But – all in all, it’s a FABULOUS game, and such a huge pleasure to find it is, after the bloody horror of Assassin’s Creed 3.  The very fact that I want to restart it NOW and i’m only 40 percent done proves that!

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Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag–First Impressions

I think what I like about this series is that the developers actually seem to LISTEN to criticism from the fans. What was appalling in AC3 have-as far as I can see so far-been ironed out and returned to something like their former glories.

You play as Edward Kenway – Connor’s grandfather. I’m hoping this means Haytham Kenway might be in the next game… Edward is Welsh although he doesn’t sound like it at all, and oddly he’s got all the assassin’s skills right from the start of the game, despite not being aligned to either the Assassins or the Templars. I suppose that’s good, learning them all again would be annoying.

It’s BIG – this game. Rather bogglingly big – I’m about 2 per cent complete and I’ve been playing for a good while. There’s a huge chunk of the Caribbean to explore with secret locations you have to find by yourself and a lot of them marked. Such a change from “four cities” where it all started.

Ship sailing is a lot more straightforward, the aiming system is nice and easy and on a curve, which is great – you can even shoot down ships that you can’t see by chucking cannons over waves. Hee hee.

The combat system – annoyingly – has been “tweaked” and gone is the super counter-kill which I am shit hot at – and now you just counter an attack which creates an opportunity to break their defence and attack, which isn’t an improvement.

The Farmville aspects seem to have gone, thank the lord, and in fact this game has moved closer to Far Cry 3 which fans of that game will like. You have to – as in FC3 – kill all sorts of animals to help craft larger “pouches” and some of these can only be caught from ships – there’s a whaling aspect as well as piratey goodness and I think I’ll just have to suck that up. Amusing that I have no qualms about stabbing redcoats and Spanish and all sorts – but have a wobble when I’m tasked to go whaling!

Personally, I’d like the option to do missions the way I want to do them, either fighty or hidey, and for some of them the option is available – such as rescuing a load of prisoners off ships, you can either sneak about the assassinate the guards or pile in and fight everyone – but some missions require you to just fight and as people will know who know me – fightin’ ain’t what I went to Viper House for.

BUT – considering I’m only a little while in – I’m really enjoying it-it bears no relation to the horror of AC3 and it’s really helping to remove the nasty taste of Connor.

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Progress all round

Lost 3 pounds this week, 45pounds in total so far – and it’s finally dropped me down to the lower stone, which is always a boost. This last half a stone has been a real struggle – not eating-wise, that wasn’t tough but the weight went up and down and it’s taken a good two months to shrug it off. All I can put it down to is the tin of Pringles and the two days of wine I had around my birthday and Severus’s dying. But I’m in the next stone down now, and I will NOT pop over up to the higher stone. Considering I have bacon and egg and buttery mushrooms and a pinta tea every morning, a hearty home made veggie soup every lunchtime and belly pork and greens most evenings, it’s not exactly a hardship. I’m never actually hungry and if I feel the need to nibble, there’s always cheese! I’m definitely walking better. It’s SMALL, don’t get the idea I’m striding around like Aragorn, I’m still wobbly and unbalanced, but it is getting a little easier.

Low Carb ROCKS. Don’t know why I disparaged it for so long. I suppose it was hard to believe that eating fat instead of carbs can help you lose weight, but it makes sense when you do the research. As for writing, still haven’t written a word, but the GOOD news – and it’s progress for me – is that I finally got the edited manuscript for “I Knew Him” off to Lethe Press which they were very happy to receie, bless them. It wasn’t a difficult edit, I don’t know why I thought it would be, but OMG such bad habits – adverbitis and “that” every second word. Lethe edit well, thank goodness !

I went to see Dad today for the first time in a couple of weeks and I think I’m done worrying about him. Although he’s aware – e.g. If you ask him “How are you?” He’ll answer coherently “fine ” (he’s one of the only ones there who can speak and be understood) he’s obviously happy in his surroundings – wherever he thinks he is. He still recognises me (I think) and gives me a big smile and a hug but he’s not worried whether I’m there or not, he’ll just wander off after a few minutes and doesn’t come back to where I am. I’m happy that’s he’s settled – and OMG it’s so lovely and WARM there. I want to go and live there for the winter like the people who go to Spain for the winter. I haven’t quite got his finances sorted out yet – they are half done – and I still haven’t (months late) got the Bungalow rented out yet, but I’ll work on those.

The loss of Severus has been a sad time, but with 3 other fuzzies to look after, it helps to numb the pain. They don’t seem to miss him (although who knows what goes through their minds) and the first night I got hold of Lucius and hugged him hard and said that he had to do double shift cuddling in future – and to be frank, he’s done exactly that. He either cuddles me all evening, or he’ll sit next to me on the sofa (which he never did – he used to clear off upstairs and sleep on the bed.) It’s probably just him taking advantage of being the only cat in the house who cuddles, but I like to think he’s looking after me. Sasha is adorable and I love her more every day. She’s SO bright, so willing to learn and eager to please. She’s about as protective as a chocolate fireguard, sadly but hopefully just the look of her would make people think twice. (that is, until she starts to wag at the axe murderer…which she seriously would do…) she always comes to Dad’s nursing home with me and she LOVES it because everyone says hello which is the Best Thing Ever as far as she’s concerned.

I’m feeling more balanced. Probably the pills so I need to talk to the doctor about how I’ll know when I’m better (if ever) but I don’t feel so hermitty, so “what’s the point” – I still feel a little like that, but not 100 percent, which is good.

So, all in all, things are better. Thanks for reading! How are you??

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Update

Hi, hope you are all well!

Good news from me for a change – I’ve lost a further 3 pounds this week (even with a drinkie night last Friday) which has really perked me up. this means that I’m finally on the stone below which is always a good boost – and that in total in 2 months, I’ve lost THIRTY ONE pounds. Of course I have still about 200 pounds to LOSE (yes, you read that right) but I’m happy now that I CAN do it and the lowcarb seems to really suiting me.

Imagine carrying a 15 stone man with you, all day. I must have been mad to let myself get this bad. Anyway! good news.

Dad is a lot better and is eating which is great. He got so thin I was so worried – plus being so thin affected his immune system and his skin which is covered in sores, but now he’s eating seconds and thirds and they are indulging him in whatever he wants which is such a relief.

Pills have definitely helped me with the depression, but now I feel NOTHING which is worrying. I can’t feel happy or sad. I’ll stick with it a while longer and see if anything changes.

So, other than the not-writing, I’m definitely in a better place. How you lot?

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Noble Romance FINALLY throws in the towel

and not before time, either.

Email received 9 hrs ago:

To our Authors,
Today, I regret to inform you that a decision has been made that Noble Romance Publishing will be exiting the publishing business.
We are not insolvent, we are not going bankrupt, we simply have decided that we no longer wish to be in the business and therefore we will be exiting this business in a professional, orderly fashion.
Over the next 30 days, we will remove all books for sale through all sales channels.
We will continue to send monthly royalty statements out and pay all royalties owed until all payments have been collected. We anticipate that this could be as soon as October, but we do not completely control third party sales.
Once this process is complete, this means that your rights will automatically revert to you per our agreement and if you need a letter confirming this, please email us and we will be happy to provide you one.
We wish to thank all of you who have been good partners with us and we wish everyone nothing but the best.

 

I’ve asked them for that letter of confirmation and will be shopping Tributary around when received. There are great stories in The Last Gasp compilation and they deserve a better publisher

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Low Carb Progress

another 3 pounds lost this week which sort of surprised me, but didn’t, at the same time.

By that I mean I FELT better, I am walking (a bit) better and it’s not so difficult getting up and down and bending down and picking stuff up, that kind of thing, easier to turn over in bed) BUT I knew I had gone a bit mad last weekend—had several bottles of wine and had in consequence eaten a lot the next day (although still keeping it low carb it was pretty high calorie as I mopped up the alcohol with whatever came to hand) so I assumed I’d be stationary as per weight lost. So was thrilled to find I was xxx stone 1 pound.

Only two more pounds and I can start thinking that I’m another stone lighter, always a good morale boost. I’m still not comfortable sharing that xxx number, because I’m probably the fattest person in Norfolk, or at least the one walking about – and that includes all the tourists!

So, yeah – I’ve eaten a lot this week, eaten belly pork slices two or three times a week so it really does go to show that calories have NOTHING to do with weight loss, as I’m way over what I “should” be eating in a “normal” diet, where they say I should be eating 1000 to 1500 calories a day, I usually hit that figure by lunchtime.

Total so far then 27 pounds – one more pound and that’s two stone in just over 2 months. My trousers are getting loose too, I’ve had to take the waistband in a bit—I shall keep the trousers though, so I can do the cliched “this is how big I used to be” when I apply for Slimmer of the Century. *snort*

I suppose if a slimmer person was doing this, they might not have such a speedy loss, although I’d read blogs which say they have – I’m happy with one or two pounds a week but three a week is bunce.

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