Eating well?

Hmm, maybe not!

I left you with what we’d eaten up until Saturday 6th October. Our next week went like this:

SUNDAY: Breakfast: Yoghurt & fruit

Lunch: Smoked salmon paté, soup, 1 slice toast. The soup was fridge bottom soup – using up lots of wrinkly vegetables from the fridge.

Dinner: Spanish pork, jacket potato, vegetables. The Spanish pork was something from the freezer; it wasn’t very SW friendly, and contained rice, but Mr FD still cooked a jacket potato too! I can’t remember what vegetable we had. I probably had an apple .

MONDAY: Breakfast: Yoghurt & fruit

Lunch: Soup, smoked salmon pate.

Dinner: Bean burgers, sweet potato wedges and salad. Fruit.

I cook my eggs in the microwave, so the yolk isn’t as runny as these, unfortunately. It’s a lot more convenient though!

TUESDAY: Breakfast: poached egg on toast

Lunch (packed lunch): Soup, 2 ryvitas, 0% cream cheese, cucumber, tomato, apple.

Dinner: Steak-and-vegetable stir fry (one steak between us, 75g rice noodles between us, lots of vegetables and a hoisin sauce sachet.)

We did have some microwave popcorn between us duiring the evening.

WEDNESDAY: Porridge with 0.5 tbsp golden syrup

Packed lunch: Ham/salad sandwich, tomatoes, apple, “emergency scone” ( a scone that was in the freezer…for an emergency!)

Dinner: Chilli with rice, half a roll as garlic bread.

THURSDAY: Breakfast: “Bacon” sandwich (1 slice of bread)

Lunch: Ham and salad, half a roll. Apple. Special K bar.

Dinner: Chicken thigh, ratatouille, jacket potato.

FRIDAY: Breakfast: 0% fromage frais

Lunch: Chicken drumstick, half a slice of ham, salad, slice of bread. Special K bar.

Dinner: Pasta with spinach, lardons (100g between us), mushrooms & a carton of 4% fat “creme fraiche”. Popcorn during the evening.

SATURDAY: Breakfast: “Bacon” sandwich

Lunch: Full disclosure: It was the Cyclo Telethon meal, so I was helping prepare the meal, and then we ate it. Lentils to start, then a thick slice of roast pork and gratin dauphinoise, a wedge of camembert and a slice of apple tart. Plus kir. Lots of kir!!

Dinner: Soup (butternut squash, sweet potato, coconut milk and leftover lentils from lunch!) and a prawn sandwich.

SUNDAY: Breakfast: 0% fromage frais

Lunch: Soup, prawn sandwich, apple.

Piece of praline brioche at a friend’s house (well, it would be rude not to!!)

Dinner: Pork tenderloin, roast potatoes, roast squash, with leek, mushroom, apple & cider sauce.

MONDAY: Breakfast: Egg on toast

Packed lunch: Soup, ham sandwich, wedge of camembert, tomatoes, banana.

Dinner: Pork tenderloin, roast potatoes, roast squash, with leek, mushroom, apple & cider sauce. (Leftovers from Sunday!)

Planned for…

TUESDAY: Breakfast: porridge & syrup

Lunch : Soup, egg sandwich, apple.

Dinner: Salmon & broccoli bake Similar to this, but without the asparagus. Maybe mushrooms instead.

Then on Wednesday, I’m off to Waterloo for Convention, and won’t be thinking about what I’m eating!! I plan to enjoy it, and not worry. There’s always the Bishop’s Dinner on Friday which is a posh do, and another meal out on Saturday, and it’s no use trying to eat SW-friendly. Especially when there’s usually fizzies at the Bishop’s Dinner – not missing that!!

Mr FD is doing the shopping tomorrow, so he can buy what he wants to eat while I’m away, and I’ll shop again next Monday.

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Cats and Tablets.

Our lovely Pomme cat is getting old – we don’t know exactly how old, but the SPA reckoned she was about 2.5 years old when we got her 13 years ago. Over the past year she’s been less mobile (but not by much) , more cantankereous and been eating more but not filling out.

Yesterday was her annual vaccination and check up. The vet said that she has renal problems and a failing heart. So she has to have different (expensive) food – though cheaper on Amazon than at the vets – and a daily tablet. Hey ho.

We started yesterday with a worming tablet. Crushed up in tuna, she carefully ate around the bits of tuna with the tablet on, and devoured the rest. So we put her “special” food on top – she ate some of the tablet. We’re not sure how much. Another cat ate the rest…but that won’t do them any harm, as it is only a worming tablet.

Today, the heart tablet was crushed and added to a prawn. Another prawn was offered first. Sniffed and licked…and rejected. Oh. That wasn’t even the one with the tablet in! We may have to think again…

I’m considering crushed tablet mixed into butter and then dropped into her mouth, or smeared on gums. She has no real choice then. But I think today’s tablet might have to be counted as a failure! There’s a video on YouTube about how to feed a pill to your cat, but quite frankly, the cat looks as though he’s been sedated as he is extremely cooperative. I can’t imagine many cats like that!

We’ve got to take her back in a month to see how she’s getting on…but we do know she’s not diabetic. Thankfully, we do have some emergency “cat” funds put to one side, as this may start getting a little expensive.

 

Here’s a Simon’s Cat to make us smile…

The end of the week…

I am rather glad it’s Friday – I’ve had a tiring week. Although I should say I’ve got a busy weekend ahead of me too!

I had lessons in Clermont Ferrand on Tuesday afternoon, so I went down in the morning, stopping at Action in Thiers to buy a curtain. This is because all the churches going to Convention (next week) have been asked to bring their church banner. The closest Christ Church has to a banner is a felt-and-glue thing that the children made some years ago, with wobbly edges and horrid badly cut out letters. Rob, our Rector, asked me to take it to Convention, but I offered to “do something with it”.

Here it is with new letters, which I cut out and put onto white felt, before attaching to the background. Before, the red letters didn’t show up so well.

I’ve cut off the “vine” at the side to make it narrower; I’ve got “Clermont Ferrand” in blue letters on white felt, and I have bought a curtain, with ready made hoops at the top.

Friend Cathy is coming with her sewing machine tomorrow to attach the blue felt to the grey curtain; attach the “Clermont Ferrand” words and the vine along the bottom. Hopefully she’ll be able to shorten the curtain too, as it’s too long at the moment too.  It’s not great, all still being a bit wobbley, but we’re getting there.

ANYWAY on the way to Clermont I bought the curtain, and then arrived at ILS to do my preparation. However, we mustn’t call it ILS now, as the company has changed its name and is now known as “Bonjour World”

Personally, I’ve had mixed reactions to the name change, but it’s a done deal, so there you go. I did 3 hours teaching and was fairly knackered when I got home.

Wednesday was my day in Roanne, with 7 hours or so of teaching – strangely I didn’t find this as tiring as Tuesday: maybe I’d slept better the night before.

Then yesterday I had 3.5 hours teaching in Clermont again. I spent the morning at home preparing & doing other things. The lessons were fine, although I hadn’t actually got the right level of activities for one of the students. I managed to busk it, and hopefully will be better prepared next time. I was taking over frrom another teacher and he hadn’t really briefed me that well.

Today I’ve been home, getting ready for the next few lessons. I’m off to Convention on Wednesday, with the excitement of the elections.

Tomorrow lunch time, I’m helping serve meals for the Cycle Club Telethon event.

This is an annual event, rather like Children in Need – it takes place in December, but the Cycle Club got fed up getting freezing cold, or having to cancel because of inclement weather, so they moved their fund raiser to October. Basically any cyclist who wants to can join the ride and come along to the meal too, for a price. Also, anyone else who wants to can join in with the lunch too.

Organisée par le Club de Saint-Just-en-Chevalet, la randonnée est ouverte à tous. Tous les cyclistes (vélo de route à assistance électrique, VTT), de n’importe quel niveau, sont invités à participer à cette manifestation pour sillonner le Pays d’Urfé.

Au programme : 8h départ pour une boucle de 49 km (allure modérée, encadrée par une voiture ouvreuse et une voiture balai sécurisée par les motards de Saint-Germain-Laval) avec une pause à 10h à la Salle des fêtes de Saint-Priest-la-Prugne, 12h Repas partagé ouvert à toutes et à tous (cyclos, non cyclos, habitants), 14h départ pour une boucle de 42 km, 16h30 retour sur Saint-Just-en-Chevalet.

Inscription avant le 10/10. Tarifs : 15€/repas (bénéfices reversés à l’AFM)

Last year the weather wasn’t so good – lots of waterproofs in evidence!

In the afternoon Friend Cathy will help me with the banner. On Sunday morning I’ll be at Church, but I’m going to skive off the cleaning which is happening after the service, as in the afternoon I’ve got to pop over to Friend Mij, to collect some wood turning that her husband has done for Christmas presents. He does some beautiful things, and I’ll show you some of them when I have them.

Up early Monday morning – 6.30 at the latest (YAWN!!) as I’ll need to leave by 7.30 to get to Bonjour World office for 8.30 for my lesson that starts at 9.00!!

Now I have to go and get Pomme into her basket – she’s off to the vets for her injections. I don’t know how she will react…

 

 

Book Review: Postcards from a Stranger ****

I am proud to be a Ten Reviews or More reviewer on Net Galley.

I was sent this e-book, free-of-charge (yay!) by NetGalley, in return for an honest review.So here it is (It’s been hanging around meaning to be posted for quite a while!):

The Net Galley synopsis says:

A secret lies buried at the heart of her family—but it can’t stay hidden forever.

When Cara stumbles across a stash of old postcards in the attic, their contents make her question everything she thought she knew.

The story she pieces together is confusing and unsettling, and appears to have been patched over with lies. But who can tell her the truth? With her father sinking into Alzheimer’s and her brother reluctant to help, it seems Cara will never find the answers to her questions. One thing is clear, though: someone knows more than they’re letting on.

Torn between loyalty to her family and dread of what she might find, Cara digs into the early years of her parents’ troubled marriage, hunting down long-lost relatives who might help unravel the mystery. But the picture that begins to emerge is not at all the one she’d expected—because as she soon discovers, lies have a habit of multiplying . . .

I enjoyed the book – the mystery at the heart of the story was interesting, and I found myself rooting for Cara from the very beginning, although I did feel she let her brother get away with rather too much!

The story centres around Cara who is caring for her father who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, and through a random discovery, she starts to find out that the story she had been told about her mother’s death is not true. She then begins a journey of discovery, trying to unravel the truth from lies, and she uncovers things that perhaps she would rather not have known, about her family, and her childhood.

The characters were engaging, well-written, and believable; the story itself was gripping, and poignant. I would definitely recommend this book. Four stars.

Good things have been done!

I’m writing this on Friday. I think it will get published on Sunday.

Good Thing #1: I made some scones which I took across to Friend M. I made her a card a couple of weeks back, to encourage her while she was in rehab, and she came back home on Wednesday. We went to see her, and her partner, M, and it was such a pleasure to see her looking so much better. She looked brighter and cheerier, and explained a little about what she had been through. And she said firmly “Now I’m drinking nothing but water!” Good for her. We are hoping to re-start our card evenings, where we try to teach them cribbage and they try to teach us Tarot. (Don’t worry – it’s NOT reading tarot cards. It’s just the name of a card game.)

Here are the scones. I may have put one or two in the freezer for us!!

Good Thing #2: M, her partner, said he was driving down to Clermont today with someone from the village, to take clothes and shoes to a centre for refugees and migrants in Place 1ere Mai. I had already sorted out a bag of various bits and bobs, as I changed my wardrobe over yesterday…Autumn draws on and I’m thinking about fleeces! But Mr FD’s wardrobe is a mess.

Here’s a photo of the camp that is starting to grow in Clermont Ferrand

So I encouraged him to first go through the mountain of discarded shoes at the bottom of the coat wardrobe in the downstairs room. Some were too badly damaged to be given away, but there were five pairs that, although they were a bit battered, or rubbed Mr FD’s feet, were certainly good for a season’s wear. The really horrid ones have been set aside to go to the tip. Then he emptied his wardrobe upstairs and went through a pile of jumpers and tops that he doesn’t wear – they’re too short, or too small, or he doesn’t wear them…There were a few I was tempted to appropriate, until I remembered I had loads of clothes and these were going to people who were going to struggle to get through the winter. We took five bags of stuff across to M for him to take – including some hats and scarves which we don’t wear now.

Good Thing #3: While we were there M gave us an orange box full of peaches and one full of apples. To be honest, I think he was glad to be getting rid of them! So I skinned, chopped and sorted out the bruised bits from all the peaches, and made several freezer boxes full of peach compote/purée. Then Mr FD peeled and cored about half the apples – the other half were too damaged and bruised to be used. We could have gone through and picked and chopped the good bits but we already have boxes of stewed apple in the freezer and there’s a limit to how much one needs. But the leftovers are at least going to the composting bin at the tip.

Good Thing #4: I’ve prepared dinner for the Poor Cats. I fed them on Wednesday, and I’m due to feed them today as well. I used up some refused food from our Not-So-Poor Cats, plus a couple of tins of fairly cheap cat food. This gets mixed with hot water and a load of biscuits, which then makes a good mash for them to eat. Over the weekend I hope to also use some polystyrene sheets that Friend Richard gave me, to insulate their shed. I’m going to Emmaus with Friends Richard & Cathy, so I’ll see if I can pick up some cheap duvets/ blankets to help make the shed warmer for the winter.

Even though I didn’t get to do my ironing as I had hoped to do, we both feel that we’ve done Good and Useful Things today!

Book Review: Connectedness ****

I am proud to be a Ten Reviews or More reviewer on Net Galley.

I was sent this e-book, free-of-charge (yay!) by NetGalley, in return for an honest review. I haven’t been reading so many books recently – there was a period in my recovery when I was romping through them, but it’s slowed down. I read a few pages in bed, but not much. I finished this book about three weeks ago, though, and since then I’ve struggled to get into anything. But, here’s the review.

The Net Galley site says:

TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD, ARTIST JUSTINE TREE HAS IT ALL… BUT SHE ALWAYS HAS A SECRET THAT THREATENS TO DESTROY EVERYTHING

Justine’s art sells around the world, but does anyone truly know her? When her mother dies, she returns to her childhood home in Yorkshire where she decides to confront her past. She asks journalist Rose Haldane to find the baby she gave away when she was an art student, but only when Rose starts to ask difficult questions does Justine truly understand what she must face.

Is Justine strong enough to admit the secrets and lies of her past? To speak aloud the deeds she has hidden for 27 years, the real inspiration for her work that sells for millions of pounds. Could the truth trash her artistic reputation? Does Justine care more about her daughter, or her art? And what will she do if her daughter hates her?

This tale of art, adoption, romance and loss moves between now and the Eighties, from London’s art world to the bleak isolated cliffs of East Yorkshire and the hot orange blossom streets of Málaga, Spain.

I have to say that although I enjoyed this book, it took me a long time to read it.  I’m not sure why. I suppose it was that this wasn’t exactly gripping – that’s not to say it wasn’t enjoyable, or well written; I just didn’t feel inclined to race through it.

The description above sums up the plot well, and I certainly felt for Justine, both in her present day situation, and in her messy student life, with the predicament of an unplanned pregnancy. The character of Rose was also engaging , and it was interesting to see how her situation compared to Justine’s, and how this affected her dealings with the artist. Certainly all the characters were believable, the descriptions were good and I was involved in the recounting of the story. It just didn’t totally enthrall me – but, having said that, I was interested enough to want to finish the book, unlike others I have had from Net Galley!!

I give this 4 stars. I was going to give it three, but I think I was being unfair. It wasn’t the book’s fault that I wasn’t in a reading mood….

Picasso’s house, in Malaga, which features in the book.

PS This isn’t the “lost post” from yesterday, but one that I’ve been meaning to write for quite some time!!

Try, try, try again…

So yesterday I lost an entire post. It was very irritating. Of course, it was well-written, lyrically beautiful in its prose and achingly poignant. You would have loved it.

Well, actually, no. It was just a post about what we’ve been eating and plan to eat this week. Let’s try again! As I have said, I’m not very good at remembering to take photos of the food I cook, so any photos on here are from t’internet.

On Thursday & Friday last week I was in Paris. I’m afraid that I didn’t really stick to my Slimming World plan – when there are delicious nibbles like steamed dumplings,chicken saté sticks, and other gorgeous delicacies I can’t hold back. The wine was good too. Then, on Friday I “just happened” to pass a Marks & Spencer food hall, so I went in (It would have been rude not to) and was tempted off the straight and narrow. I bought three boxes of mince pies (now stashed in the freezer), some stilton, some white stilton with cranberries and some halloumi cheese, three bags of snacks, a packet of crumpets, an Indian meal for two, a bag of frozen onion rings (to act as an ice back for the chilled goods), and a Meal Deal lunch (a chicken-and-chorizo sandwich, a bag of crisps and a drink) Hey ho.

So..on Friday evening we ate (and enjoyed) the Indian meal – Chicken Jalfrezi, Butter chicken, pilau rice and naan bread, with a beer on the side. Miam-miam! And then a crumpet & golden syrup to finish it off!

Saturday: Breakfast: 0% fat natural yoghurt and stewed apple. I also always have a smallish glass of orange or grapefruit juice (100 ml juice mixed with about 150 ml water) and a coffee with a splash of milk. So I haven’t mentioned these in the “breakfast” sections.

Lunch: Oh dear. We went to a restaurant to celebrate Friend Richard’s birthday, so I’m afraid I slipped again. Two kirs, a couple of glasses of wine, then a salad with a cheesy fritter type thing, Chinese 5-Spice salmon & rice, cheese and then raspberry pudding.

Dinner: Soup and bread.

Sunday: Breakfast: Egg on toast

Lunch: Soup and cheese sandwich. Crumpet.

Dinner: Sausage, potato wedges, baked beans, onion rings.

Monday: Breakfast: Yoghurt & fruit

Lunch: Soup and cheese sandwich.

Dinner:Spiced yoghurt lamb, and chargrilled Mediterranean vegetables in a tortilla wrap. Crumpet.

Tuesday: Breakfast: Fruit/yoghurt

Lunch: Grated cheese (tiny bit) and salad wrap. Apple.

Dinner: Mediterranean vegetables (again!) with spiced couscous and halloumi cheese.

Wednesday: Breakfast Porridge with 1 desertspoon golden syrup.

Lunch: Leftovers from last night,with some white stilton crumbled over, yoghurt, apple

Dinner: Turkey escalopes in a tomato/vegetable sauce, pasta.

Thursday: Breakfast: 0% fromage frais, fruit

Lunch: Spicy salmon with vegetables & pasta, salad, ryvita.

Dinner: Imam Biyaldi – which, if I’m honest, was a grave disappointment. It was really rather bland, and the Imam might have fainted with pleasure when he tasted it, but we certainly didn’t. Very “meh”. To be fair to the recipe writer I’ve linked to, I didn’t use exactly her recipe: mine had less garlic, and different spices in.

Friday: Breakfast: “Bacon” sandwich (one slice of bread) The French don’t really do back bacon in the same way as the UK, but I bought some of this, which gently heated in a frying pan gives the illusion of bacon!

Lunch: As yesterday.

Dinner: A stuffed pepper, filled with the same filling as yesterday, plus cauliflower cheese, made with my Lidl Contre-le-gaspillage cauliflower last week. I may cook some lardons too, to add a bit of flavour to the proceedings!

Saturday: Breakfast: Fruit & fromage frais

Lunch: Smoked salmon paté – I have some smoked salmon in the freezer that I bought 50% off, so I’ll use that, plus some 0%fat cream cheese. I have tried to use a lot of freezer provisions this week, as I went a bit mad in M&S, so needed to reduce this week’s shopping bill!! I’ll also be making a vegetable soup to use up all the wrinkly bits and bobs at the bottom of the fridge!

Dinner: Meatballs (mince in freezer), with a tomato/pepper sauce, pasta and vegetables.

I’m keeping very quiet about the bottle of red wine that I opened on Tuesday, and am working my way through!!

I think the main thing is that we haven’t bought biscuits, and so there has been much less snacking going on!

I know these posts aren’t to everyone’s tastes, so I’ll only do one a week…And maybe not even that if I forget! Off to take some home made scones to Friend M across the way, who has return,ed home after a longish stay in hospital….I did test the little off-cut scone that used up the leftover dough. It was only tiny….