Wednesday, 24 February 2010

How to feed 5 on bugger all

Ok, dinner for this evening was shoestring 'nowt left int fridge' variety. I had 3 courgettes, 1 packet of chicken breasts = 2 normal size and one obviously from a dwarf chicken, 2 onions and some potatoes. I came up with Chicken Gratin.

For the guts:
2 & half chicken breasts chopped into 1cm cubes
2 onions
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp ginger
3 springs of Rosemary
Can of tomatoes (blitzed with a hand blender)
2 glugs of red wine
1 large courgette
3 large potatoes sliced on mandolin.
1 bag of frozen stock made previously from the water I boil the veg in.
salt and pepper

Cheese sauce:
Milk, cornflour, butter and grated hard cheese.

Fry the onion until soft, add all the rest of the stuff including the frozen stock (seen here as a lump of pale beige in the middle of the pan. Boil it all until chicken cooked... about 15 mins.

Then make the cheese sauce. Bumg milk in a pan and large dollop of butter and a large pile of cornflour. Keep whisking until it thickens. Stuff makign a roux and all that shenannigans. This is much easier and you have no lumps and it tastes the ticket. Then when cooked, take off the heat and add the grated cheese whisking it in and it will thicken more and melt into the sauce.

Slice the potatoes with their skins on with a mandolin, or if you can slice potato that thin, then give it a bash with a knife. Good luck with that btw!! If using a mandolin, remove and parts of sliced finger and nails before placing in the dish.

melt some butter and grease the whole dish, sides, bottom, everything. Then layer some of the potatoes on the bottom.

dollop some of the guts ontop of the potato slices and then ladle some of the cheese sauce like you are making a lasagne. then top with potato and keep doing this for ages or until all your stuff runs out.

You end up with a layer of potato slices and just brush them over with melted butter and set aside for when you want to cook it. When you want to cook it, put it in the oven for 1 hour at 170 deg C or about gas 5.

The result. Tuck in and enjoy with home made crusty bread

A fun sized (HAHA) MSG free meal for about 8 people above. Cost... oooh about £7. Nice.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

blog awards

I am really amazed that I got an award from Tina and also Barbara, thank you peeps!

I am amazed because I am the crappiest blogger right now and the baddest, fattest arsed bandster on the planet (any one want to challenge me on that? I dare ya!!)

But thank you.

So I am not quite sure wot I have to do, but I will give it a go.

Apparently, I have to place my award proudly on my page (will do that in a mo)
and then do the following.
• Thank the person who nominated you for this award
• Copy the award and post it in your blog
• Link to the blog of the person who nominated you
• Tell seven interesting things about yourself
• Nominate seven bloggers
• Post links to the blogs of your nominees

So here goes:

Tina and Barbara, THANKYOU! I must admit I have not had a read through Barbara's blog until today when I noticed she has obviously been reading mine (i did mention that I am really slack right?) so tonight I am gunna catch up on who Barbara is and give her a good reading! From the few pages I read earlier, she seems to be really determined and also very upfront about her lap band and I love all the pictures. It makes it all real. So, thank you Barbara truly! And Tina, wow, you are a good person for me to know. You give me really good advice that I don't want to take, but know I should ;-) and you comment on my blog when I write about my appalling lack of drive and commitment to my lapband and I know you want me to experience the same success as you. You are a great blogger and enjoy reading your exploits about bike riding... and btw.. if you take the saddle off it might make it lot more fun!! HAHA

So thanks to both of you. It made my day.

7 things about me? Wow.

1.) I had a past life (which i actually don't believe in!?!) or what I prefer to call an inherited memory. I remember from an early age (about 3) that I had a picnic in a field with my Mum, Dad, Aunt, Uncle and Brother and another person. My 'Mum' was not the same as my Mum today, but everyone else was the same. We pulled up in an old motor car at the side of a road on a summer day, and walked across the little back and into a field of corn. In the shade of the oak trees we spread out a picnic blanket on the corn. It was balanced on the ears of corn and my brother and I jumped on it to flatten it down. We sat, ate our picnic, and I was wearing an apron thing over a dress, petticoats and boots and I would hazard a guess that it was about 1910 or thereabouts. I had dark brown long hair (as opposed to the blonde of reality) and we were very happy. After the lunch we walked through the field and up to a large manor house in the distance. It had a red brick wall around it with a 5 bar gate. At the gate there was a working man with horses and a cart and oxen loaded with a yoke. There was a huge fountain at the front with water pouring from little urns into a big pool. The man waved us through and we ran up the path of the house. It had a pea shingle path and was crunchy under foot which I liked. We went into the big house through a small conservatory and I remember running down the big hall/corridor in the house with the sun blaring through the big windows casting little wedges of light as it came through the door and the dust motes in the air in the sunlight. We were making a big noise and laughing and I was about 8. I don't know whose house it was, but we knew them, and were acquainted with them.

When I was 16 in my English Language Examination, I had to write an entry for a magazine about a place called Waddeston Manor in Buckinghamshire. As I read about it, I knew that this was the place that I had the memory of. As it was before the internet, I couldn't google it, but finally did so in about 2001 when I thought about it again and was surprised to see it was the exact same place that I have the memory of. I grew up in Sussex about 100 miles from this place. I have absolutely no idea how I know intimate details about this place.

2.) I am a trained cobbler. Not your mister minute variety, but a proper snobber - nails in mouth glue covered fingers and high on fumes. I have not practiced my art for some years, but if you needed a pair of shoes fixing and gave me the materials, then you would be impressed. I started a job at a shoe repair shop called R. Rhodes & Son for 8 hours a week when I was 13. I got paid a fortune of £1.50 per hour which gave me £12.00 to waste on sweets, magazines and junk every week. At first I worked in the shop taking in shoes and bags to mend, selling the shoe polish and shoes and plimsolls and keeping it tidy and stuff. When it was quiet, I used to go out the back and sit on the steps to the workshop while Old Mr Rhodes (who was older than God) ripped of soles, soaked boots in the water tub, and then realized he was doing the wrong job on the wrong pair of shoes and the younger Mr. Rhodes would sigh in despair at his poor old Dad, then we would all had a good laugh about it and talk about the world and how to put it right. The smell of the glue, the leather and the new shoes is still a delight to me. Then, gradually over the 4 years I worked there he would ask me to do little bits and bobs. It started with pricing the shoe repairs, which meant I had to learn the types of leather, heels and soles and all the different things so that I could price it right. Then he would ask me to trim the threads of the stitching repairs, then it would be skiving a bit of leather for a patch, then actually sticking the patch on, or repairing a dog chewed shoe with it, then a little bit of light hammering, then ripping the old soles off, then trimming the rubber heels with a knife and then when I had been preparing for about 2 years, I finally got to finish a pair on the machine. I wasn't aware that I was being trained, or anything, and if the little bell tinkled in the shop, I had to drop what I was doing and race up the steps, through the bead curtain and serve the customer, then go straight back to the job I was doing in the workshop. I loved being there, and was so upset when I had to leave because I started college. The money was rubbish, but the chat was rich, and I would have happily paid to work there. My brother took my job when I left, also aged 13 and he now has his own cobblers shop. Funny what happens huh!

3.) I have a basic education level, will die young and live a pretty mundane menial life according to the Office of National Statistics. The hard facts: I finished school at 16, took 9 GCSE's. I was married & pregnant in my teens. Sounds pretty grim. You get the idea - I should be barefoot and pregnant living in a caravan or council house with a filthy carpet and the place should be filled with that horrible sweet/sour smell from old chip fat and fag ends, have greasy hair with 1 inch bleach blonde root growth, have several teenage spotty children with at least 2 having an ASBO, time in juvenile detention or possibly in care, smoke, drink and go down the local pub daily with my benefit money. Hilarious! Although I went to college and university I have no other qualifications that I left school with - 9 GCSE's. On paper and in statistics I am qualified for nothing. In reality I have been running my own business for 14 years and own a large detached house, have no credit cards and a live with my husband who I have been with for 15 years on April 14th, we have 1 child (without an ASBO at the moment in time, or spots!) born well into wedlock. LOL
At college I did 14 A levels over the course of 4 years and I have completed 2 years of 3 degrees. Time and unforeseen occurrence befall us all, as the good book says, and this was the case. I have no need for a degree now, and no intention of getting one as I cant be bothered, but I learned a lot through the 2 years of each one that I did complete. The first one I dropped out of as we moved house. The second I left as I broke my knee cap and had too much time off. The third one I left because DS needed home schooling. It was then that I decided I was only getting a degree for the sake of having one, but also that it would be of no real use to me seeing as I fully intend to be a housewife, full time, as soon as I humanly possibly can.
My 14 A level courses came about because I joined a course, finished a year of it, and then changed course. If I had taken these courses these days, I would now have 14 AS level qualifications. That's how they work them now. You do one year and you get half an A level, and then you top it up to a full one in the second year. As it is, I did them between the age of 17 & 23 when you had to complete the full 2 years to get recognition for any of the work you did. That's my luck all over. So in reality I am a fully functioning adult, but statistically I am a drop kick waste of space. Cool.

4.) I want to be Asian. I really REALLY want to have been born Indian. I don't know why, but I wish I could become one. I like the way they dress, I like their culture and their sense of family and community and I enjoy being with my friends Rhuta and Gagan immensely and forget that I am white. Its always very disappointing leaving them and coming back to the English me.

5.) I love the programme Home and Away. I have watched it from the very first episode which aired here in the UK on a Saturday with Sally moving into the house with the Fletcher family. I know all about it, read up in advance and the day I sit down to watch it is the highlight of my week. I record the omnibus edition on Sky+ every Saturday morning while I am at work, and then I tease myself with it all week knowing its there for me to watch, like a chocolate mud pie in the fridge, and then when I cant stand it any more, I sit and watch the whole 2 hours in one hit with a bottle of wine and various treats.

6.) I am an excellent cook. I have no idea why, or how this happened, but I realized over the past year or so that I could totally wipe the floor with people in Master Chef. I never sing my praises, but this is one time I will. I can be given 3 ingredients and told to rustle something up, and I will. It will be tasty, nutritious, and I will know what went into it, the calories and all kinds of other stuff about it without having to think very hard at all. I can eat a meal at a restaurant and come home and reproduce it exactly. Today I had nothing in the fridge apart from 1 courgette (the other two were totally gone home with mould), some chicken, potato and cheese. I managed to create a Chicken and Potato gratin. I will post the pics on the next page but I freaking astound myself! I love cooking, love making lots of it and feeding the 5000 and just wish I could have had a massive family to cook for. I have to make do with 2 lodgers though, who polish it all off with aplomb.

7.) I won a competition to design a birthday card for the Queen when I was 10. So that would have been 1986 or 1987. It was her 60th Birthday - not sure if it was her real birthday, or the official birthday, but I won it nonetheless. It was a picture of a calculator with 60 on it. really boring and the competition was run by Wimpy restaurants. I got a letter from her and a cup commemorating it.

Ok, so that was really hard and took ages to write, and now onto my blog nominations:
This is very hard, because I like looking at a lot of blogs.

I feel I want to give special mention to some bloggers close to my heart, and rather than simply just nominate them back, just give them a great shout out as they just know that they would be instant nominees...Its pretty obvious I think that these 3 would be my first 3 choices anyway, so lets funk it up a bit....
So Tina - you are good for my soul and you have also had bumps along the way. But unlike me, you seem to get on with it, and I wish I had your strength. I am chuffed that you read my blog and help me with a good kick in the ass now and then. I know we will be firm friends when we get together in June! We got a lot in common hun, and I am really kind of please you are going to reopen the Home Ed thing again too. And also to Cara aka The Dash - I know you wont mind an especial mention - another wonderful blogger who takes the time to leave comments (i am a real slacker on that) and uplifting thoughts to let you know that writing the blog is worth it because someone is reading. Knowing that someone is reading makes typing until your fingers bleed so much more worthwhile. Your journey is also inspiring and your heartaches in family life are raw and full of emotion. And Caroline, you sweet things another of my homies (as I affectionately refer to you 3) i love your blog and think its full of very interesting stuff, not just about bands, but about travel and exoticness that I long for. I appreciate your comments on my blog and how you think my posts are funny! Sometimes when I read them a year later I laugh myself too!
Thanks to all three of you, truly.

So to be a little more random and unpredictable - here are the blogs I am gonna nominate for a BB award.

1.) H @

2.) Stardustic @

3.) Dizrant @

4.) Shaggs @

5.) Erica @

6.) Robyn @

7.)Dee @

You are all GAWJUS LAYDEEZ and I love reading your blogs. Dee is the only blogger I have met in real life and gave me some serious help one time on a damn grim choke when I didn't know how to deal with it. I thought I was gunna die. We met and had the same shifty treatment from Dr. Dovey in London. Dee and I shared a starbucks or two, and some excellent convo's before she went back to Oz. Haven't heard from her in ages, but she surfaces now and again and has also had some problems, but faced them on the nose/chin whatever unlike me who is just a sniveling wretch. Erica is a little ahead of me in the game, but we've kind of been on the journey together. She is now preggers with a band baby and that's just so cool. Shes done really well, and was a source of real encouragement to me in the early days too. Robyn is simply rockin. I enjoy her posts. Shes nearly at her 1 year bandiversary and lost 50lbs. Wowza! Star, Diz and Shaggs have been around my blog for a few years too, and I like their blogs immensely. Diz makes me die laughing at her stress busting rants. An excellent release valve, although less releases in the last year or so... Keep em coming hun! Star is really inspirational too and I like her openness and good sing song nature. Shaggs is another mayhem magnet and love her blurts and funny turns of phrase. And H, a fellow UK bandit and a relatively recent gem of a find. Absolutely lovely hunny, funny, witty, empathetic and I am absolutely over the moon glad to have made contact with her.

This took like 4 HOURS to write. OMG. You guys better just know how special you all are ok. And that goes for all the rest of my followers too. You all deserve an award just for following this poxy blog!!! HAHAHA

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Hello chickens

Well I think I have finally bit the bullet and taken control of my fat carcass. I emailed this woman called Jane last night. She offers mobile fills around the UK. She had her band about 3 years ago, and also by Dr. Dillemans, has lost 6 stone and is a qualified nurse to boot.

I think I might like to see her to get some insight into my band and whats going on, whether I need to have all the fluid out and just give myself a break for a while with everything thats going on, or whether what I need is a fine tuning, or whether actually I just need a kick up the Harris to get over myself.

I feel really really cruddy right now. Its probably a case of getting over the hell of that operation, coupled with monthly hormones and also the stress of the shop fitting etc. I just feel like I need a break. Its half term here right now and I have this week off work. Its Wednesday already and I have to work on Saturday and I don't feel like I have had a rest at all!

Everytime I go to the loo I think I am going to get that excruciating pain again and I just feel like I am in the down-in-the-dumps circle of depression and misery and I actually don't want to feel like this.

I am drinking way too much wine to have any weightloss, and eating too much sweets and ice cream and just generally feeling miserable for myself, but I haven't had a blow out binge which is something I guess.

I have had a nasty few days Friday -Monday where I could not eat/drink too and it always makes me feel like I need to catch up!!! On Saturday I had a coffee before I left for work, then a coffee at a pupils and then I was feeling really rubbish, so came home. I couldn't drink another coffee and I puked some of it. I tired squash, puke, and basically everything until midnight was not going down. I managed 2 black coffees over an hour at about midnight (if I drink milk when this tight, it curdles and turns into lumps of cheese and just makes the situation worse) then I had a very wet curry sauce that I made in the evening for dinner for the family, but it was about 1/4 cup and it wasn't feeling too great.

Sunday followed the same patten. 2 coffees in the morning, a few hours later nothing going down. pukey pukey puke and in the end I just went back to bed. After a sleep I managed some liquids, and Monday was exactly the same but much more soul destroying.

We went to London on a trip. I had a coffee before we left, no probs. I had a sip of drink on the coach, and it stuck. Nothing I could do about it for an hour until we got there and I had to rush to the loo and puke it. After the tour we went to Pizza Express. Now when I heard that this was where we were going for lunch, I was just like filled with dread and disappointment. Its NEVER going to happen at pizza express. After 3 days of tightness, pizza express is the last place on the planet I wanted to be.

I tried to be good and work my band, so I ordered a coffee, olives (as they always go down) and then a weird aubergine and cheese sauce bake - nice and sloppy. Our friend on our table also ordered a bottle of red between the 4 of us. I managed 4 sips of coffee and it was full stop. I waited till the feeling passed and tried an olive. Nope. I sat there for half an hour and watched everyone heartily enjoying themselves drinking wine, eating massive pizza's and having a lovely time and I wandered off to the bogs.

It was the most disappointing feeling in the world. Not because I couldn't eat, but because I also knew I wouldn't lose any weight because of it either. I ate bog all for 4 days and lost nothing. Then I had to face the barrage of 'why cant you eat' 'is that nice?' 'why didn't you eat your dinner r u poorly?' etc etc and then the whole dissection of me having a band and how they just wished I was happy again and how they all were basically saying I should just have it removed and does it really matter about being 20 stone?

They did make a lot of sense. At that point, considering I was only 3 miles away from the Harley Street clinic where I usually have the fills, I felt like just booking in and having it all removed and just "BLOW IT".

Now, I kind of feel guilty that I have paid all this money to have the band, put my family through hell twice because of the band blowing, gone through so much during those horrible months when it was broken, lost so much money through illness with it, tried so darn hard, almost given up 35 times a week, and spent £100 a throw on 14 fills odd, and should I really give up now?

Its been 3 years guys and I don't know which way is up any more.

On a more positive note, Albert Ladysmith Steptoe has allowed me to eat anything I darn well please yesterday and today so far. So I am at full fury defcon 1, and then instantly at full stepdown and peace negotiations.

I honestly don't know if I can handle the whirlwind ups and downs of this nightmare that is my band any more. I am done with the fickleness of it.

Maybe I should have the fluid out and rest my gastric juices for a while, and then start again...

I just don't know.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Sorry guys

Too long no write. Sorry about that. Soooo much happening over here and nothing really about the lapband or weightloss... I have been the same weight since December now...

So, the operation on my bladder was NOT a success. How could I dare to think otherwise. I still have exactly the same pain as I had before, but also a nice 6 weeks of extra pain and nastiness into the mix. Only in the last week have things finally settled down so that the Detrusitol tablets actually mask the pain again. I have had a course of antibiotics which did nothing, and then because the pain was practically unbearable, they gave me Co-Amoxiclav which made me feel even worse, have diarrhoea and sickness and headaches and STILL not clear it up.

I finished those pills 2 weeks ago, and its only just starting to subside. That pain is so wearing and all consuming. You cant get away from it. 1x30mg codeine tablet does nothing 2x30mg makes me off my face and a danger to myself and the population at large. No win.

I just haven't felt like sitting at the computer typing as the pain in the nethers is just too horrible on this chair.

There has been a lot of other stress too... Good stress, and bad stress all at the same time. Between my last post and now, my husband has quit his job, taken on a lease and is opening a Jewellery shop. From scratch. *GULP*

This is excellent and horrifying at the same time. We get the keys on 1st March and then he has 4 weeks notice to serve. We open 3rd April.

The shop we have rented is a shell. Everything has to be done from scratch. Its damp and has been empty for 6 months, so we need to get some dehumidifiers in there on 1st March. Then a thorough cleanse is in order. A big clean up and vax the carpets etc. Then begins the decorating, and renovating and shop fitting. At this moment in time we know where everythings coming from... we just havent bought it yet. I cant stand the thought of the house full of stuff like desks, counters and paint and stick and all kinds of stuff.

This is a huge project and its got to be pulled off by 3rd April by muggins here. DH will be working 9-5 in his own job, and its up to me to get the other shiz done. I am pretty sure I can do it, but its really daunting cos this is for our livelihoods.

Bandwise... well it was my 3rd anniversary in lapband land yesterday. 3 years. That is actually quite unbelievable as yesterday after 2 days of not being able to eat or drink, I was seriously contemplating an emergency appointment with Wendy and having it all taken out. Funny huh!

3 years guys, and I have lost 20 lbs (not quite 1 and a half stone)

Yesterday evening I managed a coffee, then some cheese sauce (NO MSG BEFORE YOU ASK!!!) and then some sugary sweet chew bar as I was shaking like a hypo.

Today is another day. Off we go again.

I am off to London for the day today with DH and DS. should be good. Wondering wot a salad at Pizza Express will be like after the last couple of days dramas....